From a Frequent Correspondent

Hunter S. Thompson from Baghdad
DahBEED,

Coupla nights ago, I sat down and, anticipating big changes in Iraq verbiage coming out of the White House — and I swear this was before the newest developments and stories of today (Saturday) — I fantasized a news conference in the Baghdad Green Zone press room in which Tony Snow (what a great name, huh? — if you’re a Repugnican, ya wanna live in a tony neighborhood, and if you’re the White House news flak, ya wanna snow people, and this guy has managed — for a while — to do both) — but anyway, in which Tony Snow, newly arrived from DC, and accompanied by the Bush deputy flunky for whatever at the State Department or the Defense Department or whatever, flanked by Condi Rice and Dick Cheney’s least-liked deputy, announces that it is time for fresh blood, a new face, “to lead the Iraqi people, to repair the damage that has been done by terrorists, and to give the Iraqi people hope again, to rebuild back to greatness the greatness that at one time was Iraq…” and so on. In my imagined news conference, Tony goes on and on about the newness of this new great leader who is needed, and it’s clear that he has someone literally waiting in the wings as he speaks, and he’s gonna bring him out as the new US puppet when he finishes talking about how bold and brave and mainly how fresh a face this new man will be. Rick Redfern is there, as is the resurrected Duke, and the remnants of the once-embedded US news media in bed with the invasion forces, and they’re all wondering, “Who can these poor bastards have FOUND who would take the mantle of US lackey, who would willingly subject himself to the ridicule, not to mention the risk, of being seen as a shill and a water boy for the tattered and shredded remnants of The American Dream in Iraq? There is rustling behind the curtain as Snow begins to work towards his crescendo of introductory praise: “…..and this man, whom a year ago, two years ago no one would have dreamed could lead a nation such as Iraq….to the glory….that once was this great nation’s destiny…..a man who, though virtually unimaginable as a world-class leader just a few short months ago brings FRESH VISION, FRESH EXPERIENCE, FRESH BLOOD — er, uh, I mean, FRESH PERSPECTIVE…..to his own beleagured homeland….ladies and gentlemen, I give you a man who stands ready to bring FRESH IDEAS, FRESH SOLUTIONS, NEW AWARENESS, BOLD AIMS to the WORLD STAGE …. ladies and gentlemen, I give you, none other than……(the curtain parts and a tall, erect figure in the olive drab uniform of the old Iraqi armed forces, red felt epaulets glowing, shoes spit-shined, trousers freshly creased, steps out…..for a brief moment there is a collective gasp….as the whisper goes around that he resembles ….perhaps too much….an unbeloved figure in Iraq….but there are shadows from the TV camera lights and his face, for an instant cannot be clearly seen, then he steps fully into the light, and there is a collective and deafening roar of stunned silence: shoe-polish black hair, a salt-and-pepper beard….if he had huge bags under his eyes he would be the spitting image of ….but wait….it IS….the bags are gone, there is just the faintest hint of a smile behind the stolid endurance….it is ….OH………… MY……….. GOD………. NO………. but yes: IT IS: it is Saddam Hussein.

“Yes,” says Tony Snow. “It is the man formerly known as the President of Iraq, who has agreed, in an act of stunning generosity….

He is interrupted. “Tony — I mean where did you get a name like that, anyway? — Tony, I am not the former President of Iraq. I am simply the President of Iraq. I have been telling you that for years now. And you, sir, are simply a fool. Now get the fuck out of my country.”

Snow sputters; things have again gone off script. Saddam shuts him up with a wave of the hand. “I have arranged for an escort for you and your colleagues as far as precisely half the distance between the last reinforced gates of the Green Zone, and the pitted runway of the Baghdad airport. Good luck to you, Tony, and may the vultures — who are six steps above you in the moral heirarchy because they do not kill the innocent, only clean their flesh from the roadways — not die from eating your lie-poisoned flesh.”

“But you told us….”

“I told you many things, Tony. Now get out. Maybe you will make it. After all, the good news is, there are people in Iraq who love you.”

“Yes?”

“Yes. The bad news, they all are in this room now, and none of them are Iraqis. Go now.”

Chaos erupts. All the Americans realize the jig is way up, and rush for the doors. But in their shock, they move like ants in mollasses. And it is too late, anyway. Always was. The entire rear wall of the press room gently falls flat like the stage set it always has been, to reveal a six-deep cordon of the Republican Guard, with AK-47s leveled at the stunned, panic-stricken, would-be escapees. Just as they all expect to die, and as the unmistakable odor of ca-ca running down Tony Snow’s well-dressed legs begins to permeate the room, alternate rows of the soldiers bend to the right at the waist, while the ones behind them bend to the left, all in highly-choreographed unison worthy of a Vegas chorus production, while huge speakers blast mega-decibel, well-chosen tunes from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“Youuuuuuuuuuuuu….. were such foooooooooooools….. Youuuuuuuuuuuuuu…… were such
fo-oooooooooooooooooools…..”

Well, more upon request, but I really am ready for the final surprise now because now I truly have seen it all. The degree to which and the scale upon which George W Bush has been chumped by his handler-in-chief Cheney pales anything seen before in history, I believe. The Bushes do not take this kind of thing lightly, or passively. I believe Dick Cheney has seen his last Easter, if not his last Christmas. In fact, I believe that in the next few weeks, we will see the Slipperiest Dick being given a Hobson’s choice of exquisite design and uniqueness: he can fly to Iraq to participate in that news conference, and be free to go anywhere in the world and live for a year, if he makes it out of Baghdad, or he can take his chances at Bellevue, going the Lee Atwater route, in what will soon be dedicated and built as the Karl Rove Memorial Wing of Bellevue for the Criminally Insane.

Well, it’s late and I’m no longer a night owl.

Later,
“Hunter”

Channelled through David Hamilton.

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