Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Bush Bad. Kim Good, Gooood!

They say ignorance is bliss but you’d never know it from reading the New York Times letters section.

Today Mitchell Zimmerman emerges from the darkness of his cushion-walled cellar in Palo Alto to shake his fist at the unjust world and bravely go on the record as a defender of the benign Blofeld regime in Pyongyang:

President Bush's claim that North Korea has "threatened" the United States (front page, April 25) is an outrageous reversal of reality. It is Mr. Bush who has threatened North Korea, by asserting (without the tiniest shred of evidence) that North Korea was part of an "axis" that included Iraq, and then by invading Iraq in violation of international law.

Who can then be surprised that the North Koreans have decided that they need nuclear weapons — not to threaten the United States, but to deter the American threat of attack?

Once again, the world has become a more dangerous place, thanks to the cowboy antics of the Bush administration.

Everyone knows the Dear Leader is interested only in peaceful coexistence with his neighbors. And in order to learn more about these mysterious neighbors of his he has occasionally kidnapped them and kept them in specially built laboratories where they can be observed and dissected. Nothing wrong with that.

And yes, on occasion the regime has been caught smuggling tons of pure heroin or tactical missiles into other countries. But who doesn’t?

And sure, he once ordered that all triplets be murdered because he a had glimpsed the future and saw that he would one day face a rival who wore the number 3 prominently on his chest. Who’s to say he’s hallucinating?

That certainly doesn’t prove that North Korea is part on an “axis” of any sort. Why, them’s fightin’ words!

The only logical response to such an outrageously unfounded accusation is re-allocate all national resources away from food and medicine toward the construction of nuclear weapons and collossal heroic statues.

But wait a second. Didn’t North Korea start building nuclear weapons during the cowboy Clinton Administration?

And wasn’t this in response to the bellicose antics of that irresponsible cowgirl Madeleine Albright?

Indeed, did the regime deceive that ranting cow hustler Jimmy Carter when he personally threatened the peaceful Great Leader on a visit to the Magic Kingdom 12 years ago with his outrageously threatening wife, Rosalyn?

Why won’t the world just leave North Korea alone? Just think how much safer we would all be.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Bushies and the Intra-Generation Gap

Here's an amusing exchange between pretentious-satirist-but-actually-just-old-comedian Al Franken and serious-thinker-yet-genuinely-funny DepSecDef Paul Wolfowitz at last weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner from the newly profitable Salon:

Franken: "Clinton's military did pretty well in Iraq, huh?"

Wolfowitz: "Fuck you."

Arrogant? Simplistic? Unilateral? Yes. Refreshingly so.

What I like best about the Bush team is their extraordinary ability to totally outflank and devastate their critics in ways that are both unexpected and elegantly efficient. I hope this catches on.

Up until around 1965 it was cool to "not suffer fools lightly." But that ethos was a tad too harsh for the mellow sixties generation which seemed to value non-confrontation and hair design above all else. In that context, a guy like Al Franken could be considered "edgy" and serious if he concealed his fundamental meanness under a veneer of humor. Of course, he'd have gotten the shit kicked out of him by Frank Sinatra had he dared make some edgy crack about him.

The "me-generation" was so concerned about peace and harmony that, at some point, it could no longer function socially without acting out some kabuki play of niceties and irony meant to shield true meanings as much as possible.

Guys like Wolfowitz and Bush and Rumsfeld don't have time for that. They rip through all the encrusted genteel sixties decorum like a hurricane blast through the lobby of the Delano.

Irony? That's for losers. Irony didn't really exist until 1966 or so anyway. Before that it wasn't retro-chic, it was real and no one was embarrassed to like it.

Contrary to popular revisionist history, the 1950s were not a repressive time of conformity . . . the 1960s and 1970s were. The 1950s were about confidence. The 60s-70s celebrated insecurity.

The 1950s gave us the most creative music, architecture, literature, politics, and automobile design of the 20th century. The 60s-70s gave us nothing that anyone outside the Baby Boom cohort will ever remember, much less appreciate.

Civil rights? . . . the hard struggle was over by 1964.

Women's rights? . . . feminism was a total dead end compared to 1920s suffrage.

Uh . . . ummm . . . music? Already a deeply embarrassing cliche with no shelf life whatsoever.

