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Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Nothing's Shocking

OK, so I'm watching the news, and they're going on and on and on about all the stuff they found in Uday Hussein's mansion in Baghdad. (Uday Hussein is one of Saddam's sons.) He's got tons of liquor, from premium tequila to expensive wine. And Cuban cigars with his name on them. And his huge black book with womens' phone numbers. And lots of pornography, meticulously labeled. And weapons, some of them gold plated. The whole thing sounds like a TRASH question in the making.

Now, it's clear that Uday is not playing with a full deck here. As head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, his exploits with jailing and torturing atheletes is well known. And some of this stuff is undeniably disturbing. He seems to be serial-killer creepy.

However, I don't know whether I should be encouraged or cynical at the righteous anger the newscaster worked up when they say that "he lives like a king while his people suffer in poverty."

It sounded as if he was either unaware of or indifferent to the fact that you can find people like this in every Third World country, whether friendly or unfriendly to the United States. Remember Wandlitz? Or the shoes of Imelda Marcos? Or the Swiss bank accounts of Mobutu or Duvalier?

Heck, there are plenty of people suffering in poverty in this country at this very moment, along with some of us who are living like kings, perhaps even more so than Uday Hussein.

Does this represent some breakthrough in social justice? Or merely yet another cynical post-hoc attempt to justify this war? Given that the junta in charge of this country is busy trying to give their cronies more tax breaks while curtting veterans' benefits and running up massive deficits with this war, I'd guess the latter.


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