Reports continue to pour in from the far corners of the world. Some, like those I blogged about yesterday, in Planet Lactose World News, make for good sense and good reading.
Others just drop my jaw and raise my blood pressure.
What can I possibly say after reading the following from IranSlogger.com?
Meanwhile, the headlines of the local edition of Az-Zaman said that "unconfirmed reports" claim that 'Izzat al-Duri - Saddam's second in command and the highest-ranking Ba'thi still at large - has died 10 months ago. The paper quoted a source "close to the Ba'th party" who claimed to have met al-Duri several times in 2003 and 2004; the source said that al-Duri was extremely sick and was unable to walk more than a few dozen meters in 2004, and that his health condition deteriorated thereafter until he died and was buried in a desolate area in the Hamreen hills - according to his will.
Since the US invasion, rumors said that al-Duri was sick with cancer and claims of his death have been made periodically. However, an Algerian paper published an interview with al-Duri two weeks ago, in which he allegedly denied that he had cancer (the interview, however, was made remotely and through written questions, which does not provide concrete evidence.) Sources in the Ba'th party had also stated that al-Duri's apparent sickness (which was visible in his public appearances before 2003) was not due to blood cancer as was widely believed, but to an undiagnosed case of lactose intolerance.
No. No, no, a thousand times no. Lactose intolerance cannot be confused with blood cancer. They have no symptoms in common. None at all. This can only be the most pitiful attempt at a cover-up of a real illness ever made.
I apologize to lactose intolerance sufferers all over the world for this. We have a true ailment that makes some of us truly sick. It shouldn't be used for comic relief and it shouldn't be used for lies and obfuscation. We deserve better.