Monday, June 20, 2005

Curiouser and curiouser

Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else that the US's role in world politics is getting more and more bizarre? Disgusting, yes, venal, of course, but also just plain weird.

In that vein, AP has a story on Saddam's relationship with his prison guards. First let me say his remarks about Bush bear an eerie resemblance to those from Clinton remarked on earlier in the month:
GQ magazine's July issue says Saddam greatly admired President Reagan and thought President Clinton was "OK," but had harsh words for both President Bushes, each of whom went to war against him.

"The Bush father, son, no good," one of the soldiers, Cpl. Jonathan "Paco" Reese, 22, of Millville, Pa., quotes Saddam as saying. But his fellow GI, Specialist Sean O'Shea, then 19, says Saddam later softened that view.

"Towards the end he was saying that he doesn't hold any hard feelings and he just wanted to talk to Bush, to make friends with him," O'Shea, of Minooka, Pa., told the magazine.
I'm envisioning the golf game, you know?

And then there's this extract:
Saddam learned the names of the GIs guarding him, was interested in the details of their lives, which they were not supposed to discuss, and sometimes offered fatherly advice. They conversed in English.

O'Shea said when he told him he was not married, Saddam "started telling me what to do." "He was like, `you gotta find a good woman. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too old, not too young. One that can cook and clean.'"

Then he smiled, made what O'Shea interpreted as a "spanking" gesture, laughed and went back to washing his clothes in the sink.

The soldiers say Saddam was preoccupied with cleanliness, washing up after shaking hands and using diaper wipes to clean his meal trays, his utensils and the table before eating. "He had germophobia or whatever you call it" said Dawson, 25, of Berwick, Pa.

The article quotes the GIs on Saddam's eating preferences ? Raisin Bran Crunch was his breakfast favorite. "No Froot Loops," he told O'Shea. He ate fish and chicken but refused beef at dinner.

For a time his favorite food was Cheetos, and when those ran out, Saddam would "get grumpy," the story says. One day the guards substituted Doritos corn chips, and Saddam forgot about Cheetos. "He'd eat a family size bag of Doritos in 10 minutes," Dawson says.
And what I'm thinking right now is that capitalism and sexism seem to be forces strong enough to allow men to forge bonds regardless of their differences. Sure, you may be head of the evil empire, and I'm part of the forces fighting against the darkness, but we can all agree that snack food is yummy and a good woman knows how to cook, right?

Good god. It's Kafka meets David Foster Wallace, I tell you. This era... Heaven help us.

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