DEAD OR ALIVE?….I guess I’m not the only one asking why helicopter gunships and rockets were used to annihilate the Hussein brothers instead of tactics designed to take them alive:

At a news briefing today, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, squirmed his way past that question repeatedly. It was, he said, the decision of the commander on the ground based on the circumstances and his judgment??and it was the right decision.? But was it? Who beside the sons might have better information about the one HVT that really matters, Saddam? ?The whole operation was a cockup,? said a British intelligence officer.

….Against such lightly armed resistance, couldn?t a siege or even a teargas attack have done the job more efficiently, and perhaps captured the [brothers] alive? Sanchez repeated his mantra that the local commander made the right decision and he wasn?t going to second-guess it. But a total of 200 heavily armed U.S. troops, backed by missiles, armored personnel carriers and helicopters? An officer at the scene made the improbable claim to a NEWSWEEK reporter that tear gas might have hurt neighbors. As it was, there were no reported civilian casualties with the much heavier weaponry; the house, which belonged to a prominent local sheik, was set well away from others. ?Bollocks,? said one former Special Forces soldier. ?A SWAT team could have taken them. It didn?t need a company.?

I don’t have the expertise to have an opinion on this, but the whole thing does seem a bit peculiar.