Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Saturday, June 22, 2002

What is life like in Iraq?

The star witness against the government of Iraq hobbled into the room, her legs braced with clumsy metal callipers. "Anna" had been tortured two years ago. She is now four years old. Her father, Ali, is a thick-set Iraqi who used to work for Saddam's psychopathic son, Uday. Some time after the bungled assassination of Uday, Ali fell under suspicion. Saddam's secret police have been accused of torturing children. He fled north, to the Kurdish safe haven policed by Western fighter planes, but leaving his wife and daughter behind in Baghdad. So the secret police came for his wife. Where is he? They tortured her. And when she didn't break, they tortured his daughter. "When did you last see your father? Has he phoned? Has he been in contact?" They half-crushed the toddler's feet.

And what about those dead babies we hear so much about?

Ali continued, he told me that he had to go to Najaf - a town 160km (100 miles) from Baghdad - in order to bring children's bodies from various freezers there, and that the smell was unbearable. They used to collect children's bodies and put them in freezers for two, three or even six or seven months - God knows - until the smell got unbearable. Then, they arrange the mass funerals. The logic being, the more dead babies, the better for Saddam. That way, he can weaken public support in the West for sanctions. That means that parents who have lost a baby can't bury it until the regime says so.

< email | 6/22/2002 04:18:00 PM | link

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