Baghdad Cockfight Climaxes in Saddam Snuff Film
“Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal’s deed, however calculated, can be compared.”
Albert Camus, “Reflections on the Guillotine, Resistance, Rebellion and Death” (1966)
“Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord”
“Cockfighting is…a status bloodbath”
Anthropologist Erving Goffman
So the Cockfight at the Baghdad Corral has climaxed with the Snuff Film of Saddam Hussein. And the important international question of “Who is the bigger dickhead, Bush or Saddam?” has been answered, sort of.
Let’s examine the contenders. Measuring up first is Saddam the cocky Iraqi, the brutal B-movie schmuck of a dick-tator who conducted mass executions, torture fests and disastrous loser wars while munching Doritos, writing romantic screenplays, erecting giant statues of himself and masturbating to Britney Spears videos. How much more evil and banal can you get? Most of his large-scale evil was committed with full support and often under the instructions of the U.S. government. Eventually, Saddam did have the balls to stand up to his bosses in Washington, and he seemed to have a good time doing it, winning him a few pan-Arabic fans, though it eventually cost him everything. He went limp when it came to defending his government, his country, his family and his life against the Anglo-American invasion of 2003. He was fished out of a hole, forced to open his mouth for an American tongue depressor, pushed and prodded through a kangaroo court, and finally made to bare his neck for the noose. Allahu Akbar!
Meanwhile, on the other end of the Baghdad Corral, so far into the Green Zone he’s not even in Baghdad, stands the American Presidential dickhead, George W. Bush, also a fan of Britney the Panty-less One (or is she a fan of his?). No stranger to hasty executions, during his six years as governor of Texas, he presided over the implementation of 152 death sentences, more than any other governor in recent American history. No stranger to disastrous loser wars either, this self-appointed “War President” has the cajones to demand more and more of the ultimate “sacrifice” from Americans outside his family circle.
Making sure the Bush Family and their cronies don’t have to sacrifice a thing is crucial to this American President’s mission. The only way in which GW Bush is, perhaps, not a dickhead is his sense of “family values,” that is, his Corleone-style devotion to his own family. Here is where the Biblical origins of the Cockfight emerge: Saddam insulted Bush’s family, specifically, his Dad. He did this first by sticking his dipstick into the forbidden American oil harem of Kuwait (though some might say Kuwait was “asking for it”). Then, despite being beaten soundly in Gulf War I and heavily sanctioned, he further affronted the Bush Royals by staying in his saddle and continuing to rule Iraq like a king with his long hard scepter, outlasting George I by over a decade. Saddam’s final humiliation of the retired American President was his botched but cocky assassination attempt during what was supposed to be a laurel-receiving pleasure trip to Kuwait for the Old Man.
Enter the Texecutioner, Bush Senior’s Boy George, chomping-at-the-bit, the ultimate presidential prick and birdbrain-chickenhawk, ready and willing to take the Cockfight at the Baghdad Corral to the next level of bloody sadomasochistic foolishness. Dubya’s violent taunts incited Saddam’s empty boasts which greased the way for the war profiteers and their bombs – American and insurgent – and soon the Cockfight turned into Perma-War. This international dick-waving contest was, in my humble sex therapist’s view, at the heart of the reason why Bush toppled Saddam, raped his country, slew his sons and then slaughtered him like a sheep at festival time. After all, what better reason was there?
Of course, all of the reasons the Decider gave at the time of the invasion were the kinds of tall tales horny guys tell reluctant girls to get them into bed, except these lies got us into war. First, there was the bogus 9/11 connection, a ham-fisted but effective attempt to channel American lust to avenge the national humiliation that castrated our two architectural big dicks (Dick 1 and Dick 2) into attacking Saddam, even though the bin Ladins were closer to the Bush Family than to the Husseins.
Then there was the notion that Saddam was harboring Weapons of Mass Destruction, or perhaps a WMD “program,” turning this mushroom dickhead into a “mushroom cloud.” Since he had already used poison gas (purchased from West Germany, paid for by America) on Iran and the Kurds, and since he was always hinting that he might use some kind of secret WMD against his neighbors, this fantasy was slightly more plausible. But not really. As I wrote in the summer of 2002, Saddam was clearly the “kind of guy who brags he’s got nine inches, then won’t let you unzip his pants for fear you’ll laugh at his actual four and a half (and he’d have to kill you for that).” As it turned out, Saddam was a bit of a eunuch weapons-wise; that is, he had no WMD at all. When the WMD excuse and the 9/11 connection fell apart, Bush fell back on the Bad Guy reason, i.e., “Saddam is a really Bad Guy, like Hitler, like Attila the Hun, like a really big dickhead, and he tried to kill my dad, so we need to exterminate the mofu, okay?” The Bad Guy reason works well enough, despite the existence of multiple Bad Guys oppressing other countries that we do nothing about. And yes, of course, we invaded Iraq because of the oil, though it’s considered rude to say so. It’s the Bush Family business, as well as Saddam’s business. In terms of the Cockfight, it’s the prize. A nice greasy expensive prize makes any cockfight more exciting.
