For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote




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 [1] 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.

Israel Shamir

From Robert Leverant, California

Your passionate moral essay puts it all in perspective. Gang warfare. The mob. I've always felt that the Bush mob lacked the class of The Godfather and were in the league of The Good Fellas who had five thumbs and couldn't get it right.

From: Gary Gene Ford -

The act of seeking out an enemy's offspring to slay is very ancient and regrettable. However, except possibly for the unfortunate grandson killed, let us remember Saddam's son's weren't exactly innocent lambs. So, I see it as a kind of Gangland Execution... The Big 'Godfather' gets his 'Soldiers' to bump off a less powerful Gang Lord's Sons when he can't get directly to the less powerful rival himself! ... THIS IS WHAT SOME POWERFUL LEADERS, through pretexts of necessity, have come down to being: Hitman-in-Chief! I EXPECTED THIS ... After all, didn't innocent people get killed in that Penetrating Bomb attack on the Baghdad Restaurant?! A Young woman's torso, a baby's head ... Even Qaddaffi's Baby Daughter got this 'WAY BACK WHEN?'! Shamir to Gary: We can go also into lions' private life. Lions do kill and eat cubs of the defeated male, while possessing their mother. So, Bush slaughtered the Young Lions while screwing Mother Mesopotamia...

From: otieno aluoka

This is great. From Kenya with love, something most Americans say but can not tell what it is.

From: Xavier Lavaud, France

Bravo for last article ("Murder most foul"), this is exactly what we felt.

From Daniel

I think you've derailed here a bit, Israel. They were not children, and they were not killed because they were the enemy's sons, but because they were vicious enemy's in their own right. I obviously share your sentiment about the targeted killings in general, but the rest of your article detracts from that. Hey, I don't feel that way about your articles very often.

From Shamir to Daniel:
You surely recognised the quote from the Lament of David: were Saul and Jonathan such wonderful guys? Weren't they involved in genocide of Amalek? Still the Holy Writ likened them to lions and eagles.

From Taufiq Zacaria

Dude, they deserve their death.

From Shamir to Taufiq: Would you repeat it if Syrian TV were to broadcast pictures of two assassinated sons of Sharon?

From Oane Boersma, Netherlands

Mr Shamir, I do not at all admire the USA's attack on Saddam's sons, 'they resisted arrest', write some of Bush supporters. I can imagine that they preferred to fight to death over being 'arrested', or 'shot while resisting arrest'. But to call these men 'noble and brave' seems a bit overdone. Both have been depicted as utterly ruthless. I most agree with an Iraqi who stated that it was up to the Iraqi's to pass judgment on them. Oane Boersma Netherlands

From Eric Walberg, an American in Tashkent

Thank you, Israel. I was disgusted and appalled by both the action and the media coverage - any self-respecting journalist, even rightwing, would at least quote someone condemning assassination. I am never 'pleased' when ANYONE is murdered. I feel like I'm drowning in shit in some corner of Dante's Hell these days. Your essays at least help me keep my head above it. I don't know if they were shining examples of rectitude and morality during their lives (there is probably some fire where there is smoke), but they were definitely heroes in the way they died, as is their father in his refusal to give up. In any case, they should have been captured and tried for any crimes they may have committed. (Of course Bush and Blair can get away with their many, much worse crimes, but that goes without saying.) Just as an example of how sordid things are becoming here, I translate here and am forced (to put bread on the table) to translate an elitist journal for the new rich - "VIP International". It is of course awful, but not as bad as something I saw on the editor's desk called "7 Sins", a 'new Russian' journal glorifying the 7 deadly sins, with glossy, decadent pictures to entertain the nouveau riche with positive examples of gluttony, greed, pride, etc. I pointed out how revolting this was to the young woman editor, who was surprised at my criticism, and was only interested in the high quality pictures. Time for Savonarola to come back. Eric Walberg

Just read your article about the death of the two Hussein brothers being "murdered". You sir need to get your head out of the sand, your ass off your chair and see what the real world and all it's good and bad points are. You are a disgrace to all honest and true intellectuals. Most in-sincerely, Larry Hart From Shamir to Hart: Larry, how could you know? You would not recognise an intellectual if you would bump into one.

