To the Editor
Tucson Star/Citizen

Dear Editor:

Did nobody notice the quick sleight of hand during that nocturnal "handover of sovereignty" stunt the other day? Bremer's abolition of the death penalty (included in his list of last minute edicts binding-unless-rescinded on interim and future Iraqi governments) should have snagged the attention of anybody aware that all parties to this new bogus facade on our occupation of Iraq are in fact big fans of the death penalty. What? How did Goodie Twoshoes suddenly get her way here? The answer came the following day, when the spanking new, bona fide 100% sovereign Iraqi government freely reinstated the death penalty, citing overwhelming pressure from the Iraqi citizenry (who had apparently been secretly polled that morning) to have the tools to deal with foreign terrorists, diehard Saddam loyalists, extremist insurgents and, of course, Saddam himself.

Why abolish the dp and then immediately bring it back? For the same reason, I'll bet, that Pilate washed his hands and then went ahead with the crucifixion anyway: deniability.

Got a problem with a murderous crackdown on grassroots Iraqi resistance fighters who shoot at American soldiers and blow up Halliburton's oil pipelines? Don't come to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld about it. Talk to the Democratic Republic of Iraq. There was no death penalty when we turned over power. We don't interfere in their internal affairs.

Michael Moore notwithstanding, I keep forgetting that the people behind the Bush administration are actually very smart. Their objectives in Iraq are (1) oil and (2) military bases. Neither are compatible with an insurgent population, pressing to have us gone from their lives, whether this is effected by armed rebellion or free elections. It is likely that the Bush people have figured out that a brutal, Saddam-style repression is the only way to keep an unruly population away from your palaces and your loot. So that is what they plan to do. The world isn't going to like the look of it much, and they are trying, by means of this week's preposterous charade, to put an Iraqi face on the horrors to come.

I hope this premonition is just a paranoid fantasy. But I have had them before, and the Bush administration has not yet failed to make my nightmares come true.


(the other) Michael Moore