June 11, 2003

NO WONDER HAROLD PINTER IS ANGRY -- Here's yet another Iraqi cultural treasure fallen victim to the Americans' philistinism:

Saddam's last novel -- "Get out of here, curse you!" -- was about to go on sale when U.S. and British forces invaded Iraq on March 20. It never saw the light of day.

"This was his fourth book. It was written sometime in 2002," said Ali Abdel-Amir, a writer who has analyzed Saddam's books.

Then again, there's this stunning revelation:

Abdel-Amir said Saddam did not write the books himself but got a committee from the Information and Culture Ministry to do it for him.

"Saddam would record the outlines of his novel on a tape recorder and palace employees would transcribe it and give it to the committee, whose members included a number of writers and intellectuals," Abdel-Amir said.

"They would write the novel and return it to Saddam. It would go back and forth until the novel got his approval.