“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”

— Charles Beard

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005

I DON’T RECOGNIZE Saddam Hussein in those pictures I keep seeing.

I don’t recognize the intense, somehow merry eyes of this once towering
figure. He just doesn’t seem his old self. It’s true that he’s
allegedly traded in his six palaces for a jail cell — but I think that
Dick Cheney would look fairly similar to the guy we now know, under
similar conditions. He would still look like Dick Cheney. But moreover,
he would
be Dick Cheney. Unless, of course, he wasn’t.

I’m a bit confused by the beard on the new Saddam; he never wore a
beard before. Why should he suddenly wear one now? Are they short of
razors in the prison, or is he going for the look that
The Onion
ascribed to the more laid back, depressed, post-career Al Gore? Until I
thought this through, I must admit a somewhat weird mental phenomenon I
was experiencing. I kept thinking, “What’s the message of that beard?”
But I never pressed myself for a theory.

Suddenly it seems an obvious ploy to hide the face of a guy who is not really who we’re being told he is.

Then there’s the matter of how you hear a trial that’s being translated
into different languages; you hear the translator’s voice. I don’t
recall hearing a single actual, audible clip of the voice of the person
who is on trial.

The actual Saddam was famous for his look-alikes and doubles, who were
used to foil assassination attempts. I’m surprised nobody has raised
the issue in a public forum (that I have seen), and that we don’t have
some reliable DNA testing for a guy who had a lot of imposters.

I recognize the genre of a potential article looking at this; the big
“c” word would come up, and the entirety of television and corporate
media is based on the lone gunman theory. Everything is simple. There’s
never a conspiracy; things just happen. But when you consider the
conspiracy necessary — the number of emails, coordination and planning
— to get three or four friends together for dinner, it’s clear that
things don’t just happen.

Do we have any way to know for sure who’s on trial? We don’t, really,
unless you happen to be in the mountains of wherever and are hiding
Saddam in your house, along with Osama and Elvis. And even then the
Saddam in your guest room could be another double. We generally don’t
have any way to verify much of what we see on television; it goes by
too quickly; the nature of the TV script specifically fails to provide
enough discourse to be able to dissect what’s really said or shown.

But think if of it this way. Imagine if Iraq did not have “Saddam in
custody.” This is the only potential success of the war; we allegedly
have the criminal we allegedly set out to get. Imagine if he were still
on the lam; there would be nothing to show for hundreds of thousands of
lives lost, hundreds of billions of dollars borrowed and spent,
ditching the US military in the desert in the midst of a bloody
insurgency, and what will amount to a decade or more of agonizing grief
in the actual Iraq, and bad vibes pumped into our homes from the
virtual one.

– Eric Francis, Planetwaves.net


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