From: Alex Dharmasetia

Dear Shamir, regarding your latest letter, I may have missed something here, or grossly misinformed. Maybe you can shed some light: What were the circumstances of the two son's death? Could they have been captured alive? And is the truth far away from what had been described as a murderous, torturous, and sheer bloodthirsty sons of Saddam Hussein? It is so believable what had been described about the two sons, but, I agree that they should have been captured alive, if at all possible. And if it the description was true, then shouldn't they be "hunted" down? Maybe I'm wrong. Regards, Alex.

Dear Israel:

I had been waiting for someone to characterize the killing of Saddam's sons and grandson in some more or less appropriate way. You have done it. Thank you. I particularly mourn for the young soldiers who were sent on this errand and who may never realize how they have been used. We sink lower and lower. Tom White

OK unsubscribe me. Regardless of how you feel about the way our troops killed these two, forever will I now remember you as a defender of two sadistic rapists. In my mind they deserved what they got. You even called them the "Young Lions of Baghdad". You reduce your effectiveness for the Palestinian cause by making statements like this. Regrets Lester Ordway From Shamir to Lester Ordway My best contribution to the Palestinian cause (and to the cause of mankind) is my sincerity. Effectiveness without sincerity is self-deception. Shamir

From Lucille Spacek, the US

Dear Mr. Shamir, Thank God for You, Thank God. I just read your article on the brutal assassination of Saddams sons. I thank God to hear from you and what you think, exactly in the best prose, of this horrible torture and murder and those ghouls who carried it out and rejoice in this evil doing. Thank God there is one truly decent man left, on this planet hell. I can still stand to be here and finish my purpose. A few others have also decried the evil foul murder, the tarring and egregious lies that are attributed to people who can't defend themselves. I don't know the truth of what Saddam or his sons did or didn't do, but the bushwhackers, have shown exactly what they are, what actions they laud and admire and how they use their killer elite military to accomplish their murders, for them. God knows too, God knows with no doubts or mistakes what each one's intentions and acts are. Not the Shaitan, the bush's and their pack of fundies and Zionists worship, I'm speaking of the True God. They are sure to get exactly what they deserve, as we all are. Those who remain true to God will always receive God's love, benevolence and Light of wisdom, faith and courage. Those who follow Shaitan and his lies will live in hell, for eternity, with the corpse of their evil god. Some think these are not Uday and Qusai, it matters not, two men were tortured and murdered and the evil intentions were to do this to Saddams children, because they are his. The intent is the thing, not whether these are actually Uday and Qusai. So far, I'm thinking they may not be them, but to me, it doesn't matter. They are some mother's sons and that is enough to condemn that evil idiot in the black house and his ghouls. Thank You, again for bringing this to light and shaming the real evil doers, with the truth about themselves. They are not humans, they are demons who crawled up from hell, to torture those of Light, before they are returned to their own darkness, forever. It will get worse, before the Highest Good liberates us, completely, from this hell. I will hang on, till then, helping in whatever small way I can, those of Light. Warmest regards and Light, Lucille

This particular piece by Israel Shamir, Murder Most Foul, seems a bombastic screed far removed from reality. From what I have read in the progressive press the sons of Saddam were not particularly "noble" nor "young" nor "brave" nor "young lions" nor "cherished." They were according to most accounts thugs, rapists, torturers and sycophants for their father. The death of a 14 year old grandson is of course a different matter. I truly hope the Middle East regains its power, prosperity and honours its diversity but I don't think many people will be hoping that the names of Odai and Qusai are "written on the precious porphyry of our monuments." Dan Burnstein

Kol Hakavod! (Right On!) Shimon Tzabar, London

Dear Israel, Do you really believe this nonsense you've written about Udai and Kusai? Yours, Alan Goldstein Plainfield, NJ

From Matthew Moriarty Many Americans are horrified by this senseless act of revenge and murder. Your characterizations are apt and put force and elegance behind our despair and rage. I thank you for this. How could they think we would be pleased?Killing the children of an adversary is beyond the pale, criminal and simply barbaric. It is indescribably evil. The Administration's attempt to capitalize on these murders, their sense of parade and celebration has deep satanic overtones. I fear we have not seen the end of their abominations. Matthew Moriarty Bumpass, VA

