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You're Saddam Hussein, and you're depressed.
Imagine that you are the dictator of an oil-rich country, where your whims are law and any irritating presence gets immediately dispatched. Potentates bow before you; heads of state from Western nations greedily take your kickbacks in order to help you sell your natural resources to the highest bidder, and in exchange continually thwart your enemies. You've managed to consolidate all power into the hands of your family and closest cronies, and the only question about your death is which of your sons to put on the throne after you.
Then imagine that all of the money you've paid out in bribes and kickbacks stops working, and that your partners in graft can't stop the world's most powerful military force in history from grinding your army into mincemeat in a matter of weeks. Your sons put up a better fight than you do, dying in a hail of bullets, while you get hauled out of a glorified latrine hole in the middle of the desert without even firing a shot in your own defense. The liberators toss you into a cell where they leave you in the care of your former victims, who leave you and the rest of your retinue to watch TV until they can figure out the best way to deal with you.
Sitting there in your cell, you fantasize about the stupidity of your former subjects. You thought they were nothing more than dogs when you were in charge; you knew they needed someone to tell them what to do and how to live. Perhaps you laugh at the notion that anyone could possibly expect the diverse population that you controlled with such an iron grip to get together and govern themselves rationally as a nation. You prepare for the day when the entire country collapses in on itself and the people once again turn to you to lead them out of chaos.
Then one day, you turn on the TV, and see this:
Jalal Talabani, a former Kurdish guerrilla commander and sworn enemy of Saddam, was elected to the highest office in a parliamentary ballot, bringing a new government a step closer.
Under Saddam the only way Mr Talabani would have left his northern redoubt was in chains or a coffin, but yesterday he arrived in Baghdad in a blaze of triumph.
How do you react?
Saddam Hussein watched the televised election of Iraq's new president from his jail cell yesterday and was "clearly upset", a senior official said. ...
It was galling viewing for Saddam, according to Bakhtiar Amin, the human rights minister, who said the former dictator had chosen to view the recording of the parliamentary vote.
"He was clearly upset. He realised that it was over, that a democratic process had taken place and that there was a new, elected president," Mr Amin told Reuters.
He said the footage demonstrating the progress towards a democratically elected government could change attitudes in the prison camp where Saddam and his former aides are being held.
"They know for sure that they are not coming back and my feeling is that they may be inclined to be more honest when they go before the tribunal," he said.
Yes. You're Saddam Hussein .... and you're very, very depressed.Sphere It View blog reactions
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I would have loved to have seen Saddam's reaction, watching a Kurd... a Kurd who was freely given the title he himself claimed a couple of years ago -- President of Iraq. Captain Ed has thoughts along the same lines... [Read More]
Tracked on April 7, 2005 8:52 AM
Tracked on April 7, 2005 10:07 AM
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