Kind of extreme...until you consider his crime.
Power has a way of corrupting the human mind, distorting it in ways worse than any delirium or panic attack could hope to. A taste of it is addictive, but bathing in it for years can turn the concept of right and wrong inside-out, or so it would seem in a revealing story by the New York Post about Saddam Hussein and his life before American soldiers stood over him, telling him when to eat, sleep, and take his last breath. For Hussein, that money, power, and subsequent distortion of reality would prove to destroy people and pristine supercars.
Saddam's wealth bought gold toilets for his palace and a supercar collection for his son Uday, which included Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Porsches, and all of the forbidden fruit you’d find on a ten year-old’s bedroom wall. The problem was that Uday was beyond corrupted by the power, he was psychopathic to the point that papa Hussain had to resort to equally psychopathic ways of punishing him. One eye-opening story involves a party in the 1990s where Uday got into an argument and opened fire, killing six bodyguards and injuring Saddam’s half brother. Not exactly the most civil way to deal with a conflict. But neither was Saddam’s way of punishing Uday, which he did by burning his entire supercar collection to the ground.
There are absolutely no winners in this story because between dead bodyguards, injured family, and embers of what used to be a pristine car collection, it seems that death and destruction were the way of life within the palace walls. Author Will Bardenwerper covered the story from the perspective of the American guards assigned to keep watch over Hussein. He recounts what Hussein said well. “I was very angry with him so I burned all his cars,” Saddam told the guards. “Laughing wildly, the former dictator recalled how he gleefully watched the inferno,” writes Bardenwerper. It reminded one guard of “a Jerry Springer episode on steroids.” Remember kids, listen to your parents, or just common sense, to avoid charred Ferraris.