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Saddam killed up to 10% of Iraqi population

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Cal

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http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8863
Know Nothing, Do Nothing
By Christopher Orlet
Published 10/11/2005 12:07:10 AM
Before the invasion of Iraq, when America was still dazed by 9/11, and stories of Taliban brutality were page-one news, the New Yorker ran a 16,000-word piece by reporter Jeffrey Goldberg on the Iraqi genocide against the Kurds. The tone of "The Great Terror" captures that time perfectly. Saddam is portrayed as a vile and evil dictator, every bit as bad as a J. Stalin or an A. Hitler. Goldberg's story is rife with tales of mass slaughter and ethnic cleansing, poison gas factories, rape rooms, and nuclear ambitions. Everything a bloodthirsty tyrant could want.

The essay -- now called a "major chunk of agitprop" by The Nation's Alexander Cockburn -- ends on this ominous note:



The Germans also feel?[a] desire to expose Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction programs?"It is our estimate that Iraq will have an atomic bomb in three years," [German intelligence chief August] Hanning said. There is some debate among arms-control experts about exactly when Saddam will have nuclear capabilities. But there is no disagreement that Iraq, if unchecked, will have them soon, and a nuclear-armed Iraq would alter forever the balance of power in the Middle East (emphasis added)? There is little doubt what Saddam might do with an atomic bomb or with his stocks of biological and chemical weapons. When I talked about Saddam's past with the medical geneticist Christine Gosden, she said, "Please understand, the Kurds were for practice."


Next Wednesday (Oct. 19) the Iraqi Special Tribunal will put Saddam Hussein and seven of his obersturmfuhrers on trial for the murder of 143 Shiites in the village of Dujail, in 1982, following an assassination attempt. Prosecutors say this is only a test case. There are as many as 500 possible charges against Saddam. If convicted one hopes some industrious Iraqi will be "selling postcards of the hanging."

Depending on whom you ask, Saddam was responsible for the murder of between 300,000 (U.S. government figures) and one million Iraqi civilians (Iraqi politicians' figures), in other words, for the extermination of as much as 10 percent of the Iraqi population, according to the Iraqi Forum for Democracy. This doesn't include the Iranian deaths due to Saddam's poison gas attacks during the Iraq-Iran War, and certainly doesn't include his other assorted barbarisms: his rape rooms, torture chambers, live burnings, ethnic-cleansing campaigns, attacks on neighboring countries (Israel and Kuwait), to say nothing of the nearly four million Kurds still suffering the effects of chemical weapons exposure.
DESPITE THE THICK YELLOW STREAK Saddam displayed at his capture as he crawled meekly from his spider-hole hideout, and his continuing denial of wrongdoing -- "This is all theatre. The real criminal is Bush," he said recently -- the former Iraqi president still ranks with the most savage of mass murderers of the 20th century, the bloodiest of all periods. If Saddam failed to keep pace with Stalin and Lenin (62 million killed), Mao (32 million), or Hitler (20 million), it was not for lack of trying. In fact, if the antiwar gang had gotten their way, Saddam would still be piling up bodies, well on his way to surpassing the totals seen in the Armenian genocide of 1909-18. "Over the past decade and a half, I have seen the aftermath of the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge and the death pits in Rwanda," writes Andrew S. Natsios, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development. "I can attest to Saddam's tenure as President of Iraq as being equally savage and murderous."

Even Human Rights Watch, the organization that has put so much effort into documenting Saddam's war crimes and crimes against humanity, objected to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. HRW now claims, in hindsight, that the U.S.'s justification for war was mistaken if not misleading, and that the invasion, now partly justified on humanitarian grounds, gives "humanitarian intervention a bad name." To HRW, timing is everything. Had the U.S. invaded Iraq during the 1988 murder spree -- that would have been okay. But waiting until America had a president with a backbone and a moral conscience and wasn't distracted by an intern's plump thighs -- that's criminal. "Better late than never is not a justification for humanitarian invasion," says HRW's Ken Roth. Saddam's victims would beg to differ.

