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The The West is the Best Issue

Saddam Sucks

Saddam Hussein - The mother of all dictators.
Κείμενο Hala Qadar Khan

Hello, everybody. I am a busty Iraqi girl who escaped to New York with her wealthy parents seven years ago. I thought I’d take a little time out of my incredibly boring school day to tell you about the man you call “the most evil dictator of all time” (you think you know, but you have no idea).

However, before I let you in on the secret life of this horrible monster, you have to promise not to throw the Iraqi people in there with him. Love Iraq. Hate Saddam. As with America, we have nothing in common with our leader. We despise him and are shocked daily by his actions. You know what it’s like. You have the same thing with your king. Anyway, check it out…



Saddam’s life story reads like an Arabic version of The Omen. In March of 1936, a notorious slut named Subha Al-Tikriti realized she was pregnant. She was what we call “desert trash,” and knew she was totally incapable of raising a child. She decided to give herself an abortion, but come on, this is 1937 here and her mudbrick house wasn’t exactly overflowing with coat hangers. After nine months of belting herself in the stomach almost daily, this unfortunate tramp gave birth to Saddam Hussein Al-Tikriti. She showed her disdain for the incident by combining the words “great misfortune” (sad-mah) and “confrontation” (isti-dam) to make the word “Saddam” (a name nobody had ever heard before). Back then you would incorporate your village into your name, too, but Saddam comes from Al-Awja, which translates as “crooked town.” That means his actual name is “The crooked troublemaker, son of Hussein.” As soon as Saddam got into power, he abolished the village rule, leaving him with simply “The troublemaker, son of Hussein” (more on that later). The name is still painful for him today, because Hussein got the fuck out of there hours after Great Misfortune Collision was born.

As a single mother, Subha prostituted herself to make ends meet and soon settled in with a total asshole named Hassan (The Liar). Hassan’s kids were much older than Saddam and ruled over him with an iron fist (that’s called foreshadowing).


These were very shitty times for our beloved leader. His first job involved risking his life all day by stealing livestock only to come home at night to a five-person mudbrick house filled with two chickens, a sheep, and a donkey. In the crowded hut Saddam would get his head kicked in by everyone but his mother (which is maybe why he worships her so much and still uses “mother” as the ultimate adjective: “mother of all wars,” etc. He recently built a shrine for her in Al-Awja, honoring her with the title “Mother of All Militants”).

Remote areas like Awja are the lowest of the low. A highly underdeveloped infrastructure and stifling poverty led to heinous crime and the hillbilly “Bedouin” mentality of “you fucked my sister! I’ll kill your mother!” Diseases like tapeworm and malaria were common, and most of the kids from these areas were, put simply, bad eggs. “They spent most of their time outside in narrow, dung-filled alleys,” says Said K. Aburish, who’s written a few books on the area. “They formed gangs, stole from farmers and each other, and conducted feuds and clan wars which often lasted for years. These children were tough, courageous, and vicious at a very early age.”


Normally a kid like Saddam would have died in a gang fight, never to be heard from again, but his mother did the future Iraqi people a huge disservice by sending him to live with his uncle Khairallah when he was nine years old. Khairallah was a schoolteacher and member of a rebel movement, and he forced Saddam to brave the laughter (being fatherless, poor, and illiterate was not exactly a recipe for popularity) and go to school.


Being known as “the big, barefoot bastard” made Saddam study hard and act even harder, until, at age thirteen, Saddam blew his cousin’s head off. Despite having no friends, Saddam did quite well at school because he has an incredible memory, which was apparent a few years ago when Saddam had all his old school bullies executed. It was 27 years after the fact, but he got every single one.


During his teenage years, Saddam became obsessed with revolutionary politics and Stalinist ideology. Failing the entrance exam for the Baghdad Military Academy (a way out of the lower classes for bright young Iraqis) only added to Saddam’s sense of inadequacy. Kind of like when Hitler didn’t get into art school. Feeling dejected, he began taking part in antigovernment demonstrations and eventually joined the Ba’ath Party. He studied Egypt’s Nasser and had dreams of a fully Arab Iraq, independent of the British powers that had dissected and infected the Middle East with political instability for so long. In 1959, he was involved in the attempted assassination of Iraqi leader Abdul Karim Qassem. Being the self-proclaimed superstar hero that he is, Saddam produced a film, The Long Days, which recounts this event in all its supposed glory. He is depicted as having been severely wounded by the incident, courageously stitching up his bullet wounds with his own bloody hands, à la Rambo. Truth is, he played a rather minor role in what was really a very clumsy operation. In any event, Saddam then fled to Egypt, where he and his Ba’athist buddies devised what would be a successful coup thanks to the CIA. Qassem was finally overthrown in 1963, and Saddam climbed the political ladder ruthlessly throughout the late 60s, destroying anyone who crossed him as if he was back in Crooked Town. He finally appointed himself “The Mother of All Leaders” in 1979.



At the lowest point of his life, there was only one person who didn’t pound the shit out of him: his mother. Blood. That taught Saddam a lesson: The family reigns supreme (no matter how unqualified they are to reign). Remember Uncle Khairallah? He’s the minister of defense. When Saddam’s two sons, Qusay and Udday, were old enough to work they became Saddam’s dreaded security apparatus. Nobody has to worry about how conspicuous it is that everyone has the same last name, because last names were the first thing Saddam abolished (I told you there’d be more on that—there it is).

Hiring only family has its drawbacks. When Saddam appointed his son-in-law Hussein Kamil the head of the Atomic Energy Administration, he neglected to note that the guy barely had high-school physics. Kamil went nuts trying to keep up and tried to quit, so Saddam killed him.