And so the cockfight has climaxed with a hanging. One dick dangles from a noose while the other dick explodes with sadistic glee as he and his proxy executioners make a typical mess of things. Not only is Bush II covered with the sticky jism of revenge ecstasy in this faux victory, he’s covered in blood. Lots of blood. The hanging of Saddam looks like a lynching party, sounds like a Shi’a-Mafia hit and smells like a sacrifice (there’s that creepy word “sacrifice” again). And it’s all caught on tape, authorized and unauthorized. The execution, along with the revolution, will be televised.
The Snuffing of Saddam, just like all of Bush’s War, from the Cockfight at the Baghdad Corral, to the Bukkake Bombing Crusade of Shock & Awe, through the awful Rape of Iraq, on into Bush’s POW Porn of Abu Ghraib (and Guantanamo), was a hasty, fumbled, barbaric fiasco.
As those of you who know me know, I believe that all executions are wrong. Capital punishment has been shown to be impotent as a deterrent to crime. Indeed, it sets the example that killing is the way to solve problems. One of the first tragedies to come out of the Saddam execution was the hanging death of 10-year-old Sergio Pelico. Little Sergio was found dead Jan. 1, 2007, in his apartment bedroom in Houston, Texas, after watching Saddam’s execution on the news. Police and family members said Sergio was apparently mimicking what he saw in Saddam’s snuff film (and this was just the authorized version) when he hanged himself from a bunk bed. Some like Maliki (and Bush) would call for censorship of the snuff film. But the problem isn’t with the snuff film. The problem is with the killing. Any killing that is not immediate self-defense is murder, and murder is wrong. An enlightened state should not murder its citizens.
But the Snuffing of Saddam was a little worse than wrong. It was pathetic. It was an out-of-control, premature ejaculation of an execution, a terrible embarrassment for the American invader/occupiers and the Iraqi judges/executioners. Continuing the “cockfight” metaphor, it was the slaughtering of a chicken in a squawking hen house, except these chicken-killers were having much more fun. “Moqtada! Moqtada!”
Also, the chicken was not so chicken. Cocky yet dignified right up until the disturbing finish, despite the taunts of his killers, Saddam kept his cool. Having been dubbed “Saddam’s Sex Therapist” by the ranting Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, I must confess I was proud of his bearing. This dick held his head high. He looked slim, even sexy in that aging don sort of way, almost noble. He didn’t squawk, cry, spit or sing “Oops!…I Did It Again,” though he did question his tormentors’ manhood. He also refused to wear the hood, perhaps so we, his snuff film audience (and you know he knew he was being filmed), could see that striking mafioso movie star face, the face he’d had carved into monuments, right through the awful end.
At the moment one dickhead was being sacrificed, the other was fast asleep in his warm soft White House bed. Was Bush having wet dreams of Saddam’s head, eyes staring into death, lips stretched into a ghoulish grin, bobbing on the hangman’s noose? It would not be such an odd dream for this American Executioner who seems to come alive through the sacrificial deaths of others, both enemies and loyal soldiers, smirking uncontrollably as he cradles Saddam’s gun in his clammy little hands, telling himself that this triumphal ritual sacrifice, this grand finale on the gallows means he wins the Cockfight, seals the deal that he, George W. Bush, is the biggest dickhead, the strongest evil, the blunderer-without-compare, the executioner of the free world.
And yet…Saddam might turn out to be the bigger dickhead, after all. Thanks to the snuff film(s), he’s being transformed into a martyr. George can’t be happy about this…
How could this cockfight have gone so crazy? The Washington handlers can’t figure it out. Just like all of Bush’s Iraqi adventures, this one seemed at first to be an easy fight, the perfect crime. Clearly, Saddam was a Bad Guy, badder than all the penny ante killers and framed losers that George had executed in Texas, and badder than all the hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis the Anglo-American invasion and occupation has killed in this war, the great majority of whom are not bad at all.
