Note: In an unprecedented and inexplicable move, the Defense Department sent this author the transcript of a phone conversation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, which occurred when Saddam took advantage of his right as a criminal defendant to make one phone call upon arrest. In the spirit of the Weekly Standard, this author thought he’d let his readers see the newest evidence of the Saddam-al Qaeda connection before anyone else sees it.
The author hopes that this document will be cited as justification to invade another country.
SADDAM: It’s Saddam!
OSAMA: Saddam who? I don’t know a Saddam.
SADDAM: It’s okay, we’re clear to talk. They promised me they aren’t listening in.
OSAMA: The last time they promised you something, and you believed them, you invaded Kuwait. That was a mistake, wasn’t it?
SADDAM: Yeah, but they gave me their word this time, and U.S. officials don’t lie.
OSAMA: Fine. What do you want?
SADDAM: I just wanted to tell you that I’m not gonna crack. I won’t let them know we’ve been working together.
OSAMA: Well I sure hope so! But what makes you so sure they won’t figure it out?
SADDAM: They’re idiots! Antiwar Americans are having some influence on public opinion, and the U.S. government is so incompetent that it’s failed to find a single shred of evidence.
OSAMA: Well, actually they have found plenty of evidence. We’ve just been so good at making it look discredited.
SADDAM: Tell me about it. There have been some close calls! Remember when they found out about the meeting between our boys in Prague?
OSAMA: Do I remember? We had to bribe the CIA, the FBI, and the Czech president and intelligence agents to lie about it and claim Atta was in Florida at the time!
SADDAM: And when they realized you had a terrorist camp in Kurdish Iraq?
OSAMA: Yep. Somehow we convinced the American people that you had no control over the northern section of your own country!
SADDAM: Hah! I still can’t believe they fell for that. And then there was the time they realized I was seeking uranium from Niger —
OSAMA: Thank Allah they fell for the whopper that the evidence was a forgery!
SADDAM: Americans are so stupid. And so free. I can’t believe some of them still think that anyone in the Muslim world doesn’t want to see them all dead!
OSAMA: Well, part of that is my doing. I pretend to hate Americans because of their foreign policy. If they knew that every Muslim hated every American simply because they’re free, we’d have a real War on Terrorism on our hands. And we don’t want that. I sure hope John Kerry is elected.
SADDAM: Yeah, but he’s too pro-war. That’s why I gave my donations to Howard Dean and the antiwar movement. You know, I got some of them to believe you actually wanted the war on Iraq, because it would boost your enrollment numbers.
OSAMA: Hah! The last thing I want is more terrorists to work with. You know how tough it is being CEO of al Qaeda? The paperwork, the disabilities insurance, the payroll taxes — I can’t stand having any more employees than I already have. My organization is bursting at the seams.
SADDAM: You must be mad at Bush for encouraging so many people to join your ranks.
OSAMA: Well Bush is the best thing the Free World has ever known. And he’s the worst thing possible for us terrorists. He understands my organization will explode from within if we get too many more recruits.
SADDAM: Man I hate Bush! He’s such a beacon of liberty!
OSAMA: You’re telling me!? Every day, when talking to my underlings, I remind them of the fact that in America, women can drive, vote, and wear lipstick. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to vomit.
SADDAM: I know what you mean!
OSAMA: What are you talking about? You let women have all sorts of rights in violation of our Holy Koran! You even let them practice Christianity, wear pants, and attend college. You even let your subjects drink alcohol!
SADDAM: Well, I didn’t want to. But remember what we decided? It was best if I maintained as secular an appearance as possible, so they wouldn’t realize we were in cahoots.
OSAMA: Yeah, but it didn’t work.
SADDAM: Yeah. On the bright side, though, Iraq is becoming even more fundamentalist with this war!
OSAMA: I don’t think it’s all a bright side. I already had my hands full with al Qaeda cells throughout the world. Now I have to direct them in Iraq! Although, I guess it is for the best as long as it continues to move towards radical Islamism there. The last thing I want is for the Americans to bring democracy to Iraq.
SADDAM: Don’t worry about it! They supported me, didn’t they?
OSAMA: Yeah, and they supported me, too. But that was back in the Cold War when you and I were freedom fighters. And now that Bush is in power, the U.S. is more dedicated to freedom than ever. Look at Bush’s tax cuts! God I hate tax cuts. I hate them more than I hate U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.
SADDAM: Yeah. But at least he’s detaining people without trial! And spending like a madman! Perhaps we’re misjudging him. He might actually hurt American freedom in the long run.
OSAMA: What are you talking about? He’s only detaining terrorists without trial — terrorists I already gave paychecks to. We both know that the U.S. government is incapable of taking away American liberty! The U.S. government is the very essence of human freedom! Only terrorists can take away the freedom of the infidels, which is why we must win this war!
SADDAM: You’re right, like always. Well, I think I’m almost out of time. I have to go back to my cell.
OSAMA: Man, I’m glad I’m not in your shoes.
SADDAM: I say the same for you. You’re the one who’s taking on freedom and civilization! All I did was harbor your guys and build weapons of mass destruction for you. You’ve got a thankless, tough job ahead of you, and it won’t be getting any easier, especially if Bush really wises up and invades Iran, Syria, and Egypt.
OSAMA: Oh I don’t think he’ll do that. There’s only so much war a free society can handle, and Bush has absolutely no desire to compromise his country’s freedom one iota.
SADDAM: You can say that again. Well, I have to go.
OSAMA: Talk to you later, Saddam. Maybe when this whole affair is over we’ll get to work together again.
SADDAM: Now you’re talking! Maybe we can eventually get around to attacking Switzerland.
OSAMA: Yeah. There’s nothing I hate more than a free country, especially one that minds its own business.
SADDAM: Well, goodbye, Osama. It’s always a pleasure to speak with another Middle Easterner I see eye to eye with. As if any of us don’t see eye to eye!
OSAMA: Good one, Saddam! Well, I’ll talk to you later. For now, I’ll send you some French champagne, German sausage, and Russian mustard. I always like to help the economies of our allies.
SADDAM: Great! All they serve here is freedom fries.
OSAMA: Ouch. The mere fact they call them freedom fries really makes it hard for me to keep up the good fight. It almost makes me want to give up.
SADDAM: I know what you mean.
OSAMA: Well, take care, Saddam.
SADDAM: You too.
Anthony Gregory [send him mail] is a writer and musician who lives in Berkeley, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at UC Berkeley, where he was president of the Cal Libertarians. He is an intern at the Independent Institute and has written for Rational Review, Strike the Root, the Libertarian Enterprise, and Antiwar.com. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.