08:49 23 Jul 2003
To be honest, I wasn’t really buying the reports yesterday afternoon that said we got both of Saddam’s sons. In the same hideout, even. But I guess I’ll go along with it for now, as all the official sources seem quite confident that they are indeed dead. But just remember how many times we killed Chemical Ali.
Although a potentially huge amount of information was lost when the two were killed rather than taken alive, in the long run I think it’s for the best that they won’t end up in a prison cell or before some jury or tribunal. I’m sure the fact that they went down fighting will inspire some Ba’th loyalists, but most of those types are already convinced, anyway. Besides, the biggest mistake you can make when you take down a king is to let any sons escape. Step #9 in Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is “Antonement With The Father,” often acheived by a son getting revenge for his fallen father. The last thing we needed was Uday or Qusay prancing around talking to clouds like Simba in “The Lion King.” That was the end of Hakuna Matada for him, and he ended up running the show before it was all over. Not to mention that would make us the hyenas.
I’m curious to see what the first “Bush and Rumsfeld blew it again” spins on this big event are going to be. There’s, of course, the obvious “It’s not really them”, but I don’t think that would hold water with the (voting) public. And, given these characters’ backgrounds, I don’t really see anyone believing that Iraq would be better off with them still alive. There was this on MSNBC.com this morning, though:
TWO AMERICAN SOLDIERS were killed in ambushes in Iraq on Wednesday, dashing any U.S. hopes that the killing of Saddam’s sons, Odai and Qusai, would snuff out a guerrilla insurgency against occupying forces…The two deaths brought to 155 the number of American soldiers killed since the war began March 20, surpassing by eight the death toll in the 1991 Gulf War.
Who had hopes that killing them would “snuff out” insurgency? Did anyone? Anywhere? No real mention that this is a HUGE blow to organized insurgency, just a notation that all of the Saddam loyalists haven’t prostrated themselves before us yet. Get real.
And is it me, or does the constant comparing of the death toll to that in 1991 seem to have a certain smugness about it? Am I imagining it? I can’t really say, but I sure get a weird feeling that a lot of people are actually gloating over the fact that more have been killed than were killed in 1991. Maybe they should get a “death-o-meter” graphic, or something. Of course, at this rate it’s going to take DECADES (or more) to reach many of the dire predictions of American casualties. If only the plan had been better…