Bin Salman Al-Tikriti
By Hussein Samawarchi
There are some things in life that haunt us. It is a predisposition of being human; the brain gets intangible deep scars carved by memories of events whose intensity are greater than its natural threshold for shocking experiences, whether firsthand or not.
The good thing about us, humans, is that our brain is also equipped with a mechanism which suppresses thoughts that may, otherwise, leave us in constant clinical fear and depression. Those destructive memories are not deleted, they are just drowned in a faraway place so that we can still enjoy our days and hopefully live with normal social functionality. They do not surface unless an event of equal severity touches us again.
This event of equal severity did occur and it was the way Bin Salman carried himself during the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh. His eyes so cold, his voice so hesitantly confident, his display of a very possible cocaine addiction, and keeping his victims around him. He made the horrible memory of Uday Al Tikriti, with all the trauma that comes with it, surface again.
None of the various scenarios circulated by the Saudi official and nonofficial media could persuade anyone that Bin Salman did not order the hit on Jamal Khashoggi. The repetition, by Trump, of the concept that money is more valuable than ethics, assures everyone that Bin Salman is as guilty as all the rational indications show. Erdogan forcing Bin Salman to publicly romanticize with Turkey after he had labeled it as a member in a “triangle of evil” among other slandering references indicates that proof against him is in the Turkish president’s hand.
Bin Salman is guilty.
Here is where Uday’s memories of terror return. The son of the Iraqi dictator was exactly the same. He committed unspeakable crimes and always appeared to the public as a proud individual displaying signs of heavy drug use. And, just like Bin Salman, Uday appeared with individuals by his side whom he had humiliated or tortured.
Saddam Hussein was the ultimate ruler of the totalitarian regime in Iraq. His word was law; no legislative entity could defy him. Sort of like a king.
Iraq was being prepared to embrace his firstborn as next in line for the presidency. Sort of like a crown prince.
Uday, being the crown prince of a “secular” country, had the group of Iraqi elite intellectuals praising him. Bin Salman, being the crown prince of a “religious” country, has the top clergy showering him with praise.
The two crown princes are the same in so many ways.
After Uday was gone, the Iraqi people started telling his stories. Among the things told is how he would cruise the streets of Baghdad with his bodyguards and crash weddings; the bride would be taken to his palace and sent back home after he had disgraced her honor. It is said that many of those young victims committed suicide afterwards.
Uday had a special metal cage built in the form of a human body. He would personally place someone he didn’t like in it and conduct torture on him. Football players who disappointed him had a taste of that. People tell a story of how one special player had his knees drilled while in that cage.
Uday enjoyed taking his friends on helicopter rides. It is said that he had one thrown out at a low altitude just for the fun of it.
Uday founded the Fedayeen Saddam paramilitary organization that terrorized the general population. Videos of them severing tongues, extremities, and heads of civilians can still be found easily online.
Bin Salman may not have founded Al Qaeda, Daesh, Al Nusra, and other terror groups but, was a major player in arming and supporting them financially along with his American and “Israeli” strategic partners. They are criminals known best for the beheadings of farmers.
One wonders if after Bin Salman is gone, will similar stories be revealed?
Iraqis have a common saying. They always repeat that even the walls had ears during the Al Takriti family reign. In Saudi Arabia, it is said that everything is monitored by the secret police. A simple tweet about the high utility bills can be deemed as undesirable and could lead to imprisonment and torture. Would horror stories find the light when Bin Salman finally flees on his half a billion-dollar boat?
Jamal Khashoggi’s death and the manner of dealing with his body can be easily tied to someone like Uday who found sick pleasure in watching while his Fedayeen Saddam men dismembered their victims. Bin Salman displays a profile similar to that of Uday. Could the 15 beasts sent to dismember the Saudi decedent journalist belong to a secret organization called Fedayeen Salman?
Time will tell just as it told in Iraq.