Saddam Gets a Call. Comfortably tucked away in the study of one of his many palaces in Iraq, Saddam Hussein sits in a leather recliner enjoying the news coverage of the peace demonstrations that took place in various countries. He chuckles as he alternates between CNN’s coverage and that of his state-controlled television news organization. His favorites are the posters depicting the American president as a cowboy or as Adolph Hitler. As he picks up his glass of Chateau Angelus Bordeaux 1990, a gift from a good friend in France, the phone rings.
Hello! This had better be important. I am watching the peace demonstrations! I gave strict orders that I not be interrupted.
Hello, Herr Hussein. I really didn’t intend to bother you, but I do not get too many opportunities to use the phone, and I very much want to speak with you.
How did you reach me? Only three people in the world have this phone number! Who in Allah’s name is this?
Well, this is a rather special phone. They tell me that it can reach anyone. However, I must say, even using this special phone, you’re a hard guy to track down.
Damned right I’m hard to track down. You think that’s an accident? You better tell me who the hell you are and how you managed to reach me. I could have your head for this, and I damned sure will if you don’t start talking right now.
I was sort of hoping that you would recognize my voice.
You must have the brain of a camel to think you can play games like this with Saddam! I swear; you will not see another sunrise!
I hate to break it to you Herr Hussein, but you cannot hurt me. Now can we chat a little, as I don’t get all that much phone time.
I cannot hurt you?? I cannot HURT you?? You piece of camel shit! Wait a minute. I think I do recognize your voice. But it can’t be. No, it cannot be. Who IS this? Speak now, or I will have my bodyguards rip your innards out with their bare hands.
This is Adolph Hitler speaking.
You must be a lunatic. Adolph Hitler has been dead for more than 50 years.
Of course I’m dead. I’m calling from Hell.
You expect me to believe that? You must think that I am some kind of stupid Iranian.
I can prove it to you.
Impossible. I’ll grant you that you sound like Hitler, but there is no way you can convince me that you are calling me from Hell.
Well, from down here, I can see everything that you do – everything.
That is ridiculous.
Is it? How about yesterday when you were alone in your study and you locked the door so even your closest bodyguards couldn’t see you? I happen to know that you put on panties, fired up a CD, and sang “Strangers in the Night” with “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”
Oh my God!! In Allah’s name, is this being recorded?
No. Don’t worry. It is impossible to record my voice. In fact, you are the only one who can hear me. I have no plans to tell anyone about this call. I just want to talk with you about what I’ve been seeing from down here.
OK, you’ve convinced me. In fact, Herr Fuehrer, it is wonderful to speak with you. I have been an admirer of yours for a long, long time. I even read your book. Well, I tried to read it, but I must confess I found it to be a bit opaque in spots.
I know. I know. Others have said that about the book. Hell, I was young, and I wrote it in jail, for Chrissake. By the way, may I call you Saddam?
By all means Herr Fuehrer. In fact, you may call me “Sad.”
Thanks, Sad. Please call me “Adi.”
OK. “Aydie,” it is.
No, Sad, it is pronounced “AH-dee,” but that’s OK.
So, Adi, what did you want to talk about?
Well, I’ve had my eye on you since ’91 when your forces rolled into Kuwait and kicked some ass. It’s too bad that some of the big-time sheiks got away, but you did manage to grab the oil wells, set up the torture chambers, kill lots of people and steal lots of stuff. You were on a roll there for a while.
It was great, wasn’t it? I showed those Kuwaiti asswipes who is boss. Reminded me of how your guys rolled into Holland, Belgium and France in no time flat. Kicked ass and took names, I’ll say.
Yeah, but ultimately it didn’t go very well for you in Kuwait, did it?
No, I supposed it didn’t. Damned George Bush. Man, he pissed me off. I even hated the way that son of a rabid camel mispronounced my name. He used to call me “SAD-im.” Not fair. I couldn’t figure out a way to mispronounce “Bush.”
I think it was a helluva lot worse than simply having your name mispronounced, Sad. From down here, it looked like your Army took quite a thrashing.
Yes, I admit that some of the soldiers behaved like cowardly sons of Satan, but I did manage to light up the oil fields though and shit up Kuwait pretty good, eh? And, don’t forget my valiant Republican (I’m growing to hate that word) Guards. They unsheathed their mighty swords in the name of Allah, and….
