Er, I mean why THEY are hanging Saddam Hussein in the first place. George Bush's Christmas present to America. (It will be about this time in 2008 that he will be issuing pardons. Or SOMEONE will.)
And I have been watching an orgy of ghoulish vamping, as I flip from CNN to Fox to MSNBC, as Lary King and Hannity & Colmes led televised choruses of guests. I don't know who it was on MSNBC, but much the same. And all of it meant to stretch out the time while we all waited to see when Saddam was hanged ...
or, to accurately shift the frame:
the talking heads vamped like it was a moon shot, breathlessly awaiting the ritual strangulation of Saddam Hussein.
Allegedly by the Iraqis themselves, after an allegedly fair trial (that wasn't covered, weirdly enough, by the USA media, who, shamefully, were complicit and exuberant in cheerleading the war that BEGAN with assassination attempts of Saddam -- via high explosive bombs).
The top of the hour radio is as breathless about the death of Saddam as they were in high moral dudgeon about Britney's euphemized cooter-shots.
CNN even has a fancy "Execution of Saddam Hussein" graphic and theme music. How tres chic.
(This surpasses even the wildest 1960s SF New Wave speculations on the media of 2006).
Hell, this isn't reality: It's entertainment in the lowest Roman "bread and circuses" manner, as the fallen leader is ritually strangled to symbolize the Empire's power and majesty.
In recognition of our Noblesse Oblige, it was the "nascent democracy"of Iraq who did the actual executin' of course, and a "Saddam Statue" moment was reported by CNN -- and reported that people around the world were watching the CNN feed, I guess, self-referential to an absurdist degree not contemplated even by the Dadaists -- as I counted no more than ten people jumping up and down and two Iraq flags. I wonder what the wide-angle of Dearborn, Michigan would have been?
Was it another "staged" administration media event? We don't know. We're too busy breaking the teasing news of whether Saddam is strangled or not. CNN has taken the Mother Hen position to her Wayward children, with Anderson Cooper gravely announcing that they'll carefully examine the graphic nature of any pictures or videos released, and they'll warn us, even before showing the edited-for-taste slaughter pornography.
Jove defend us.
Isn't that the obscenity of this war? The strip tease of Saddam's death, edited for a "PG-13" audience. This war has been sanitized and gussied up, and wrapped up with a yellow ribbon for years now. None dare call it 'quagmire,' remember?
And CNN is going to protect us from the raw image of the ritual strangulation.
I seem to recall Caesar doing the same to the lord of the Gauls, once upon a time. And, as now, it was done offstage.
It is to retch.
But can I ask this one, Mommy?
Now that we've finally killed the guy we supposedly were always after in the first place, can we come home now?