Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2006

Saddam’s Last Words: Three Different Versions (Plus Video)

Filed under: Scum,War — Patterico @ 7:05 am

In updates at the end of this post, Hot Air has video of Saddam being prepared for execution. As a bonus, there are three different stories about what Saddam’s last words were. He said “Allahu Akbar,” or something about Palestine being Arab, or a sarcastic “Muqtada.” Take your pick.

It just goes to show: you can’t get a consistent story about anything out of Iraq — even when the event is videotaped.

UPDATE: Xrlq says that this may be a link to a video of the execution. He can’t get it to load, and I can’t see it on a Treo anyway.

UPDATE x2: This is supposedly the embed code. Let me know if it works.

UPDATE x3: I removed the embed code, which was causing at least one commenter’s browser to malfunction. Hot Air has the whole video here, although I can’t view it on a Treo. Sounds like the cameraman was none too steady.

UPDATE x4: Replaced the link to Flopping Aces with a link to Hot Air, whose commentary sheds more light.

UPDATE x5: And from the light it sheds, it sounds like this was badly handled from a P.R. perspective.

Well, from our perspective, that is. From Sadr’s perspective, it sounds like it went great.

And isn’t that all that really matters?

117 Responses to “Saddam’s Last Words: Three Different Versions (Plus Video)”

  1. Has anybody checked out YouTube?

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  2. They do seem to agree he was hanged, though. I’m surprised al-Jazeera isn’t reporting that he faced a firing squad, while al-Reuters reports he escaped and al-CNN reports he was executed by U.S. forces in the Green Zone to prevent his escape.

    My guess: tonight NBC will report, with video to prove it, that his last words were “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

    Xrlq (aa20a5)

  3. I’m surprised al-Jazeera isn’t reporting that he faced a firing squad, while al-Reuters reports he escaped and al-CNN reports he was executed by U.S. forces in the Green Zone to prevent his escape.

    Because, given all the al-jazeera you watch, this is just their sort of thing.

    why “al” reuters? Does the “al” mean they’re bad?

    actus (10527e)

  4. Glad you asked al-Fullofhimself. “al” is the definite article in Arabic—the equivalent of “the” in English. Surnames that begin with “al” often refer to the place where someone’s ancestors were born. Saddam Hussein, for example, used to be called by his family name, “al-Tikriti.” Since “al-” serves as the definite article, the name “Saddam al-Tikriti” means “Saddam, the guy from Tikrit.”

    moneyrunner (d5b4e1)

  5. What was that noise? Did anyone else hear it? It sounded like a mouse farting in the wilderness. Must have been my imagination. Never mind.

    Xrlq (b6ac5d)

  6. What was that noise? Did anyone else hear it? It sounded like a mouse farting in the wilderness. Must have been my imagination. Never mind.

    It really is amazing what snuff videos will do to one’s faculties. al-say.

    actus (10527e)

  7. I am looking for the Iranian reaction. The mullahs won’t give us credit for taking out their worst enemy since Tamerlane but I’m thinking that the Iranian people will.

    nk (77d95e)

  8. The mullahs won’t give us credit for taking out their worst enemy since Tamerlane but I’m thinking that the Iranian people will.

    Didn’t ahmadinejadh’s letter to bush mention taking out saddam:

    Of course, Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal; nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the imposed war on Iran Saddam was supported by the West.

    The people of the region are happy about it.

    actus (10527e)

  9. Thanks. (I avoided reading Ahmadinejadh’s letter.) The people of Iran may see it more straightforwardly, though. There are already signs that they are getting tired of their theocrats. See this post from Dafydd ab Hugh.

    nk (47858f)

  10. There are already signs that they are getting tired of their theocrats

    Oh yeah. their extremist right wing was trounced in the mid-terms. Good move, people.

    actus (10527e)

  11. Patterico,

    The video you posted works via the link and on your website. Both show Saddam being walked into a room by escorts wearing black hoods. A black piece of cloth or kerchief is wrapped around his neck and then a noose is placed around his neck. The video stops there and returns to the first scene where he is walking in the room.

    [I didn’t see it and changed the embed code. Does it still work, or should I change it back? — P]

    DRJ (51a774)

  12. I wonder if AP could get Capt. Jamil Hussein to comment on Saddam’s execution or if al-Reuters could provide the pictures? Saddam’s execution is a certified “Good Thing” – justice has been brought to a tyrant by his own people.

    WarriorScholar (78e439)

  13. Pretty sure his last words were “Allahu Ak” It ain’t the fall that get’s ya, it’s that sudden stop at the end. Ain’t that right, Saddam?

    Bill Faith (3cc7e8)

  14. al-Reuters

    What is up with that? Its because we think the name ‘al’ is bad? Like ‘Al-hurrah‘? Or is it just playing off the ‘arab=enemy’ meme? That’s not kosher.

    actus (10527e)

  15. Saddam Hussein is still dead….

    Unfortunately the best video I’ve located so far stops short of showing the actual moment the floor drops away. If I can get my hands on the whole thing I’ll post it and if I find a link to it…

    Bill's Bites (72c8fd)

  16. After reviewing the video, it is reasonable to conclude that Saddam Hussein is not dead. More fine work by Mr. Bush. It really makes you wonder about all the other totally easy things about reconstruction have been botched because simply nobody cares about anything.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  17. Not dead? Is Saddam the Freddy Krueger of the Middle East?

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  18. Patterico,

    The video still works but my summary in comment #11 was incorrect. The “end” of the video does not return to the beginning scene where Saddam enters the room. Instead, the video apparently fast forwards to Saddam after death when the escorts are removing him from the gallows. It is a brief moment but it seems they have edited out the actual hanging and, at the end, show Saddam in death.

    DRJ (51a774)

  19. Possible last words:

    “Greetings, loyal subjects. You’re probably wondering why I’ve commanded you all to be here today. But first, a story; I was born in a small hut in…Ackkkkkkkkkkkk!”

