Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Died Cursing Americans

While there are plenty of reports claiming that Saddam's last words included a robotic God is Great, it seems far more likely that the dictator turned martyr was saying God Damn You!

According to the New York Times, Saddam Hussein devoted the last moments of his life to "cursing the Americans and the Persians." Undoubtedly some of the bitterness is lost in the translation: "Down with the traitors, the Americans, the spies and the Persians." But I'm sure Hussein's followers get it.

The Times account excerpted below does a fair job of capturing the utter "barbarity of the moment."

BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 — Saddam Hussein never bowed his head, until his neck snapped.

His last words were equally defiant.

"Down with the traitors, the Americans, the spies and the Persians."

. . . The room, only 30 feet square, had a foul odor. It was cold, had bad lighting and a sad, melancholic atmosphere. With the witnesses and another 11 other people — including guards and the video crew — it was cramped.

. . . Mr. Rubaie, who was standing shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Hussein, asked him about the murder of the elder Mr. Sadr.

They were standing so close to each other that others could not hear the exchange.

One of the guards, though, became angry. “You have destroyed us,” the masked man yelled. “You have killed us. You have made us live in destitution.”

Mr. Hussein was scornful. “I have saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the Persian and Americans.”

The guard cursed him. “God damn you.”

Mr. Hussein replied, “God damn you.”

. . . The executioners offered him a hood. He refused. They explained that the thick rope could cut through his neck and offered to use the scarf he had worn earlier to keep that from happening. Mr. Hussein accepted.

The platform he stood on was very high, with a deep hole beneath it.

He said a last prayer. And then, his eyes wide open, no stutter or choke in his throat, said his final words cursing the Americans and the Persians.

. . . His body stayed hanging on the rope for another nine minutes as those in attendance broke out in prayer, praising the Prophet, at the death of a dictator.

Sad graphic found at this Italian newspaper via DU.