A Chat with SaddamWritten by Ed Howes
He never did say why he chose to call me, but for past few months I have enjoyed some rather lively chats with Saddam. He said he has been wanting to speak to America and rest of world and he should only have to call one of us. He said he could have published his thoughts on Internet, but he prefers give and take of conversation. Our early conversations were personal enough, Saddam did not want them recorded or published, so I agreed to keep that between us. The transcript that follows is from a recent chat we had and Saddam requested I record and publish.
Ed: Hi Saddam, what is happening with you lately?
Saddam: Things are great! It is much less stressful living here in U.S.
Ed: You're kidding me, right?
Saddam: Maybe. Why does idea surprise you?
Ed: Because U.S. security is so tight these days.
Saddam: Now it's you who are kidding, right? Every day, dozens and sometimes a hundred poor people come into U.S., uninvited. Don't you read papers or watch TV?
Ed: Good point! Aren't you afraid of being seen?
Saddam: No. Over past six months, I've had some excellent plastic surgery. I don't look much like my old self, but I must say I have never looked this good. None of my old friends recognize me. I am living with some old friends now and I really don't need to go out much and tempt fate. If you should see me with my friends, I'm handsome Oriental man. Cute huh?
Ed: Clever, I'd say. Have you been listening to news since you've been here?
Saddam: Of course! It's really good for laughs.
Ed: This is true. So you have noticed that every day they talk about your weapons of mass destruction? Why can't they find them?
Saddam: I sent them all to friends before invasion; friends all over world.
Ed: I was under impression you didn't have too many friends.
Saddam: It's funny about impressions. If you have been following news, you know Americans and their friends come under attack nearly every day. There are just a few of my friends behind that. To be honest with you, I have never been so popular in world.
Ed: Is that so?
Saddam: Yes. Most are new friends, since Iraqi Freedom thing. I think it's about ten million of them but I don't want to boast. Did you ever hear that I am a very rich man? It's true. I can buy anything I want, any time, any where. I can buy friends, weapons, cars, houses, anything. But I don't have to buy friends and many of my friends would give me whatever I asked of them. Is that so hard to believe?
Ed: Not any more.
Saddam: To get back to WMDs. I mostly sent them where they would do most good. Keeping them in Iraq would have been utterly pointless. It wasn't about embarrassing President and his aides or calling intelligence into question, although it has been great fun. It was just a simple strategic military move. Get them close to where I want them.
Chasing Shadows! A DreamWritten by Arthur Zulu
I feel earth under my feet shake, and explosions deafen my ears. Day change to night as thick dark smoke obscures visibility for hours. And I begin to see death with my naked eyes. But after all shootings and bombings, smoke clears at last. And we expect to see seven dead devils: Hatred, Oppression, Frustration, Injustice, Mistrust, Fear, and Enmity.
But there they are—laughing and falling over themselves. And kings, Sunrise and Sunset, are full of wonderment. What sight is this? they ask. Did not winged-man in white say to wipe out these devils? Or are these not weapons that destroy spirits? What are they to do now with all their bombs, missiles, and bullets expended?
When seven spirits finish their laughters and free falls, Hatred, their leader, comes to address kings. First, he says that kings have used wrong weapons. For neither guns nor bombs can kill seven deadly spirits. Second, he tells them that these seven deadly spirits that they are trying to destroy live in their various lands. And they are dangerous parents of Inferno, terrorist. So he wonders why they had spent time and money looking for their son, Inferno, while he is right in their midst. He then turns it into a question- and- answer section, and demands that both kings reply him.
"Do you not hate, oppress, and frustrate each other?" he asks. "We do," reply kings. "Do you not cause injustice, and mistrust, and fear each other?" he further asks. "We do," kings answer again. "Are you not in enmity with each other?" is next question by Hatred to two kings. And they answer: "We are."
The vexed Hatred, King of seven deadly spirits, now asks, "Do you know meaning of word hypocrisy?" The kings look at each other again in confusion, and I remember my dictionary a second time. As to this question, there is no answer.
The questions and answers now end, and Hatred makes a long speech beginning with a question:
"Why do you then make war at us with your guns and bombs? You should instead have proceeded to eradicate political, economic, social, religious, health, and environmental problems that are bedeviling world. People are fighting for political freedom, some are sick and hungry, and there is racial and class discrimination, religious strife, including land, sea, and air pollution in your lands.