February 02, 2005

Saddam Sympathy Watch

Over at the LRB, Eliot Weinberger, in a hugely tiresome and sophomoric litany of anti-American invective entitled "What I Heard About Iraq", concludes:

"I heard that Saddam Hussein, in solitary confinement, was spending his time writing poetry, reading the Koran, eating cookies and muffins, and taking care of some bushes and shrubs. I heard that he had placed a circle of white stones around a small plum tree."

Oh, and Weinberger also "heard":

"I heard that 5 per cent of eligible voters had registered for the coming elections."

But did you 'hear', Eliot? It was, like, 60%.

Posted by Gregory at February 2, 2005 05:01 AM | TrackBack (4)

You did pick out a couple of strange ones - like anyone cares about if Saddam is tending schrubs.

But two thumbs up for the link.

Lots here to think about - for those who still think!

Posted by: Mark-NC at February 2, 2005 01:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The thing about Saddam being is solidary confinement needs to be watched carefully. There is a man on death row in Connecticut named Ross who has become a guinea pig for a "death row syndrome" theory - he has dropped all his appeals and insisted on being put to death, and the circumstances of his confinement, it is suggested, are being cited as the reason for his irrational behavior - implying that the jailers are to blame.

Posted by: Scott Wilson at February 2, 2005 03:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I heard what Eliot Weinberger said was a load of crap. Since I 'heard it', it must be true?

Excellent way of not being able to substantiate anything.

Posted by: Lee at February 2, 2005 03:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I do hope we're intelligent enough to distinguish eligible voters, registered voters, and turnout. The "60%" figure is for turnout, which is a subset of registered voters. It's entirely possible for 5% of the eligible voters to register and 60% of the registered to then turn out. Either way, no-one currently knows any figures at all and will not until counting is complete.

For the rest, Saddam can go and stick his plum tree up his arse.

Posted by: Alex at February 2, 2005 05:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Most iraqis were registered automatically by being on the food dole.

The only ones who needed to register were ones who for one reason or another weren't on it, or who had changed their address, etc.

This was probably less than 5% of the total. I don't know whether more than 5% of the

It's a misleading statistic, whether that was the way he first quoted it or someone misled us quoting him.

Posted by: J Thomas at February 2, 2005 07:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Most of the accounts I've seen have talked about ~8 million voters. That is quite a bit more than 5% of the population of Iraq, registered, eligible, or what-have-you.

Certainly, it would be more than 3% of the population of Iraq (60% of 5%).

Posted by: Lurking Observer at February 2, 2005 09:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scott --

Lawyers will say ANYTHING. Scott Peterson's lawyer claimed he was out fishing. Robert Blake's lawyer claims his wife was murdered by drug lords. OJ's lawyers said the "real killers" were Columbian Drug Lords after Faye Resnick. Phil Spector's lawyer says the actress he allegedly murdered instead impulsively shot herself.

Take anything you hear from a lawyer with a 25 pound bag of salt.

Saddam? I wish him a speedy trial, being personally confronted by the families of all he murdered, and in the inevitable death penalty being strung up by his heels like Mussolini and the image being broadcast throughout the world as a warning to murdering tyrants everywhere.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at February 2, 2005 11:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I subscribed to the LRB almost from its inception. It used to be a great publication but then it got more and more political, until moonbat left wingers seemed to take over. They ran a disgusting collection of vignettes by well known writers after 9/11 of the 'America had it coming' variety. A year after that I cancelled my subscription and got my money back. Too bad, I miss what it used to be.

Posted by: Ligneus at February 3, 2005 04:14 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Unlike Jim Rockford above, I do not want to see Saddam Hussein strung up by his heels.

Much more fitting, I think, that he live a long life in prison, preferably with a view of a prosperous and democratic Iraq rising in spite of him.

Posted by: Malclave at February 4, 2005 01:42 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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