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[casi] Mourn not for Uday and Qusay

There was widespread scepticism in Iraq when the deaths of Uday and Qusay was announced, scepticism 
fueled when the US released photos such as this to bolster their case - (warning, explicit photos).
Under pressure the US military allowed journalists to view the dead bodies in the morgue, but under 
such a heavy application of makeup the bodies were virtually unrecognisable, even as homo sapiens. 
(  So I doubt that it really 
resured any Iraqis.

But far more interesting is matching some of the media reports of the burial with some photos that 
were released.  The reports were based on a couple of articles from Reuters and AFP, who also 
released the photos.

Reports included things like
"Wrapped in Iraqi flags, the bodies were buried in a local cemetery after arriving from Baghdad in 
an ambulance. There was a heavy US Army presence and journalists were prevented from photographing 
or filming the burial. "

The New York Times surpassed itself with the following descriptions.
"The end of the ceremony, attended by as many as 200 people in all, set off a frenzy. Family and 
friends seemed to stop mourning the passing of the sons as they began chanting for the return of 
the father.

     "Our blood, our souls, we'll sacrifice for Saddam!" the crowd roared, repeating the line.

     When friends and family lined up in a traditional prayer to mark the end of the funeral, one 
of the members rose from his knees and exploded in anger, jabbing his finger at a small number of 
Americans standing by.

     "Death to America!" he shouted, with murmurs of assent behind him. "Death to America!" "

Golly! (other estimates of the crowd were in the order of 25-50)

But even more interesting is claims that US military turned people away....
"Early on, a team of American soldiers kept watch, while another guarded the entrance and turned 
Iraqis away. But as the ceremony began, the Americans departed. More Iraqis arrived, the slogans 
began and the anger rose.

     "Let's go kill some Americans," one Iraqi man said to his friend. "Just like we did before." "

Or in the Guardian
"Mahmoud al-Nada, an elder of the Beijat tribe that includes Saddam Hussein's family, led the 
mourners in prayer at the graveside as wind whipped clouds of dust into the air and a large force 
of American troops stood guard at the cemetery gate. "

Of from AFP
"During the ceremony, only 50 people paid their respects as soldiers
barred people from the entrance.

"The Americans searched everyone," Shammari said.

But mourners pressed their bodies against the gates of the cemetery,
wishing to say goodbye to Tikrit's royalty."

But finally let that Doyen of Anti-American Liberalism Robert Fisk have the last word.
"Even without the graves of Uday and Qusay, the family cemetery provides a bleak enough footnote to 
the violent history of modern Iraq. A few metres to the west is the tomb of Saddam's mother, Subha 
al-Tulfah, who lived for years with a second husband - Saddam's stepfather - who treated the family 
with great cruelty.

And then, a little further away, lies the evidence of another slaughter of the innocents during the 
Anglo-American invasion; two local families, most of them children, 21 in all, blasted to pieces in 
the village of Awja when the Americans bombed their homes on 2 April in the hope of killing Saddam. 
They were supposedly distant cousins of the dictator"

The tomb of Saddam's mother, apparantly quite an impressive edifice also appeared in quite a few 
other pieces.

So lets have a look at a few photos.
Both the last two are together on the site

These photos are all from different angles giving good coverage, it is pretty clear that there is
a) No mosque nearby, although a small building is present.
b)  There are certainly no graves of any description, let alone a giant maseoleum of Saddam's 
c) No fence or gate of any description (and of course no cemetery), certainly no way to prevent any 
wandering nearby who wishes.  It appears that it is just a field in the middle of nowhere, and one 
guesses the people present are nothing more that a crowd of Bollywood extras (although one guesses 
without singing or dancing talents).

None of the other photos show any sign of grief, anger, or chanting, or watchful US soldiers  eg  or amongst many others.

In fact I can find no pictures of any coffins or indeed that a hole any depth was dug.  As far as I 
can tell a surface evacuation was made in the soil a few feet deep, then refilled with Iraqi flags 
stretched over the top.

So my belief, along with most Iraqis, is that Uday and Qusay are alive and well in the Carribean.  
It should be easy to spot which island nation - expect a dramatic improvement to the results of 
their soccer team.  When a player knows he is to be dismembered in the morning he concentrates his 
goal kicking abilities marvellously.

Welcome to the world of a free and open media, Iraq!

Regards Tom

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