For most Iraqis, the 1991 Gulf War and the Iran-Iraq war were disasters. For their late, toppled president, as an exhibit at a South African military museum shows, they were reasons to give himself a medal.
Allan Sinclair, curator and spokesman of the South African National Museum of Military History, called it "quite a coup" to be displaying the collection at a time when Saddam's execution for crimes against humanity is in the news. And, indeed, the medals were drawing visitors to the museum in a quiet residential neighborhood tucked behind Johannesburg's zoo.
Wouter Klopper was having a picnic with his wife and baby in the area over the weekend when he decided to have a look at the medals, about which he'd heard from the local media. He concluded the display was "morbid."
"War is morbid," he said.