They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Monday, January 01, 2007

Saddam hanging for freedom

"An important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy" - Bush

Saddam Hussein went to his death in a scornful exchange with the masked hangmen who taunted him with sectarian jibes even as the noose was tightened around his neck.

Grainy and jerky video circulating on the internet, apparently filmed on a mobile phone, contrasted with the officially-sanctioned pictures broadcast by Iraqi television on Saturday which bestowed a silent dignity on the Iraqi dictator's last moments.

But in the 2 minute, 37 second version broadcast by Al Jazeera television yesterday, he can be seen and heard exchanging insults with his Shia executioners and other witnesses.

Saddam's final words were in keeping with his court appearances, during which he railed against his tormentors and the invaders of his country. National security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, told The New York Times that one of the guards shouted at Saddam: "You have destroyed us. You have killed us. You have made us live in destitution."

"I have saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the Persians and Americans," Saddam responded."God damn you," the guard said. "God damn you," came the reply. The assembled witnesses to the execution, gathered below the gallows, can be heard ignoring appeals for propriety as a man shouts out "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada." That is a reference to the powerful young Shia militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, whose father, a revered Shia cleric, was executed by Saddam in 1999. Saddam hits back: "Do you consider this bravery?" Link