Many who tend to parrot what they hear on the evening news and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart insist that Saddam did not pose a serious threat to the U.S. He had, they maintain, no connection to al Qaeda, no nuclear weapons, no intention of threatening the U.S. (Here I usually proffer my copy of Stephen G. Hayes's The Connection, which they inevitably decline.) That Saddam was a very real threat to his own people, and that he sponsored international terror is of no concern. Half the world's leaders are threats to their own people, they say. Asked about Iraq's more than 270 mass graves, they are struck silent and dumb.

As for next week's proceedings, one question remains to be seen: will the mainstream media make as big a deal over Saddam Hussein's trial as it did over, say, Scott Peterson's? Or as it doubtless will over Tom DeLay's hearings?

Far from the concerns of the street, there is a debate in the nation's think tanks over when the U.S. should intervene in the affairs of foreign nations. The realists, like the Cato Institute's (and sometime TAS contributor) Christopher Preble, reject values-based foreign interventions (sometimes disparagingly called international social work), and maintain that the U.S. should intervene only to defend its vital national security interests. I find this complete negation of values to be morally reprehensible. One has only to recall how the victims of Auschwitz, Srebrenica, Rwanda, and Kurdistan waited expectantly and in vain for the world's lone superpower, and the world's "moral and political leader" (George Frost Kennan's phrase), to come to their rescue. To do something. Anything. This time, to the eternal gratitude of the Kurds, the Marsh Arabs, and Iraqi Shiites, America kept its promise. We have Saddam in the dock. And he will pay with his miserable life.

Christopher Orlet is a frequent contributor and runs the Existential Journalist website.
 

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Using your figures, Steve.

Saddam for all intents and purposes ruled Iraq for 35 years, 1968 to 2003. That's 1820 weeks. If 300,000 people were killed during that 35 years, about 165 human beings were killed a week during Saddam's era.

We will have been in Iraq 136 weeks early next month. The Iraq Body Count site says 26,521 people have been killed during those weeks. That's about 195 people per week. If we use their higher number of 29,873, we're looking at 220 people per week.

I'm not defending Saddam, he was a cruel dictator, but you tell me what's the difference in Bush and Saddam? Bush has been responsible for more deaths per week than Saddam was during his 30 years in power!

I can't tell you how disgusting I find your spinning the deaths of thousands of human beings to justify Bush's invasion of Iraq. But this one won't work. If you don't remember, I'll remind you: Bush didn't invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam. He invaded because he claimed Saddam had WMDs and would give them to terrorists to use on the US.
 

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Red Robin said:
I see what you are saying dis....right...dis have you ever been examined by a shrink? How about people from outer space? You aren't just right...exactly :shock:

Show me where I'm wrong, Robin. The weekly toll of deaths in Iraq is higher for Bush than Saddam.

By the way, did I miss your explanation of how many generals make up a consensus? You did say that you would go along with what ever the generals on the ground in Iraq wanted to do. I showed you that they want to bring some troops home and you seem to have changed the subject. So tell me, what will it take for you to say bring our troops home?
 

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Disagreeable said:
Red Robin said:
I see what you are saying dis....right...dis have you ever been examined by a shrink? How about people from outer space? You aren't just right...exactly :shock:

Show me where I'm wrong, Robin. The weekly toll of deaths in Iraq is higher for Bush than Saddam.

By the way, did I miss your explanation of how many generals make up a consensus? You did say that you would go along with what ever the generals on the ground in Iraq wanted to do. I showed you that they want to bring some troops home and you seem to have changed the subject. So tell me, what will it take for you to say bring our troops home?

OK, which is it? First you liberals say we need more troops in Iraq. Then you say we need to bring them home. I'm confused from all the back and forth.
 

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Disagreeable: I'm not defending Saddam, he was a cruel dictator, but you tell me what's the difference in Bush and Saddam? Bush has been responsible for more deaths per week than Saddam was during his 30 years in power!
Mike: OK, which is it? First you liberals say we need more troops in Iraq. Then you say we need to bring them home. I'm confused from all the back and forth.
Red Robin: I see what you are saying dis....right...dis have you ever been examined by a shrink? How about people from outer space? You aren't just right...exactly
Mike - you are not the one who is confused here. Red Robin scored a bulls eye - he/she/it is NOT right. Exactly.
 

