Thursday, December 05, 2002

You guys will never believe this!

Saddam Hussein is a really, really nice guy!

I just met him! Last night. See, I was at my favorite local wine and cheese store in the parking lot…I bought my favorite cabernet, a baguette and a hunk of manchego. When I came out, I saw this guy in the parking lot smoking a cigar standing next to an SUV.

No way! I thought to myself…that’s Saddam Hussein!

So I went up to him and said: Are you Saddam Hussein?

He looked really nervous at first. But I have a kind and trustworthy face and so he saw I bore him no ill will. He coughed nervously, looked down and furtively whispered, “yes.”

“It’s not safe to talk here. If you wish to talk, please get in the car.”

Well…I was a bit nervous to get in the car! With a international criminal and an evil dictator no less. But I looked at his eyes. They were so sad, so gentle. So I decided to take a chance. I was just so curious…how did he get into the country?

We drove for a bit and turned into a comfortable upper-middle class neighborhood full of older homes.

“This is my house. For the time being.” Saddam said.

I expected the house to be really ostentatious—mock ups of French regency, lots of rococo gold shit…but no! It was really tastefully decorated. 1950’s Danish, lots of light, warm cream colors, beige rug. He even had an Eames chair.

Saddam's living room

He gave me a cigar and sighed wistfully. “Ah, I am sorry it is not Cuban, Miel. But you know it is illegal to smoke Cuban cigars. So we can only smoke Dominican. Dominican were always allowed because Trujillo was never the fool that Castro is and did not defy the United States. That Trujillo! Now he was a dictator’s dictator!” A melancholy smile crossed his face. “The stories I could tell.”

He offered me a brandy…and then we began to talk, really talk heart-to-heart.

“So Saddam, tell me how you got into the country.”

“Well, Miel it really wasn’t all that difficult when you have help. I managed to get an Egyptian passport. This got me into France. Ah, it was so hard to leave Paris! But I got a French passport and came here. I had to shave off my mustache but as you see, it has grown back.

Oh, and the CIA helped a little bit too.”

“But Saddam! Why did you come here? Your death is the thing the U.S. wants more than anything. The CIA helped you? But why? I don’t understand?”

“Ah, Miel. It is very complex. I know what they say about me. That I am a heartless dictator who cares nothing about the people, who thirsts only for blood. But I am a man too, a man with a heart. There is nothing I want more than the happiness and comfort of my people. This is why I came here. I do not wish to die. America is the safest place for me right now. I spoke with your wise president, Mr. George Bush…”

“Saddam! You spoke to Bush? Bush sent you here?!”

“Yes, you see…all I have wanted is to help the Iraqi people. To bring them comfort and security. Everything I have done is for this and this alone. Yet, it has been very difficult. All along I have worked with America—well, with the Republicans—to ensure that all the resources of the United States could be brought to my people. The Bushes, the Republicans…they too love the Iraqi people. Things spiraled out of control. Yet, they have promised me that they will rebuild Iraq. Still, politically, they cannot do so without the idea that they are invading to stop me from destroying the region.

I was going to build a pretend to make a bomb. Many times I have pretended to have very dangerous weapons in the hope that they will invade and rebuild. I tried to make that baby formula factory look like a chemical weapons factory. But I forgot to tell all the people who worked there not to spill the beans and the story got out.”

“I don’t understand, Saddam. Wouldn’t invasion be a terrible thing? Wouldn’t many people die? Don’t you care about sovereignty?”

“It seems that way. But an invasion is a terrible thing only in the short term. Look at Germany! They were bombed into the ground. But look at the prosperity, the democracy, the delicious snack foods, the many entertaining movies, the technology. This is what I want for Iraq. I have been unable to make this dream come true. But the Americans have promised: ‘If you make it appear that you are like Hitler (who truly was very, very bad) then we will invade Iraq and turn it into the next West Germany. We would help you without war, but congress would never allow us to spend the money doing this unless we completely destroy the country first.’

What could I do, Miel? How could I turn down an offer like that? What could possibly be better for the beautiful people of my holy motherland?”

“You mean Bush, Rumsfeld, all those guys who seem so heartless? They only care to help the people of Iraq? Why would they care about the people of Iraq?”

“Actually, they care for all the peoples of the world. But Iraq is the country they are most in a position to help. You see, politically it is an impossibility to simply go in and give great money to the country, rebuild the economy, open the doors to democracy, send wise economic and political advisors to guide the country on the road to prosperity and democracy. You must bomb them and destroy them completely first. My country, Iraq, is the country it is most appropriate to destroy at the moment because we appear to be the most evil. Yet, when the finish altering Iraq for the better they will perhaps turn to another nation. And this is the way that the world can be transformed for the better. Perhaps it will take 5 years, perhaps longer…but soon every nation in the world will be prosperous and secure and democratic. Just as your own country is.”

Then Saddam grew tired. I was tired too. My head was reeling from all the information he had given me. It has turned my political views upside down, and I do not know what to think or what to do.

“Saddam, I believe I must leave. I cannot process this information all at once. It has changed my view of everything.”

“Yes, Miel. I am sorry I cannot drive you home. Please let me pay for your cab. You see, I have taken brandy and I do not believe it is morally correct to drive while intoxicated.”


Post a Comment

<< Home