Saddam's last moments

This post has been updated 4 times

He was frightened? Broken? Terrified? Plain bullshit..

Just watch the video for yourself, if you haven't already, and tell me how the fuck can someone (like those guys at the CNN or BBC did) describe Saddam's expression as frightened..

That footage shows the broadcast from the Iraqi state tv. It ends as he steps onto the trapdoor. There's also another footage, taken by a cell phone camera. It shows what actually happens afterwards. Here's the link, but be warned it contains explicit imagery. It may also be removed from YouTube soon, so be quick if you want to see it.

I'm trying to compile and get the true story translated, so I'll update this post soon.

Update 1: The story as told by most Western media is distorted, incomplete, and some parts just plain lies. The closest to the actual story I read on a non-Arabic news site is on the Hindu.

The story I got from various Arabic sites and channels, thanks to a friend who translated them for me, is much more accurate, I believe. Note that "Arabic site" doesn't necessarily mean pro-Saddam. Actually, my friend was in favor of Saddam's execution, but he was decent enough to translate the speeches as they were, not distorting them to suit any political view.

At around 5:30 am, the US army guards enter Saddam's cell. It's the eve of a religious festival, and Saddam is reading verses from Quran. He requests to be allowed to finish his prayer, but the soldiers refuse, and a physical struggle takes place between the US guards and Sadddam. Not because he's afraid, but because he wants to finish his prayer. Anyway, he's dragged out and handed over to the Iraqi guards, and he quits struggling at that moment. He's walked to the execution chamber, he gives his Quran to the guards, telling them to send it to a friend of his.

This is where the first (state tv) footage begins. (Actually, the Iraqi state tv recorded the whole thing, but they just released a small part. It's not certain if they'll broadcast the complete footage in the future.) One of the guards tells that he will put a hood over his head, but Saddam refuses, saying he was never afraid of anything during his life. The guard explains he must at least wrap the hood around his neck, because the thick rope may injure his face when he's hanged, and make him unrecognizable. Saddam listens, then agrees, and the hood is wrapped over his neck. He's walked to the trapdoor, and the rope is put around his neck.

The official footage ends here, but the one from the cell phone camera shows the rest. The cleric begins chanting the prayer, preparing him for his death. A couple of the guards yell "You will go to hell." Saddam laughs, at this point, as seen in the video. The group then begins chanting in favor of Muqtada al-Sadr, which reveals that these Iraqi executioners are actually partisans of the Shiat cleric. Saddam, still smiling, tells them "Behave like a man." The cleric in the cell prays the "Kelam-i Sahadet," and asks Saddam to repeat after him. This is a small prayer which says you believe in God and his prophet Mohammed, and it is a custom that every muslim must repeat this prayer right before he dies. Saddam begins repeating the prayer, but the guards open the trapdoor before he can finish it.

Update 2: I read somewhere that the execution "made a hero out of a villain". I totally agree. The puppet government in Iraq couldn't even handle a proper trial. Did you read the official conviction? Saddam was executed for killing 148 Iraqis in Dujayle in 1982. Not for anything else. That's just ridiculous.

And how about the 650.000 Iraqis killed since the US invasion? Who will get to be hanged for that?

Old Buck has written a very insightful commentary of the execution. I'd strongly recommend reading it.
My bad.. It seems the opinion was of Robert Fisk, of the Independent. I guess Old Buck has just copied from there, I didn't know. Here's the original article, still a valuable read.

Update 3: Here's a great documentary in Flash, about the true story of who Saddam is. If you have problems with Flash, Shakespeare's Sister has posted it in Google Video format.

Update 4: If you came here via a search engine, here's a more recent post you might be interested in.


whisper said...

Augh. It may be cowardice, but there is no way I am watching that. None.

Colleen said...

Wow. That was disturbing.