So the next time a smug 50-year-old approaches you and suggests that your accomplishments and all you believe in is actually the consequence of the struggles of a chosen few who made up an enlightened generation . . . clear them from your path with judicious "Fuck You" and continue on your way.

New Europe Speaks

"In the USA, almost nine million people point to their Polish roots. Warsaw is the only place with more Polish people living in it than New York State. So our feelings for America are very strong. In addition to this, we have never been at war with America, which cannot be said of our European neighbours."

-- Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Der Spiegel

Friday, April 25, 2003

Technical Problems

I apologize for the irritating slowness of Blogger these past few days.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

John Kerry "Looks French"

Proof from the Boston Herald that witty retorts are not the strength of the Kerry family:

Minutes after Kerry sped off to a campaign speech in New Hampshire, his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, compared the Bush comment to an insult by ``kids in the playground.''

``They'll probably say he's French, he's Jewish . . . he's a monkey,'' Heinz Kerry said of her husband, whose Jewish roots recently became a campaign issue. ``I just find it sad.''

She added: ``They (White House officials) probably don't even speak French.''

Notice how "Heinz Kerry" manages to remind voters of Senator John F. Kerry's unusual ethnicity and at the same time validate the White House charge that he's an aloof elitist while attempting to deflect it. Brilliant!

Extra points for gratuitous simian imagery.
Who's the American Galloway?

The revelation that Britain's leading critic of the war against Iraq was on the payroll of Saddam Hussein has not attracted nearly the amount of attention in the United States as it deserves.

It's the equivalent of discovering that Howard Dean, Janeane Garofalo, and every self-absorbed signer of the Not in My Name petition received a half million dollars in cash and complimentary tickets to a Dixie Chicks concert directly from Iraqi Disinformation Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahaf.

Actually the only thing that will attract attention in the U.S. is a proven connection between Saddam and a familiar American name like Scott Peterson or Nipsy Russell.

Well, we may not have too long to wait. Here's an intriguing teaser from Daily Telegraph reporter David Blair's description of his discovery of the damning documents in the bombed out Information Ministry building in Baghdad:

Four blue folders, each stamped with the Iraqi eagle, lay inside. Opening the first, I happened upon George Galloway's letter nominating Fawaz Zureikat as his representative in Baghdad. Another folder contained a letter from Sir Edward Heath thanking the Iraqi representative in London for attending a luncheon in Salisbury.

Two more box files were labelled "Britain". Others were labelled "United States", "Security Council" and "France". Each appeared to contain all the appropriate documents that had crossed the desk of an Iraqi foreign minister.

Hmmm . . . I wonder what's in those other boxes?

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Dying to Celebrate Earth Day

Today is Earth Day . . . a day of religious observance among the ignorati.

Let’s celebrate, shall we, by fisking a true believer, namely Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D, whose weekly commentary on the Environmental News Service is an inexhaustible resource of wonder and amusement.

Dr. Giuliano -- well he’s not a real doctor so let’s just call him Dr. Jackie – Dr. Jackie is in a foul mood this Earth Day. It is a day of mourning he says.

The 33rd Earth Day this year will mark an unprecedented time of resource consumption and environmental violence against the Earth and our health.

I understand that fear is an important driver of the environmental movement but c’mon, “unprecedented?” Didn’t we consume approximately the same amount of stuff last year? Plus, if this thing has been going on for three decades and you haven’t made any progress at all, at what point do you just give up?

Butlet’s not let a little contradiction stand in the way of righteous indignation.

While deadly pollution harms U.S. soldiers, the people, and environment of Iraq and the surrounding countries, while the Baghdad zoo has been ransacked and the animals either killed, let loose, or stolen, while innocent Iraqi children suffer from U.S. inflicted injuries, and while tens of thousands of people worldwide die from soil, air, and water poisoned with pesticides and scores of toxic chemicals, Earth Day craft fairs, discussion groups, and lectures will be held. Lost is the passion and sense of urgency that heralded the first Earth Day 33 years ago.

How clever the way he weaves in the recent liberation of Iraq from a fascist dictatorship . . . but that’s not anything to celebrate. After all, the evil of America’s aggression against innocent Iraqi children outweighs the benefits to actual Iraqi children who were freed from the fetid children’s prisons run by the Saddam thugocracy.

