Monday, July 28, 2003

Odai and Qusai ; the unintentional martyrs

I haven't been posting much recently because quite a lot has been happening that infuriates me, and I tend to lose focus when I'm mad. One of these events was the apparent deaths of Odai and Qusai Hussein. The manner of their deaths completely dispelled a number of media-created myths about them and challenged the credibility of many others.

According to commonly accepted knowledge, Odai and Qusai, despite being brothers, hated each other intensely, and even attempted to have each other killed more than once. Yet these brothers died together, defending themselves and each other.

Commonly described as cowardly and corrupt, they were said to have stolen billions before fleeing to Minsk or Damascus or Monaco, yet they died at home in Iraq, fighting to the end against impossible odds.

For Iraqis, I am sure that the deaths of Odai and Qusai will bring mixed feelings. After having felt betrayal and disgust at rumors of Saddam's sons having escaped to exile, Iraqis were informed that not only were the brothers in Iraq, but they had fought the Americans to the death. While I am sure that the un-conditional haters of the old regime will see no significance in this, those resisting the American occupation either overtly or covertly will be inspired.

Whoever or whatever Odai and Qusai were, or however much they were hated in life is almost irrelevant now, because in being allowed by the Americans to make the honorable sacrifice of falling in combat, the brothers achieved a kind of redemption. And now in refusing to surrender the corpses of the dead for burial and making a public spectacle of their deaths, the Americans are bringing more and more attention to their deaths, and dishonor to their killers. Whether or not the Americans intended it, Odai and Qusai have been given martyrdom.