Victim or Villain?

Did anyone hear Saturday Live R4 yesterday? The bit about Uday Hussein’s body-double, Latif Yahia. The poor fellow was forced, on pain of death to him and his family, to impersonate the evil Uday.

Fi “How did that make you feel” Glover was sympathetic, as you would be. But hang on. When Uday himself decided to take a potshot at poor Latif, all obstacles must have evaporated because he somehow managed to escape and get himself the hell outta there, and henceforth to Ireland where he married an Irish girl and lived happily ever after.

Near the end of the programme, someone emailed to ask why Fi had been so sympathetic and had treated him as a victim, when he had witnessed and possibly carried out some of the more unpleasant things in in the course of his impersonating duties. She wasn’t having any. She sternly reminded us that Latif was terrified and intimidated and had no choice but to comply (on pain of death to him and his family.) We were never told how , when push came to shove, he was able to get away, nor were we told what became of his family.

I wasn’t sure what to make of that yesterday. But just now I clicked on a link and it seems there’s more to Fi’s sob story than meets the eye.

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4 Responses to Victim or Villain?

  1. AndyUk06 says:

    FYI the correct name for Saddam’s son should be Uday Saddam not Uday Hussein. In Arabic countries, the son normally takes the father’s first name to be his second name. 

    It is well documented that Uday, who had never known anything except power, was given to intense paranoia, and not without good reason because of the numerous attempts on his life.  Despite his bravado he was a person in deep fear for his life.  This paranoia would have undoubtedly spilled out on to Latif who would have borne the brunt of his violent rages.

    This coupled with the fact that the lookalike was always sent to situations considered too dangerous for the real Uday to go, it’s hardly surprising Latif fled when he could. As did Michalef Ramadan, Saddam’s main double. As to how he would have managed to get away, Latif may well have had some sympathetic contacts in the Mukhabarat in order to make good his escape, probably into Turkey.  His kind of duties would have been considered a special operation, and given the highly dangerous nature of his work, hw would not have been short of money

    I would bet that given the choice Latif would have chosen not to mix with such ruthless sadistic men, but would have had no choice but to comply with many of Uday’s atrocities under Saddam’s regime.


    • sue says:

      I don’t doubt any of that for one minute. He explained about the fear, the threats, the danger, the lifestyle and the fast car.

      The fact is, though, he was able to get away.
      Fi Glover could have elaborated on that, and at least mentioned what became of his family, since the impossibility of escaping without harming them was the sole reason he stayed for so long.


  2. TooTrue says:

    I’m going to ask the obvious question here. How do we know that this guy is not in fact Uday and that Latif was the one who died in a hail of American bullets along with Uday’s brother and a 15-year old boy when they were cornered in that house?


  3. AndyUk06 says:

    TooTrue, they identified Saddam’s sons using dental records. Uday was easy to identify as he was crippled from a previous assassination attempt, and had had surgery for wounds to his left leg and a bullet lodged in his spine.