From Dennis Hayman

A most painful essay to read about my country. Yet, as I read it, shamed as I was, I realized that this first blistering condemnation of this act came from someone outside of the country. And that was the greatest shame of all to me. Fortunately I have seen several authors in this country saying the same things today. At least there are some who can still see above the wall of lies and fears that has been built by this government. But alas, I look around me at those I come in contact with on a daily basis and have heard no complaints -- just as if they were still mesmerized by the media into thinking they were watching a story - not real news. When I discussed it from the perspective of real lives and what this act says about us as a people, they looked at me as if they had no clue as to what I was talking about. So sad. My only consolation is that I am still a part of the oneness that is the Human race -- and that as such you are my brother. You are often the spokesperson for the conscience of those of us who care. For that I thank you and bless your insights. Warmest regards, Dennis

From Cyrus Driver, Canada

Why would you paint this particular act of Bush to be so immoral ? Isn't there sufficient evidence that Kusai and Udai were murderers and actually delighted in atrocities ? This is reported even the Arabic press. Even if we don't support the US and its wars, why paint this particuar act as one of murder? In fact if there is any good that can come out of evil it would be the death of such tyrants. If on the other hand Kusai and Uday were not known to be part of Saddam's coercion machinery then I would agree with you. But under the circumstances it is difficult to consider their deaths with any remorse. Cyrus Driver.

From: Tim Podczerviensky

I read your incomprehensible posting on Jeff Rense. I fail to grasp how you came to the conclusion, and write that Bush murdered Saddams sons! (Clearly you feel that these two wonderful and honourable men did nothing to deserve the wrath of death imposed by our great military power.) Let me educate you. We offered them a "out", a chance to surrender and peacefully leave the building. 2. We followed up with a second offer to leave peacefully. 3. The two attempted to injure and kill our men. 4. We gave a final chance for them to exit the building. 5. The (in your view, wonderful and honourable) Uday and Qusay chose once again to attempt to kill or injure our men. 6. The were righteously and permanently terminated. You should seek information about that which you criticize before you post criticisms that expose you for what you really are. done.

Greetings Israel:

Your thoughts in "Murder Most Foul" are exactly mine. It is so outrageous what the US regime continues to do, for which it has no mandate whatsoever. It has no business being in Iraq in the first place. I have felt right along that once the Saddam era has gone, the Iraqi people have yet another enemy to remove, and that is the US and its cohorts, which may be even worse than Saddam ever was. I think the killing of thousands of Iraqis, and this blatant outrageous murder of Qusay and Udai, and a young son of one of them, just shows that Bush and co are no different than Saddam, they are even worse. Keep on your good writing. We are passing a very dark moment of history, with the US acting as a full-blown rogue state. Jack Lakavich Kelowna, BC Canada

Agree. Young Mustafa, his father and uncle showed such courage and could only be destroyed by hundreds of men and massive antitank explosive charges. (That this battle could go on for several hours was, in itself, a miracle.) It's OK, Americans are told, because the Iraqis will now do anything for money. (Look at the guy that sold them out, the leering commentators point out, he'll get protected and his family will get $15-million!) And those pesky WMDs will be found--Americans are being told--now the estimate is that it will take another 18 months. I predict they'll be found in October 2004, close enough to the election to help get Bush elected for the first time, and too close for them to be debunked prior to the election. Tom Mysiewicz, Oregon

While it is true that the murder of Saddam's children was indeed a foul act, it does not follow from that that they were heroes, as you imply in your article. The proper and civilized thing to do was to capture them alive, perhaps through the use of tear gas or other temporarily incapacitating agent and bring them to trial for the atrocious crimes they committed against the Iraqi people. In a way their death was a mercy killing that saved them from punishment, even though no punishment exists that could compensate for the crimes they committed. We have a tendency to idealize the victims of barbaric behaviour, but in this case the victims were themselves murderers most vile. Of course this in no way justifies their murder. Under rule of law people accused of crimes should be brought to justice in a court of law. That is the proper example to set as a model of civilized behaviour in democratic societies. It is a sad reflection of our times that both aggressor and victim in this case behaved in ways outside the norms of decency. This is not like the good old days of good vs. evil. Today we are faced with the evil vs. evil. Both parties are guilty and both parties are criminal. I enjoy reading your articles very much , but I think in this particular case, glorifying the wrongful deaths of mass murderers is off the mark. Sincerely, Jawad Rahim Iraqi expatriate Shamir to Jawad: I agree with you - they should be dealt with by Iraqi people. However, I am against killing of Bush children, or Sharon's sons. We should not go back into obscure past of killing Sultan's sons; and Saddam was a 'Sultan' of Iraq. Rulers should not be killed, in my opinion, nor their children. Regicide is a heavy sin, in my books.

