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The inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein: Pt. 5 - The London Times + (UK free press)
The London Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Evening Standard + ^ | various

Posted on 08/25/2004 6:01:43 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl

Tales od Saddam's Brutality

UK Free Press

The London Times

"Most afternoons, among the market stalls leading to the old city of Najaf young men set up TV sets in the street showing grotesque scenes of cruelty. Handcuffed prisoners are executed with sticks of dynamite shoved into their pockets. Screaming men plead for their lives as they are beaten by Saddam Hussein's secret police. Crimson fragments of bodies lie in the street, moments after a huge explosion, to the soundtrack of an Arab lament. The crowds gather round. People mutter and shake their heads. Then they queue to pay 1,000 Iraqi dinars (about 33p) [50 cents] for laser discs containing footage of the appalling scenes. These are the atrocity discs of Iraq, a booming mini-industry in a country still stricken by the consequences of the war. They are produced in home factories, with the simplest computer equipment."
-- The London Times, September 20, 2003


"Stand at the mass grave near Kirkuk, where huge mechanised trucks churn the earth in clouds of dust. Look at the skeletons now tenderly reburied in simple wooden coffins. Talk to Nasir al-Hussein, who was only 12 at the time of the 1991 mass arrests. He, his mother, uncle and cousins were piled on buses. They turned off on to a farm road and the executions started. People were thrown into a pit, machine gunned and then buried with a bulldozer. Nasir crawled out of the mass grave, leaving his dead relatives behind."
-- The Times (London), June 18, 2003


"Ahmad was Uday's chief executioner. Last week, as Iraqis celebrated the death of his former boss and his equally savage younger brother Qusay, he nervously revealed a hideous story. His instructions that day in 1999 were to arrest the two 19-year-olds on the campus of Baghdad's Academy of Fine Arts and deliver them at Radwaniyah. On arrival at the sprawling compound, he was directed to a farm where he found a large cage. Inside, two lions waited. They belonged to Uday. Guards took the two young men from the car and opened the cage door. One of the victims collapsed in terror as they were dragged, screaming and shouting, to meet their fate. Ahmad watched as the students frantically looked for a way of escape. There was none. The lions pounced. 'I saw the head of the first student literally come off his body with the first bite and then had to stand and watch the animals devour the two young men. By the time they were finished there was little left but for the bones and bits and pieces of unwanted flesh,' he recalled last week."
-- Sunday Times, London, July 27, 2003


One of the condemned women was pregnant. This presented a problem, said Ahmad, because under religious law a pregnant woman should at least be allowed to finish her term and deliver the baby before being executed. 'She was several months' pregnant,' he said. 'The doctor had verified it, she had said so and we could see her swollen stomach. She was taken in and out three times - everyone was unsure what to do with her.' Telephone calls were made to Uday by his representative. As they waited, the woman sobbed and begged for mercy for her unborn child. On the third telephone call the order was given to go ahead with her execution. 'At that the woman was beheaded - and knowing she was pregnant, I felt sick in the stomach and wished for Allah to open up the ground and swallow everyone there including myself,' said Ahmad.
-- Sunday Times, London, July 27, 2003


"They put me in a cell just 1m by 1.5m, painted completely red with no windows and lots of tiny stones on the floor and told me to count them. It did not matter what number you said it would be wrong. If I said 2000, they would say no, it's 2001 and beat me 10 times. Then they put me inside a circle and told me to run round and round for nine hours. After that they threw me on the hot pavement and a fat guard sat on my chest. Then they pulled me along by my ankles so that my back was streaming with blood.

"Another time they drew a bicycle on the wall and told me to ride it. They threw me in foul dirty water and said you must swim, then they kept pushing me under with a stick forcing me to drink.

"Once they told us we had to catch 10 flies during the night and 10 mosquitoes during the day or you would be tortured more. This was impossible so you had to catch the mosquitoes at night and hold them till daytime and vice versa with the flies. Then they would ask which is male and which is female. Whatever you said it would be vice versa."
-- Sunday Times, London, July 27, 2003


"I have never spoken of this before because I was afraid for my family," said Faig. "But now they are gone, and we are finally free to speak of such things."
-- Sunday Times, London, July 27, 2003


"'I am still afraid,' he murmured. 'Saddam is alive and so are all those closest to him. We don't know if one day the regime will come back. Those who did this to me are still around, We just don't know their faces. They just took off their uniforms and went home. They are still out there and we are still afraid.'"
-- Mutilation victim quoted in The Sunday Times (London), April 20, 2003


He described how, clad in black garb that covered all but his eyes, he had often meted out sentences in the street, in front of a victim's family and horrified onlookers. Guarded by armed colleagues, he used to tie up and blindfold the accused. One of his men held the detainee's head in a firm grip. Another forced open the mouth.

