donderdag, februari 27, 2003

It's A Wonderful Life (for everyone but Saddam)

Well, you can't say ole Dubya isn't full of surprises. Last night, settling in for his hastily announced speech, I expected the same bromidic screed as always. You know: the whole WMD thing, the Saddam tortures and gasses his own people thing, the Saddam is ignoring our bellicose warnings and has to be punished thing, how Georgie is normally a peaceful sort of frat boy who doesn't like killing but in this case, there just isn't a choice because he is on a mission from God thing, etc.

Instead, I found myself listening to some sort of wide-eyed hippy idealist. Could this be the same Bushmaster we've grown to fear and admire? I almost expected him to have a flower tucked behind his ear and psychodelic strobe lights playing behind him as he spoke about how knocking off Saddam was going to liberate the Iraqi people into this new Magic Kingdom of Democracy and peace and love and happiness, and how knocking off Saddam would bring a spellbinding potion of political reform in the Middle East and how knocking off Saddam could even bring peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!.

By George, after listening to that delicious parable of Pollyannaism, I was almost convinced there isn't anything within the imagination that couldn't be rectified by the elimination of Saddam Hussein.

Of course, before we start spreading this oleo of peace and democracy, it should be remembered there's always the possibility that despite their billions of dollars of bombs, Saddam might escape, run out on his check without paying like bin-Laden did. In fact, ABC reports on the possibility that if an attack appears likely, Saddam Hussein might actually head for the desert using camels for transport and surrounded only by a handful of his most-trusted confidants.

And no one should find it surprising that the powder keg of the Middle East the Bush Administration is so eager to light, could just as easily lead to disaster, heightened regional pressure could trigger escalating violence on both sides, a new wave of terrorism, and increased instability throughout the region. Groovy George reminded us instead that the United States had a moral responsibility to liberate people ensnared by Hussein's "nightmare world" of tyranny, and said it was in the nation's self-interest to depose him.

I for one, am thoroughly convinced. I can't wait to get to Baghdad and have my first freedom-loving Starbucks Frapuccino and deliciously democratic McDonalds Big Mac on old Rashid Street. And gee whiz Uncle George, if we kill Saddam, can we really have peace, love and happiness in the Middle East? Hoo boy! I can hardly wait!

And I know those liberal types have been venting their splenetic sagas about how only the big shot oil barons are going to make money like water gushing out of a bidet, but frankly, I see no reason why the rest of us shouldn't try to get in on the profits of democracy.

For those smart enough not to bet on Saddam's survival, it was noted in the Sydney Morning Herald today that alarm clocks, fountain pens, cigarette lighters, watches, plates and golden medallions, all bearing Saddam's unmistakable features, are up for grabs - while stocks last and of course, the buyers and sellers of Baghdad are collectively betting on the memorabilia becoming collectors' items soon.

The SMH reported that "Mohammed Mardan, 34, sold his last two Saddam watches on Wednesday. One bore the President's beaming features beside a red heart, another beside a blue one. Last year he sold these watches for $16. Now his asking price is £47. He has sold an average of three Saddam watches every day this year, about twice the rate of last year."

Sadly, few on eBay seem to have taken adventage of this potential boon in Saddam memorabilia. There are a few "Butcher of Baghdad" watches and some dinar notes for sale but nothing in the way of Saddam cigarette lighters.

And listen, as most of us already know, a piece of memorabilia has alot more value when it is personally autographed. So if any of you out there know how to get ahold of Saddam before he is removed, let me know. I've got a few Saddam alarm clocks and cigarette lighters I'd like him to sign.

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