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imperialism & war

300,000 Iraqis May Be in Mass Graves

How can they be so sure these were not caused by American's? These were most likely caused during this war or the previous imperialist assault by the US... remember all those killed in the previous war that were fleeing Kuwait and returning to Iraq when they were slaughtered on the highway by Amerikač fighter pilots? Yes I smell a big ßepublican rat.
The Below Copied from:

300,000 Iraqis May Be in Mass Graves
Associated Press Writers

November 8, 2003, 2:40 PM EST

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Saddam Hussein's government is believed to have buried as many as 300,000 opponents in 263 mass graves that dot the Iraqi landscape, the top human rights official in the U.S.-led civilian administration said Saturday.

Sandy Hodgkinson said the administration has been sending forensic teams to investigate those grave sites reported to U.S. officials. So far, the existence of about 40 graves has been confirmed.

"We have found mass graves with women and children with bullet holes in their heads," she said.

President Bush has referred to Iraqi mass graves frequently in recent months, saying they provide evidence that the war to drive Saddam from power was justified.

But some human rights activists have criticized the U.S.-led administration in Iraq for moving too slowly to protect grave sites and begin excavations, and have expressed skepticism that it will ever fully identify who is buried in the mass graves.

"There is just no way -- technologically, financially -- that they're going to deal with mass graves on this magnitude," said Susannah Sirkin of Physicians for Human Rights in Boston.

The U.S.-led administration held a workshop Saturday to train dozens of Iraqis to find and protect the mass grave sites. Hodgkinson said the workers would be crucial in protecting the sites from desperate relatives trying to dig for evidence of their missing loved ones.

In the weeks after the U.S.-led war drove Saddam from power, relatives damaged some grave sites, using bulldozers that mangled bodies and scattering papers and clothing that could have been used to identify remains.

The largest mass grave discovered so far, a site near the southern town of Mahaweel believed to hold at least 3,115 bodies, was damaged by relatives searching for remains. But officials say most of the mass graves haven't been disturbed.

Mass graves "tell the story of missing loved ones such as where, when and how they were killed," Hodgkinson said. "Truth and proper burial is the first step toward reconciliation."

Iraqi Human Rights Minister Abdul-Basit Turki said that in addition to families' need to find the bodies of missing relatives, excavating mass graves is important in building criminal cases against members of the former regime.

International tribunals handle prosecutions for atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, where tens of thousands of missing are believed buried in mass graves, and Rwanda, in which many of the 500,000 victims of a 100-day killing spree in 1994 were buried in communal pits.

But for Iraq, the United States has insisted any trials be conducted by a new Iraqi legal system that is still being developed.

Neither Iraq nor the United States are signatories to the International Criminal Court and it would take a vote of the U.N. Security Council to create a special tribunal for Iraq, which is considered unlikely.

Many human rights groups agree that Iraqis should lead the legal process, but say international participation is crucial for it to be legitimate and impartial. Some have been hesitant to participate in excavations before the legal system is in place.

"Mass graves really can corroborate witness testimony and documents which show what happened in a crime," Hodgkinson said, although she cautioned: "a mass grave by itself won't tell you who did it."

Hodgkinson said the majority of people buried in the mass graves are believed to be Kurds killed by Saddam in the 1980s after rebelling against the government and Shiites killed after an uprising following the 1991 Gulf War.

Hodgkinson said the investigation process would be similar to that used in Bosnia after its 1992-95 war. But she cautioned that if Bosnia is any indication, the process in Iraq will be long and complicated.

In Bosnia, she said, it has taken nine years to unearth 8,000 of the 30,000 bodies believed buried in mass graves.

Human rights activists say U.S. authorities in Iraq have been much slower to address the problem than were authorities in Bosnia. In Bosnia, said Sam Zia-Zarifi of Human Rights Watch, "within the first year there were 25 teams in and a (U.N.) tribunal in place."

