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A couple of years ago, we saw Saddam’s teeth being examined – the US military determined that it was necessary to show him to his “followers” in that way. Today, a British tabloid published him in his underwear, quoting its US military source of exactly the same logic. Surprisingly, the official US military spokesperson is offended and is ‘investigating’.

The BBC reports: “But President George W Bush said he did not think the photos would encourage insurgents in Iraq —

‘I don’t think a photo inspires murderers. I think they’re inspired by an ideology that’s so barbaric and backwards that it’s hard for many in the Western world to comprehend how they think.’ ” — BBC

The automatic curse of sticking to a lie is to be forced to keep inventing lies. The chain goes something like this:

To support the lies of the Iraq war, Saddam had to be demonized. Since the guerilla war continued after Saddam was captured, Baathists were demonized. Since there can be no good in either Saddam or the Baathists, and they are mysteriously defying their liberators, therefore there is surely some hero-worship or crazed brainwashing that is forcing them to continue. See the links? So what is the answer?

OK, since the Baathists and other elements of the Iraqi resistance are flammable young men who idolized Saddam, let us humiliate Saddam. Wow! What genius!

The truth of the matter is that Saddam was a respected Arab leader. Baathists are careful planners and survivors. Iraqis have always defended their homeland. Arabs have never bowed to a foreing culture. Muslims are rarely involved in hero-worship or human idolatory.

In a strange twisted battle between truth and falsehood, falsehood continues to attack itself with ‘friendly fire’. At some point, the pundits and media in the West will wake up to this and start thinking about the Middle East without the Orientalist mask that Edward Said discovered and elucidated and which continues to clog their vision. If they do not, the lies will just keep adding up — to a grand total of ZERO.