dinsdag, februari 25, 2003

Let's Debate the Debate Idea

So, Saddam Hussein says he is “ready to conduct a direct dialogue — a debate" — with our president. “I will say what I want and he will say what he wants.” Hussein told CBS News during a three-hour interview Monday in Baghdad. Hussein, in issuing the challenge for an international television and radio debate via satellite, said: "As leaders, why don't we use this opportunity?"

Indeed, why not? It would certainly be more entertaining than the last several presidential debates, the rope-a-dope tactics of two candidates bucking for public approval without sticking their proverbial feet in their mouths.

I don't know why not, but for some reason, CBS News anchor Dan Rather, the hornswoggler who interviewed Saddam, never advised him that for all intents and purposes, he's already heard everything George Bush wants to say. The 296 or so word vocabulary of the President of the United States has been exhausted and in the midst of preparing for war, there just isn't time at the moment for vocabulary building flashcards. It is possible however, that if he is allowed to string lexigrams together, he might be able to muster a more imaginative debate.

For Saddam's part, I have to wonder does he even speak English? Yes, we know he likes to watch TV, monitoring the Iraqi stations he controls and also CNN, Sky, al Jazeera, and the BBC. We also know that in recent years he appears to have written and published two romantic fables, Zabibah and the King and The Fortified Castle as well as a book of Saddamisms. But I think for Bush's sake, there should be a linguistic handicap for Saddam. No translators allowed for Hussein.

And so, if it were to come to pass, I don't think it should be done by satellite hook-up. I want to see both of these guys, Saddam and Dubya standing side by side. I want to see whether or not they shake hands as they meet at center stage, whether Bush lets one of his little smirks loose and whether or not Hussein insists that Bush, for the purposes of personal hygiene, greet him by smelling his armpits, as we learned in Uncle Saddam.

In order for neither man to have an advantage due to jet lag and for the purposes of finding a non-partisan venue, the debate should be held in Reykjavik.

Of course, a debate is not half as appealing as the duel Bush was challenged to before. But just as in the case of the suggested duel, the White House's pestiferous and presumptuous little dachshund of a press secretary, Ari Fleischer, rejected the notion of a debate, saying it was “not a serious statement.”

Personally, I think they're just "misunderestimating" Saddam's sincerity.

Nevertheless, I couldn't help but imagine the opening scene in the 300 seat conference hall of the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In this corner, standing 6'2 and weighing in at 225 pounds, dressed in a fedora and a dark custom-tailored suit behind a desk spread with white lilies, the rifle-toting and blood-thirsty Butcher of Baghdad, Saddam Hussein!

And in this corner, standing 6 feet even and weighing in at 192 pounds, dressed in the robes of compassionate conservatism; a dark suit, white shirt, and red tie, the peace-seeking, bible-thumping President of the U-nited States of America, George Walker Bush.

Imagine, if you can, that scene in Beneath the Planet of the Apes when General Ursus gives his big speech to his fellow gorilla soldiers calling for an invasion of the Forbidden Zone, on the theory that since humans sometimes come from there, there must be a green, fertile region beyond the desert. Recall the wildly enthusiastic applause of his fellow gorilla soldiers and you can imagine the scene inside the conference room housing Mssrs. Bush and Hussein following their introductions. For lack of a bias or "homefield" advantage, the debate audience should be made up of Jerry Springer show participants, none of whom, because of their remarkably low IQs and their blinding ignorance, will recognize either debater and will keep still the entire time unless fisticuffs break out between Saddam and Dubya.

Rather than having a moderator who displays his/her own personal bias in the line of questioning, the questions should be selected in advance by a mixed panel of Baath Party and Republican Party members in order to ensure that the questions will not be too difficult or too blasphemous for either debator to respond to.

To ensure clarity, each debator will have the choice of a select number of their own quotations to choose from in answering each question. For example, if Bush is asked why America should invade Iraq, he could reply from a multiple choice series of possible responses like" "Time is Running Out" or "Freedom Will Be Defended" or "Our Quarrel Is Not With the Iraqi People", etc. Hussein, when asked about his hidden Weapons of Mass Destruction could choose from favorite phrases like, "Allah Is On Our Side", or "Keep your eyes on your enemy and be faster than him", etc. Each debator's ability to match the correct political buzzphrase for each question will have won that round of the debate.

If, at the end of the round of questioning, the debate points are deemed equal, there will be a "lightening round" of questions based upon the verses of the Koran and the Bible. The person who knows his preferred religious text the best, will be deemed the winner. Hopefully, this ensures an advantage for Bush, considering Saddam is an infidel in his own religion, but just to be on the safe side, perhaps all American networks should begin broadcasting a 24 hour a day Bible study class in part, so Dubya doesn't forget his lines and also so we can finally find all those juicy quotes where God says we should bomb Iraq into pre-history and "liberate" the Iraqi people from the current despot so they can suffer under somebody different for a change.

The only question then is, what does the winner receive?

We'll let the debators decide that one. They can choose between:

Door Number One: The rights to Iraqi oil
Door Number Two: The rights to Iraqi oil OR
Door Number Three: The rights to Iraqi oil

As leaders, why don't they use the opportunity?

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