The health of leaders is at no time more important than when there’s a war on. Nations, ethnic communities and loosely affiliated gangs of rag-tag warriors depend upon the physical and psychological well-being of their chiefs for morale and direction. Several players in the War on Terror have been in the news lately for health reasons. Let’s check in on them:
1. Musharraf: Fit as a Horse
President Musharraf recently underwent ‘routine medical testing’ in Paris, Texas, of all places, where he has a cardiologist friend. Ambassador Durrani, in a block that metaphor! moment, assures us that this was purely routine, and that the CEO of Pakistan is ‘fit as a horse’ and that ‘all systems are go’. Dawn reports that the visit to the cardiologist set off rumors that a) Bush had noticed during their meeting that Musharraf seemed unwell and recommended he visit a physician in his native state of Texas, and/or b) a simultaneous power outage in Pakistan signalled a regime change in Islamabad now that Musharraf was out of the country and unwell. It should also be noted that his mental health is probably in excellent condition due to the fact that his well-placed promotions of his memoir (out today!) have paid off and as of this moment place him at #17 on amazon.com.
2. Bin Laden: Victim of Poor Water Filtration?
Usama bin Laden has been subject to another death rumor. This time French newspapers reported that reliable Saudi intelligence sources claim UbL died of Typhoid in late August after drinking bad water. Saudi intelligence sources all over deny this claim. According to the Guardian, this intelligence was gathered by a low-ranking French diplomat chatting at a party with a low-ranking Saudi diplomat.
3. Rice: Mental Health Status Improvement?
Secretary of State Rice may have found love (at least that’s what everyone’s hoping) north of the border with hunky Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs (wink wink) Peter MacKay. Finding a partner who really understands her might improve the mental health of Condoleezza Rice, and bring about world peace.
4. Rumsfeld: Sidelined at the Squash Courts
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was recently hospitalized for a torn rotator cuff. Though news agencies have been quick to take this opportunity to write catchy headlines such as this NYT classic “Rumsfeld Also Plays Hardball on Pentagon‚Äôs Squash Courts,” this is an unrelated injury. The operation has kept Rumsfeld off the squash courts which is disturbing as he is quoted in the NYT as saying that playing squash has helped him preserve his sanity over the past few years. Watch out world!