    “Where’s Kofi? Anybody seen Kofi? I don’t understand; he promised me he’d be here…”

    “Mama, just killed a man…”

    Noel (ee9fe2)

  20. I’ve watched this video several times and gone to slow motion at the end. There are a couple of frames at the end that appear to be a post-death Saddam but it’s hard to tell. At the very end, the frames reset to the beginning and offer other videos about Saddam, including Saddam in his shroud that it says were played on Iraqi TV.

    The shroud video shows what appears to be a dead Saddam viewed from above his head. He is wrapped in a white shroud so that only the left side of his head/face and his right shoulder are visible. He appears to have on a black shirt with a white undershirt that resembles what Saddam wore in the video you posted. It looks like Saddam’s face, hair, etc. The pictures seemed to be taken from a hand-held camera and seemed a little shaky at times. There were glimpses of the area that suggested Saddam was outside in a covered area or possibly in the back of a vehicle. (The very end shows a Toyota emblem.) The shroud video runs for about a minute or two and then repeats.

    DRJ (51a774)

  21. Saddam is dead. Cindy Sheehan is grieving, this time for real.

    Vermont Neighbor (cd4d85)

  22. This report on Hussein’s execution is the highest watched video on youtube right now:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=WkjbZZ8vqfU

    It doesn’t show the execution; it shows some infobabe coughing trying to report it, unable to speak.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  23. Did anyone catch the LA Times’ coverage this morning? Hussein executed — and Iraq braces and more of that sort. Nattering nabobs of negativism indeed.

    I note that Iraq is still bracing — and that from the much more objective NY Times.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  24. To view a cynical and satirical visual of George Bush playing a round of “Hangman”…link here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

    Daniel DiRito (38fc72)

  25. Upon further review, I don’t think the video linked above shows Saddam after his hanging because his image in the last few frames isn’t consistent with the shroud pictures (no blood, angle of the head). Sorry.

    DRJ (51a774)

  26. Is ACTUS trying to make a point about the “al” thing or he/she/it just plain thick in the skull?

    Ropeboy (c77ffa)

  27. At proteinwisdom (Jeff Goldstein’s site), it was a general guideline to “Ignore Actus.”

    Make of that what you will.

    Lurking Observer (9fde72)

  28. Ropeboy – The answer to both parts of your question is yes.

    SmokeVanThorn (b86663)

  29. Hanging kills by breaking the neck (thus the big “hangman’s knot” in the rope to snap the head to one side). Obviously the angle of Saddam’s head after would be different than prior to the hanging because his neck is broken… head probably flopped around a lot while they were taking his stinking carcass down.

    There wouldn’t be blood from hanging, other than maybe a little from the rope chafing the neck and cheek. There would be a big mess in his pants, though! 8)

    Dubya (c16726)

  30. Actus ain’t as dumb as Patterico’s new trolls. He’s just dumb enough to live in a trailer down by the river.

    How Patterico inherited Cathy Siepp’s trolls, that’s something I’m still trying to figure out.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  31. I heard that his last words were “God Bless George Bush!”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  32. I feel sorry for our British pals.

    They oppose the death penalty, but by law have to do whatever America wants…some Benny Hill-like statements coming from Downing Street today about the Saddam snuff video.

    Poor ol’ England.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  33. They have no one to blame but themselves. Had they not enacted the various Townsend and Stamp Acts, then we wouldn’t have fought a war for independence, and all the ills of the world wouldn’t have happened.

    No America, no Perry expedition to Japan. No America, no Americans traipsing about Iraq.

    That is what you’re “logic” leads to, you know, Neville. George III and Pitt and all—it’s their responsibility.

    Of course, the Brits, w/ Balfour, w/ toppling the Ottomans, w/ their decision to support France in WWI, well, they’d have a heapa responsibility anyway, but that’s all water under the bridge, eh, old boy?

    Lurking Observer (9fde72)

  34. They didn’t have to sign on to be our towel boys, LO.

    I’m glad China has selected Russia as their sidekick during their rise to world domination instead of us.

    America is spared the embarrassing lapdog phase and can proceed directly to the blissful irrelevance phase.

    Judging by this laughably bad Saddam video…we may already be there.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  35. So what if the Three Wise Men had been Three Trolls from this site:

    David: Did you see the sandals Mary was wearing with that dress?
    Neville: Why did Yahweh alow Antipater (Herod’s father) to become king?
    AF: Yahweh let the Isrealis destroy the Phillistines.
    David: That baby looks nothing like Joseph.
    Neville: Yahweh supports Herod, a brutal dictator.
    AF: Yahweh allied himself with Moses and drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea.
    David: Virgin, my ass. They expect us to believe that, these days?

    nk (956ea1)

  36. “America is spared the embarrassing lapdog phase and can proceed directly to the blissful irrelevance phase.”

    Also Sprach [wie sagen sich “innefectual nerd pounding on a keyboard” in Deutsch]?

    nk (4cd0c2)

  37. Al dead.

    rightisright (16ece0)

  38. I didn’t quite finish.

    Al dead. Al good.

    rightisright (16ece0)

  39. Drudge has a new link to video that shows Hussein dropping. This is the worst video quality imaginable. It is very disappointing.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  40. That’s al, folks?

    Unternehmen Barbarossa = OIF, nk?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  41. Patterico wrote:

    UPDATE x2: This is supposedly the embed code. Let me know if it works.

    If your intent was to cause Firefox to revert back to the last page it viewed when your page finishes loading, then it works very well. ;^)

    I finally got here to your comments section by trying several times to hit the “stop” button just before your page finishes loading. Finally I got the timing right.

    I doubt that I’ll be able to read your site consistently with Firefox until this “embed code” ages off your site’s “front page”.

