Friday, May 16, 2003

Newsweek ran an item on jokes about Saddam Hussein that were funny but used to have serious consequences--people died for cracking wise about the dictator. Here are some of their favorite examples:

Saddam’s chief bodyguard assembles all 20 of Saddam’s official doubles. “OK, listen up. Praise be to Allah, our president has survived the American bombing, so you all still have your jobs. That’s the good news. The bad news is, he lost an arm.”

Saddam Hussein, Taha Yassin Ramadan and Tariq Aziz are lounging on the balcony of one of Saddam’s palaces when a flock of geese flies over. “Ramadan, shoot the geese,” Saddam says. The vice president lifts his AK-47 and empties a clip into the sky, but doesn’t hit a single goose. “You try, Tariq,” Saddam says. The deputy prime minister fires and misses as well. “Damn, I have to do everything around here,” Saddam says. He fires five rounds in the air. None of the birds fall. There’s an awkward silence. Then Tariq Aziz points at the receding flock and says, “My God, would you look at that! Dead birds flying!”

A TV interviewer asks an American, an Afghan and an Iraqi, in turn: “What is your opinion about electricity shortages?” The American replies, “What’s an ‘electricity shortage’?” The Afghan says, “What’s an ‘electricity’?” The Iraqi says, “What’s an ‘opinion’?”

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