Brit Soldier Charged With Stealing Saddam’s Butt
Soldiers have always brought "booty" home from their wars, but this is ridiculous. For thousands of years generals unable to pay with cash or gold recruited soldiers with the promise of all the booty they could bring back.
So why is anybody upset with this former English soldier who took the word "booty" literally? He brought one of Saddam Hussein's buttocks home after the 2003 Iraq war that knocked Saddam out of power.
It's not one of Saddam's "real" buttocks, of course. It's one of the posteriors of the most famous statue of the former Iraqi dictator. Former SAS soldier Nigel Ely saved it from being melted down for scrap metal after he saw it toppled by US Marines in Baghdad in April 2003.
Fast forward to the present. Ely drew the attention of the authorities when he contracted with a war art relic auction company to find a buyer for his unusual souvenir. Officials say just possessing it violates the 2003 Iraq Sanctions Order prohibiting the importation of “Iraqi cultural property."
Ely says the fuss surrounding the buttock is farcical. He asks "How can it be classed as cultural property when it was put up by the biggest tyrant since Attila the Hun?"
"This is like having a chunk of the Berlin Wall – it's part of history but it's not cultural property."
Ely believes Iraqi officials decided they want it back when they learned how much it's worth. "The piece has been independently appraised at £250,000...I think that's why the Iraqis want it."
There's a universe of bad puns and crude jokes that can be made about this story, but in the interests of good taste, we're not going there.