Now that we've identified Uday and Qusay by their dental records, so we know they're really and truly dead, we can step back and take a look at these psychopaths. Sharon Waxman writes in the Washington Post that Uday wouldn't hesitate to have sex with another man's wife, and even pass her around to his friends. Sometimes he took a woman directly from her wedding, still wearing her wedding dress. Sometimes the groom was later found dead in what was reported to be a suicide. Ruining one life and ending another, all for a single night's sex, is the kind of thing that can only be done by someone completely unable to comprehend the feelings of others: in other words, a psychopath.
Uday enjoyed torturing people. He tortured members of sports teams if they didn't win. He tortured Olympic athletes if they didn't bring home a medal. He tortured the butler for having body odor, a maid for giggling. He even tortured his friends. His favorite method was hanging the victim upside down and beating him on the soles of the feet.
Uday even gave Saddam the creeps--he elevated his youngest son Qusay to a higher position of authority. Uday was so horrible that government officials tried to assassinate him, leaving him with seizures and sexual impotence. After that, doctors came to his palace regularly in the mornings to pick up drugged and unconscious young women that he'd tried (and failed) to have sex with.
Qusay was a little more fastidious, and didn't like to get his hands dirty. When he wanted someone killed, he'd hand a signed death warrant to Uday, who would get the job done. Qusay was like those Nazi concentration camp guards who said they were just carrying out orders. But make no mistake about it: He was a psychopath as well.
Why should this interest us, now that these monsters are dead? Because it shows us that psychopaths can be created by too much indulgence and a lack of discipline, as well as by deprivation and abuse.
We're used to hearing hard-luck life stories of captured serial killers that are so horrific, they make us cringe. They were all beaten and sexually abused as children. While this doesn't excuse their crimes, it can be confusing when we find ourselves feeling sorry for them.
Uday and Qusay had the opposite problem, they were overindulged. Nothing was ever denied them, they never had to follow any rules, they won all the prizes in school and everyone always pretended to like them. They never wanted for anything.
And they became monsters.
Are there any monsters roaming the streets of your neighborhood? While out for a walk recently, I was chased by a teenager in a huge new pickup truck (bought by Mom and Dad), who yelled, "I'll kill you!" through a megaphone, and this is just one of many incidents that have taken place in our suburban enclave. I gave his license plate number to the local police, but I expect he got a slap on the wrist from his parents.
These days, when upper middle class kids are overindulged and given few rules by guilt-ridden parents who are working 18 hours a day, it might be good to ask ourselves if giving in to their every whim is really good for kids.
It didn't do much for the Hussein boys.
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.