Friday, March 04, 2005

Uday Hussein and Peter Arnett: both nutters

When I read the headline "Saddam's son was poised to topple dad: Arnett," I expected an article supporting my opinion that if we didn't deal with Saddam now, his sons would have become a great problem for us one day.

I personally think that Saddam was getting old, and only wanted to keep the status quo on his situation. I don't think he had major ambitions. However, once he was out of power, there was going to be a problem, because if his sons rose up to fill his place, Saddam's antics were going to look sane in comparison.

However, I was wrong about the article. And I can't quite figure out what Arnett is trying to say here:

According to Mr Arnett, the oldest son of the former Iraqi president had long been chafing under his father's iron fisted rule and blamed his father for the punishing international sanctions on the country.

"Though it has not been reported until now, Uday Hussein was the biggest proponent of regime change inside Iraq," Arnett wrote. "During the previous 10 years, he had slowly assembled the elements of power - military, military and political management - designed to overthrow his tyrannical father," said the reporter who was in Baghdad as US troops approached following the launch of the March 19, 2003 US-led attack.

But, according to the journalist, Uday's coup plan came too late as US-led forces were just days away from the Iraqi capital. He and his younger brother, Qusay, were forced to flee Baghdad along with their father as the Baath party military machine collapsed ahead of the US seizure of the city in early April. Uday and Qusay were killed in a blistering battle in the northern city of Mosul on July 22, 2003.

Um, is it just me, or does it seem like Arnett is painting Uday as some kind of political hero who was going to topple his oppressive father and install democracy, before the evil Americans came and screwed it all up? Come on...what about this? Oh, wait this is even better:

In October 1988, at a party thrown in the honor of the wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Uday beat and stabbed to death one of his father's favorite servants, Kemal Hana Gegeo. Gegeo had recently introduced Saddam to a beautiful, younger woman who later became Saddam's second wife. Uday took this as an insult to his mother, Saddam's cousin and first wife. Uday carried out the murder coolly and coldly, bludgeoning Gegeo repeatedly in front of horrified guests before finishing him off with a steak knife. President Mubarak later called Uday a "psychopath."

As punishment for the murder, Saddam briefly imprisoned Uday. As a result of personal intervention from King Hussein I of Jordan, Saddam released Uday, banishing him to Switzerland. Saddam made him the assistant to the Iraqi ambassador to Switzerland, hardly an auspicious posting. The Swiss expelled him after he threatened to stab someone in a restaurant.

On December 12, 1996 Uday was seriously injured in an assassination attempt, allegedly organised by Qusay. Hit by eight bullets while driving, he was at first thought to be paralyzed. Instead, he recovered his ability to walk, albeit with a limp. Despite surgeries, a bullet remained lodged in his spine. As a result of the attempted assassination and Uday's subsequent disabilities, Saddam gave Uday's younger brother, Qusay Hussein, more powers. In 2000, Saddam designated Qusay as his heir.

I can understand why CNN fired Arnett and why Playboy is the only outlet willing to publish his musings. It must be true then: it's not the nude photos that makes the magazine so popular, it's the great fiction.

Update: Vodkapundit says it way better than I did.


Blogger Chris said...

Playboy has some good non-fiction too. You can't tell me all those letters sent in are fake :)

I tried to post another comment to the compare or not compare post. I'm not sure if it worked or not. Blogger is really starting to piss me off.

And to the guy that asked what I do for fun, you mean this blog thing isn't fun???

Actually I'm a big sports fan. I do a lot of fun stuff. Right now it's college basketball season (March Madness) and I'm totally fixated with it. And of course drinking goes along with that as well.

I work in politics so I do get bored with being around it all the time. I do spend a lot of time writing and researching. I have a book out now, you should give it a look.

Democratic Development and Political Terrorism: The Global Perspective, edited by William Crotty.

Other than that I'm just a regular southern guy.

4:30 AM  

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