|This article was
original published by Canada-based MWC News (Media With Conscience)
before it shut down, and then revived without its earlier content.
BBC Showing Saddam
Hussein Snuff Video - The Darkest Propaganda Game of All
In 2006, over 200 years after large western
nations began to abolish hanging as barbarism, the leaders of the West
now make a hanging snuff video, as they kill one of the most well-known
people in the world.
This was not an accident, that there was video - just like it was no
accident that the BBC spent great sums supplying the world with
bandwidth to play this snuff video.
The videos of the hanging of Saddam Hussein, are unique in the history
of propaganda, and in their psychological harm to the mass of humanity.
Since glancing at the BBC news website the other morning, my feelings
have been greatly moved by an intuition of great foreboding. Our
civilisation has been quite sharply moved along toward the precipice of
There are profound and permanent repercussions from the Saddam Hussein
snuff videos now being shown around the world. America's rulers have
done something immensely diabolical.
The Americans paid tens of millions of dollars for the Hussein
'judicial process', which directly showed in the botch of the
proceedings - so much money, so many American grubby hands in it, it
had to become farcical.
Every element was directed by the Americans, who held Saddam in their
hands till the last hours, when he was turned over to the snuff video
crewmasters. It is hard to avoid the thought that the making of the
snuff videos was an explicit and horrifying choice of the US propaganda
Saddam Hussein is the most famous person - the biggest celebrity - the
most noted national leader - ever deliberately killed on stage in front
of the camera. This is very significant - Saddam, monster though he was
in his past crimes, had become a western celebrity, as familiar in
people's living rooms around the world, as much as Condoleeza Rice or
anyone else. People had gotten used to Saddam Hussein's face and voice,
his image now even a cardboard cut-out in college dorm rooms and so on.
Thus, the snuff video of his choreographed demise sears itself deeply
into the public soul.
Matching this in profundity, is the fact that Saddam was hanged - an
extremely ugly method of execution, that was thought barbaric even in
the 1700s Enlightenment. The core of Enlightenment territory - in
western and northern Europe - generally began to do away with hanging
under the French revolution and Napoleon, in favour of the much more
merciful (though gruesome) beheading, or the firing squad.
When some of the western European nations briefly revived the death
penalty in the 1940s through early 1950s to deal with Nazi
collaborators, it tended to be the firing squad that was favoured -
shooting is almost always quick, and seems to treat the subject with
the most dignity that can be allowed given the intention. It also seems
more honest, not masking the violent nature of the act. Even today it
still seems the most humane way to deliberately kill someone, for those
who believe executions are necessary. Now that US lethal injections are
turning into slow-torture events, the firing squad still remains the
least offensive method, the method most preferred by execution victims
The UK of course kept the gallows till the 1960s. With their empire,
the British had made hanging a worldwide standard, with their odd faith
in the 'expert' hangman. There were hangings in eastern Europe until
just a few years ago when EU membership plans mandated their ending,
while the US had at least two official hangings in the 1990s, one of
them in the 'high-tech' state of Washington, down the highway from Bill
Gates and Microsoft. (This doesn't count the many unofficial hangings
in various US prison cells, among the suspiciously common 'prison
In theory, with the long drop of body weight in a planned hanging,
people are unconscious instantly from a broken neck, but this is
unreliable, and in fact the subject may take 20 minutes or more, or
even close to an hour, to die by hanging. And it is a mess, heads
twisted, sometimes pulled off altogether, blood and gore a regular
feature of the corpse of the hanged victim.
And this is being shown now in the Saddam snuff photos and videos, the
blood on the face of his corpse, the twisted head.
Western governments learned some time ago that public executions have
powerful negative consequences, encouraging sadistic perversion among
the populace. And it had long been taboo to film any execution in many
countries where they were taking place - though the reasons need some
complexity to state. But the key is in a remark of Nazi SS leader
Heinrich Himmler, I don't recall the exact quote, to the effect that
the Nazis achieved their historic uniqueness via tormenting and killing
people before their eyes, and accepting that as normal.
In a nutshell, the core of the real Conradesque horror here - the real
purpose of the Saddam Hussein snuff videos - is to roll back the
Enlightenment in one stroke, to inure all of us to torment and death
and brutality, to tell us that we are still living in the days of the
rope, and of painful death by government order.
The tremendous and incalculable subconscious power of these Saddam
snuff films - is that we have seen someone we feel we know well,
subjected to what we at least subconsciously realise is a barbaric,
mediaeval, pre-Enlightenment form of tormenting death. I think our
civilisation will suffer from these videos for at least a generation.
With even the 'milder' BBC snuff video of Saddam Hussein - video play
at will on the front page of the BBC website for a time, and now
replicated forever on the web and in endless web video archives, along
with the even more horrid version - now the entire developed world has
been hurled morally backwards, in one savage stroke of US propaganda.
The people of the developed world have now been led to feel, to see
with their hearts and in their nightmares, that death by ancient
torture is a given, that it is normal and acceptable according to
Western societies. They see with the Saddam hanging, that such things
can happen to people they know well, with people whom they have gotten
used to having a kind of virtual dialogue. And people see that one's
death by mediaeval barbaric torment, will serve as fodder on video for
the entire globe's ghoulish and perverted entertainment.
Much of this is operating subconsciously, rather than consciously. But
one can feel that the whole earth now has been moved to a different
place, it is quite much more 'Nazified' now, in the way that Nazi
leader Himmler suggested.
I think the Saddam Hussein snuff films have laid the psychological
groundwork for coming wars, for more torture and terror, for a coming
dark age, for a 21st century that may bring even more horror than the
The effects of these snuff films are really incalculable. You can even
see the trauma in the statements being made by leaders and media and
Some people might think that it is a good thing, for example, that the
Saddam snuff films have made all earthly rulers somewhat more deeply
afraid. Even US Vice President Dick Cheney is now subconsciously
thinking it might be himself one day in that noose, for his own war
But everybody knows that it was not Saddam's crimes that put him there
- many others have done worse crimes. And many others are tortured to
death even though being innocent. Everybody knows the trial of Saddam
was a sham, which is rather noteworthy given that Saddam's crimes
actually merited a real trial.
Really, it was just the circumstances by which he fell into certain
hands which led to Saddam's hanging. His past crimes were the pretext,
not the reason, he was hanged.
And everyone understands here that it is Bush and Blair and the US and
UK governments that are the hangmen, getting revenge on those who stood
in their way.
So the snuff films of Saddam, instead of encouraging moral behaviour,
will in fact make many governments worse and more desperate - more
eager to get the power, or commit the kind of more successful crimes,
that they imagine will keep them safe.
The message of the Saddam snuff films, is that the Enlightenment is no
longer. The message of the Saddam snuff films is that there are only
the hangmen and the hanged, and we are all in barbarism.
Very clearly, the Saddam snuff videos are designed to create more war
and conflict, as America stages a mediaeval-torment death for a major
Arab head of state. And there are all the other aspects designed to
create war and conflict - doing the snuff film on a Muslim holy day and
The Saddam snuff videos have brought us much closer to the War Without
End, and it has in a single stroke brutalized the populace of the West.
The Saddam snuff videos have ripened the people of the West for a new
Heinrich Himmler's ideas live now with the Americans, and with the
corporate media powers that serve the Americans' interests.