From Ian Buckley, England

Dear Israel, Congratulations for this courageous article. The Daily Telegraph of today featured a front-page picture of the slaughtered Kusai and Udai Hussein, which readers were presumably invited to approve. In such a manner, Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel joined their passive and gloating barbarity to the active variety of Bush, Perle and Wolfowitz.

From Bob Price

As I read of Richard, Coeur de lion.....I thought a comparison of Richard the Lion Heart...who was in fact also deplorably "unfit to lead" a crusade as commander in chief--did not listen, insulted allies, offended loyalties of princes--you get the idea...but he was fiercely and personally brave.. unlike demonstrated cowards who spout "bring it on" today while hiding behind the walls of secret service and the pentagon and I thought perhaps a comparison with men of history who were honourable warriors and comparing them with this buffoon, this "wannabe warrior", might be of interest and might point out the qualities that were "useful" and some that are not...not that warriors are all "useful" all the time..... Richard, the one lionized in history, lost 300,000 men on his abysmally failed adventure, never mind the Saracens and Arabs slaughtered........ on the other hand, Richard waded and led his men ashore in the face of a hugely out numbering, encamped, Arab legion on the shores at Jaffa and fought his way into the city through the aroused, massed army and showed tremendous courage and skill at in actually leading his men ashore in the face of certain death while suffering numerous arrow and lance wounds.... He did not sneak a peep out of the windows of Air Force One as it flew over the skies of devastated Baghdad or land on a carrier entering San Diego Harbour or hide after 911 or desert the air national guard while hiding from actually serving or take two weeks to pluck up his courage to visit NY City Towers.......and he did this while knowing full well the "domestic situation" back in jolly old England with evil prince John. Richard did not order mindless tax cuts or step back from his work...or lie. ..... Richard and Saladin- fierce enemies....their word was honour and inviolate all times when dealing with one another. Honour....unheard of in America today. ....and neither Saladin, nor Richard, were liars. Murder most foul indeed...most foul. Bob Price Narrows Inlet, BC, CA

Please read:

From World Socialist Web Site Release of Hussein son's photos: Washington exposes its own barbarism By Barry Grey 25 July 2003 The world was subjected to a gruesome and barbaric spectacle on Thursday when the Bush administration released photographs of the mutilated corpses of Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, ambushed and killed by American forces on July 22. The American cable news networks wasted no time in displaying blowups of the bloody heads and torsos of the dead men and beaming the images into homes across the US and around the world. US government spokesmen and media commentators could barely conceal their glee at the sight of the shattered bodies, and their satisfaction over inflicting the pictures on a global audience. Nothing the World Socialist Web Site could say would be a more devastating indictment of the degenerates who wield power in the US and their media accomplices than their own self-exposure. The overwhelming majority of people around the world, and especially in the US, will feel only revulsion and shame at this exhibition of sadism. …The contrast to the media's current role in emblazoning the photos of the dead Hussein brothers at the behest of the government only underscores its corruption and subservience to political reaction and the Bush White House.


Did you notice that as you pointed to the betrayal of these 2 that the price for them collectively was 30m pieces of silver? However, the people rejoice at the death of the wicked, and these two were wicked, as were the sons of Eli; the glory is certainly departed, both for the Hussein jerks and the Bush jerks. Both sides are wrong and will suffer punishment. Regards, Kenyon

Dear Israel Shamir,

As usual, this was an extremely GOOD article. I feel the same way, no matter what those two Hussein brothers did. If/when it becomes common to murder people instead of bringing them to justice the end is near and we are NO better than they were and others are! This whole war in Iraq is just a farce. I wonder in what way it benefits the state of Israel. Keep writing your excellent articles and don't care (too much) about what some people will say about you. I'm happy I've met you online! Sincerely yours, Jacqueline, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

