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November 16, 2004

Not Enough People Interviewed Saddam While Stoned

I am a big fan of Paul William Roberts, author of -- among other books -- The Demonic Comedy: Some Detours in the Baghdad of Saddam Hussein. You should read The Demonic Comedy if for no other reason than to learn about how Roberts interviewed Saddam Hussein in 1990 after he had accidentally taken Ecstasy (Roberts, not Saddam). I believe the only other journalist to have done this is Dan Rather.

Via Roberts, I learned about Haifa Zangana, an Iraqi novelist who was tortured by Saddam's regime and later escaped to London and opposed the invasion. In a recent column Zungana says this:

Western governments, led by the US and UK, supported Saddam's regime against the will of the Iraqi people for decades. They are committing a similar crime now.

I think this is just about right. We used to be allies with Saddam, now we're allies with Allawi. But our enemy has remained the same: normal Iraqis. They have a terrible flaw, which is they would like to run their own country.

Posted at November 16, 2004 11:05 PM | TrackBack

The Iraqi people and the American people each have the same flaw. We would like to run our own countries!

Posted by: Larry C. at November 17, 2004 12:28 PM

The problem with Iraqis, like West Texans, Wyomingans, and other idiots, is that they had the bad sense to be born on top of a fossil fuel deposit. Iraqis should take a lesson from their American brethren and just shut up and let our oil companies take what's rightfully ours. If the locals didn't insist on taking a part of our profits for such ridiculous crap as education, health care, and infrastructure, they would be just fine. They should learn from West Texas and Wyoming. Instead, they want to be like the Nigerians, southern Sudanese, and other misguided nationalists whose slogan seems to be, better dead than exploited. So be it.

Posted by: Spencer Abraham at November 17, 2004 05:16 PM

Spencer, the Nigerian government basically signed the entire oil producing region over to Shell decades ago, and since then the locals have been in a simmering conflict with government and Shell people over their rights. I don't think Nigeria is a shining example of independence from oil companies. And I think that Ken Saro-Wiwa would have agreed with me.

Posted by: Anna in Cairo at November 18, 2004 12:06 AM

I was talking about the Nigerian people, not their brilliant and foresightful government.

Now please pardon me while I pack my belongings -- I have an important and high-paying private-sector job to move to.

Posted by: spencer abraham at November 18, 2004 10:45 PM