Yeah, it’s not just Bush

Former British Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has accused America of playing politics with the Saddam Hussein trial verdict. He told BBC One’s Question Time he had no evidence, but the timing of the verdict — to coincide with the mid-term polls — was “deeply suspect”. I reckon probably 90% of the audience nodded.

I happen to think this is tosh. Note that Rifkind has “no evidence”, but this didn’t stop him. I would have thought a former Foreign Secretary would be more circumspect.

My first reaction was to comfort my American pals and tell them this would all go away when the shockingly awful George W. Bush retires to Crawford. The man deserves all the hatred and suspicion that spews forth because of him. But, alas, we’re even suspicious of the presidents we like. Take the guy with the Oxford degree. “The War of Monica’s Skirt” was not just an amusing euphemism, we truly believed that the Iraq bombings of December 1998 were political diversions. Same when George Bush Sr. lobbed a few cruise missiles at Iraq during the waning days of his presidency: I remember hearing about it on the radio and those around me tsked, “well, he just wants to prove his manhood after losing the election.”

So, it’s not just Bush. “Manipulative, arrogant, power-hungry, imperial America” is a view with a long pedigree. How far back does it go? Grenada? Gulf of Tonkin maybe. I really don’t know. Anyway, be prepared for President Hillary hatred. It will be more subtle, but it will be there. Mark my words. The fact is, the world hates you.

Now, which Hollywood movie shall we watch tonight?



  1. Ronan,

    Is it common at a sentencing proceedings to just call out the conviction, or do you also provide the reasons for it? Note that no reasons were provided on Sunday, November 5, 2006 for Saddam’s conviction, because they were not ready yet.

    Note also that the original sentencing date was like October 18. Why was it suddenly moved to November 5?

    There is too much circumstantial evidence, especially given that The Bush Administration has a history of timing releases of information for political purposes to dismiss questions about the timing of Saddam’s sentencing date.


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