Against the odds!
AIDS and Iraq

Tea time with Saddam Hussein

Ra1328776326 Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing Saddam Hussein up close and personal. I didn't get to snog him or anything like that, but I was about 6 inches away from him at one point -- albeit separated by a glass wall. 

It was covering the prosecution closing arguments. Saddam is accused of ordering the arrest, torture and killings of 148 Shiite Muslims in June 1982 in the town of Dujail.  The prosecution says it was a revenge attack after somebody took a pot-shot at his limo.  The lead prosecution attorney recommended that Saddam should HANG for his role in this "crime against humanity." 

When Saddam heard that, he grinned and said sarcastically, "Well done!"

Saddam was wearing a black suit, crisp white shirt and perfectly polished black shoes. He obviously has a lot of time on his hand. Unless some poor E1 soldier got stuck polishing Saddam's shoes. 

Anyway, getting to the trial was no easy task.  For OPSEC (Operational Security) reasons, I cannot divulge where the courthouse was located, or the security measures involved. But let's just say it's probably easier getting into the White House than getting into Saddam's trial. 

Sad news of the day: the two missing U.S.  soldiers were found dead today. It was a tragic ending to a massive search operation that involved more than 8,000 US and Iraqi soldiers.  One soldier was even killed and a dozen others were injured during the mission to find the guys.  I can't say I blame them. "No one gets left behind" is a well-known military motto.  God bless their souls.

World Cup game of the day:   England has not beat Sweden in 34 years. And for a while, it looked like they were finally going to break the curse...until the last 5 minutes when Sweden scored a goal to tie. At least it was a tie and not a loss.   

My Iraqi translator and I were text messaging each other throughout the game. He's a Liverpool fan; his wife is a Manchester United fan.  Must make for interesting dinner conversation but they are both supporting England in the World Cup.    Yes it's true: I've become quite the football/soccer fan lately.  Can't wait to be back home in London for the finals...assuming England is still in the game!