Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, July 01, 2004

High comedy
Written by: Beck

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"Ooh! Pick me! I know this one!" says Saddam at his first public appearance since his hit performances in "Out of the Spider Hole" and "Say Aah!"

Saddam Hussein was finally dragged before an Iraqi court today to hear preliminary charges against him. True to from, Saddam reminded us all why he's everyone's favorite wacky-Iraqi. He's had over a year to work on material, so we should expect nothing but the best from the deposed strongman.
When he was ushered into the court, the judge asked him his name and twice he said, "I am Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq."
This prompted gales of laughter after which an appreciative Saddam said, "Thank you folks, thank you, I'll be here all week." The tribunal then went on to enumerate the one or two naughty things from Saddam's past which they expect him to feel a bit naughty about.
The former dictator listened to seven preliminary charges outlined in his arrest warrant -- the killing of religious figures in 1974; gassing of Kurds in Halabja in 1988; killing the Kurdish Barzani clan in 1983; killing members of political parties in the last 30 years; the 1986-88 "Anfal" campaign of displacing Kurds; the suppression of the 1991 uprisings by Kurds and Shiites; and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
In response, Saddam objected to listing the invasion of Kuwait amongst all his other crimes. The rest of it he was inclined to agree with, but man, those Kuwaitis had it coming!
Saddam challenged the judge on the invasion of Kuwait, saying: "How could you say that? I did that for the Iraqi people ... how could you defend these dogs," he said, referring to the Kuwaitis.
Come on Saddam, surely you have more to say on the topic than that? I want some insane-dictator style old-fashioned rhetoric here! I mean, you've gotta EARN that two drink minimum buster.
Saddam said Kuwait had been trying to bring down the price of oil and turn Iraqis into paupers and Iraqi women into prostitutes.
OK, that's more like it. So, Saddam, what do you think of this court which will likely see you hanged some day?
"This is all a theater" designed by President Bush, whom he called a criminal, to win re-election, said Saddam, looking around the court with a half-smile during one outburst.
Well, we know Saddam doesn't think the invasion of Kuwait constitutes any kind of crime, but what does he think about using WMD to gas his own people in the 80's? I'm glad you asked.
Saddam also referred to the accusation of gassing Kurds.

"I heard about that on the television reports, saying it happened during the rule of President Saddam Hussein," he told the judge.
Ah the old "I heard about that on TV" defense. No wonder this guy managed to hold onto the reigns of power for over 30 years. Crafty bugger.
In March 1988, Iraqi warplanes bombed the northern Iraqi town of Halabja. More than 5,000 people reportedly were killed in the attack, which used multiple chemical agents, according to international scientists.
Naturally, the international community isn't so much disturbed by a man who would kill 5,000 of his own people in a single incident as they are concerned about Americans killing armed terrorists. Perhaps if Bush had randomly fire bombed an Iraqi city, "To make an example out of them," or something, Bush would be more popular.

And of course, one of the golden rules of stand-up comedy, you always want to finish with some of your strongest material.
In another exchange, the former dictator said no one had the authority to strip him of his title of president if he is being accused of committing the crimes while he was in office. "I'm elected by the people of Iraq. The occupation cannot take that right away from me," he said.

In court, each time Saddam wanted to speak, however, he was respectful, saying "please" and making a hand gesture as well to indicate that.
I can just see it now. "I am the president! May I please have permission to go to the bathroom!?"

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