This Peter Arnett story is getting a lot of play:
The eldest son of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (news – web sites) was plotting to overthrow his father just as US troops advanced on Baghdad in March 2003, journalist Peter Arnett claimed in Playboy Magazine.
Uday Hussein, known for his ruthlessness and flashy lifestyle, had won the support of the leadership of his father’s Fedayeen militia to overthrow Saddam’s 35-year rule, according to an advance copy of the April edition of Playboy obtained by AFP.
The controversial reporter, who was fired by the US NBC television network in 2003 after suggesting that the US war plan in Iraq (news – web sites) had failed, made the claim following an 18-month investigation in which he says he gained access to Uday Hussein’s inner circle.
The playboy, claims Peter in Playboy magazine, would have deposed his old man. And that would have made everything better, right?
Before we answer that, let’s ask “Who was Uday?” A few things I dug up off the web.
The “playboy” Hussein brother, it turns out, really was a party animal:
In October 1988, at a party thrown in the honor of the wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Uday beat and stabbed to death one of his father’s favorite servants, Kemal Hana Gegeo. Gegeo had recently introduced Saddam to a beautiful, younger woman who later became Saddam’s second wife. Uday took this as an insult to his mother, Saddam’s cousin and first wife. Uday carried out the murder coolly and coldly, bludgeoning Gegeo repeatedly in front of horrified guests before finishing him off with a steak knife. President Mubarak later called the 6′ 8″ Uday a “psychopath.”
I’ll bet the Gegeos still tell that story every Ramadan.
Uday was also a fan of sport:
Uday, an infamous playboy and torturer, was no athlete. So his idea of sporting leadership was to torture soccer players who did not win. The basement became a place where athletes were taken and placed in torture devices, such as a sarcophagus with nails.
Did anyone else just flash on the Al Pacino character in “Any Given Sunday”? Yeah, me neither.
On the other hand, it’s not like Uday didn’t earn his reputation as a lady-killer:
Like some medieval baron, Uday would kidnap women off the street for his sexual enjoyment, sometimes ordering them delivered to a nightclub to be molested before an audience. He reveled in his violent appetite and called himself The Wolf.
But it’s not like the girls wouldn’t have done just anything for such a suave, handsome playboy, anyway.
That’s not to say Uday didn’t know how to take care of his male employees, too:
Despite his special [job as Uday’s double], Yahia also found himself victim of Uday