    Hope my description of the issue is clear enough to understand. Good luck figuring out how the “embed code” is doing it. I certainly don’t have a clue. For all I know it could be a bug in Firefox. But I’ve never encountered the phenomenon at any other website.

    Thanks and good luck.

    Occasional Reader (16f258)

  42. nk–

    The German you are looking for is “Nutzbar idiot.”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  43. Kevin,

    Not “scheisskopf”?

    nk (77d95e)

  44. Careful guys, no personal attacks, remember?

    Though your choice of German to defend American military overreaching is deliciously ironic…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  45. Not at all, Neville. Your Zarathustrian pronouncements coupled with your nom de plume and its history ….

    nk (77d95e)

  46. […] Patterico’s Pontifications » Saddam’s Last Words: Three Different Versions (Plus Video) […]

    Right Voices » Blog Archive » Video: SADDAM’S EXECUTION (GRAPHIC) (1466f5)

  47. lgf has a link to the Google video made from a cellphone.

    Google video

    The voices are quite clear but in Arabic. Anybody able to translate? It could be “Muqtada” …not sure.

    [See the Hot Air post linked in the update. — P]

    Patricia (824fa1)

  48. Saddam Execution Video UNEDITED UNSENSORED…

    Okay, if you want to see Saddam Hussein hung without the media censorship, here is a new video of his execution. The quality of the video isn’t that great but it gives you a better sense of being there. If it bothers you, obviously don’t watch. It ac…

    Right Pundits (59ce3a)

  49. Uncut Video Version of Suddam’s Execution at Hot Air…

    I linked this as an update in my previous post, but in case you missed it…Check out Hot Air for the Uncut Video of Saddam Hussein, a spawn of the Devil’s Execution. More Videos not shown on the MSM (main stream media), check out Vinnie at The Jawa ….

    Assorted Babble by Suzie (59ce3a)

  50. A little easier to watch that the time we tried to kill Saddam by randomly bombing houses all over Baghdad, RP.

    Though the “beheading” terminology used that time was less unfortunate than the terrorist ski masks our henchmen wore this time around…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  51. Zeyad has a translation.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  52. Neville–

    That translates, more or less, into “useful idiot” which is not so much a personal attack as a political judgment.

    Since you chose the archetype personality of “useful idiot” as your handle, I can’t see why you would object.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  53. Hehe, Kevin,

    Are you suggesting that tiny, bankrupt England should have declared war on Nazi Germany on its own in 1938 instead of buying time to build the defenses that kept it safe during WWII?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  54. Are you suggesting that tiny, bankrupt England should have declared war on Nazi Germany on its own in 1938 instead of buying time to build the defenses that kept it safe during WWII?

    “England,” acutally the British Empire was neither tiny nor bankrupt in 1938.

    Had Britain not acquiesced in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia it would have preserved a more favorable balance of power in Europe. It would have had an ally occupying good defensive terrain for resisting a German army not as strong as it would be after it had seized Czechoslovakia’s Skoda Arms Works and after it had signed its non-aggression pact with Stalin.

    Churchill saw more clearly than your namesake:

    nd do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning.This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  55. And just a few months later, Churchill was begging anyone with a boat bigger than a bathtub to help what remained of the British Army cut and run from the continent before the Nazis slaughtered them all…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  56. I assume you are referring to Dunquerque. That was in 1940, two years after Munich, not a few months. Hitler’s victories in the west in 1940 were one of the consequences of your namesake’s naive belief that, to again quote Churchill, if you are nice to a crocodile he will eat you last.

    The British continued, alone, to wage war against Hitler–until he turned against his former ally Stalin.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  57. If by “wage war” you mean huddled in their basements hoping Germany wouldn’t invade, stu.

    As an island, Britain was fairly safe…but there is no way they could have taken on Germany alone on the continent in 1938, 1940…or even 1945.

    What, exactly, do the haters think my namesake should have done in 1938?

    Sent the British Army to their deaths in an impotent gesture against Hitler?

    It just would have made him that much stronger…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  58. Neville,

    The Czechoslovakian air force could have wiped out the entire German Army in 1938. Please, please, please … Hitler’s initial success was due to the timidity and incredulity of his victims such as your namesake. He even fooled Stalin, the biggest cynic of all. I am proud to have collateral ancestors who killed Nazi paratroopers with pitchforks and brushhooks as they tried to invade Crete.

    nk (5e5670)

  59. P.S. Maybe “credulousness” is a better word than “incredulity”.

    nk (5e5670)

  60. Hehe, nk…why didn’t they then?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  61. i just saw saddam in a 7/11
    he ain’t dead and he ain’t in heaven
    the hanging was staged, it was all a lie
    he’s being kept in reserve, to return by-and-by
    my dead pool points were not won fair
    he and elvis now, both breathing the air
    you think someone’s dead, and they’re buried in the sands
    but can you be certain, epistemology demands
    if the msm says it, you know it must be true
    but when it turns out a lie, that day shall you rue
    bring me a head, a hand and a dick
    i’ll examine these objects and try not to be sick
    but even then, there’s just a shadow of a doubt
    because nothing is for certain now, over and out.

    assistant devil's advocate (f13f2e)

  62. For the same reasons the French did not. They thought they could preserve the pleasures of wine, adultery and civilized conversation simply by not resisting. Can I be as nasty as to say the same thing about them as the Romans said about the Brutians who did not resist Hannibal? That they were a worthless people, fit only to be slaves? The Poles, the Russians, the Yugoslavians and the Greeks had a different ethos.

    nk (5e5670)

  63. They may have been right, nk.

    Percentage of population killed during WWII:

    Poland – 16.9%
    Soviet Union – 13.77%
    Yugoslavia – 6.67%
    Greece – 4.17%
    —–
    Czechoslovakia – 2.39%
    France – 1.35%
    U.K. – 0.94%
    U.S. – 0.32%

    Surrender early or join late, I guess.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  64. ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,

    nk (5e5670)

  65. We just watched the video that shows the actual drop- pretty obviously a handheld camera of some kind, perhaps even a mobile phone.

