Saddam Hussein has been executed.Â No humane, painless lethal injection for this cruel monster/dictator.Â He was hanged – which means he at least suffered for a few minutes before dying.Â He received a fair trial, heÂ had the opportunity to say good-bye to his loved ones (if he had any), and he was given the courtesy of speaking some final words.Â Those are all things he denied the thousands that he was responsible for butchering unmercifully.Â There is no pleasure in this death – only the satisfaction that justice was served and that this man will never be able to murder again.
Â BAGHDAD, IraqÂ (Dec. 30) – Saddam Hussein struggled briefly after American military guards handed him over to Iraqi executioners. But as his final moments approached, he grew calm. He clutched a Quran as he was led to the gallows, and in one final moment of defiance, refused to have a hood pulled over his head before facing the same fate he was accused of inflicting on countless thousands during a quarter-century of ruthless power.
A man whose testimony helped lead to Saddam’s conviction and execution before sunrise Saturday said he was shown the body because “everybody wanted to make sure that he was really executed.”
“Now, he is in the garbage of history,” said Jawad Abdul-Aziz, who lost his father, three brothers and 22 cousins in the reprisal killings that followed a botched 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in the Shiite town of Dujail.
In Baghdad’s Shiite enclave of Sadr City, hundreds of people danced in the streets while others fired guns in the air to celebrate his death. The government did not impose a round-the-clock curfew as it did last month when Saddam was convicted to thwart any surge in retaliatory violence.
It was a grim end for the 69-year-old leader who had vexed three U.S. presidents. Despite his ouster, Washington, its allies and the new Iraqi leaders remain mired in a fight to quell a stubborn insurgency by Saddam loyalists and a vicious sectarian conflict.
Sami al-Askari, the political adviser of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told The Associated Press that Saddam initially resisted when he was taken by Iraqi guards but was composed in his final moments.
He said Saddam was clad in a black suit, hat and shoes, rather than prison garb. His hat was removed shortly before the noose was slipped around his neck.
Shortly before the execution, Saddam was asked if he wanted to say something.
“No I don’t want to,” al-Askari, who was present at the execution, quoted Saddam as saying. Saddam repeated a prayer after a Sunni Muslim cleric who was present.
“Saddam later was taken to the gallows and refused to have his head covered with a hood,” al-Askari said. “Before the rope was put around his neck, Saddam shouted: ‘God is great. The nation will be victorious and Palestine is Arab.'”
Iraqi state television showed footage of guards in ski masks placing a noose around Saddam’s neck. Saddam appeared calm as he stood on the metal framework of the gallows. The footage cuts off just before the execution.
Saddam was executed at a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, al-Askari said. During his regime, Saddam had numerous dissidents executed in the facility, located in a neighborhood that is home to the Iraqi capital’s most important Shiite shine _ the Imam Kazim shrine.
Al-Askari said the government had not decided what to do with Saddam’s body.
The Iraqi prime minister’s office released a statement that said Saddam’s execution was a “strong lesson” to ruthless leaders who commit crimes against their own people.
“We strongly reject considering Saddam as a representative of any sect in Iraq because the tyrant only represented his evil soul,” the statement said. “The door is still open for those whose hands are not tainted with the blood of innocent people to take part in the political process and work on rebuilding Iraq.”
The execution came 56 days after a court convicted Saddam and sentenced him to death for his role in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from Dujail. Iraq’s highest court rejected Saddam’s appeal Monday and ordered him executed within 30 days.
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