Friday, March 21, 2003


Sources: Saddam Injured - Witnesses Reportedly Saw Saddam Carried Out on a Stretcher After U.S. Airstrike.

So the question remains: Was that really a wounded and barely coherent Saddam reading off that notepad, propped up against a hospital wall backdrop? Or, if it was one if his stand-ins doing a little freelancing, then the question remains: On whose authority?

Steven Den Beste's theory: "He's dead, or he's wounded, or he's on the run; no matter which it is, he doesn't seem to be commanding, and it may be that no one is."

Either way -- this is surely unprecedented in modern or historical warefare -- that either side's Commander In Chief might be sidelined or eliminated in the first hour of the first battle. Comparisons to a Mike Tyson 15-second knockout punch leap to mind. And you've got to know that even Kim Jong Il must be seriously rethinking whether he wants to be the next guy in the ring.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

IN THE FUTURE, Everyone Will Direct Superman for Fifteen Minutes:

From Zentertainment -- it's official -- Brett Ratner has been dropped as the director of SUPERMAN V.

"I have chosen to withdraw as director of SUPERMAN," Ratner said. "The difficulty of casting the role of Superman has contributed to my decision. I appreciate the efforts of Warner Bros. and the entire production team during this process." The move comes shortly after all actors that screen test for the lead role were nixed from contention or left the project.

Ratner joins his colleagues Tim Burton, Wolfgang Petersen and "McG" on the Phantom Zone back bench. Next up -- the rumor mills keep mentioning Michael Bay.

WAS HE A LOOKALIKE? Jake Tapper weighs in:

The individual who spoke in a videotaped appearance on Iraqi state television looked like Saddam Hussein. But he also looked a tad different - with a puffier face, more gray in his hair. Using bulky reading glasses the actual Iraqi dictator does not sport very often, the man on the tape could have been Saddam Hussein after a long, sleepless night - or someone else entirely. For a man known to have several look-alikes, the videotape posed more questions than it answered...

One also has to ask: Why didn't this "Saddam" actor specifically reference the attempt on his life? Why did he make only the most general, abstract accusations about "the reckless criminal little Bush" -- comments which might have applied to any first strike? Why didn't he describe last night's events in a way that would prove the contemporaneous origin of his own remarks?

I suppose it may have been a lookalike -- but just as easily, it could have been the real Saddam, recorded days or weeks in advance!

So what I want to know is this: If Saddam was rendered into toothpaste by our first surgical strike, on whose authority was this tape hauled out the vault and broadcast last night?

UPDATE: Rantburg notes that "Saddam" did mention today's date as he read from the notepad -- and also, that consensus is forming around the notion that it was most likely young Uday who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.


The original web page is in Japanese, but it's also -- apparently -- very much for real. The cup draws power from the USB port to keep the coffee warm.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

WHY ARE THESE MEN SMILING? In this screen-grab from Fox News, Iraqi citizens are seen stocking up on emergency household provisions -- from what I could see, not so much foodstuffs, but heavy on the duct tape and batteries -- in anticipation of the coming hostilities.

Now, maybe they're just instinctively mugging for the camera. But for a couple of guys who are about to become live targets in our racist war for cheap oil, I've never seen anyone so jubilant.

Could it be that -- rather than hating the cowboy American imperialist war machine with every fiber of their being -- they're actually anticipating that tomorrow will be the happiest day of their lives?

In contrast, consider the message of these uncommon criminals who now face up to five years in prison for defacing the Sydney Opera House:

Sorry, children -- but when your best argument against the liberation of Iraq is to throw a public tantrum and commit spectacular vandalism, there isn't enough precious time in my day to give your ideology a second thought.