There seems to be a universal truth that badness comes in threes. The first was James Brown passing away. Then Gerry Ford. Now Saddam Hussein and his suspended sentence.
James Brown we’ve already written about. That leaves Gerry Ford and Saddam Hussein by my count, so let’s start with the lesser of two evils, Gerry Ford.
Ford was a journeyman Congressman from Grand Rapids, Michigan who was well-respected. He got his first big call in 1963 when he was asked to sit on the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The charitable comment was that Ford didn’t take too many donuts from the meeting room during deliberations.
During the Viet Nam war, Ford was one of the many Republicans giving Lyndon Johnson a nightly beating about the war. This caused the immortal LBJ quote "That Gerry Ford. He can’t fart and chew gum at the same time."
Fast-forward to 1968, Nixon’s landslide Republican victory and the beginning of the End of Nixon. Nixon’s VP, Spiro Agnew was charged with a few hundred counts of tax evasion and money laundering from his days as Governor of Maryland. Eventually, pleading no contest, Agnew resigned in 1973. Nixon and Al Haig went to the Congress to see who they could get to fill the chair. Gerry Ford! Come on down!
When the rats started jumping off the Ship of Nixon and it looked like the Supreme Court was going to sign a "no-knock" search warrant to get at the Nixon tapes, things got all back-room dealish. Nixon knew he was screwed but if he were impeached, Nixon would lose his pension of nearly $400,000 a year as an ex-President. Nixon knew that the tapes were the smoking gun and if they ever got out, Nixon would wind up in a shallow grave in San Clemente. So the deal came down, to resign, then get a pardon.
Rumor has it while Ford was still Vice-President, Alexander Haig, Nixon’s chief fixer (Liddy and Colson were in jail) presented Gerry Ford with three choices: 1: A resignation followed by a full and free pardon, with Nixon keeping the tapes. 2: No resignation, no pardon and a years-long Senate investigation of Campaign Finances that would gut both parties and destroy the American Political System. 3: Two rounds in the base of the skull from the Secret Service with Nelson Rockefeller taking over as President.
On August 9th, 1974 Nixon resigned: Ford took over the Big Chair. By September 8th, Gerry Ford had pardoned Nixon and given Nixon all rights to the actual tapes. Needless to say, the public has what could be best described as a collective shit fit. Everyone knew that the Watergate tapes would have not just convicted Nixon of high crimes, but would have exposed the entire inner workings of the biggest shakedown job of America since Cheney asked the Oil Companies to write US Energy Policy.
Fortunately the US Economy fell into the toilet at the same time and the price of oil went through the roof. Ford’s reaction: Wear a button with the words WIN: Whip Inflation Now. Gerry brought in some bench strength. Henry Kissinger was given the Sec of State job to finally get the US out of Viet Nam. A little known Texas monster called George H.W. Bush was called up to be the White House liaison to the People’s Republic of China, then to head up the CIA in 1975.
Two other troglodytes were brought in. Donald Rumsfeld was Ford’s transition chairman and chief of staff. Rumsfeld was also the youngest Secretary of Defense ever appointed. The other punk was a young Wyoming pol called Richard Cheney who took over from Rumsfeld as Ford’s Chief of Staff and later managed the 1976 Ford Presidential campaign. Cheney was so good at managing political campaigns that he went immediately to Haliburton after Ford got his ass kicked by Jimmy Carter in the 1976 elections.
In the final summary, Ford was a do-nothing President who brought Regan-era pimps into the power circles of Washington and kept the meanest of Nixon’s remaining fixers around long after they should have been sent to jail.
Saddam Hussein, was a barely-literate hitman in the Ba’ath party in 1958 when he was involved in trying to overthrow the government of Iraq, backed by some CIA friends. By 1963 the Ba’ath party succeeded and with their CIA backing (must stop Communism of course) set off on a course of religious intolerance and personal graft.
By 1976 he was the top General in the Iraqi Army and was feared as the meanest man around. Talks were underway to work out an alliance between Syria and Iraq, the presidents Hassan al-Bakir of Iraq and Hafez al-Assad of Syria would have cut Saddam Hussein out of the loop. Fortunately Saddam was able to get al-Bakir to resign for health reasons on July 16th 1979, appointing Saddam as President.
On July 22, 1979 Saddam Hussein rolled into a televised assembly of the Ba’ath party and reeled off the names of 68 enemies of the state who were wanted for high crimes. Many of them were in the room and were taken into custody. The rest were complimented on their wise choice of leader and their loyalty.
As an example of how open dialogue was encouraged in Iraq, during a meeting of the Iraq cabinet in 1982, Saddam asked for candid suggestions of how to end the war with Iran. One cabinet minister, Health Minister Riyadh Ibrahim, suggested that Saddam temporarily step down to promote peace negotiations: Ibrahim’s chopped up body was delivered to his wife the next day.
After getting into a long term war with Iran, Hussein started playing the Soviet-American dance card. Playing kissy-face with the Soviets meant the US would pour millions of dollars of aid into Baghdad. One visitor was Donald Rumsfeld, special envoy of Ronald Regan, in 1983.
There were other atrocities, like gassing Kurds in 1988 and the removal of entire villages from the face of the planet for such minor slights as not providing the proper welcome to the Presidential Party. Of course, Tikrit, the hometown of the President, did just fine.
Then came Gulf War I, where George H.W. Bush went to defend Kuwait and their oil from Saddam Hussein. After a left-handed victory, whereby Saddam was not disarmed or ousted, George H. W. Bush gave it up and decided to lose to Bill Clinton. Clinton had more sense than a box of hair and knew that Saddam would be around later. Meanwhile, the Republicans went on the warpath regarding a consensual blow job from an intern, spending years analyzing dress stains, instead of actually trying to make government work. I offer Newt Gingrich, Ken Starr and Tom Delay as evidence.
A few years later, mostly because the Republicans were still chasing blowjobs, a group of terrorists struck at the US. Most of the security apparatus in the US were caught unawares and oblivious. Rather than pin the blame where it belonged (interservice fratricide between the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the DIA over political turf and Republican revenge) Dubya decided that Weapons of Mass Destruction and all kinds of Evidence were needed to tie al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein. About the only ‘evidence’ not presented were Valentine’s Day cards from Sammy to Osama.
Since Osama was invisible, in a cave in Afghanistan, Saddam was left as the obvious target. Like all money-grubbing Republicans, Dubya cut a sponsorship deal, leading to Gulf War II, Brought to you by Haliburton and Raytheon, Sponsored by Exxon and Lockheed. Don’t forget John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act as example of open and responsible governance at home to set a shining beacon of democracy for the newly freed peoples of Iraq.
Saddam Hussein was deposed and captured. His two sons Biday and Qusay were killed. Saddam went on trial, in what could best be described as a Lance Ito job, but with significantly more violence. Guilty? Most certainly.
This morning the Iraq Government (Dick Cheney Prop.) hung him and, like all good media-savy political organizations, allowed a camera crew to tape it. This actually makes sense, as real footage of Saddam Hussein being executed is likely to be believed. A simple news report that he was executed would never be trusted.
Globally, what does all this mean? Gerry Ford was an idiot caretaker who couldn’t find his ass with both hands and a roadmap, who brought pimps like Cheney and Rumsfeld into power. Worst of all, Ford pardoned that fascist thug Nixon, who should have been tried, convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Saddam Hussein was a megalomaniac mass murdering dictator, propped up at various times by the CIA who got to be Dubya’s bumboy to get Dubya out of some deep shit at home.
James Brown was the Godfather of Soul.
One of these three people gave the world much happiness. I’m still voting for James.