Capture of Saddam

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A socialist response to the capture of Saddam. Plus vote on our new poll on the capture, bottom left of front page…The capture of Saddam Hussein is a propaganda victory for the US administration. They will milk the capture, humiliation, interrogation, arrest and eventual execution of Saddam using the full weight of the US media and propaganda machine.

Socialists have always said that Saddam should be dealt with by his own people, if it is done by imperialism it will be done on their terms and in their interests. The next few days and weeks will show how correct this position is.

What the US will fail to remind the world is that Saddam was originally ‘their man’ when he first came to power and attempted to wipe out trade union, Communist Party, and Shite and Kurdish opposition. He was also ‘their man’ when he launched the war on Islamic Iran in 1980.

Later, after the bungled invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he became (like Noreiga in Panama) a US backed thug who went too far and had to be reigned in.

The capture of Saddam probably resulted from the assistance of tribal leaders in the Shia area north of Baghdad in the hope of getting the massive US bounty. The US forces themselves are hated by the vast majority of the population and it is highly unlikely they found Saddam via their own efforts.

That portion of the armed resistance to the US that stems from ex-Baathist Party members will be knocked back temporarily by the Saddam capture. However amongst the growing Shite opposition in the South or the Islamic fighters who are crossing the porous borders into Iraq to kill Americans, the capture will have no effect. They considered Saddam an infidel for being US backed in the past, invading Iran, and repressing the Shites in the South.

The capture of Saddam will not fix the electricity or gas for Iraqi people, will not create jobs, will not stop the economic rape of Iraq by US companies or bring about democratic rights for ordinary people. Therefore in the medium to long run nothing will change for the US: Iraq will remain a bleeding wound in US finances and will be their new Vietnam.

However in the short term the US will be cock-a-hoop and socialists should expect a barrage of propaganda over the next few days and weeks. We need to patiently explain the real position to workers.