And what of this deadly pollution? No doubt, Saddam would not have torched the Iraqi people’s oil resources if we had simply left his junta in peace.

Earth Day has become a time when the right wing corporate, industrial, and political leaders probably rejoice in the passivity of the population.

Yes, in fact I’m already late for the big Earth Day Passivity Ball over at Halliburton headquarters. Actually, I think the prevailing mood even among “right wing industrial leaders” is total and all-encompassing indifference. I mean, everyone tunes out a shrill fire alarm if it’s been ringing for 33 years.

Some would argue that although many people are more aware of environmental issues today than in 1970, little has been done to stem the tide of environmental destruction in a world where economic growth outweighs planetary health. If anything, the destruction is happening at a greater level than ever before. It is often less visible because industry leaders and politicians know how to keep things quieter with the help of well paid public relations firms.

Hey, I’ve worked in the public relations field and corporate clients are notoriously inept at keeping anything quiet. More than that, they are thin-skinned to the point of self-flagellation.

Look at any major multinational – BP, Philip Morris, Unilever – they are falling all over themselves to be the most acquiescent, the most Green, the most “socially responsible” even if that means being shaken down by every passing tribe of single-issue Luddites.

If anything, Earth Day itself is one of the great PR campaigns of modern times. It’s basically a regularly scheduled annual excuse to talk about the green agenda. There is no counterbalancing “Progress Day” when the media covers advances in medicine, electronics and food production.

While the lectures and conversations take place on Earth Day, in Bangladesh, hungry people fight to get fish from polluted sewage treatment plant water.

In Iraq, only 500 people out of a city of five million have electricity and power restored. Also in Iraq, criminals carefully planned the thefts and destruction of all the country’s archeological, artistic and literary treasures. The loss to the world of these artifacts, some dating from the dawn of human civilization, is a catastrophe of proportions never before seen in the history of the Earth. The Bush administration has hired a U.S. company to revise the curriculum in Iraqi schools. As always, the victors rewrite the history books.

Whoa Nelly . . . better lie still and cool off until the Bush fever passes.

Where do I start? Restoring power to Iraq would presumably require the burning of fossil fuels. The loss of precious Babylonian artifacts was averted a century ago when they were taken by the Brits for safekeeping in London. And as for the Bush Administration buying new books of Iraqi schoolchildren, well if Dr. Jackie thinks deleting all the fascist tripe the Saddam Administration saw fit to include in the curriculum is a bad thing . . . well, you can't please everyone can you?

Thirty-three years after the first Earth Day, I am feeling rather cynical. Earth Day 2003 is a Hallmark card holiday, a day of a few beach clean-ups, educational booths, tree plantings, speeches, conversations and parades. Many festivals and fairs will be held throughout the U.S. with food, exhibits and, I am sure, many opportunities to buy products to filter our poisoned air and water.

Call me cynical but the mainstreaming of a healthy appreciation for our natural environment would seem to be a wonderful success story. And look, we now have products to filter the air and water. That’s good, isn’t it?

There will be few demonstrations demanding an end to the madness sweeping across our world and few events pledging solidarity to those fighting for the cleanup of our Earth, our seas, and our skies.

Beach clean ups, tree plantings, technological solutions . . . why it’s madness!!! Rather we should pledge fealty to the true believers who are fighting to clean everything, everywhere, all the time. People like Dr. Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D. (genius).

It should NOT be a day to sell T-shirts as fundraisers. It should be a day to teach simplification, to model how to end our consumption at all costs lifestyle, and to highlight the importance of establishing a deep and profound connection to the natural world, the cycles of life, and the rhythms of nature.

Right, forget the tree plantings! You’ve got to go deeper . . . much, much deeper. Make a more profound connection in the cycles of life and the rhythms of nature. Plant yourself!

On Earth Day 2003, maybe more than ever before in history, we need to reflect seriously on the fact that time may really be running out for our planet's life support systems - and for us.

Maybe. But then, maybe not.

After all, Malthus has been dead wrong about the exact same thing for nearly 200 years. And he didn’t even own a car.

Maybe Earth Day should be a global call to stop work, to stop driving, stop killing, to sit quietly at home, use as few resources as possible, and teach our children that the raping and plundering of the Earth in the name of economic growth has taken us to the brink of disaster.

