Right, rolig. 'Hussein' is simply a 'surname' of convenience for Westerners, but it's strange that having this convention, anglophone politicians and media alike should then discard it in the case of the late tyrant.
And I wonder how the convention arose in this case. Why not "Saddam Tikriti" ("Tikriti" in short-form), along the lines of the Libyan leader Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi? Was it something instigated by SH himself? I wonder how he referred to himself in the media.
It's difficult because he was a figure of opprobrium for so long. As cb mentions earlier, calling him simply "Saddam" does imply disrespect. Can anyone remember what we called him when he was our friend?
Saddam's full name is, according to Wikipedia (a source I distrust, but this information seems correct), Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti. The "Hussein" is actually a patronymic (his father's name) which is being used, for the convenience of the media, as a "last name". "Al-Tikriti" indicates where the family originates (the town of Tikrit). I am not sure about the "Abd al-Majid" part. I used to have an Armenian friend from Baghdad, who told me that his official Iraqi name consisted of his first name + his father's first name + his grandfather's first name. The Armenian family name never came into the picture. So it is a mistake to think of "Hussein" as Saddam's "surname" the way European last names are surnames.
Spanish and Italian are often quite close witness (with slight deviations that form the arms of a galaxy ???): Galisteo Is the Italian boot trying to clarify the milky way? Is it what rubs off? (or what sticks?)meig- It would be cream skimming, if it were true! Lettuce decide! What releaf! What gaul!!! Galicia "true salt of the earth" as Pasternak subscribes. salt (hal-) How ruthian with care!