Saddam was bad. He was a prick. He had a lot of people tortured and killed, even pulled the trigger himself a few times, and seemed to enjoy it. He kept the “nation” we call Iraq together through force and fear. He also tried to keep Iraq together out of love, as evidenced by all the portraits of him looking warm and avuncular. But love didn’t work very well, Saddam being more Stalin than Fidel, so it was back to force, fear and other Bad Guy tactics. Saddam also had notoriously bad taste in music, snacks and bathroom fixtures. In a way, he “deserved” to die, at least in the eyes of people who believe in capital punishment. So you’d think that the White House dickhead (well, two dickheads, one of whom is actually named Dick) would get some traction, a little bump in the polls after this grand finale, this glorious slaying of the Evil Saddam in the Cockfight in the Baghdad Corral. They thought they had it timed perfectly, announcing the triumphal death sentence as foreplay to the American erection, er, election. But the voters were collectively unimpressed with the results of George and Dick’s Death Fetish Run Amok in Iraq, and voted their party out of power.
Then suddenly, quick as a popper exploding on New Year’s Eve, Saddam was snuffed. I don’t know about you, but I was shocked at the speed of this action. Shouldn’t an appeals process take a few months, if not years? Besides, there were other related trials still going on, so why kill one of the main witnesses? Why, indeed. The fact that Saddam witnessed America’s intimate involvement in most of his worst war crimes is one of the key reasons he was snuffed so hastily.
On New Year’s Eve, I got into a polite argument with one of my guests about whether Saddam should have been offed like that. She’s not a Bush supporter, but she hated Saddam, was excited by his hanging and wanted to celebrate it. This was just the kind of feeling Bush was hoping to capitalize on. I imagined Bushites around the world clinking flutes of champagne, toasting the New Year and the execution of Hitler-on-the-Eurphrates. What fantastic timing!
Or maybe not. The execution “happened” to occur on the first day of the Eid al-Adha, the “Feast of the Sacrifice.” Celebrated by Muslims worldwide, this is a major Winter Solstice holiday, a climax of the Hajj that commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God, similar to the old Genesis tale in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. In Islam as in Judaism, God stops Abraham just before he kills his son by giving him a lamb to sacrifice instead. This is a holiday of great forgiveness in the Arab world which even Saddam himself used to celebrate by suspending executions and even releasing some prisoners from his infamous jails. At 6 AM on Eid al-Adha, after being handed over by his American guards to Iraqi President Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s “officials” in leather jackets and ski masks, Saddam was hung by the neck until he died.
Execute a man on this Feast of the Sacrifice, and he becomes the sacrificial lamb, the scapegoat, Christ-in-the-gallows dying for the sins of America in the Middle East.
The irony is resonating. Despite Saddam’s massive efforts to plaster his brutally jovial puss on as many sides of buildings as possible, this dick didn’t have a lot of sincere fans in his day. Now he does. First there is the spiritual side: Saddam is a martyr, and his death was an Arab sacrifice. Then there is the rational side: Bad as Saddam was, life in Iraq is now much worse.
So Arabs around the world are carrying the Beast of Baghdad’s portrait through the streets. Libya is erecting a commemorative statue of Saddam near the site of a monument to Omar al Mukhtar, a Libyan national symbol who resisted the Italian invasion of Libya and was hanged by the Italians in 1931. Even Egypt’s “moderate” President Hosni Mubarak told Israel’s Yediot Aharanot, “No one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed…They turned him into a martyr.”
Assuming that he is, in fact, dead. Some say the man in the snuff film was actually one of Saddam’s famous doubles. I doubt it, though with the wily Saddam, you never know. Wouldn’t that be something if the cocky Iraqi turns out to be orchestrating his own martyrdom from some condo on the Côte d’Azur?
But let’s assume the ghastly head we saw hanging in the gallows was, in fact, the head of former President Saddam Hussein...Ding dong, the dickhead is dead, long live the dickhead! Allahu Akbar and God Bless America.
Okay, so now that this cockfight is over, can we go home already? Since there are no WMDs and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, there was only the issue of “removing the tyrant.” Now the tyrant has been 86’ed. So are our troops packing? Hardly. In fact, we’re “surging.” By continuing the American occupation of Iraq, Bush and his fellow cockfighters reveal, once again, that all their talk about the purpose of the invasion being to “liberate” Saddam’s oppressed people is just a load of chickenpoop.
The Cockfight at the Baghdad Corral is over, but nobody won, and the Perma-War continues. The corral has morphed into a sacrificial mound. How many more will be sacrificed on the altar of the remaining dickhead’s massive ego and family jewels ?