Yes, there’s nothing quite like sitting, shivering and hungry in the dark to get you thinking about the true meaning of “nature.”

This isn’t a bad idea, actually. If everyone spent Earth Day in a state of “nature” we could pretty much pull the plug on the whole environmental movement. It would instantly turn into an informal Appreciate the Benefits of Economic Progress Day.

Maybe Earth Day should be a day of national listening, listening for, as Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn says, for the sound of the Earth crying. If we really hear that sound, our only choice would be to act – now.

But wait a second, Dr. Jackie said we should be inert. Thich Nhat Hahn says we should act. Which is it?

Maybe we should just play dead.

The problem isn't a coporate orchestrated public passivity about the environment but rather an ever keener understanding that economic growth results in a cleaner, healthier world.

If you want to deepen you connections to the rythyms of nature and the cycles of life you need only go to places like Chad or Cambodia.

Hell, every day is Earth Day in Haiti!

There are plenty of places in the world where people spend their entire lives not working or driving . . . unfortunately that usually means they don't have a home to sit quietly in and teach their children about the evils of economic growth. First you'd have to explain what "economic growth" is.

Better yet, many of these people seem to be willing to risk their lives to come here and experience the evils first hand.

That's what we should celebrate . . . welcome to a society that has enough excess wealth that we we devote one whole day to worrying about whether we are a threat to nature rather than the other way around.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Not Easy Being Green

Proof that the environmental movement has unwittingly slipped into self-parody, today's lead headline over at the Environmental News Service:

Relief on the Way to Animals and Humans in Iraq

Friday, April 18, 2003

At Least Some of Europe's Intellectuals Are Thinking

The famed German writer, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, points out the hypocrisy of Germany's anti-Bush attitudes in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung this week scolding his countrymen for appeasing the fascists in Baghdad and acting with moral amnesia "as if they would never have lived under a totalitarian regime".

He says the same people who marched through the streets passionately chanting "No Blood for Oil!" are the same ones who would be most outraged if they had to pay more to fill up their Audis, heat their homes, or take their sacred summer vacations.

He also says that while accusing the United States of materialistic motives they conveniently overlook that that Russia and France have the largest economic interests in Iraq and Germany was, for years, it's biggest arms supplier.

Eamonn Fitzgerald in Munich has more on the story including this juicy quote:

"It is not the first disgrace of those who warn and remind; not for the first time have the worry lines, which furrow the German brow, proven to be precipitous. It is not so long ago that East Germany was regarded here as unshakeable; it was seen as one of the most successful industrial nations of the world; the social democracy did everything to co-operate with the SED [the East German communist regime]; Poland's Solidarity movement was, as a result, treated as a dangerous troublemaker. Stability was everything; the Soviet Union was an invincible colossus, which only the Americans and other cold warriors provoked, while the heroic besiegers of Mutlangen [an American military depot] dared challenge the provocative rearmament of the United States.

It sort of makes you wonder, how wrong do you have to be before people stop believing you?

Well, things always see to take a little longer in Europe.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Reporters Are So Very Gullible

In it's coverage of the non-events at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, the Charleston Post and Courier manages to demonstrate why so many people consider reporters to be humorless, self-important drones:

Throughout the morning, law enforcement officers stood on the perimeter of the five-acre field. At no point did the protest turn violent, though officers escorted Heywood Jablome away after he held up a sign directly in front of Burk that read "Make me dinner" before shouting "Oprah rules."

I'm as much a fan of infantile humor as the next guy, but the reporter, whose name I believe is Hugh G. Rection, proves he neither gets the joke nor understands much about the basics of journalism . . . the first question traditionally is "who?"

Of course, this is the South we're talking about so there is the possibility that Jablome actually is his name.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Lucy, You Got Some 'Splainin' to Do

Al Jazeera is perplexed by the failure of the proud Iraqi Arab warriors to repulse the infidel hordes. Must have been some “underhanded deals” made.

The relative ease of these recent victories have only strengthened suspicion that there may have been underhand deals. The US after all had a track record of striking deals for winning over friends to their side.

Of course, these deals might have saved a lot of Iraqi lives. Additionally, the Iraqis might not have had the enthusiasm for a suicidal “jihad” that Arabs in the rear guard have expressed. And then, of course, there’s the overwhelming military capability.

