Boxers or Briefs? The world wants to know.
When I saw Saddam Hussein on CNN, being checked for lice, I thought I had seen everything. Obviously, I was wrong. I had yet to see the man in his underwear. Now, I have. But this time I am not even going to begin to assume I have seen it all. In a region where the rumor of the desecration of a book can lead to rioting and the loss of life, where women are beaten for showing their ankles in public and where tribalism is the name of the game, these photos could have garnered any conceivable reaction, and many that are inconceivable, I am sure.
In the West, of course, there is only one reaction; sensationalistic glee that the photos were leaked. No one really cares what Saddam looks like in his drawers, but the photos are themselves proof that the President does not have full control over his administration. As a result we will see, I am sure, a “full investigation” into the leak. Read that as a waste of resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Regardless of the outcome of any investigation the anti-Bush folks will find fault.
The reaction of the Iraqi people, by all accounts, has been mixed. A few comments
, however, have left me wondering about the state of the body politic in America, as compared to Iraq:Thirty-five year-old Sattar Jabbar says it is a shameful that these photos were published because Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq once, and it’s a humiliation for the government and the people…Maithan Shehab Ahmad says he hates Saddam after the 12 years he spent in the military fighting in the Iran-Iraq war. But he says he was disgusted to see the photos. "Saddam Hussein stole my life from me," he said. "I spent 12 years of my life in the military and he took everything. But that does not mean we accept the humiliation of our president."
I have to wonder: if any embarrassing photos of President Bush made it into the press would the anti-Bush forces in America have the same respect for the office of the President that these two Iraqis seem to have? I doubt it.
While the people of Iraq face daily threats from murderous jihadists (“insurgents” for some inexplicable reason to the NY Times) and attempt to form a new government, we in the West are eating up pictures of the hirsute former dictator. While Americans turned away from long lines of voters, their franchise unpracticed, in order to park in front of the TV in time for whatever drivel is our favorite, the Iraqis turned out in number despite the threat of terror. While college kids and the Hollywood effete equate the President with Hitler, Iraqis still take pride in the office of their leader, despite the monster who was so recently deposed.
There is a lesson to be learned in all of this, but I doubt that anyone really cares. Maybe tomorrow there will be a picture of Saddam brushing his teeth. If not, I think Desperate Housewives is on.