In Saddam’s last thoughts
UPDATE: The cellphone execution video that is making the rounds does not seem to bear this out. (Thanks to Jesse Petrilla.)
SECOND UPDATE: The incident does seem to have occurred. The shouts of “Muqtada” can clearly be heard on the video, as well as what is apparently the voice of Saddam responding derisively by saying “Muqtada” and possibly laughing. The New York Times has this:
The room was quiet as everyone began to pray, including Mr. Hussein. “Peace be upon Mohammed and his holy family.”
Two guards added, “Supporting his son Moktada, Moktada, Moktada.”
Mr. Hussein seemed a bit stunned, swinging his head in their direction.
They were talking about Moktada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric whose militia is now committing some of the worst violence in the sectarian fighting; he is the son of a revered Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, whom many believe Mr. Hussein ordered murdered.
“Moktada?” he spat out, mixing sarcasm and disbelief.
Perhaps an unwitting nod to Iraq’s new masters. From CNN, with thanks to Ray:
As the noose was tightened around Hussein’s neck, one of the executioners yelled, “long live Muqtada al-Sadr,” Haddad said.
Hussein mockingly uttered one last phrase before he died: “Muqtada al-Sadr,” according to Haddad.