My relationship with Saddam Hussein has taken a difficult turn – he was hanged at dawn five days ago.
We first met through the pages of TIME magazine in 1991. No, not a personal ad. He had just invaded Kuwait and by some trivial coincidence my own military career had just started. I was scurrying about, a very small and miserable mammal, in a dust-bowl artillery base near Potchefstroom, living by the commands of the capricious moribund apartheid military.
It is as an ordinary soldier that one can see most clearly just what a pathetic thing an army is; it is here that we unzip our fragile cultural suspensions and lose all manners. For it is simply not polite to kill someone else, whatever the excuse; worse still, to order someone else to do so. To accept the order is the greatest act of cowardice. Continue reading