- The Washington Times - Friday, July 25, 2003

The gunfight in Mosul that left Saddam Hussein’s murderous sons dead caused wild celebrations in Baghdad and long faces at the Democratic National Committee.

Uday and Qusay were sadists whose crimes were as vile as they were frequent.

Uday was notorious for kidnapping and raping beautiful women. And when Uday tired of his victims, he didn’t discard them. He killed them.

Maxim magazine recounted what happened to one coed Uday kidnapped: “Ordering his guards to stop feeding his Dobermans for two weeks, he had the girl stripped, lathered with honey, and fed to the starving animals.”

No wonder so many Iraqis were besides themselves with joy upon learning of their demise:

“An explosion of celebratory gunfire broke out late Tuesday,” reported Agence France Press from Baghdad. “People were seen standing on rooftops and emptying their clips into a night aglow with tracer bullets.”

“This is very good. Uday, Qusay and Saddam are the ones who ruined this country. We are in a mess today because of them,” Abu Mohammed, a shopkeeper, told the Scotsman.

The deaths of Uday and Qusay will make things easier for U.S. forces. As the head of the Special Republican Guard, Qusay may have been more responsible for the attacks on American troops than Saddam, but the primary value of their deaths is symbolic:

“For the long suffering people of Iraq, the deaths of Uday and Qusay matter more, on a practical level, than even Saddam’s confirmed death one day will,” wrote retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. “With his sons alive, Saddam remained a threat to the future. With both of them dead … he’s only a broken tyrant on the run.”

Now ordinary Iraqis will be less afraid to rat out Saddam loyalists in hiding. Now Ba’athists in custody who have been hoping for a restoration of the regime will have more reason to cooperate.

This is great news for the United States, but some Americans are acting as if it were bad news:

When Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean was asked for his reaction, he said: “The end doesn’t justify the means.”

Rep. Charles Rangel, New York Democrat, said the killing of Uday and Qusay was illegal:

“We have a law on the books that says the United States should not be assassinating anybody,” Rangel said on the Fox television program, “Hannity and Colmes.”

The Associated Press took a similar tack, putting the headline: “Uday, Qusay Deaths Go Against U.S. Ban” on a dispatch by George Gedda.

Uday and Qusay were leaders of a guerrilla force who were killed in a firefight after refusing to surrender. By no stretch of the imagination could it be said they were assassinated.

Why do so many on the left downplay, even deplore, a development that is obviously good for their country and good for the people of Iraq?

To many liberals, defeat for President Bush is more important than victory for the United States. If success in Iraq boosts Mr. Bush, then the mission in Iraq must fail.

One Democrat who doesn’t think much of this strategy is Bill Clinton. On “Larry King Live” July 23, the former president said:

“We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq. We can have honest disagreements about where we go from here, and we have space now to discuss that in what I hope will be a nonpartisan and open way.

“This State of the Union deal they decided to use the British intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence. Then they said on balance they shouldn’t have done it. You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president. … You can’t make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in a while. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now.”

Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration and is national security writer for the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette.

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