Hope the animal rights activists don't hear about this

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Bubba Ray Boudreaux, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

    Jan 21, 2001
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    Undisclosed Location
    Hope the animal rights activists don\'t hear about this

    Saddam's Lair
    Read down for the highlighted parts.
    [ QUOTE ]
    BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, the public voice of the Iraqi regime, is fond of ballroom dancing with his wife, as the many snapshots tucked along the frame of his bedroom mirror suggest.

    Someone in Saddam Hussein's family is a fan of Britney Spears. Or so it seems, based on the magazine clippings of the American pop star taped to the wall in one of the Iraqi president's palaces.

    When Iraq's top leaders vanished in the face of a U.S. invasion, they left behind palaces and homes that are being searched by U.S. forces. A walk through the ransacked remains of two such compounds is a window into the lives of two men who dominated life in Iraq for a generation.

    Saddam, for one, seems to prefer Italian suits, double-breasted, by Canali and Luca's. He favors silk ties in solids or subtle patterns.

    He brushes with Colgate.

    The dictator's clothes were hanging Thursday in the wardrobe of a luxurious upstairs bedroom in one of the dozens of compounds within a palace complex that stretches for two miles along the west bank of the Tigris River.

    On a coffee table lay a wedding album containing photos of Saddam cutting a wedding cake, and on a bureau were snapshots of his sons, Odai and Qusai, as young boys.

    Lt. Col. Philip deCamp, commander of a tank battalion that pounded its way onto the palace grounds Monday, rifled through the photos. He let out a soft whistle, amazed to be standing in the room where Saddam apparently had slept, perhaps very recently.

    "Hey," deCamp said, pointing to three packed suitcases stacked in an anteroom. "It looks like he left in a pretty big hurry."

    Thursday was a day of revelations for the armored crews and commanders camped at the palace -- one of dozens built by Saddam, who is known for changing his location almost nightly -- as the battle for Baghdad wore on. They discovered a pen of emaciated lions, cheetahs and bears on the palace grounds, and a stroll through the rose gardens revealed the rotting corpses of Iraqi soldiers blown from sandy bunkers by the crews' tank rounds.

    [​IMG] Scouts from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division found a live sheep and fed it to a cheetah, which was joined in the feast by three lions.

    Across the pen, a thin brown bear cub bound through the grass, dragging the entrails of a sheep provided earlier by the same scouts.

    The soldiers laughed.


    The palace was so large deCamp had his men count the rooms and write the numbers on an index card: 142 offices, 64 bathrooms, 19 meeting rooms, 22 kitchens, countless bedrooms, one movie theater, five "huge ballrooms" and one "football-field sized monster ballroom."

    A cursory tour took hours, through mirrored hallways, across marble floors, beneath intricately tile-domed entryways.

    In Saddam's bedroom, deCamp thumbed through a Newsweek magazine on a nightstand. The cover story was "Inside America's new way of war," an examination of high-tech U.S. weaponry.

    "Guess he was trying to get ready for us," said deCamp, who commands the 4th Battalion in the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade -- the brigade that took central Baghdad.

    In adjoining rooms were more family snapshots -- Saddam kissing young boys and greeting women wearing head scarves. There were many photos of a dark-haired woman, at various ages, perhaps one of Saddam's wives or daughters.

    DeCamp moved on to another ornate compound where, the night before, his battalion had discovered a hoard of luxury items.

    He dragged open a door.

    Inside were vast supplies of TV sets, Moet champagne, Russian vodka, imported American cigarettes, 150 Persian carpets, Parker pen sets, French wines and Lladro figurines. These, according to the colonel, were gratuities handed out by Saddam's functionaries to favored members of the ruling Baath Party.

    The Aziz home, in contrast with Saddam's austerely formal palaces, had the look of a suburban trophy house, tucked behind a sculptured hedge in a nice neighborhood on Baghdad's east side.

    The heavy, carved-wood double doors opened onto a dining room with cases of fine tea sets and silverware. On the dining room table, as if set aside for hanging, were two large photographs of Aziz and his wife dancing cheek to cheek.

    The kitchen was spacious and looked lived-in. Appliances sat out on the counters beside several Christian icons and Virgin Mary figurines, totems of the faith that set Aziz apart from his overwhelmingly Muslim country. A bulletin board was layered with snapshots from Aziz's family life: celebrating Christmas, playing in a snowstorm, visiting the seashore. And of course, Aziz beaming beside his friend and mentor, Saddam.

    In the back corner of the home was Aziz's refuge, a study full of books, movies and items from a lifetime of travel and politics. For a man who voiced some of Iraq's sharpest denunciations of the United States, his library showed a remarkable appetite for the words and images of the adversary.

    Fresh stacks of carefully set-aside Vanity Fair magazines, with Sean Penn, Jude Law and other stars on the covers. Old issues of Foreign Affairs, the journal of New York's Council on Foreign Relations, dating back to 1981.

    He had volumes by statesmen -- Henry Kissinger on diplomacy -- and by dictators -- Mao Tse-tung on revolution. He had a well-turned copy of Bob Woodward's "Veil," an investigation of the CIA, and a seemingly new edition of Judith Miller's book on militant Islam, "God has Ninety-Nine Names."

    His taste in movies was equally eclectic, with hundreds of DVDs ranging from "Josie and the Pussycats" to the "Godfather" series.

    Overall, the house seemed hurriedly abandoned. Some rooms were empty, as if a moving job was only half completed. Other rooms held furniture draped with bedsheets, as if it were the home of a vacationer who intended to return. There were no cars in the garage.

    Back at Saddam's palace, DeCamp discovered that some of his soldiers had broken into the compound and looted liquor and cigarettes. He ordered his sergeant major to give the men a one-hour deadline: If they confessed and returned the goods, they would not be punished.

    DeCamp has recommended that the palace be the home of Iraq's transitional government. He has banned American flags from the complex. When a soldier painted "USA rocks" on a palace wall, he said he made the man paint over the words.

    "We intend to return this whole place over to the Iraqi people," he said.

    [/ QUOTE ]
  2. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

    Apr 15, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Pocatello, ID
    Re: Hope the animal rights activists don\'t hear about this

    We have no ider waht will happen!!
  3. Stickseler

    Stickseler 3/4 ton status

    Mar 23, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Re: Hope the animal rights activists don\'t hear about this

    [ QUOTE ]
    Scouts from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division found a live sheep and fed it to a cheetah, which was joined in the feast by three lions.

    Across the pen, a thin brown bear cub bound through the grass, dragging the entrails of a sheep provided earlier by the same scouts.

    The soldiers laughed.

    [/ QUOTE ]

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