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Home > War On Terror

Saddam Hussein: the big question...

"Erm... guys - I know this looks a little ridiculous, but I'm actually a very powerful man..."

16 December 2003

They found him, grubby and straggly in a hole.

An odd place for a super-wealthy former dictator to end up: cowering underneath some corrugated iron and some old bricks, with soil in his beard. It makes you wonder if Saddam's first emotion when they shone the torch on him was simply embarrassment at having sunk so low.

Embarrassment followed by annoyance that he'd just spent 14 hours hunched underground with just his beard and his digital watch and a rattling fan for company, only to be caught at the end of it. He might as well have spared himself the bother.

You know, Saddam must have had time to think, down there in the hole. Like the episode of Friends in which Joey puts Chandler in the box to consider the error of his ways after he kissed Joey's girlfriend - (season 4 episode 8). In fact it's entirely possible, as Saddam lay there, trying to get comfy with pair of old trousers rolled up as a pillow, that he remembered that very episode of Friends, and reflected on how he and Chandler were suffering oddly similar fates for their crimes. Who knows, perhaps the memory of Friends was a comfort to Saddam during his dark hours underground. Perhaps he chuckled quietly at the memory of the time Ross rolled on his yoghurt and Rachel thought he had ejaculated prematurely. Or perhaps he spat in the dust and cursed their decadent lifestyle, with their Thanksgiving feasts and strange pregnancies.

Quite likely, when Saddam was eventually fetched up from his bunker, he was in a foul mood. All those years of brutal dictatorship, all those billions of pounds in offshore accounts, and he finds himself curled up in a pit like a badger. "this is bloody ridiculous - I'm crouched in a hole in the dark and my beard itches. I used to sit on plump golden cushions and bathe myself in asses' milk. Things have come to a pretty pass..."

And this truly is a mystery. What on earth does it say about the 'nexus of evil' that Saddam Hussein, supposedly one of the bigwigs in the nexus, ends up confused and beardy in a ditch? Why wasn't he sipping mint tea from priceless but slightly naff-looking golden cups in a palace in Damascus? Why wasn't he slapping the backsides of showgirls in an illegal Libyan can-can den?

It makes one question the whole 'nexus' logic. The logic that links everything to Al-Qaeda, and has us believe that Saddam and Osama are bosom buddies. That they chat daily and plan fresh atrocities via video messaging on their stolen Ericssons. It makes one think that the 'enemy' in the so-called War On Terror is much more fragmented that we have been led to believe.

And it is certainly worth remembering that, according to USA Today: "No communications gear was found with him, suggesting Saddam has not been directing the continuing attacks by insurgents." Nothing. Not even a whistle.

He was just a sad old man in a pit.

Sorry. Correction. He was just a sad old genocidal lunatic in a pit.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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