November 12, 2002
THE BROTHERS HUSSEIN:
Saddam Hussein smiles down from a poster.Inside the world of Saddam's family
(DAN McDOUGALL, Sat 9 Nov 2002, The Scotsman)
AS CHILDREN growing up in their father's palace in Baghdad, Uday and Qusay Hussein acted out their sibling rivalries with more fervour than most. They surprised even their private army of bodyguards with their unbridled hatred for one another.
Uday, the elder of the two by three years, was mildly reprimanded in his early teens for putting his younger rival in hospital during a particularly violent fight that ended with Qusay sustaining a stab wound to his thigh and several broken ribs. The fight, it was claimed, was over who would stand on their father's right-hand side during a military parade.
As the boys grew up, Saddam Hussein viewed their bitter rivalry as nothing more than a consequence of the closeness of their age. He refused to interfere as Uday regularly beat his younger sibling, on one occasion almost blinding him with a cigarette stub.
But as the brothers grew up, desperately vying to be their father's favourite, the violent blood-feud continued. Yet as men, the focus of their anger would no longer be each other but the Iraqi people Saddam believed they were born to rule. [...]
According to dissidents who have recently escaped from Iraq, the assassination attempt on Uday's life made him even more violent and increased his voracious appetite for rape. Uday's former personal assistant, Hassan al Janabi, has told a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation that Saddam's eldest son is building a powerbase to undermine his younger brother. He said: "When Uday was shot, he was confined to a wheelchair. He was no longer the Uday who would attend celebrations, go to the racing club or ride a horse. Previously he was a very active man but his situation changed and he became aggressive and devoid of humanity."
Those who oppose toppling Saddam really have to explain why they think it's okay for this family to have unlimited power over a people.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2002 11:42 AM
Whether it's "okay" or not is up to the Iraqis. It has nothing to do with us, and is none of our business.
We somehow seem "okay" buying all sorts of plastic crap from the Chinese, and they're far worse than Hussein in terms of body counts. It's certainly seems to be "okay" to maintain diplomatic channels with N. Korea, and that regime is far more insane and larcenous than Saddam's family ever dreamed of being. It's also "okay" to base troops in Pakistan and ship billions in aid to them when they're one of the world's worst nuclear proliferators, aside from China and Israel.
I agree--I'd topple the Chinese and Korean communists.
Derek - Follow your own logic. If the Iraqis choose to overthrow Saddam, it would hardly be wrong for us to give them a little help. And hasn't the Iraqi National Congress, the representatives of the Iraqi people, decided to bring Saddam to justice, and isn't a little help exactly what we're providing them?
You guys missed something, every country Derek mentioned is already a nuclear power. Iraq is not, yet. We're "ok" with them out of necessity.
We are NOT okay w/ North Korea.
In the first place, I believe we do NOT have diplomatic relations w/ North Korea. Last time I checked (a few months ago), I believe we have no formal diplomatic representation in Pyongyang. That was one reason why Albright and Kelly's visits were such big deals---each appeared to presage a formal diplomatic opening.
Now, should we not even TALK to them? Mebbe, but our talking (under THIS Administration, at least) has been telling, not begging, and sure as heck not GIVING. (Note that we talked w/ the Soviets, and we talk w/ the Cubans off-and-on; so merely talking is not exactly the equivalent of giving a pass.)
"Whether it's "okay" or not is up to the Iraqis. It has nothing to do with us, and is none of our business."
Up to the Iraqis how? You want them to use their guns in a people's revolution? They don't have any. You want them to form other parties so they can run in the "elections"? Those aren't elections, they are dog and pony shows. Freedom of the press? Nope. Freedom of speech. Nope. How do you propose people living under a ruthless dictator go about changing it? Iraqis hate him but are powerless to do anything about it.
"Nothing to do with us"? Really. Hussein has been in league with terrorists for years. Proof is not forthcoming, nor should you expect to see any in public. There is plenty of evidence to establish a likely link. In addition, the assumption should be that despots like him are presumed guilty unless proof can be offered otherwise. It is suicidal to presume otherwise. "Presumed innocent" is for U.S. courts, not international power struggles.
This argument that you must identify the single worst offenders, especially nuclear powers, and go after them first is not very realistic. Hussein should have been toppled in 1991, by almost every account, and has been in material breach of multiple UN resolutions, and either has nuclear weapons now or will soon, so by these reasons alone he is tops on any realistic list of leaders that need to go down.
That's right. The Iraqis can take care of themselves. It's happened in totalitarian countries worse even than Iraq, like Romania. We don't need to get ourselves involved in messes not our own. That's how we got 9/11. Yes, the Iraqis have supported terrorists, but they've done so in their state interests, usually supporting Palestinian separatists who attack Israel, just as Israel supports Kurdish separatists in Iraq. That's Israel's problem, not ours. Let them take care of it. They get billions from us anyhow.
North Korea doesn't have a US embassy, but they do get visits from Secretaries of State and they get money. They may not all be official, but it certainly counts as some kind of diplomatic relations.
Of course, as someone noted, we're only attacking Iraq because they don't have nukes. So ask yourselves, what's every other baddie on the planet going to do now? Get himself some nukes, that's what. Invading Iraq will be the greatest inducement to nuclear proliferation since Adolph Hitler.
So what good will our "regime change" do us? I mean other than a nice, little victory parade and some backslapping. We'll have a nasty little occupation, every Arab country spending its resources on nukes (We can't invade them all, kiddies), and al-Qaeda's recruitment (Remember them?) going through the sky.
While not wholly unsympathetic to your point of view, I think it's too late. Everything I've read about al Qaeda suggests that the are successful in recruiting precisely because they are "winning". That's to say, from the killing of Meir Kahane up until 9-11, they hit us again and again and we did "nothing". Even leaving Saddam in power in '91 is viewed as a defeat for the West. So young men join because they perceive Islamicism to be the winning team.
Now, whether fair or not, we are at war again with Saddam. Yes, already at war just because we've m,ade him the issue. If we leave him in power we lose another battle and al Qaeda wins too.
In fact, it seems likely that, as in Palestine, the energy of the terrorists won't flag until it becomes clear that they're losing, as in dying and having the West defeat Islamic regimes.