Researchers got a glimpse into an archive of Saddam Hussein's papers -- and thus his conspiratorial mind -- today. The New York Times's Michael Gordon likened the revelations to those of the Nixon tapes, because "such a detailed record of a foreign leader's private ruminations ... rarely becomes public." U.S. forces brought the papers out of Baghdad in 2003, and the National Defense University has kept them private since then, but they've allowed researchers to sift through a small amount of the material today. Like Nixon, Hussein sounds paranoid and a bit childish in private. He said, for instance, he was confused by the Iran-Contra scandal, in which Pres. Reagan admitted the U.S. had facilitated arms sales to Iran, and saw it as a conspiracy against him (though the sales had little to do with Iraq.) Gordon quotes:
"It can only be a conspiracy against Iraq" said Mr. Hussein, who inferred darkly that the United States was trying to prolong the Iran-Iraq war, already in its sixth year, and increase Iraq's enormous casualties ... "They like Iranians more than us," Mr. Hussein said. "They do not like them because they are nicer than us or because they are better than we are. They only like them because they can be pulled from the street into a car easily, unlike us," he added, comparing the Iranians to willing prostitutes on the street.