donderdag, december 12, 2002

The Longest Suicide Note In History

Timothy Garton Ash writes in today's edition of The Age that "in his 12,000-page report to the UN, Saddam has written the longest suicide note in history". There seems to be no clear consensus on what the ideal length of a suicide note should be but one would probably be safe to venture that 12,000 pages is a bit excessive.

What the hell could one possibly have to say in a 12,000 page suicide note? Not even the poet Hart Crane felt compelled to orate long-windedly in explanation. Crane's last words as he jumped off the cruise ship "Orizaba" were "Goodbye, everybody!", hardly qualify as a maundering disquisition.

Curious as to the proper etiquette of writing a suicide note, I found that one of the major things to avoid is ambiguity and contradiction. Granted, I have not yet completed the full translation of my Time-Life series copy of Iraq's Weapons Declaration but something tells me, if the statements of Jack Straw are any indication, this "suicide note" was a pack of lies, filled with little but ambiguity and contradiction. So perhaps Saddam should go into the rewrite phase while there is still time.

Ash notes in his article that "Saddam's solemn claim that he has no more weapons of mass destruction is a blow to those who still hoped for a peaceful solution and a gift to those who think toppling him by force of arms is the only path to effective disarmament. My clear impression from talking to people inside and close to the Bush administration is that this war is now a matter of when and how rather than whether." Rummy has said as much, telling Iraq that the game is up. Must be time for a little euthanasia. Bring on the candles and violins.

As such, perhaps Saddam should consider editing his suicide note, paring it down to a more palatable number of pages, say, one leaflet's worth, something brief and concise, like he said following the Khobar Towers Bombing, June 25, 1996: "The U.S. should send more coffins to Saudi Arabia, because no one can guess what the future has in store."

Otherwise, you might just want to email your encouragement to him personally. Time may be running out.

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