Saddam Hussein, in his latest bid to escape execution for crimes against his own people, has applied to McDonald’s for a franchise. The application is widely regarded as a move by his defense team to convince the court that, if his life is spared, he will be a model citizen in the Iraq of the future.
In his application, Hussein states that he has a great deal of fast-food experience from his months on the run. He also states that, if granted the franchise, he will cease and desist from pathological social behavior that brings into question his qualifications to be a reputable franchisee. He has applied for a location in Bagdad that affords a view of one of his former palaces, so he might find peace in reminiscence as conducts his burger business.
Upon approval by McDonald’s, the agreement will be submitted to the court. At that time, the defense is expected to claim that he should be acquitted on the grounds that there is no precedent whatsoever for hanging a McDonald’s franchisee.
Depending on the outcome of Hussein’s plea, his codefendants may or may not apply to McDonald’s. There is some disagreement among them, as to whether or not their should try to corner the McDonald’s market or have the courage to compete with their former boss by opening rival chains, such as Burger King and Wendy’s. One defendant is reportedly considering an Appleby’s franchise, apparently because of a misunderstanding. He wishes one day to be accepted as “American as apple pie” and is unaware that the chain is, in reality, just another burger joint.
Ramsey Clark states, “The move by Hussein to become a McDonald’s franchisee clearly indicates that he intends to reform himself and should be given opportunity.”
While many Sunnis seem eager to patronize the former dictator’s restaurant, Shiites and Kurds are threatening to boycott it.
The American military has voiced concern about possible reprisals, particularly the threat of suicide bombers disguised as drive-through patrons.