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12.14.2002

Dictator Architects

A crazy article in today's New York Times about totalitarian hijinks and the new "Mother of All Battles" mosque in Baghdad:

First, the minarets.

The outer four, each 140 feet high, were built to resemble the barrels of Kalashnikov rifles, pointing skyward. The inner four, each 120 feet high, are in the form of Scud missiles of the kind Iraq fired at Israel in 1991 during the Mother of All Battles, known to Americans as the Persian Gulf war. At their peak, these inner minarets are decorated with red, white and black Iraqi flags.

There is more.

Inside a special sanctum, treated by the mosque's custodian with the reverence due a holy of holies, there are 650 pages of the Koran—written, it is said, in Mr. Hussein's blood. As the official legend has it, "Mr. President" donated 28 liters of his blood—about 50 pints—over two years, and a famous calligrapher, Abas al-Baghdadi, mixed it with ink and preservatives to produce the handsome calligraphy now laid out page by page in glass-walled display cases.

This makes me wonder - what if that "pretzel incident" a while back was just a cover for a lightheaded Bush who fainted after giving too much of the red stuff, in his own efforts to play catch-up? Texas readers, keep an eye peeled for massive construction projects near Crawford!

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