July 25, 2003
DEATH OF SADDAM'S SONS: A 'TURNING POINT' IN THE
** The Mosul operation is a
"political success" for Bush and will "boost U.S. military
** The "death knell
for the old Iraq" will "embolden ordinary Iraqis" to cooperate
with the U.S.
** The "greatest
success since Baghdad's capture" does not signal an "end to the
** Leftists, Arabs warn the
"executions, U.S.-style" could make Uday and Qusay
This 'morale booster' means the 'tide is at last turning' for the
U.S.-- The Mosul operation came
at "an opportune time" for Bush given the problems he "faces
over exaggerated reports on WMD."
French and Canadian papers called the deaths of these "two foul
human specimens" a "relief for the Iraqi people." Japan's moderate Yomiuri held that
this "positive development" towards "reversing local
instability" makes it "more difficult to continue the
resistance." A Russian writer
agreed that "guerrilla resistance in Iraq will start to subside now."
The news demonstrates that 'Saddam's return to power is quite
unlikely'-- The operation "may
finally convince Iraqis that Saddam holds no power" anymore, allowing them
to "look positively to the future."
French dailies declared the deaths will "reassure the Iraqi people
who question the British and American presence" and lessen the
"influence of Saddam's supporters."
Many writers predicted it is only a "question of time until Saddam
himself is arrested." Saudi
Arabia's conservative Al-Nadwa concluded: "The destiny of Uday and Qusay will
definitely be the fate of Saddam."
The 'ongoing hostility' to the U.S. will remain strong-- The fate of Saddam's sons "will not, by
itself, restore law and order."
Arab writers noted that "though Uday and Qusay were killed, the
resistance" is "becoming wider and more intensive." Sweden's tabloid Aftonbladet agreed
that the "death of the Hussein brothers will not...end the turmoil"
because "many Iraqis are fighting not for Saddam and his sons, but against
the U.S." Spain's independent El
Mundo held it a "grave mistake to believe" that eliminating top
members of Saddam's "regime will bring...pacification of the
Uday and Qusay may become 'heroes and martyrs'-- Leftist papers stressed the brothers were
"executed without any trial," alleging the U.S. "had no
intention...of capturing them alive."
Jordanian dailies praised how they died "without bargaining or
humiliation" in an "unequal battle." Russian and Polish dailies warned that the
brothers may be seen as "defenders of Iraq." Conversely, conservative dailies held
"it would have been better" to catch the two alive for
Papers split regarding the release of the corpses' photos: British dailies termed it
"justified" as long as they are not "displayed
gratuitously," but critics deemed it a "PR operation" and a
"violation" of "human dignity."
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 92 reports from 38 countries over 23 - 25 July 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Even These
Corpses Should Be Treated With Some Respect"
An editorial in the center-left Independent argued
(7/25): "The question of the
treatment of the dead in wars or related actions is more a matter of simple
humanity than international law. The Geneva Conventions of 1929 and 1949 were
not drafted with the peculiar circumstances of Uday and Qusay Hussein in
mind. As part of an effort to establish
for the sake of Iraq's people that Saddam's sons are dead, the Americans are
justified in publishing the photographs of the bodies. In themselves, the pictures
cannot be conclusive. But, combined with
the viewing of the bodies by the 25-member governing council and the other
independent verification of their identities, they are an important part of a
policy of reassurance in Iraq. It is
important beyond Iraq too that the Americans have killed who they say they
"Pictures Had To Be Shown"
The center-left tabloid Daily Mirror declared (7/25): "But [the photos] are not displayed
gratuitously. It is right that the
people of Iraq know that Saddam's evil regime is really over, even though he
still lives. That does not mean it was a
simple decision for the American government to release these graphic
photos.... When the Americans announced
they had killed Saddam's sons, many Iraqis refused to believe it.... Only a fool thought peace could come in Iraq
quickly. It will take time. Even after the deaths of Uday and
"After Several False Starts, There Is Hope"
An editorial in the center-left Independent held
(7/24): "The killing of the two
sons of Saddam Hussein in the city of Mosul could hardly have come at a more
expeditious time for the U.S. and British governments and their hard-pressed
troops in Iraq. The political benefit
that accrues to Mr. Bush, however, stands to be far greater than the benefit to
Tony Blair. The barbaric nature of
Saddam's regime was central to the U.S. president's decision to send his forces
to war. While it was always a factor in
the British Government's action, it was not the central one, nor did it supply
the legal justification. After several
false starts, the U.S. and British administration in Baghdad may finally
convince Iraqis that Saddam holds no power over them any more. Until now, the U.S. administration had blamed
the continuing violence on resistance from a rump of Baathists. In coming weeks, that thesis will be
"Silence Of The Grave"
The left-of-center Guardian argued (7/24): "Had [Hussein's sons] been taken alive,
they might in time have provided invaluable information about Iraq's arms
programs, the whereabouts of any extant weapons of mass destruction.... They might even have revealed their father's
whereabouts. Uday and Qusay's deaths
have a symbolic value for the Bush administration akin to the toppling of
Saddam's statue during the final assault on Baghdad. Despite White House self-congratulation,
there is no evidence at present to suggest that Uday and Qusay directed, or
were involved in the ongoing armed resistance to the occupation; and thus, no
reason to conclude that this resistance will now necessarily fade. Perhaps the most significant Iraq-related
event this week occurred not in Mosul but in New York, where Kofi Annan warned
the U.S. that 'democracy cannot be imposed from the outside' and that a 'clear
timetable' was required for a restoration of sovereignty.... The governing council 'must be empowered'
without delay [said UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello]. As he blows away the smoke from the barrel of
his six-shooter, Mr. Bush would do well to heed those words."
"Death Of A Dynasty"
An editorial in the conservative Times held (7/23): "Coming after the fruitless search for
Osama bin Laden and the weeks in which Saddam and his sons have slipped time
and again through the net, the Mosul operation will boost U.S. military morale. But it was not an ideal outcome. The sons were the regime’s torturers and
enforcers, and keepers of its most deadly secrets, some of which will have died
with them. It would have been better to
have caught them, for sustained interrogation and, ultimately, trial."
"His Sons Are Dead But Saddam Lives, As Do
Forces Of Resistance"
Robert Fisk wrote in the center-left Independent
(7/23): "So they are dead. Even
Baghdad exploded in celebratory, deafening automatic rifle fire at the
news.... America's hopes--however
vain--that the deaths of Saddam Husayn's two sons, Uday and Qusay, will break
the guerrilla resistance to Iraq's US occupation troops, all combined last
night to give the American occupation of Iraq a seemingly new and invincible
power. And a new illusion that they may be safe from further attack.... Those Iraqis who loved the Saddam regime will
at least claim that his sons fought to the death.... The American military in Mosul were saying
last night that the four Iraqi bodies were "pretty shot up"--in other
words, they had been shot so many times in the face that they had been
disfigured--and so another question remains: will Iraqis believe that the
corpses really are those of those of Saddam's sons? And will this bring the guerrilla war to an
end? Even though Uday and Qusay are
dead, Saddam is clearly still alive....
It is of his fate that Iraqis are waiting to hear. Secondly, and far more importantly, 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.... Their theory is that
once the Husayn 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 that
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 joins his sons in that special nirvana
that the Ba'ath keeps for its children...chances are that the opposition to the
American-led occupation will grow rather than diminish, on the basis that, with
Saddam gone, Iraqis will have nothing to lose by fighting the American
FRANCE: "Not The End
Pierre Rousselin wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(7/24): “Bush and Blair should not be
too triumphant. The elimination of the
toppled dictator’s sons is indeed a spectacular coup. It may lead to a slight rise in public
opinion. In Iraq the power of
intimidation and influence of Saddam’s supporters will be lessened. But this in no way marks the end of
hostilities against the occupying forces nor the assurance that Iraq’s problems
will soon be over.... To achieve this
the U.S. will need, as much today as yesterday, the help of its allies. This success should not prompt the Americans
to go it alone again and turn their backs on the UN when it comes to the
reconstruction of Iraq.”
"Security In Iraq"
Left-of-center Le Monde editorialized (7/24): “The death of Saddam Hussein’s two sons is a
well-timed success for George W. Bush.
It demonstrates first and foremost that the American military campaign
to find Saddam Hussein and his collaborators is bearing fruit.... Doing away with the dictator’s sons will also
reassure the Iraqi people who question the British and American presence and
are fearful of a return to power, in one form or another, of the country’s
former leaders.... This success also
serves to reassure the American people concerned by the growing number of soldiers
killed each day and frustrated by the elusiveness of yet another enemy, much
like Osama Bin Laden."
"A Turning Point"
Didier Eugene maintained in regional daily Ouest France
(7/24): “The death of Uday and Qusay
marks a turning point in the British and American involvement in Iraq.... It is clearly up to the occupying forces and
leaders to ensure a return to normalcy in the country.... But the reticence of the American
administration to go back to the UN is understandable.... There are a great number of obstacles to the
internationalization of the future of Iraq.
War must first end once and for all, the scars inflicted by the American
intervention must heal and the U.S. must take on this responsibility. Perhaps the invitation extended to Dominique
de Villepin to go to Washington is the first sign.”
