War is a crime, but this is a manly crime defying effeminate mores and rigid society. The most convinced pacifist can get carried away by the sight of charging cavalry, attacking troops, roaring tanks and fighter jets taking off a desert strip. Not in vain, women admired warriors, poets sung their mighty deeds, and priests anointed their heads. We can fetch a Roman adage or a Koranic verse, a line from Shakespeare or Nietzsche to praise a leader of men and disregard the costs of war. We can forgive a bloodshed, it’s sordid affairs that can’t ever be forgiven.
Murder of the deposed Arab ruler’s young sons is the ultimate sordid crime of President Bush. It transformed him from a fool into a villain, from the dubious vanquisher of a disarmed state into a vile murderer, from a deceiver into a bloody crook, from the vainglorious chieftain on board of the aircraft carrier into a vicious monster. Whatever we think of Saddam Hussein, cynical and cruel murder of his sons is an abysmal collapse into archaic mode. This is worse than Napoleon’s murder of young Duc d’Enghien, worse than the crimes of Richard III. Stalin and Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt killed millions, but they did not hunt down children of their adversaries. Indeed, Hitler did not lay hands on Stalin’s son he captured .
If the president were to tear their noble hearts and gobble them dripping blood on his starched shirt he would not be more disgusting. It is a moral collapse of the ruling class: his schools, Harvard and Yale, once aristocratic breeding ground of American gentlemen, reached a moral nadir under the guidance of Lawrence Summers the Platitudinous, Samuel Huntington the Trivial, Leo Strauss the Godless and Alan Dershowitz the Torturer. Probably Sing Sing would produce a more suitable ruling class at a lesser cost.
It is a moral collapse of the army. Hundreds of heavily armed American soldiers who participated in the execution brought shame on themselves and the Armed Forces. Copycatting the Israeli assassins, they rained missiles at the handful of men. They are not soldiers anymore, their place is with hangmen. Their cowardly deed will delegate them into the lower recesses of Hell, within a shouting distance from Judas.
It is a moral collapse of the media. This docile tool of Empire stepped into moral abyss beyond the cowardly murder. TV pundits discussed price of blood in dollars and shekels, they argued whether the murder would put paid to the Iraqi resistance. The TV screens were turned into stakes posting the bloodied heads of two handsome young men, a scary sight, but even scarier was the joyous crowd of brokers and investors at Wall Street, celebrating the Dow Jones’ rise by guzzling Arab blood. It was not the first vicious murder in mankind’s history; but the first one met with equanimity; a bloody sacrifice to Mammon. The healing spasm of moral disgust did not shake the sick society.
The dead and torn body of the fourteen-year-old boy, a grandchild of Saddam Hussein, will haunt Bush whenever he looks at his own children and grandchildren, like Banquo’s bloody ghost on Macbeth’s feast. Indeed, the Texan killer of Hussein’s sons is but a remorseless replica of the Scottish murderer of Macduff’s sons.
In a Christian land he would be excommunicated, for a vengeful murderer of his enemies’ children has no place in the Kingdom of Christ. Not in vain he befriended Sharon and Perle who are used to laud the murder of Haman’s children at the feast of Purim.
Noble and brave, the sons of Saddam Hussein did not escape to a faraway land; they did not pocket billions for surrender, they did not lounge in Minsk or Riyadh as the dishonest mainstream media suggested. The Young Lions of Baghdad, they fought the superior forces of the invader, and fell defending their homeland. Kusai and Udai were together in their lives; and in their death they were not divided. They will be forever cherished in the collective memory of mankind, with other tragic and courageous fighters against the Empire from Vercingetorix the Gaul to the Sioux chief Sitting Bull, from Che Guevara of Santa Clara to Abdel Kader al Husseini of Qastal. Their last stand and their death redeemed Iraq and returned self esteem to the Arabs. They died in flesh but remained alive in spirit; their murderers are but living dead. When the Middle East will regain its independence, their names will be written on the precious porphyry of our monuments.
There were many witty and soul-searching responses to my eulogy of Saddam’s sons (at the bottom of this email). Here are some of the best. Some readers approve of my response, others approve of Bush, you can read both – we are not the New York Times 🙂 For many readers it was easier to condemn Bush than to praise the princes. I do admire these murdered young men, whether they were good or bad in the days of their father’s rule, for they chose to fight, not to surrender, not to run away to Switzerland. They set a glorious example of princely behaviour by remaining with their people. I distrust the official reports of their previous misbehaviour, as much as I distrusted the WMD fairy tale, but even if some of it is true, we remember Prince Hal who was a drinking buddy of Falstaff until, as Henry V, he routed the French army at Agincourt.