Mangala bent down and lowered his face into Baghdad, into the secretmost hiding place of Great Saddam.
"O Saddam," Mangala whispered. "Surely thou seest that thy day is done. Why doest thou continue in this bloody, hopeless cause?"
Saddam looked up at the God of War & Empire, and said these words:
"In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, fight on until there are no more troubles.
"O great people, O men of our valiant armed forces, O young men of Iraq, O mujahideen, who carry the honor and trust of jihad. O glorious women in your beloved, dear Baghdad, which is glorious with its people. Peace be upon you.
"The enemy, O beloved, tries in vain to shake your steadfastness and your heroic confrontations. Therefore, they started bypassing the defenses of the armed forces around Baghdad, just as in other Iraqi cities, avoiding confrontation, or testing and avoiding us where found us strong and holding fast.
"Instead, they pass us by and drop from the air here and there, just as we have expected them to do. The landings and the movement are mostly on the roads, in small numbers of vehicles and evildoers, in a way that makes it possible for you to resist and destroy with the weapons at hand. Perhaps you remember the valiant Iraqi peasant and how he shot down an American Apache with an old weapon.
"Strike them hard. Strike them with the force of faith wherever they come near. Relying on God, the powerful, the great, resist them whenever they come close to you and trespass upon your venerable city, O people of valiant and beautiful Baghdad. Stick to your principles, your patriotism, the honor of men and women, the faith and the honor of the oath.
"O people of Baghdad and Iraq, our beloved, you are now the tower of faith and glory. You will be victorious and God willing, they will be defeated and cursed.
"God is great. Glory is to God and victory is to Iraq. God is great. Long live our nation. Long live Iraq. Long live Palestine. On to jihad. Their dead will go to Hell, and the living will be covered with shame. Our martyrs will go to Heaven, and our living will have glory and pride. The glory and the approval of God, the merciful, the compassionate, will be yours, you Iraqi men and glorious women of Baghdad and Iraq.
"God is great, God is great, and damnation to the criminals."
Mangala stared a minute, and said, "O Saddam, I can see that thou art a poor strategist, but a rhetorician of renown. If high-flown words were missiles, thou wouldst have won already." And he stood up, withdrawing his face from Baghdad, and settled down to watch the end game of this great chess match called war.