Sunday, May 22, 2005

Saddam in his Man-Panties

Yes, I know - we've all had a good laugh at the fearsome dictator's expense. Well, at least some of us have. Some of you are humorless and never laugh, and I feel sorry for you.

So there's Saddam in his "man-panties"... Besides the inevitable "Ewwww. Yuck.", I must confess to a rather gleeful snicker. I guess I'm just not serious-minded enough about these kinds of things. I mean, how many of us have used the speech technique of imagining an audience in their underwear in order to overcome stage fear? Why do we use that technique? Because the humor of it is supposed to alleviate the fear.

Suffice it to say that the rhetoric is flying fast and furious - some say that this will "fan the fires of jihad", as if they weren't already burning fiercely. Some say it's well deserved and pretty damn funny to see the hated murderer in his "man-panties". Still others profoundly argue that REAL men wear boxers. That, I must say, is a reasonable argument, and deserving of more public discussion.

Anyways, if you haven't had enough, you can read some of the rhetoric here.

Some Iraqis said the photos are just the latest in a series of insults to Arabs and Muslims. Others said the humiliation is just what the imprisoned 68-year-old former dictator deserved.

He deserved humiliation? That's an understatement!

"It is clear that the pictures were taken inside the prison, which means that American soldiers have leaked the pictures," said Saddam's chief lawyer, Ziad al-Khasawneh.

Is that right? Oh yeah, the "American soldier" is the ultimate embodiment of pure evil, right? All pain and suffering in the world is because of the "American soldier". Puh-lease. I'm so tired of that worn-out old rhetoric I could snooze.

"Regardless of what he did, they shouldn't have been published. This is an insult to humanity, and whoever published them must be prosecuted," Nasr said.

Can we put this in perspective? Do any of these phrases ring a bell: rape rooms, mass graves, chemical attacks, human shredding, millions dead, mass starvation of his own people, feeding girls to dogs, etc.? A photo of an ugly, hairy, pot-bellied Arab in his tighty-whities hardly registers as a crime against humanity! Ok, well, except that it's an atrocity to the senses. But, those more sensitive can always look away, whereas it's kinda hard to escape the blades of a shredding machine when you're fed into it feet first!

Saddam's attorney said he will sue the newspaper "and everyone who helped in showing these pictures."

*Yawn* Of course, I'd expect nothing less. Join the docket like every other grubby civil suit attorney out there.

Aside from U.S. soldiers, the only others with access to Saddam are his legal team, prosecuting judge Raed Johyee and the ICRC.

Ummm...that's still alot of other people. It's easy to assume that the "evil American soldier" did this...but let's speculate for a moment that somone else did. Any low-rung Red Crosser coulda done it just for the fun of it a few bucks; and Saddam's legal team coulda done it to trump up charges and provoke a response. The whole idea of targeting an American soldier is convenient and lazy and cliche. Yet, no matter who did it - it's still damn amusing. Yeah, I know - shallow of me. I'm just not able to work up any fire and brimstone over this.

"Saddam Hussein and his regime were bloody and practiced mass killing against the people; therefore, whatever happens to Saddam, whether he is photographed naked or washing his clothes, it means nothing to me. That's the least he deserves," said Hawre Saliee, a 38-year-old Kurd.

In Bahrain, Ali Yousef, 21, said he "cracked up" when he saw the pictures.

"I don't care about Saddam. He was a ruthless dictator and he deserves worse," Yousef said.
Muhammed al-Sabah, Kuwait's foreign minister, said he has no sympathy for the man who invaded his country in 1991.

"What happened to him on this earth is really of minor consequences. I certainly believe in my heart of hearts that he's going to go to hell," al-Sabah told CNN. "He is a villain."

What they said.

Dudman, The Sun's managing editor, defended the decision to print the pictures.

"They are a fantastic, iconic set of news pictures that I defy any newspaper, magazine or television station who were presented with them not to have published," he said. "He's not been mistreated. He's washing his trousers. This is the modern-day Adolf Hitler. Please don't ask us to feel sorry for him."

There. Now that's a proper, grown-up prespective.