Would we have been better off capturing Saddam's sons?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by SPG, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. SPG
    macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #1
    I've been reading some opinions around the web about the killing of Saddam's sons the other day, and I agree with most people that the world is better off without them, but what if we got them alive?
    Who else would have better knowledge of their father's whereabouts?
    A war crimes trial at the Hague would have been a good opportunity to air the dirty laundry of the Hussein regime and gather international support for ousting them, not to mention the catharsis the iraqis need.
    I find it a little hard to believe that we couldn't capture them alive. Three guys and a 14yr old kid with small arms against the 101st airborne with air support? We could have waited them out.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    i'd rather they'd been captured and then tried.

    i'm wondering if it was convenient to the WH to have them dead -- was there something they were afraid would be said?

    same w/ saddam hussein. i think he should stand trial.
     
  3. SPG
    thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #3
    After I posted that thread I read this over at the Whiskey Bar:
    http://billmon.org/archives/000394.html#more

     
  4. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    the more i think about it, the more i doubt the adminstration wanted them captured. and i'm thinking it's the same policy for their dad.

    he knows too much. it's like a mob hit. but w/ the world's biggest military.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    It may or may not have entered into the decision to kill the two sons, but it is very clear that both around the US arming Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war and the US training and arming of Islamic fundamentalists (including Al-Qaeda members) during the Soviet/Afghanistan war, the Bush administration doesn't want this "blowback" exposed.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #6
    I'm still not sure how the tactical decision was made to attack them. Why not surround them and wait it out?

    Surely they could not have done anything about being surrounded by Bradleys, M1A1s and snipers who could wait until they surrendered... :confused:
     
  7. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Likewise. A demonstration of justice is especially important in a country that has had so little for so long.
     
  8. macrumors member

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    #8
    zimv20,
    Don't think about it so much. ;)

    First, it was known and freely admitted that the US tilted towards Iraq in the Iran Iraq war. There's no need to cover that up.

    Second, the US support of the anti Soviet rebels in Afghanistan is very well documented and freely admitted.

    Third, the CDC sent samples of anthrax for reserach purposes to many countries over the years, including Iraq. (One might also mention that their nuclear program got a boost from Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" program in the 1950s).

    Fourth, the decision to kill Saddam's spawn was taken by the commander on the ground after they failed to surrender when requested. It would have been better if they had been captured alive for intelligence purposes (if they didn't want a trial, they could have just questioned them and then turned them over to a few Iraqis to tear limb from limb), but the brothers didn't want to be captured alive. This was not a decision taken in Washington.

    Finally, the idea that "we could have waited them out" fails to take into account a number of important factors, including the fact that there were civilians in the area at risk and the fact that the 101st guys on the ground were taking fire from inside the building. The fact that the second floor of the house was basically a concrete bunker didn't help the situation.

    SPG,
    One guy with a toy gun can avoid being captured alive by a local cop if he so desires. Why do you find it hard to believe that these guys were able to avoid live capture? We might have been able to capture them alive if we had some of that gas the Russians used in that theater in Moscow, but the 101st doesn't stock that stuff.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

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    #9
    macfan,

    It is nice to see some real rational thinking. Every point I was ready to make, you beat me to it. Great minds think alike. Keep it up, since I don't mind being beaten by you.:)
     
  10. SPG
    thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #10
    The stakes are a little higher here. If we could muster 200 troops, we could keep the area secure and wait them out. We could've used a swat team, we have Delta in country, we have so many ways to do that.
    Also the reports said that the operation lasted from 4 to 6 hours. Sounds like they weren't in a hurry to wipe them out until the white house gave the Okay.
    Read the link I posted above, not just the highlight.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    This page also includes a link to a pdf of the entire 9-11 report, over 800 pages worth of light summer reading for the true news junky.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

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    #12
    You forgot or chose to ignore a few important factors. First of all to this day there are still those who don't believe that we actually got them. When the informant came up to the troops and told them that the two losers were inside, they had no way to know for sure he was telling the truth. The troops receive thousands of tips and many prove to be false. There was no need to assume that this time the intel was right on the money. The troops tried to capture them, but in the process 4 soldiers were wounded. To me that was a mistake that they quickly learned from and made sure that no more soldiers endangered their lives to capture people they had no way to confirm were the brothers. Our troops are involved in hundreds of similar actions all over the country. If they decided to camp out in each case and attempt to capture each terrorist, there would be even more bloodshed on our side.
     