"Dead Or Alive"
Patrick Sabatier editorialized in left-of-center Liberation
(7/23): “So long as Saddam Hussein is
not arrested or killed there is no chance that the attacks against the
Anglo-American forces in Iraq will cease.
This is why the death of the two sons and closest collaborators to the
former dictator is an unquestionable victory for George W. Bush and a relief
for the Iraqi people.... However the
ongoing hostility to the Anglo-American presence in Iraq is sustained by the
occupying authority’s incapacity to improve daily life for the Iraqis. These guerrilla attacks are not a serious
threat to the Anglo-American forces, but with every new death of a GI Bush’s
popularity and his project to bring democracy to Iraq take a beating. The elimination of Uday and Qusay is the
first bit of good news from Baghdad for the American president in a long
time.... Bush knows that eliminating
Saddam Hussein is a necessary, although insufficient, condition for a stable,
prosperous and democratic Iraq.”
Dignity Is Involved"
Karl Grobe judged in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau
(7/25): "The publication of the
pictures will hardly meet its purpose.
Those who do not want to believe in the pictures will argue that the
pictures are manipulated. Others will
make the two icons or martyrs. But this
is not so important.... At issue is
human dignity.... The presentation is a
violation of a principle which the civilized world copied from the principles
of the U.S. Constitution.... These
pictures are no documents that make possible an emotionless look and offers
greater insights than pictures of destroyed bases, mutilated and dead civilians
and other collateral damage."
"Do We Want To See Saddam's Two Sons?"
Frank Herold opined in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung
(7/25): "It is a bit ironic that
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announced the publication of the dead bodies of
Saddam's two sons, since he was the one who was morally so outraged at the
presentation of dead U.S. soldiers on Arab TV.
The strongest objection against the pictures is that they have no value
as evidence. In the era of computers,
there are no limits to the manipulation of pictures. But there is one argument that beats all
others: Even if it should turn out that
the intelligence service manipulated the pictures at the computer, they will
enter the history books. They
are--regardless of whether they are true or false--important documents of our
time. That is why this paper also
Right-of-center Trierischer Volksfreund remarked
(7/25): "With respect to foreign
policy the killing of Saddam's two sons seems to be very obscure and reminds us
of cowboy manners. The attempt of a
trial against these criminals would have been more serious, because war
criminals were also put on trial in the Kosovo conflict. And what really takes the cake is the fact
that the Americans offered a reward of the astronomical figure of 30 million
dollars. Many Iraqi kids could have been supplied with meals with such an
amount of money. This casts a bad light
on U.S. foreign policy."
Guenter Nonnenmacher commented in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (7/24): "The fact
that Saddam's two sons died during a gun battle in Mosul can be considered a
fair punishment for two criminals of the worst kind. But it could also reduce the military burden
on the Americans. The organized armed
resistance has now been hit...and among the Iraqis the formation of legends around
Saddam will lose political effect....
For President Bush and PM Blair, this greatest success since Baghdad's
capture is an important relief. The
British prime minister in particular suffered a real political fit of weakness
in view of the wave of negative reports.
But Bush, too, will heave a sigh of relief. Criticism of the Democrats of his foreign
policy will ebb because America's victory in Iraq will get new splendor."
"Time Of Turning Points"
Stefan Kornelius had this to say in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (7/24):
"Saddam is getting isolated and his presence no longer creates so
much fear. The United States must now
exploit this psychological advantage.
That is why it is a providence that simultaneously with the deaths in
Mosul [of Saddam's sons], the representatives of the provisional council gave
their debut before the UN in New York.
By sending these representatives it installed in Baghdad, the U.S.
government signaled that the Iraqi state should be represented by its own
citizens, and that the Iraqis must become the legitimate interlocutors of the
UN. This is not hypocritical symbolism
but a political hint, because the struggle for a return of the international
community of nations...to the business of nation-building will now begin at the
UN.... The events in Mosul offer the
chance for a turning point. But the
Iraqis will really accept change only if they get help bid farewell to the old
and get assistance for the beginning of a new time. They will experience this change for
themselves, once they can buy bread, get energy and get water, once streets get
safer, and once the children can return to school, and once they can identify
with their country and their leadership.
That is why the death of Saddam's sons has not yet really changed life
Left-of-center Nuernberger Nachrichten concluded
(7/23): "If it is confirmed...this
would be a weight off the U.S. government's mind. The fact that U.S. intelligence specialists
have not been able to trace and arrest Saddam Hussein and his sons, has turned
the occupying forces into dilettantes in the eyes of many Arabs.... George W. Bush knows that he will not be able
to stay the course for too long. If
Saddam's sons are really among the victims of the raid in Mosul this would
without doubt be a political success for the U.S. president."
Center-left Ruhr Nachrichten of Dortmund judged
(7/23): "Will this be the decisive
turnabout in Iraq's post-war development?
Tracing down and liquidating Saddam's sons is without doubt the greatest
U.S. success since Baghdad's conquest.
The main person is still missing, but since yesterday, the Americans
seem to be closer to their goal than ever.
For the Bush administration the quick arrest of the former dictator has
become a question of survival, since the euphoria at the domestic front has
changed to skepticism. Washington is
pinning its hopes on having dealt the sympathizers of the ancien regime a
decisive blow, because the United States assumes that the ex-dictator is controlling
resistance from the underground. But
only time will tell whether this calculation proved true. It would not be the first time that the
Americans had miscalculated in Iraq."
Right-of-center Westfaelische Nachrichten of Muenster
stated (7/23): "After weeks of
setbacks, this really seems to be the long awaited success for the U.S. army in
Iraq.... The fact that it obviously
succeeded in eliminating Saddam's two sons, should result in greater support
for the Americans. Now it only seems to
be a question of time until Saddam himself is arrested. This is good news, but a change is not in
sight in Iraq despite the psychological effect from yesterday. On the one hand, the guerrilla war does not
seem to be over, and on the other hand, the decisive question has not yet been
answered: How to set up a stable government that is backed by all ethnic groups
in the country."
ITALY: "UN Is Not The
Canossa Of The United States"
Sergio Romano opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (7/24): “Americans have
not yet been able to diagnose Iraqi resistance, they don’t know the ‘weight’ of
its members--Baath militants, Shiite extremists, Islamic nationalists, Usama’s
followers--and, they don’t know how much influence Saddam’s organization has,
so far, had in the current guerrilla warfare.
A few weeks will be necessary to understand whether the operation in
Mosul has deprived the resistance of its leadership. However, the death of the dictator’s sons is
already showing its positive results. It
reassures GIs, who are bitterly worn-out by living in constant insecurity. It demonstrates to either cowards or
fence-sitting persons that Saddam’s return to power is quite unlikely to
happen. Ultimately, it could convince
the opposition front to take a more conciliatory attitude at the UN. Nothing of what has happened in the latest
hours is crucial, but Bush is certainly less troubled than he was when he
"The Unmasked Lie"
Renzo Foa commented in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il
Giornale (7/24): “The death of
Saddam Hussein’s two sons reminds us that not only did the war serve a
purpose...but above all that the big lie was something else. It was that construction of arguments
according to which operation Iraqi Freedom would have worsened all problems, it
would have been frightfully costly in terms of human lives, it would have
destabilized the Middle East, it would have erased all rights.... Tony Blair was right the other day when he
said that history will prove right those that decided to wage the war against
Saddam Hussein--Bush on top, but the allies as well. We did not wait a long time--it took one week
to demonstrate that the postwar, no matter how difficult, burdensome and
bloody, obtained results. And these
results were obtained not thanks to the old Europe of Chirac, Schroeder, Prodi
and of the pacifist left wing, and not thanks to the UN, but by virtue of the
fact there is a power, the United States, and an alliance of the willing,
including Italy, that took on the responsibilities, and did not close their
"The First Victory In U.S. Post-War"
Left-leaning, influential La Repubblica commented
(7/23): “The killing of Saddam’s two
sons in Mosul...is the first bloody ‘sunny day’ for George Bush since the
toppling of their father’s statue in April....
The massacre in the villa of the Sunni enclave amidst the Kurds in
Mosul, is a sign of victory for the gasping U.S. administration, but there is
also a risk of a much more serious defeat....
The official explanation that the White House and Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld had always given for the guerrillas in Iraq was the reassuring
formula of the ‘tail end’ of a dying regime, and not the product of a national
resistance or an international coalition of terrorists. I f the official explanation
is true, and it is not another example of disinformation like the Niger
uranium, the guerrilla warfare should progressively die out.... If, however, not even the death of the
Saddam’s two sons, who chose to die rather than to surrender or whose killing
was ordered, does not stop the guerrilla warfare, the last alibi tied to the
old regime will fall. The U.S. would
then have to admit that the resistance is a product of the occupation.... To win the war, Iraq must seriously and
visibly make its way towards reconstruction, the rule of law, internal
pacification and an embryo of democratic representation. If this does not happen, and in the short
time dictated by impatience, then even the death of Saddam’s sons, and one day
of Saddam himself, who is more vulnerable due to the loss of his accomplice
sons, would only be a day of sunshine for Bush, not a true change of season for
"Saddam’s Sons Killed In Mosul"
Mario Platero opined in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24
Ore (7/23): “Saddam’s two sons Uday
and Qusay were killed in Mosul yesterday. This is the most important turning
point in Iraq since the conquest of Baghdad.
