Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saddam Hussein's Swingin' New Year's Eve

Ah, nothing like the stench of death "hanging" in the air for the new year...

First we have the continuing, never-ending state funeral for Ramses the First -- er, Gerald Ford -- sharing time with the healing ceremony of watching the hanging of the ex Iraqi dictator from the neck until death, as they used to say in the Old West. And this macabre spectacle displayed about as much honor as a lynching in the Old South, complete with taunting and insults heaped upon the condemned. Instead it was an exercise in revenge, no more, no less than frontier justice.

Our current president has never met a state-sponsored execution that didn't warm him to the deepest cockles of his heart -- whatever a cockle is -- and so his handlers woke him up from his stupor so he could offer his typical indecorous words of approval:

"Thou art the Great Chief, the first among thy brethren, the Prince of the Company of the Gods, the establisher of Right and Truth throughout the World, the Son who was set on the great throne of his father Keb. Thou art the beloved of thy mother Nut, the mighty one of valour, who overthrew the Sebau-fiend. Thou didst stand up and smite thine enemy, and set thy fear in thine adversary."

Or something like that.

You have to admit, though, after seeing the cinema verite cell-phone footage of Saddam's final earthly seconds, that the man faced death more or less bravely, or at least stoically. You can't feel too sorry for a man who callously sent thousands to their own early graves, but the inept mis-handling of the execution presented the dying despot a stage, makeshift as it was, on which to appear heroic to his supporters and followers (still numerous) -- possibly the worst possible outcome for all concerned. If any Saddam loyalists were on the fence about picking up arms against either the U.S. occupiers or the Iran-sponsored (as they see it) Baghdad regime, this would serve as the tipping point.

Hussein's untimely, rushed execution had the sobering effect of leaving everyone sullied: his Kurdish victims who never got their day in court, the U.S., who quickly disavowed their role in the whole affair, even the Iraqis who suffered under his regime. Except our own President Bush, it seems, who immediately called for an increase in troops. Hey, someone's gotta protect the 100,000 private contractors building those 14 permanent military bases. You think democracy comes cheap?

The Gerald Ford World Funeral Tour continued unabated through the weekend, into the new year, threatening to usurp the North American record for frequent flier miles accrued to a deceased person as his mummified remains -- er, coffin -- were flown from California to Washington and then Michigan. Tuesday was the national day or mourning, so there was no mail delivery and post offices were closed. But that's how the low key, unassuming, accidental president would have wanted it to go -- a ceremonial, state-sponsored spectacle like something out of Maoist China. That makes a lot of sense. I thought in America our presidents were not supposed to be deified like royal monarchs -- in death or in life -- but maybe I'm misreading my American Revolution history. Ciao for now!


katekraig said...

Hey Barry,

I don't even need to read the news papers anymore, your blog is much more entertaining!

I hope you had a great holiday and I'll see you next week.


jimithegreek said...


What? nothing on the Lions chowing down on the Cowboys??