Saddam’s Allies Refusing Meals
Monday, December 13, 2004
Several of Saddam’s top deputies have started to refuse meals. "Eight of the 11 did not eat breakfast and we will have to see if they eat anything for lunch," said Lt. Colonel Barry Johnson, spokesman for detainee operations. Johnson downplayed the hunger strike, first by not calling it a hunger strike and then by saying the detainees actions were just a protest. He was also quick to point out that the prisoners were taking liquids and snacking during the day.
Traditionally hunger strikes are not used as a way to attract publicity.
Traditionally hunger strikes are not used as a way to attract publicity. Most people who go on hunger strike just are bored and decide it would be fun to see what not eating would be like. As Mohandas Ghandi used to say of his 1933 fast, “I never imagined anyone would pay so much attention to my hunger strike. I was just looking for something to do. I had no idea anyone would make such a fuss. I didn’t want to be known as the father of modern India or anything. Toward the end, I would have killed for a steak, but you know how these things get away from you. I wouldn’t have wanted to let everyone down.”
Ramadan has reportedly gained 20 pounds under US custody
A lawyer for the men in custody told reporters that one of the reasons for the hunger strike was to protest the interim Iraqi government, which they say is illegal. The other reason is to lose a little weight. One of the men who went on strike is former Iraqi Vice President Taha Ramadan. Ramadan has reportedly gained 20 pounds under US custody, and is looking to take off some extra weight. “It’s crazy,” said Ramada, “The Americans feed us like kings. And there’s always plenty to eat. They even let us have their MREs, and those things are all carbs. Look at my hips and thighs, I am like a cow.”
The White House and members of the interim Iraqi government have made no statements on whether they would be willing to return power to Saddam if the strike were to continue.