THE PLANK DECEMBER 31, 2006
The New York Times's Marc Santora has a riveting account of Saddam Hussein's final minutes, including this exchange between the late dictator and two guards:
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.
The terrible violence and chaos notwithstanding, it's been a strange four years in Iraq. --Isaac Chotiner