[Marxism] Saddam Hussein died with his boots on (and formenting jihad against Iran)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Dec 31 08:17:13 MST 2006

Well, the New York Times decided not to go along with the attempt to sell
the propaganda line put out by his killers (US, Iraqi, and Kurdish) that he
died a broken man, passively accepting his just deserts for his crime.

Saddam died as he lived, a hard-assed gang leader who understood, at least
as well as Donald Rumsfeld and other leaders of the more powerful criminal
gangs that sometimes hired him and eventually murdered him, that "it's about
business" and dying is part of the job. He died as he had lived -- basically
no more afraid to die than he was to kill.  The New York Times reporter was
clearly impressed.  And the hard-ass in me respects that also.

Will the US rulers and their current allies in Iraq allow him to be buried
in Tikrit, where his grave will certainly become both a religious and
secular shrine, and the scene of constant calls to battle.  I assume they
will destroy his body, in which case all of Iraq can serve as his
grave-site. (If you seek my monument, look around you.)

Just in case anyone has the illusion that his political thinking had become
more progressive during his incarceration, we should take note that this
skillful divide-and-rule politician died with curses against the Persians on
his lips.

This points those who share his feel for tactics and strategy toward the
road now being paved by the Saudi Arabian and Jordanian monarchies to a
Saudi-Sunni-Israeli-US jihad against Iran. (And remember, that, minus
Israel, was the core character of Saddam's war against Iran). His death
comes as the US comes into sharper conflict against Shia forces with Iran
being a pivot of the dispute.

This is being prepared by presenting Moqtada al-Sadr and his militia as the
new devils.  The problem is not all the militias, Sunni and Shia as we were
once told, but one militia, headed by the "renegade militia leader" (NPR
radio news), "the most dangerous man in Iraq" (Newsweek), who represents an
"Iraqi Taliban" (Newsweek) linked to Iran.

The coming escalation of the US war, which promises yars more of conflict if
the home front or the military ranks don't revolt, will mean constant
dangers of as well as constant opportunities to move toward bringing the war
to Tehran.

So Saddam dies with words of encouragement for the NEXT US war on his lips.
His cothinkers have NOT given up hope that the Sunni Iraq elite can become
an ally of Washington rather than a victim in that war.
Fred Feldman 

December 31, 2006
On the Gallows, Curses for U.S. and 'Traitors' 
BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 - Saddam Hussein never bowed his head, until his neck

His last words were equally defiant.

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

The final hour of Iraq's former ruler began about 5 a.m., when American
troops escorted him from Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport, to Camp
Justice, another American base at the heart of the city.

There, he was handed over to a newly trained unit of the Iraqi National
Police, with whom he would later exchange curses. Iraq took full custody of
Mr. Hussein at 5:30 a.m. 

Two American helicopters flew 14 witnesses from the Green Zone to the
execution site - a former headquarters of the Istikhbarat, the deposed
government's much feared military intelligence outfit, now inside the
American base.

Mr. Hussein was escorted into the room where the gallows, with its red
railing, stood, greeted at the door by three masked executioners known as
ashmawi. Several of the witnesses present - including Munkith al-Faroun, the
deputy prosecutor for the court; Munir Haddad, the deputy chief judge for
the Iraqi High Tribunal; and Sami al-Askari, a member of Parliament -
described in detail how the execution unfolded and independently recounted
what was said.

To protect himself from the bitter cold before dawn during the short trip,
Mr. Hussein wore a 1940s-style wool cap, a scarf and a long black coat over
a white collared shirt.

His executioners wore black ski masks, but Mr. Hussein could still see their
deep brown skin and hear their dialects, distinct to the Shiite southern
part of the country, where he had so brutally repressed two separate

The small room had a foul odor. It was cold, had bad lighting and a sad,
melancholic atmosphere. With the witnesses and 11 other people - including
guards and the video crew - it was cramped. 

Mr. Hussein's eyes darted about, trying to take in just who was going to put
an end to him.

The executioners took his hat and his scarf.

Mr. Hussein, whose hands were bound in front of him, was taken to the
judge's room next door. He followed each order he was given.

He sat down and the verdict, finding him guilty of crimes against humanity,
was read aloud.

"Long live the nation!" Mr. Hussein shouted. "Long live the people! Long
live the Palestinians!"

He continued shouting until the verdict was read in full, and then he
composed himself again.

When he rose to be led back to the execution room at 6 a.m., he looked
strong, confident and calm. Whatever apprehension he may have had only
minutes earlier had faded.

The general prosecutor asked Mr. Hussein to whom he wanted to give his
Koran. He said Bandar, the son of Awad al-Bandar, the former chief justice
of the Revolutionary Court who was also to be executed soon.

The room was quiet as everyone began to pray, including Mr. Hussein. "Peace
be upon Mohammed and his holy family."

Two guards added, "Supporting his son Moktada, Moktada, Moktada."

Mr. Hussein seemed a bit stunned, swinging his head in their direction.

They were talking about Moktada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric whose militia
is now committing some of the worst violence in the sectarian fighting; he
is the son of a revered Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, whom many
believe Mr. Hussein ordered murdered.

"Moktada?" he spat out, mixing sarcasm and disbelief.

Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, asked Mr. Hussein if
he had any remorse or fear.

"No," he said bluntly. "I am a militant and I have no fear for myself. I
have spent my life in jihad and fighting aggression. Anyone who takes this
route should not be afraid."

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

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

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 Persians and Americans."

The guard cursed him. "God damn you."

Mr. Hussein replied, "God damn you."

Two witnesses, apparently uninvolved in selecting the guards, exchanged a
quiet joke, saying they gathered that the goal of disbanding the militias
had yet to be accomplished.

The deputy prosecutor, Mr. Faroun, berated the guards, saying, "I will not
accept any offense directed at him."

Mr. Hussein was led up to the gallows without a struggle. His hands were
unbound, put behind his back, then fastened again. He showed no remorse. He
held his head high. 

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.

He stood on the high platform, with a deep hole beneath it.

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

At 6:10 a.m., the trapdoor swung open. He seemed to fall a good distance,
but he died swiftly. After just a minute, his body was still. His eyes still
were open but he was dead. Despite the scarf, the rope cut a gash into his

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

Ali Adeeb and Khalid al-Ansary contributed reporting from Baghdad.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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