"Uday and Qusey are dead. Again."
In just a few short months since the beginning of the latest Iraqi campaign the US forces claimed to have killed Saddam Hussein on at least four different occasions. The number of false claims of Saddam's demise was only exceeded by the number of false WMD discoveries. Now Saddam's two sons and his 14-year-old grandson have taken their turn on the altar of Pentagon's propaganda machine.
There are many similarities between the previous claims of Saddam's death and the latest announcement by the US military that Saddam's two sons were killed in a firefight with the US troops. Naturally and as usual the big news arrived with a certain degree of ambiguity: the bodies of the two sons - Uday and Qusay - were extensively burned - possibly beyond recognition - Reuters cited US military sources.
Suddenly, the US general became uncharacteristically optimistic. Now they were absolutely certain that the two bodies discovered at the site of the reported firefight were those of Saddam's two sons and his grandson. Supposedly, someone said the bodies were not burned to the crisp after all but just riddled with bullets. US generals reported that someone well familiar with both Uday and Qusay identified their bodies.
Another commonality with the previous claims of successful attacks against Iraqi leadership: the location of Saddam's sons and his closest aides was revealed to the US military by an Iraqi informant. This almost reminds me of the tearful, albeit untrue, story of the rescue of Private Ryan. I mean Private Lynch. Iraqi informant, a glorious battle fought by the US soldiers and the pompous announcement by the US Army command in Qatar.
Just as when Saddam and his sons were killed in that restaurant bombing in Baghdad in April, the DNA evidence is set to reveal the final truth about the latest claim. Just as a reminder: in the April incident it turned out that there was no Saddam or his sons in that restaurant. Hell, there was no restaurant. Of course, there was no announcement of any DNA testing results. The British MI6 kind of soured the milk for Pentagon by leaking counterclaims to the press. Goddamned James Bonds.
One may also recall the bombing of the Baath party headquarters in Basra during the early weeks of the war. Then the US military claimed that up to 200 Baath party members (including possibly the big man himself or his brood) were killed. Apparently, the entire Baath party elite decided to gather at the headquarters in Basra. This building has been constantly bombed by the coalition ever since the war begun and practically had a target sign painted on it. Can you think of a better place for Iraqi party elite to hide? Apparently neither did the USAF command.
Saddam's sons, the US military claims, have been "hiding" at a palatial villa in Mosul - the huge home belonging to the local tribal leader. There have been photos of it on Yahoo News a couple months back: the villa had US "Abrams" tanks parked in front of it - another safe place for the Iraqi leadership to weather out the US occupation. It's like if Washington has been occupied by the Russians and Bush was hiding in the Oval Office.
But the claim of Udey's and Qusey's untimely demise did not go unnoticed: the US troops got the MUCH needed morale boost after weeks of grim reports from the occupied territories. And the US stock market is not doing too bad either: whoever knew about the upcoming announcement of the possible death of Uday and Qusay must have made a killing on the trading floor in just a few short hours.