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Mary J. Blige - Be Without You
The former dictator also surprised the guards by liking simple pleasures and seemed content spending time in his cell. A man who once had gold plated toilets in his palaces loved to just sit outside on a patio chair or write at his desk under an Iraqi flag his guards had hung on the wall. Saddam liked to ride a rickety exercise bike he called his 'pony' as he awaited trial. He is pictured in his prison cell Saddam liked to smoke Cohiba cigars, which he stored in an empty box of wet wipes. Years earlier Fidel Castro had taught him how to smoke them. He always listened to the radio and would 'always stop tuning if he stumbled across a Mary J Blige song', the book says. Mr Bardenwerper writes that Saddam loved the scrubby prison garden and was 'treating them more like beautiful flowers than the ugly growths they were'. Saddam's fondness for sweets was disarming and the book says that he could 'yield to the siren call of a sugary muffin the way anyone else might'. Mr Bardenwerper writes that Saddam was meticulous about his food, too. He ate his breakfast in sections, first an omelet, then a muffin, followed by fresh fruit. If the omelet was 'torn' he would reject it. Over time Saddam developed a friendship of sorts with his guards, who swapped stories about their families. While the Americans talked about their children having their first day at school Saddam's equivalent was the time Uday made a 'terrible mistake' that left his father 'very angry'. Uday - who was known for psychotic outbursts - had shot up a party, killing several people and wounding several more including Saddam's half-brother. Saddam told his guards: Mr Bardenwerper says that it reminded one guard of 'a Jerry Springer episode on steroids'. Saddam, who ruled Iraq with brutality and violence for three decades, was hanged in after the US invasion of the country In the book the US soldier admits that Saddam's behaviour could all have been an act, or it could have been a 'genuine human connection' - but he will never be able to tell. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the book is that Saddam's American soldier guards grieved for him when he was executed, even though he was the sworn enemy of the US. Specialist Adam Rogerson told Mr Bardenwerper: It was as if he had lost a family member. I almost feel like a murderer, like I killed a guy I was close to. Mr Bardenwerper writes that the 12 American guards who had spent months watching over him were appalled. The book says that one tried to launch himself into the crowd but was held back by his colleagues. The reason was that Saddam became so close to the guards that they regarded him as a grandfather-like figure When Ellis, a military nurse, told him about the death of his brother Saddam offered him a hug and said: The book says that one of the guards told Mr Bardenwerper that when Saddam was sleeping 'he looked majestic and peaceful, but if you removed the glass, you'd see a different animal'. Advertisement Share or comment on this article: Saddam Hussein 'spent last days listening to Mary J Blige'.
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