The life of one of the most notorious dictators of the past twenty years ended just after ten o’clock Friday night, courtesy of the “short drop and sudden stop” of the hangman’s noose.
The Beginning of the End
Once a free-spending, extravagantly-living, ruthlessly brutal ruler of a rogue nation, Saddam Hussein’s world was turned upside down in March 2003, when a US-led coalition of 39 nations provided the “serious consequences” called for by the United Nations after Iraq was found to be in “material breach” of the world body’s Resolution 1441, the seventeenth UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) he had willfully violated since the Persian Gulf War.
Saddam’s repeated flaunting of the world body’s impotence to enforce any of its resolutions had prompted no fewer than thirty UN Security Council Presidential Statements condemning Iraq’s repeated UNSCR violations - all of which were offered while members of the world body were working with Saddam to circumvent economic sanctions, and to personally profit from the corruption of the "Oil-for-Food" program.
On the Run
Within three weeks of the allied invasion, Baghdad had fallen, the world had seen the statues of Saddam being toppled, and the dictator himself, who had only averted death on the eve of the war due to the lack of timely command approval for a bombing mission targeting his safe house, was on the run, moving from hideout to hideout, in fear of his life at all times, and narrowly missed on several occasions by allied bombs.
He was still in hiding on July 22, 2003, when his monstrous sons Uday and Qusay were killed in Mosul by the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and members of a classified Joint Special Operations Task Force, ending his male hereditary line, and stamping out his genetic legacy of brutality, which Qusay had upheld with his merciless slaughter of political prisoners, and which Uday had carried on with a gruesome flair which had even, at times, shocked his murderous father.
Ladies and gentlemen, we got him."
Though the thought of Saddam defiant and uncaptured remained a source of hope to remaining Baathists fighting against the US and the fledgling Coalition Provisional Authority, the situation changed completely on December 13, when the mighty Butcher of Baghdad, who had ruled Iraq with an Iron Fist since 1979, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen, and who had repeatedly faced the Great Satan of the West and fearlessly refused to back down, was found hiding in a tiny “spider hole,” alone, powerless, pathetic, afraid, and cowering.
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