Monday, December 15, 2003

Mass graves may have many culprits

Throughout this whole debacle in Iraq, Lunaville has done an excellent job tracking US casualities. Today that site has a great post regarding other facts that might come out at Saddam's trial for war crimes. An excerpt:

First, from Human Rights Watch and the rebels themselves;
The rebels slaughtered thousands of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds; some by execution, by slitting throats, by hanging, by shooting...all were dumped into those mass graves.

"It was a revolution," says one Basrawi rebel. "It was glorious. There were demonstrations and shooting. There were bodies all over the place."

Then some excellent witnesses from the US Government;

"I'm not sure whose side you'd want to be on," then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney said as the uprisings began.

Colin Powell, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Shiites, as well as the Kurds in the north, "never had a chance of succeeding, and their success was not a goal for the administration."

"Our practical intention was to leave Baghdad enough power to survive as a threat to an Iran that remained bitterly hostile toward the United States," Powell said in his book, "My American Journey."

Marlin Fitzwater, the White House spokesman at the time, said the "administration felt no guilt for refusing to aid the rebels."

Gen. COLIN POWELL: "The only issue that came up is, "Should we do something about the Iraqi helicopters? "It had never been one of our objectives to get involved in this kind of civil uprising between factions within Iraq and the Iraqi government. And so it was not clear what purpose would have been achieved by getting ourselves mixed up in the middle of that."

Pres. GEORGE BUSH: [April 3, 1991, Florida] "I do not want to push American forces beyond our mandate. We've done the heavy lifting. Our kids performed with superior courage and they don't need to be thrust into a war that's been going on for years." ...

And a whole lot of those bodies in the 1991 graves that weren't put there by the rebels were put there by the USA.

Thousands of Iraqi troops were buried alive in their trenches, with US troops bulldozing over top of them;

"Many Iraqi soldiers were killed by the simple expedient of burying them alive: in one report, American earthmovers and ploughs mounted on tanks were used to attack more than 70 miles of trenches. Colonel Anthony Moreno commented that for all he knew, 'we could have killed thousands'.

One US commander, Colonel Lon Maggart, estimated that his forces alone had buried about 650 Iraqi soldiers.

"What you saw was a bunch of buried trenches with peoples arms and things sticking out of them,' observed Moreno.

The US Pentagon defended this atrocity, saying there was a "gap" in international law that allowed for burying the troops alive.

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