The only way to understand the full evil of Saddam’s regime is by living as one of Saddam’s sons. This is exactly the type of life, Latif Yahya, an iraqi soldier, had the fortunate (or unfortunate) to live. Though Saddam Hussein was hanged in 2006, details of this dictator’s reign are still coming to light up to this day.
Who was Latif Yahya? He was a school classmate of Saddam’s own soon and they had similarities in facial features. Something that the dictator’s son was going to exploit in future. Days went by and then years, they were full grown men now. Latif was serving as an officer in the Iran-Iraq war.
Things were going good for Latif until one day he was called to Baghdad at Uday’s place. Uday then called Latif Yahya to his room and said:
“I want you to be me,” the President’s son declared, “Everywhere, always. You will be my fidai, my double.”
“You will be the son of the president under my direction. You’ll have the most beautiful life on earth. Everything that’s mine will also be yours. You’re going to be my brother.”
It seemed a bit suspicious to Latif so he politely declined the offer. Little did he know that it was not an offer but an order.
“What? You don’t want to be Uday? “ – thundered Uday.
Right at the moment, two body guards seized the former Iraqi soldier and dragged him from the room, He was blindfolded and thrown in the back of a car. What unknown location he was taken to, Latif never knew. All he remembers is that it was a psycho-torture cell, the walls were red and so was the roof. There wasn’t enough room for him to stand properly because his the roof was too low and not enough room to lie down, all he could do was sit in a squatting position and stare at the only thing he could – the red color. There was not even a bucket for waste, let alone a toilet and eventually Latif had no option but lie in his own filth. Seven days went by and then Uday arrived and said to Latif
“Latif. How are you? You’ve changed your mind haven’t you? I’ll sic my dogs on you and have your sisters raped if you refuse again.”
Latif was traumatized already, he got that how much of a sick freak Uday Hussein was, there was no option left for him and the only thing he could do was accepting the offer. It was the year 1987 and Latif had just started playing as Uday’s double.
Saddam himself had several doubles who would take his place and face death in place of Saddam himself. One had already been assasinated in 1984. These unfortunate souls were chosen usually from the Hussein family, anybody with the resemblance. Uday couldn’t find anybody resembling him until he remembered his old classmate, Latif Yahya.
Latif had to live like Uday, Eat like Uday, Talk like Uday, Walk like Uday, BE UDAY.
“I studied from nine in the morning to Muslim evening prayers, practicing how Uday Hussein sat, held his cigar, everything. In time I could predict how he would act
and move. Uday never looked anyone in the eye, never shook anyone’s hand, and greeted everyone arrogantly.”
He had to make sure he doesn’t get disgusted by the cruelty of Saddam and for the purpose being he was taken in a room where he was shown videos of people being tortured again and again. Uday told Latif how he was manned up by his father Saddam, everytime he felt weak he was beaten by an iron rod and Saddam was the one beating Uday.
“Just wait until I become president,” Uday promised, “I’ll be crueler than my father ever was. You mark my words. You’ll yearn for the days of Saddam
The torture videos that Yahia had to see included people getting their hands drilled, videos of husbands forced to rape their wives infront of their children and much more.
Uday always drove himself. In his personal luxury garage not a single car costed less than 100,000$. There were hundreds of mercedes, ferraris and jaguars. Uday also passed a bill to prohibit import of Ferrari in Iraq so that he could be the only owner of a Ferrari in the land. From his eating style to walking style arrogance could be seen.
Yes, this was a luxurious life but it had it’s own bad sides as Latif recalls
“I witnessed horrific crimes and began to hate the man whose double I had become. Uday was a
brutal rapist with an obsession for beautiful women.”
No woman was safe. Uday and his bodyguards drove around the universities and colleges everyday until Uday saw a girl he fancied. The girl was then asked to spend a night with Uday. On resisting Uday guards would take the girl with them to Uday’s place where he would rape her repeatedly until his appetite was there no more.
Nahlet Sabet was a student who dared to openly reject Uday, she was raped and then thrown naked to the hungry wild dogs who then ripped her to pieces.
At another time Uday and his Bodyguards grabbed the newly wed couple Saad Abd al-Razzek Nihaya and his wife. The girl pleaded with him to let her go- she had only been married yesterday. Uday showed no mercy and beat the girl until she wsa bloody then he raped her. He then came out of the bedroom with a huge evil grin on his face.
“Suddenly we heard a long, piercing scream then silence. The girl had jumped from the seventh floor.” Her officer husband was soon sentenced to death for ‘insulting
the president.'” reports Latif.
Uday always slept with every Miss Iraq winner. When Ilham Ali Al-azami, miss Iraq, rejected her she was raped and then the President’s son had rumors spread about her which resulted in her own father killing her( a case of honor killing).
Cruelty was something Uday had inherited from his father Saddam who could be seen chasing girls in his Mercedes(after raping them) and driving the car over them. Saddam would then drag the dead corpes as he pleased.
On one of his Birthday party, Uday had thousands of beautiful girls invited he then ordered the guards “Rip the whores’ clothes off!” and then it all turned into a massive orgy.
Just the next day after the party Uday was screaming over Latif for sneaking on his girlfriend. Latif was stunned because he had never even looked at any of Uday’s girl. Because of a crime Yahya never commited, he was again thrown in a torture cell with no roof under the burning sun that torched his body, needles were driven under her nails and he was beaten with lashes. After 27 days of Torture, Latif Yahya, Uday’s double had all his hairs removed and thrown naked infront of his parent’s home who failed to recognize him in such a condition but as they got to know the real story they were shocked. Maybe, Uday didn’t need him anymore. Latif’s story about his life can be read in his book “I Was Saddam’s Son”