Thursday, December 22, 2005
Pass The Tookie 'Pon The Left Hand Side
I don't know a lot about morality. I think my side business breeding and selling midgets to circuses to feed the lions is proof of that. So I'm not going to sit here in my special midget-hide blogger chair and tell you "I know this" or "I believe that." That would just be unseemly.
What I will say is that if you're Saddam Hussein, you shouldn't get to complain about being tortured. Just like if you're Paris Hilton, you shouldn't get to point out other people who are being tacky whores. And if you Donald Trump, you don't get to decry the breakdown of the traditional family.
What I'm saying is that sometimes our actions disqualify us from taking personal stands on certain issues.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly haven't turned into one of those eye-for-an-eye Republicans who thinks it's a good idea to torture Saddam Hussein. I'm more of the lily-livered Democrat type who thinks there is merit in acting and being better than your enemies by not torturing people.
That said, if somebody did knock Saddam around a little bit, well... It's a shame and all, but come on. Unless we're talking about chopping off appendages, car battery nipple clamps or us killing members his family,* there is no moral equivalency. He's going to have to try a lot harder if he wants to elicit international sympathy for his plight; his mangey, bearded, crazy-man plight.
I think Saddam could learn a lot from the example of Tookie Williams. I'm not saying founding a murderous street gang is the same as being a full-time military dictator with occasional flurries of genocide, but their fates look like they could end up being the same, so what has Saddam got to lose?
Tookie, to his credit, said all the right things about peace and turning a new leaf and non-violence. Plus he wrote a children's book warning about the dangers of gang-life.
Then look what happened: public outcry against his execution, hundreds of people at his funeral, including Snoop Dogg, who cried. That's right, the man who on the 1992 Dr. Dre album The Chronic included a piece called "Deeez Nuuuuts" cried. In public.
This can be a lesson to Saddam. At this rate, there's no way Snoop Dogg is going to cry at his funeral. If he follows his present course, the best he could hope for is Vanilla Ice looking sort of stoic. But that dude will show up anywhere.
It sounds stupid, but maybe Saddam should write a children's book warning kids about the dangers of rising through the ranks of an armed political party, seizing the reigns of a nation in a bloody coup and then reigning over said country in defiance of the international community for roughly 30 years. Sure, you get the private plane and all the rape rooms you want, but in the end they find you in a spider hole, all balled up and twitchy, looking like a dirty Moses with no teeth. And then, at the very end, you get executed by revenge-minded citizens. Total downer. If that doesn't put kids off dictatorship, nothing will.
If he's any good at pretending to be sincere, he might even get himself nominated for a Nobel peace prize. It sounds nuts, but hell, Arafat got one.
All of this will be for nothing if he doesn't take the most important step for jailhouse redemption: Saddam has to find Jesus.
OK, maybe not that exactly. I doubt that would go over too well what with all the crazy religious-based political parties over there getting elected to stuff. Is there such thing as a born-again Muslim? If there isn't, Saddam has to get busy inventing that shit. It probably sounds distasteful to him, but if born-again Muslims are anything like the more public born-again Christians in this country, it's all about marketing. You can be a hypocrite in private so long as you SAY the name of your Lord and Savior (whomever that may be) over and over again whenever the cameras are looking.
He should think about it. "I am the President of Iraq and this court holds no jurisdiction over me!" That dude is soooo easy to execute. Fun even. "I am a humble Muslim and I commit myself to the mercy of God and of his representatives on earth." Aw, man. Sure, it would still be easy to execute him (he is Saddam after all), but maybe he'd get a one or two person candle-light vigil then.
Or ooh! A Presidential Medal of Freedom.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 2.6
*= yeah, OK, so we did that one. But those kids were assholes.