Posted: June 12, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern
A report in Geo-Strategy Direct revealed the existence of a Shiite Arab website called "Edrisi" which claimed, "Our association has found 18 million files related to former Iraqi prisoners, that are being kept at a secure place now, 35,000 of which, that have been studied belong to the executed Iraqis." Edrisi also said that Saddam's regime murdered as many as 6 million Iraqi dissidents in Iraq's killing fields.
In Baghdad, the hottest selling videos aren't made by Hollywood, but by Saddam. Like the Nazis before them, Saddam's Baathists kept meticulous records, including videotaping thousands of executions that Iraqis are scooping up from street vendors like CDs at a rock concert.
The videos aren't popular because the Iraqis are bloodthirsty and longing for the good old days of mass executions, but are being bought up by Iraqis hoping to trace missing relatives. The killings went on right up to the end, with tens of thousands being killed in the final month between March 20 and April 20, according to a Fox News report.
The numbers are fuzzy simply because they are so vast. The Shiite estimate of 6 million is considerably higher than previously published victim totals, but even the Arab press acknowledges that the death toll at the hands of Saddam's executioners numbers in the millions.
A May 25 article by Hazem Saghiya in Al-Hayat claimed, "The number of those murdered by Saddam ... ranges between a million and a million and a half ..."
The killing fields of Saddam Hussein, now exposed to the world, have shocked even the Arab world. "It is not the mass graves and Saddam Hussein's regime that are scary. What is scary is those who say, 'Saddam's [regime] is ended, so let's forget about its graves.' [This is] scary mainly because in the shadow of this obliviousness, the Saddam phenomenon and its graves might recur ... in Iraq or in any [Arab] country ruled by this culture of 'let's forget' ...", writes Saghiya in the same column.
In "Mass Graves Don't Shake Their Consciences," columnist Salem Mashkur wrote in the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, "We must beware of [the possible] recurrence of these factors and tragedies. This requires that first we shed light on the implications of tyranny, dictatorship, and the expropriation of an [entire] country and its subjugation to the interests of a single man and his two sons ... to the point where, when foreign forces invaded the country, the Iraqi people stood idle, indifferent to the outcome of everything. All the people wanted was to be rescued from this nightmare ..."
In "Saddam's Mass Graves," columnist 'Ureib Al-Rintawi wrote in the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, "For one thing, the dictatorship of the Iraqi Baath dictatorship reached the level of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and next to it the other Arab capitals looked like oases of democracy and human rights ..."
And Ahmed Al-Rab'i reminded the Arab world, in a column called "No One Apologizes" in London's Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al Awsat, that, "Dozens of political parties and figures applauded Saddam Hussein and his regime. [They all] defended him because they considered this regime to [be] nationalistic and an enemy of Zionism, and some even used to label this regime 'democratic' ... Is there not a single man of conscience who might be brought by these sights to ... admit he was mistaken, that he was unaware of the truth, that he was a victim of the misleading [Arab] media? Is there no one who will tell the public, [the very public] he led in demonstrations defending Saddam Hussein's regime, that he was wrong?"
"Many Arabs sinned against the Iraqi people," he concluded, "when they stood by its executioners, when they underestimated the savagery with which the [Iraqi] regime treated its own people, when they opened up their media to anyone defending this ghoulish regime, and when they refused to treat others' opinions tolerantly."
Prior to the Gulf War, the Bush administration compared the regime of Saddam Hussein to that of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Bush was widely ridiculed for making the comparison at the time by liberal historians and especially by liberal America.
While Hitler is still tied with Josef Stalin for first place in the category of the most depraved and murderous dictator who ever lived, the mass graves testify that Saddam Hussein certainly belongs in that company.
The debate continues to rage, particularly in Europe and in Arab capitals, about whether or not Saddam Hussein actually had weapons of mass destruction. If he did not say the Europeans, Arabs, the U.N. and the British parliament then the war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not justified.
In the light of Europe's zeal to set up a global court to punish war crimes, their critical attitude toward the U.S.-U.K. war, which liberated the Iraqis from such unspeakable atrocities, is extremely hypocritical. Where are all of their humanitarian concerns? Do they not apply to the Iraqi Muslims?
The Muslim world's attitude is even worse. They seem to be willing to justify the crimes of any Muslim dictator, no matter how nefarious, as long as he bears the Islamic credentials of hating and plotting Israel's destruction. And if a Judeo-Christian nation seeks to liberate a Muslim nation from its Muslim tyrant, it is absolutely unacceptable. Arabs would rather see their own brothers suffer than endure the sacrilege of a Western intrusion into their "holy Muslim world."
In view of the Muslim majority's behavior, it is good to hear a few voices of conscience in the Islamic world.
"So far," writes Rajah Al-Khuri in Lebanon's Al-Nahar, "No one heard a single word ... not an apology, not an announcement to betray an ounce of shame and disgrace, in light of the daily horrific ignominy done to the image of the Arabs by Saddam Hussein - whose portraits were raised in the anti-war demonstrations."
In Saddam's killing fields, however, there is only silence. The guns fell silent with the outbreak of the coalition's "unjustified" war to remove Saddam Hussein.