Examining Saddam Hussein's last words
(دراسة صدام حسين الكلمات الاخيرة
In the months and weeks before his death Saddam Hussein (Uruknet photo on left) produced a number of communications to the world beyond his cell through speeches, letters and interviews. Some of these communications have been made public and reveal additional insights into the former Iraqi leader's personal beliefs and motives, particularly Hussein's views on jihad and the use of terrorism.
In his July 7, 2006 letter to the American people, Hussein (via Uruknet) referred to the insurgency in Iraq as "heroic Mujahideen, in glorious, virtuous, militant, jihadist Iraq. So God bless the heroic people of Iraq and God bless the jihad and Mujahideen."Hussein signed the letter:
God is great…Glory to God, to our nation, our people and the Mujahideen…Long live Iraq…Long live Palestine…Long live our glorious nation and our peace l oving people. God is greater. Saddam Hussein
President of Iraq and Commander in Chief of Iraq’s Mujahideen Armed Forces
The invocations of Islam and calls for a jihad against his foes were not new for Hussein. The calls for a "jihad" against the U.S. and its allies began at least as early as 1990 during the run up to the first Gulf War when Hussein declared a holy war against the U.S. and Israel, 1993 through his right hand man at Iraq's "Popular Islamic Conference" in Baghdad, in 1998 after U.S. air strikes on Iraq , in 2000 while speaking about the USS Cole bombing and in the months before the March 2003 invasion the calls were repeated. After coalition forces entered Iraq he again invoked the call for jihad at least twice before he was captured.
In a March 2006 interview held on Al-Fayhaa TV (found by "The Bullwinkle Blog" and translated by MEMRI) Hussein claimed responsibility for unspecified terrorist attacks.
I know that people who listen to me might think that Saddam Hussein has become apathetic in prison and stopped supporting terrorism. No. I’m not ashamed to tell you that Iraq, without Saddam Hussein, isn’t worth two bits. Therefore, it will make me happy if Iraq turns into dust.
Though this may have been tough talk from a man facing his own mortality or simply talk of using violence against those from both inside and outside his former ruling Baath Party who had crossed him during his time in prison it contrasts sharply with Hussein's previous denials of links to terrorism and similar comments made by Hussein's former mouthpiece Tariq Aziz.
Further critical analysis of Hussein's speeches (other speeches found here), analysis of the upcoming "tell all" book from Hussein's former lawyer, deciphering of public and private letters, interviews (as well as the eventual declassification of interrogation logs) will undoubtedly provide a means for deeper understanding of Hussein's stated desires and impressions regarding the West, Islam/Islamists, jihad and terrorism. These reports, combined with the previous findings of the Duelfer Report, the Iraqi Perspectives Project and CIA/DIA/FBI reports (which have been partially released through the Senate Intelligence Committee's look at the subject), are necessary for a full and comprehensive view into the world according to Saddam Hussein and thus any definitive pronouncements on Hussein's real motives should be withheld until such an effort can be made.