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The UN Does al-Sijood Palace By: Judith Schumann Weizner
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, December 06, 2002

Good afternoon, Colonel.  We're from the UN weapons inspection team and we're here to…yes, come to think of it, someone did call for directions this morning.  Then this isn't really much of a surprise, is it.  May we come in?  Thank you.  These nine men, no, no - no women - are my colleagues.  Yes, thank you, some tea would be nice. 

My, what a lovely palace!  Those tiles. Beautiful!  I hadn't realized you were allowed to have decorations…oh, of course, images. Yes, I see the difference.  Oh, thank you.  Lovely cup.  Uh, do you mind if I ask - what is that white powder?  Sugar.  No, I guess you wouldn't keep your biologicals in the kitchen even if you had any.  That makes perfect sense.  Neither would I.  I always tell my wife to keep the ant poison in the cellar.  I see you aren't that different from us after all. 

Now.  Where shall we begin?  Maybe we should start in there.  The music room?  Wow!  I don't think I've ever seen such a big organ in a private house, uh, palace before.  Built from used stinger tubes?  Impressive.  I always thought you folks didn't like music.  No, of course I know you're not the Taliban. Who plays?  My wife always wanted the kids to play the electric organ, but they'd rather play the guitar.  Kids.  You know how it is. You don't?  You mean you have ways of getting them to do whatever you want them to? Amazing. Before we go you'll have to tell me how you do it.  Actually, a book on raising kids that listen would be a big best seller in America.  You should think about writing one.

Now.  Let's have a peek in that chest over there.  Mrs. Hussein's - unmentionables?  No, that's just our polite way of saying "women's rags worn next to the skin".  I know. But we're supposed to be able to look anywhere.  So if we had brought a woman inspector with us she would be allowed to look in there?  Oh, of course. She wouldn't be allowed into the palace, would she.  So how can we get around this little impasse?

Oh. We can x-ray the chest and test it with our machines as long as we don't open it?  I guess that would do.  A lead lining?  Keeps out the desert moths, does it.  Yes, we do have moths at home.  Oh, I see.  Only desert moths.  Well, if our x-ray machine won't work we can still use our SuperSniffers, can't we?  Good. 

Go ahead, guys, you can test that chest for anthrax.

Now, while they're doing that, maybe I could walk around a little.  No, the kitchen shouldn't be a problem.  You've already told me you wouldn't keep any poisons in there and I know you aren't stupid.  How about upstairs.  Yes, the bedrooms.  Well, ask them to get dressed.

But this is Ramadan, isn't it?  I thought you weren't supposed to….Oh, of course - Ramadan isn't celebrated, uh, observed, in palaces.  That figures.  Our high mucky-mucks don't do what they tell us to do either…mucky-mucks.  That's a word for people in high places.  You went to Stanford and never heard it?  Imagine!

Say, what did you study?  Nuclear physics.  No, I went to Bennington.  Majored in the psychology of science.  No, actually, I never did imagine that I'd be here doing this.  I always thought I'd get a nice teaching position somewhere, but you know this is a lot better - how else does a kid from Arkansas get to see Iraq?  Well, yes, actually, that is true.  Some of our soldiers do come from Arkansas.  Yes, now that you mention it, I guess there are other ways to see Iraq.

How about those other buildings out there?  They look like they could be garages or something.  What's in them?  No kidding - 350 hogs!  Of course I know there isn't any pork in the country.  That's just what we call them - Harleys, hogs, road hogs.  Well, let's just go out there and take a look and then we'll be going.  Oh - won't let anyone in there when he isn't here?  Vandalism.  Yes, I can understand that.   Insurance is pretty expensive in our country, too.

Say, what's that smell?  Well, don't be too hard on him.  Some people just don't have the talent to be a chef. 
Hey - are you guys finished with that chest?  Nothing fishy?  Good.  Let's call it a day.

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