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Uday & Qusay's death - a failure?!
July 24, 2003 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Uday & Qusay's death - a failure?! Salam Pax thinks the U.S. "wasted a chance to show Iraqis they really are doing something". Robert Fisk asked in yesterday's press conference "Surely, the possibility of the immense amount of information they could have given coalition forces" justified efforts to try to take them alive. The military had time, the element of surprise, special forces troops, and nonlethal weapons -- so why did they attack with rockets and TOW missiles? Where is Saddam? Could we have learned more about Iraq's WMD programs? Is it better for the Bush administration to not have some questions answered?
posted by insomnia_lj (108 comments total)

 
So Uday and Qusay were going to spill the beans and reveal all the secrets of their father's regime? Not likely.
posted by Mushkelley at 8:37 AM on July 24, 2003


Dead men tell no truths.
posted by ColdChef at 8:43 AM on July 24, 2003


Someone "high up", maybe it was the commander in charge of the raid, said in a news clip played on NPR last night that if they had attempted to wait out the holdout then Uday and Qusay could have potentially escaped through tunnels, which are quite prevalent in upper class homes in various cities.

Who knows, though.
posted by xmutex at 8:44 AM on July 24, 2003


:: frown ::

If the battle took six hours, that's all kinds of time to use escape tunnels.
posted by furiousthought at 8:53 AM on July 24, 2003


And anyway--- big deal It's nice that the US government and the media organizations of Newstainment USA (CNN, Fox, etc) are touting this trophy as some sort of milestone of success in the "war against terrorism" (is it trademarked yet?)

If we were there to rid Iraq of WMDs and ensure that the regime of Hussein didn't assist terrorism around the global, as if I recall correctly was the last in the round of rotating reasons du jour for going in there in the first place, then this does nothing. It's a trophy on the mantle.
posted by xmutex at 8:54 AM on July 24, 2003


John Wayne never used no candy-ass nonlethal weapons.
posted by jpoulos at 8:55 AM on July 24, 2003


Is it better for the Bush administration to not have some questions answered?

Considering how the Bush administration refuses to answer any questions, I would assume they believe the answer to be yes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:57 AM on July 24, 2003


I really doubt that these two would have been taken alive-- same goes for Saddam. Obviously, I'm no expert, but it just seems to me that it's a two-way street, in that you can't take someone alive who won't be taken alive.
posted by cell divide at 8:58 AM on July 24, 2003


escaped through tunnels, which are quite prevalent in upper class homes in various cities.

Mental note: Must get own tunnels so my home can be upper class.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:05 AM on July 24, 2003


If they had been taken alive (and I agree with cell divide, I doubt they wanted to be), we would no doubt be arguing about the morality of torturing them for information right now.
posted by mookieproof at 9:09 AM on July 24, 2003


Even if they never spoke a word during their captivity, the images of them being taken alive would have been far more meaningful. From Salam:

"... this is just the easy way out for them. they should have been humiliated in public, images of them handcuffed and being pushed around."

Killing them just turned them into martyrs.
posted by whatnot at 9:09 AM on July 24, 2003


Bush still insists the Iraqi WMDs are out there -- enough to kill tens of thousands of people. Surely, a few material witnesses would have been nice if they actually believe their own claims. As for getting information out of prisoners, we have our ways... Welcome to sunny Cuba!
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:10 AM on July 24, 2003


Captured: Very good, X% chance of success, Y number of "our" people's lives lost doing it. Z% chance of actually learning anything worthwhile from these guys.

OK ji, I'm assuming that you are volunteering to be the first guy through the door to put the capture plan into effect?

Damned if they do...
posted by ednopantz at 9:10 AM on July 24, 2003


Yet another damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't scenario against which the military must defend itself. Had they been hesitant and the Husseins escaped by the skin of their teeth, there would still be a mob screaming for blood--"What sort of message does this send the world when we can't even catch the Hussein sons? First Osama, then Saddam, now this! Can't the military do anything right?"

Same as it ever was.
posted by dhoyt at 9:11 AM on July 24, 2003


whatnot, I agree with you & Salam, but I doubt there are a whole lot of Iraqis now sympathetic to Saddam & Sons just because Uday & Qusay are dead.
posted by bingbangbong at 9:13 AM on July 24, 2003


Jeez I've been pretty much against this war for tons of reasons but these two being dead is pretty much as Martha would say "it's a good thing"
posted by bitdamaged at 9:15 AM on July 24, 2003


Killing them just turned them into martyrs.

That remains to be seen. Given the pretty widespread oppressive behavior this two were engaged in, it doesn't sound like they had too many fans among the Iraqi populace.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:16 AM on July 24, 2003


"escaped through tunnels, which are quite prevalent in upper class homes in various cities."

Considering that they were holed up in a bunker in the second floor of a house, I don't think tunnels were all that likely... unless they had a secret entrance hidden behind a bookcase. And long poles to slide down on. And an underground cave.

Maybe they were staying at the stately Wayne Manor?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:18 AM on July 24, 2003


From CNN:

The director of the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said it was clear that the brothers did not want to be taken alive.

