the great debate

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    A little levity in the midst of these dark days....

    The Saddam and George show
    Tim Dowling
    Tuesday February 25 2003
    The Guardian (To see this story with its related links on the Guardian
    Unlimited site, go to

    Tony Blair, moderator: Welcome to the first televised debate between George W Bush and Saddam Hussein, live from United Nations headquarters in New
    York. We will begin with a brief opening statement from each of you.

    Bush: First of all I would just like to welcome my evil friend to the UN, one of the great American institutions for the propulsion of freedom throughout the world.

    Saddam: Thank you, Great Satan. I hope that in today's debate we may find some common ground between the Iraqi people's commitment to peace and human
    progress and America's desire to destroy the Middle East.

    Bush: Do I answer that?

    Blair: No. The first question is quite simply this: do you have any links with al-Qaida?

    Bush: I do not.

    Blair: The question is for President Saddam.

    Saddam: As I told Mr Tony Benn clearly and simply, if I had links with al-Qaida and I enjoyed those links then I would not be ashamed to tell the world, but since I am ashamed to tell the world of this, it follows that I have no such links.

    Bush: Neither do I.

    Blair: The second question is for Mr Bush. Mr Bush, if America and Iraq were to go to war tomorrow, who would win?

    Bush: That's easy. America, right?

    Saddam: Even I knew that one.

    Bush: That's because the great United American States of America are on the side of rightliness and Americanity, against an evil Axis of Evil made up of
    Iraq, North Korea and... how many are in an axis? Three?

    Blair: I think you're allowed as many as you like.

    Bush: OK, Iraq, North Korea and France.

    Saddam: I will tell you frankly and directly that Iraq is not part of any Axis of Evil.

    Bush: Who am I thinking of then? Irania?

    Blair: Let's move on. Saddam, are you willing to destroy your stockpile of Samoud 2 missiles in accordance with UN weapons inspectors' orders?

    Saddam: I explain to you now that if Iraq possessed these so-called weapons, we would never destroy them, but since we do not have any such weapons, we
    are happy to comply, even though these non-existent weapons certainly do not exceed the proscribed range of 150 kms. I've tested them myself, and we
    don't have any.

    Blair: The final question is for George Bush. Mr President, is there any way that Saddam Hussein can avoid war, and what steps must he now take in order
    to reach a negotiated solution?

    Bush: Listen to me. It's very simple. First Saddam must compile 200% with the UN inspectorers, and I mean activated compilation, not passivist compilation. Second, he must disarm fully, in keeping with UN revelation 1441 and the next one coming, 1441B, which will require him to disarm even more fully that. Then he must destroy all Samoud missiles and any other weapons of mass destruction he is found, or not found, to be possessive of, without being asked. Finally, there is one more task he must perform, which I am not at liberty to revulge. And even that will not be enough.

    Blair: The translator would like to take your answer home with him and work on it over the weekend.

    Bush: Fine, but we require nothing less than total disarmature.

    Saddam: OK.

    Blair: Sorry, but I'm not sure that "disarmature" is a word. I defer to the UN Keeper of the Dictionary, Mr Richard Stilgoe.

    Stilgoe: Yes, you can have disarmature. It means, "the action of disarming" according to the OED.

    Bush: Exactly. He must cut his own arms off.

    Saddam: If it means peace, I will do it.

    Bush: Too late.

    Stilgoe: Did you know that Saddam Hussein is an anagram of 'Demands a Sushi'?

    Saddam: Yes, I've heard them all.

    Bush: I don't eat sushi. Is there a fish option?

    Blair: I'd like to remind everyone at home that the Monica Lewinsky-Tonya Harding fight follows after the break.

    Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
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