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02 June, 2003

The Return of the King

"You know why the Israelis are going in and killing the Palestinians, and the Americans are killing the Arabs and the British are killing the Arabs?" the Samurai asks, over a pint of beer and non-pork sausages outside the hooker-packed Jules Bar at the Airport Meridien. "Because they deserve it.

"They do nothing for each other, Arabs."

He details various incidences of unneighbourliness, in particular discrimination by Jordan against Iraqi passport holders, even those with dual nationality.

"And you know Qatar? This new e-visa system where you email them and they reply twenty-four hours later with your visa? They have thirty-two countries in the scheme," he continues.

"Not one of them is an Arab country."

The Samurai's first task, when he eventually gains control of Iraq, will be to immediately remove it from the Arab league, he says.

Later, in his sheikhmobile, he shows some old photos of the last two kings of Iraq. The very last king is a small boy called Faisal, about nine years old, who ascended to the throne when his father was murdered. Two years later, Faisal was murdered too.

There's a shot of him on the beach digging sand with the Samurai's grandfather, his chief military advisor and bodyguard. To me, he just looks like a small boy. The Samurai only describes him as The King. "All the leaders and kings of Iraq get killed," he tells me.



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