Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Uday and Qusay

So Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, have been killed in Iraq. For some reason, this news seems to warrant frontpage treatment even on

American officials are hopeful that the killings will dampen the resistance to the occupying forces. But, as Robert Fisk claims, this is probably more indicative of American ignorance about the situation in Iraq than anything else. He writes,

there is a fundamental misunderstanding between the American occupation authorities in Iraq and the people whose country they are occupying. The United States believes that the entire resistance to America's proconsulship of Iraq is composed of "remnants" of Saddam's followers, "dead-enders", "bitter-enders" - they have other phrases to describe them. Their theory is that once the Hussein family is decapitated, the resistance will end.

But the guerrillas who are killing US troops every day are also being attacked by a growing Islamist Sunni movement which never had any love for Saddam. Much more importantly, many Iraqis were reluctant to support the resistance for fear that an end to American occupation would mean the return of the ghastly old dictator.

If he and his sons are dead, the chances are that the opposition to the American-led occupation will grow rather than diminish - on the grounds that with Saddam gone, Iraqis will have nothing to lose by fighting the Americans.
Conveniently, this news also loosens the noose around Bush's neck, by shifting attention away from the current imbroglio over Niger docs and other lies, and allows the humanitarian hawks to again play up their "war for liberation" line.

But it's not just the Bushies and the war-hawks who are elated about this. Everyone, across the political spectrum, is jumping up and down at the news. It's a pretty sad spectacle, actually. As Brooke Biggs laments, "This is what we have become, people. Not only a nation that commits political assassinations without compunction (and with merchandising spin-offs, like those most-wanted playing cards), but we have little parties in the streets when we succeed."