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Dead Men Have No Oil
October 18, 2002
By Mike McArdle

Heart Failure Fells Iraqi Leader
New York Times
Tuesday November 12, 2002
By Alex Byrdman

United States anti-terrorism policy suffered what could be a catastrophic setback this week when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein died two days after suffering a heart attack.

Upon hearing of Hussein's health problems American officials sent both heart specialists and government officials in a effort to save the Iraqi strongman. They even pressured the UN Security Council to pass a resolution wishing Hussein a speedy recovery. Despite their best efforts Hussein suffered a relapse and died on Monday.

"We did all we could," said US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who had rushed to Baghdad to oversee the effort to save Mr. Hussein's life.

"Cholesterol," lamented the Defense Secretary, appearing weary from having spent considerable effort pounding on the dictators chest, "we tried for months to have our diplomats warn him about his diet but he just wouldn't listen and he never got any exercise – we had the Saudis send him a treadmill and he never even took it out of the box."

"Damn pork chops, he ate them all the time," said Mr. Rumsfeld. "You would have thought a Muslim would have known to stay away from those things."

Asked if Hussein's demise would cost Iraq its membership in the Axis of Evil or alter American plans for a massive invasion designed to occupy the country and kill Hussein, Rumsfeld could say only that US policy had suffered an unexpected setback and would need some revision. "We haven't entirely given up on this policy but I can't pretend that this is good news."

The possible accession of one of Hussein's long-rumored-to-be-evil sons "could be a positive development," he said, but acknowledged that even with the well established Hussein name a new demonization would have to be international in scope and "could take months or even years."

Anticipating Hussein's possible recovery President Bush was in St. Louis, Missouri where he was telling a group of Republican contributors that Saddam may only be months away from technology that could allow him to e-mail deadly chemical and biological weapons attachments to everyone on a recipients Microsoft Outlook address book.

"And he's trying to obtain nukular e-mails," the President said to loud applause.

But NBC reporter David Gregory, with whom Bush has clashed in the past, then told Bush that Reuters was reporting Mr. Hussein's demise. Bush responded angrily, "What do you think you're the Irackian coroner, now? We're talking about massive destructive regime change here."

But when another reporter informed him that AP was carrying the same report Mr. Bush appeared to become a bit disoriented.

"Gassed his people…biological…chemical…smoking mushroom clouds…won't get fooled again," he said, his voice becoming progressively less audible.

Chief of staff Andrew Card then intervened and said that the President was needed in important policy meetings and would not be available for further questions.

The reaction to Hussein's death was immediately apparent on Wall Street where shares of Exxon-Mobil and Chevron were trading sharply lower upon hearing the news.

"Those guys got royally screwed," said a prominent Goldman Sachs official in an unusually blunt statement. "They could taste that Iraqi oil just a few days ago. Now they're back to trying to move those goddamn caribou out of the way again."

Vice President Dick Cheney, whose cardiologist was among those trying to save Hussein, remained at his undisclosed location during the Iraqi leaders health crisis. He did make a phone appearance on the Rush Limbaugh program, however to discuss the implications of Hussein's passing.

"I'm not going to sugar coat this, Rush," he said, "we're back to square one. You just can't get oil from a dead man."

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