Gary Dexter

Surprising literary ventures | 3 August 2006

ZABIBA AND THE KING (2000)
by Saddam Hussein

The first of several novels by the world’s bestselling war criminal, Zabiba and the King is a clunking allegory in which the king represents Saddam, Zabiba (a beautiful maiden) represents the Iraqi people, and Zabiba’s abusive husband represents the USA. Most of the book is presented in the form of a dialogue on statecraft between Zabiba and the king, who loves her madly (as Saddam loves his people), though he never has relations with her (that might be going a little too far). One of Zabiba’s musings, which may refer to Russia (the bear), reads as follows: ‘Even an animal respects a man’s desire, if it wants to copulate with him. Doesn’t a female bear try to please a herdsman when she drags him into the mountains as it happens in the North of Iraq? She drags him into her den, so that he, obeying her desire, would copulate with her. […] Doesn’t she climb into the houses of farmers in order to steal some cheese, nuts, and even raisins, so that she can feed the man and awake in him the desire to have her?

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