there is video floating around the blogosphere of the last few moments of saddam hussein‘s life. the quality is probably that of a mobile phone camera. it is taken at a different angle from that of the official sanitized version all the major news network have been airing since yesterday. as usual the images are blurry and the camera man seems to be in the throes of an epileptic fit.
the settings are a long way from those that hollywood would have us believe. the walls are pock-marked and dank. a narrow steel staircase leads up to the hanging platform. the lighting is decidedly drab and gloomy and not very far from those employed in ‘the blair witch project’. a group of ski-masked men surround a heavily-coated saddam. they politely nudge him towards the platform all the while explaining to him the steps involved. the man in front of him demonstrates how the noose will go around his neck through a series of hand gestures and indecipherable arabic words (at least to me). in the background there is a voice chanting what sounds like a prayer. it is unclear if it belongs to saddam.
the man at the center of it all is a picture of calm and steadfastness. occasionally his lips move but the words are lost in a sea of shuffling feet, gruff voices and background hiss. whatever you say about him, the man had balls of steel. even in death his conviction is rock solid. a ridiculously big noose appears and is strung around his neck. the view drops momentarily and sways from side to side as the camera man gives in to his own emotions. there is a crash and the next focussed shot is of saddam’s face in a horizontal position. his eyes wide open and glassy, still staring straight ahead.