Perhaps, the negotiations did take place and the US troops secured safer passage. By all accounts, this war could have been as much a story of back-room machinations and betrayals as it is of bravery, valor and blood-letting.

Yes, not enough blood-letting. How shameful.

At the very least, this line of reasoning perpetuates the negative stereotype of Arabs being obsessed with conspiracy and convinced that events are guided by a "hidden hand."

But even more disturbing to a student of recent European history is the story's familiar ring.

So the Arabs were stabbed in the back but not beaten in the field. Hmmm . . . what other fascistic nationalist political movement used to make that claim?

Saturday, April 12, 2003


"They thought they would be greeted as liberators and that the regime would collapse like a house of cards. But they underestimated Iraqi patriotism. They would have been better off listening to us."

Jacques Chirac, March 31, 2003, Der Spiegel

Friday, April 11, 2003

What's Next?

A quick tour of some very promising statuary.





Oh hell . . . while we're at it:




Santa Cruz

Easter Island

"Tell me that the nightmare is really over"

A burly 39-year-old man named Qifa, assigned by Mr. Hussein's Information Ministry to keep watch on an American reporter, paused at midmorning, outside the inferno that had been the headquarters of Iraq's National Olympic Committee, to ask the reporter to grip his hand. The building, used to torture and kill opponents of Mr. Hussein, had been one of the most widely feared places in Iraq.

"Touch me, touch me, tell me that this is real, tell me that the nightmare is really over," the man said, tears running down his face.

John Burns of The New York Times in Baghdad, April 9, 2003

Thursday, April 10, 2003

April 9, 2003

I've learned at least one vitally important lesson from this tumultuous day . . . if you ever manage to wrestle absolute power from a subjugated population, resist the urge to erect colossal statues of yourself unless you're absolutely sure they can't be toppled by an angry mob. Funny how this is so often overlooked.

My fat-brained niece found some cheery images while pretending to listen to her professor's lecture today:

New York City -- 1776

Paris -- 1870

Budapest -- 1956

Moscow -- 1991

Baghdad -- 2003

"Heartless killer preparing to oppress"

"Infidel harlot tool of the Zionists"

OK . . . Now Give Peace a Chance

The Islamists now have a golden opportunity to break the cycle of violence. Will they take it?

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Enduring Images

9:38am: Huge crowds of Iraqis now pulling down massive Saddam statue.

9:41am: A British "peace shield" desperately punching a Marine in downtown Baghdad. Here is the last true believer. Even the Saddam thugs have given up. But not the lunatic left.

10:50am: Saddam falls! Pandemonium! Cheers! Liberation!

10:51am: Bush totally vindicated

10:52am: Iraqi Information Minister, Mohammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, announces that the massive statue lying on the ground in downtown Baghdad is actually a representation of one of Saddam's doubles and had toppled under it's own weight because of shoddy American construction methods. Promises that now the infidels will taste the bitter fruit of defeat.
"I Can't Believe It!"

The BBC is reporting, with notable alarm, that absolute euphoria has broken out in downtown Baghdad as coalition troops have toppled the Ba'ath regime that terrorized Iraqi for a quarter century.

What's fascinating about the coverage is how concerned and wary the Beeb reporters sound.

Hear for yourself here.

UPDATE: "We must keep in mind that some parts of the country are still in 'Iraqi' control," said hopefully.

UPDATE: To an Iraqi in the central square: "Yes, so you don't like Saddam, but what do you think of the Americans??"

Iraqi response: "The Americans and nice guys."

BBC response: "Hmmm . . . but aren't you concerned about your safety?
Value-Added Truth

Iraqi Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, announced this evening that he was actually a CIA "asset" employed to "sow the seeds of confusion and smear the reputation of Arabia's proud warrior with the bristly brush of ridicule."

As he was lead away from a hastily assembled press conference by soldiers if the 101st Airborne Division al-Sahhaf distributed freshly printed business cards identifying him as "Managing Director, Perception Management Solutions" for the public relations firm Rubenstein Associates.

Before disappearing into a waiting American Blackhawk helicopter, al-Sahhaf could be heard shouting six reasons why medical malpractice reform actually hurts patients.

En route to Cuba he bantered with his captors and told of how he looked forward to being reunited with his wife. Morgan Fairchild.