Sad, the oil field thing just pissed everyone off. People can deal with seeing dead people, but those oil covered birds always manage to really honk folks off, Sad. And, as for your Republican Guards, I believe I saw them surrendering to those little toy planes with the cameras inside them.
Oh, yeah. Those guys. I fixed their Satanic asses when they returned to Iraq, let me tell you. It was fun to watch. I really like watching people being tortured, you know.
Of course I know. In fact, I watched you watching those videotapes – with the panties again, Sad. What’s with the panties anyway? Never mind. I don’t think I really need to know that.
Enough about the Panties, Adi. As I recall, you had a little bit of kink going on too. Wasn’t there something about you and a very young girl who “killed herself?” And, what the heck was the Eva Braun thing really all about?
OK, you made your point, Sad. No more panties talk. We were talking about your Republican Guards.
Yes, aside from those yellow-bellied camel turds who surrendered, my valiant Republican Guards stood fast to keep the infidels from Baghdad.
Sad, come on. The only thing that kept the infidels from rolling into Baghdad was that the tanks had brakes, and the Americans decided to use them. As I recall, you surrendered.
I really don’t like being reminded of that, Adi. But, the truth is, surrendering was a snap, really. I showed up and pretended to agree with everything the infidel assholes demanded.
You mean things like the U.N Resolution that said you couldn’t make certain kinds of weapons?
Exactly. Like I said, it’s a piece of cake. You just pretend to agree, and the next day you return to Baghdad, shoot some guns in the air and proclaim victory. Not a problem.
But then came the UN Weapons inspectors, no?
Now THAT was really fun. A couple dozen geeks running around the country wearing baseball caps. Jerking them around was like taking candy from a baby. We knew where they were and where they were going. None of my scientists would talk with them. The scientists love me, you know. It was sweet. Finally, the asshats just packed it in.
Yeah. Great word, no? I read it somewhere. I can’t remember where.
But, what about now, Sad. I have to tell you. From here, it looks like you might be in for another ass-kicking, this one worse than the last one.
I’m not worried.
What the hell do you mean you’re not worried? It looks to me as if the Americans are putting their forces in place to really stomp you into the ground this time.
Adi…Adi, there is a difference between this time and last time.
What difference? The only difference I see is that the Americans have fancier weapons, and they’re not going to stop until you are — excuse the phrase– “out of the picture.”
No, Adi, there are differences. First, now I am dealing with the Great Satan’s son, not his father, and, second, the last time there was a broad coalition. My friends tell me that these are important differences.
Well, they tell me that I don’t have to worry about George W., because he was “selected” not elected. I’m not sure I completely get that, but they tell me that it is a really big thing. Hey, I was elected by a vote of 100%. Did you know that? Oh, yeah, my friends also tell me that George W. is a moron. They also remind me that there was a coalition last time, and that’s a big thing too.
Sad, please spare me the 100% stuff. It sounds silly. And, as for calling George W a moron, you should know that down here we laugh at those who still say that. They are the hardcore Gore gang, and no one who doesn’t need a brain transplant takes them seriously. You really should get a PR guy. I should have had one too. Damned Goebbels. But, you knocked me off track again. What friends are telling you these things?
Are you kidding? My friends are the smartest people in America.
Well, who are you talking about?
Hey, I got lots of friends in Berkeley as well as a shitload of buddies in Hollywood.
How is it that you think these people are so smart?
Because they tell me all the time how smart they are. Hey, they also make movies and shit. Some of them even win Oscars, Adi. They must be smart. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.
Oh boy, Sad. I worry about you sometimes. You mentioned that another reason that this time is different than last time is because there was a coalition last time. What did you mean by that?
Adi, give me a break. You must not be paying attention down there in Hell. Last time the Americans had the help of France and Germany. This time, France and Germany aren’t going along. See? It’s simple. I got nothing to worry about.
You can’t be serious, Sad. France? Puh-leeze. Who knows more about France than I do? The only thing that Frenchmen do fast is surrender. And as for Germany, this ain’t your daddy’s Germany, Sad. The good old days of the SS, dueling scars, and cool uniforms are gone. Hell, today’s German army officers look like bus drivers. From down here, it looks like the Americans are ready to tell France and Germany to piss off and team up with the friggin’ Brits to kick your ass.
