COL Two down, one to go
Saddam's sons die in firefight with U.S. troops
The deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons Odai and Qusai, killed in a raid by U.S. troops, mark one more step in the agonizingly difficult process of pacifying Iraq.
The sons, both cruel tyrants like their father, were betrayed by an Iraqi man seeking the $30 million in rewards offered by the U.S. forces for their death or capture. The announcement of their deaths set off a round of celebration on the part of many Iraqis and is expected to make it easier to find their father, still believed to be hiding in Iraq.
The sons' deaths represent no loss for humanity. Both were said to be even more cruel and ruthless than their father. Odai, 39, the oldest of Saddam's five sons, had been accused of kidnapping, raping and torturing women and of directing the torture of thousands of prisoners. He was also head of Iraq's Olympic committee and was reported to have ordered the torture of athletes who failed to live up to his expectations.
Qusai, 37, was the head of Saddam's intelligence agencies, security services and the Republican Guard and was being groomed to succeed his father. He was accused of solving the problem of prison overcrowding by ordering inmates to be killed en masse. After the Gulf War, he directed the draining of the southern marshes that had provided a livelihood for thousands of Shiites who had lived there for centuries.
It is hard to believe that Saddam can remain in hiding much longer, as efforts are being made to establish a new civil government for the country made up of those who have no reason to support their former leader. Killing or capturing him would deal a deadly blow to the remnants of his government who are believed to be waging a guerrilla war against U.S. forces.
; Under the best of circumstances, forming a reasonably democratic government in Iraq and reconstructing the country will still be a long and arduous task. Finding Saddam would greatly expedite the process.