You've just written what is in my mind about the ugly murder of Suddam's sons and grandsons. Be sure that the murderers will face the same destiny of their victims. Zeinab, Ramallah

Dear and admired Mr. Israel Shamir:

Today I have received your MURDER MOST FOUL. Thanks for it. When I saw that horrible new in the newspapers I tought at the human wickedness's magnitude. (Thinking at Bush and his companions, of course). Excuse my poor English. María Renée Cura, Argentine

From Miriam Reik, New York

The two princes may have died bravely, but courage is value--it is seen in the good and the evil in, perhaps, equal measure. It isn't enough to warrant a eulogy if they were truly wicked men (that's a big if, since I only have the western press to say so). The worse part is our stupid assassination of them--why not surround the building, throw in some tear gas, preserve the life of the 14 year old, and find out where the WMD are hidden from these treasures of information?

From Adam

The commander at the scene was simply told that there were high value targets (HVTs) in the building that was under seige. The commander was not told that Uday and Qusay were in the building even though the commander's superiors, including those at the Pentagon, knew this definitively for at least 12 hours before the attack commenced. Why wasn't the commander told this information? Don't you think a commander should have been told this information? The reason the commander was not told this information is because Uday and Qusay are more dangerous alive than dead. If they were captured and they were able to shed more light on the non-existence of the WMD then Blair and Bush would be politically dead. If they were captured they could discredit the many poeple who were part of the former regime and who are cooperating with the US. It's very likely that the commander was purposefully kept in the dark about the identity of the beseiged people and may have even been told to end the seige situation as quickly as possibly even if it meant killing the people. I don't think 200 soldiers on the ground would have been able to put up a fight against the thousands of people who would come to the aid of Uday and Qusay, as despised as they were, once word went out that Uday and Qusay were beseiged by US troops. While many people were happy at their death, it appears many more were upset about the needless brutality and the extrajudicial killing of the men and the postmortem display of their bodies for political gain--something prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Given the very serious allegations of torture by US forces in the region (the US military is charging 4 of its own military police with abuse of prisoners of war) and in Guantanamo Bay it's very understandable that Uday and Qusay refused to surrender "peacefully"--who would?
Isn't it interesting that the reconstructed faces of Uday and Qusay were shown to foreign journalists but practically NO Iraqi journalists. However, the justification for showing the faces given by Rumseld is that lives of US soldiers would be saved if Iraqis were convinced of the death of Uday and Qusay. Since there is a possibility that some Iraqi journalists would not be convinced the Pentagon didn't take that chance with them. Also, while the Pentagon made the decision to display the bodies, people were told that the decision was that of the Coalition Civilian Authority.
It appears that Uday and Qusay were wanted dead rather than alive.

Shamir, -- We are at war

under the law of nations and under the constitution of my country. That war is still going on. And in war the rules of the game change in a dramatic way, which is why caution is necessary What is murder in peace becomes inflicting casualties on the enemy in war, etc. Hussein's sons died not as victims of murder but casualties of war. You are too hard on Bush. It has always been difficult to intermix the qualities of holy man and prince. Celetine V, Joan of Arc, and Louis XVI all found in impossible, and they were the very best of human beings. St. Francis of Assisi did not even try to be a prince. A few have succeeded in being both, like Marcus Aurelius and Louis IX, but they are very rare, and they were aided by circumstances. And So we simply judge holy men by one standard and princes by another. There is no other way. Bush is a prince fighting an authorized war. What do you expect, mon cher ami, a Sunday picnic? Your friend, Jack Graham.

Dear Shamir,

I admire you for being the sort of Jewish friend I used to know in my youth in South Africa, fair, decent and always aware of the other person's plight and point of view. Where that evil Zionist demon Sharon came from, and his soul-mates, Bush, Blair and Howard, they must be from the same place, the darkest pits of hell. I agree fully with Lucille Spacek, who wrote the piece below, and wish I might correspond with her, as she has much the same views on this planet as I have: This Earth, as Rhett Butler said in the book "Gone With the Wind" IS Hell, Hell is nowhere else but here, and I hope those of us who stick it out as long as we can, will soon migrate in our next incarnations into better worlds, where the evils of hate and war are not even concepts. Than you for Being There, Shamir; I am honoured to meet such an open, fair and wonderful soul during my time here too. George

