The Courage to Be
Exerpts from Houston Chronicle 12/30/2006. Article by Sudarson Raghavan(Washinton Post)
The hangman took Saddam to a large room with no windows with a staircase that leads to a tall gallows with a large pit at the bottom. "It was very cold," Haddad recalled. "It had the stench of death." Haddad and Faroun walked with Saddam and his hangmen to the steps of the gallows. Then, one of the masked men, Haddad recalled, turned to Sadam and said: You have destroued Iraq, improvreshed its people and made us all like beggars while Iraq is one of the richest countries in the world." Saddam replied: " I did not destroy Iraq. I made Iraq into a rich and powerful country." Farooun stepped in and told the hangman to back away. Saddam took his hat off. The hangmen uncuffed his hands, the placed them behind his back and recuffed them. They also tied his feet together, witnesses said. One Iraqi official asked him whether he was afraid, Haddad recalled. "I am not afraid. I have chosen this path," Saddam replied. Then the hangmaen slowly helped him up the stairs.
In the pre-dawn hours Saturday, ousted Pesident of Iraq Saddam Hussein stood calmly at the gallows, a thick yellow noose around his neck, ready to die with the orderliness that now eludes Iraq. Three executioners ,men is black ski masks and leather jackets, stood behind him. Saddam said " ya Allah," preparing himself for the platform he stood on to open up. Suddenly, witnesses recalled, the room erupted in religious chants, as the Shiite Muslims in the audience seized the moment thay had long sought. One man yelled,"Mugtada,Mugtada, Muqtada," unveiling his loyality to radical anti-American cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr. Saddam smiled, said the witness, and said sarcasticallly:"Muqtada?"