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was there ANY attempt to get the Hussein sons alive?(17 posts)

was there ANY attempt to get the Hussein sons alive?gtx
Jul 25, 2003 9:06 AM
with 200+ commandos and all the technology they have (infrared, etc.) seems like it would have been pretty easy to get a couple of pansies, a kid and one or two body guards? Or do you think there was an order to kill?--obviously it makes life easier for everybody, but I wonder about the legality of it. Consider this--drug dealers shoot back all the time when cornered, but SWAT teams (who don't number 200+) don't routinely try to kill all of them.
Jul 25, 2003 9:18 AM
All of the reviews of the event that I have seen describe a scenario whereby they did the SWAT bullhorn routine ("we have you surrounded, etc."), they sent a group of ~10 people in, when they were fired upon, they withdrew and returned fire. When they realized they weren't getting anywhere, they shot missles in. Later they discovered that the brothers Hussein had been in a fortified, bullet-proof room; hence the lack of effectiveness of small-arms.

Another real issue is that an American SWAT team would have used tear gas to incapacitate without killing the people, but the military isn't allowed to use it under the Geneva Conventions.

Bottom line, they would have preferred capture, but it wasn't as easy as you might think.
Rumsy ready to use "chemical incapacitatants" in Februarytorquer
Jul 25, 2003 10:55 AM
Fuzzy ethics of nonlethal chemical weapons_Christian Science Monitor

Sun, 16 Feb 2003

ON February 5, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and General Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee the US was prepared to use chemical incapacitants in a war with Iraq. (An audio of the testimony is on

The use of chemical "incapacitants" is outlawed by the Geneva Convention of 1925, ratified by the US in 1975. And by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 1993, entered into force in 1997, which the US also signed. This treaty prohibits not only use, but also development, production, stockpiling and transfer of toxic chemical weapons. Article II of the CWC states: "Toxic chemical means any chemical which....can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals..."

It seems to me that the value of nabbing the brothers alive (info about others' whereabouts, propaganda value of parading them in front of Al Jazera's cameras, etc.) would have been so compelling that the administration would have risked it and dumped enough gas into the house to empty half of Mosul. After all, they haven't been exactly sensitive to world opinion up to now, so why start?

On the other hand, one might ask who might benefit if the brothers carried their secrets with them to paradise. Certain members of past (and present) administrations who may have aided Sadaam and family? Does anyone else find it remarkable how little documentation from the regime is being made public? Will we have to wait 50 years, or are the shredders working overtime as we argue?

Please note that I do not mean to second-guess the guys on the ground who took part in this operation; I'm sure that if i were in their situation I would return fire with everything I could get my hands on, and call in some B-52's just to be safe. I just wonder what their orders were.

And finally, there is some speculation (and evidence, for all I know) that the brothers killed themselves, rather than be taken prisoner. In that case this discussion is obviously moot.
agree about the documentsrufus
Jul 25, 2003 12:01 PM
all the heat they've been taking about there being no WMD's, and they say they are pouring over all these captured documents, and yet they've released nothing that could corroborate their position.
Judging from the live action videosn69
Jul 25, 2003 9:20 AM
it sure looked like a heated firefight with rounds flying both directions. Likewise, given the natural predisposition of the avergage 18-year-old to run off at the mouth, we'll know in short order once the email minimize order is lifted and the kids can start communicating with ma and pa.

Personally, I think that there was probably an order issued to come out and when the fools shot from the windows, the troops opened up. I particularly liked the viedo of the TOW being launched. Ouch...that'll leave a mark.

In any case, large-scale MOUT operations don't dovetail well with targetted assasinations (IDF notwithstanding). Teams of Force Recon, SEALs, SAS, CIA SOG, whathaveyou, hunting the hills for Osama, however, are a different story.

As for the Brothers Hussien, they had every reason to fight and presumably die in battle or via self-infliction rather than face the possibility of capture. The latter would result in a rather ugly albiet well-deserved face-to-face with the various peoples of that country that they had spent their adult lives tormenting. In fact, many elements of the coalition/puppet gov't are already expressing displeaure that the two fools weren't captured and turned over.