You really think they’ll do that Adi? Americans and Brits? Ha ha ha. Their blood will fill the streets of Baghdad. My Republican Guards will unsheathe their mighty swords in the name of Allah.…..
Sad, you gotta get a grip. Back in ’44 and ‘45 the Americans and Brits whooped my ass pretty good.
Yeah, but the Russkies helped them back then.
True enough, Sad. But, face it fella, Iraq is not exactly the Third Reich. You know what I’m sayin’?
Hmmmm. The protesters!! What about the protesters? There were zillions of them, Adi. I’ve been watching them on TV all day. It’s great. Hey, did you notice that some of them refer to George Bush as “Hitler.” I’ll bet that gets a rise out of your ass, no?
Focus, Sad. Focus. Don’t let CNN fool you. There are zillions more who did not protest and who, in fact, think you’ve been jerking them around for the past dozen years and that you deserve a final ass whooping. Have you thought this through, Sad?
What do you think I should do, Adi? After all this time, there is no way that I can simply direct this new crop of baseball hat guys to where I’ve hidden the nuclear, biological and chemical stuff. And, didn’t you notice? I outlawed those things in Iraq just a couple days ago.
Sad, please. You’re talking to ol’ Adi here. Remember, I knew about the panties.
OK, already. But, there is still no way I’m ponying up all those weapons. And, if that’s the only way to avoid having to tangle ass with the Americans and Brits, so be it.
Now we’re getting down to cases, Sad. There may be another way. In fact, there may even be two other ways this could shake out.
Well, the first way I’m sure you won’t like.
What do you mean?
I mean that it could well be that some of your military guys might want to save their asses by taking you out.
You mean like those bastards I had arrested a few days ago?
Exactly, Sad. It can happen, you know. Some of my guys tried to blow my ass up in ’44. They failed; I tracked them down and hung them on meat hooks. But the point is that it can happen, Sad.
You’re negging me out, Adi. What’s the other way?
The other way sounds to me like it could be a winner. You can make a deal with the U.S. to let you, your family and your cronies disappear somewhere. They’ll let you take all your money. Hell, knowing them, they’ll even give you a bunch more cash. They’ll make sure that you are real comfortable. And, you could pick a place that has a nicer climate than Iraq’s.
You think they’d let me go to Berkeley? Great climate there. And, like I said, I have friends there.
I don’t know about that, Sad. I suppose you could ask.
But, I would have to spend the rest of my life in obscurity. You know how hard that would be for me, Adi. I like a large public presence. You’ve seen my picture everywhere in Baghdad. I don’t think I’d be happy spending the rest of my life out of the public eye.
Sad, you’re forgetting that the American attention span is only slightly longer than that of a fruit fly. In addition, with time, Americans forgive anything. They love to forgive people. My guess is that you would have to lay low for just a couple of years. Then, you get yourself some good lawyers and a fancy PR firm, and before you know it, Barbara Walters will be knocking down your door to do a network interview. After that, ABC will have Peter Jennings do a special about what a swell guy you have become. Who knows? CNN might even offer you a broadcasting gig.
You think that could happen, Adi?
I sure do. Americans love to forget about unpleasant things. You got O.J., Chappaquidick, and Al Sharpton. Hell, look at Bill Clinton and his wife. She’s a friggin’ senator, and before you know it, he’ll be a Goddamned saint.
Well, Adi, you have really given me something to think about. I have some pondering to do, I suppose.
I think you really ought to consider it, Sad. I really do.
I will. And, by the way, why are you so interested in helping me?
I guess a large part of it is a dictator-to-dictator kind of thing. But to be perfectly candid, I know that sooner or later you will be down here with me. And, presently, the room next to mine is unoccupied. And, well, I was sort of hoping to keep you on the earth until someone a bit more – excuse the term – Aryan – takes that room.
Wait a Goddamned minute, Adi. You got something against Arabs?
You’re breaking up, Sad. I think I’m losing the connection here. Listen, consider making that deal, OK?.
Adi! Adi! Are you there?