This shows that the aura of invulnerability of Saddam and his sons,
which still pervades large segments of the Iraqi population, has been violated,
and that maybe the circle is closing in on the former Iraqi dictator.... The news is not only important from a
military standpoint, but also from a political one. It represents a victory for the U.S.
administration which for some weeks has been embroiled in the uranium issue,
facing accusations that it misled public opinion and brought the country to war
by manipulating false information.”
“U.S. Blitz In Mosul: Saddam’s Sons Killed”
Alberto Pasolini Zanelli commented in pro-government, leading
center-right Il Giornale (7/23):
“The Americans finally pulled it off in Iraq: they got the heads of
Saddam’s two sons, who had a bounty of $15 million each. 'Confidential information’ permitted to find
their hideout and to attack.... The news
on the ‘battle of Mosul’ has caused a flurry of emotions in Iraq and in the
U.S. For many hours the U.S. military authority, in making the announcement,
mixed optimism with caution. They said they were reasonably sure of their
identities, but left some room for doubts, saying that at other times they had
come close.... Now Bush can celebrate
what more that one of his advisors is saying could be an ‘important turning
point’ in the conflict.... Washington
needs this.... Only a few hours earlier,
Paul Bremer, military governor in Iraq had admitted in a Congress deposition
that the situation is ‘full of uncertainties.’”
RUSSIA: "The U.S.
Georgiy Stepankov held in reformist Izvestiya (7/25): "Propagandawise, 'the battle of Mosul'
does not look like a victory for the U.S. at all. Many in Iraq believe that Mustafa [Saddam's
grandson, whose bullet-riddled body was found after the U.S. attack] may now
become a symbol of the liberation struggle.
The image of a 14-year old who, unlike his father, uncle and
grandfather, committed no crimes fits that role better than anybody else."
"A Political Action"
Tatyana Zelenina wrote in neo-communist weekly Slovo
(7/25): "Killing Uday and Qusay is
a perfectly political action and has to do with the growing guerrilla movement
in Iraq. The Americans are attempting
to destabilize the Iraqi resistance.
Qusay was very popular among ordinary Iraqis. That alone is enough to make the U.S.
operation backlash, as the resistance intensifies.... America is asking the UN and NATO countries
for help in rebuilding Iraq. In other
words, it hopes to get others to clean up the mess in the war-ravaged
country. In Afghanistan, too, as the
Americans are reducing their presence, the peacekeepers from NATO states have
to bear the brunt of popular wrath in that country. It is time that Russia made its voice heard
in the UN Security Council and raised the question of the consequences of the
U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people.
Under no circumstances should Russia send its peacekeepers to Iraq or
get involved in the conflict otherwise. The Americans must pull out of
"It's Like The Capture Of Baghdad"
Maksim Makarychev commented in official government Rossiyskaya
Gazeta (7/24): "The death of Saddam's sons is comparable to the
capture of Baghdad. Overall, ordinary
Iraqis have taken it as good news.
Saddam losing two of his principal trump cards is a telling blow to him
and his supporters. Analysts predict
that the guerrilla resistance in Iraq will start to subside now and is likely
to be limited to the 'Sunni triangle."
"A New PR Action"
Sergey Strokan contended in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(7/24): "It is not so much the
death of Saddam's 'right and left hands' as how it is being interpreted. America and Britain have launched a new PR
project called Uday and Qusay. The idea
is to comfort the public, which is unhappy about how things are going in
Iraq.... If the death of Uday and Qusay
accomplishes nothing and the resistance continues, it is Bush and Blair who
will get hurt by the current PR campaign in the end. The greater the expectations, the worse the
disappointment when reality fails to live up to them."
"Do Americans Know What They Are Doing?"
Sergey Sumbayev said in centrist army-run Krasnaya Zvezda
(7/24): "It has become a habit for
the Americans to give the Iraqis a cause for celebration. But how well do they know the Arabs? Much as they were disliked in their own
country, Qusay and Uday, now that they are dead, may appear to the Arab mystic
mind as heroes and defenders of Iraq."
Lode Delputte contended in independent De Morgen (7/25): “One cannot get rid of the impression that
the entire Uday and Qusay affair is basically a carefully orchestrated PR
operation: an American victory that should remain in the people’s minds as long
as possible.... If the Americans arrest
Saddam next week and 25 million dollars is given to the fortunate Iraqi who put
the Americans on the right track, then the celebration will be enormous. In that event, the world will be soothed
again and its attention may be diverted from the American-British lies. But, does that mean that the coalition troops
will have won? Nothing is less
certain. Day after day Iraqi reality is
there and more and more Americans are killed.
Even with the trophy of Saddam himself Washington will barely be able to
legitimize its presence in Iraq and, willingly or not, it will have to accept
the facts: that it needs more troops, that is needs the UN, that it needs the
Noted critic of the U.S. Zija Dizdarevic maintained in
Sarajevo-based moderate Oslobodjenje (7/25): "Baghdad, and especially Washington and
London are rejoicing over the death of Saddam Hussein’s two sons. (Their)
liquidation...by 200 American Marines (how manly is that) should assist U.S.
President Bush in turning the attention of public from the invented reasons for
invading Iraq, from occupational incompetence and from everyday killings of
U.S. soldiers.... In reactions to these
deaths...no one is mentioning that these individuals, no matter how hardened
criminals they might have been, were executed without any trial. This only
proves that force has its own laws. The UN approved the occupational rights of
the American and British forces in Iraq, legalizing such liquidations without
trials. After September 11, 2001, the
international political and legal order was seriously disturbed. The global anti-terrorist campaign was
turned into a self-declared right of the U.S. to intervene preventively anywhere in the world,
regardless of how constrived the reasons for that intervention might be. That
is why the United States is against the ICC.
Bush also ‘violated’ fundamental legal principles, human rights and
freedoms by reducing them in the U.S. and by establishing an inquisitional
prison in Guantanamo. The time of invasions, mass torture and killings under
the slogan of freedom, rights and democracy has come.”
Left-wing Information editorialized (7/25): “The massive firepower that the U.S. used in
the action against Saddam Hussein’s sons shows that the U.S. had no intention
to take them alive as President Bush had claimed was his intention.... The U.S. always chooses to use its
muscles. It is difficult to imagine how
they will ever gain the confidence of the Iraqi people.”
Tamas Ronay held in pro-government left-wing Hungarian-language Nepszava
(7/25): "The big question is how
does the death of the Saddam brothers affect the Iraqi opposition. The signs read so far suggest that their
death has had practically no effect on the Iraqi opposition. Because the aim of the Iraqi guerilla groups'
continued attack is not Saddam’ return.
They carry out their act primarily with the aim to help an Arab
nationalistic government into power, or downright to ‘protect Iraq’s
sovereignty.' By killing the Saddam
brothers Washington has carried out a spectacular act indeed. But Washington has not succeeded to draw the
sting of the Iraqi opposition yet.”
IRELAND: "The Empire
The center-right populist Irish Independent editorialized (7/23): "American forces in Iraq yesterday
struck what appeared to be a blow of major proportions.... The incident sends a warning to the former
dictator of his own deadly danger. It must mean an enormous boost for US
morale, both military and civilian. The resistance will continue, but against
odds that were always enormous and are now much higher. That, however, is not to say that the U.S.
can relapse into the smug mood that followed the fall of Baghdad. On the
contrary, the occupation power now stands at a crossroads at which it could all
too easily lose the way as it did once already.
Progress towards restoring the economy and providing an acceptable civil
administration has been wretched. Basic services are in far worse shape than
under the old regime. The ill-named ‘governing council’ has little power and
little public support. And a stage has
now arrived at which it is possible to see that the stupendous power of the
United States has its limitations, in the matter of pacifying and governing Iraq--and
world-wide. The Bush administration has
conceded--up to a point--that it needs help. It wants other countries to share
in the military task in Iraq. But it wants them to help on its own terms,
meaning in essence under its dictation.
No wonder several of its allies have baulked. They want a better
mandate. And a proper mandate can come only from the United Nations, so deeply
and so wrongly despised by Washington. That is the high ground that needs to be
occupied, and fortified.”
POLAND: "They Had To
Pawel Wronski wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (7/24): “The Americans...wanted to kill Uday and
Qusay. If they had wanted to capture
them, then the villa in Mosul where they hid themselves would have been
attacked by ‘silent’ anti-terrorist units rather than by an airborne company
from the 101st Division supported by helicopters. What would have happened if the brothers had
been taken alive? Where should they have
been detained? Rather not in Baghdad,
where a crowd of Iraqis could have demonstrated for their release. Taking them out [of the country], like to
Guantanamo, would have discouraged other supporters of the regime from turning
themselves in. Therefore they had to
Dawid Warszawski commented in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza
(7/24): “They were even more hated than their father.... But today...it is quite likely that Qusay and
Uday will claim victory from the grave.
They will give the anti-American resistance movement in Iraq...its first
heroes and martyrs."
