Many Iraqis Rejoice in Deadly Raid
Jul. 22, 2003
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Some Iraqis who fled Saddam Hussein's regime said Tuesday his sons got the deaths they deserved, but should have been brought to trial for their crimes.
Other Arabs did not believe the U.S. military announcement that Odai and Qusai Hussein were killed in an American raid Tuesday.
``It is probably media propaganda to depress the Iraqi resistance,'' said Sherif Rashed, an Egyptian flight attendant living in the United Arab Emirates.
But Akram al-Hakim, an Iraqi living in London, said he was happy to see deposed dictator Saddam Hussein and his supporters receive ``a major moral blow .... Now we can say that Saddam's days are numbered.''
He said the sons' deaths will raise the spirits of Iraqis who have complained the Americans are not moving quickly enough to restore order in Iraq.
However, al-Hakim said Saddam's sons should have been brought to trial, where their crimes would have been made public.
Ahmed al-Haboubi, a minister in the government toppled by Saddam's Baath Party in a 1968 coup, also said trials would have been preferable ``in order that the Iraqi people would know the atrocities and the crimes they had committed.''
``Unfortunately they died so fast, while their victims died slowly while being tortured by these gangsters,'' said al-Haboubi, who now lives in Cairo.
Odai Hussein headed Saddam's Fedayeen militia, which helped eliminate opponents of his father. Iraqi exiles say he murdered and tortured with zeal, and routinely ordered his guards to abduct women so he could rape them. The National Iraqi Olympic Committee he headed was accused of torturing and jailing athletes.
Qusai Hussein was accused of helping engineer the destruction of the southern marshes in the 1990s to crush Shiite Muslims living there. He also oversaw Iraq's notorious detention centers.
The brothers' deaths in a firefight with U.S. forces were ``the fate of every tyrant and his associates,'' al-Haboubi said. ``Every tyrant should learn from the lesson of history: that shame will be their fate.''
Some Iraqis exulted.
Saddam ``lived to see the killing of his two sons, just like he shed the blood of so many innocent Iraqis in front of their mothers and families,'' said Samar Ismail, 60, a former Iraqi government employee now living in Jordan. ``Without the Americans, this dream would have never come true.''
Rashed, the Egyptian flight attendant, acknowledged Saddam's sons were not loved by Iraqis. But he said ``they were a symbol for resistance.''
Richard Salibe, a Lebanese accountant in the UAE, said he was concerned the sons' deaths would ``spur more retaliatory attacks in Iraq.''
But he said Saddam's sons ``had to pay for their hideous crimes.''
Zahra Radhi, a 52-year-old Iraqi professor who works as a shop clerk in Jordan, said the killings were ``none of my business.
``My business is to have my country back on its feet so that Iraqis can live the life they deserve,'' he said.
AP writers Jamal Halaby in Jordan and Rawya Rageh in the United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.