We finally found something the Iraquis can do efficiently. Perhaps we ought to outsource our executions to them. I kept trying to talk up the idea of hanging Saddam at halftime of the Super Bowl, but somehow the idea never gained traction. I hate to say, “I told you so!” (Well, not really), but as it turned out, the Iraqui tyrant wound up sharing his final—and surely finest—hour with an unelected ex-president known primarily for his collisions with inanimate objects and a soul singing ex-con, whose gaudy, three-ceremony funeralization surely put Saddam’s low-key sendoff to shame. I thought, that the very least, they’d haul out Baghdad Bob to extol his former boss’s virtues and explain why this terribly misunderstood mass murderer was actually a totally righteous dude.
As his courtroom demeanor made clear, Saddam himself was no slouch as a posturer and poseur. This is what he was up to in my favorite photo of him, reviewing a military parade dressed in a business suit, wearing a fedora with the brim rolled up, and blamming blindly away at the heavens with a shotgun, lest others watching the parade forget who had the real firepower in Iraq. The imagery always seemed so ludicrously incongruous to me that I thought surely somebody would PhotoShop a falling duck into the picture.
Now that Saddam himself is a dead duck, with 3,000 American lives lost in the process of making him so, Iraquis are finally free of one of the bloodiest despots of the modern era, but given the rapid escalation of brutal, sectarian violence in the neighborhoods of Baghdad and elsewhere you have to wonder whether they might already be waxing nostalgic for the good old days when fear wore a single, instantly recognizable face.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Cobb published on December 31, 2006 12:59 PM.

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