During a visit to Washington Wednesday, Bremer was asked if U.S. troops had attempted first to capture the Hussein brothers, who presumably may have had valuable information.

Bremer, who was in Washington at the time of the raid, said: "We went to the door of the house, were refused entry and were fired upon, but with increasingly heavier weapons. And we had to respond and these people were found inside of a very heavily armored room. There was no way they were going to be taken alive."


This is far more plausable than the half-baked conspiracy theory implied by this post. Particularly when we have captured so many of the other "deck of cards" folks alive, who presumably had access to much of the same information the Hussein boys have had.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:18 AM on July 24, 2003


- sarcophagus with nails inside
- Draining the Iraqi marshlands to obliterate an entire peopl who depend on them
- forcing soccer players to kick concrete balls as penalty for losing
- killing prisoners by dropping them into industrial shredders -- sometimes feetfirst, for that extra frisson
- dragging brides away from their weddings for rape and torture
etc.
etc.

These guys are done. Can't anybody here just admit the world is a better place?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:18 AM on July 24, 2003


Jinx, ednopantz.
posted by dhoyt at 9:19 AM on July 24, 2003


Eww...
posted by dgaicun at 9:20 AM on July 24, 2003


The last link is your war pr0n of dead cooked Hussein bodies. Just to warn others.
posted by norm at 9:31 AM on July 24, 2003


"We went to the door of the house, were refused entry and were fired upon..."

This is a gross oversimplification by Bremer. Compare his statement to the one made in detail by General Sanchez:

"The previous night, on the 21st, we had had an Iraqi citizen walk in and give us information that Uday and Qusay might be located at this residence. Over the course of the night we planned our operation, and we had all the conditions set in order for us to initiate our assault by 1000 hours yesterday morning .... In this case, we used the bullhorn, and we did not get a response, and 10 minutes later, at 1010 hours, we began to enter the building."

In other words, even though they were tipped off that these very important targets were in the building and were armed, they announced their presence by yelling at them through a bullhorn and giving them 10 minutes to get ready for them. ( If there were tunnels, btw, they would have been long gone in that time... )

No using the element of surprise. No special ops. No tear gas. No paralysis gas. No concussion grenades. No smoke grenades. No IR goggles. No sticking a camerascope under the door first. No snipers.

I'm sorry, but it sure sounds like the intent was to bring them back dead or dead. Alive wasn't much of a consideration.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:39 AM on July 24, 2003


insomnia_lj - you.....you....you.....backseat driver!

But really - with all of the resources of the US military, you would think that it could pull off a simple capture, so that the brothers U and Q could have been paraded through the streets in shackles and then turned over to the Iraqi people, to be torn to shreds.
posted by troutfishing at 9:40 AM on July 24, 2003


If they had been taken alive (and I agree with cell divide, I doubt they wanted to be), we would no doubt be arguing about the morality of torturing them for information right now.


Homer: "First you didn't want me to get the pony, now you want me to get rid of it. Make up your mind!"
posted by jpoulos at 9:41 AM on July 24, 2003


Let the second-guessing begin!

Seriously, if the US Forces had wanted Q and U dead from the onset, they could have just dropped a daisy cutter on the house and be done with it... having a six-hour firefight doesn't seem to me like the actions of a force intent on obliterating their target, especially when much heavier artillery is available.
posted by clevershark at 9:43 AM on July 24, 2003


escaped through tunnels, which are quite prevalent in upper class homes in various cities.

much like the prevalent WMDs? Sounds like more propaganda to me.

I have to wonder if there wasn't some concern in what sort of weapons the brothers had in their armored room, forcing the decision to end the confrontation quickly.

I'm also wondering how much useful intel the brothers would really have, since the entire of the country is covered by American troops. In fact, thinking about it, I guess you could argue that the lack of significant effort to take them alive would indicate the search for WMD is pretty much over, and given up on. After all, if they were still looking for the well-hidden WMDs, wouldn't the brothers have been a good source of intel for same?

I believe the procedure in such matters is to seal them off in their 2nd floor armored room and blast bad music at them until they give up.

Oh yeah, the tunnels. Shame we don't have any technology which could detect tunnels......
posted by Elvis at 9:48 AM on July 24, 2003


No tear gas. No paralysis gas.

Of course, if they had used ``paralysis gas,'' whatever that is, or flooded the building with capsicum, or similar, I'd bet lunch that there would be substantial crowing about the US's use of chemical weapons to capture them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:48 AM on July 24, 2003


In other words, even though they were tipped off that these very important targets were in the building and were armed, they announced their presence by yelling at them through a bullhorn and giving them 10 minutes to get ready for them.


Yeah and when it turns out that the informer was blowing smoke to get back at someone with whom he had a grudge? Instead of a baffled family coming out the door with their hands up, you get a mess, quite possibly people reaching for their guns beleiving that they are under attack from robbers, raiders, or tribal rivals. The result would no doubt be a round of second guessing from the usual suspects
posted by ednopantz at 9:52 AM on July 24, 2003


OH MY GOD. I hate this war and disagree with it so much. But it's so SIMPLE MINDED to blame the military for killing them.

