The fantasy life of Saddam Hussein

Today’s Telegraph carries a report by Jack Fairweather on Saddam Hussein’s prewar activities: “Saddam the great dictator of fairy tales.” According to Fairweather, Saddam Hussein spent the final weeks before the war writing a novel predicting that he would lead an underground resistance movement to victory over the Americans.
Laurie Mylroie, who alerted us to this story, adds: “Note the reference to the burning twin towers in the allegorical America…” Below is the book’s cover.
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Fairweather reports: “As the war began and Saddam went into hiding 40,000 copies of Be Gone Demons! were rolling off the presses. Most were destroyed by bombing and looting but the Telegraph has obtained one of the few remaining copies of the novel – an historical epic which reveals both Saddam’s increasing detachment from the world and his inflated sense of self.
“The narrative meanders through the history of Iraq from Biblical times to the present and is filled with paranoid invectives against the Jews, who delight in inciting troubles between Muslim nations and encouraging the Romans – a synonym for the Americans – to attack Iraq.
“The arch-villain of the piece is Ezekiel, an immortal Jew whose presence runs throughout time. He is a fat, evil old man. Saddam probably had Ariel Sharon in mind. According to the author, the Iran-Iraq war began when Ezekiel convinced the head of the Iraqi tribe to invade his neighbour. The Iraqis, led by a doddering old Sheikh, are quickly defeated and Ezekiel seizes power in the country. Enter Saddam as the resistance fighter Salim – ‘a pure, virtuous Arab. Salim is tall and handsome with a straight nose,’ he enthuses.
“The 1991 Gulf war is portrayed as an ambush by Ezekiel, which Salim shrugs off, driving him out of the country with the words, ‘Be gone demon.’ But Ezekiel returns instead with Roman allies. In the ensuing battle Salim ‘fights the Romans like a hawk.’ The onslaught proves irresistible and Ezekiel and the Roman king flee, only to discover the twin towers of the Roman capital in flames.”

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