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We Need A Saddam To Replace Saddam: Operation Strongman

Watch this report from Michael Ware with Wolf. Since Maliki isn't cutting it as the leader in Iraq and there is virtually no government---what is be

ware-saddamlite.jpg Watch this report from Michael Ware with Wolf. Since Maliki isn't cutting it as the leader in Iraq and there is virtually no government---what is being said is that we need Saddam, but not really Saddam, just somebody that's tough, but not too tough, that can keep Iraq together so that it's still friendly to the US, but that isn't friendly with Iran because that would be bad, Mkay? The tribes were called losers by the White House, but they aren't losers now---so who are the losers?...Now we're hearing about the Musharraf option that people just loved as far back as 2004. Or Operation Stongman as I like to call it...But didn't the Iraqis vote with their purple fingers? Round and Round it goes...As long as the US keeps "surging" along...

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BLITZER: I don't know about you, but I keep hearing suggestions from some influential elements out there that what Iraq really needs is a strongman, someone not necessarily like Saddam Hussein who was a thug and a killer, but someone, let's say, like a Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan or a Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

WARE: Well, look, Wolf, you know, what we're talking about here is essentially what's dubbed the Musharraf option, precisely what you're talking about, putting a strongman in place.

Now, this is something that was -- has been talked about and mooted (ph) since even before the invasion. It's now known that that was the CIA's preferred option for regime change. They said coup d'etat. Cut off the head, put in our own guy and then cut out the cancer of the Iraqi Baathist apparatus as we go.

I certainly know very influential special forces commanders and other leading generals here in the country who have been pushing for solutions just like that since way back in 2004. (full transcript below the fold)

via CNN

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's truly a plaguing question, Wolf, because to be honest, there's no immediate candidates. I mean to use an example from Afghanistan, there is no Hamid Karzai waiting in the wings, as a single political figure who has even the vaguest prospect of unifying this country.

Indeed, let's bear in mind, Wolf, Nouri al-Maliki was not the answer either. He was the compromise candidate of all compromise candidates, with very little support from anyone and absolutely no power. So even he wasn't a solution.

Now, there are a number of people who are out there on the fringes trying to jockey and maneuver. And, of course, Iraq's neighbors -- Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan -- they're also providing support to some of these potential candidates.

So, really, the question is after Maliki, what happens?

If he goes, will he go constitutionally by, say, a no confidence vote in the parliament?

Or is it going to be a non-constitutional upheaval, like a coup d'etat?

Or, as former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi calls for, an emergency government?

That will be one of the things that determines who might lead next. But, honestly, America has to pick one of the horses in the race and back it because Iran certainly will be doing the same.

BLITZER: I don't know about you, but I keep hearing suggestions from some influential elements out there that what Iraq really needs is a strongman, someone not necessarily like Saddam Hussein who was a thug and a killer, but someone, let's say, like a Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan or a Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Forget about democracy for the time being, but get someone who is pro-American, pro-West, but at the same time can get tough and crack down on what's going on there.

What's your sense of that?

WARE: Well, look, Wolf, you know, what we're talking about here is essentially what's dubbed the Musharraf option, precisely what you're talking about, putting a strongman in place.

Now, this is something that was -- has been talked about and mooted (ph) since even before the invasion. It's now known that that was the CIA's preferred option for regime change. They said coup d'etat. Cut off the head, put in our own guy and then cut out the cancer of the Iraqi Baathist apparatus as we go.

I certainly know very influential special forces commanders and other leading generals here in the country who have been pushing for solutions just like that since way back in 2004.

Now, coupled with that, coupled with that, a period of, say, an emergency government with a quasi democracy or a constitution not abandoned, but merely suspended until this place can hold itself together and blunt the Iranian interference. To go with that must be an empowerment of the tribes. Now, it's a very famous line, but back in 2003, the U.S. administration here blithely, glibly said that the tribes have no future in the new Iraq.

Well, how wrong they have been. The tribes are vitally needed to rebuild this country and support whoever can really control this place and keep it an ally of America, as opposed to the mess and the almost anti-American shemozzle (ph) that it currently is.

BLITZER: Michael Ware reporting for us from Baghdad.

Michael, thanks.

WARE: Thank you, Wolf.

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