Jihad on a G-string

Dubya couldn’t have been very happy when he was told his nemesis may have gone out smiling.

Freshly satiated with an alcohol-free nightcap, Psalm 23 at his side, and about to lay his head next to Laura’s on his all-natural Martha Stewart buckwheat pillow, who would blame the plaid pyjama president of the world superpower for feeling a tad envious.

Just moments before he was blown to smithereens by the two 225kg bombs dropped on his lair, George W Bush’s arch-enemy Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could have been blown in other, less hazardous ways.

All manner of speculation has been doing the rounds since the discovery of a sheer, leopard-print negligee and other “see-through” women’s clothing scattered amid the rubble—such as, that the alleged al-Qaeda Number Two in Iraq (aka “Mess-O-Potamia”) had a bit of a rumbustious thing going on behind closed doors.

Not wanting to dismiss out of hand the possibility that the racy items could have belonged to al-Zarqawi himself, it is more likely that they belonged to one of his three wives—and, if the leopard—print slip is anything to go by, they must have been having a right royal time.

Veiled women walking hunched on the streets of Muslim-majority countries often give rise to misplaced sympathy—that they are “do-it-with-the-lights-on” types. But what many people don’t know, or understand, is that Islam acknowledges, and even fears, the sexual power of women.

According to feminist scholar Qasim Amin, veiling women is not about keeping them at the beck and call of husbands. It is rather a means of “containing” their sexual energy, which would otherwise lead men to their ruin.

Seeing women as active, as opposed to passive, sexual beings, a huge body of Islamic literature deals with the merits of foreplay and the nature of the curses heaped upon husbands who are only out to satisfy themselves.

Enterprising scholars operate online sites, where they dispense advice on what coital positions earn one more sawaab or blessing in the eyes of the Almighty. Then there is the body of prophetic advice exhorting Muslim women to dress modestly in public, but bring out the fireworks for their husbands.

Yet, in his predilection for swinging-from-the-chandeliers types, al-Zarqawi, a ruthless pseudo-mujahid who allegedly butchered people like sheep at the Muslim eid festival (most of them his co-religionists), was not alone.

Ever since Marie Antoinette was said to have told the world what they should do with “koek”, we have known that the strongman has always had a thing for a bit of raunch.

And from the annals of history one can glean tasty titbits of information on the bedroom habits of some of the world’s best-known tyrants—despots who bestride the narrow world like a colossus, swayed by the pleasures of the flesh.

Chairman Mao, according to one of his biographers, Li Zhisui, was a rather tame Asian tiger. The extent of his sexual decadence was watching nubile, naked wrestlers from the People’s Liberation Army. But another biographer wrote of the portly and Buddha-esque chairman as literally bathing in women, “filling his bed with up to eight at a time”.

In between missile testing, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il is said to like women with his salad—flying in dancing groups from Eastern Europe to lap-dance at his dinner parties: threatening anyone who gets a hand under the lettuce leaves with the chop.

The private diaries of Eva Braun indicate that her sensible, dark-hued suits could have been a cover, and that der Führer may have seen more action than we think. She writes of her first meeting with Hitler: In 1929, when he “walked into a photographer’s shop where she was working and noticed her legs—she was halfway up a ladder”.

The notion that Hitler, for all his pretentious homme serieux facade, fancied a good feel from a pretty young thing was helped by the 2002 discovery of a private album containing pictures of Braun reclining by the pool in a bikini, lovely and sensible, but still raunchy by 1941 standards.

Then there is the unattributed snap online of a pair of pastel-blue nylon knickers with satin bows, said to have belonged to her. Embroidered delicately into the upper mons area is the monogram “EB.”

Yet another reason Bush doesn’t quite measure up—unless, of course, Laura’s linen suits also conceal some serious Protestant party pantaloons.

What about the lingerie preferences of the hangers-on of some more contemporary tyrants?

Given how much time and money she spends in Harrods of Knightsbridge, and her shoe preferences given her “broad feet”, Grace Mugabe in all likelihood has chests-full of La Perla.

It happened with such head-swimming- haste that one had no time to even speculate: no sooner had “tannie” Elize Botha died than her octogenarian husband and resident tyrant (still awaiting trial) went trousseau shopping and got married again.

But one can safely assume, surely, that a portion of the state coffers did indeed go towards restocking the “broekie” drawers of our former First Lady.

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