"The Won Battle"
Magdalena Nagorska observed in center-left Zycie Warszawy
(7/24): "For average Iraqis, the
fact that the dictator and the pillars of his regime are alive constituted an
insurmountable barrier of fear. Now it
is likely that they will be less afraid of cooperating with coalition forces
and more eager to talk about weapons of mass destruction."
SPAIN: "Two Dead
People Who Make Iraq's Future Easier, But Do Not Solve It"
Independent El Mundo opined (7/23): "The death of Saddam's two sons will
make it much more difficult to continue the resistance against the U.S. army,
since it seems they were playing an active role in its financing and
organization.... It will be a question
of time to catch the rest, and Saddam himself if by any chance he still is in
Iraq. But it would be a grave mistake to
believe that the imprisonment or disappearance of the top of Saddam's regime
will bring with it the pacification of the country.... The great majority who were happy about the
fall of Saddam feel humiliated by the presence of the U.S. army and wants it to
leave Iraq.... The important thing still
is for the United States to be able to design an ordered transition that
leads...to democratic elections and a representative government."
"The Sons Of Saddam"
Conservative La Razon stated (7/23): "The end of the adventures of Saddam's
sons is good news. The weakening of the
guerilla war will favor the process of reconstruction of infrastructure and the
normalization of local institutions, two basic conditions for Iraq to be able
to join the ranks of nations as a free and sovereign country."
Independent, Stockholm-based liberal Expressen stated
(7/24): "The only thing one can
regret, with regards to Saddam's sons, is that they cannot be scrutinized in
court. This would have increased legitimacy, removed any doubts that they are
still alive, and also done more justice to the victims and their relatives.
Should Saddam be caught, the international community should clearly state that
he should be tried in the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, not
in a temporary American occupation court in Baghdad. But for one day we can be pleased that the
left and right hands of the dictator are gone."
"A Good Day For The Iraqi People"
Independent, liberal Stockholm-based Dagens Nyheter
editorialized (7/24): "In the best
of worlds, the two brothers would have been caught alive and brought to
trial. From a psychological point of
view it would have meant a lot to have their crimes documented. Unfortunately, total justice was not
achieved.... President George W. Bush
has all the reason to be pleased. But he
cannot breathe freely.... The scope of
the armed resistance in Iraq, and how it is being led, still is not known. Iraq has been liberated from an awful tyranny
but is still far from being a country enjoying peace and security."
"The Death Of Sons Will Not Solve Iraq's Problems"
Social Democratic-run Stockholm-based tabloid Aftonbladet
contended (7/24): "The death of his
sons likely would weaken the position of the former Iraqi dictator. It would be
good news if he would be caught and brought to court to stand trial for his
crimes. Iraqis who disapprove of the
American occupation might still respond to his appeals. The death of the Hussein brothers will not
mean the end to the turmoil in Iraq.
There is still widespread lawlessness in the state mainly affecting
civilians.... The U.S. will not
single-handedly be able to secure a tolerable existence for the Iraqi
people...who suffer from the Bush administration's aversion to the UN. The fact that the Hussein brothers no longer
can terrorize them is good news but is not the solution to the problems of
TURKEY: "Two Sides Of
Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (7/24): “The death of Saddam Hussein’s sons represent
the elimination of one more reminder of Saddam’s regime. The operation was not only a military
success, but also boosted morale for the U.S. following the increase in attacks
against American soldiers in Iraq.... On
the other hand, continued resistance from the Iraq people, whether motivated by
ideology or economics, is a bad sign for the U.S. in Iraq. The Bush administration has so far pursued a
unilateral, even arrogant, policy. Yet
it remains to be seen to what extent this policy will be revised in light of
current situation. It is certain that
the Bush administration is considering the issue due to the growing reaction of
the American public. Initial signals
from Washington show renewed U.S. interest in dialogue with its friends and
allies, and the possibility of establishing a
security mechanism under a UN umbrella.
If all of this really happens, the Bush administration will be able to
win over the natural friends of the U.S. and overcome the difficulties in
Iraq’s critical transition period.”
ISRAEL: "En Route To
Nationalist Hatzofe editorialized (7/24): "The Syrians, the Iranians and the North
Koreans are watching the United States' actions in Iraq. It is highly important that every citizen of
those countries should know that the U.S. stands by its commitments and that it
doesn't yield to terrorist actions, and that Iraqis who lived under the
appalling dictatorial regime will be granted true freedom.... Israel's citizens must send the U.S. Army
their warmest congratulations for the elimination of Uday and Qusay and pray
that Saddam Hussein's capture won't be long in coming."
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post held (7/24): "The termination of Saddam's tyrannical
heirs-apparent could not have come at a better time for Bush or his beleaguered
British ally, Tony Blair. The boost to
their morale and possible political fortunes cannot be underestimated. It's a symbolic coup for both and is also of
paramount importance for Iraq's internal situation.... We do not begrudge America happiness with
this success, but we wish it were matched by similar feelings toward our own
fight against terrorism.... We
congratulate America and yet caution against double standards. We face the same enemies and fight the same
defensive fight for freedom, justice, and enlightenment. The difference is only that the threat
against Israel is far more menacing and existential. We deserve support and not censure if, once
again, we need to take steps like those of the U.S. against Saddam's
heirs. No one understands America better
than we; no one has earned America's understanding more than we."
"Saddam Is Thought To Be In Hiding In Iraq"
Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev Schiff wrote
on page one of independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (7/23): "The killing of the two brothers Is a
moral and practical blow to Saddam and his supporters.... It is clear that U.S. intelligence is closing
in on Saddam Hussein. The raid on the
Mosul villa wouldn't have taken place without accurate intelligence. The deaths of the two brothers will reduce
the fear of many Iraqis that Saddam could return to take revenge upon those who
cooperated with the Americans in building the new Iraq.... The deaths of Uday and Qusay will cause
Saddam to go deeper underground, and perhaps to move from his hiding
Eytan Haber wrote in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (7/23): "Tuesday
night's rumors about the deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons electrified the U.S.
and the world. Finally, results of the
war on Iraq can be seen. For a few days,
George Bush will earn an ocean of praise.
For a few days, he will be inebriated with victory. But who better than George Bush knows how
cruel public opinion can be.... We
Israelis have already watched this movie.
Many of us still remember well and smilingly the grains of rice thrown
on us by thousands of Lebanese who cheered our entry into the cities and
villages of Lebanon. How bitter, bitter,
bitter that rice has turned!.... The
Americans, including President Bush, are stuck in Iraq. They can neither swallow nor throw
up.... Every shot fired, every helmet
placed over an overturned rifle, brings George Bush closer to a point of
no-return--only on the way down."
"Off The Stage Of History"
Amit Cohen held in popular, pluralist Maariv (7/23): "The Hussein brothers--symbols of
tyranny and cruelty--stepped down the stage of history.... [But] if someone expects the Americans to be
satisfied and hostile actions against them to stop, that person will be
disappointed.... Many Iraqis are
fighting not for Saddam and his sons, but against the U.S. The hatred of Americans isn't a rare
phenomenon in the Arab world--certainly not in Iraq.... Another concern, which includes particularly
harsh scenarios, is that the Shiite public could join the fight against the
American side.... At present, Sunnites
are carrying out most combat actions, whereas the Shiites maintain relative
quiet.... Past experience teaches that
terrorism undergoes an evolution process.
It gets better and stronger. Even
if the remains of Saddam's regime...are totally eliminated, fighting in Iraq
will most likely go through a transformation and come out fortified."
"World Events Are Unexpected"
Ultra-Orthodox Hamodi'a declared (7/23): "As far as President Bush is concerned,
if the two men [the Hussein brothers] were indeed killed and if this
means...that the U.S. security forces are on the trail of Saddam himself, it is
a very important development--given the fact that the President currently is
encountering many problems at home regarding the very Iraq operation.... Tuesday's event is therefore very good for
"Uday And Qusay: Two Corrupt
Semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah carried
a piece by Fuad Abu Hijleh saying (7/24):
"Both of them [Uday and Qusay] were tyrants. This is indisputable.... They were so corrupt that they managed to
make 26 million Iraqis hate them, including the sheikh who sold them out for an
American reward as they hid in his house....
The Americans needed 400 troops backed by all sorts of military equipment
and even Apache helicopters to kill them...turning them from being corrupt to
martyrs. But even though Uday and Qusay
were killed, the resistance continues, which means those behind the resistance
are not necessarily members of the old regime.
Are you getting this, Mr. Rumsfeld?"
Hasan el-Batal wrote in pro-PA, independent Al-Ayyam
(7/24): "In Arabic, we use the term
‘extermination’ interchangeably with ‘elimination.’ Apparently, the American ‘liberation of Iraq’
will not come to an end until there has been an extermination of the Ba’athist
regime, the ruling gang and all the loyalists among the tribes, families of the
[Saddam] dynasty.... It is premature to
wager on the success of the U.S. occupation in 'exterminating' the former Iraqi
regime even if the ace of spades [Saddam] is captured or killed, unless the
occupation authority manages to turn 'the governing council' into a
constitutional government, enabling it to gain democratically-based
representation.... It is clear that
Washington does not intend to allow the Ba’ath Party to rear its head ever
again, nor does it want an 'Iranian model' in Iraq. Rather, it is shooting for 'an American Iraq'
in the hope that the Middle East will follow suit."