1. Even if we got them, what would we do with them???? What makes ANYONE think they would talk at all? That thought is the hight of such simple minded stupidity, I can't believe it. People, be realistic.

2. It's obvious they weren't going to be taken alive, thus the FOUR HOUR FIREFIGHT.

3. I don't think many people in Iraq liked either of them, even if they liked Saddam. They were both brutal and very widely hated. So a few people think they're martyrs, the vast majority are happy as hell they're dead. Might be different if we killed Saddam....

4. As someone said above, imagine if we had tried to do it non-lethally and they escaped. OH MY GOD, there would be riots in the streets!

The thought that we could have walked up and nicely taken them and made them talk somehow and if they did, that they would even have any truths to say is so naive as to be laughable.
posted by aacheson at 9:53 AM on July 24, 2003


"Seriously, if the US Forces had wanted Q and U dead from the onset, they could have just dropped a daisy cutter on the house and be done with it..."

General Sanchez, again:

"We considered employing our Apache helicopters and A-10s .... however, the decision was made not to employ the air power because of the high risk of collateral damage, given the neighborhood density that we were faced with."

Instead, they fired numerous TOW missiles rockets into the building instead. Big booms, but they tend not to take out the whole neighborhood. Awfully considerate of them, under the circumstances.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:57 AM on July 24, 2003


These guys are done. Can't anybody here just admit the world is a better place?

I admit the world is a better place. I'm glad they're gone, as are most (if not all) of the people here, I'm sure. People are just speculating on what would have happened if we'd gotten them alive. No one is calling for Ken Starr to investigate. We're just asking the question. It's what intelligent people do. They ask questions.
posted by jpoulos at 9:59 AM on July 24, 2003


I like troutfishing's idea.
posted by whatnot at 10:01 AM on July 24, 2003


"Of course, if they had used ``paralysis gas,'' whatever that is, or flooded the building with capsicum, or similar, I'd bet lunch that there would be substantial crowing about the US's use of chemical weapons to capture them."

Absolutely. It's highly illegal, and with good reason. Use of it would enable and justify a chemical weapons arms race. The US is already likely in breach of international laws banning the development of chemical weapons as it is (not to mention it vetoed a call for international chemical arms inspections throughout the world, because the US govt. didn't want anyone prying into US chemical labs.)

The argument "we can do this because we're the good guys" is not only bogus in and of itself, it's without much crediblity (that the US (Government) are the good guys.)
posted by Blue Stone at 10:10 AM on July 24, 2003


Same as it ever was.

we would no doubt be arguing about the morality of torturing them for information right now.

Jeez I've been pretty much against this war for tons of reasons but these two being dead is pretty much as Martha would say "it's a good thing"

As someone said above, imagine if we had tried to do it non-lethally and they escaped. OH MY GOD, there would be riots in the streets!

These guys are done. Can't anybody here just admit the world is a better place?

So, in summation: just shut up, right? They're dead, and that's all that matters. Don't ask questions, don't suggest alternatives, how dare you imply or inquire, the only thing that matters is that they're dead.

Mmmm, slope.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:11 AM on July 24, 2003


These evil fucks just got away with the easiest sentence.
posted by i_cola at 10:12 AM on July 24, 2003


These guys are done. Can't anybody here just admit the world is a better place?

Sure, but as an example of 'American justice' as a light shining across the Middle East, it doesn't really inspire hope for the future.
posted by riviera at 10:13 AM on July 24, 2003


So we're debating whether these pricks should have been taken alive instead of killed in action? Brilliant!

What are the other obvious questions some of the reporters asked at the press conference? I do love reading what some of you arm-chair military tacticians have to say.
posted by Witty at 10:14 AM on July 24, 2003


i wonder what happened to the billions of dollars in gold they stole from the bank just before the war?
posted by batboy at 10:16 AM on July 24, 2003


having a six-hour firefight doesn't seem to me like the actions of a force intent on obliterating their target

I think the realization was they weren't going to be taken alive, but if you simply demolish the building, you lose the bodies and thus the proof of death. Obliterating the target would have been just as big a mistake as letting them escape-- either way the conspiracy rumors would be more powerful than anything these two could come up with on their own.
posted by cell divide at 10:17 AM on July 24, 2003


There's also evidence that Uday committed suicide. I bet the Americans could have prevented that with their stun rays!

What do you do when you've got an armed populace in a compound with an unknown number of people inside, and an unknown quantity of weapons in their with them? Call the police?

And what happens when, as here, the police are greeted with automatic weapons fire? Call more police? How do you propose taking down people with AKs? Waiting until they run out of ammo?

Salam is right that it's a shame and that a lot could have been done with them alive, but that assumes
A) They could have been taken alive
B) There is an acceptable nonlethal method of capture.

Remember: most nonlethal methods of capture involve chemical weapons. Would have been pretty ironic, don't you think?
posted by swerdloff at 10:19 AM on July 24, 2003


No using the element of surprise. No special ops. No tear gas. No paralysis gas. No concussion grenades. No smoke grenades. No IR goggles. No sticking a camerascope under the door first. No snipers.

insomnia_lj, I'm not singling you out or anything, but since the rescue of Pfc. Lynch was criticized for being too "Hollywood," I have a hard time thinking that had the U.S. military followed the route you suggest (which may, in fact, have resulted in the capture of the brothers alive) we wouldn't be hearing the same thing.

