It wasn't just the Middle-East that suffered from foreign powers manipulating it, but Western leaders and their electorate who were targeted by a cynical campaign of smoke and daggers from Saddam. In many ways he micro-managed us all to spread the seed of disillusionment and self-doubt in our collective sub-consciousness, and to spring a trap for those brave enough to meet him on the battlefield.
Did Saddam lure the West into territory that it could neither defend or prevail at?
Of course he defied the CIA and Kuwait by invading the latter to subvert the former. He deliberately induced a war situation in the Middle-East to see if the West would buckle under pressure in his back yard. He probably had prepared for the first invasion and even the deciding second invasion. He was playing us all.
He set Oil fields in Kuwait alight to see if he could spin his invasion of Kuwait by claiming the West were only interested in putting out the inferno of oil fields set ablaze to boil the Western intruders' investments, and that would expose the West as greedy liars and hypocrites.
The general public in the West were subjected to the allegation that the West were never to be trusted if the West who once supported Saddam against Iran could turn on their erstwhile ally. But who was counter arguing that Saddam took our military support and then turned on us, and was quite willing to use fellow Muslims as pawns to sacrifice in his 'noble cause' of dictatorship of the Middle-East? Was he truly convinced that the West could be blackmailed because the West put the Ayatollahs in power and then had to be victims of Saddam's opportunism to balance the region and prevent the Soviets from having too much regional influence? Or was this a further smokescreen in which the West were manipulated into being unable to make up its mind? Saddam weaved this web and he knew how to dangle us into the spiders jaws. He played us.
Was murdering innocents, gassing of thousands, the crack-down and criminalizing of any opposition just a ploy to provoke our suspicions over WMD? Could he be so ruthless?
Saddam distributed human Western shields to protect himself long enough to get into peoples heads when he released them. Mr munificent? Of course no one in the West believed that, but it did muddy the waters enough to expose the West's domestic support.
Was the first invasion meant to test the mettle of Western resolve in the peace settlement that followed Saddam's first defeat? Had he made provisions for this and rolled over so easily as to expose Western leaders as warmongerers, only to re-arm as swiftly as he might have hidden his WMD? Well the West fell for it. They were so suspicious of being betrayed by him, that they couldn't take any chances from such a scoundrel and sent in the Arms inspectors.
Just how far was Saddam using our Western suspicious mind-set? He invaded a Islamic country and then claimed that 'American-Zionism' had invaded the 'mosque of Iraq' defiling Islamic sacred texts and holy soil, and setting Muslim against Muslim? Could we have invented such a monster if we had tried? The tenures of Bush senior, Bush Junior and Blair never recovered their domestic popularity from such a political storm- in many ways Saddam destroyed them.
Saddam had confounded his opposition with jaw-dropping outrage, but it was the West who(on Question Time) spoke language that involved Hitler and Bush and Blair in the same sentence. Bush Junior and Blair were having to deal with someone else's mess, yet they were found guilty by trial of media in the West, whereas Saddam walked free from any such scrutiny, and that is called democracy? Saddam played Western democracy as if he could count on the West to prosecute its leaders whilst not affording them a defense lawyer. Spin wasn't Blair's baby after all, it was Saddams, who reinvented spin as a crime or poison to sap the strength and resolve of the West.
As for WMD? All Saddam had to do was to allow all the inspections of military sites in Iraq, and then leak stories of WMD to provoke over-reactions from the West. He got us to think that he was both bluffing and counter-bluffing, and that every precaution should be taken not to belive either his lies or his truths. Whilst the West was still grieving over 9/11 and 7/7, he tormented us at home and abroad. He was just far better than we were, and it was his tantalizing us and baiting us as Infidel imperialists that led to us snapping.
Shock and Awe did put a stop to his goading us with threats of street to street fighting for millennia. But certain self-inflicted wounds by expose's in the manner of Western forces' imprisonment of Iraq's, made matters a million times worse. Meanwhile Saddam executed Plan B whilst he was in hiding: destabilize, and make insecure private property. Attack museums, national treasures engage looting as unofficial policy to impair the West's attempts to restore law and order, and show how the Western emphasis on private property was in tatters in Iraq. In short humiliate the West when they should have been celebrating a military victory.
Who is to say that Saddam didn't give an order to degrade Iraqi morale by precipitating oil, water and food shortages from his 'bunker'?
There has been speculation that Bush senior and John Major didn't finish the job after the first invasion, or hadn't put the case for reconstruction in Iraq in the Allies hands strongly enough. What it does prove is that the absence of an assassination of Saddam means that the CIA and other Western 'powers' were not capable, or would not promote such a policy, despite what some people even in the West claim about them. Indeed, at least the CIA's patience shows that they are in an environment that could not be exposed by Saddam even though the West was put under considerable pressure to do otherwise.
But the smart play was always the long play, and smart intelligence put money on the Iraqi's fighting today against IS to protect Iraqi soil, where the only Western military influence is without Western soldiers on the ground, but protection from the air, if it is needed. Having executed Saddam, the Iraqi people have consigned him to the history books, with all his 'clever out-witting or the West' buried with him. The only other remnant of a 'no win situation' is how British Labour supporters still breathe life into it by their resentment even hated towards Blair.