Saturday, July 26, 2003

Saddam's sons:

  1. An eyewitness account of the American attack:

    "About 9:10 am a Toyota Land Cruiser stopped in front of the house, and after two minutes the U.S. troops surrounded the place. A BMW came out of the back-door garage of the house and started driving towards the soldiers. They stopped the car, arrested the passengers and took them to a nearby house. Then the soldiers threw in grenades and tried to open the door. They entered the house and faced gunfire, and were forced to leave the premises. Then people inside the house started attacking the soldiers from three corners of the second floor and that's when it all started. The Americans just poured missiles into the place."

    Is it possible that the Americans overreacted and killed the occupants of the house before they stopped to think about what they were doing? The same article raises the possibility that the U. S. soldiers did not know Saddam's sons were in the house, but were acting on tips that the house included 'some high level Baath Party officials.' This makes some sense, for even if they wished to kill the two sons they would hardly risk the massive attack they made on the building, including the use of anti-tank missiles, for fear of completely destroying the bodies. They may very well have inadvertently killed the two sons, and then said they had no choice but to attack.

  2. What were Uday and Qusay doing in Mosul, a city largely controlled by the Kurds and largely opposed to the Baathists? It seems bizarre that the two sons would be holed up in a house in what amounts to enemy territory with no or few local sources of support, one bodyguard and Qusay's 14-year-old son.

  3. There are even more than the usual amount of inconsistencies in the American account, which makes it clear that at least part of the Official Story is a fabrication.

  4. Rumsfeld tried to explain why they weren't taken alive:

    "Given the amount of gunfire that came from that building . . . it is I think obvious that there was no chance of taking them alive."

    This is, frankly, silly. The Americans had massive amounts of firepower and had the building completely surrounded. They have all manner of incapacitating gasses to allow them to take everyone in the house alive. If they wanted to wait, they could merely have starved them out. The amount of gunfire from the building - and how much gunfire could four people produce? - was completely irrelevant.

  5. If the Americans wanted to make a plausible case that they had the right guys based on visual identification, they should never have released the first set of pictures. As the second pictures differ so greatly from the first, it appears that they have merely put the equivalent of Uday and Qusay masks on two corpses.

  6. The decision by the Pentagon to release all these pictures is going to guarantee that similar pictures of dead Americans will be exhibited by the many, many military opponents that the neocons intend to face in the next few years.

It is abundantly clear that this exercise was entirely intended for domestic American consumption. Not only do the Americans not care about Muslim sensitivities about desecrating a corpse, they don't really care if the people of Iraq think that the two sons are dead or not. The spectacle of the two sons was intended to be another fake victory to distract the American public from the problems of the occupation and the lying that led to the war.