EGYPT: "Deaths Show
U.S., UK Are Achieving Their Objectives"
In an interview with the Good Morning Egypt
Programme on government-run Egyptian Satellite Channel 1 (Internet
version,7/24) Muhammad Abd-al-Mun'im, the editor in chief of the weekly
magazine Rose al-Yusuf, described the death of Saddam Hussein's sons as
a positive development for the U.S. and British leaders because "it shows
that they are achieving their objectives, particularly the elimination of this
family". Asked about the
significance of the killing of Uday and Qusay Husayn for the US and British
governments, Abd-al-Mun'im said "[British Prime Minister] Tony Blair is a
clever politician who will use such incidents to his advantage to cover up the
[political] catastrophe concerning lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction".
"Evacuation Is The Only Solution"
Pro-government small-circulation Al-Gomhuriyah
noted (Internet Version, 7/24):
"The United States and Britain, the two major partners in the war
against Iraq, might view the death of Uday and Qusay...as a strong blow to the
Iraqi resistance against occupation because the two sons were allegedly leading
this resistance. However, those who are following up the developments in the
Iraqi resistance can see that the resistance is becoming wider and more
intensive. They will also realize from the first glance that what is happening
in Iraq is only an attempt to reactivate the phase of the resistance, which has
caught its breath perhaps before the fall of Baghdad in the hands of the
occupiers.... Since the dawn of
humanity, the Iraqi people have been known to be a maker of a civilization.
Consequently, they will not accept the continuation of the occupation. All the
numerous sects of the Iraqi people, which seem to have conflicting interests,
are unanimous that the occupiers should evacuate Iraq quickly. A sweeping Arab
public, which refuses the occupation of peoples and the control of their
future, supports their stance, by force."
JORDAN: “The Killing Of The
Jamil Nimri argued in independent, mass-appeal Arabic-language Al-Arab
Al-Yawm (7/24): “I thought it was
completely inappropriate for official statements to be issued from capitals
such as Washington, London and Tehran expressing ‘reassurance’ at the news of
killing the sons of the former Iraqi President.
Every killing incident is a painful and tragic incident and must not be,
officially, expressed in terms of reassurance.
I can understand that thousands of Iraqis wished to have the most
horrible act of vengeance against Uday for instance because of his actions, but
states apprehend people to achieve justice and do not rejoice at killings…. The killing of the President’s sons and
grandson is received with a mixture of vague and contradictory feelings…. In a regime of tyranny where one official
kisses up to those above and terrorizes those below him, it is difficult to
anticipate how these people will behave at the end. There are those who, when in their position
of power and authority, are brutal and murderous, but turn into cowards and
scoundrels when their own life is at stake.
This is what happened to the tens of leaders in Iraq, but it is quite
different with the President and his sons.
We have no idea what Saddam’s end will be like, but we do know that his
sons were not finished off in a scene of pity and contempt. They did not allow themselves to be
humiliated, like running out of Iraq, getting caught and handcuffed by the
coalition forces, or even surrendering….
It is a tragic existence. We
reiterate our rejection of this type of character in the ruling position [harsh
and brutal], but we take off our hats and bow in silence when a person who is a
fighter dies without bargaining or humiliation.”
“When The President Falls”
Chief Editor Taher Udwan wrote in independent, mass-appeal
Arabic-language Al-Arab Al-Yawm (7/24):
“The end of Uday and Qusay is in line with their personal nature and
their position in authority. They fought
the American occupation forces courageously and did not surrender as others who
have shared Saddam’s power for 34 years did.
And if there is a link between them and resistance operations, then the
way they were killed will make them martyrs in the eyes of their followers from
the resistance…. The phenomenon of the
flourishing hypocrisy among Saddam’s supporters that followed his downfall
stresses not only that the dictatorship is corrupt, but also that it is capable
of creating an army of hypocrites who would abandon the leader the minute he
falls and would set on the humiliating path of changing allegiances and trying
to win the new masters. It is a valuable
lesson from third world countries that have had enough of torture and
humiliation from dictatorships and the absence of democracy. It is also a valuable lesson for the dictator
who finishes off his countrymen, excludes them from authority and marginalizes
the people, and then when the tables are turned, there is no one around him.”
“Why Assassinate And Not Put On Trial?”
Ibrahim Absi maintained in center-left, influential
Arabic-language Al-Dustour (7/24):
“The assassination of Uday and Qusay at the hands of the American forces
raises a number of questions about the American reasons for killing them and
eliminating them so quickly and so dramatically…. Was assassinating and killing them in an
unequal battle an American requirement to add more mystery and sensationalism
to the American game in Iraq or the American crime in Iraq?…. The most sensational objective of all in
killing the Iraqi President’s sons is the U.S. administration’s desire to
achieve a media victory for the sake of American public opinion."
"Reconciliation, Not Blood"
The independent, English-language Jordan Times declared
(7/24): "The killing of Saddam
Hussein's two sons Uday and Qusay at the hands of US soldiers might be an
important development, but it certainly is nothing to brag about. True, the two Iraqis were on 'the most wanted
list' and their elimination may have brought the US closer to its declared
objective of cancelling any remnants of the former Baath regime, but ending
their lives will not, by itself, restore law and order to Iraq. Besides, summary executions and political
killings represent the way and style of governance of the old Iraqi regime and
must not be the hallmark of the new Iraqi order. Saddam's sons should have been brought to
justice for their terrible record of violence, atrocities and repression
against their people. Arresting them would have served the interests of Iraq
much more than taking their lives away.
After all, there is a decision by Iraq's recently formed Governing
Council to try and bring to justice former officials accused of committing
crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide. That is why US forces should
have made a more determined effort to detain the two men rather than eliminate
them altogether. The US administration still
has daunting challenges ahead of it, including the establishment of an elected
governing body and the reintegration of former governmental structures. Instead of being destroyed altogether, old
structures, including the armed forces, should have been incorporated into the
new Iraq. The Iraqi armed forces are, for the most part, a professional army
which would have been able to change course under appropriate conditions. The
Iraqi army would have also been able to preserve law and order much more
effectively than US occupying forces.
Uday and Qusay's killing will not change the picture unless the more
basic issues and challenges are dealt with appropriately."
LEBANON: “Iraq Is Not
Restricted To Persons”
Awni Kaaki opined in pro-Syrian Ash-Sharq
(7/25): “Uday and Qusay Saddam Hussain
have been liquidated and are gone for good.
But what is the American joy all about?
What is this fuss made by American officials about the story in Iraq
being over and the Iraqi resistance on the verge of ending, disintegrating and
dissolving? The story cannot be
restricted to the figures of Uday, Qusay, Saddam Hussein, or even the whole
former Iraqi regime. It is the story of
land being occupied; a people being robbed; a nation being subjugated.... The liquidation of Uday and Qusay means
nothing to the resistance and doesn’t carry any indications that the Americans
were planning to give free services to the Iraqis. On the contrary it brings forth the following
question again and again, ‘will the U.S. with all its might be able to get out
of the Iraqi impasse just because it succeeded in liquidating Saddam Hussain’s
sons and ending his breed?’ We are
almost sure that the resistance movement in Iraq has nothing to do with Saddam
Hussain and the best proof is the continued operations on Americans from Mosul
through to Baghdad to Fallouja and Amarah.”
“A Strike That Opens No Closed Doors”
Rajeh Khoury wrote in moderate anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(7/25): “It was clear in President
Bush’s statements two days ago, that there was a deep desire for restoring
stability in view of the comparison made by regular American citizens between
developments in Iraq and Vietnam.... But
there are low voices that will grow loud in the next few days. They are the voices that have been viewing
the operation of killing Saddam Hussain’s sons as ‘a reckless fumble’ rather
than a ‘precious conquest’. Their
argument is that the forces surrounding the house could have applied a plan to
capture Uday and Qusay in preparation for bringing them to trial.... There are others who wouldn’t hesitate to say
that killing the two men was not an attempt to acquire a qualitative strike but
was also meant to block the way for any possible trials. Opening the files of the former regime
especially the details of the Iraqi-Iranian war--and...the details of the
American assistance in toppling the Communist regime which paved the way for
Saddam Hussein’s Presidency--would only place American politics in the
accusation dock together with the Iraqi regime.... As such the killing of Uday and Qusay was
neither a matter determined by the exchange of fire nor the situation on the
ground.... There was a clear need for
achieving a qualitative strike that would not only raise morale in Iraq and in
the U.S. but that would also make sure closed doors remained closed. Because opening them would be a reminder that
Saddam was Washington’s precious ally the same way Usama Bin Laden was.”
"Return...To The Limits"
Sahar Baasiri wrote in moderate anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(7/23): “Washington’s announcement that
Uday and Qusay were killed, will supply its occupation of Iraq with a lot of
morale, rendering it a victory. But that
development remains a worthless detail before the other coinciding detail of Iraq’s
return to the UN.... Months ago, America
decided that it did not need the international community and its opinions. It bypassed it and went to war
unilaterally. But, it returned. It practically returned before Iraq did so,
to ask for international assistance after it realized that failure would be
hard should it continue alone. Logic
says that a shorter path would for the international community to hand Iraq
over to the UN to supervise its transitional phase, preserve security, hold
elections and launch the rebuilding project....
