al-Shahristani Not Named Interim Leader

Hussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi scientist who was considered the leading candidate to become the first prime minister in the interim Iraq government, has announced that he doesn't want the job, nor any stinking job in the interim government. Top Middle-east experts in the State Department speculate that al-Shahristani may have harbored a deep-seated fear of being slaughtered.

"No, nyet, nix, negatori," said al-Shahristani, when asked about his interest. "Do I look deranged to you? You think I'm a little off in the head, maybe? Not playing with a full deck?"

Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy for the United Nations, said the scientist had "removed himself from consideration for any role in the caretaker government." Brahimi noted that he "has no doubt that Mr Shahristani could serve his country well in a number of positions . . . However, he has himself clarified that he would prefer to serve his country in other ways."

"Yeah," said al-Shahristani, "like living to a ripe old age. Not even if you ask me nice, not even if you ask me twice, not even if your name's Sadam, I do not like green eggs and bullets."

In New York, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard stressed that Brahimi was not imposing names of candidates on the Iraqis. "He is trying to get names which Iraqis can agree on," Mr Eckhard said.

"How dare you even mention my name in public," asked al-Shahristani. "Why don't you just set my ass on fire, dickhead?"

Brahimi is supposed to have the list of potential interim officials ready by Monday, but Eckhard said the deadline might not be met.

"My mama didn't raise no fool," declared al-Shahristani.


2004, Mark Hoback