Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Statesman Jan 8th 2007

The New Statesman has too many short columns that don't say much, feels like a vehicle for fueilletons.

Anyway this first issue for 2007 does have an editorial that makes more of the Saddam execution than Socialist Worker did. For the New Statesman the execution marks the 'death of a failed adventure'. This is fleshed out in the cover-article by Andrew Stephen, 'Dubya in Denial'. Stephen records that Dubya slept through the execution in which Saddam was meant to be 'dragged kicking and squealing to the gallows'.This really sounds like Stephen has been thinking about Angels with Dirty Faces, with Saddam as Rocky Sullivan, but no Father Jerry to persuade him to do the right thing and ut the Dead End Kids on the right path. If only Donald Rumsfeld could have done it! The dominant image is of Bush as an alcoholic, 'in denial' about his situation, claiming that "victory in Iraq is quite achievable". Not for Bush the burden of sleeplessness that led to LB J dropping out (or Nixon's nighttime mingling with protestors and drift into the crimes of Watergate!). And according to Stephen Bush's advisors and staffers are even more out of touch with reality. Expect a rough time for Bush to come, only 749 days to go. Best line: 'I takes a woefully incompetent administration to make Saddam Hussein look good.'

Meanwhile Sadakat Kadri has a short exposition of why the execution was illegal (but without taking up Nir Rosen's point about the difference between a Sunni and Sh'ia edi) and Chris Stephens finds the whole legal process incompetent.


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