    One of our Iraqi co-workers watching (who happens to be a Catholic, not that it matters much) commented “They’re all Shi’ites” immediately upon hearing the background conversation- only to be vindicated with the chanting of “Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada!”

    This is definitely a Shi’ite propaganda victory for Al Sadr.

    thebastidge (5109f0)

  66. Neville, your grasp of history is atrocious. It really is worth reading a little before referencing it in support of your agenda.

    In 1938 the British Empire were certainly overstretched, but the term ‘tiny’ is beyond laughably inaccurate.

    Here’s the pre-world war II map of the territory:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:BritishEmpire1921.png

    Chamberlain appeased Hitler multiple times because of a now-derided but then widely held belief that Hitler could be reasoned with and that Germany had been harshly treated in the Treaty of Versailles. It’s sensible to ask whether the british public were willing to fight another war before the invasion of Poland, but not to ask whether, compared to Germany, they were capable.

    B (e8227e)

  67. Patterico wrote:

    UPDATE x3: I removed the embed code, which was causing at least one commenter’s browser to malfunction.

    Thanks. That stopped the strange browser behavior. Don’t know whether it was a bug peculiar to Firefox or something more general. But the change did end it.

    Occasional Reader (07cc61)

  68. “Hehe, nk…why didn’t they then?”

    Because they listened to people like NC.

    SmokeVanThorn (b86663)

  69. Is ACTUS trying to make a point about the “al” thing or he/she/it just plain thick in the skull?

    im trying to figure out why people say it.

    actus (84e551)

  70. Well enough with the necrophilia. It’s time for a SURGE!

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  71. Actus,

    I think some people refer to Reuters as al-Reuters because of its apparent willingness to uncritically disseminate insurgent propaganda. IMO it suggests that, when it comes to reporting on the Middle East, Reuters is more like al-Jazeera than a credible news agency.

    DRJ (51a774)

  72. IMO it suggests that, when it comes to reporting on the Middle East, Reuters is more like al-Jazeera than a credible news agency.

    But “al” is a generic arabic. Is al-hurrah like al-jazeera? using “al” to mean the enemy is ignorant and wrong. It also bleeds rather easily into making it sound like anything arabic sounding is the enemy.

    not to mention, of course, how silly it is to attack al-jazeera or arabian news agencies. Friday night everyone was quite happy to follow along with al-arabya’s sourcing on the saddam execution. Apparently the saudis are credible enough on that.

    actus (84e551)

  73. I believe that references to al-Reuters started after al-Jazeera was noted for broadcasting statements by OBL and other al-Qaeda leaders and Reuters’ impartiality came into question. Perhaps al-Jazeera is impartial and this is an imperfect analogy, but I think most people got (and still get) the point.

    DRJ (51a774)

  74. b,

    Are you saying Britain could have single-handedly defeated Nazi Germany in 1938?

    I don’t think so…

    Just a few years later, the Nazis crushed the combined armies of France and Britain in a couple of weeks.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  75. #75 The point is that in 1938 Britain would not have had to singlehandedly defeat Nazi Germany. The strategic situation in 1938 was more to the advantage of Britain, France, and those Eastern and Central European states disposed to ally themselves with a resolute Britain and France against Germany or at least remain neutral–chief among them the former Soviet Union. Again, Churchill:

    I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which I must nevertheless be stated, namely, that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and that France has suffered even more than we have . . . .

    We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that. It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi Power. The system of alliances in Central Europe upon which France has relied for her safety has been swept away, and I can see no means by which it can be reconstituted.

    The road down the Danube Valley to the black Sea, the resources of corn and oil, the road which leads as far as Turkey, has been opened. In fact, if not in form, it seems to me that all those countries of Middle Europe, all those Danubian countries, will, one after another, be drawn into this vast system of power politics – not only power military politics but power economic politics — radiating from Berlin, and I believe this can be achieved quite smoothly and swiftly and will not necessarily entail the firing of a single shot….

    As NK has pointed out to you Czechoslovakia had a modern (for the time) air force. It also had a well trained and equipped army of 30 divisions holding territory that favored the defense.

    Also in 1938 Germany was not as formidable militarily as would be in 1940.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  76. Hehe,

    If wishes were ponies…we’d all ride.

    Could Britain have taken on Germany on its own in 1938, history experts?

    Simple question.

    It think Britain in 1938 was just like the U.S. today…a fading empire…more reputation that actual capability.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  77. Yes.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  78. With all due respect, Neville, where are you going with all this? If you’re praising the heroism and sacrifice of the Russians, I second it. If you want to ignore everyone else, including America, who rose up to put down Schicklgruber, that’s your business. If you’re trying to tell us that Americans are the wine-imbibing, lecherous chatboxes that the French were during WWII and still are today, then I say you have to broaden your circle of acquaintances.

    nk (bfc26a)

  79. Neville, have you no knowledge at all of your namesake’s time? What is this “singlehandedly” crap?

    First off, in 1938, the discussion was whether or not the UK and France should sell Czechoslovakia down the river. Like your vision of ongoing operations in Iraq, apparently your knowledge of what was going on in Munich lacks a few other players. So, any discussion of “singlehandedly” is divorced from reality, plain and simple.

    Second, the Germany of 1938 was hardly the Germany of 1940. As of Poland (1939), the Germans had barely three armored divisions, and another three mechanized divisions. As of Poland, the majority of Germany’s tanks were Pzkpfw-I’s, that is, training tanks. Even in 1940, they still represented a healthy percentage of German armor—but by then, they were supplemented with the excellent Pzkpfw-38(t), a product of the Skoda works. In short, Czechoslovakia’s tanks were helping the Germans achieve the victories in France that you are crediting them with achieving in 1938.

