Men Have No Oil
October 18, 2002
By Mike McArdle
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
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
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."