Chicken Tikriti, or how the Iraqis got a roasting…



Dear Uncle Sam,

I know you have millions of nephews all over the world, but
I swear by the star and stripes that I am your greatest
devotee. I\’ve not bothered you before have I? So, respected
uncle, please spare a few minutes by reading this important

If you could only see me right now, you would see me in my
cowboy outfit (hat and all), with a McDonald\’s burger in
one hand and a glass of Coca Cola in the other (no more
Robinsons orange squash for me, no sir). And if you could
only hear me humming your — our — national anthem, \”O
say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave O\’er the land
of the free and the home of the brave?\” In fact, uncle, I
love you so much, even more than I love Great Britney

Uncle, I am confused. Totally. Completely. You must be
thinking \”Why?\” I\’ll tell you why. It\’s this war business,
you see. Operation Iraqi Freedom and all that. I won\’t be
impertinent to my elders by pointing out that you kept
changing your mind over this whole affair: UN inspectors,
Weapons of Mass destruction, regime change, liberation of
Iraq… what next? It\’s all too complex. Either you\’re
confused (God forbid) or you\’re trying to confuse me (please
pray for me).

I\’m sorry but I\’m easily confused. I thought Saddam Hussein
was \”our guy\”, our \”friend\”, a \”goody\”. Now you say he\’s a
not only our \”enemy\”, but the enemy of the whole wide world,
a monster, in fact. If that makes him like Jekyl and Hyde,
who gave him the potion which brought about his

Uncle, didn\’t you support him all these years? Didn\’t you
back him when Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980? I\’m
rather forgetful (sorry!), but didn\’t a million or so
Iranians and Iraqis got killed, maimed, and made refugees?
I\’m sure you saw the reports late last year which exposed
how one Donald Rumsfeld \”helped Iraq get chemical weapons\”.

One report emanating from Washington on October 1, 2002,
went \”Iraq\’s bioweapons program that President Bush wants to
eradicate got its start with help from Uncle Sam two decades
ago, according to government records getting new scrutiny in
light of the discussion of war against Iraq\”. Dear me, \”with
help from Uncle Sam\”!

Donald \”al-Sahaf\” Rumsfeld went over to Iraq to help Saddam
Hussein acquire WMD\’s in the 1980\’s. Now this same Rumsfeld
appears shamelessly and hypocritically on our screens fuming
about Saddam\’s WMDs. Although you haven\’t as yet found any
WMDs — the reason for the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq
in the first place — you are sure you WILL find them. (Odd
how Saddam never employed them even as his rule crumbled all
around, when he had nothing to lose.) I now know your
secret: you — Uncle Sam and Uncle Bull — sold them in the
first, or at least \”helped\” the Butcher of Baghdad develop

You might recall that I told you about this tyrant, this
evil dictator some 25 years ago. Sadly, uncle, you did not
listen, you did not agree and instead you chose to prop him
up so that he could repress the Iraqis, wage war against the
Iranians, and gas the Kurds. Are you now going to admit
your role and apologise to the people of the region? Say
\”SORRY\” to the Iraqis, the Iranians, the Kurds, the
Kuwaitis… In addition, are you going to pay reparations to
the victims and the families of the victims? Such an act
from a magnanimous uncle would considerably help the process
of reconciliation.

You say Iraq is now \”LIBERATED\”. Yes, \”liberated\”, indeed.
As some journalists have noted, the only \”liberation\”
thousands of Iraqis have experienced is the \”liberation\” of
their souls from their bodies, that is death, and the
\”liberation\” of their limbs from their bodies due to the
heavy bombardment of urban areas by your forces. We shall
never know how many Iraqis you murdered and maimed in the
\”liberation\” process.

\”Liberation!\” Let\’s rejoice the death and destruction. As
your occupying force stands around, the looters, the
thieves, the vandals \”liberate\” hospitals of beds, x-ray
machines, life-support machines — everything, anything.
Offices, banks, schools — they\’ve really been \”liberated\”.
Ahlan wasahlan, welcome, freedom, welcome! Uncle, I hope you
will say it is not true, but it seems as if it is a part of
the Iraq Project to destroy the entire country so it won\’t
get up for a very long time.

Uncle, I hear you talk a lot about \”freedom\” and
\”democracy\”. That\’s great. At times, however, you have one
set of rules for yourself and another set for others. You
profess to heed public opinion, and to follow international
law, yet you and Uncle John Bull, have disregarded the
concerns of millions of people around the world and gone
ahead with this illegal war.

\”Freedom!\” Your media is biased, there is hardly room for
dissent. And when there is alternative media like
Al-Jazeera, which presents a somewhat different picture to
the one you want portrayed, then you send in your bombers.
Uncle, Tariq Ayoub, a TV reporter with the channel, was
killed when your \”liberators\” bombed the Al-Jazeera office
in Baghdad last week. You may have forgotten, but I
haven\’t — your warplanes bombed the Al-Jazeera office in
Kabul, too, during the liberation of that hapless country
from another former \”friend\” who turned \”enemy\” as soon as
they had done your bidding.

Uncle, you have opened my eyes. Thank you. All this high
talk about \”peace\”, \”civilised world\”, \”international law\”,
\”democracy\”, \”human rights\” etc is a sham. Saddam and the
Afghan Mujahideen / Taliban / Osama bin Laden were your
\”friends\” as long as they served your purpose: containment
of the crazy Ayatollahs of Iran (and keeping the Soviets out
of the strategic Middle East), and wounding the Soviet Bear
in Afghanistan.

On the horrible Iran-Iraq War, I\’m sure you\’ve read an
article in a American magazine which said, \”For Washington
the important issue was whether it would be able to maintain
the status quo in a region of great strategic value to the
Pentagon and economic value to the oil companies\”.
\”OIL!\” What\’s that popular anti-war slogan at the moment?
Isn\’t it \”No blood for oil\” ?

Uncle, dear uncle, why are you turning the world against
you? Does the world hate you or do you hate the world? I\’m
confused, uncle, I really am. I sometimes get confused about
my \”friends\” and my \”enemies\”. I even begin to have doubts
whether you\’re my uncle or not. You can be sure, though, I

Your loving nephew,

Sir Cam,
Cambridge, England

(Based on Saadat Hasan Manto\’s (d. 1955) \”Letters to Uncle

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