Saddam Hussein's Diary
August 6, 2002
By Bernard Weiner
This is so much fun! Watching those harebrained idiots try
to figure out what to do with me makes me smile. They couldn't
get me under the last Bush who tried, and it's not going to
be any easier this time.
Is it because I'm beloved by my people, who loyally will
resist the American invaders and their British and "Iraqi
Opposition" lackeys? Of course not. I'm no fool. I rule by
power and threat and torture and murder. But I'm still here.
So what if I have to rub out some Kurds or an entire layer
of lieutenants or colonels when I suspect an assassination
plot? The troops and populace receive the lesson and I still
have my head.
Yes, of course, I'm doing all this out of love for #1. But
I'm also quite conscious that I have been, and remain, a gigantic
symbol in so many ways.
For the nation of Islam, and especially for its beleagured
Arabs, I'm a hero, because I am a constant irritant to the
West, and especially to America, and none of them knows how
to scratch me away into oblivion. I stand up to them when
nobody else does, and, even though most of my fellow Muslims
hate my guts and are scared that I'll maybe attack them or
otherwise bring ruin to the region - especially when my nuclear
arsenal is completed - they admire my courage and patience
in the face of so much overwhelming power. My audacity and
tenacity - catchy, yes?
For the Americans, I am a symbol of "evil" who must be eliminated
because: 1) They foolishly ended their last war against me
and went home without finishing the job. (Yes, I realize they
rationalized their decision by "keeping him in power as a
counterweight to the fanatical mullahs in Iran."); 2) They
think I'm developing "weapons of mass destruction" and might
use them against Israel, neighboring oil-countries, or even
pass them on to terrorists to attack the U.S. directly. I'm
not that dumb; I know what they'd do to me - a nuclear missile
right into my deepest bunker - but they can't be sure they
know what I'd do, and I like it that way.
Probably the cleverest thing I did during the last U.S. invasion
was to set the oilfields ablaze. They weren't expecting that
one. Now they don't know for sure what I'm capable of doing;
I might just be loony enough to unleash biological and chemical
weapons on the advancing U.S. troops, or fire off a few missiles
full of the stuff into Tel Aviv. (Actually, I'm less worried
about the Americans - they're just confused - than I am about
They took out my fledgling nuclear program once before, and
this time they'll simply level everything they think is weapons-related.
And it'll all be over in a day-and-a-half.)
The father Bush was an old-time warrior, and a former CIA
hand as well. I could figure out how he'd move. This younger
one, though, is something of a crazy cowboy, and he's already
demonstrated that he's capable of anything. Yes, of course,
he's a doltish puppet, but the folks around him use him well,
and his ignorance and threatening bluster - and his Texas
fascination with violence - actually serve their cause well.
Speaking of violence, damn that bin Laden guy! Even though
I don't believe any of that religious crap, I was setting
myself up as the savior-to-be of the Muslim/Arab world - and
had resurrected my weapons and research programs after I got
the U.N. inspectors to leave - and then he had to come along
and engage the adoration of the Islam street by striking the
American beast in his own lair. And then Arafat, that corrupt
poseur, to counter bin Laden decided he'd have to ratchet
up the rhetoric and violence against mad-dog Sharon's Israel
- leaving me out here, hemmed in and handicapped by my situation,
twiddling my thumbs. At the most, I was #3 in the hero sweepstakes
in the Middle East. Qadaffi, poor soul, retired.)
Thankfully, George W. Bush has made my stock shoot up once
again, by labeling me one of the dread "axis of evil," whatever
that means, and promising to come and get me. I'm a contender
again, and I don't have to show you no stinkin' anything.
Besides, you wouldn't find anything. Sure, I've got my biological,
chemical and nuclear programs and missiles, but they're scattered
and hidden underground so skillfully - I didn't waste these
years since the U.N. left! - that nobody will ever find them,
not even if I have to permit the inspectors back in. They
found a lot in those early days, but after awhile, those dolts
were so easy to fool. And we made their job such a hassle
- simply by endlessly delaying their work, and standing up
to them and at times threatening them - that they took flight.
That's the secret of my success - infinite patience - along
with determination, nastiness, and never, never giving in
totally to the West. Eventually, they get tired of dealing
with a hard-headed dictator and back away, or compromise.
Their leaders come and go. The embargo has more holes than
a collander. And I'm still here.
True, I don't like moving around from palace to palace every
night or two, but the dance is still fun. Especially when
I read about how divided the Bush Administration is about
what to do with me. Their military, and the British military
too, are opposed to a Western attack on Iraq, as well they
might be - we'd tie them up here for years, and send a lot
of their young men home in garbage bags - but the civilian
"hawks" in the White House and Pentagon (who have never fought
in a war, of course) are raring to take me out.
They want me out of the picture, but not just because I thumbed
my nose at Daddy Bush and got away with it. What they really
want is control of the oil. Not just Iraq's but the whole
thing: the Middle East, Caspian reserves in the 'stans (the
Afghan pipeline slots in here), Venezuela, everywhere.
Of course, I have similar ambitions, at least for this region
- I almost got Kuwait and I think maybe I could have taken
Saudia Arabia too - and for what I can do politically with
the power of that oil-tap. I could create economic chaos and
depression in the West, get them to lean on Israel, guarantee
a Palestinian state's viability, become even more of a hero
amongst the Muslim masses. I wouldn't even need "weapons of
mass destruction" against the West.
In short, I'm in the way of their master plan. If they can
kill me, they'll install some equally brutal military leader,
but he'll be beholden to the West, and the Middle East/Gulf
once again will be totally under the thumb of outsiders. I'll
do anything to keep that from happening, maybe even taking
them down with me if they force the fight. The worst thing
that can happen is that I'll be seen as a martyr for the cause.
But I don't think it'll have to come to that. I'll diddle
with the U.N. for awhile (maybe agree to a quick, one-month
look-see), try to make sure that no Arab states offer staging
bases to the Western attackers, rattle my own sabers, and
probably the U.S. will "postpone" its attack.
Sure, Bush will look weak, but he'll spin it and come at
me from another direction, another time. And guess what? I'll
still be here.
Bernard Weiner, playwright and poet, was the San Francisco
Chronicle's theater critic; a Ph.D. in government & international
relations, he has taught at various universities, and been
published in The Nation, Village Voice, The Progressive and
widely on the internet.