[Although] America is not willing to surrender Iraq to the UN because it
would be a declaration of failure...the situation seems to be tilting towards
the possibility of granting the UN a greater role gradually. Continuing in that direction is a
confirmation that the U.S. cannot be the only player in the world, although it
will remain the ultimate superpower in the foreseeable future.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "U.S.
And Iraq After The Demise Of Uday And Qusay"
Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazira
stated (7/24): "The former Iraqi
regime in its entirety has become something of the past even before the demise
of Uday and Qusay Saddam Hussein, but their death confirmed it. Saddam Hussein’s audiotapes, which appear
from time to time, will not bring life back to that regime.... It is better for the ongoing resistance to
distance itself from Saddam."
"An Inevitable End"
Mecca’s conservative Al-Nadwa opined (7/24): "The destiny of Uday and Qusay will
definitely be the fate of Saddam Hussein, who currently deceives himself as a leader
of resistance against the American-British occupation. The present occupation of Iraq will end, but
by political means which the Iraqi people fully understand. That political process has begun actually by
establishing the Interim Governing Council.
The U.S.-British troops will leave Iraq’s territories one day."
"The Realities Of Occupation"
Dammam’s moderate Al-Youm observed (7/24): "The majority of the Iraqi people
expressed their great comfort.
Especially such an act (the killing of Uday and Qusay) might provide the
Iraqi people with additional stability and security. But the U.S. understands that all of that
will not change the political situation in Iraq.... Without security, stability and normal live
resistance will continue either in peaceful or military forms."
UAE: "The End Of
English-language pro-government Gulf News opined
(7/24): "The apparent killing of
Uday and Qusay Hussain in Mosul has brought euphoria among the rank and file of
the American military. Their deaths, followed by the arrest yesterday of the
head of the Republican Guard, another person on the most-wanted pack of cards
produced by the Pentagon, has created the belief that events are on the
up-and-up in regard to the objectives of the coalition forces. All that is
needed now, according to the U.S. media and a majority of the American public,
is the capture of Saddam Hussain himself--dead or alive as it seems either is
acceptable to the U.S. The death of
Saddam's sons or even the capture of Saddam, will not signal the end of the
coalition forces' involvement in Iraq, although it is possible there will be
many calls from the American public--and others--for withdrawal. That can be attributed to the fact that
America has always personalised their wars: it has to single out an individual
and paint them as the devil incarnate, in order to enable the public to
identify with a rogue, rather than a rogue regime, thus undermining the
intelligence of the masses. The danger of this personalisation will soon become
evident. The American administrastion
first singled out Saddam and sons as the ones to go after. Then it produced the
notorious "pack of cards" With only 19 names left in that pack, it
could be when the cards are on the table, the real play--rebuilding Iraq--has
yet to start."
AUSTRALIA: “Many Tasks Lie
Ahead In Iraq”
An editorial in the business-oriented Australian Financial
Review read (7/24): “The death of
Saddam Hussein’s two eldest sons in the northern city of Mosul is the best news
Washington and its allies have had out of Iraq since the war formally ended
three months ago. But given the resistance the United States is meeting as its
ploughs towards its professed goal of a democratic, federal, multi-ethnic Iraq,
it may be the last good news for some time....
Meanwhile although George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard are doubtless
jubilant at the unexpected news from Iraq, the death of the brothers does
nothing to clear the air over the role of intelligence services in the rush to
war.... Until the question of
accountability over the use of dubious material is resolved in what was essentially
an information campaign against Baghdad, efforts by Washington, London and
Canberra to convince the international community of their bona fides will
remain under a cloud.”
“America’s Most Wanted”
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald stated (7/24): “If Saddam Hussein is still alive, the death
of his sons, Uday and Qusay, leaves him more than ever alone. Uday and Qusay
were senior advisers and full partners in Saddam's oppression, including its cruelest
excesses. Their shadows fell not much short of their father's. Now Uday and
Qusay have been killed in a firefight with American troops. Their deaths are
rich in meaning, and both Iraqis and Americans will savor it.... More than anything, the deaths of Uday and
Qusay are an invitation to Americans and Iraqis to look positively to the
future, an affirmation that the past is past and that the future need not
repeat it...[but] It is hard to imagine that the Iraqis--or the Americans, for
that matter--will ever judge the Iraq war to be over until number one has been
caught or killed.”
“Coalition Troops Triumph With A Two-card Trick”
The conservative Australian declared (7/24): “The ace of clubs and the ace of hearts are
gone--and Iraq is a far better place for their riddance.... The demise of the Hussein brothers will not
only deprive Baathist elements of leadership, it will also embolden ordinary
Iraqis, who have been fearful of a Hussein comeback, to co-operate openly with
chief US administrator Paul Bremer. And the fall of the brothers further
undermines the predictions of those who, having opposed the liberation of Iraq
from the beginning, have been eagerly speculating that it could be turning into
a 'quagmire' or the 'next Vietnam'....
Saddam Hussein is truly alone and isolated, for the first time since he
seized control of Iraq in 1979. While his capture remains important, with his
sons gone Iraq is a safer place for US, British, and Australian troops and
officials, and a safer place for Iraqis themselves. The death of Qusay and Uday
Hussein is the single biggest step forward for Iraq since the fall of Baghdad
on April 9.”
“Death Knell For The Old Iraq”
Tony Parkinson maintained in the liberal Age (7/24): “It says something for the psychology of fear
and intimidation in Iraq that Saddam Hussein's reign of terror has survived
more than three months longer than his regime.... But the deaths of the former dictator's sons
and successors in a gunfight with US forces in northern Iraq brings to a grisly
end this mythology of invincibility: the legend that says Saddam's regime is so
ruthless and resilient it is never vanquished, never beaten. Finally, the spell
has been broken.”
JAPAN: "Why Did U.S
Military Kill Uday And Qusai?"
Liberal Asahi observed (7/25): "While US and British government
officials praised the US military's killing of Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and
Qusai as a 'job well done,' British Foreign Secretary Straw reportedly said he
was not glad at all about their death, adding that he is mournful of the death
of people, no matter who they are.'
Although the deaths of Uday and Qusai meant 'no return' of the Hussein
dictatorship to Iraq, there are pros and cons with the U.S. military's raid on
their hideout in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Why didn't US troop capture
alive the No. 2 and No. 3 of the U.S. most wanted list? Having learned about repeated anti-tank
missile strikes against the hideout, we cannot help but say the US military had
no intention from the beginning of capturing them alive.... Uday and Qusai should have been brought to
justice.... Iraq is still at war, and
the killing of Uday and Qusai is just part of daily fighting."
"Will Death Of Hussein Brothers Lead To Restoration Of
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized
(7/24): "Considering the scope and
extent of powers that the two brothers wielded before, their death will have a
profound meaning in the post-war governing of Iraq. It is a positive
development from the viewpoint of reversing local instability that has been
undermining the coalition's efforts to reconstruct the war-torn state.... The 'disappearance' of the powerful authority
believed to be heir to President Hussein now enables Iraqi people to speak
freely and without fear."
"UN Team Should Be Quickly Assembled"
Liberal Mainichi opined (7/24): "To have Iraqis fully convinced that the
return of the old regime (The Baath Party ruling) is impossible must be the
only way to comfort Iraqi peoples' anxiety....
The killing of the Hussein brothers, in addition to arrests and
confirmed deaths of many former Hussein aides on US wanted list, demonstrates
at home and abroad that Hussein sympathizers' organized counterattack on the
coalition forces would be no longer possible.
However, it is still too early to say that their killing alone would lay
a solid foundation for the reconstruction of Iraq, because the reinstatement of
order, though imperative, is just one of many elements necessary for the
rebuilding of Iraq.... The US and UK's
seeking of cooperation from the UN would enable a quick restoration of order
and basic infrastructure as well as the establishment of a governing authority
composed of Iraqis. That would be a
truly meaningful turning point for the Iraqis."
PHILIPPINES: “A Boost To
Benjamin Defensor remarked in the government-controlled People’s
Journal (7/25): “The death of the
two Saddam heirs has given Americans a boost.
Since the two were thought to be the top lieutenants of their father,
their departure is sure to affect the underground activities of their
sympathizers.... There are expectations
that a fierce counter-attack may be launched to avenge the death of the
two. But if the coalition forces weather
this, Saddam would be hard put to continue his activities. He might even be forced to do things that
would reveal his hiding place.”
"Reminiscent Of The Vietnam Debacle"
Basilo Alo wrote in independent Business World (7/25): "After Uday and Qusay...were killed...by
U.S. soldiers, many believe the former Mesopotamia has become a more dangerous
place for the American occupation army.
The majority of Shiites, brutally oppressed by the Hussein
brothers...were delighted by their deaths of their former tormentors. But it also made the Arab state more
determined to push out the Americans who of late are already talking of
administering Iraq…for at least 3 to 5 years.... I agree that the violent deaths of the the
two...will only further intensify the conflict that is now in a state of
guerilla warfare, with around 146,000 U.S. combat troops pitted against an
invisible enemy. Reminds us of the
Vietnam debacle, doesn’t it?”
