The Rage of George
Rattling of Sabres
The Gods of War
In the Clouds
The Tyrant Flees
Out of Order
Doing the Patriot Act
The Little Prince
Ichor of the Gods
The Price of Peace
Dead or Alive
Across the Border
Summer in the City
Wolf and Jackal
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and The Idyossey?
Amir Assan is raised to be a baker,
Next in a dynasty of floured men.
At six years old, his internship begins
With trips to the deep well before dawn,
Hauling water one-half mile to the bakery
Then back again for more, till noon.
By 12 years old, his strong hands knead;
He’s a natural, as if yeast flows in his veins,
Excels in forming clouds of dough
That bake up tender and moist, and burst
With flavor. Of the generations who have toiled,
Amir shows the most promise.
By 25 he’s the man in charge, his loaves
Famous in the city of Tikrit. Tall,
Strong, and masculine, consumed
By his business, he does not marry.
Childhood friends have grown up too, like
The Hussein boy named Saddam.
At 35, Amir joins the Baathist party,
Routine for those connected to success.
His friend Saddam assumes more power,
Soon becomes the President. Most
Who see Amir Assan and Saddam together
Remark at how much they look like brothers.
Doing well, reputation secure, Amir
Is called upon to render service to Iraq.
A special force of men’s to be assembled,
Mission secret, but, they’re told, essential.
Hand-picked, they will live lives in opulent seclusion:
Amir becomes Saddam Hussein's chief body double.
The alterations to Amir are mostly minor,
His nose is broken, reset, made larger.
Silicone’s injected in his ears. His
Chin receives a small cleft just off center,
The hairs between his eyebrows are removed.
His mirror reflects Saddam; Amir has disappeared.
Amir is always on call. He’s trained
His voice to sound exactly like Saddam's.
He meets with foreign diplomats, signs
Treaties and contracts. To all the world
Amir Assan is the ruler of Iraq, and lives
In splendid palaces to prove it.
The other body doubles are good, but
None carries off the masquerade as well.
In time, Saddam almost never appears in person,
He lets Amir do all the heavy lifting.
Amir is smart, and lives life like a king,
Enjoying the perks of power.
The invasion of Iraq changes everything.
Amir has no choice but to run. He
Hides in Tikrit as best he can, and most
People think he’s The Breaker of Men.
He moves from house to house at night,
And lets his beard grow long.
In August of 2002, squatting outside for a shit,
He encounters two U.S. G.I.'s. Wearing long,
Unwashed white robes, Amir is wildly unkempt.
The soldiers look down, Amir looks up.
The moment of truth has arrived.
“Salaam,” says Amir.
“You see what I see?” says Pfc Bill Swain.
‘I see it but I don’t believe it,” says John Weld, private.
“Sure looks like him, except the beard.” Bill
Walks around Amir to see his back. "Shit,
He’s dirty,” Weld steps back, makes a face.
“Let’s take him and let SecOps have him.”
“This guy is good, real good,” Lt. Ben Stone
Is impressed. He says he’s not Saddam,
But Christ, he looks and sounds just like him.”
Security Operations is not sure. “Let’s
Transfer him to CentCom, they’ll find out.”
Amir, blindfolded in a van, goes in the green zone.
“I can’t tell,” Col. Dwight Karsten shakes his head.
“He knows too much to be a body double,
It might just be Saddam trying to weasel
His way out. I say send him to D.C.,
Drug him up, interrogate him. If anyone can
Find out who he is, the spook doctors can.”
Amir by this time has confessed, but
He's not believed. He tells them he’s a baker,
Asks for dough to prove it. He’s been Saddam
For so long so well, most photos, interviews
Documents and records show Amir Assan,
Not Saddam Hussein.
“We may have him, Mr. President!” Rumsfeld
Is fairly foaming. “He’s on a C5 right now
Over the Atlantic. No one knows,
No press, completely top secret. He’ll
Be here in four hours. I’ll keep you informed.”
Saddam, George thinks, finally!
Held at the CIA behind one way glass,
Amir's conflicted. He can say he’s Saddam,
He’ll most likely be believed. But
Then he will be tried and sent to prison.
If he succeeds in proving he is Amir Assan
A humble baker, his fate becomes a question.
Injections reveal the truth: Amir Assan
The baker. Hypnosis and sodium pentothal
Force him to relive his childhood sojourns
To the well. Shoulders sore and cramped
From hauling water, he cries and asks
For his mother.
“Shit! I thought we had him! Shit!” George yells.
“I’m sorry sir, he’s just a body double.
Damn good, fantastic really, and he’s
Played Saddam for so long he might
As well be him.” Rumsfeld sounds impressed.
“That gives me an idea,” Cheney chimes in.
“I think Saddam is dead,” says Dick,
“We’ll never find the body. Perhaps
This guy Amir can be made to play the role.”
Two hours later, Cheney and Rumsfeld
Have the plan in place. Prince George
Goes along, convinced that it can work.
In September, the San Francisco weather
Is the nicest of the year. The 580
Highway underpass provides shelter
From the sun, and the homeless make use of
The unused real estate. Amir Assan
Sits huddled with his few belongings.
A microchip beneath his skin keeps
Track of him till needed. Foul Rumsfeld
Will someday give orders and Amir Assan
Will be picked up, sedated and flown to Iraq,
Secured in a safe hiding place
And later “discovered” as “Saddam.”
Amir's mind no longer sharp, brain
Scrambled with drugs from the CIA,
He tells others he’s Saddam Hussein,
But they just laugh. He’s big, strong,
Eats well enough, and really likes
San Francisco sour dough bread.