Disagreeable

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Mike said:
Disagreeable said:
Red Robin said:
I see what you are saying dis....right...dis have you ever been examined by a shrink? How about people from outer space? You aren't just right...exactly :shock:

Show me where I'm wrong, Robin. The weekly toll of deaths in Iraq is higher for Bush than Saddam.

By the way, did I miss your explanation of how many generals make up a consensus? You did say that you would go along with what ever the generals on the ground in Iraq wanted to do. I showed you that they want to bring some troops home and you seem to have changed the subject. So tell me, what will it take for you to say bring our troops home?

OK, which is it? First you liberals say we need more troops in Iraq. Then you say we need to bring them home. I'm confused from all the back and forth.

I have said from the first time that I came on this board that we need to bring our troops, all of them, home now. Is that clear enough for you? I do believe it's some conservatives who say we need to send more toops and get the job done. They don't seem to say where those troops will come from, though.
 

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Disagreeable said:
Using your figures, Steve.

Saddam for all intents and purposes ruled Iraq for 35 years, 1968 to 2003. That's 1820 weeks. If 300,000 people were killed during that 35 years, about 165 human beings were killed a week during Saddam's era.

We will have been in Iraq 136 weeks early next month. The Iraq Body Count site says 26,521 people have been killed during those weeks. That's about 195 people per week. If we use their higher number of 29,873, we're looking at 220 people per week.

I'm not defending Saddam, he was a cruel dictator, but you tell me what's the difference in Bush and Saddam? Bush has been responsible for more deaths per week than Saddam was during his 30 years in power!

I can't tell you how disgusting I find your spinning the deaths of thousands of human beings to justify Bush's invasion of Iraq. But this one won't work. If you don't remember, I'll remind you: Bush didn't invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam. He invaded because he claimed Saddam had WMDs and would give them to terrorists to use on the US.
It would be interesting to have clarified if this includes any activities back to '68, or just from '79 foreward. Naturally you use only the lowest estimate of deaths attributible to Saddam. Also note;
This doesn't include the Iranian deaths due to Saddam's poison gas attacks during the Iraq-Iran War, and certainly doesn't include his other assorted barbarisms: his rape rooms, torture chambers, live burnings, ethnic-cleansing campaigns, attacks on neighboring countries (Israel and Kuwait), to say nothing of the nearly four million Kurds still suffering the effects of chemical weapons exposure.

Disagreeable
I'll remind you: Bush didn't invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam. He invaded because he claimed Saddam had WMDs and would give them to terrorists to use on the US.
We've been through this before, reread the transcripts leading up to the war, as all of Saddam's acts of barbarism were cited, as much as you would like to believe and convince others to the contrary.
 

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We've been through this before, reread the transcripts leading up to the war, as all of Saddam's acts of barbarism were cited, as much as you would like to believe and convince others to the contrary.

What transcripts? I posted Bush's State of the Union address on this board with a link to the White House site. He mentioned WMDs 13-14 times (I'm not going to dig it up again). He mentioned the plight of the Iraqi people once (1) time in that very major speech. He never, ever put the condition of the Iraqi people at the top of his agenda. Why? Because the American public would not have bought it. You know it; I know it. He used 9-11 to scare us into this war. So spin away, Cal. I'll do my best to keep up.

I used figures you claimed were US government estimates. Your own article says no really knows how many people he killed. We wouldn't know how many people Bush has killed either, except for the Iraq Body Countr group. Those pesky free speech rights again....
 

Cal

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Is this link and excerpt what you are referring to, Dis?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)
 

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Yes, that’s the link. Thank you. So let’s go to the last of the speech and see what Bush actually said:

First, we get Iran, who admits to having a nuclear program:

In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny -- and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom. (Applause.)

(Iran has regular elections, by the way. Their government is just as valid as Bush’s Buddies, the Saudis.)

