June 21, 2005


The thoughts of Saddam (Victoria Ward , The Scotsman, June 21st, 2005)

Saddam Hussein would like to be "friends" with George Bush, has no hard feelings towards him and would like to make peace, according to his American guards.

The former dictator told them he had never dealt with Osama bin Laden and claimed that the president of the United States knew he had no weapons of mass destruction. The guards also reported that Saddam is convinced that he is still the president and will return to power in Iraq.[...]

In the article, "Tuesdays with Saddam" by Lisa DePaulo, the guards reveal that the ruthless dictator is a "clean freak", who obsessively washes his hands, carefully wiping his plate and utensils with baby wipes before eating.

"He had germophobia, or whatever you call it," said Specialist Jesse Dawson, 25.

"He'd always tell us he was still the president. That's what he thinks, 100 per cent," said Mr Dawson.

In one remarkable exchange, the dictator even gave Mr O'Shea advice on how to handle women, telling him to find one who could cook and clean and who was "not too smart, not too dumb, not too old, not too young. In the middle."

He loved Doritos crisps and Raisin Bran Crunch cereal, but would not touch Kelloggs' Fruit Loops.

Every drink, whether milk, water or orange juice, had to be room temperature, and he would eat salad only if it came with an Italian dressing, they said. The guards were given strict orders to treat their captive with respect, but to be firm if necessary and not reveal anything about their private lives.

All five have now returned to the US. They were interviewed with permission from their Guard, having signed exit papers prohibiting them from revealing certain information.

"This is the opposite of Abu Ghraib," said Andy Ward, GQ's executive editor. "These young men showed Hussein a respect and courtesy that made possible an unusual bond between captors and captive.

"And because of this, they were able to see a very different side of one of the most controversial figures in modern history."

Ah yes, a multi-dimensional and “controversial” figure, whose affability and commitments to hygiene and sound nutrition are all-too-human counterpoints to his regrettable excesses. One hopes his judges will appreciate the existential complexity of his life and be sufficiently nuanced to grasp that none of us is truly innocent.

Posted by Peter Burnet at June 21, 2005 7:57 AM

..'One hopes his judges will appreciate the existential complexity of his life and be sufficiently nuanced to grasp that none of us is truly innocent.'

and then hang him.

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at June 21, 2005 8:52 AM

Hitler had similar endearing characteristics but in his case we never had the pleasure of vicariously experiencing them. Kim il Jong seems a sweet one at heart too.

Posted by: Genecis at June 21, 2005 9:07 AM

Of course, Howard Hughes was truly evil (a capitalist who went psycho, after all).

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 21, 2005 9:25 AM

And like Kim, Saddam is undoubtedly "ronrey, so ronery".

Posted by: H. D. Miller at June 21, 2005 11:05 AM

If he's a poet, like Stalin, then all is forgiven.

Posted by: jefferson park at June 21, 2005 1:54 PM

Well, I'm glad that the baby wipes question is settled. I remember seeing various photos around before the invasion noting how Saddam always seemed to have baby wipes beside him.

Posted by: John Thacker at June 21, 2005 2:30 PM

I thought it was Arafat who always had the baby wipes.

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at June 21, 2005 3:05 PM