Saddam’s execution was full of controversies and ironies. A person who tortured hundreds of thousands in sheer madness was brought down in a swift few minutes! Even he could not escape death. He was hanged in the very place where he tortured many!
It is difficult to say whether Saddam’s use of Islamic symbolism and articulation of religious beliefs was a reflection of his own change or a ploy of that infinitely evil mind to sow seeds of further tempest against the Americans! The fact remains that it can be (and probably will be) used by the terrorist to sheer evil effects!
According to Sami al-Askari, a Shiite politician and close associate of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who was present at the execution, Saddam was subdued as a noose was placed around his neck, before a guard pulled a lever and ended his life. He said the process took about 25 minutes, though Saddam’s death was ‘very quick’.
This was confirmed by another official witness, who also added that Saddam ‘did not tremble’ and intoned ‘There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet’ before his death.
The execution took place at an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya, which was ironically also where Saddam was said to have tortured several people.
This district in North Baghdad is also home to one of the holiest shrines of Shiite Islam.
There were reportedly 15 people present at the execution; there was, however, no cleric present, as Saddam had not requested for one.