Public Nuisance

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The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Saturday, November 16, 2002
The letter delivered to the UN by Iraq reads like the work of a passionate but semi-literate High School student. It has to stand as one of the most incompetent pieces of propaganda I've ever encountered. Part of this is undoubtedly poor translation: the English version is sprinkled with simple grammatical errors such as, "The aggressionism of the United States of America and its single-handed infliction of injustice and destruction on those subjected to its inequity, in the forefront of whom are the Muslims and Arab believers, is the basic reason why America has withdrawn its ambassadors and other staff, close its embassies, and restrict its interests in many parts of the world, while reaping the hatred of the peoples of the world due to its policies and aggressive objectives."

But the original text must bear part of the blame. Even with corrected grammar, the sentence above is clumsy and redundant. At best, the whole thing reads like an impromptu speech by a mediocre orator. There is no logical argument or narrative flowing from sentence to sentence or paragraph to paragraph:

In the meantime, the gang of evil returned to talking about adopting a new resolution, or new resolutions, in order to create something for the world to talk about, other than following the work of the inspectors and then seeing the fact already stated by Iraq, which was that Iraq neither had produced or was in possession of any weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical or biological, throughout the time of the inspectors' absence from Iraq. However, representatives at the United Nations and its agencies, especially those from permanent member-states, instead of fellowship up on this and, hence, expose those responsible for the dissemination of lies and fabrications, were busy discussing the type and wording of the new resolution. They were indulged in what word or letter to add here or omit there, until they adopted a text under the pretext that is would be better to take the kicks of a raging bull in a small circle than to face its horns in an open space. The text was adopted under the American Administration's pressure and threat that is would leave UN, if it did not agree to what America wanted, which is, to say the least, extremely evil and shameful to every honest member of the United Nations who recalls the provisions of its Charter, and sees that some people feel ashamed on behalf of those who are shameless.

Mr. Secretary-General,

We have said to the member of the Security Council whom we have contacted, or who have contacted us, when they told us about the pretexts of the Americans and their threat to perpetrate aggression against our country, whether unilaterally or with participated from others, if the Council were not to allow them to have their way, that we preferred, if it ever became necessary to see America carry out its aggressions against us unilaterally, when we would have to confront it relying on Allah, instead of seeing the American government obtaining an international cover with which to camouflage its falsehood, partially or completely, bringing it closer to the truth, so that it may stab the truth with the dagger of evil and confronted the United States before when it looked as it does now, and this was one of the factors of its isolation in the human environment on the globe at large.

If the author is Saddam himself, which seems probable, it would seem to indicate that he is losing it. That's good news - you don't want the enemy to be at the top his game. But an irrational Saddam is also more likely to attempt some suicidal grand gesture.