Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 03.04.03
Quebec City


Give 'em both the boot

So, Saddam Hussein says he'd like a televised debate with George W. Bush.

The leader of one-third of the 'axis of evil' apparently put the word out during an exclusive interview with CBS anchorman Dan Rather.

Representatives of the White House were quick to point out there could be no debate over the necessity for Iraq to disarm.

It's simple.

We've gone beyond talking. The weapons of mass destruction must be destroyed -- whether anyone can find them or not.

It was the kind of answer one would expect. George Dubya has, after all, painted himself into a kind of corner.

It makes sense. You wouldn't have found Gary Cooper debating with the gunslinger getting off the train in High Noon.

Dirty Harry didn't say "Let's talk about this," before he said, "Make my day."

And John Wayne… well, the Duke would just go in swinging and ask questions later.

Besides, the logistics of setting up such a debate would be overwhelming.

Saddam isn't about to fly to CBS's studio in New York. And even if he did, how would we know if it was really him or one of his dozen or so doubles?

And George the Second can't very well go to Baghdad. That would be like the Yankees going to Taiwan for the World Series.

It's just not done.

But you know, the idea has a certain merit. Given the popularity of reality TV, we could probably end it all without violence.

Picture this: Survivor IV ~ Duel in the Desert.

That's right. Both leaders pick a five-person team from their cabinet. They get nifty names like "the Great Satan's Tribe" and the "Butcher of Baghdad's Tribe."

Then CBS plops them down in a neutral desert somewhere in the Middle East.

Each day, they're given challenges just like the regular Survivor shows.

For example, day one Vice President Dick Cheney could be asked to disarm a land mine.

If he completes the task, everyone in Satan's tribe gets an extra glass of water.

If he fails, well, considering it's a land mine, if he fails he's out of the game.

Just imagine Condaleeza Rice facing off with the Iraqi ambassador to the UN to see who could eat the most desert scorpions in ten minutes.

If she wins, the Butcher's Tribe has to turn over six canisters of chemical weapons.

If the ambassador wins, the US has to send one of its armored divisions back home.

Every night they could have a tribal council and decide who to throw out of the desert.

That is, unless they use the land mine thing and the decision's already been made for them.

And who knows, if the members of the teams prove to be as devious and back stabbing as those on the previous Survivor shows, we might even see them give both Saddam and George Dubya the boot.

Which is something that neither the Iraqi people nor the Florida voters managed to do.

Hey, it's worth a try.