May 21, 2022 9:30 pm

Myth or truth: the doubles of Saddam Hussein

The bushy mustache, an unequivocal sign of unshaven virility, and the dyed-black hair, untouched by the stain of gray hair, admitted no doubts. Or if? The jacket full of badges with decorations awarded after imaginary wars and the umbrella with a bowler hat, which related him to a Persian Peter Sellers, completed the trousseau. Undoubtedly that was Saddam Hussein, the butcher of Baghdad. Or not? The Arabian Nights of Terror were the scene of simultaneous episodes, with the almighty leading a raid on the slums while having tea in British manners. Still trained for reply and secrecy, the doubles of Hussein They were the most famous impostors.

An urban myth of mimesis tells of a secret academy where beefy guys trained to be carbon copies of the strongman who ruled Iraq for 24 years. The most fanciful speak of invasive cosmetic surgeries and extremely painful splints to copy the face and body of the imitated; the most willful, of intensive training to replicate the gestures and postures of the tyrant.

Illustration by Nicolas Bolasini – Brando

A German pathologist, Dr. Dieter Buhmann, concluded that there were at least three doubles of Hussein: The Lombrosian diagnosis was obtained after examining thousands of photographs and videos in which the doctor was able to determine that in some the face was a millimeter wider, and in others, the chin was almost imperceptibly smaller. It seems that the practice is so widespread that there is an Arabic word (fiday) to designate the lookalike of an important man, and that the son of Hussein, the cruel Uday, had his own imitator, named Latif Yahia, who went into exile in Belgium and became even more famous than the firstborn.

If the theme of the double is one of the universal concerns, I imagine the desperation of each doppelgänger on the day of the hanging, three men driven mad by the realization that what they had dedicated their lives to would inevitably lead them to death.

There are those who say that an area of ​​the presidential palace was destined for the trio that lived in secret: after the applause in a parade that gave fiaca to the original, the false Hussein returned to the dark until the next ride. In its fight against the axis of evil, the United States spent hundreds (thousands!) of millions of dollars to eliminate it and, in a lapse of brute honesty, an adviser to Bush Jr. recognized that “the cost of a bullet would be considerably less ” if any brave Iraqi dared to shoot their leader. Kill Hussein: more than one would have been willing. But which one?

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