Saddam’s life of late still revolves around the manic paranoia he developed while getting pounded in the womb. Phone taps are a given, and many Iraqis have been executed for using his name in vain during casual conversation. His look-alikes regularly undergo plastic surgery to get at those not-so-Saddamish features and are giving more and more of his public addresses. Having built more than 21 over- and underground palaces, he never sleeps in the same bed for more than two nights at a time. His food tasters are easily replaceable. Many speculate that Saddam himself was the mastermind behind the 1996 assassination attempt on his eldest son, Udday (even more of a reckless thug/rapist/crook, but that’s a whole other article), because Udday was getting way too crazy and becoming an embarrassment to the Hussein family. Saddam shot him in the lower back, paralyzing the boy for life.


His motto is: “Maintain power by any means necessary,” even if it means the elimination of half the population of Iraq. As he puts it, “If there is a person, there is a problem. If there is no person, there is no problem”.


As Saddam gets older, he gets more and more perverted and insane. Unfortunately, absolute power and paranoia are not the best things to mix with an overwhelming libido. If he likes your wife, she instantly becomes his property. His second wife, Samara, was actually courted after Saddam personally asked her first husband to step aside. Saddam duly gave him a raise after the wedding.

And if you happen to be a member of his circle, be it the army or the elite of Iraqi society, you’d better be wearing deodorant, as “His Excellency” deems body odor to be so offensive that it is worth murder. For example, there was a time when Saddam’s subordinates were allowed to greet him with the standard two kisses on the cheeks, but he’s grown so wary of bacteria that he demands to be greeted with two tender pecks on either sides of his chest, close to the armpits. His emphasis on cleanliness is an extension of his serious fixation on security.

Saddam has an addictive personality, and alcohol was his drug of choice. But when the trials of being a tyrant were taking their toll, he realized he had to curb his appetite for Jack Daniels with sedatives. Naturally, the situation only worsened. According to a former palace doctor, Saddam needed to be regularly tended for withdrawal symptoms that lead the Iraqi dictator to raging fits. On one occasion, the doctor was called in and duly put Saddam to sleep only to find a pretty young girl drenched in blood in the bathroom next door.



As my aunt reproachfully puts it, “Saddam only loves himself.” Saddam’s cool and calculating rule has developed into quite a case of rabid egomania. His propaganda machine is so extensive it’s impossible to avoid his face on a day-to-day basis in Iraq. His pictures are dispersed all over the country, from office posters to gigantic murals, and I grew up looking at his face on the first page of every schoolbook I owned. He even has a statue of his likeness erected in a different neighborhood every year for his birthday (now a national holiday). They say that there are 22 million pictures of Saddam in Iraq—one for every Iraqi citizen. He still makes a point to appear on Iraqi television five times a day to remind the Iraqi people of his ominous presence. He has even jokingly advised the nation—with his trademark creepily hearty chuckle—to stick a picture of him on their TV screens if they break. By the way, these monologues have to be heard to be believed. His favorite subject is personal hygiene. Things like, “Remember to never wear the same clothes twice before washing and to shower at least once a day” and “Always brush one’s teeth frequently, and if a toothbrush is not available, use one’s finger.” Just before I left, the regime had published a compilation, The Sayings of His Excellency Our Leader, that Iraqi high-school students are required to memorize as the new bible for all future Ba’athists. The first piece of advice in the book sums up the madman perfectly: “Do not respect he whom you suspect is doubtful of your intentions towards him.” Word to the mother of all philosophers.

Another example of the Iraqi dictator’s campaign of self-aggrandizement is his architecture fetish. During the 80s, he commissioned the Celebration Arch, a grotesque edifice consisting of two sword-bearing arms (modeled after his very own, of course) towering over a main street in Baghdad. At the base of the two structures are large collections of military headgear that once belonged to captured Iranian soldiers. Saddam even had the nerve to “restore” the Tower of Babel, one of the most precious archeological sites of earlier civilizations. Every brick that was laid in the construction of this magnificent building was inscribed with King Nebuchadnezzar’s name, but at renovation time, Saddam had his people go in there and inscribe his name on every hundredth brick instead. Saddam’s latest project is of unprecedented magnitude: While the Iraqi people are suffering tremendous poverty, plans are underway to build the biggest mosque in the world, with minarets taller than the Eiffel Tower. To complement the mosque, an artificial island will be built in the contours of—are you ready for this?—his fucking thumbprint! Not only is Saddam a leader among Arab leaders, he intends to be the Muslim that gets the closest as humanly possible to God.


It’s strange to think that if I said the past two thousand words in my hometown, I would have been tortured and executed within a day. In America I just pound it out on my keyboard like it ain’t no thing. Weird.

This probably isn’t the best time to be letting you all in on what a psycho Saddam is. It’s our problem. For the record, I am as petrified of American intervention as I am of Saddam. Like Subha, we never wanted him to be born, either. Saddam took Iraq out of its glorious days and dragged it into its darkest era. UN sanctions were implemented after the Gulf War “to destabilize the regime,” but after ten years they’ve destabilized everything BUT the regime. Iraq once boasted the highest literacy rate in the Arab world, but today we are in the lower brackets of international living standards. Iraq has been bombed back to the Stone Age, and at least two generations have been wasted. I don’t know how to get rid of him. America put him there in the first place, but ironically I don’t think America should be the one to get him out. No offense, but every time you try to clean up this mess, you just make it worse. Tell you what, promise that you’ll remove economic sanctions if he steps down, and we’ll take care of the rest. This is an Iraqi affair.