    Then there’s the question of German warplans. The Germans crushed the Anglo-French forces in no small part b/c they rolled through the Ardennes. But, they rolled through the Ardennes, b/c the original German plans (the Schlieffen Plan with tanks) had fallen into Allied hands in an accident in 1940. Had the war occurred in 1938, then, the Germans would’ve conducted their original plan—for which the allied efforts would probably have been sufficient. (Although the Breda variant might still have gone a bit too far.)

    All of which, of course, presumes that war in 1938 would have been successfully conducted by the Germans. But even the Polish campaign, conducted a year later, showed many problems, and that against an opponent not blessed w/ the heavy fortifications that were present in the Sudetenland, fortifications that the Czech military had modeled after the Maginot Line fortresses (fortresses, it should be noted, that the Germans failed to make much impression upon).

    A German army that tackled those fortresses, w/o even the level of coordination exhibited in Poland is one that would’ve been left quite bloodied–and that presumes the British and French left Germany alone. It’s possible, one supposes. Your namesake would’ve applauded such a move.

    How many U-boats did Germany have in 1938? How many squadrons of first-line fighters (some in 1939 were still equipped with biplanes)? How many squadrons of bombers?

    In your silly version, the Germany of 1940-1941 goes back in time and fights in 1938. Well, I’ll trump that and suggest the UK of 1945 could’ve easily whupped the Germany of 1938.

    I feel pity for David E. For you, I hold nothing but contempt, if only b/c you make wild assertions utterly divorced from reality and then act as though it was profound, rather than inane.

    Lurking Observer (1ffe2a)

  80. Aw gee whiz, L.O. Can’t I get just a leetle contempt?

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  81. http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related&v=PUTo7vLvJ2M

    ^^^^the real hanging was posted on you tube!^^^^

    yoyoyo (7f069d)

  82. L.O.–

    You neglect to mention that Neville Chamberlain hung on as Prime Minister until May 1940, only falling after Hitler invaded FRANCE, Chamberlain having declared war the previous September, but then having done nothing about it.

    As one of his long-time supporters said during the final debate (quoting Cromwell):

    You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.

    His detractors were less kind.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  83. I just asked a simple question, LO, one that nobody wants to answer…

    My namesake had no control over what France and other countries did.

    I’m sorry if my questions challenge the narrow and incomplete version of history that is now used to goad America into taking on every tin-pot dictator around the globe…whether we are capable of doing it or not.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  84. Lurking Observer is obviously a well informed student of military history; he’s also spot on in his judgement of the troll “Neville Chamberlain”. Standing idly by while Hitler annexed the Sudetenland helped Hitler a great deal. The bulk of the Czech border fortifications were in the Sudetenland and so Hitler’s troops never had to fight through those defensive lines.

    The 1936-1939 repeated appeasement of Hitler shows what happens when countries rely on “international coalitions” “multi-lateral negotiations” and all that folderol in the face of a determined, and thoroughly evil man. When given an opportunity–or when seeing that he wouldn’t get his “knuckles rapped” if he did something, Hitler took it. He was certainly stoppable in the late 1930’s, if anybody or any group, had had the gumption to do it.

    I will cut the real Neville Chamberlain a little slack however; The British and the French armies (or at least most of their units) fought well against the German invasion; the “Blitzkrieg tactics” inserted some relatively thin armored columns deep inside the French frontiers, but the situation was not entirely out of hand in a military sense; but the French politicians and the French Prime Minister/President/Wienie in Chief or whatever title he was using then, crumpled up like a cheap suit (or like his current day replacement Jacques Chirac). I’m not certain whether the midnight phone call from the French Premier to the British Prime Minister occured the day that Winston took office, or had been placed to Chamberlain a day or two before. The substance of the call was “all is lost–and I’m giving up”. Faced with an ally that collapsed politically at the slightest trace of adversity, Churchill and England had to go it alone for a while. France and the French have loved over the centuries to talk about “perfidious Albion”. Ever since Napoleon, the world has had to talk about puerile, pusillanimuous France (and that’s when we’re feeling kindly about the French). Cheese eating surrender monkeys is fairly accurate in thinking about French military performance these days; soemetimes their military quits (the riots, the sit down strikes and the going into the trenches bleating like sheep after Verdun in WWI) but mostly their politicians quit.

    Now as for Saddam’s hanging, which this thread started to be about—I’m not a big fan of capital punishment, but I’m mindful of a West Texas sheriff’s first question in any homicide: “Did he need killing?” In Saddam’s and in Hitler’s, Stalin’s and Pol Pot’s case, the answer is/was emphatically “yes”.

    Mike Myers (4d9a65)

  85. Saddam’s last words were

    Ashadou Allah Ilaha ilala Mohammad er rasulala.

    “There is no God but God, Mohammad is the last messager of God”

    He dropped after he said Mohammad and was saying Rasulala.

    CPL Zafar (fa7c32)

  86. #77

    Could Britain have taken on Germany on its own in 1938, history experts?

    Simple question.

    #78 Simple answer, Yes.

    #84

    I just asked a simple question, LO, one that nobody wants to answer…

    Again, simple answer–Yes, in 1938 Britain could have successfuly taken on Germany.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  87. Bold statement, stu, considering Britain and America spent almost three years nibbling at the weak edges of the German empire while the Soviets fought them head on.

    Knowing that the Holocaust and other atrocities were going on…why did America and Britain wait until the Soviets were a few months from Berlin before finally invading the continent if they were so strong?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  88. Neville,

    Happy New Year. And to everyone else here too.

    nk (b57bfb)

  89. Happy New Year to you nk…and the rest of the Patteri-cons!

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  90. Bold statement, stu, considering Britain and America spent almost three years nibbling at the weak edges of the German empire while the Soviets fought them head on.
    Knowing that the Holocaust and other atrocities were going on…why did America and Britain wait until the Soviets were a few months from Berlin before finally invading the continent if they were so strong?
    Comment by Neville Chamberlain — 12/31/2006 @ 8:22 pm

    Neville, I’m having a hard time understanding your responses.

