Last week I made a brief reference to the Arab world's general refusal to accept that the Americans could have gotten their hero (their Nasser v2.0, if you will) without Treachery being involved ("Mr. bin-Kettle? Mr. al-Pot on line one for you"). I can't decide whether I think this is due to a general 'blame everybody else' mindset or to treachery being what they seem to understand best. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail; when all you have is a poisoned stiletto, you approach everybody from behind. But I digress. What I'm trying to get to is that the yarn-spinners are now out in force. MEMRI has compiled a collection of some of the better ones.
First, we have 'The Americans Have Had Him All Along:'
"The Saudi daily Al-Riyadh believes that it is evident that there was a conspiracy. It wrote: ' . . . it can be thought that Saddam was in the hands of the Americans, and that his public exposure was a show produced with the aim of neutralizing the explosive situation, so that it would be possible to ease the emotional and military pressure by the American forces and give new momentum to the American president just when he needs this kind of event . . ..'"
Never mind that there's really no 'explosive situation' that needed to be neutralized at the time. Now if, say, somebody
had broken a story that the President was getting knobbers from an intern in the Oval Office, now that
would be an explosive situation. But that'd never, ever
happen, would it?
Next, 'Never Ever Trust An Ex-Wife:'
"[Saudi daily newspaper] Okaz's theory is allegedly supported by an interview with [Saddam's second wife] Samira Al-Shahbanar which fortuitously appeared in the Sunday Times of London on December 14 and appeared the subsequent day in the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat .  According to Al-Shabandar, Saddam has been in touch with her via phone approximately once per week. Okaz suspects that the conversations were tapped by the U.S. intelligence, and said that the last conversation was prolonged by Al-Shahbandar to give the Americans added time to pinpoint Saddam's hiding place. "
And the Wahabbists are saying, "See, S-Dog, this is why you got to keep your bitches in line!" I know, I know, technically she's the second of his four wives, but having two more wives added after you kinda has to make you feel a little like an ex-wife. Seriously, though, it sure looked like the Mossad
figured out Samira's secret identity and actual location (apparently she's living in Lebanon under the Ba'athist version of the Witness Protection Program) and tapped her phone. No treachery on her part required.
How about 'The U.S. Owns Saddam?'
"An editorial in the Iraqi daily Al-Shira' titled: "The Servant has Fallen in the Master's Cage" surveys Saddam's policies from 1963 until his capture, and suggests that he implemented these policies at the behest of his American masters. . ..
'The last service provided by this "super servant" was to surrender as 'a free service to America, and Bush in particular, in disgraceful pictures that would be used as stickers in the election campaign….'"
Now Saddam's the fall guy for everything
, including, it would appear, parachute pants, New Coke, Vanilla Ice, the Macarena, and Magic Johnson's talk show! Damn, not even we hate him that much! One other thing - if I were staging Saddam's capture for election reasons, I'd do it on the first day of the Democratic convention.
But the big one, the one that makes the rest of the tinfoil-hat-brigade look meekly down and mumble "Ah, I don't know. Dude is just out there." is this beauty, courtesy of Abd Al-Bari Atwan, the Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi:
"First, the pictures distributed by the Americans about Saddam's hideout show a palm tree behind the soldier who uncovered the hole where Saddam was hiding. The palm tree carried a cluster of pre-ripened yellow dates, which might suggest that Saddam was arrested at least three months earlier, because dates ripen in the summer months when they turn into their natural black or brown color. Atwan concludes that the arrest was "a staged show and the place of arrest [was] completely elsewhere."
Anybody else read this and think 'The moonwalk pictures were faked because you can't see stars in the background?" Like the lack of stars
, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this:
"An agricultural expert told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that there are some types of dates which mature in the winter months after rainfalls (December 17, 2003)."
"Second, if there were two rooms connected with the hole in which Saddam was captured, what explains the fact, asks Atwan, that Saddam 'appeared filthy and looked like a man who did not bathe in weeks, if not in months.'"
Because he just got there after a long taxi ride! The taxi was right there in the yard - for all we know, the meter was still running!
"Third, statements about Saddam's alleged cooperation were contradictory. Ambassador Paul Bremer said that Saddam was cooperating, while Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he was not."
I'm pretty sure that Bremer was referring to Saddam cooperating with his 'booking,' while Rumsfeld was referring to him not cooperating with his interrogation.
"Fourth, Atwan alleges that there were bruises on Saddam's face and over his brow. In addition, Saddam behaved like a robot while he was being examined. The videos showed Saddam touching his cheeks but Atwan was able to surmise that Saddam was probing his face "as if he just woken up from coma.""
There are reports
that Saddam spit at one of the soldiers who captured him and got buttstroked for his trouble. He was probably checking to see if he still had all his teeth. I'm OK with that.
"This led Atwan to suggest that the probing may be due to the use of nerve gas while Saddam's hideout was being raided, not unlike the gas used by the Russians against the Chechen rebels who took over the Bolshoi Palace [theatre] and which paralyzed them for hours. The alleged use of gas may explain why Saddam did not resist, and hence there is a need for "impartial experts…to analyze the dirt in the hideout and the surrounding area to reveal the truth.""
Why am I thinking that an 'impartial expert' wouldn't be satisfactory to Atwan and vice versa? And speaking of Atwan:
"Abd Al-Bari Atwan has been a consistent and vocal supporter of Saddam's regime as well as of what he still refers to as "Sheikh" [a religious leader] Osama bin Laden. The relationship between Atwan's newspaper and its sources of funding are not known. What is known for certain is that his newspaper, which is a commercial paper, does not accept advertisements, and questions have always been raised in the Arab press as to how a paper with a relatively small circulation can afford offices in a big building in London without accepting advertisements. "
The Palestinian splodeydopes' OPTEMPO
dropped significantly after we shut off the Saddam money spigot; it'll be interesting to see what happens to Atwan's rag.