2003-08-28 / View From the Middle

View From

The Middle
The Killing Of "Chemical Ali"
By Charles Rogers
View From The Middle By Charles Rogers

The Middle


The Killing Of "Chemical Ali" — And Other Possible Fables

I hate looking foolish. This, of course, doesn’t set me apart from most people, except for, maybe, circus clowns and, uh, politicians. Case in point here is the capture in Iraq last week of the person called "Chemical Ali." The cousin of dictator Saddam Hussein, whose real name is Ali Hassan al-Majid, was believed to have been directing attacks on U.S. forces recently from his hiding place in the northern section of that country.

When I heard he had been captured last week — he was the King of Spades in the deck of evil cards — my first thought was, "Hey, weren’t we told that this guy was killed last April?"

Well, yes, we were. At the time, Defense Secre-tary Donald Rumsfeld, a man whom I have learned to dislike more and more every time he arrogantly (that’s a light, light word!) speaks at press and news conferences. This is the know-it-all who, with a complete lack of humility or compassion, led us through the paces of the first phases of the War in Iraq, taking as much credit as possible and putting "spins" on every morsel of negativity connected with it.

And I swallowed most of it — at first.

I admit it. Now that things seem to be going wrong, or at least not as right as we had hoped, we don’t see Rumsfeld much any more. His haughty self can’t come up with those flip answers so easily.

Don’t get me too wrong here. Frankly, I’m still 100% behind George W. and the invasion of Iraq. Saddam and his crew lied to us and the United Na-tions for 12 years about the weapons of mass des-truction and somebody had to call their bluff. We did it and justly so.

Problem was….What then? It was a killing essentially in self defense, but we didn’t know what to do with the body afterwards! We still don’t.

And now they’re telling us there’s a possibility that a couple of guards at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which was totalled in a suicide truck bomb blast August 20 had been members of Saddam’s elite security services. It was said the Iraqi guards at the hotel that housed the U.N.’s offices there also work-ed for the U.N. before the war, according to a quoted article in the New York Times.

Heavens! Could this be??? It seems there are a myriad of stories coming from the Middle East that need a lot of investigation, not just lip service. We don’t hear direct answers from the Administration too much any more, do we?

And regarding "Chemical Ali," I’m still miffed when I think of how the spin-doctors pulled the pro-verbial wool over our eyes when they told us he was killed months ago.

("Oops! How do you like that? Here he was all the time, that sonofagun!") Makes you wonder how many other, uh, exaggerations they’ve tried to shove at us.

Sorry, Mr. President. As I said, I’m still 100% behind you and the effort, but get rid of the arrogant spin doctor and give us the truth for a change.

As I said, I hate looking foolish.

I guess you do too.


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