Uday & Qusay And Udai & Qusai Dead Or At Large
Uday And Qusay Dead, Udai And Qusai Still At Large
Officials admit it could also be the other way around
CAPTION: Clockwise from upper left, Udai Hussein (alive), Uday Hussein (dead), Qusay Hussein (dead) and Qusai Hussein (alive). The media are not sure who is who or how to spell their names.
Mosul, Iraq--Conflicting news reports have cast doubt on the number, whereabouts, and correct spelling of Saddam Hussein's oldest sons.
The New York Times, Toronto Star, Channel News Asia and Voice of America all reported that it was Uday and Qusay Hussein that were killed in a blaze of gunfire and rockets last Tuesday after spending months in hiding.
However, the San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit Free Press and Hartford Courant indicated that it was Udai and Qusai who were killed during the gun battle in Mosul.
The question is: Which set of Hussein brothers were pictured in the autopsy photos and which set are still on the loose? An even scarier question is how many more sets of Hussein brothers are out there?
Last week's announcement marked the second time the Hussein brothers have been reported killed since the war began leaving Iraqis to wonder if there is an army of Udays, Qusays, Udais and Qusais that must be defeated. Some speculate that a third set of Hussein siblings will be killed by US forces as the presidential election draws near.
The US military has released photos of the dead brothers in an effort to positively ID them, and to prove to the Iraqi people that at least one pair of murdering Husseins are no longer alive to terrorize the population.
Iraqi fears are well founded, Uday was head of the paramilitary Fedayeen unit and controlled the regime's mass media. Qusay was entrusted with commanding his father's personal bodyguards and the elite Republican Guards. Experts say he was a leading figure in persecuting Shiite Muslims after the 1991 Gulf War -- using mass executions and torture.
Similarly, the Courant described Udai and Qusai as sharing a “fondness for brutality.” According to the article, Saddam Hussein viewed Qusai, 37, and Udai, 39, as the best bet for preserving his family's iron grip on Iraq, which makes their eventual capture or death essential to the ongoing war effort.
Confusing the matter further, The Washington Times quoted Lt. Army Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who claims Uday and Qusai were together in Mosul when they were attacked by coalition forces. This goes against the conventional wisdom of experts, who were convinced that Uday always traveled with Qusay and Udai with Qusai--possibly owing to the similarity in the endings of their names.
CAPTION: Not much is known about the elusive Odai Hussein except that he is a dead ringer for Uday and Udai Hussein and is probably not a very nice man. Qusai has been seen with all three.
"We're certain that Uday and Qusai were killed today," Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of coalition forces in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. "We've used multiple sources to identify the individuals.”
If Lt. Gen. Sanchez is correct, all previous theories about the identities of the four Husseins are invalid.
Sanchez said he didn’t see what the big deal was.
“They were evil sons-a-bitches no matter how you spell their names,” he said. “And now their dead. Don’t even get me started on where Odai is.”
Analysts agree that Odai is almost certainly still at large.
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