Does Saddam Know His Evil?

(A meditation on a line from an article on Iraq in the New Republic)

And did as well that rebellious angel:
fallen, flung, his keys rescinded,
the company car no longer available,
those bright unwavering lights transmogrified
and his fiery furnaces incandescent;
did he know fore-well his apostasy?
Had he not rather a secret (shall we say, wicked) thought
that this signal disagreement,
this political formulation of an opposition party,
no more, no less than a coup d’etat,
was by no means inappropriate to his conception,
this very personal unraveling of the universe, than if his brimstone
were but another Promethean gift to the people?

Sometimes Truth is in neon letters,
flashing on our broad white ways.
At other times it bubbles up slowly,
like some psychoanalytic hocus-pocus..

His throne, he knows, is transient,
but he sits there, nevertheless, like a prima-donna,
like his predecessor who took for wife the Springtime.
Such is the certitude, the uncanny satisfaction of hubris.
If a delusion is of sufficient grandeur
one becomes oblivious of its madness.