The pro-government Straits Times contended (7/24): "Few Iraqis will mourn the death of
Saddam Hussein's two murderous sons, Uday and Qusay, who were killed in a
shootout with American troops on Tuesday....
If the celebratory gunfire that was heard all over Baghdad following the
news was any indication, the deaths of Uday and Qusay, Saddam's closest
helpmates, may change the mood in Iraq for the better.... If Saddam himself can be captured or killed
soon, the situation will no doubt ease considerably.... If Saddam's continued existence is crucial to
the ability of these groups to put up an effective resistance, his elimination
would obviously be crucial. But if his existence is merely of symbolic
importance, then his elimination would not necessarily mean the end of the
attacks. It is perhaps prudent to assume, as some regional experts have
suggested, that not all the attacks are expressions of loyalty to the Saddam
regime, that there is a hard-core which will continue opposing the occupying
forces no matter what, for they are non-Muslim and occupiers. Reports that
fighters from other Arab countries have descended on Iraq and are engaging
coalition forces would lend credence to this suggestion. Defeating them would
require not only the prudent application of military force but also, more
crucially, the delivery of economic and political goods. Basic amenities, like
electricity and water, remain in short supply throughout Iraq, and much remains
to be done to get the country back on its feet. The elimination of the sons shows
that US forces are getting a grip on the security situation, but ultimate
success--the establishment of a free, independent and stable Iraq - remains
over the horizon."
Iraq Remains Elusive”
Independent, English-language The Nation declared
(7/25): “News of the death of the
younger Husseins must also have been a morale boost to the embattled troops on
the ground in Iraq, particularly the Americans, who have suffered casualties on
an almost daily basis at the hands of Iraqi resistance forces thought to be
remnants of the old regime.... The
coalition leaders cannot make too much out of this however. This one success does little to tackle the
more serious problems facing the occupying forces.... Already, the hopes that
the ambush of coalition forces would diminish after the death of the Hussein
brothers have been dashed. Two more
American troops were killed later on Wednesday.
There is no evidence that Uday and Qusay, or Mr. Saddam himself, have
been organizing the resistance against the occupying forces. Thus, there is no reason to believe it will
end with their demise.... The U.S. and
Britain should reconsider their position and seek a new Security Council
resolution which establishes a comprehensive UN mandate over the civilian and
military administration of postwar Iraq.
This would pacify resentful Iraqis since their country would become a
ward of the international community rather than that of a conquering enemy
state. The rest of the world could also
then lend support and relieve Washington and London of the burden they clearly
are struggling to shoulder.”
INDIA: “Death And
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer commented (7/25): "Not many in Iraq will mourn the deaths
of Uday and Qusay.... Many Iraqis,
however, will hope that the U.S.' claim that they are dead is correct and
neither of them would come to life again as the ghost who walks, as
"Chemical Ali", did.... Should
that happen, American prestige...will suffer further damage.... And not just that. President Bush's
popularity...may plummet.... Even if
Uday and Qusay are dead, as seems to be the case, the US would be wise not to
believe that victory is days away.... The
very fact that he (Saddam Hussein) has evaded capture so long is a poor reflection
of the quality of US intelligence. Unless the latter improves, it will be
difficult not only to apprehend him but also to break the back of the guerrilla
warfare that is gathering momentum....
In the final analysis, however, information will flow in regularly only
when the regime put together by the Americans appears durable. The 25-member
Iraqi Governing Council does not appear to be so. It lacks acceptability and
has not been able to elect a President.”
“Scalps At Last"
The nationalist Hindustan Times declared (7/24): "The death of Saddam Hussein’s two sons
represents the first piece of good news for the Americans in a long time. At
the same time, its impact is still unclear. It is possible that the news will
so demoralize the remnants of the fallen dictator’s supporters that their
guerrilla-style attacks on the US forces will gradually taper off. On the other
hand, there may be a flare-up as a measure of retaliation against the American
success. However, after the death of his sons, Saddam cannot be unaware that
the net may be closing. His area of operation cannot be too large.... Till now, the American failure to nab him
added a sense of Oriental mystery to whatever resistance Saddam’s supporters
were putting up.... Saddam’s problem is
that he cannot escape to any other country....
He is not popular in his own country either because of his and his sons’
cruel records. Nor does he have a demonic ideology like Osama’s which can
persuade young people to court death....
So, it is possible that the tide is at last turning for the Americans.”
“Victory Or Deceit?"
Mumbai-based left-of-center Marathi-language Maharashtra
Times argued (7/24): "The
repeated attacks on American soldiers in Iraq had caused much concern for
American President George Bush. His presidency was being continuously
threatened due to the rising death toll. British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s
chair also became shaky after the mysterious death of British defense advisor
David Kelly. Both Bush and Blair needed some dramatic achievement to their
credit.... At such a juncture, the
assassination of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Uday and Qusay...is expected to take
the heat off the two leaders facing domestic and international antagonism. However, an element of doubt is still being
expressed in Iraq with regard to the identification of the dead bodies of Uday
and Qusay. America’s claim of having killed the Hussein brothers is being
treated suspiciously, considering its past false claims of assassination of
Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein....
It is difficult to believe that these two brothers were found together
under one roof during such ongoing strife....
Even if the deaths are confirmed, the American troops need not equate
this with a ceasefire in Iraq. Apart from the supporters of Saddam Hussein,
Iraq has many other anti-American dissident factions, like the Shia Muslim
leaders who are inciting the masses....
Moreover, the relatives of the innocent dead Iraqis are also very much
against the allied forces.... Once
Saddam Hussein gets killed in Iraq, President Bush can then bravely face the
forthcoming US elections and seek votes for a second term.... Whether Bush has been victorious or has been
deceived is yet to be decided.’’
SOUTH AFRICA: "The Bad
The liberal Star opined (7/24): "Maybe Qusay and Uday Hussein deserved
to die. But what happened in Mosul wasn't war; it was executions U.S.-style.... There is something very repulsive about
bounty hunting. It violates most people's concept of justice and the fact that
the Americans gleefully pursue it does not give it respectability.... Washington has now firmly set itself up as a
jury, judge and executioner. But the jury is very much still out on the reasons
for going to war. No weapons of mass destruction, no link with al-Qaeda. And
the judge is not overly concerned with the facts. That leaves us with the
executioner. Is he now going to run riot all over the world?"
Liberal Natal Witness commented (7/24): "The U.S. has needed a morale booster.
The outcome of these high-profile killings for Iraq itself is not yet clear.
There has been some celebratory gunfire in Baghdad. Will popular resistance to
the American presence now decrease or increase?.... The U.S., in its turn, obviously wants a
democratic government of moderate views to prevail and this is something that
the Shi'ite majority, with its very conservative Muslim stance, is unlikely to
provide. Iraq is at crossroads, with the world waiting to see which way it will
go. Yet everything still hangs in the balance until Saddam himself is
Yaounde-based, pro-opposition French-language Mutations
declared (7/24): "The
Anglo-American coalition that started a controversial war against Saddam
Hussein's regime, started with lies, and the lies continue. The affair of
uranium supposedly bought by Iraq from Niger was a phony story by the CIA. In
London, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair is under pressure from the BBC, and is
fighting hard like a devil to justify the lies connected to Britain regarding
the war in Iraq, which has also caused the life of a British scientist. Another official lie from the coalition is
that the end of the war came some two months back, yet obviously it continues
actively in Iraq. Not a day goes by without at least one American soldier being
killed in ambushes mounted by those faithful to Saddam Hussein.... But all of these lies mean nothing to George
Bush, who now has all the reasons to be proud: the two flamboyant sons of
former Iraqi leader, Uday and Ousay Hussein were last Tuesday killed by US
forces.... But Saddam Hussein lives and
continues to give interviews from his hideout. It is certain that, the day he
dies, will be celebrated as a second Thanksgiving Day in the United
KENYA: "Death Of
Saddam’s Sons Unlikely To Foster Peace”
Investigative/sometimes sensational People noted
(7/24): “America has repeatedly told the
world that the land of Mesopotamia will only enjoy peace once Saddam Hussein
and other key Baath party officials are killed.
Uday and Qusay were in this list.
Now that they have been killed, will Iraq finally enjoy peace? This is highly unlikely.... Nobody should take pride in such an
unfortunate situation. Let all
protagonists in Iraq realize that human life is too precious to be lost like
Murder Is The American Civilized Way Of Life"
Kiswahili-language pro-Islam weekly tabloid An-Nuur
editorialized (7/25): The U.S.
government is treating the deaths as a great victory and has announced that the
bodies will be displayed publicly. But
why do they want to make a public show of the dead bodies? Is America worried
that people might not believe its assertions that Uday and Qusay are dead? The other question is, why should the killing
of these young people be considered as victory? What crimes have they
committed? Did they ever kill any American citizen? Have they ever been
involved in acts of banditry in the U.S., like those that have been perpetrated
by many American leaders in various countries?
