International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

July 25, 2003

July 25, 2003





**  The Mosul operation is a "political success" for Bush and will "boost U.S. military morale."


**  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 turmoil."


**  Leftists, Arabs warn the "executions, U.S.-style" could make Uday and Qusay "martyrs." 




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 country."


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 "sustained interrogation."  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 have."


"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 Qusay."


"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 tested."


"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 forces." 


FRANCE:  "Not The End Of Hostilities"


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.”


GERMANY:  "Human 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 published them."


"Cowboy Manners"


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."


"Relief "


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 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 in Iraq."


"Saddam's Sons"


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."


"A Turnabout?"


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 welcomed Berlusconi.”


"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 eyes.”


"The First Victory In U.S. Post-War"


Left-leaning, influential La Repubblica commented (7/23):  “The killing of Saddam’s two sons in 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 Iraq.”


"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. Loses"


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 Iraq."


"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."


BELGIUM:  "PR Operation?"


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 world.”




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) 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 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.” 


DENMARK:  "Excessive Force"


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.”


HUNGARY:  "Sting"


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 Strikes Back"


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 Die"


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 die.”


"Iraq’s Icons"


Dawid Warszawski commented in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (7/24): “They were even more hated than their father....  But 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 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."


SWEDEN:  "Finally Gone"


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 their country."


TURKEY:  "Two Sides Of The Truth"


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 Saddam"


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."


"Saddam's Sons"


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 place."


"Bitter Rice"


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 him."


WEST BANK:  "Uday And Qusay:  Two Corrupt Martyrs"


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 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 President’s Sons”


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 The Beginning"


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 Stability?"


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 Americans”


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 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?”


SINGAPORE:  "Sadam's Bad Seeds" 


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."


THAILAND:  "Rebuilding 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 After" 


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 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 Boys"


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?"


"Saddam's Sons"


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 found."


CAMEROON:  "Demonic”


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 States."


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 that.”


TANZANIA:  "Celebrating 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 Over"


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 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 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?"




CANADA:  “Coalition Scores"


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 news."


"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."


BRAZIL:  "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 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.”


CHILE:  "Hussein's Sons"


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 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."


ECUADOR:  “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.”


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