Wednesday, February 26, 2003
The Saddam Hussein Interview: Rather wasn't as bad as I thought he would be. Saddam was. He began with a wonderful evasion about the al-Samoud missiles ("Missiles? What missiles?"). He referenced his "election" twice (once in passing, once in detail). Despite everyone calling him a secular leader, he referenced the Almighty twice, Allah six times, G-d six times, and took a prayer break during the interview. He made a point to deride his translator for referring to Bush 41 as "Bush" rather than "Mr. Bush" because he "respects the humanity of his enemies." He made it a point that he would not surrender, imploring Americans to do the same if they were attacked by a foreign power. He denied any ties to Osama bin Laden (duh). When asked if Iraqis would welcome American soldiers as liberators, he said they would not, invoking an American example (which considering the difference between a totalitarian dictatorship and a democratic republic, is nothing less than total bullcrap), but said that friends of the Iraqis, like Mr. Rather (I'm sure he got a little worried about that statement) would be welcomed as guests with respect. (Of course, in the case of the human shields, this guest respect extends to being, well, a human shield. Shields are used to block weaponry, you know.) He also made it a point to constantly say that America was the aggressor, four times by my count. That should certainly provide fodder for the anti-American, pro-Saddam, anti-Bush forces. He also invoked the Palestianian plight once, and I'm shocked it didn't come up again.
Saddam also said some stuff that made him seem, well, really deluded. "Jealousy is for women and men are not supposed to be jealous of each other." I wish I could remember the context of that statement, but in any case, will anyone call Saddam sexist? That's what I thought. He also noted that "The people of Iraq are not the enemy of the American people." Twice. Good to see Bush and Saddam are on the same page on SOMETHING. Saddam also says that his army was not defeated in Kuwait in 1991, they WITHDREW. Asking why attacks continued after the retreat of the Iraqi forces, he says that he may have lost that battle, but not the war for Iraq. Again, good to see Saddam siding with the hawks in that this is a 12 year conflict consisting of 18 resolutions! As for the Bush-Saddam debate? Not happening. It would essentially be a "He's not disarming", "I don't have weapons" situation in which both would claim that the burden of proof lay with the other. (See also: this parody of a Monty Python skit.) Bush could make the humanitarian case, which Saddam would deny, as well, and it would become a battle of hearsay and "who do you trust more?" Frighteningly, I'd say there'd be a significant American camp trusting Saddam more. And a larger international contingent. A dictator over the leader of a free republic. And THAT is why the debate is just another game.
JH 10:21 PM