Sunday, March 23
Part of being sane, is being a little bit crazy.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
--Voltaire (1694 - 1778)
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.
--James Thurber (1894 - 1961), in Edward R. Murrow television interview
The Saddam and George show
Ignoring the fact that George Bush declined Saddam Hussein's challenge to a televised debate, Tim Dowling exclusively reveals what could have happened had they met
The Guardian, February 25, 2003
Tony Blair, moderator: Welcome to the first televised debate between George W Bush and Saddam Hussein, live from United Nations headquarters in New York. We will begin with a brief opening statement from each of you.
Bush: First of all I would just like to welcome my evil friend to the UN, one of the great American institutions for the propulsion of freedom throughout the world.
Saddam: Thank you, Great Satan. I hope that in today's debate we may find some common ground between the Iraqi people's commitment to peace and human progress and America's desire to destroy the Middle East.
Bush: Do I answer that?
Blair: No. The first question is quite simply this: do you have any links with al-Qaida?
Bush: I do not.
Blair: The question is for President Saddam.
Saddam: As I told Mr Tony Benn clearly and simply, if I had links with al-Qaida and I enjoyed those links then I would not be ashamed to tell the world, but since I am ashamed to tell the world of this, it follows that I have no such links.
Bush: Neither do I.
Blair: The final question is for George Bush. Mr President, is there any way that Saddam Hussein can avoid war, and what steps must he now take in order to reach a negotiated solution?
Bush: Listen to me. It's very simple. First Saddam must compile 200% with the UN inspectorers, and I mean activated compilation, not passivist compilation. Second, he must disarm fully, in keeping with UN revelation 1441 and the next one coming, 1441B, which will require him to disarm even more fully that. Then he must destroy all Samoud missiles and any other weapons of mass destruction he is found, or not found, to be possessive of, without being asked. Finally, there is one more task he must perform, which I am not at liberty to revulge. And even that will not be enough.
Blair: The translator would like to take your answer home with him and work on it over the weekend.
Bush: Fine, but we require nothing less than total disarmature.
Blair: Sorry, but I'm not sure that "disarmature" is a word. I defer to the UN Keeper of the Dictionary, Mr Richard Stilgoe.
Stilgoe: Yes, you can have disarmature. It means, "the action of disarming" according to the OED.
Bush: Exactly. He must cut his own arms off.
Saddam: If it means peace, I will do it.
Bush: Too late.