All War Is Local

News coverage of the war, through all the fog and biases, seems to bring out the best in journalists.

I’m fascinated by the slice of life observations that season the frontline reports. It reminds you that war is ultimately and highly personal endeavor.

In a story about a fierce fight between Iraqi elite Republican Guards and the Marines who tried successfully to cross a strategic bridge revealed this glimpse into the life of an Iraqi soldier:

"The marines seemed to be facing a mix of Iraqis, some of them Republican Guard troops, while others were pathetic farmers who apparently had been conscripted.

Today, for instance, an American military intelligence officer said the marines had recently discovered as many as five soldiers in a single unit had been shot by their own side. Another man, still alive, told his American captors that he had been whipped, the officer said."

So much for the concern that invading Iraq would nationalize the fight. Iraqis don’t want to fight. They have to be forced. To defend Saddam.

Then there is the story of Khuder al-Emiri, an Iraqi-born translator for the Marines who found himself in his hometown for the first time since he fled after leading an uprising in 1991.

Word of Mr. Emiri's arrival spread through town by way of children's feet. Their hero was with the Americans and the crowd believed the marines' intentions were good. They began to chant in English. "Stay! Stay! U.S.A.!"

The euphoria nearly spilled over into a riot. Children pulled at the marines, jumped on their trucks, wanting to shake their hands, touch their cheeks. A single chicken hung in the butcher's window and still the residents wanted to give the Americans something, anything. Cigarette? Money?

So once the Iraqi people believe the coalition troops can be trusted they turn from reticent to euphoric. That’s a hopeful sign. Maybe Donald Rumsfeld was right when he said the troops would be greeted as liberators.

And then one final shattered illusion. The palaces. The inner sanctums of a dictator with far more money than Donald Trump but none of his refined tastes. At least here Saddam wouldn’t cut corners . . . or would he?

I'm a little in awe," said Sgt. Joseph C. McFarlan, an infantryman who helped search the buildings on the palace grounds after the tanks rolled in.

From a balcony he poked his rifle into a chandelier to see if its beads were glass or plastic. They were plastic. "I wonder if he knew," the sergeant said.

Plastic instead of crystal?? He really was a vulgarian..
An Offer We Must Not Refuse

According to The New York Post, frivledged actor/coifed philosopher Richard Gere has boldly announced that he would be willing to be incarcerated for 10 years, "if I heard from a credible person, a high lama, that I'd be much more effective [rotting in stir for a decade] than doing what I'm doing here, of course I'd go to prison."

This seems too easy.

I actually have an uncle who is a lama, although I can’t vouch for his credibility. It wouldn’t be hard to convince him that the world would be a little bit better with Gere behind bars rather than in front of the camera. I mean, Autumn in New York is pretty damn convincing in this respect.

Perhaps Gere is saying the request would have to come from a credible person or a high lama. In that case, does Mickey Rourke count?

Of course, Gere may actually be offering a high lama as an example of what he considers to be a credible source. In which case, I see no problem going to Peru and finding at least one mountain dwelling llama who is familiar with Gere’s work. All that’s needed is for the llama to go on the record.

I think you’ll agree it’s well worth the effort.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Saddam to Remain Dead for the Foreseeable Future

In his most recent statement on Iraqi TV, the late Saddam Hussein announced he was taking a previously scheduled and “long anticipated” vacation to “recharge my batteries and reconnect with my family. God willing”

Saddam named Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf Iraq’s interim head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces pending his return reiterating, “I mean it. No funny stuff while I’m in seclusion with my family.”

Saeed al-Sahhaf reported that Saeed al-Sahhaf had issued a statement praising “the stupendous victory of the Iraqis over the infidel hordes” which was read by Saeed al-Sahhaf on a crudely edited video produced by Saeed al-Sahhaf and delivered to the al-Jazeera television studio in Dubai by Saeed al-Sahhaf.
Saddam Still Dead

Saddam Hussein issued a statement from beyond the grave encouraging Iraqi citizens to fight to the death promising that “those who are martyred will be rewarded in heaven. Seize the opportunity, my brothers."

Perhaps something is lost in the translation but I generally don’t find opportunities to die very motivating. Unless, of course, Saddam is speaking from experience and is personally endorsing the idea.

By all means, “seize the opportunity!”