In Iraq, some international teams that were hoping to begin their work before winter have delayed their arrival because of violence, including the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

At a donor conference last month, more than $100 million was requested for uncovering mass graves. The donations, which are expected to come in the form of equipment and personnel, would be used over five years, Hodgkinson said.
this report is fishy 08.Nov.2003 13:41

Sharp as Tacks

I just saw this article on moment ago as headliner for Drudge Report. The key phrase is "may be" and given what is going to happen late tonight/tomorrow (the reverse of 9-11, i.e., 11-9), these shank-swanks running our government obviously need a boost in the propaganda war. They are tanking on all their bullshit slinging with Jessica Lynch, so they've got to get her off the stage and new "shocking revelations" to recapture the so- called "news" headlines. Frankly, this report is bullshit! If there are that many, my guess is it's the Americans that put 'em there in Gulf War I and kept tally as to how many too! Go figure it folks, don't be a fish that always swallows the hook these swank-jobber's are always tossing ya. Spit that hook out and swim away...to swim yet another day!

bummer 08.Nov.2003 14:46

ed harley

too bad the US of A gave Saddam aid, comfort and approval while he committed his atrocities


( from The National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington, DC )

Fear of Iraq Collapse in Iran-Iraq War Motivated Reagan Administration Support;
U.S. Goals Were Access to Oil, Projection of Power, and Protection of Allies;

*Rumsfeld Failed to Raise Chemical Weapons Issue in Personal Meeting with Saddam*

Washington, D.C., 25 February 2003 - The National Security Archive at George Washington University today published on the Web a series of declassified U.S. documents detailing the U.S. embrace of Saddam Hussein in the early 1980's, including the renewal of diplomatic relations that had been suspended since 1967. The documents show that during this period of renewed U.S. support for Saddam, he had invaded his neighbor (Iran), had long-range nuclear aspirations that would "probably" include "an eventual nuclear weapon capability," harbored known terrorists in Baghdad, abused the human rights of his citizens, and possessed and used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people. The U.S. response was to renew ties, to provide intelligence and aid to ensure Iraq would not be defeated by Iran, and to send a high-level presidential envoy named Donald Rumsfeld to shake hands with Saddam (20 December 1983).
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets  Donald Rumsfeld in 1983.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld in 1983.

Let's Not Forget that BUSH has been killing Iraqi's for over ten years 08.Nov.2003 16:44

abe lincoln

Let's go back to daddy shrub war in 1990, estimates are that several hundred thousand iraq's perished, certainly another 100K since, the fact that the usa has been digging trenches and dumping bodys for years in Iraq is a fact,

Now if you look at the articles that are coming out, they all say that you can tell a lot about how they died, but you'll never know who killed them,


Uhh.. aren't you forgetting Bill Clinton? 08.Nov.2003 17:20

Madeline Albright

TO "Let's Not Forget that BUSH has been killing Iraqi's for over ten years" aren't you forgetting that the Clinton Regime did the majority of the killing of Iraqis during the 1990s with its sanctions. Wasn't it Madeline Albright who said that the death of these Iraqi children due to sanctions was "worth the price."

Be careful about blaming atrocities on the "Republicans". 08.Nov.2003 20:56

won't be fooled again

it's the Republicrats who are doing this. Both "parties"are to blame. We are being lied to. Wake up!

yes, match atrocities with those responsible 08.Nov.2003 22:37

learn the history; watch others repeat it

As far as presidents go, Bill Clinton certainly has the most blood on his hands with 1.5 million Iraqi's dead because of the sanctions that he upheld.

But, if we're looking at mass graves than Bush Sr. bears most responsibility for the "surprise cease fire" he signed with Hussein for the purpose of allowing Hussein to kill the Shiites who rose up during the first Gulf War. If we're talking about mass graves in southern Iraq (which we are in this, and most cases) we are talking about the graves of Shiites who thought the US would support in their efforts to overthrow Hussein in 1991. But the US not only did not support them, but supported Hussein in his efforts to crush the uprising.

In addition to the graves of those killed by Hussein are those who were killed by US soldiers in the first Gulf War. Some of these graves, sadly, are the remnants of those actions.

So Clinton may be responsible for more deaths; Bush was responsible for more mass graves.

Let's not forget that after Hussein "gassed his own people" (which is analogous to saying the US was killing its own people as it exterminated the Native Americans, or that the union (or confederacy) was killing their own people during the civil war) he continued to receive support from the administrations of presidents Reagan and Bush who said that congress would be "premature" in imposing military sanctions. Of course, Bush, and later Clinton, had no trouble supporting humanitarian sanctions that led to genocide. But then, there isn't any money in humanitarian goods like there is in selling weapons of mass destruction (as the Bush family knows well).

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.