Sunday, December 31, 2006

As I write this I'm sitting in a military base on the Venezuelan coast, surrounded by young men who want nothing more than to prove themselves worthy of martyrdom –and this news comes in. No doubt, Hussein was a monster, but I've yet to meet a person here who is happy about this:

December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, has been hanged, Iraqi officials have said. The execution took place shortly before 6am (03:00 GMT) on Saturday at an Iraqi military facility in northern Baghdad

Muslims at the Hajj, shocked at the death of the former Iraqi leader, have said the timing of his execution was an insult to Muslims. Nawaf al-Harbi, a Saudi national speaking outside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, said Saddam's hanging during the Eid al-Adha, was poorly timed and disrespectful.

Angered by Saddam's execution, many Arabs have said that elements within the current Iraqi government, which backed the US invasion in 2003, should have been tried, not Saddam.

"They are American collaborators, those in Iraq. They should be executed, not Saddam Hussein," a Lebanese pilgrim said.

"Saddam Hussein is the most honourable of all of them. He is the most honourable Arab. They will go to hell, he will go to heaven."