    It has been repeatedly said that the Germany of 1938 was a far easier foe for France, Great Britain, and Czechoslovakia. That has little to do with what the US and Britain did post 1941.

    Being New Years day, I’ll use a college football analogy (a bit contrived, but I think I will make the point). If USC was able to play a Michigan team composed of the current Michigan players, but all 3 years younger, most would say that USC would not have a very formidable opponent. That reality has little to do with the reality of playing the Michigan team of today.

    Now- many may hope that it really will not make a difference, but others of us are looking forward to the Wolverines making Wolverine food out of USC*. However the game turns out, it does not change the reality of the proposed scenarios.

    *(It is typically said that an OSU-fan’s two favorite teams are OSU and whoever is playing Michigan. One great exception is when Michigan is playing a PAC-10 team, esp USC.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  91. Neville, your grasp of pre-WW2 history looks to be no better than your grasp of Korean history from the earlier discussion. As I said that time, your wayward claims on subjects I do know something about are fatally damaging to your credibility on subjects I know nothing about. I just assume that you’re as wrong there as you are here.

    B (e8227e)

  92. B,

    Please try to “B” a little more honest. Your view of history is shaped by your current political beliefs…not reality.

    The Munich Agreement was signed in September of 1938.

    The German Army fought the combined armies of Britain and France a little less than 20 months later, in May of 1940…and completely destroyed them.

    Do you accept an actual data point…or an imaginary one?

    Remember, America is spending over 1000 times as much as the insurgents are each year in Iraq.

    America’s military equipment is far superior to the insurgent’s military equipment.

    On paper, we should crush them easily…yet all we can manage is a tie.

    Why?

    Probably the same reason the Germans easily crushed a supposedly superior force…better leadership…

    Plus our side keeps confusing paper victories with real ones.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  93. Troll Neville writes:

    “I’m sorry if my questions challenge the narrow and incomplete version of history that is now used to goad America into taking on every tin-pot dictator around the globe…whether we are capable of doing it or not.”

    You have to admire the big brass clangers of a fellow who can write the tripe that Neville does, while claiming to challenge a “narrow and incomplete version of history”.

    I’d be laughing out loud about it, except that it confirms my suspicion that most people born after say 1965 or so believe history started on the day that they were born. Otherwise how can one explain the blithering ignorance and self confidence with which folks such as Neville express their opinion?

    Mike Myers (4d9a65)

  94. Bold statement, stu, considering Britain and America spent almost three years nibbling at the weak edges of the German empire while the Soviets fought them head on.

    You continue to avoid the point that the German army of 1940 was far stronger than it was in 1938.Germany’s strategic postion in Europe was far stronger as a result of Munich.

    The USSR fought Germany “head on” because the latter invaded their country. Britain and later the US fought the Germans and their Italian allies in N. Africa and the Mediterranean knocking Germany’s major European ally out of the war.

    Knowing that the Holocaust and other atrocities were going on…why did America and Britain wait until the Soviets were a few months from Berlin before finally invading the continent if they were so strong?

    Eisenhower’s armies were sitting on the west bank of the Elbe deep in Germany for a month before the Soviets began their attack on Berlin. The Elbe was the line of demarcation agreed to by Chuchill, FDR and Stalin at Yalta.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  95. Can people please stop comparing Hussein’s Iraq to Nazi Germany during WWII? These comparisons are only designed to stir up indignant moral outrage and are absolutely ludicrous. In wwii, a country with perhaps the best army in the world decided to brutally conquer a large swath of Europe. This was a real threat and action was necessary.
    Now consider Iraq. Saddam had no real control of anything outside the Sunni triangle. His army was pathetic. The Kurds were more or less autonomous. The oil in the region was flowing undisrupted to world markets despite the oil for food scandal. In short, Hussein’s Iraq was fully contained. Don’t get me wrong. I had no problems with invading Iraq and killing Hussein. It was a necessary projection of American power in the region. But only a liar or a moron would seriously compare Iraq to Nazi Germany.

    michesmith (4409ee)

  96. Neville, you senile old coot, you. I noticed you wouldn’t respond to a reply I made to one of your comments in another thread concerning the circulation problems of the New York Times. Let’s try this one.

    Your over-simplistic analysis of the European Theater of World War II only shows how little you know about military history. France threw all of its preparations into a concentrated defensive front. Please do some research on the Maginot Line. By all but ignoring offensive capability, France doomed itself. In 1938, Germany was trying to expand as much as possible, with a view toward war in the 1940s. Hitler accelerated the timetable, in part because of the displayed weaknesses of his future opponents.

    Now what does that have to do with the current situation in Iraq? From a military/historical standpoint, very little. Drawing analogies between conventional state warfare and assymetrical warfare is virtually impossible. You do not seem to have enough education to realize that, though.

    Unfortunately the US has been fighting the war in Iraq a similar manner to Vietnam, in that there has been an effort to win the hearts and minds of the area, instead of going after the entities that fund and support the terrorists and insurgencies. Perhaps we are hamstrung by a lack of support from the feckless governments in Europe, or perhaps the US has bitten off more than it can chew as the world’s police force. Those points are open for debate. However, drawing silly analogies with WWII just make you look like an idiotic fool.

    The only way you can say that the insurgents have superior leadership is that they have not constrained their forces to operate within the same limits as ours. The US troops must always take a measured response for fear of prosecution (that is often fed by foreign and domestic anti-US propoganda). The insurgents do not face that same fear.

    So, are you just a troll, or do you actually have a point?

