I was thinking all week what surprise Karl Rove had for America before the elections. Friday afternoon was when I expected it, but then it came to me. I had forgotten all about the true surprise he has waiting for America.
In 2004, on the Friday before the election, Karl Rove put out a "new" fake Osama bin Laden tape, designed to scare voters to vote for Bush. It was precisely released after the Washington Press Corps had gone home for the weekend, so that it would receive unfettered coverage for three straight days heading into the presidential election. By the time the analysts figured out that it was clearly designed to help Bush, he was already accepting concession from John Kerry.
I was concerned that another such tape would miraculously arise this afternoon, but I forgot all about Saddam Hussein. You remember him don't you? He is the dictator we loved 20 years ago, but hate today. He is the guy we dug out of the hole. He was the reason we went to wa... wait a minute; that is not why we went to war in Iraq. But it will sure be sold to you that way over the next few days prior to the election. You need to be ready for the media onslaught America.
For those who also forgot Mr. Hussein, you will be surprised to hear that his trial will officially end this Sunday, including a verdict, just two days before our election. WHAT A COINCIDENCE! Needless to say the White House is already positively frothing at the mouth over the perceived political juice this can give them. Press Secretary Tony Snow has already said that the verdict would "absolutely be a factor" in the US elections. He went on to say this was proof that the, "Iraqi government that has been doing what the president has said all along" and that this was a "benchmark moment." What a snow job.
Let's first deal with the incredibly ridiculous timing of this verdict. It was decided MONTHS ago, planned by our government to clearly try and affect the mid term elections. The court itself was set up by us, through the Coalition Provisional Authority. It has been reported that, "American influence...has been undeniably pervasive, with about 90 percent of the $145 million in annual costs for the court and associated investigations paid for by the United States Justice Department, and lawyers sent by Washington acting as advisers." Make no mistake about this America, we are in charge of this trial and we decided when to have the "verdict". No matter how much Mr. Snow wants to spin this moment, he cannot remove the obviously political nature of the timing of the verdict, which has not been affected despite the killing of 11 judges involved with the trial. Is there any doubt what the "verdict" will be?
Why Sunday? That provides 2 full days of complete Saddam coverage from all media. America will be bombarded for the 48 hours before they vote, with a never ending Saddam-a-thon. There will be barely any coverage of the current war, the dead, the economy, the poll numbers, or the individual races. Nope, it will be all Saddam, all the time. Just like they did with The John Kerry flubbed joke. Fox News will take the lead and be bragging about the "War on Terror" and how successful it has been now that Saddam, who remember had nothing to do with terrorism, has been brought to "justice", by our Cowboy-in-Chief and his party. The other networks will soon follow suit. Inevitably, the "opinions" will turn to using this "verdict" as a momentum point for the trailing republican candidates. This of course sets up the talking points for post-election coverage when people start talking about stolen votes and Diebold, the media will point to the "firestorm" they themselves created, and pretend that the verdict is what changed the fortunes for the Republican Party, not the voting machines. This was the same pattern in 2004 when suddenly there were millions of evangelical voters who ran to the polls. Fairy tales spun by the GOP and told to you over an over again by the corporate media.
Be ready America, be vigilant. Since the capture of Saddam Hussein we have seen the deaths of at least another 2,400 American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Another 18,000 American soldiers have been wounded since then. Even though we have 22,000 more troops on the ground since Saddam's capture, attacks have increased 400%. Nothing about this "verdict" should sway your mind about the failed leadership of this party. If anything, a guilty verdict will probably spur more violence and make a martyr out of Hussein.
Don't forget that we do not live in a Machiavellian society. The ends do not justify the means. We did not go into this war because of Saddam, but because of the lies told to us by the Republican Party. They were the ones who swore about connections to al Qaeda and ranted about WMD and "mushroom clouds." 3,000 or more of our kids have come home in boxes and those that sent them there clearly have no plan, just rhetoric. They have no vision, just blind loyalty to party over country. They have nothing left to sell America; just a tin-pot dictator from a bygone era. Their hope is to parade him in front of you for two straight days before you vote and lie to your face about why we are in this God-forsaken war to begin with. They will pretend this preconceived political ploy is a justification for their continued slaughter of people in this world. They are hoping America is so subdued in their fear and cowed in their oppression that they will not be able to tell the difference between a staged political stunt and the truth. They are wrong.
America will remember their dead. They will remember their sacrifice. They will remember the past five years and not continue to give power to people who continue to wrap themselves up in a blood-soaked flag while handing billions of dollars to their political cronies. America stands for more than rhetoric and talking points. It stands for more than blind support for leaders who politically rig trials to magically come to verdict two days before a national election. America stands for honesty, truth and integrity; at least it used to. After this Tuesday, it can and will again, no matter how many times they show us a picture of a tin-pot dictator from a bygone era and pretend that a rigged trial justifies five years of horror.