Damn Saddam?

On Saddam’s hanging my views are, as many here would have predicted, not too different from those of the Leftists. I might add that I do not believe that the US has any right to decide what constitutes democracy; it is a society where many democratic norms were late in the coming and are not altogether practised…that Saddam was denied access to what may be deemed a fair trial…that “crimes against humanity” is a wide term and would apply to many of the Western societies, except that it spares it own people. My only fear is that even if some Muslims protest against this judgement – as many others are doing – it should not be seen as one more instance of Islamic intolerance.

The first time I wrote about him, I had not anticipated what happened. The interest was more on power-play. But I had ended by saying it would give America a decade to make the most of it, so to speak. Someone did comment that I had taken the dangerous precedent “of actually making a written prediction. Let us see if America speaks from scalded lips or not”.

Damn Saddam?
by Farzana Versey

I do not know whether Saddam Hussein knows anything about Valentine’s Day, but soon after it is celebrated, he will discover what love means. It is the American way of cleansing Iraq of the weapons of mass destruction. This grand passion, worth $200 billion, will be displayed by dropping bombs on civilians.

Would the Saddam of 2003 be any different from the man of 1991? How many clones will he have on the ready? And how many bunkers in his palace? And will he be lucky with the women? What?

Yes, the last time round the Italian member of parliament, Ilona Sthaler, a former porn star, had offered to sleep with him to effect the release of the hostages held by his army. She was appealing to the macho man and sadist in Saddam but, without realising it, she was also ‘humanising’ him.

Saddam has often talked about not wanting war. But he is said to accumulate arms for war, any war. Now let us see Eric Berne’s analysis of sado-masochism in a sexual context. The thinking is that abstinence would lead to serious consequences, so there is the appeal, to quote Berne, ‘‘What do you expect from someone as strongly sexed as I am?’’

Now to return to Saddam’s anti-war statements. This is the antithesis where, as Dr Berne explains, ‘‘Real satisfaction is derived from the humiliating foreplay’’ rather than ‘‘more conventional forms of coitus’’. As the person is not ready to admit it, he is likely to complain, ‘‘After all this work, I have to have intercourse yet!’’

Saddam had the last time returned tired from work (Iran). It would have become incumbent on him not to fall for influences. But sexuality and power play are interlinked. And the chain that does it is insecurity. Saddam is caught in a situation where he has to acknowledge both Berne's thesis as well as antithesis. He can be a powerful leader only if he makes war. He also makes war because he needs justification for being tired! I wonder why people wonder how he can be a hero. It is perfectly logical. He does not take chances. 12 years ago, Saddam had tempted Adam (USA) with the apple; Bush Sr fell for the bait. Today Bush Jr has to wipe out traces of both Dad and Bill. Only problem is that he seems to have learned to whip up emotions from the Orientals!

Just as Operation Desert Storm (sanctified as the Gulf War) remained essentially one in a tea-cup, after this one too Saddam Hussein will survive to tell the tale and give America one more decade to mouth clichés through scalded lips.

(First published in The New Indian Express)

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