A brief letter from Saddam
Scripps Howard: From his undisclosed place of secure incarceration, Saddam Hussein has been in correspondence with a Jordanian described as an old friend, and his musings have become public for a world not exactly starved for his thoughts.
The letter was unusually terse, only four sentences, for the author of the best-selling novels "Zabibah and the King" and "The Impregnable Fortress," but perhaps the U.S. military censors exerted a sterner editing hand than Saddam's Iraqi publishers.
As it happens, Jordan is where Saddam's eldest daughter, Raghad, apparently having forgiven him for murdering her husband, is coordinating her father's defense, a cumbersome and fractious undertaking said to involve 22 lawyers and 1,500 volunteers. Saddam doesn't seem too terribly confident of the outcome, because he writes, somewhat mysteriously and certainly prematurely, that he is a martyr for the Palestinian cause -- "my soul and my existence is to be sacrificed for our precious Palestine and our beloved, patient and suffering Iraq."
That's problematic. By paying the families of suicide bombers $25,000, Saddam's support for the Palestinians largely consisted of encouraging more of them to kill themselves. But he got the part about "suffering Iraq" right. He should know. He caused it.