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (7d7719)

  97. By all but ignoring offensive capability, France doomed itself.

    This is bullshit. France didn’t ignore its offensive options. They just didn’t have the numbers to do so. France lost more than half it’s fighting age men in world war I. Guess what that means for their army 20 years later? The Maginot line was built out of sheer necessity, not cowardice.

    michesmith (4409ee)

  98. No, not BS. Are you suggesting that Germany did not suffer similar losses during WWI? According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties), Germany suffered MORE combat deaths than France, yet that country was able to mount an offensive war. France CHOSE to focus resources on defensive warfare, despite the increasing aggression of a bordering country.

    And who besides you mentioned cowardice in the creation of the Maginot Line? I say that it was strategic blunder. They made a defensive line that was compatible with the tactics of WWI. They anticipated Hitler would honor the neutrality of Belgium. That was another strategic blunder, especially since Hitler has ignored other treaties.

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (7d7719)

  99. For Neville and the other trolls out there, trying to re-fight WW-2 by re-writing history is not pertinent to the present struggle. But, if your views do predominate in this struggle, you might be wise to visit a firing-range and practice your trigger-pulling skills. You’ll need them; or, perhaps some good comfortable knee-pads.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  100. I mentioned cowardice, SOS. Compared to the heroic resistance of the “slavic subhumans” and “mediterranean mud people”, the “children of Charlemagne” just dropped their pants and bent over. Vichy gave them a little lubricant.

    nk (54c569)

  101. michesmith, SOS, and nk:

    The idea that offensives requires greater numbers if a fallacy. In 1940, frex, Germany arguably had a smaller force than the combined forces of the UK, France, Belgium, and Holland. It was the way those forces were organized that mattered.

    In this regard, michesmith, the French most certainly did not organize for offensive capabilities, despite the option of doing so. The French organized their armor (which was at least comparable, if not superior, to the German tank forces in equipment and numbers) mostly into penny-packets, spread across the front. They organized only three armored divisions (a fourth was organizing in May 1940), and another three mechanized cavalry/light armored divisions.

    The bulk of these forces, in turn, were committed to Belgium, precisely b/c they expected (correctly until February 1940) that the Germans would simply restage WWI’s Schlieffen Plan, only with tanks. The early tank battles between the French 7th Army and the Germans in Belgium clearly suggest that the French would’ve been able to take on German armored forces. (The Somua tank was arguably the finest in Europe in 1940, frex.)

    But the French were not prepared to take the offensive, even when “supporting” Poland. Efforts to advance to the Rhine in 1939 turned back after a small number of casualties, comparable to the Italian “effort” in June 1940 (which was stopped by literally a handful of machine guns, despite significant numbers).

    The problem was compounded in the north since not only did the Maginot Line end on the Belgian frontier (a result of Belgian vacillation in the interwar period, constrained budgets, bad weather), but the belief that the Ardennes would provide sufficient cover to prevent German armor from penetrating (bad analysis) meant that insufficient forces were deployed to handle the Germans when they rolled through.

    Coupled with abysmal tactics (a consequence of bad military analysis comparable to Neville’s here) and badly eroded domestic political support (a consequence of the Left arguing that war w/ Hitler had nothing to do w/ the French security, courtesy of the Russo-German Pact of 1939), and France collapsed long before its fighting power was taxed.

    Lurking Observer (6112b9)

  102. michesmith:

    As to comparisons of Iraq and Germany, first, much of this was due to Neville’s ahistorical argumentation.

    But there is a relevant strand here, linking back to his namesake. In 1936, for example, it was possible to have gone to war w/ Hitler over the issue of the Nazi reoccupation of the Rhineland. But Hitler hadn’t mounted the Holocaust yet, he hadn’t invaded any neighbors, he was, arguably, righting a wrong (the Rhineland, unlike Alsace-Lorraine, had long been considered “German”). The German General Staff was prepared to depose Hitler, had the French (or anyone else) stood up to him.

    No one did, and those who argued for it, e.g., Churchill, were derided as war mongers, since Hitler seemed quite reasonable (and what he did at home was his business, really).

    Similarly, at the time of Munich, Churchill and a handful of others argued for standing up to Hussein. Again, this was before Hitler had outright invaded any foreign neighbors (the Anschluss with Austria was approved, after all, by plebiscite in Austria, however trumped up).

    Had war erupted over the Rhineland, the Anschluss, or Czechoslovakia, this would have been preventive war—since Hitler hadn’t really “done” anything yet. (This is part of the problem w/ Neville’s arguments—it is as egregious a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc that one can imagine.)

    Had the war been fought and won, it would only have shown Hitler was hardly a threat. And, as it would’ve occurred long before Wannsee, there’d be no Auschwitz, no Treblinka, no Bergen-Belsen. First, b/c most of the death camps were in Poland, but second, b/c many weren’t built until after the 1942 Final Solution conference.

    Even the labour camps, such as Dachau and Mauthausen, would’ve had only a relative handful of deaths—who knows if they’d be comparable to the “acceptable” behavior of Soviet gulags?

    Under such circumstances, would war have been justified? Would anyone have considered a war againsat a German nationalist, who had revived the German economy but who had given no proof of either his territorial avarice or even his more blatant anti-Semitism?

    In this regard, it’s useful to remember that Kristallnacht, which many consider the beginning of the Nazi pogrom, was in November 1938, while the Sudetenland was occupied in September/October 1938. Kristallnacht would probably have been laid at the feet of the allied war effort (much like the terrorism we see today is attributed to Bush and Iraq).

    Indeed, using Nevillian logic, one could argue that Hitler believed he could pull off Kristallnacht precisely because no one did anything about such important things as Czech independence. When historical facts are open to interpretation in Nevillian fashion, one could easily reach such a conclusion.

