On the end of my last post, I wrote: "and I can't wait to see what happens next, Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life"
and what a day!
The storm gathered by yesterday's evening...and by the time it was certain...I was too tired and went to sleep, I went to sleep at 2 AM...thinking that sometimes during my sleep, the most famous Iraqi of the 20th century will be executed...
I woke up at 9, mumbled Happy-eids to parents, then headed straight to the TV...and I recieved the images...the first thing that struck me was how unbelievable this was...Saddam was a part of my everyday patterns as a human being, I woke up, ate, drank, shat, slept, and Saddam is the undefeatable tyrant that never dies. It was hard, hard, hard to know that Saddam is no more, he was arrested, humilitaed and sentenced to death and I didn't feel much - but to know that he is gone is very strange - He was a given fact of life! and now he's dead...This doesn't happen in the world that I normally inhibit...
I also must say that from all the people that ruled Iraq at any given time, I do not hate any of them as much as I hate Saddam Hussein - through his stubborn Great Leader complex he has made us suffer so much, and pretty much a lot of the blame for the distingeration of Iraq as a fabric can be laid squarely on his shoulders, but while I was seeing these images, I had to keep reminding myself how much I hated Saddam Hussein, because they were flat-out disgusting. The problem of our politicians is that they always have to ruin the good stuff with the bad stuff, Mowafaq al-Rubay'ie, the national security advisor, said that Saddam looked very weak and pathetic while he was taking his final steps, but in the images I watched he looked just as brave, magnificent and charismatic as ever, despite his great evils, I must say that Saddam Hussein is the bravest guy that ever ruled Iraq. The problem is that Saddam is an extremely charismatic figure, he can drive many people to inspiration and is simply the most bravest man of all his opponents, Muwafaq, al-Maliki, al-Jaafari and al-Hakim wouldn't stand for two seconds alone with this guy, they all ran weeping to Americans...It's just, unfair, that they should be sing-songing like this while not only are they as cruel as he, but they are nowhere as brave or influential as him.
While I think that Saddam deserves a thousand hangings, I completely disapprove of the way they have handled this - they chose a very bad timing for it, the holy Eid is a day of joy, of happiness, of forgiveness, people do not want to start their day by watching a man insulted a thousand times with a rope at his neck, true, I completely understand the fact that there are hundreds of families who are glad to see Saddam suffer and die like their sons and families did, but they are not all Iraqis, and they are not all people, and true, maybe Shiites would feel there might be a religious conrguence for this timing as it is harmonious with the vengeful nature of Shiite Islam, as hatred of tyranny and cruel avengance are major pillars in their sect, but with the confusion of Iraqis everywhere and growing tensions, such delicate matters should not be handled as bluntly as they were when all the other people watch these images accompanied by the whole lot of insults and curses, on such a holy peaceful occasion, the feeling they give you is one of complete injustice and being cruller than the man they are hanging.
The joy that could have been to see Saddam executed was lost in the bad conditions to which Iraq is heading, from a strategic point of view, Saddam's killing could go a long way in dispiriting Baathists, as Baath is largely a personality cult - it is without doubt a significant hit to morale, but it still remains unknown how far could this psychologically curb them.
As for our naive Arab brothers here and Jordan, they completely condemned and rejected the sentence, they lost a 'great Arab leader who was the only one with balls' - yeah, Saddam did stand up, but look at the price we paid for that little hypocrisy of his.
I am sure many Iraqis have been relieved at the execution, and they have every right to, but it's a shame that this sight has saddened many others by the stupid way it was handled.
I don't know of a precise word for my feelings - Little if at all joy, unbelieving numbness and extreme disappointment. I've always wanted Saddam to be killed, but the guy had a way of making you feel sorry for him.
UPDATES: Here is the complete Saddam execution video that was partly aired on al-Jazzeera network from Kitabat.com, it's shot using a mobile phone by one of the guards, and it shows how his neck was broken in the end, the guard who shot it stands at the western side of the room - two other version have resurfaced, the other is from the right side of the room and was broadcast at Al-Sharqiya TV (bad audio quality though), while the other displayed photos of Saddam after he was killed and was aired on Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Beladi TV.
also, a fellow Shiite blogger has described this execution in the perfect words, which are the words of Imam Ali himself during the Great Civil War:
"Kalimat Haqq Yuradu Biha Batil"
"A word of right that is used for an implicit wrong."