Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

The scene is a courtyard adjacent to a police station in Baghdad. Saddam is there with several prisoners. An eyewitness tells the story:

"The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when [he] said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. [He] said that they deserved worse than death – but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them."


Re-enacting the killings, one witness stood three to four metres in front of a wall and swung his outstretched arm in an even arc, left to right, jerking his wrist to mimic the recoil as each bullet was fired. Then he raised a hand to his brow, saying: "He was very close. Each was shot in the head."


The Herald has established that as many as 30 people, including the victims, may have been in the courtyard.

Except — you guessed it — I lied. It wasn’t Saddam; it was Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq . . . just a few days after we handed control of the country to him. Will some moral absolutist explain this to me? Read more.