Overnight hero

Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 12:33 a.m.
"No one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed. They turned him into a martyr."
Hosni Mubrarak, president of Egypt
How do you turn a despised dictator into a revered martyr and overnight hero? By allowing his execution to degenerate into a rank display of sectarian revenge. Then, a leaked cell phone video of the circuslike event did the rest. Since Saddam Hussein's death by hanging, rallies around the Mideast have revered and memorialized the man who ruled his country with a bloody fist. "The Arab world has been devoid of pride for a long time," Ahmad Mazin al-Shugairi, a TV show host in Saudi Arabia told the New York Times last week. "The way Saddam acted in court and just before he was executed, with dignity and no fear, struck a chord with Arabs who are desperate for their own leaders to have pride too." Thus are legends born from the ill-conceived celebrations of the "victors."
The Associated Press

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