Jewish World Review April 1, 2004 / 11 Nissan, 5764
Melancholy Saddam longs to shut down a newspaper
Former dictator in ‘deep funk,’ French lawyer says
The U.S.’s shuttering of an Iraqi newspaper sent Saddam Hussein into a “deep funk,” his French lawyer said today, as the former Iraqi dictator increasingly longs to shut down a newspaper himself.
“Shutting down newspapers was an activity that Saddam always enjoyed,” lawyer Jacques Verges said. “When he heard that the U.S. had done it without him, it was a bitter pill to swallow.”
Monsieur Verges said that when he first told the Iraqi madman that the U.S. had padlocked the Baghdad paper, Saddam was despondent and inconsolable, shouting, “That should have been me, damn it!”
Saddam then demanded to speak to the U.S. interim administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, to give Mr. Bremer “a list of helpful tips” on how to shut down newspapers in the future.
“Saddam felt that the shutting down of this newspaper was the work of amateurs,” Monsieur Verges said. “For one thing, when you close a paper down, you never explain why you do it – that’s a huge no-no.”
But so far, Mr. Bremer has rebuffed Saddam’s offer of assistance, saying that the U.S. was “perfectly well-equipped to shut down newspapers on our own, thank you very much.”
All of this has left Saddam increasingly depressed, M. Verges said: “Telling Saddam Hussein he can’t shut down a newspaper is like taking away Tiger Woods’s golf clubs: it’s just plain cruel.”
In other news, Condoleezza Rice announced today that her 9/11 testimony would be scheduled to coincide with the finale of “American Idol,” the decisive NCAA championship game, and the reading of the verdict in the Kobe Bryant trial.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author of the just released "Who Moved My Soap? The CEO's Guide to
Surviving in Prison and
"Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" , "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
© 2004, Andy Borowitz