And God forbid if they have filmed it.
posted by Cyrano at 10:22 AM on July 24, 2003


"Had filmed it." You know what I meant.
posted by Cyrano at 10:24 AM on July 24, 2003


I heard someone on KCBS yesterday say that the press conference where these questions were asked was broadcast live in Iraq. The army was asked some difficult questions and were questioned again and again. This person said that perhaps having more of these press conferences where poeple are free to ask what questions they want is the best way to convince Iraq that our goal is to give them a freer society. Imagine, they've never heard a press conference where anyone got to ask any hard questions of higher-ups. It must be very interesting to them. I wish I could quote what the guy said cuz he said it better than I. But I thought it was a good point.

xquzyphyr, go ahead and ask. That's why this is a free country. But I think that people who think that a successful, non-lethal retreiveal of them, or that they would ever talk if we got them, were realistic scenarios are living in a dream world. Really really naive.
posted by aacheson at 10:25 AM on July 24, 2003


i wonder what happened to the billions of dollars in gold they stole from the bank just before the war?

They didn't steal any gold. They stole 900,000,000 in US currency and 100,000,000 in EU currency. I believe that the majority of the money was found a while ago, but still, even 1% of a billion dollars is more than enough to get you anywhere you want to go...
posted by SweetJesus at 10:29 AM on July 24, 2003


There are some photos taken during the firefight on the DOD site (look about halfway down the list under "23 Jul 2003") that show the house and the neighborhood. It's not exactly what I had pictured in my mind based on the news reports. Interesting, though. Worth a look.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:31 AM on July 24, 2003


Uday and Qusay's death was the very best outcome given the circumstances. It was either kill them or lose them; suggesting they would promptly give away any secrets rather than killing themselves or misleading the coalition forces is ludicrous. And if they were submitted to military interrogation, lefties would no doubt start whining about torture and "human" rights.
No matter what the Bush adm does, liberals will find a way to criticize it. Mark my words: if WMD are found, people will insinuate they were planted. So the left, at this moment, is pretty much talking to itself. Perhaps after the election the political debate can be restored to an exchange of ideas and opposing points of view.
BTW, how is Salam Pax an important, relevant political commentator? Because he's a blogger living in Iraq? If Saddam had remained another two months or so in power, would Salam still be alive and able to blather and lecture the USA on international politics?
posted by 111 at 10:41 AM on July 24, 2003


Perhaps after the election the political debate can be restored to an exchange of ideas and opposing points of view.

So opposing points of view are okay, so long as you agree with them? After the election they're okay because you're precious seat of power is preserved and they no longer represent a threat? I don't get your point.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:46 AM on July 24, 2003


111- I am a die-hard democrat and I'm glad they're dead and agree that the suggestions are silly.
I'd watch the generalizing.
posted by aacheson at 10:50 AM on July 24, 2003


Salam Pax was saying they blew an opportunity by not releasing the photos:

we are all hanging on the edge of our seats waiting for one single picture, definitive proof. It is so easy, all it takes is to show us the friggin’ corpses.

OK, opportunity un-blown.

As for capturing them alive, remember all that talk about us being in a "guerilla war?" These two weren't exactly fugitive criminals that we were trying to bring to some kind of justice; they were enemy combatants who (presumably) did their very best every day to effect the deaths of American soldiers. Seems like in wars you mainly kill your enemy, unless they're begging for surrender.
posted by coelecanth at 10:58 AM on July 24, 2003


No matter what the Bush adm does, liberals will find a way to criticize it.

And no matter what happens, some people will insist that aliens live in their buttholes. Just become someone on the left says something, let's not assume that's what The Left thinks.

Mark my words: if WMD are found, people will insinuate they were planted.

Of course someone will. And no matter how "honest" a guy George Bush is, if you think the idea hasn't crossed the minds of some higher-ups in the administration, you're hopelessly naive.
posted by jpoulos at 11:03 AM on July 24, 2003


aacheson, the argument hasn't become whether or not the sons shouldn't/couldn't have been killed; instead the majority of this thread is some sort of celebratory declaration that it was not just good, but essential to kill them, and that the argument is now over why "the lefties" can't accept how wonderful this is, and why they can't accept that anything they suggest that might have been possible had they lived would have been unlikely... though, of course, the fact that they're dead now eliminates the concept of being able to prove such an accusation.

And if they were submitted to military interrogation, lefties would no doubt start whining about torture and "human" rights.

We had to kill them in order to save Bush from the lefties, huh? Now that's what I call martyrdom.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:03 AM on July 24, 2003


BTW, how is Salam Pax an important, relevant political commentator? Because he's a blogger living in Iraq? If Saddam had remained another two months or so in power, would Salam still be alive and able to blather and lecture the USA on international politics?

And what are you?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:04 AM on July 24, 2003


BTW, how is Salam Pax an important, relevant political commentator? Because he's a blogger living in Iraq?

