Saddam Hussein's War Diary: Hot Damn! It's Showtime!
January 17, 2003
By Bernard Weiner, The
Dear Diary: This is a tough one. If I hang in there, I may
just survive to carry out my plans. But if I make a wrong
move, or misinterpret the wide variety of signals coming my
way, I'm vaporized toast.
Oh, I know I could take the advice of some Arab leaders and
go into exile, in Lybia or Egypt or somewhere, with tons of
money made available to me. If I thought I could do so by
setting up a new Iraqi government that the Americans would
accept - but which would welcome me back when the time is
right, or that I could control from outside the country -
I'd probably do it. I don't really want to be nuked in my
But, God help me, I do get off on this cat-and-mouse game,
I really do. It stirs my blood. Most of the time, I'm bored,
just raking in the loot, building more palaces, wiping out
another corps of officers, target-practicing on some Kurds.
It's when the West, and especially the U.S., comes after me
that I really enjoy. It's showtime!
It's scary, no doubt about it. No more balancing me off against
the Iranians; they want me out of here this time, either by
the exile route or by offing me with missiles, incinerating
me in my bunker, or an assassin's bullet, purchased for millions
of U.S. dollars. There are all too many who would love to
do the deed.
Heard this great joke: An American reporter comes to Baghdad
and asks people on the street what they think of Saddam Hussein.
They all rush away; nobody will talk to him. Finally, one
courageous fellow motions to the reporter to wait for him
in an alley. The guy looks left and right and, when he sees
that nobody is around to overhear, he slips into the alley.
"Well," says the reporter, "what do you think of Saddam Hussein?"
The man looks around nervously and whispers, "I like him."
So I'm not loved by my citizens. I've been in power this
long because they fear me. I know that. They know that if
they don't demonstrate total loyalty, they'll be fish bait.
But they also see the handwriting on the wall: my time may
be running out, the American calvary is riding in, and this
time they may get me.
But maybe not. First, there is a worldwide anti-war movement
that has affected governments in Europe and elsewhere - even
in England, the Americans' one ally. Next, the inspectors
aren't finding anything - and they won't; I've had four years
to hide the stuff well, all over Iraq, in private basements,
mosques, gardens, underground caverns, in berms along river
banks, etc. They'd have to be here for a dozen years and,
unless someone were to blab - that's why we've got to prevent
the inspectors from taking our scientists and their families
abroad - they'd still find nothing.
But the U.N. inspectors are my human shields. As long as
they're here working - thinking they'll maybe find something
- the Americans and their lackeys can't start the bombing
campaign. So let the inspectors stay. We'll dump another 12,000
documents on them; who cares if those pages don't contain
the full information they requested? It keeps them busy and
gains me more time to figure out what to do next.
My worry is that Bush is so frothing at the mouth, like an
enraged bull, that he'll do what his daddy did: warn the inspectors
to get out immediately and then start the assault. And then
it might be too late to arrange an escape.
My problem is that I've met someone bloodthirsty and lunatic.
He's willing to risk the well-being of his country and countrymen.
He doesn't care how many civilians and troops die. He loves
the oil under our land. He sees himself as a savior of this
part of the world - hell, the whole world. He believes he's
doing God's will. Am I looking into a mirror, or does George
W. Bush bear a striking resemblance to me?
So, bring it on, Mr. Bush. I can take it. Mess with me, and
you'll live to regret the day you tried to finish me off.
The Muslim nation will rise up in righteousness against you.
You, the great Satan country, will find yourself totally isolated
in the world - not even your puppet, England, will back you
any longer - and suicide bombers, or agents carrying biological
timebombs, will enter your cities at will, wreaking havoc
worse than you can even imagine.
If I die, I die. I'll become a Muslim martyr (even though
I don't believe any of that stuff), and my name will be honored
throughout the nation of Islam forever. Or, if it has to come
to it, I'll live out my life in luxurious exile somewhere,
and re-emerge later. Either way, I can't lose. Only America
Bernard Weiner, a playwright and poet, authored Inside
Saddam Hussein's Diary: "I Don't Have to Show You No Stinkin'
Anything!" last August. He is co-editor of The
Crisis Papers, and was a writer/editor with the San Francisco
Chronicle for nearly 20 years.