Twisted hulk is Saddam's testament
By Tom Newton Dunn
Scorched and bomb-blasted, it is one of the last pathetic defiant symbols of Saddam Hussein's sunken regime.
The Iraqi tyrant's massive presidential yacht is still afloat, and drifting aimlessly with the tide on the Shatt-al-Arab waterway beside Basra's dockyards.
Just the yacht's name - still visible in blue paint on its stern - together with a singed Iraqi flag hanging from a bent mast, were all that was left to identify the liner's once proud owner.
Ironically, Saddam Hussein had christened it al-Mansur, which means in Arabic, The Victor.
When it was launched in 1982, it was one of the largest and most impressive private yachts in the world.
Built by a Finnish firm, the eight-deck-tall yacht was for a long time the largest vessel in the Iraqi Navy despite having no military use.
It was designed to Saddam's personal specifications and sumptuously decorated all over in marble, exotic woods, and with silver and gold fittings.
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I did not know he had a yacht, and a lavish one at that. I wonder if some of the fixtures, marble, etc. could be auctioned off and the money used for the Iraqi people. Just a thought.