Friday, January 19, 2007

Saddam’s memoirs to be published by secretive Middle Eastern media tycoon.
August Riis
19 January 2007

The book to be released in the coming months will provide a rare glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s last dictators. Following the hanging of Iraq’s former dictator some fear that this book will elevate Saddam to the rank of political martyr.

Excerpts sent to International Press, which we have had translated, appear to be the writings of a collected man, this is clearly not an exercise in self-aggrandizement. This is a man looking upon his role in world history, with humility and objectiveness. Readers however will be shocked by some of the revelations which the book is said to cover. The publishers tell us that Saddam wrote in great details about the almost “mafia-like” ways of conducting world politics which the West used for decades when dealing with him.

He recounts the numerous meetings he had with American administration officials throughout the 70’s and 80’s; meetings which he recalls reminded him of being back at school as a child.

“As he crossed the room, followed closely by his assistants, I could see that he was trying to turn his sneer into a smile. As we shook hands I knew that this meeting would be most disagreeable. We sat us down in each our armchair, but the man sat on the edge of his, leaning forward, spitting out his words in my direction and every now and then rubbing his nose; the translator could hardly keep up. I raised my hand to ask for him to relax and maybe speak slower so that the translator could follow, but the man just stood up and towering above me told me in an icy way which I could not fail to understand that I was never to interrupt him again. This is the same man who now treats his countrymen to great phrases full of air like “They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” Since that first meeting I just let him play his little game. He knew I had no choice but to follow his instructions and depended on him to procure our great nation with the weapons necessary to defeat our enemies. Knowing how the man thought however, it came as no surprise to see the venom with which he proceeded to vilify our country prior to the invasion. The profound hypocrisy of the United States never fails to amaze me. I have repeatedly failed to understand, how it is possible for the government of that great and free country, to constantly change the public’s perception of reality, without the use of constant propaganda.”

In what could be called “The world according to Saddam” we are treated to his ideas and opinions on a wide range of subjects. As with his recounting of his first meeting with Donald Rumsfeld then Special Envoy to the Middle East where he muses about the role of the MSM in the United States, Saddam peppers is narrative with such questions. This gives the impression that the man is plagued with uncertainties about the world and his role in it. In one passage, Saddam goes on to compare himself and his country to Yugoslavia under Tito, anticipating that the power vacuum created after his fall from power will only lead to the disintegration of Iraq, as the post Tito era ushered in the break-up of Yugoslavia. Following this comparison to Tito, he cannot help but draw parallels to the ousting of Slobodan Milosevic and his subsequent trial at The Hague. As with Milosevic, Saddam feels wronged by his accusers and questions the authority of the court appointed to try him, he however seems willing to be tried by the International Court of Justice instead of what he calls “an assembly of traitors and collaborators.”

Although no date has been set for the publication of Saddam’s memoirs, the publishers inform us that they also plan to have the book available for download on the internet in several languages. "Its wide availability will ensure that this book will survive any attempts to censor or ban it. We have also taken precautions with regards to foreign agents trying to derail our efforts to get Saddam's memoirs out to the public. We have contacts with printers and distributors in many countries, especially in the Middle East and we are currently working with English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Russian translators and hope to have these translations on the Internet to be downloaded on the same day as the printed tome."

From the excerpts that we were able to review, we envisage that Saddam's memoirs will prove of interest to many, as it will offer a seldom insight into the mind, of one of recent history's last dictators.