Harry Browne is a Libertarian political author. Although I don't agree with Libertarian politics, the following is an interesting comment on the Iraq War.
Rape Rooms & Torture Chambers
What is it that everyone knows about Saddam Hussein?
The message-writer alludes to these things when he says, "The mass graves are being exhumed, not added to; the prison rape rooms are shut down." He didn’t bring up the gassing of the Kurds. He might also have mentioned the torture chambers — but for obvious reasons Saddam-haters have found it a bit embarrassing to mention those since we’ve become aware of the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other prisons operated by the American military.
As badly as George Bush has needed good news about Iraq and verification for his claims that it was worth going to war with Iraq, you’d think that we would constantly be seeing pictures of rape rooms and torture chambers on TV, on the Internet, and in newspapers and magazines — together with detailed 1-2-3 explanations of the way each sadistic apparatus operated. This is the way the media normally operates with such stories — showing scenes over and over and over again.
But I haven’t seen a single one.
But George Bush says . . . [well, you’ve heard it all a dozen times].
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Gassing his Own People
But of course we all know that Hussein gassed his own people at Halabja.
After all, George Bush has told us so — and told us so and told us so.
However, the verdict on that is far from settled. Because the event occurred on the battle line during the Iraq-Iran war, it’s entirely possible that the gas came from the Iranians (both sides used gas), or — if from the Iraqis — that it was directed at the Iranian soldiers. And if the gassing was done by Iraqi soldiers, it was done with chemical weapons that came from the United States. If it was such a terrible act, why did the Reagan administration make it possible?
Lastly, if gassing your "own people" is such a heinous act, why did the U.S. government use gas against the Branch Davidians at Waco in 1993?
The Mass Graves
The "Mass Grave" atrocity has always puzzled me.
Why is it somehow more heinous to bury people in mass graves, rather than in individual graves?
Obviously, anyone wants his loved ones to be honored and buried in a respectable, individual grave. But it may be that the circumstances of someone’s death — in war or in an epidemic — preclude that possibility.
However, whenever George Bush utters the words "mass graves," we’re all supposed to react in horror that someone would be so sadistic as to have authorized mass graves.
But the relevant question is: why are there mass graves?
I may have dozed off once or twice, but I haven’t heard anyone answer that question. I guess we’re supposed to assume that Saddam Hussein executed so many opponents of his regime that they had to dump all the dead bodies in huge, mass graves.
So is that what happened?
Possibly, but I haven’t seen any proof of it. No pictures, no eye-witness accounts. Just uttering the words "mass graves" over and over like a mantra. From what we’ve seen, you’d be hard put to believe there even are any mass graves.
But in fact they do exist — some of them for certain, and several others possibly. Here are a few I’m aware of . . .
1. In February 1991, just after the start of the brief Gulf War, there was a large fight at the "Neutral Zone" located at the Iraq-Saudi border. American troops slaughtered thousands of Iraqi soldiers, after which American earth-movers plowed the Iraqis into the ground and covered them up. Possibly thousands of Iraqis were buried in the mass graves the American military created.
2. Near the end of the 1991 Gulf War, U.S. troops slaughtered thousands of Iraqi soldiers who were retreating from Kuwait. Once again, the dead soldiers were plowed into the ground. I can only wonder what weeds will grow from those seeds.
3. One mass grave near a Baghdad palace is known to contain Iraqi soldiers who died when American soldiers stormed Baghdad.
4. When the U.S. Marines destroyed Fallujah, at least 600 Iraqis died — and most of them were buried in mass graves set up in soccer fields, called the "Graveyard of the Martyrs" by Fallujah residents.
Those four sets of mass graves have been documented. But (to the best of my knowledge) they haven’t been shown on TV — probably because it was the U.S. military that created them. There may be other mass graves as well. For example . . .
5. In the 1980s, Iraq and Iran fought a terrible war in which, most likely, hundreds of thousands of people died. It’s certainly possible that many of them were buried in mass graves.
6. Lastly, perhaps the ghastliest possibility has to do with the end of the 1991 Gulf War. George Bush Sr. exhorted the Iraqi people to "take matters into your own hands and force Saddam to step aside." This provoked a tremendous uprising that won a few victories against the Iraqi army.
The Iraqi rebels naturally assumed that the U.S. military was going to help them "force Saddam to step aside." But George H.W. Bush suddenly reversed himself, and the U.S. military did everything possible to prevent the uprising from succeeding. As a result, the Iraqi Republican Army slaughtered thousands of Iraqis.
A mass grave near Al Hillah was unearthed in the summer of 2003, producing the bodies of 900 of the Shiites who were massacred as a consequence of George H.W. Bush’s false promises.
Fool me thrice, and a lot of Iraqis die.
In 2003 the U.S. State Department produced a webpage designed to make us repulsed by the horrible mass graves in Iraq. However, for some unexplained reason, it doesn’t mention that some of the graves were created by the U.S. military.
Fool me quadrupily, what’s the matter with me?
P.S. Do you remember all the talk about the mass graves in which Serbs supposedly buried up to 100,000 innocent Kosovo civilians during the NATO war of 1999? Well, it turned out that the investigative teams of the War Crimes Tribunal couldn’t find evidence of even one grave that might be called "mass."
Fool me quintupily, and I’d better see a therapist.