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Sons of dogs

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted July 28, 2003

Halleluiah! Thank heavens they're gone! The deaths of Saddam Hussein's psychopathic progeny, Odai and Qusai, represent a watershed event in the ongoing tumult in Iraq. Reuters quotes one Iraqi who dubbed Odai and Qusai Hussein "dogs and sons of dogs". But frankly, it's an insult to all dogs, which are wonderful creatures and infinitely superior to these maniacal lunatics. Next to Saddam himself, his two sons were the pivotal characters that connived to regain control of Iraq. Moreover, the brothers were both loathed and feared as they enacted myriad atrocities against the beleaguered Iraqis over a period of years.

Eliminating these prime targets has provided just the morale boost that Americans and Iraqis needed. The successful military operation of July 22nd in the Iraqi city of Mosul occurred in the nick-of-time as the American public and our Armed Forces had grown increasingly dispirited by the mounting troop causalities generated by guerrilla strikes. An unexpected "walk-in" informant aided our cause in a timely manner, and probably changed the course of history for some American soldiers.

The ongoing troop deaths and injuries in Iraq beg the following salient questions: Which hoodlums have been orchestrating and financing the "low intensity warfare" being perpetrated by Ba'athist loyalists, former Special Republican Guards and the Fedayeen paramilitary? Which murderous thugs have been integral to the efforts of methodically harming and killing off our soldiers? -- None other than the malevolent Hussein brothers, who had been spearheading the attacks on our troops until last week. This should come as no surprise. So the fact that Odai and Qusai are gone bodes well for all Americans.

Corpses of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's sons Odai and Qusai, who US forces announced were killed in a fierce gun battle on July 22 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, lie in the US airforce morgue at the Baghdad airport
Corpses of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's sons Odai and Qusai, who US forces announced were killed in a fierce gun battle on July 22 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, lie in the US airforce morgue at the Baghdad airport

For the Iraqi populace, the demise of the Hussein Brothers is just one more step in jettisoning the awful specter of the recent past when they were systematically terrorized. However, the fortunate turn of events is surely more than feel-good symbolism over substance. Real benefits will be derived from the passing of Odai and Qusai. The guerrilla combat currently being waged against our forces has been somewhat thwarted by their deaths, and Iraqis will be more inclined to cooperate with American civilian and military authorities now that the heinous Hussein Brothers are out of the picture.

Interestingly, big daddy Saddam Hussein is nowhere to be found. Is Saddam still in Iraq? Is he even alive? Saddam's whereabouts will probably be determined in the not-too-distant future.

Odai and Qusai had hoped to drive out the American and allied forces over time through unceasing assaults, in effect wearing away at the will and resolve of our troops and citizenry at home. But it was not to be – the strategy has floundered. Sure it's entirely likely that guerrilla attacks will intensify over the next few weeks in retribution for the deaths of Odai and Qusai. However -- and this is the key point -- the insurgency will soon peter-out as the monies run dry, leadership disappears, and more of these guerrillas are rounded up or killed off. A relatively small percentage of Iraqis retain a notable stake in the old Ba'athist system. And, on the heels of the July 22nd triumph, a subsequent military operation near Tikrit garnered another group of thirteen insurgents, ten of which appear to be members of Saddam's personal security detail. That said, we continue to close in on the mystery surrounding Saddam Hussein.

Amazingly, the manner in which Odai and Qusai met their demise has become a bone of contention among some political far Left types. Considering the facts, it's a perspective that rings of sophistry. When the Hussein Brothers were given an opportunity to comply with search and surrender by American forces, they responded with a hail of gunfire upon our troops as corroborated by Iraqis in the neighborhood. Frankly, the Democratic Party can really do without the jarring statements of its fringe elements that only tend to cast aspersions on the military and alienate the majority of the American people.

Congressman Charlie Rangel's claim that Odai and Qusai were killed in an "illegal" manner reminiscent of a targeted strike or assassination is pure demagoguery. In fact, the Hussein Brothers died in a firefight that was directly initiated by them, and which occurred within a wartime milieu. The response of American soldiers was thoroughly in line with the proper rules of engagement, and Rangel should have been well cognizant of military protocol since he served in the Armed Forces. No one should mourn the deaths of Odai and Qusai. If they had survived, these monsters would have been locked up for life or slated for execution.

Saddam Hussein conceived of his sons as heirs to the Ba'athist dynasty in Iraq and groomed them accordingly. Rather than a dynasty, the family of Saddam Hussein was really more akin to a murderous mafia clan managing a crime syndicate since they were all up-to-their-eyeballs in murder, mayhem, brutality and criminal enterprises – you know the usual, making bones and making money. And I use the term "mafia" in the generic sense, as similar "organized crime" dynamics are found throughout the globe.

It would be an oversimplification to suggest that the Hussein Brothers merely held sway in the affairs of the former Ba'athist regime – In fact, they were both given significant and wide-ranging powers, although Qusai was ultimately deemed the heir-apparent and granted tremendous latitude in his authority.

Saddam initially selected his older son Odai to become the future Iraqi ruler. However, Odai subsequently fell out of favor with Saddam because of his blatant and public brutality and out-of-control behaviors, engaging in rape, torture, and murder "at will" – even shooting one of his uncles with virtually no provocation. Mind you, Qusai was just as brutal, but he was considerably more discreet in his vile actions, saving them for the torture chambers. Reportedly, Saddam ordered the assassination of Odai in the mid-1990's because he criticized Saddam's rejection of his mother in favor of a new mistress slated to become Saddam's future wife. Odai survived the assassination attempt but was terribly maimed by the gunfire – However, Odai was still permitted to wield ample power, and was placed in charge of media, propaganda, the Fedayeen thugs, and the torture of athletes that failed to adequately perform. His propensity to use the deadly acid baths as a means of torture was well known. Odai's salient position was as head of the Fedayeen fighters, and he was working in collusion with them in the months leading up to his death.

Saddam subsequently chose Qusai as his heir-apparent because of his seemingly greater "stability", entrusting him with the responsibility for the elite Republican Guard, Saddam's security detail, and oversight of Iraqi intelligence and security. But make no mistake, Qusai was tyrannical and vicious, in the mold of both Saddam and Odai.

In an article from the May 13th edition of Insight magazine, entitled "Horror Stories", the author Timothy Maier addresses the "unspeakable atrocities sanctioned by Saddam Hussein" in effectuating torture. Maier notes the "gruesome methods of Saddam's madness" including using electric shock, amputating body parts with chainsaws, breaking bones, ripping out fingernails, using acid baths and ovens, utilizing crucifixion, "raping and hanging women while forcing children and husbands to watch", attacking with wild dogs, and cutting off body parts such as breasts with an electric carving knife. And children were often victims of Saddam Hussein's regime, as the author advised that "Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have compiled detailed, firsthand accounts of such abuse with photographs too graphic to print, including pictures of mutilated children tortured to death".

To the credit of the majority of the American people, they understand that this incredibly diabolical regime had to be toppled. Moreover, it was absolutely imperative that Odai and Qusai be either captured or killed. It's truly mind-boggling that some members of the Democratic Party sympathize in any manner with these sadistic thugs that terribly brutalized their own populace over the course of years and plotted deadly attacks upon American soldiers in recent months. Moreover, we need to appreciate that the Iraqis are a truly traumatized people, a point which should not be underestimated. May Odai and Qusai rot and stew in hell for their crimes against humanity.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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