Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s final days before his hanging on December 30, 2006 were surprisingly whimsical, according to an account from the New York Post. One wild anecdote describes Saddam’s maniacal punishment for his son shooting a bunch of people.
According to the snapshot of the 551st Military Police Company assigned to guard him before his trial in the Post, Saddam got to know the U.S. servicemen guarding him, and even offered up some parenting stories only a tyrannical oil-rich dictator could care to share. From the Post:
Several of the guards had children, and Saddam would share anecdotes from his own fatherhood experience. One story about disciplining children was memorable, if not exactly relatable. Saddam recounted to his guards that his psychopathic son Uday once made a “terrible mistake” that made Saddam “very angry.”
Uday had, in fact, shot up a party, killing several people and wounding several more, including Saddam’s half brother.
“I was very angry with him so I burned all his cars,” Saddam told the guards, referring to Uday’s obscenely large collection of luxury automobiles, including hundreds of Rolls-Royces, Ferraris and Porsches. “Laughing wildly, the former dictator recalled how he gleefully watched the inferno,” writes Bardenwerper. It reminded one guard of “a Jerry Springer episode on steroids.”
How appropriately insane. I can’t help but think of that scene from The Dark Knight. I do wonder if Uday learned his lesson for gunning down all of those people as he scrambled through the ash of his car collection.
The full account of Saddam’s last days and the people that guarded him is fascinating, including details like the late dictator’s love for Mary J. Blige, and writing poetry to American children. Read the full thing here.