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From Iraq (G)

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- Submitted by one of the world's top experts on Iraq
now temporarily in Washington, D. C
An unemployed Iraqi was hanging out on Abu Nawas street in Baghdad recovering from a hangover and started to become very hungry. He looked around and saw no food in the street so he decided he would have to ask for a handout.

He passed a liquor store and knew that the owner was a religious Christian, so he searched around for a few hours and finally found a picture of Jesus on the cross to try to ingratiate himself to the man.

So the guy walked into the store and said 'My friend, I am a poor homeless man and am very hungry. In the memory of Jesus - and here he took out the picture of Jesus on the Cross - would you please be so kind and help me?'

The shop owner responded. 'My poor friend, The lord has been good to me so here is a dinar (about $3 at the time) I hope this will help you get a warm meal.'

Rather than buying food, the man passed a local bar and walked in to find a drink. Over time, his dinar evaporated into alcohol and he found himself in a drunken stupor on the bank of the Tigris River, just off Abu Nawas Street. He woke up 2 days later, now even hungrier than before, and realized how stupid he had been. He decided that he would go back to the kind liquor store owner.

Unfortunately, he lost his picture of Jesus and spent several hours looking around for it. To no avail, he just could not find it. The only thing he could find was a recent photo of Saddam Hussein on the wall. So he picked it up and walked back to the store.

The store owner greeted him and the man said, 'My friend, you were so kind before. Now I ask you again if you can help me in the name of our glorious leader, The 'Historical Necessity', 'the Defender of our country, May The Lord protect and defend him '(and he pulls out the photo) of 'Saddam Hussein.'

The merchant hands him over a 'Dirham' (approximately 5 Cents at the time) The guy was confused and asked, 'How come when I came here 2 days ago, and I showed you a picture of Jesus on the cross, you were very gracious and gave me a dinar ($3), and now when I show you a photo of our glorious leader Saddam Hussein, May The Lord protet and defend hime, you only give me a DIRHAM ($.05)?

So the merchant responds, 'If you bring me Saddam Hussein like this - spreading his arms wide to emulate the cross - I would give you a dinar as well.'

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