Sunday, July 27, 2003

The killing of Uday and Qusay: "Both the means by which Hussein’s sons were liquidated and the manner in which the killings were greeted by the American government and media speak volumes about the nature of the US intervention in Iraq and the character of the American political establishment. On the plane of morality, there exist no fundamental differences between the personnel of the Hussein regime and the Bush administration. The latter operates in every sphere with unashamed lawlessness and violence. If there is a difference in the degree of brutality against its own citizens, the “restraint” exercised by the Bush forces is a matter of circumstance rather than moral superiority over the killers and torturers of the ousted Iraqi regime. "

"The assault had the character of a gangland slaying, the vengeful wiping out of the cornered leadership of one gang by a more powerful and better-armed outfit. An unnamed senior US military official in Iraq spoke like a Mafia don, telling the UPI: “This is a very beneficial hit. They cannot feel anything other than doom, since if we can take down these guys, we can take down anybody.”

"The exultation of US and British officials and the media over the killings in Mosul—which included the death of the 14-year-old son of Qusay Hussein, Mustapha—can only arouse revulsion. The pleasure that these circles take in bloodletting and violence has a pathological character... The American media was both jubilant and bloodthirsty. "

"The notion that the murders in Mosul will halt Iraqi resistance to the US colonial occupation of that country is wishful thinking of the most politically blinkered variety. The American government and media establishment apparently believes its own propaganda that the only opposition to the US presence is being offered by “holdouts” of the old regime, “terrorists” and “criminals.” These people are so blind to social and political reality and so distant from the Iraqi people that they cannot conceive of popular resistance that rejects both the Ba’athist regime and foreign imperialist tyranny."

"More fundamentally, the capture of Uday and Qusay Hussein presented politically troublesome problems. Putting the two former officials on trial would have inevitably raised the issue of the entirely lawless character of the war and occupation... Qusay would have known, for instance, ‘whether they had chemical weapons, how many they had, and where they were deployed.’ ... Obviously, by taking the decision to murder Qusay, the US government and military expressed their total lack of interest in the existence of WMD and, in effect, acknowledged that such deadly and dangerous weapons do not exist. "

"The bloodlust and lawlessness of the present-day political establishment is placed in sharp relief by comparing its campaign of political assassination in Iraq with the attitude of the US to the treatment of fascist mass murderers captured at the end of World War II. Less than sixty years ago, Washington opposed the summary execution of the leaders of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan—who had committed crimes on a far more massive scale than any carried out by the regime of Saddam Hussein—and insisted they be placed on public trial and accorded all of the legal privileges of due process."

One has to wonder whether the killing of the sons and the gruesome public exhibition by photo and video of the corpses is a political mistake - but a frightening mistake.

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