Robert Fisk seems remarkably ungenerous and pessimistic in his report of the death of Saddam’s sons, which should surely be a cause for general rejoicing. But he thinks it will make things worse. The fear of Saddam’s return will diminish with their death, he believes; but the effect of this will be to increase resistance to the occupation. Until now, the Islamists have feared that Saddam might make a comeback once the Americans leave. If he is dead, they need fear this no longer, and will step up their war.
This is so counter to everything the Americans, and most of the press, believe, that it makes an interesting test case. We’ll see soon enough — say, by Christmas — who is right. If the attacks are still continuing then, and if they survive Saddam’s demise, then Fisk is right, and this is a national/islamist movement. If they stop, the Americans are right, and it’s Saddamite holdovers. But when I think about it, I am inclined to believe that Fisk is right. I do hope he is not.