No Buyer Yet For Saddam Hussein’s Bond Villain Yacht

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A few weeks ago, I posted the story of a life-size replica of the White House in Atlanta that had gone into foreclosure—evidence, perhaps, of the recession reaching the upper rungs of the economic ladder (or of a sudden and unexpected outbreak of good taste among the monied elite.) In that vein, today I offer this story about how Saddam Hussein’s custom-built, Bond-villain yacht has gone without a buyer for months and is now being returned to Iraq for storage.

The 270-foot “Basrah Breeze” (also known as the “Ocean Breeze” and “Qadissiyet Saddam”) is decorated in the garish style of the deceased Iraqi dictator, complete with mahogany trim, gold bathroom fixtures, and plush carpets. And in case you happen to be a fugitive from Interpol or involved in a blood feud with an American president, the vessel also features a missile launcher and a secret escape hatch leading to a mini-submarine. Everything an aspiring Dr. Evil might require and all for the bargain price of $30 million. For all these amenities, Saddam himself never overnighted in his yacht, fearing a political uprising if he were to take to the seas even for a few hours.

The Iraqi government won the yacht from a Jordanian company in a court case last year and is apparently surprised (and not a little disappointed) that a buyer has not yet been found. The decision to bring the Basrah Breeze back to its home port in the Persian Gulf from its current home in the Greek port of Piraeus will save “docking and crew costs,” said an Iraqi government spokesman, who went on to say that it has proven difficult to sell the yacht “in the current circumstances with the world dealing with the financial crisis.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate