Monday, June 20, 2005

World Leaders, Doggies and Doritos

A few weeks ago, I saw a television bit about the President and his relationship with the First Dog, Barney. The President was warm and funny, following the dog around and joking about his refusal to play with his toys for the camera. [For more, check out the cheesy but cute Barney Cam.] For a moment during that interview, while he was bashfully admitting to kissing Barney on the lips and suspiciously not admitting that he speaks to Barney in baby-talk, the President did not seem like a world leader or a right-winger or an Evangelical or a Commander-in-Chief. He just seemed like a guy that really likes his dog. And at that moment, I liked him very much.

Today I read this article about Saddam Hussein’s actions while in captivity. According to military personnel who guarded the fallen leader, Saddam dished out fatherly advice about women, smiled and laughed frequently, disinfected his belongings obsessively, and could finish a family-size bag of Doritos in ten minutes.

Of course, he is quoted as saying some questionable things. He told one guard to find a woman that was “not too smart, not too dumb. Not too old, not too young. One that can cook and clean.” He also compared himself to Jesus and insists that he is still the President of Iraq.

Regardless of these specific quotes, the overall effect of the article for me was to be able to see that despite being a dictator, an oppressor, a Sunni, an Enemy, and a member of the “Axis of Evil,” deep down Saddam is a real person like us who needs a daily junk-food fix and cracks jokes to pass the time. His policies as a leader were oppressive and cruel by every measure. But yet, the guards around him actually described him as likeable, according to this article.

Perhaps there is a difference between a man and his politics. Maybe this Red v. Blue nation needs to be reminded of that fact every now and then. If we could debate and attack policies, not people, perhaps we would not be so divided.


Blogger TSOTA said...

Very insightful Jezebel. That article hit right on.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This personality and charisma displayed by Saddam isn't too surprising. Most people that make it to such a high and powerful office have some sort of charm on the people around them, its what helped them make it to that post. Even Hitler was said to be incredibly charming to be around, his charisma was compared to basking in the sun! But don't forget, the things they do, the policies they push, are just as much a part of the man as the traits which are endearing.

10:48 AM  
Blogger desertblog said...

Saddem is less evil than the neocons.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Tye said...

neocons and neolibs aside, a persons policies, beliefs and actions are outward reflections of who they are in the inside.
We all eat doritos and love dogs but not all of us kill babies as casually as we eat that bag of chips.
Not all of us would smash one's face in to "protect" a doggie from being tested upon or being euthanised for biting a human.
Bottom line, what makes us alike is the shallow end of the pool.
The colour of our blood and the air we breath and that about it.
Beyond that, I claim nothing in common with bill clinton, hitler, hussein or farrakhan.
I'm human, Christian and no desire to kill hidden under my fat dorito eating exterior.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Jezebella said...

Actually, Hitler claimed to be a very strong Christian as well.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Tye said...

And yet he used Darwin's book on racism as a guide to the attempted extermination of all the "sub human" species.
KKK claims to be Christian as well.
"Political blog..."
Clinton (both) also claims to be Christians.
So did the Pope (dead and current).
Goes to show...

6:08 AM  

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