Iraq Sins of The Son

Suspicion. Secrecy. Blood ties. These are bywords for Iraq's stern patriarch, Saddam Hussein. So his countrymen were stunned last week when he publicly disclosed that he had imprisoned his eldest son Odai, 25, for bludgeoning a presidential bodyguard to death with a club. Saddam has apparently dealt harshly but secretly with kinfolk before. Five years ago, three of his half brothers mysteriously disappeared, reportedly after plotting a coup.

Saddam described the bodyguard's killing as the "will of God," but said it was his duty not to exempt anyone from the law. In this case, justice may be tempered with mercy. "I...

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