December 17, 2003

Have you read Saddam's latest?

Several bizarre tidbits in this account of Saddam Hussein's presumably final novel in today's Telegraph:

Saddam Hussein spent the final weeks before the war writing a novel predicting that he would lead an underground resistance movement to victory over the Americans, rather than planning the defence of his regime.

The arch-villain of Be Gone Demons! is an evil immortal Jew named Ezekiel, "whose presence runs through all time" and who continually incites the "Romans" to attack Iraq:
According to the author, the Iran-Iraq war began when Ezekiel convinced the head of the Iraqi tribe to invade his neighbour. The Iraqis, led by a doddering old Sheikh, are quickly defeated and Ezekiel seizes power in the country.

Enter Saddam as the resistance fighter Salim - "a pure, virtuous Arab. Salim is tall and handsome with a straight nose", he enthuses.

The 1991 Gulf war is portrayed as an ambush by Ezekiel, which Salim shrugs off, driving him out of the country with the words, "Be gone demon." But Ezekiel returns instead with Roman allies.

In the ensuing battle Salim "fights the Romans like a hawk". The onslaught proves irresistible and Ezekiel and the Roman king flee, only to discover the twin towers of the Roman capital in flames...

According to the article, Papa Saddam modeled himself after Hemingway, or at least he encouraged his ghostwriters to emulate Hemingway before having them murdered to preserve the sanctity of his literary reputation.
"He lost touch with reality," said Saad Hadi, a journalist who was involved in the production of Saddam's novels. "He thought he was a god who could do anything, including writing novels."

UPDATE: this article has some translated excerpts from Demons Be Gone, including this:
Then Ezekiel Hescel and the king of the Romans saw the twin towers of the Roman's city on fire. Ezekiel Hescel was beating his face and saying, "Everything I've collected is gone."

One of the Romans was laughing at Ezekiel and advised him: "Try building another two towers and sell the one and rent the other to the Roman king! Both you and the Roman king will rot in hell."

Arabs had set the towers on fire. How adventurous they are when they become nervous! The Roman watched the blaze and wondered who had done it. The king said: "Our enemies are great in numbers." Ezekiel Hescel answered no. "Such a fedeyeen attack could only be carried out by the Arabs." Ezekiel Hescel and the Roman leader ran away after because they had lost their power and money.

Posted by Dr. Frank at December 17, 2003 05:42 PM | TrackBack

At least Hitler could paint.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at December 17, 2003 06:02 PM

Wow. He writes a novel AND he's being signed to a long term deal with the Yankees? He sure one-upped Fidel Castro on that one.

I can see how Salim is the perfect alter-ego for Saddam. He's tall and handsome with a straight nose.

No, wait.

Posted by: Davey at December 17, 2003 08:27 PM
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