The Times of London’s Stephen Farrell is running a pretty good Iraq blog. Here’s a great entry about a discussion with an unnamed Iraqi Shiite, who had lost several family members to Saddam’s brutality. Some Italian reporters (of genus Sgrena, not genus Fallaci) call him on the unprofessional manner of Saddam’s execution:
Seated first right as we went clockwise around the table, the Italian journalist got to ask first question, and it was a zinger.
“Prime Minister, President Bush said the death of Saddam ….looked like revenge, a sectarian revenge. And in Italy the Prime Minister, Mr Prodi, condemned the death penalty and asked you to cancel it. Can you comment on that?’
There was a pursing of Islamist lips, a 15-minute justificatory address in Arabic, all par for the course.
Then the killer coda.
“I would like to remind Prime Minister Prodi about Mussolini and the way Mussolini was dealt with.”
Sniggers from the Americans to the left. Shia imperturbability straight ahead. And I think I even detected a half-muttered ‘ciao.’ It might have been ‘ouch’. Hard to tell.
Prime Minister Prodi, from his comfortable perch in charge of a government that arose out of the violence that liberated Italy from the Fascists, did urge the Iraqis to call it off— but Bob Saget overrode him.