seems the likeliest image for iconisation. Note the almost beatific expression. It is the face of a martyr by Raphael. The mobile phone footage vindicated extreme Sunni opinion, that the Shia dominated government is intent on their destruction. The still image visualises the morality for any self-martyrdom required in the cause of Sunni self-defence, as they see it. Along with the lynch-mob tone of the video itself, this image is as deadly as any Patriot missile - together they will kill at least as many people. The shouts of SADR! are the cherry on the cake. The inescapable message to the Sunni minority of the mobile phone footage is "Look Out, We're Coming To Get You".
The single line message of the still shot is 'If They DO Get You, You Can Die Like A Man.'
It seems now that the Iraqi government was aware of the potential for disaster but was unable to control its own security service.
In Washington, it is unlikely that some of the finest diplomatic minds on the planet didn't also understand the same danger, and not propose some serious PR advice to this immature and vulnerable dependant ally. It is almost inconceivable that Washington would not point out the risk of inflaming the Sunni militias by the mishandling of Saddam's execution.
Unless the US doesn't actually care that Iraq is in a state of constant civil war, that is. Then Washington's apparent indifference makes some sort of sense. But why they should want that is anyone's guess. Unless it is the case that a quarrelsome partnership is easier to bargain with than a sole trader. In this case for oil. Not forgetting the need to alienate Baghdad from Tehran for as long as possible.
Not forgetting the regular contracts which keep the Malls open and the burgers sizzlin'.
It's now generally agreed that this was an unmitigated disaster, one of many, and does have the clumsy thumbprints of the Washington PR department all over it.
Did the State Department or any other White House arm offered any PR advice to the puppet regime? You'd think it would be a top priority for them, seeing as American troops are likely to die at the hands of a Sunni minority made even more paranoid by the vision of the Sadr militias running the country, as seen in the execution footage.
If they did not offer any advice, why not? And if they did, why was it not taken?
The potential answers to these questions are very interesting.
If advice was not given, then America is either too stupid to call itself a superpower and should not even be put in charge of a lawnmower, let alone a cruise missile - OR - America is quite happy for war to continue indefinitely. War is good for business, no matter how many US troops are brought home secretly under flags.
If advice was given but rejected, America is being ignored by Iraq - The Puppet Bites Back - but in the form of the Shia doctrine America has been at war with since the fall of the Shah.