  13. macrumors member

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    #13
    I did read the link you posted, I just think it's a little nuts to talk about how they didn't want them captured alive when they could have had it both ways if capturing them alive was a vialble option for the US forces there. They could have captured them, never released the information of their capture, questioned them, and then killed them, getting both the intel advantage and the presumed advantage of not having them alive to testify.

    C'mon folks, if you're going to think conspiracy, think big!

    bond003,
    Good point on the uncertainty of the identity of the targets.
     
  14. SPG
    thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #14
    They were turned in by a relative. The intel checked out before they went in. They knew who they were getting.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    how do we know that?
     
  16. macrumors member

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    #16
    Here's the timeline off of .CNN

    They started with a bullhorn, took some casualties (3 wounded upon entering the house and finding the targets barricaded) and ended with TOW missiles, gradually increasing the level of firepower as they went along. The really big firepower wasn't used at all. They are operating on standing orders, you don't wake up the president every time there is a raid in Iraq.

    SPG,
    They hoped they knew who they were getting, but they didn't know for sure until after.
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #17
    What about the informant? They organized a large attack based on the information that Uday and Qusay were there, not the hope of getting some random Iraqi officials.
     
  18. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    The point being, I suppose, that the US forces knew only what the informant had told them, and not whether it was accurate. Still, if it had been the policy to capture instead kill these individuals, then a much greater effort would have been made to do so, and we'd have seen tear gas and stun grenades instead of TOW missiles. I don't claim to know what this means, but it is just another little factoid to consider within the larger picture of the United State's purposes and goals in Iraq.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #19
    Unless I am much mistaken, the US thought there were WMDs in Iraq based on an informant's information. The Bush administration believed so blindly in that informant's information, that they started a war in part over it. I guess, they must have learned their lesson according to your statement.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #20
    Re: Would we have been better off capturing Saddam's sons?

    And what if in waiting it out, they would have somehow escaped, or killed just one US soldier? Would that have made it worth it. They would have never, been taken alive. Well, at least Uday. He has always been a coward. He spent the first gulf war in a bunker crying like a child.

    They got what they deserved.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    Re: Re: Would we have been better off capturing Saddam's sons?

    though your point is well taken, i do have trouble believing that 200+ members of the 101st airborne would be unable to capture _any_ 4 people, much less 2 guys who are used to being coddled.

    there was a big hole in the side of the room, the US punched for intelligence gathering. what of lobbing tear gas through there, or non-lethal sniper shots? or a hundred other things i probably don't even know about?

    i think the decision to simply kill them was made a bit too easily. i.e. the WH didn't want them making any statements.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #22
    I'm going to have to agree with BTTM on this one in the end. Though I would have loved for the guys to find a way to catch these two alive, and I think they could have found a way to do it, in the heat of a firefight they simply could not know what kind of arsenal they were sitting on.

    Surrounding them with tanks and APCs would only be effective against their small arms fire until they whipped out a rocket launcher or a mortar tube.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #23


    ......He isn't breathing, pulse is 0. CLEAR. beep,beep,beep, CLEAR.


    Backtothemac comes back to the earth, nearly escaping the clutches of death.

    When asked what happend he points to the screeen where it says

    "I am going to have to agree with BTTM on this one."
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #24
    Well, we'll see.

    I'm hopeful that a full report will be made public about the circumstances. If it was a tactical decision made from the top to kill them outright, I can't support the action, but if it was made on the spot or escalated to a full blown firefight, I have to say we did the right thing and the safe thing.

    Until we know otherwise, I must assume it was in the control of the localised forces and thus I must support a soldier's decision for judging when he's (or an officer for when his troops are) at risk.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #25
    Well, they said that as they came into range of the building the sons opened fire on the 101st. Thus, they returned fire. It would have been better to get them alive, but it would have never happened, as the wound on Uday's face would show.
     

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