Because he's a blogger living in Iraq, making his living as an ad hoc translator, hanging out with journalists and following them to areas where stuff is happening, going to press conferences given by the US high command, travelling between Baghdad and Basra... and you're not, 111?

Perhaps, just perhaps.
posted by riviera at 11:07 AM on July 24, 2003


No matter what the Bush adm does, liberals will find a way to criticize it. Mark my words: if WMD are found, people will insinuate they were planted. So the left, at this moment, is pretty much talking to itself. Perhaps after the election the political debate can be restored to an exchange of ideas and opposing points of view.

Funny, you sound just like Ann Coulter...

Anyway, it's not a liberal or conservative thing anymore. There are conservatives that don't trust what Bush is doing with a lot of things, considering economically he's about as unconservative as they come. He's a spend, spend, spend, bomb, bomb, bomb president, which doesn't sit well with a lot of traditional conservatives.

I'm a liberal, and I'm believe the military did the right thing in this situation, but way to pigeonhole everything into black/white, left/right.

BTW, how is Salam Pax an important, relevant political commentator?

Considering he lives in Iraq, is Iraqi, speaks Arabic, and I imagine, knows a hell of a lot more about the politics and history of Iraq than you, or a lot of people in this country do. That's what makes him important. It's funny to me that you distrust him, but aren't even skeptical about the Pentagon's response.

And if they were submitted to military interrogation, lefties would no doubt start whining about torture and "human" rights.

Aww, that's so cute. You really are a great troll 111, and I don't toss that compliment around much.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:12 AM on July 24, 2003


So, in summation: just shut up, right? They're dead, and that's all that matters. Don't ask questions, don't suggest alternatives, how dare you imply or inquire, the only thing that matters is that they're dead.

Yes, O Persecuted One, we're all trying to silence you because we can't deal with the onslaught of incisive, well-informed, intellectually-precocious inquiries demonstrated in this thread. What a bunch of fascists we are!

As far as "suggesting alternatives"--why would Joe College student at MeFi know the first thing about how the situation could have been handled better? I mean, seriously.

We're just asking the question. It's what intelligent people do. They ask questions.

You'd think Intelligent People™ would know when a point was moot.
posted by dhoyt at 11:14 AM on July 24, 2003



You'd think Intelligent People™ would know when a point was moot.


Shouldn't you ask one of them before you assume like that?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:16 AM on July 24, 2003


who cares about oopay and poopay? when is bush dying?
posted by quonsar at 11:18 AM on July 24, 2003


Does anybody think it was Saddam who gave away the brothers' location?

I can just see him hanging up the phone, saying "lousy spoiled shits. This'll teach 'em"

It's a possibility.
posted by jonmc at 11:23 AM on July 24, 2003


Shouldn't you ask one of them before you assume like that?

Care to point one out?
posted by dhoyt at 11:29 AM on July 24, 2003


:: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 ::
just to tell you that i would be really dissapointed if Uday and Qusay were really killed in Mosul. this is just the easy way out for them. they should have been humiliated in public, images of them handcuffed and being pushed around.
:: salam 9:31 AM [+] ::


So is PAX's follow up post, more venting that they are not able to torture them(found PAX to be compassionate, struck me as odd)?

Instead, they fired numerous TOW missiles rockets into the building instead. Big booms, but they tend not to take out the whole neighborhood. Awfully considerate of them, under the circumstances.
Do you know how a TOW Head missile operates?
First an optic cable is shot then they shoot the missle down the cable which they guide to its target, dead on. Seems safer than just launching a missile without full control.
Who fired the first shot? From the reports from what I can tell, the wounding of the soldier is what initially started all this when they showed up to the home to search it.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:37 AM on July 24, 2003


O' Defenders of All Thing Duhbya,
Why must you continue to abase yourselves
At the feet of the corporate imperialist whores?
Do you not see that no one blames the troops
But the leaders who do incredibly stupid things?

etcetera, etcetera, etcetera

The darkness comes.
posted by nofundy at 11:38 AM on July 24, 2003


Who fired the first shot? just read pardonyou? post.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:40 AM on July 24, 2003


We're just asking the question. It's what intelligent people do. They ask questions.

You'd think Intelligent People™ would know when a point was moot.

Shouldn't you ask one of them before you assume like that?

Care to point one out?


(slaps dick onto table)

Me next! Where's the ruler?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:43 AM on July 24, 2003


These guys are done. Can't anybody here just admit the world is a better place?

Don't get me wrong, bad guys who did horrible things to many people. No argument there. That the world's total volume of evil has been decreased, sure...I'll grant that.

But, this masturbatory celebration of the death of Saddam's sons seems a little too...I dunno, something.

It would be different if the new stories had read something like: Qusay Hussein--SSO, SRG & RGFC Commander and Uday Hussein--Fedayeen Commander, considered the second and third most powerful people in Saddam's government....

In other words, I think what makes me uncomfortable is the meme emphasis on killing Saddam's kids, as opposed to a meme that emphasizes killing the top two military leaders.
posted by dejah420 at 11:47 AM on July 24, 2003


*SMACK*

No dicks on the table. /nun]
posted by dgaicun at 11:48 AM on July 24, 2003


Oh, BTW, before the wing nuts try to climb me for the "incredibly stupid things" comment, the statement/admission came from one of the top neocons they so admire.

