Voices of Mexico no. 66

Our Voice

O Saddam Hussein’s mid-December arrest makes it possible to conceive of repositioning the policy of the United States and its main allies. Of the greatest importance for developments in that part of the globe, internally it changes the balance of forces and paves the way for stabilizing Iraq’s current precarious equilibrium. Also, domestically, President George Bush’s credibility shows signs of recovery with a view to his reelection in November 2004.

With regard to the first point, we can say with some degree of certainty that with Saddam Hussein under arrest, the United States and its forces will be able to recover control over operations and neutralize the remains of the ancien régime that has caused so many casualties both for Washington and its leading allies. However, everything seems to indicate that when he was captured, Hussein had already distributed a large part of the millions of dollars he took out of the public treasury before being overthrown. Presumably, these resources are in the hands of his followers’ organized cells. Thus, his jailing does not necessarily signal the end of the actions of the forces opposed to occupation, particularly those with their origins in the old structures. In that sense, it would be a mistake to assume that with Saddam Hussein’s arrest, the anti-U.S. resistance —both armed and civilian— will come to an end. There are powerful signs to the contrary, and Washington will have to be prepared to resolve the fundamental reasons behind the high level of discontent with its presence in the region. These reasons involve the unipolar nature of the Iraq war and the fact that bringing order to the country demands a different representative body than the existing Provisional Governing Council and the rapid withdrawal of occupying forces so that this is possible. If the United States does not capitalize on its victory in arresting Hussein in these terms, it will not have understood that this may be the most appropriate moment for contributing to establishing the conditions needed to stabilize the internal political process, conditions that will have to be built in a context of broad international and national consensus.




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