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Tufts E-News --The Turning Point

Tufts E-News --The Turning PointThekilling of Saddam Hussein’s sons, say Tufts experts, isnot only a military but a psychological victory in Iraq.Medford/Somerville,Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [07.23.03] The world was shocked by the recent announcement that Saddam Hussein's sons had been killed. According to Tufts experts, the death of the two high-profile figures sends a strong message that the regime is on its last legs - and may provide a turning point for the U.S. reconstruction effort.

"The psychology of the situation has changed ... to create a momentum for the [US-led coalition] that did not exist before," Robert Pfaltzgraff -- an international security expert at Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy -- told the Christian Science Monitor.

Tufts professor Malik Mufti agrees.

``Saddam losing his sons can't be interpreted as anything but a defeat,'' Mufti, a professor of international relations in Tufts department of political science, told the Boston Herald. ``It will have a psychological effect. People are scared of a comeback. It is a big thing, definitely a setback for Saddam loyalists.''

According to Mufti, there is little danger that Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay -- Saddam's heir apparent -- will become martyr figures.

``Only the hard-liners would view them in that light. These guys weren't Che Guevara. They were more like gangsters,'' Mufti told the Herald. ``In the Arab world, they had long ago lost any cachet.''

While officials admit the death of Hussein's sons is not as important to the U.S. as their father or Osama bin Laden, the president said that the killing proved that U.S. military forces are making progress in deposing the old regime.

"Now more than ever," said President Bush in an address on Wednesday, "all Iraqis can know that the former regime is gone and will not be coming back."

Administration officials are hoping to use the deaths to garner momentum and international support for the U.S. reconstruction efforts in the region - costs of which many say the U.S. has underestimated.

According to the Monitor, a number of US officials -- among them former administrator Gen. Jay Garner -- have testified to their surprise regarding the extent of the country's run-down infrastructure and the enormity of the task of rebuilding the country.

"Seems to me we should have known that [beforehand]," Tufts' Pfaltzgraff told the Monitor.


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