imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

What the "Peace Movement" Ignores

by T-Mex Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002 at 8:55 AM

"Yeah, yeah," they say, "Saddam's a bad guy, but the world is full of bad guys. . . " blah, blah. Enough apologizing for this bastard. Lets take him out.

They are the darkest, loneliest, most hopeless places on earth – hellholes that, during the past two decades, have swallowed up the lives of more than 200,000 souls. Wails of human misery still echo in their dank corridors, the unheard cries of men, women, and children destined to die in grief and anonymity – their whereabouts unknown to their loved ones who, in many cases, have not heard from them in years.



These are the secret prisons of Iraq, of which there are roughly six dozen according to Amnesty International estimates. Amnesty spokesman Neil Durkin states that tens of thousands of people – many of them academic and social figures deemed unfriendly to Saddam – remain held indefinitely in these jails, without charge or trial. Anyone suspected of disloyalty to the regime, even on the flimsiest of evidence, is likely to live out the last months or years of his life in such a place.

All over Iraq, legions of government informants are ever on alert for suspicious activities or conversations. Bugging is widespread. The regime rewards citizens who report anyone that has uttered even a single word critical of Saddam; children are publicly rewarded for reporting the "impure sentiments" of their own parents. Because no one knows for certain who might betray them to the government, no public or private conversation is truly safe. As veteran BBC correspondent John Sweeney says, "I have been to Baghdad a number of times. Being in Iraq is like creeping around inside someone else’s migraine. The fear is so omnipresent you could almost eat it. No one talks." Two years ago it was decreed that criticizing Saddam in any way – even saying that his clothes did not match – would be punished by cutting out the offender’s tongue. But such offenders actually consider themselves fortunate if they can somehow avoid being sentenced to a prison term of endless torture.

Once prisoners are incarcerated for disloyalty to the regime, their suffering is so great it can scarcely be described. Many are placed in solitary confinement on starvation diets. Confessions are forced from them by the most gruesome methods imaginable: They are struck with brass knuckles and wooden bludgeons; they receive electric shocks to their genitalia; scorching metal rods are forced into their body orifices; their toes are crushed and their toenails pulled out; they have their limbs literally burned off; they are slowly lowered into large vats of acid until they confess or die. Many are poisoned with thallium, which causes its victims enormous agony before they die. When these prisons periodically get overcrowded, they are "cleaned out" by means of summary executions.

Frequently, confessions are extracted by torturing not only the prisoner, but his family members as well. His wife and daughters are raped, and sometimes beheaded, as he watches. His children or grandchildren – in many cases mere toddlers – are burned with cigarette butts; their eyes are gouged out; all the bones in their feet are crushed; their ears and limbs are amputated, one at a time. If no confession is forthcoming, the youngsters are slaughtered. Moreover, some of these prisons actually house the children of suspected dissidents – children younger than twelve who are packed into cells and left to rot amid pools of their own excrement, blood, and tears.

All these barbarities occur under the watchful eye of the very dictator who publicly laments the deaths of so many Iraqi children allegedly attributable to the UN sanctions of the past decade. All these abominations are carried out under orders from the very tyrant who skillfully treats the Western press to images of hungry, diseased Iraqi youngsters purportedly suffering because of American malevolence, rather than his own lust for omnipotence.

In addition to the aforementioned prisoners, hundreds of thousands of others have been taken into temporary custody, where they were tortured and then released – rendered physically and emotionally mangled for the rest of their lives. Indeed torture is not a last resort in Saddam’s regime, but is often a first resort – to drive home the message that no dissent will be tolerated. Max Van der Stoel, former UN special reporter for human rights in Iraq, states plainly that the brutality of Saddam’s regime is "of an exceptionally grave character – so grave that it has few parallels in the years that have passed since the Second World War."