Nice dick there Xyyy dude!
posted by nofundy at 11:49 AM on July 24, 2003


Do you not see that no one blames the troops
Yes, but we like talking war; never played toy soldiers?
But the leaders who do incredibly stupid things?
No, had the nuked them or leveled the entire block killing the innocent would have been dumb.

The 14 year killed is sad, not only that he was a child to us, but that he had probably more training with weapons than most grunts in the military. Think instead of playing soccer or nitendo he was being trained military style, no childhood that we know. Don't want to put down the Iraqis, yet I notice that they killed themselves, a lot especially for being a small country. CNN recently reported 80 more mass graves were found with children buried in them and they were still holding their toys. Whom kills their own native children? I'm starting to see people who have no problem turning a blind eye because it does not affect them. Kind of like any big city, look the other way so I won't be bothered too, no officer I saw nothing, nothing.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:00 PM on July 24, 2003


Killing them just turned them into martyrs.

jesus and the duhb - they ain't fuckin' around here.
posted by quonsar at 12:20 PM on July 24, 2003


"BTW, how is Salam Pax an important, relevant political commentator?"

Would you prefer commentary by Ahmed Chalabi?

Given their respective track records for honesty and accuracy of intelligence, I would choose Salam over Chalabi any day. Chalabi's lies to people like Perle and Wolfowitz are a good part of the reason why they thought Iraq would be a cakewalk. Chalabi also said that he was popular inside Iraq and had a strong network of supporters too... when, in fact, the Iraqis seem to dislike and distrust the man pretty uniformly.

Salam has been working with members the press for a long time, but he's a full-fledged journalist himself now. Be happy for him. He's a brave, progressive voice for the Iraqi people, and has earned the right to be listened to.

Oh, and for everyone who has said "Uday and Qusay would never talk and never surrender!" ... all I can say is that we'll never know, whereas if they were still being starved/gassed/Metallica'ed out as we speak, there is a chance they might surrender or be incapacitated. One never knows such things, and it's foolish to rule anything out.

Maybe they'd even sell their dad down the river in order to save their own lives. If the situation were reversed, I'd imagine that their dad would probably grant them the same courtesy.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:20 PM on July 24, 2003


Perhaps after the election the political debate can be restored to an exchange of ideas and opposing points of view.

Tom Delay uses law enforcement to track wayward Democrats.

A California millionaire wants to be governor.

Police called to Senate after Democrats walk out. Name calling ensues.

Political opponent shoots councilman in NYC .

Can't we start today?
posted by whatever at 12:29 PM on July 24, 2003


insomnia_lj, Metallica'ed , interesting point.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:53 PM on July 24, 2003


I like how some people in this thread are saying that there was no way Uday and Qusay would have allowed themselves to be taken alive. No way at all.

What are you basing this on? Your extensive knowledge of TV and movie hostage situations? Maybe it doesn't fit their profile?

Ha ha ha.
posted by Hildago at 1:14 PM on July 24, 2003


Hildago... the fact of the matter is, we're not talking about some guy from the southside that had too much to drink and has himself holed up in some rowhouse somewhere, threatening the police with a gun.

They gave them a chance to "give up", they didn't, they fought back, the military killed them. I don't really see where there's room for debate, other than just arguing on who can come up with the best "what if" scenario.
posted by Witty at 1:40 PM on July 24, 2003


Yet another damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't scenario against which the military must defend itself. Had they been hesitant and the Husseins escaped by the skin of their teeth, there would still be a mob screaming for blood--"What sort of message does this send the world when we can't even catch the Hussein sons? First Osama, then Saddam, now this! Can't the military do anything right?"

...or we could have captured them, and it would've been a stunning victory indeed.

in other words, what jpoulos said.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2003


You little fruitcake!!!

God, I've been waiting a week to use that in here...
posted by Perigee at 2:35 PM on July 24, 2003


According to this AP story, soldiers did not know that Uday and Qusay were in the house until the attack was over and they were able to enter the building. "...all Sgt. George Granter knew on that blistering hot Tuesday morning was that intelligence was reporting the house was occupied by Baath Party members. 'They heard high guys, but they didn't know how high,' said Granter, of Merrillville, Ind., an engineer with the 326 Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division who took part in the battle."

Killing them just turned them into martyrs.

Killing them just turned them into corpses.
posted by Dean King at 3:07 PM on July 24, 2003


...or we could have captured them, and it would've been a stunning victory indeed.

Sure, mcsweetie. Let's imagine an alternative scenario, shall we?

Special Forces arrive, unarmed and each riding the environmentally-friendly Segway, at the sprawling Maison Hussein. They walk up the front path past the marigolds and boxwoods and ring the doorbell, which issues forth the melody from "Buddie, Beware" by Cole Porter.

When Uday & Qusay answer the door-- SMACK-- they are backhanded across the face with a long, white silk glove worn by General Tommy Franks himself. It should also be noted Franks is clutching a glass of white wine and wearing a button on his uniform: "Subvert the dominant paradigm".

