The pictures of Muammar Qaddafi’s death have made me reflect, as they must have made many people reflect, on the equally gruesome images of Saddam’s death. Did Qaddafi himself think about Saddam, in those last minutes of his life? My question is speculative, but I do not think it is unreasonable.
We do know whom Saddam was thinking about—if not at the moment of his execution, then certainly at his trial in Baghdad, when he came face to face with his impending fate. On December 5, 2005, at the moment when the first witness testified against him, Saddam waved his fist in the courtroom air and cried, “I am Saddam Hussein!” And then he shouted, as reported by Robert F. Worth in The New York Times, “Like the path of Mussolini”—such was his cry—“to resist occupation to the end, that is Saddam Hussein.”