Lately, I've been having my episode of insomnia. I think its a holiday thing but thats another story for another day. Anyway, in the wee hours of the morning/night while channel surfing my cables "on demand" service I discovered this four part series that currently airing called House of Saddam(click), which airs on HBO. I immediately started thinking, who is telling this story about Saddam Hussein? I mean, they killed the guy and his version of the story is one that no country is interested in letting come forth - at least not just 3-4 years after his death. Then I asked myself, what picture will Saddam be painted in?, in what light will he be shown. Also I was like, Is this going to be in english or will it have subtitles? Needles to say, that was enough to spark my interest.
This story is broken down in 4 parts, the 1st part is about how Saddam came into power. The series begans with Saddam watch President GW Bush making his declaration to invade Iraq on the TV. Every one in Saddam's Palace begins to evacuate in a frantic scuffle and getting into vehicles to retreat into hiding, with a nice back drop of bombs and missles exploding - of course this is all a prelude to the 4th part of the series.
The actual timeline begins in 1979, with Saddam doing a hostile takeover and overthowing the current President. He did it all gansta too. Saddam was Vice President and he had invited the President to his daughters birthday party. After they sang, happy birthday, they went into Saddams office. At that point Saddam told the current president, his time in power is over. This was a shock to the current president, as for none of his officers or security would stand by him, they had all backed Saddam.
Now I do not want spoil the whole episode but there so cool and greusome scenes. The most chilling one, for me, was when shortly after he came into power. The scene starts with several men lined up in an alley, hands tied behand their back, face another line of men. Saddam is over seeing the events to transpire. A close up of a man is shown holding up a shakey hand holding a pistol, he is ordered to shoot the "traitor" that stands before him, at the command of "FIRE!". This action was repeated down the line of men.
What I want to add, though, is a few points. I understand why the story would begin with Saddam actually in power; And that this is not a biography, so they would not show his childhood. What I do not get is why they did not show that Saddam was very instrumental in the modernization of Iraq. During the 1970's Saddam also had heavy support from the United Nations. He did a lot for Iraq like, dramatically emprove their education and literacy - which is why, even to this day, their are quite a few Iraqis that support/supported him.
Here is a preview of the series