Franks chastises them:
"Do you all know how much suffering, torture and outright mass murder you are responsible for? Well, do you?"

The brothers hang their heads in shame. The sun is beating down. Qusay sticks out his bottom lip in a classic "Who Me?" expression. Uday has some schmutz, possibly mashed potatoes, stuck in his mustache and beard making him look all disheveled and clueless, and kind of cute, thinks Franks.

"Can I do it--can I take these two brothers into US custody where they'll no doubt be asked questions and possibly given frumpy, unstylish clothes to wear while imprisoned? Can I separate them from dear Pater? As a family man this really puts me in a bind. Perhaps I've been too hard on the little scamps."

Franks thoughtfully rubs his soul patch, and toes the sand with his earth-shoe.

Qusay & Uday look at each other.

"No, you are right, Mr. Franks...." starts Uday.

"That's General Franks--I didn't stay in the military forty years to be called Mister".

"I am sorry, General Franks. My brother and I cannot let you leave without taking us into custody. It simply wouldn't be right. Give us a moment and let us retrieve our things".

The brothers go upstairs and neatly pack their suitcases and toiletries.

Upon return, they are handcuffed with delicious Twizzlers and taken away to a holding cell designed and furnished by known human-rights advocate Martha Stewart.

In the distance, a camel stops what it's doing and stares at the men as they leave.

A single tear runs down its cheek.


-fin-
posted by dhoyt at 3:17 PM on July 24, 2003


How's that for an alternative scenario?
posted by dhoyt at 3:17 PM on July 24, 2003


(aside) I have no dick, but if I did, it would be on the table now (/aside)

dejah420, I don't know if I agree with you that people are celebrating about killing them first and foremost because they're his sons. I think it's because they were so evil, and #2 & #3 most wanted, they are such a part of the Saddam ruling party. Of couse, they have all this power BECAUSE they're his sons, but no one is jumping up and down that we killed his grandson. If we were out to kill his family, people would be more happy about that. Also, all the reports do remark on the power and positions the two had in the regime.

That said, I have to admit, though, that it does bring me a very little grin to think of how pissed Saddam must be that his two boys are dead. Now maybe he knows what it feels like, asshole.

So, maybe it's a little joyous cuz their his sons, but I don't think that's the majority of the reason for the celebrating (or smirking, in Bush's case.)

Jonmc, that was fricking hilarious.
posted by aacheson at 3:19 PM on July 24, 2003


And when I said Asshole, I was calling Saddam that.... (just in case someone thinks I was calling dejah420 that...which isn't the case.)
posted by aacheson at 3:21 PM on July 24, 2003


MetaFilter: I have no dick, but if I did, it would be on the table now
posted by quonsar at 3:24 PM on July 24, 2003


aacheson, you're absolutely right about the perils of generalization. I know there are exceptions and I respect that, just as I also acknowledge the fact that most lefties, liberals and hypocritical peaceniks are deadset against Bush and his every single deed.

monju, no, I think the debate has lost meaning in the sense that it is rabidly partisan if not outright conspiratorial; most lefties lost their cool. Debates turns into namecalling.

About Salam Pax: for most people it is fairly obvious that his being Iraqi could be interpreted either as an advantage (he's there, he "hangs out with the troops" etc) or a handicap (he cannot distance himself objectively from the facts). Now his opinions, when judged by themselves, seem painfully naive and sometimes uninformed, and should be treated accordingly. The rest is an undeserved glamorization.

SweetJesus, I'm not a troll, never was and never will be. As a matter of fact, your ilk seems to "toss that compliment around" approximately every 24 hours. But I do thank you for the Anne Coulter comparison.
posted by 111 at 3:59 PM on July 24, 2003


If they were left alive, wouldn't they then be potential rallying points for whatever's left of Saddam's supporters?

Personally, I would be happy if Saddam and his boys ended up like Mussolini, but even if I really cared, the only strategies that *might* work for capturing alive are dodgy and dubious:
- siege and starvation
- gas (a la Moscow theatre hostage crisis
- an offer of safe passage and exile
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:52 PM on July 24, 2003


Just an aside, without prejudice, anyone here ever been in a firefight?
posted by Joeforking at 5:07 PM on July 24, 2003


I think the doubters of the "take 'em alive" scenario should revisit Operation Just Cause. Noriega gave up after six days (scroll down) of listening to bad American music. What happened to that kind of non-lethal weapon?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 5:32 PM on July 24, 2003


"Just an aside, without prejudice, anyone here ever been in a firefight?"

So next time you're in a jungle fight
And you feel a presence near
Or hear a voice that in your mind will lodge
Just be thankful that you're not alone --
You've got some company...
From a big Marine the boys call Camouflage
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:36 PM on July 24, 2003


Just an aside, without prejudice, anyone here ever been in a firefight?

Hell yeah, I used to play so much Quake it was scary...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:46 PM on July 24, 2003


Noriega gave up after six days (scroll down) of listening to bad American music.

Was Noriega shooting back?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:47 PM on July 24, 2003


SweetJesus, I'm not a troll, never was and never will be. As a matter of fact, your ilk seems to "toss that compliment around" approximately every 24 hours. But I do thank you for the Anne Coulter comparison.

