Well, I needed that "vacation". What a pleasant surprise that the "war" ended while I took a break...
Ah, but the news marches on, and so too, the continuing saga of Saddam.
You had to know he was spending all that money on more than Grecian formula.
From yesterday's LA Times, the following story about Saddam and Sons lifestyle:
"The garish mansions and palaces of Hussein's sons and cronies have been stripped bare and peeled open to expose a chimera. For all its claims to Islamic piety, the regime's elite was Western to its core. Their grand homes hid American computers, whiskey, pornography, videos and pop music. They drove big Chevys, smoked Marlboros and read Newsweek. They fired Beretta pistols and Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers in an indoor shooting range. They drank French Champagne and Tanqueray gin with a twist."...
"Versailles Meets Vegas
The palace complex boasts the grandeur of Versailles but also the shallow glitz of Las Vegas and the low taste of Graceland.
The soaring dome of the gilded reception hall of the Republican Guard palace now has a perfectly round hole in its center as a result of an American bomb. The catastrophic explosion unmasked walls buttressed by sloppy concrete, moldings fashioned of flimsy wood painted gold, baroque furniture made of painted pine and enormous chandeliers of plastic shaped to look like cut glass."
All glitz and sham.
The rest of the article is well worth reading.