Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Worth remembering

As Iraq slides further into the abyss, it's worth remembering that life under Saddam Hussein was equally horrific, but in a very different way. Saddam systematically slaughtered both Shiites and Kurds, but he was particularly fond of using chemical weapons on the Kurdish civilians. From the AP story today:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Prosecutors in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial showed chilling videos of gassed children lying in a field and villagers fleeing clouds of white smoke, arguing Tuesday that the former president and his regime used chemical weapons against the Kurds of northern

"These children are the saboteurs that the defendants talk about," prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon said sarcastically as the footage showed scores of dead children on the ground, partially covered by blankets.

Defense attorneys had argued that Saddam and his co-defendants were fighting Kurdish insurgents during the 1987-88 military offensive that was code named Operation Anfal.

The prosecution estimates that 180,000 Kurds were killed when Saddam's army waged a scorched-earth campaign against separatist guerrillas, allegedly destroying hundreds of villages, killing or forcing their residents to flee.

* * *

One video showed a thick white smoke cloud that emerged after a loud explosion as warplanes bombed a green mountainous region. The camera then showed villagers fleeing with their donkeys as houses in the background went up in flames.

One of the tragedies of our Iraq invasion is that the humanitarian suffering inflicted by Saddam is obscured by the humanitarian suffering resulting from sectarian violence. One of the many, many tragedies.


Blogger John said...

not to mention the humanitarian suffering caused by the firing of US missiles on Bagdad and the firing of US guns on soldiers and civilians alike.

10:48 AM  

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