That's because it's part of the liberal agenda to slander you, 111.

*hugs and kisses*
posted by SweetJesus at 6:29 PM on July 24, 2003


Hildago... the fact of the matter is, we're not talking about some guy from the southside that had too much to drink and has himself holed up in some rowhouse somewhere, threatening the police with a gun.

Well, ok, but the fact remains that unless you happen to know what you're talking about, you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by Hildago at 6:38 PM on July 24, 2003


Metafilter: Unless you happen to know what you're talking about, you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:54 PM on July 24, 2003


I suspect Georgie had been given his marching orders loooong ago from daddy. Don't let them [Hussein family] get away alive, at all costs [like I did].

So, now they got their men [ah, 2 out of 3] and are lighter by what, 30 million [bounty].

Was it not the Russians who recently gassed the henchmen's in that Russian theatre recently? Hey! Who else has these WMD's? Our buddy Putin? The Chechen guerrillas didn't have time to detonate bombs strapped to themselves ....

Aren't there humane ways to make people talk? Such as the truth serum [Pentothal Sodium] or cocaine? Seems coke heads always have a desire to speak what is on their minds, but only when under the influence. Say, where are those reports about the CIA using hippie rec drugs on citizens?

jonmc, that was brilliant! Daddy rats out the kids, collects 30 million, picks it up dressed in a chador...
He could use a cash injection to pay for some protection. Once that bank account runs dry......

Someone in the locker room at my hockey game today said the same thing, except he mentioned he'd sell out his own momma down the river for that cash, nay for way less than 30 million!
posted by alicesshoe at 7:57 PM on July 24, 2003


They squealed like little piggies too, so you'll have to make do with "oink, oink, squeeeeeeeallll" for their last words. That goes for your grandson Mustafa too, by the way. Still think fucking with the U.S. was a good idea, Sammy?

Ah, the American culture has finally reached its zenith.
posted by squirrel at 8:00 PM on July 24, 2003


"Just an aside, without prejudice, anyone here ever been in a firefight?"

No, but some people opened fire on a car in which I was a passenger. The driver (a friend who was a cop) popped the latch on my seatbelt and pushed me to the floor, then ran a red light to get away. I don't think I've ever been that scared, before or since.

(Well, you asked...)
posted by swerve at 8:11 PM on July 24, 2003


So why is Fisk all of a sudden criticizing the US military? That's really strange and unexpected.
posted by shoos at 8:19 PM on July 24, 2003


dear dhoyt, remember when someone said you were the very definition of knee jerk? well, anyways. love, captain love.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:35 PM on July 24, 2003


Remember when you said you were "measurably smarter than 111" ?

Good times, good times.

Still waiting to hear your best monday-morning- quarterback analysis of the Hussein shootout and how it could've been improved.
posted by dhoyt at 8:58 PM on July 24, 2003


Get a room, you two.
posted by squirrel at 10:16 PM on July 24, 2003


Remember when you said you were "measurably smarter than 111" ?

I don't get it. it wasn't misspelled. or are you refuting the existence of the proof? I'll have you know that british intelligence has just learned that I'm measurably smarter than 111.

Still waiting to hear your best monday-morning- quarterback analysis of the Hussein shootout and how it could've been improved.

I'm no more measurably qualified to speculate than you are. I don't know what happened and I don't know if I can trust anyone's first-hand accounts. I'm just saying that it would've been measurably nicer. a speculation does not an indictment make so eeeeeasy, trigger.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:34 PM on July 24, 2003


"Just an aside, without prejudice, anyone here ever been in a firefight?"

From one of my favorite Rise Robots Rise songs:

My country is my ass
and I will protect that
but only a man with a gun
can respect that
senators sit on their asses and get fat
while I'm in the jungle
but I get the last laugh.
...
There's only one rule
for hand to hand combat:
kill first or be killed
never forget that.
posted by soyjoy at 8:03 AM on July 25, 2003


Here ya go, Salam. They're displaying the bodies at the local airport. As gory and distasteful as it seems, is this how we "show Iraqis (we) really are doing something"?

mcsweetie: if you are "measurably" smarter than someone then your intellectual advantage is a finite value, which could possibly mean you are barely smarter than that person. If you are immeasurably smarter than someone then your intellect is limitless and therefore much more flattering to you.
posted by dhoyt at 8:04 AM on July 25, 2003


If you liked that, you may or may not like the context in which it appears in the song...
posted by soyjoy at 8:04 AM on July 25, 2003


If you are immeasurably smarter than someone then your intellect is limitless...

Not necessarily, dhoyt. "Immeasurably" could also mean that one is smarter, but to such a small degree that it can't be quantified.
posted by squirrel at 9:56 AM on July 25, 2003


oh.

dang, that is funny!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:25 AM on July 25, 2003


"Whaooah
Camouflage
Things things are never quite they seem..."

thanks fer the ref mr_crash_davis.
posted by mcchesnj at 12:48 PM on July 26, 2003


whoops-
I ment
"Things are never quite the way they seem"
posted by mcchesnj at 12:53 PM on July 26, 2003


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