- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Yesterday was a bad day for the Iraqi Ba’athist insurgents — and for the growing band of anti-Bush irregulars here in Washington. With our military’s successful killing of Uday and Qusay Hussein, an important turn has been made in our government’s nation-building project in occupied Iraq. While most Iraqis support — or are at least neutral about — our effort, the danger remains that, if the insurgent Ba’athists cannot largely be suppressed over the next several months, they may be able to intimidate the populace into supporting them.

Saddam himself is an old man. But the young killer princelings were their father’s hope and their people’s despair that, after Americans leave, the Husseins would return. Just as the Russian Bolsheviks killed all the last Czar Nicholas’ children in 1918 to crush the hopes of any Romanoff revival, so yesterday’s killing of Saddam’s sons ends the nightmare of a recrudescence of a Hussein dynasty. While much can still go wrong, and much remains to be done in Iraq, the strategic centerpiece of the insurgent threat has been permanently removed from the equation.

President Bush has gained his second and most dramatic postwar victory. In the last fortnight, the Iraqi Governing Council was formed and recognized by the United Nations. And, with yesterday’s heartening news of the princelings’ deaths, a solid foundation formed by real events in Iraq should provide Mr. Bush with the rhetorical opportunity to return the focus of national discussion to the positive unfolding of his policy. Yesterday in Mosul, not only were the lives of Uday and Qusay extinguished, but also extinguished, we suspect, was Washington’s silly season of phony scandal-mongering.

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