Saddam's hometown of Ajwa in Tikrit and the Shiite strongholds in Baghdad and in the south may not have strayed from the script. His supporters beat their chests in sorrow. The Shiite masses danced before TV crews. But in homes and coffee houses across Arab lands, it reinforced the sense of dishonour the US occupation has wrought in the once-proud Iraqi nation. It also begs the question, who's next?
In neighbouring Jordan in the early hours of December 30, as television screens showed live images of Saddam being led to the gallows, an Iraqi mother of two said she left the room rather than watch. "He was a tyrant, but I felt a sense of disbelief that America would execute their former ally this way—that too on the first day of Id Al Adha, on a day when no fighting or killing has been allowed among all Muslims for hundreds of years."