Their father is accused of having possessed WMD. Why have they never
been found? What is there to be celebrated? Is this part of the American civilized
way of life--planning and killing innocent people and then celebrating? If this
is not barbarism and terrorism, then these words have lost their true
meaning. We want to emphasize that the
murders being committed by America and Britain in Iraq are illegal by any
standards of justice and human civilization. That is why we believe that the
people of Iraq have the right to retaliate when confronted by the oppression,
brutality and killings committed by U.S. forces.”
ZAMBIA: "War Is Not
The government-owned Zambia Daily Mail declared
(7/24): "Authentic or not, this
statement [by US Central Command] has obviously surprised many, considering
that Saddam Hussein and his family seemed to have secured their passage out of
Iraq.... If indeed the two men were
killed...it is a shocker, especially that they did not succumb to America's
military might when they were expected to....
The reality is that...the war is not over...and is becoming more and
more taxing for America.... The reported
deaths...could be true, but we could not be surprised if this was yet another
hoax by the American commanders.... But
assuming the two sons of Saddam were actually killed, we still...remind the US
President George W. Bush that his personnel in Iraq have failed to find
evidence of WMD.... And if...they have
failed to find it...what is the purpose of pursuing the Saddam family?.... Why kill them when they have not wronged
America at all? In short...is it
anything to do with searching for weapons sites or something to do with
oil? There could be many just reasons
for America's intervention in Liberia or Congo, but Mr. Bush would rather see
his soldiers perish one by one in Iraq, what is the logic?"
The centrist Winnipeg Free Press observed (7/24): “Neither the heads nor the bodies of Odai and
Qusai will be displayed in front of the Baghdad Hilton. That is not what
civilized nations do. But Iraqis do need to be able to believe that the Saddamite
dynasty can never return to their country, can never again torture their lives.
Because they have lived in fear for so long, because members of Saddam's Ba'ath
party still wage a rag-tag war in his name, they will not be easily convinced:
Someone who has never heard the truth may find it hard to recognize. That is
one of the great challenges that the United States and Britain face in Iraq. It
is a challenge that should be shared by other nations that sat out the war,
including Canada. Iraqis need to be able to believe that it is no longer just
the U.S. and British military machines that they can count on, but all the
democratic nations of the world. The message from Ottawa and all the capitals
of the civilized world should be clear and simple--Saddam may not be dead, but
he is gone, never to return. You, the people of Iraq, are now free, and we
promise that you will remain so."
"Two Down, One To Go"
Margaret Wente wrote in the leading Globe and Mail
(7/24): "As for the situation in
Iraq, I have a hunch it's going better than the daily dose of woe dished up by
the media might lead us to believe. According to the media, Iraq is Vietnam,
with an all-out guerrilla war, a hostile local population, anarchy in the
streets, and American troops who are ready to frag the brass.... Don't get me wrong. Iraq will be a
three-Excedrin headache for a long time to come. Maybe it will all blow up. But
please allow me a tiny scrap of optimism. It could be going a whole lot worse.
And it's probably going a whole lot better than you'd think if you watched the
"Better Than They Deserved"
The conservative National Post opined (7/23): "The U.S. military turned up two aces in
Mosul, Iraq yesterday--Uday and Qusay Hussein, respectively the aces of hearts
and clubs in the 'most-wanted' card decks issued to U.S. troops.... Indeed, our single regret is that the
brothers were not taken alive. Uday and Qusay were spoiled, pampered men
who--like most cruel bullies--would no doubt have spilled out everything they knew
once they found themselves on the wrong side of the interrogation table. An
Iraqi court might then have passed sentence on them for their crimes against
humanity, and they would have spent the rest of their lives in jail (assuming
an Iraqi mob did not tear them limb from limb first). Death in battle was too
dignified a fate for these foul human specimens."
"Three Aces Down, Only One To Go"
The Victoria Times Colonist editorialized
(Internet version) (7/23): "The
sons are gone. That leaves only the
mother of all fathers, Saddam Hussein himself.... The finding of Saddam's sons raises the hope
that their father...will be captured, perhaps killed, soon. For as long as he is alive...his supporters
will continue to make life miserable for U.S. soldiers in that country.... The deaths of Uday and Qusay are sure to
boost troop morale, and they also come at an opportune time for President
George W. Bush and his ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.... Tuesday's military coup in Mosul will push
off the front pages, at least for a day or two, the debate about whether the
Bush administration deliberately overstated the threat posed by Saddam and his
weapons of mass destruction.... Few
Iraqis will mourn the brothers Hussein, the Aces of Hearts and Clubs on the
Americans' most wanted deck of cards.
The Ace of Diamonds, a senior aide to Saddam, is in custody. Many will look forward, now, to the fall of
the Ace of Spades."
"Bush May Find It Difficult To Capitalize On Deaths"
Paulo Sotero held in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo
(7/25): "President Bush's
declarations, which seek to capitalize politically on the death of Saddam's
sons, and the Pentagon's release of pictures showing their corpses, were
calculated measures aimed at increasing the positive results that the USG expects
to see on two fronts. First, in Iraq,
[would be] the demoralization and demobilization of resistance to the U.S.
occupation.... The other, in the
domestic arena, [would be] the end of the cycle of bad news fed both by the
almost daily casualties in Iraq and the confirmation that Bush used false
information to justify a policy that led to the invasion of Iraq."
"Out Of The Running:"
Right-of-center O Globo observed (7/25): "The deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein
reduces the possibility of Iraq repeating its recent history of corruption and
unleashed cruelty. It also eliminates an
element of apprehension and uncertainty.
There no longer exists the risk of the two heirs of Saddam from
returning to power, thirsty for revenge to take possession of the estate left
by their father. It may also be the
beginning of a post-war détente: the brothers were suspected of clandestinely
commanding the resistance, ordering attacks on American troops. In short, this unexpected success of
occupation forces opens huge prospects for change, giving the Bush
administration a new opportunity to show that the American presence in Iraq is
for the benefit of Iraqis."
MEXICO: “Tyranny Atones For
All The Violence?”
Juan Maria Alponte commented in old-guard nationalist El Universal
(7/24): “The death in Mosul now of the
two sons of Saddam...is nothing more than the tragic shadow of an oil dynasty
which used power according to the oldest and most primitive forms of
absolutism. The death in combat of the
two sons of Saddam, a tragic odyssey, doesn’t eliminate the universal question
about the legality of intervention, rolling right over International law. However, the cadavers of these two men have
given the White House enormous relief in terms of explaining military intervention.... The fait accompli with the death of two
executioners is a salve for the lies that couldn’t be buried.”
Leading-circulation, popular Santiago-based La
Tercera opined (7/24): "The
U.S. plan to conclude the war with Iraq and begin the reconstruction of that
country has met with organized resistance from groups loyal to the old
regime.... The inability to locate
Hussein and his sons during the months following the war had become a permanent
defeat for George Bush's government, which, we must recall, has been unable to
capture Osama bin Laden or Mullah Muhammad Omar.... But if Hussein is still alive...he no longer
has his sons to protect him.... This
gives groups loyal to Hussein another reason to consider laying down their
weapons, because if Uday and Qusay fell...it is likely that Saddam will also
eventually fall. The news of the death
of Hussein's sons comes at a very important moment for the Bush's
administration, given the problems the president faces over exaggerated reports
on WMD.... In the weeks to come we will
see whether these deaths have weakened Iraqi resistance. For now, Iraq remains at a crossroads....not
due to rebel groups, but as a result of the absence of a concrete U.S. plan to
control the country."
“Bush And Blair Manipulate Intelligence”
Thalia Flores y Flores maintained in Quito’s
center-left, influential Hoy (7/25):
"They have different ideological and academic roots. Their people
chose them for different reasons. Their terms have been very different, but
George Bush and Tony Blair seem to be imitating each other.... In order for their parliaments to authorize
the war, they claimed that Iraq had bought uranium from Niger. Bush and Blair
also claimed that ‘Iraq possessed chemical weapons.’ With that argument they
ridiculed the UN, which was opposed to the conflict, and they made war.... For 43 days the world watched, horrified and
helpless, the atrocities produced by ‘smart bombs,’ as part of the Rumsfeld
doctrine.... Bush and Blair ignored the
many opposition movements on five continents, the largest in memory. The
invasion would go to the bitter end. And that’s how it was.... While the mothers of the dead and disappeared
on both sides cried, on May 1 2003 Bush and Blair declared "victory".
In the US and England, the politicians reached levels of popularity never seen
before: Bush seemed destined for reelection and Blair took up his third way
again. But the happiness of the 'Masters
of War' did not last very long....
Doubts about the real reasons for the invasion arose, not only because
the weapons of mass destruction were not found.... but because of the truth that Bush and Blair
used false information to justify the war....
The effect has been as devastating as the ‘smart bombs.’ The popularity of Bush has fallen: 46% have a
negative opinion of his administration and 47% think it is time to change the
leadership of the country.... It looked
like the end of the leaders.... But last
Tuesday it was reported that the sons of Saddam Hussein had died, following an
intense bombardment of their house in Mosul. And questions arise: Did Qusay and
Uday Hussein really die on July 22? Is
there a date for ‘finding’ the chemical weapons? When will they ‘find’ Saddam Hussein? When
will the consumption of Iraqi oil begin?
If George Bush and Tony Blair manipulated the reports of their own
intelligence services, the dates and circumstances of other events could also
have been manipulated.”