Still, there's no way the task force commander was willing to sweep the building and lose a number of troops just to placate the local gov't's desire for revenge. Dead is dead.

(OBTW--Ibis Ti on eBay frames, 56cm.)
Jul 25, 2003 9:20 AM
Not sure what legality you are talking about. I think that it's still a war situation. Civil rights laws, such as "undue force" don't apply.

Besides, I read they were given ample opportunity to give themselves up, but just shot back from their barricaded building.

thanks for the replies--ok, more questions...gtx
Jul 25, 2003 9:28 AM
first off, this is what I get for not watching TV--I haven't seen the video ;)

ok, so is this a police action or is it still "war"? I was wondering about the lack of using gas like TJ pointed out. So I wonder how this would fit in. It seems like since the "war" is "over" it would be a police action. No?
thanks for the replies--ok, more questions...sn69
Jul 25, 2003 9:34 AM
Dumb Scott's Opinion:

The war continues, just as the Iraqi Campaign continues. WW4 will go on for years. And, FWIW, the Afghan Campaign is still hot too.

Our continued presence in Haiti and Yugo are police actions. This is a war that transcends easy categorization, no matter what the various politicos say to the contrary.

Now we're sending folks to Liberia. Can you hear that creaking, groaning sound? That's DOD stretching thinner. Meanwhile, like a total jacka@@, I'm sitting here surfing in the midst of a slow day at the office.
It's as much a war as it ever was.OldEdScott
Jul 25, 2003 9:34 AM
War was never formally declared. It's still what it always has been.
How aboutSteveS
Jul 25, 2003 9:43 AM
How about volunteering to go knock on the doors of some houses around Fallujah or wherever in Iraq, and ask 'pretty please' for any potential bad guys to come out with their hands up?

Then, if you succeed, you will have been a hero, lives will have been saved and there will be no question about 'legality' from the lefty/lib. club.

Of course, you will be a very nice target just like all our young troops are and stand a good chance of coming home in a body bag, but that is a small price to pay compared to having gone the extra mile to help the Saddamists.
Jul 25, 2003 10:01 AM
we should have just pulled our troops back and then just nuked 'em.
Jul 25, 2003 10:09 AM
Exactly the same suggestion given me by an elderly Brit. while sitting on a park bench in Buxton, England, Sept. 13th 2001. Great minds do think alike!
legal schmegal. The only reason that I would have liked...94Nole
Jul 25, 2003 9:54 AM
to see them taken alive is for the info that they no doubt have about where papa is and any other intelligence they might have been privy to. They don't shoot to kill drug dealers for the hope of who they might gather in from teh stool pigeons.

Although a W supporter with my head is in the sand with Doug, I really believe that they likely didn't know anything that we don't already know and the W admin. is just waiting for the right time to expose what we (the US) know.
Speaking of timing...torquer
Jul 25, 2003 11:19 AM
94Nole, you may be absolutely correct that there aren't any secrets (about these matters, at least) that the W administration doesn't already know.

Continuing with the left-leaning paranoia of my post above, did anyone else find it an odd coincidence that the brothers should buy the farm just in time to deflect attention from the brouhaha around Dubya's disputed 16 words?

Makes me wonder when they'll find Sadaam; next summer, perhaps, to coincide with the Republican convention? (I can just see W suiting up with a special-ops night vision headset and dropping down into some Tikrit alley and nabbing SH in mid conversation with Osama! All caught in living greenish-colored video by the Jessica Lynch production crew. Brilliant!)
I don't think so, the libs have been swishing this around...94Nole
Jul 25, 2003 11:35 AM
in their mouths for, what, a couple of weeks now? And Lord knows, the media has certainly had a good time with it. Kobe almost went un-noticed.

I also love that Bill (and Hilly) have pretty much pulled the rug our from under the Dems with regard to this issue. Something big is about to go down.
oops!! I mean Bill and the HHRC (nm)94Nole
Jul 25, 2003 11:36 AM
October Surprisejose_Tex_mex
Jul 26, 2003 10:19 AM
They will find something, somewhere. As soon as in benefits the cause, it will be realeased.