    From the failings of Munich, the conclusion was that it would be better to confront dictators and their ilk earlier on. (Another lesson might be that sometimes you have to choose to lie down w/ Stalins in order to defeat Hitlers, but that’s a separate issue.) But in doing so, one is always going to be confronted w/ the possibility that the dictator was nowhere near as powerful as he might become. True enough, but if one allows them to become so powerful, then the blood cost of defeating them rises as well.

    Lurking Observer (6112b9)

  103. Interesting stuff, LO, but I don’t see your point.

    War and Poker are easy to win with perfect knowledge.

    Suppose my namesake had indeed said, “Screw this!” back in Sept. of 1938 and declared war on Germany…what then?

    What if Britain had tried to invade Germany and lost?

    The Third Reich might still be running Europe today…

    And who, exactly, are we fighting in Iraq these days?

    Is al Sadr our biggest obstacle to a pliant, America-friendly puppet regime?

    Or is he the only guy who can clean up the mess we’ve made of his country and stop a regional war?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  104. Are you saying we should have engaged in a nuclear war with the Soviets, LO?

    Knowing what we know today…some might consider the tens of millions of people who would have died a needless sacrifice…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  105. Neville writes “Knowing what we know today. . .some might consider the tens of millions of people who would have died a needless sacrifice…”

    Neville, just what is it that we “know today”? That if you had a Cold War that lasted 40 years or so–and elected a person that liberals call variously a cowboy or a doddering old fool drooling in his oatmeal; who promoted a Star Wars defense initiative, and who, whatever else one might say, scared the bejabbers out of the Russkies (this old fool might pull the nuclear trigger) and caused them to spend their economy into smithereens—that the Cold War would end in 1990 or so without a nuclear shot being fired? Is that what we know today that we didn’t know in 1948?

    Monday morning quarterbacking is always great stuff–but it’s as useless for decision making purposes as a bucket of warm spit.

    People and governments need to make decisions about present and future actions with the information that they have before them at the time. None of us are blessed with omniscience or a crystal ball.

    Your last ill considered comment might equally be apt if one were to say, “Knowing what I know now, I would have gone to an Austrian village in the early 1890’s and thrown a little bastard named Adolf Shicklgruber down the village well and let him drown; and I would have then gone to an Iraqi village named Tikrit in say 1938 or so and arranged for a fatal accident for little Saddam Hussein.”

    In the real world (the one that’s not “reality based” and full of “truthiness”) sober minded men and women have to make decisions on the facts that are before them and on the state of their then current knowledge. Frequently that knowledge is imperfect or incomplete.

    Wisdom and judgement involve knowing when you have to make a decision–and when you should defer the decision until you have more knowledge. It’s sometimes as much of a mistake to fail to act because you choose to wait until you have more knowledge, as it is to choose a course of action based on insufficient knowledge.

    Mike Myers (4d9a65)

  106. So, Mike,

    Are you saying that people who question the decisions my namesake made are just Monday morning quarterbacks?

    I agree.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  107. You’ve got to love him. He’s posted more words and generated more comments in two days than I have managed to do in a year and a half on my [so-called] blog. Patterico, if I am still around when you are being beatified I will forward this to the Vatican as evidence of saintly patience.

    nk (bfc26a)

  108. P.S. I was talking about Neville, in my comment #107.

    nk (4d4a9d)

  109. Remember, America is spending over 1000 times as much as the insurgents are each year in Iraq.

    America’s military equipment is far superior to the insurgent’s military equipment.

    On paper, we should crush them easily…yet all we can manage is a tie.

    Why?

    Probably the same reason the Germans easily crushed a supposedly superior force…better leadership…

    Nonsense. Asymmetrical warfare does not lend itself well to parallels with historic “army on army” conflicts.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  110. type in saddam in youtube… there are links to the whole video, and probably some other videos for some insight on the situation.

    Also, some recent news i’ve heard, is that the filmer who shot Saddams arrest may have been arrested, or some one who may have leads to the arrest of the camera man.

    Saddam was a better man in his later years, atleast after he got done with all of his killings the Americans so blame him of.

    Ricky (810102)

  111. Hitler was a gentleman according Eva Braun but that doesn’t make him a nice guy.

    DRJ (51a774)

  112. Just because he took his frustrations out on other people doesn’t mean he wasn’t nice to certain people or certain groups in particular. Now it certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t a murderer, and sure he committed what many english speaking people label genocide. He also, may have tortured people, for what his citizens thought were for their own good. Much like George W. Bush, and his little prisons in foreign countries. I believe they’re called “secret prisons”. But, even with all of that, he was still a nice man, to certain people.

    Perhaps now that he is dead, we can now come to terms with his death, and try to learn from this. Many of the worlds most deadly people, can be as deceptive, cunning and ruthless at the same time. Which all tend to lead to a similar fate, death. If this is a war comparable to world war 2, if-so-fact-so We’ll be stuck in iraq an easy 40+ years after the war ends.

    Ricky (810102)

  113. He also, may have tortured people, for what his citizens thought were for their own good. Much like George W. Bush, and his little prisons in foreign countries.

    I doubt very much Iraqis thought Saddam’s tortures were for their own good. More likely they thought cheering for the bastard would lessen the chances they’d be tortured.

    The comparison to Bush is just BDS… Bush never went to any “secret prisons” and personally tortured or executed anyone, whereas Saddam did.

    Get over the 2000 elections already! Gore rightfully failed to sue his way into the presidency.

    Dubya (c16726)

  114. Yes, but well I’m sure you know, that his people didn’t know he was torturing them. Remember he had several propaganda campaigns. So it’s likely his people thought everything he did was for their own good.

    But you’re right as far as we know, Bush didn’t go to these prisons, and Saddam probably didn’t get a chance to get his hands dirty in every execution/torture either. So the comparison is in tact, don’t you think?

    Ricky (810102)

  115. 1930’s egyptian king…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

    1930's egyptian king (1a2039)


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