And Korea, who claims to really have WMDs:

On the Korean Peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed. (Applause.)

-snip-

Then we get to Iraq:

#1. Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons -- not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.

#2. Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct -- were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

#3. The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.
#4. The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure.[/b[ He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

#5. Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them

#7. U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them

#7. From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

#8. The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

#9. The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses.

#10. Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance flights requested by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say. Intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has ordered that scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors in disarming Iraq will be killed, along with their families.[/I[

#11. Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

#12. With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons,Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

#13. Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)

#14. Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

And finally we get to the plight of the Iraqi people:

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)
And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)


Two paragraphs about the Iraqi people, then back to WMDs:

#15. The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal – Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.

#16. We will consult. But let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him. (Applause.)

Sixteen paragraphs talk of WMDs in Iraq. Two (2) mention the Iraqi people. This was the major speech to the American people and the world to justify his invasion of Iraq and he based that invasion on WMDs. I’m waiting for “transcripts” that show otherwise. Where are they?

And the WMDs? Well, Bush’s first choice as a WMD inspector, David Kay, flat out said “we were all wrong” so Bush replaced him with Charles Duelfer who wasn’t so blunt, but still found no credible threats to the US from WMDs in Iraq. So spin away, Cal. While you’re spinning five more Americans died in a roadside bombing. For what?
 

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Here's another;
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/united_nations/challenges_vision.html

A Vision for Iraq

The President outlined two visions of Iraq’s future.

Without action, the people of Iraq will continue to live in brutal submission. The regime will have new power to bully, dominate, and conquer its neighbors, condemning the Middle East to more years of bloodshed and fear. The region will remain unstable, with little hope of freedom, and isolated from the progress of our times.

If we act, we can see a very different future. The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world. These nations can demonstrate that honest government, and respect for women, and the great Islamic tradition of learning can triumph in the Middle East and beyond.
 

Cal

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Dis, do you still stand 100% behind your quote?

If you don't remember, I'll remind you: Bush didn't invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam. He invaded because he claimed Saddam had WMDs and would give them to terrorists to use on the US.
 

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Cal said:
Dis, do you still stand 100% behind your quote?

If you don't remember, I'll remind you: Bush didn't invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam. He invaded because he claimed Saddam had WMDs and would give them to terrorists to use on the US.

Yes, that was his public claim. Did he occasionally mention the Iraqi people, yes. In my own opinion, he invaded Iraq because he wanted to do something his daddy couldn't do: overthrow Saddam. And that it fit in with his oil pal's desire to have access to Iraqi oil, was another plus for the invasion. None of the idiots took the time to listen to professional military advice and send in enough troops to overthrow Saddam and secure the country. They believed their own PR, that the Iraqi people would welcome us with open arms, Iraq could fund its own reconstruction, and the war would last only a few weeks. We're $billions in debt; stuck in a quagmire where we're damned if we do pull out, damned if we don't, and not a single person has been fired for their poor judgment or performance! Unbelievable.
 

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Disagreeable said:
Cal said:
Dis, do you still stand 100% behind your quote?

If you don't remember, I'll remind you: Bush didn't invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam. He invaded because he claimed Saddam had WMDs and would give them to terrorists to use on the US.

Yes, that was his public claim. Did he occasionally mention the Iraqi people, yes. In my own opinion, he invaded Iraq because he wanted to do something his daddy couldn't do: overthrow Saddam. And that it fit in with his oil pal's desire to have access to Iraqi oil, was another plus for the invasion. None of the idiots took the time to listen to professional military advice and send in enough troops to overthrow Saddam and secure the country. They believed their own PR, that the Iraqi people would welcome us with open arms, Iraq could fund its own reconstruction, and the war would last only a few weeks. We're $billions in debt; stuck in a quagmire where we're damned if we do pull out, damned if we don't, and not a single person has been fired for their poor judgment or performance! Unbelievable.
You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but "occasionally mention the Iraqi people," is a bit of an understatement. Irregardless of my personal opinion of the UN, this last excerpt came from a statement to the UN, I do believe. Hardly constituting just mentioning something in passing conversation.
 

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