The American "peace movement," however, maintains that a US invasion of Iraq – as a pre-emptive strike against a regime that is illegally stockpiling weapons of mass death – would constitute an immoral interference with another nation’s right to "pick its own leaders." As activist Medea Benjamin says, the US has no right to "unilaterally [dictate] to other people – be they Palestinian, Iraqi or Venezuelan – who their leaders should be. This is for the people themselves to decide." Implicit is this statement is the laughable notion that Saddam’s recent electoral victory, in which he captured every ballot cast, was in some way legitimate. Or as Louis Farrakhan puts it, this type of solidarity proves that the Iraqi people "love their man."

The horrors of Saddam’s Iraq, of course, have not been limited to prison tortures and the quiet "disappearance" of political dissidents. In 1987-88, for instance, Air Force helicopters rained chemical weapons – including mustard gas, Sarin, and VX nerve gas – upon scores of Kurdish villages, causing tens of thousands of Kurds to die of suffocation and burning. Those inhabitants who managed to flee to makeshift refugee camps were summarily executed by Iraqi ground troops. Indeed the number of Kurds who were rounded up, gunned down and dumped into mass graves exceeded even the great number that were gassed to death. All told, between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds lost their lives in this extermination campaign that destroyed almost every Kurdish village in Iraq – along with a centuries-old way of life – and displaced at least a million of the country’s Kurdish people. Of those who survived the Iraqi attacks, thousands were rendered blind, sterile, crippled, unable to breathe properly, or otherwise severely handicapped for the rest of their lives.

When a March 1991 uprising within Iraq challenged Saddam’s regime, government forces responded with their customary brutality, firing their weapons indiscriminately into residential areas, killing thousands of unarmed civilians. House-to-house searches resulted in thousands of additional deaths, as did the barbaric massacres of patients lying in hospital beds.

In 1992 Saddam initiated a project to exterminate the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq. Because the vast marshlands of that region had become a sanctuary for many army deserters and rebels, he ordered the construction of a massive canal system to divert the Euphrates River water that fed those marshes, and by late 1993 they were virtually dried up. Iraqi soldiers then burned the villages and poisoned whatever small quantities of water that remained – creating an ecological disaster and destroying a way of life for hundreds of thousands of Marsh Arabs who had lived there for a thousand years.

These horrors were orchestrated by the same man who now laments that any American-led attack on his regime would end up killing countless innocent civilians. If Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and all other Middle Eastern enemies of our country have anything in common with the anti-war Left, it is their readiness to blame America – and not Saddam – for the suffering of Iraq’s population. This is illustrated most vividly in their steadfast contention that the UN sanctions – and again, not Saddam – have already caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many of them children.

When was the last time you heard any of these critics say a word about the wretched victims of Iraqi horrors discussed in this article? When did you last hear these victims eulogized by anti-American Islamists in the Mideast, or by the "anti-war peace activists" in our midst? When did you last hear America’s critics acknowledge that the UN sanctions have remained in place for one reason alone – Saddam’s utter refusal to abide by the pledges he made in the Gulf War peace settlement? And when did you last hear those critics condemn the fact that while the Iraqi people have seen their standard of living decline under the sanctions, Saddam’s personal wealth has soared to billion? Have they ever complained that since the Gulf War’s end, this dictator has built himself no fewer than fifty new palaces – complete with artificial rivers, lakes, and waterfalls regulated by pumping equipment that could otherwise have been used to help rectify the country’s desperate water and sanitation problems?

Of course not. As always, where our enemies abroad and our "peace" advocates at home are concerned, everything is America’s fault.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 18 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
question regarding prisons .. rtf Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002 at 12:04 PM
yes, a stark contrast aquanarchy Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002 at 5:21 PM
Great Post! Patriot Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002 at 6:45 PM
"I'd go myself... but" Bush detractor Monday, Dec. 02, 2002 at 12:34 AM
Much to do about nothing. Question Monday, Dec. 02, 2002 at 8:45 AM
same old same old? permapress Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002 at 12:21 PM
This just amasses me Traveler Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002 at 5:06 PM
peace and war permapress Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002 at 5:17 PM
Nuts & bolts Traveler Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002 at 7:31 PM
Nuts and Bolts Permapress Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002 at 9:47 PM
Agree to disagree Traveler Monday, Dec. 23, 2002 at 12:49 PM
US Policy Stevens Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2002 at 9:48 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy