Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter Raghad joined a sit-in today in the Jordanian capital Amman as protests grew around the Arab world over the hanging of Iraq’s former leader Saddam Hussein and the grim video images of the execution that have appeared online.
Raghad Hussein was married to a man named Hussein Kamel, who ran Iraq’s nuclear program from about 1987 until 1995. Then he ran off to Jordan with his brother who was married to Saddam’s other daughter, Rana. He told the UN inspectors about what his nuclear program was up to. And then…Saddam persuaded them to come back to Iraq, promising all would be forgiven.
Uday met them at the border on February 20, 1996. The daughters were whisked to Baghdad and their divorces announced by Saddam. Hussein Kamel was interrogated and released to his family compound.
I’ll let former Iraqi scientist Mahdi al-Obeidi, writing in The Bomb In My Garden, tell the rest:
What happened next is a matter of legend in Iraq. …dozens of security officers…surrounded the home at al-Sayidiyah. Another security team brought a busload of Hussein Kamel’s relatives and friends to a nearby knoll, from which they would be forced to watch the terrible events that were about to unfold. At dawn, a fierce gun battle broke out. Hussein Kamel and his fmaily tried to defend themselves…most inside were dead, including Hussein Kamel’s brother, his father, his sister, his nephew, and several bodyguards. The attackers stormed the mansion dragged the wounded Hussein Kamel outside, and executed him in front of his relatives. It is rumored that they were told: “Let this be a lesson that no traitors will be allowed to live”.
There is something wrong with Raghad Hussein. Her father murdered her husband in cold blood and yet she publicly weeps for Saddam. She assisted in his defense, and now is assisting in his beatification.
Her husband had a brain tumor and went through bouts of forgetfulness–it may have caused him to forget Saddam’s vile nature for a while and return to Iraq. Perhaps his ex-wife/widow is having the same problem, and just can’t remember the evil things her father did.
That’s what I would like to believe. The other explanations are more sinister. One of the photos linked at the Telegraph article notes that she is “leading” her father’s defense team. Perhaps she is not doing so as willingly as we might believe, and she is still being used as a pawn in Iraqi politics.
The other, and worst of all, is that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and she is of a piece with Uday, Qusay, and Saddam. Perhaps she rejoiced in the murder of her stupid, forgetful husband. Perhaps she even betrayed him and helped convince him to come back, knowing full well what her father had planned for him. Perhaps she is a Baathist and an al-Tikriti to the core, and is still using lies and intrigue to this day to carry on the family business: the relentless pursuit of power.
There’s something wrong with Raghad Hussein. Forgetfulness is the kindest interpretation. But it’s not the most likely.
This will be my last guest-blogging post here at Hot Air; thanks very much to the crew for giving me a chance (especially Allah who kept feeding me tips even when he was supposed to be getting some rest!) Thanks to all the readers, linkers, and commenters as well. I will see you around the comments here, and do drop by Junkyard Blog now and then, where I post sporadically.
Best wishes to you all for a peaceful and prosperous New Year.