Dear Israel,

i'm in Kuwait visiting family and saw photos of the two bodies on the front pages of local papers. my first reaction was that they were tortured before dying. i have seen the corpses of Palestinians who died defending Jenin. They died the way the US says Oudai and Qusai did, from air strikes and gun wounds. but these bodies had far too many markings. far too many little cuts and scrapes. They look like the corpses i have seen returned from Israeli torture chambers. I assumed my assessment was obvious but i have seen no commentary or analysis of the actual cause of death! This is amazing considering they performed an elaborate autopsy and went to great lengths to "repair" their mortified faces. On the right calf of Qusai there are three interesting markings. one is a freshly seered (by the slight swelling) imprint of a star in the skin. there are also a few round burns that look much like cigarette burns. Two markings on Oudais face look like they came from the same stick or baton. one along the length of the right of his face, the next horizontal below his nose. if a man was standing slightly behind his right shoulder, the first strike would have hit horizotal, knocking him backward and making the angle for the second blow marked on the side. there are many such markings. a battle would have produced indiscriminate markings. there are few to non on the parts of body which are "inaccessible" or inconvenient to beating and torture, such as the upper chest, and mid to lower abdomen (where sometimes men are hit with fists but rarely does it mark)..(flying fragments or shrapnel or whatever would have produced wounds here). what do you think? am i crazy? i think the US got hold of the sons while they still had breath and life! i don't believe what i'm hearing and, for the record and though i'm cynical and suspicious, i don't operate on automatic conspiracy theory. be well. susie

From Astrid, Amsterdam

Dear mr. Shamir, I read your article "Murder Most Foul'' with much interest. When I first learned about the violent death of the sons of Saddam Hoessein I couldn't help feeling sad about it because whatever horrible they meay have done, they were human beings and had also a right to a fair trial, one of the main principles of the Universal Declaration of HUman Rights. With you I distrust the official newsreport that there was an hour-long lasting fire-exchange between Anerican troops and the sons of Saddam Hoessein, because it is highly unlikely that a high-tech American command-unit would not be able to encircle the house and arrest the inhabitants involved and for example shoot them in the leg without killing them. According to be an extrajudicial execution took place which abhors me very much and is a grave violation pf all international laws concerning human rights. Learning now that also a child of 14 years old was killed saddens me the most.....killing children is the most devilish and disgustiung thing and a very grave war-crime. I wonder what sort of people someone has to be to kill a child.......

From Côme Carpentier de Gourdon

Yours were brave if controversial words. It takes courage to admire somebody's gallantry in misfortune and death when most of the world has been trained to see in him only a despicable and dangerous foe. When one compares the desperate situation of the last holdouts of Saddam's rule with the immense power and glaring, obscene wealth of the Bush gang, one cannot but feel pity for the former. I fully expect that the Washington regime will soon attack another country with nuclear weapons, if given half a chance, just to show who the boss is and to fill mankind with abject terror: oderint tum metuant. We are indeed watching the decadence of this new, contemptible, brutal, vulgar and moronic pseudo-roman empire headed by knaves, cretins and maniacs. C. Carpentier P.S. The man who betrayed the two sons should get 30 million Dollars (if the US keeps its promise which, given current evidence is dubious). It might be cheaper to bump the traitor off or simply sell him out to the Takriti tribe's avengers. In any event, 30 silver coins or 30 million! Of course we know the US is an inflationary economy and delation commands a higher price nowadays. Shamir to Come Carpentier: Dear Come, 30 silver coins of Christ's days were sufficient to buy Akeldamah field to the south of the walls of Jerusalem. This field certainly costs not less than 30 million USD, if sold today! So blood and land still keep their value...

Dear Mr. Shamir,

I always admire your eloquence and courage. You are also well-read. This includes your last article "Murder Most Foul". I disagree about your praise of Saddam's sons but their murder was apparently in the same vein as the "lynch mobs" we used to see in cowboy films. Mr. Bush & naturally Mr. Bremer say they will either capture or "kill" their quest, a statement even Mr. Blair did not use. I wonder if a policeman in any American city dares to state that he is going to capture or kill a criminal he is after, or am I misinformed? Sincerely yours, Dr. Aly Erfan,Cairo,Egypt