"Ali would then draw out a pair of pliers and a sharp knife. Gripping the tongue with pliers, he would slice it up with the knife, tossing severed pieces into the street. "'Those punished were too terrified to move, even though they knew I was about to chop off their tongue,' said Ali in his matter-of-fact voice. 'They would just stand there, often praying and calling out for Saddam and Allah to spare them. By then it was too late.

"'I would read them out the verdict and cut off their tongue without any form of anaesthetic. There was always a lot of blood. Some offenders passed out. Others screamed in pain. They would then be given basic medical assistance in an ambulance which would always come with us on such punishment runs. Then they would be thrown in jail.'"
-- Fedayeen Saddam member interviewed in The Sunday Times (London), April 20, 2003


"Ferass Adnan is a 23-year-old trader who speaks with difficulty these days now that part of his tongue is missing. Some months ago he got into a fight in a market in northern Baghdad and was overheard insulting Saddam as the 'son of a dog'. A policeman tried to arrest him, but Adnan fled.

"Within hours, Iraqi secret police agents arrived at Adnan's home and, failing to find him, took away his uncle, brother, and two cousins. They were thrown in jail and tortured with electric shocks.

"It was only a matter of days before the regime's ubiquitous security spies caught up with Adnan in the suburbs of Baghdad. He was jailed and then, on March 5, turned over to the specialists of Ali's punishment squad. Adnan was taken back to his father's home in north Baghdad, where his entire family was ordered to gather outside the local coffee house.

"'His hands were tied and his eyes blindfolded,' the young man's father, Adnan Duleimi, recalled last week. 'I had not seen my son since they had arrested him. I tried to pay for his release. I lost all my savings, handing everything I had to corrupt security officers who promised to help but only took my money. There was nothing I could do. I had to watch in silence as they took a knife to my son's tongue. Had I said a word we would all have been killed.'"
-- The Sunday Times (London), April 20, 2003


"One of Ali's fellow fedayeen lost his tongue simply for repeating how he had heard of a man who had accused Uday of bringing shame on the Iraqi people for dressing in multi-coloured shirts . which, according to the critic, made him look like a woman.

"'There was no mild form of criticism when it came to Saddam, Uday or the regime,' said Ali. 'Any critical comment, even to say that the president looked tired in a speech, was enough to risk having one's tongue cut off by us.'"
-- Interview with a member of the Fedayeen Saddam in The Sunday Times (London), April 20, 2003


ITV News

I have spoken to a prison officer who worked there. He had no idea how many people were killed in that prison but he said it must have been thousands. In one corner of that prison outside the walls of an inner secure area we found relatives grieving over an open grave where they had found a number of bodies. Bodies who have had their hands tied behind their backs - they had been shot in the head.

"It is our understanding that these people had been rounded up for the simple crime of having a satellite mobile telephone. As such they were suspected of being American spies. They were shot in the dying days of the regime even though those who shot them must have known that the end was up."
-- Tim Rogers, ITV News (UK), reporting from Baghdad on bodies found in a prison run by the Iraqi Ministry of Social Affairs,  April 22, 2003


Daily Mail

"'As I began to cut Uday's hair, this man [Uday's press secretary] was praying as they [Uday's bodyguards] extracted his teeth with pliers. But my hands didn't shake. I was always very careful. I knew a small mistake would be the end of me.'"
-- Marwan Ali, Uday Hussein's barber, Daily Mail (London), April 22, 2003


I was sitting outside my father's house in a village near Tikrit on Friday when two carloads of fedayeen stopped. They got out and began to beat me and accuse me of being a saboteur. Then they shot me in the leg. They took me to the police station and kept me for three nights, saying they would kill me. Then yesterday they just disappeared. And at 7am this morning (Monday) an American Marine came and let me out of my cell. I feel very lucky."
-- Khalid Jauhr, an Iraqi Kurd, in the Daily Mail (London), April 15, 2003


'I am from the city of Kirkuk and for the last ten years I have been unable to return to my home there because of Saddam. Seven of my relatives were executed there by his security police when this war started. But God willing and with the help of Britain and the United States I can go back home now and live in peace.'"
-- Prshing Mohamed, Iraqi Kurd in Northern Iraq, in the Daily Mail (London), April 10, 2003


"When they came closer, I could see in the bus men, women and children with blindfolds over their eyes. I was very afraid and hid in a hole. It was mostly men. There were about eight children and ten women. They (Ba'ath Party forces) took them off the bus and led them over to the hole in groups. They sat or knelt and then they began to shoot them from very close, many shots. Some were just pushed in and then covered up with earth. There was no escape, it was done very quickly.

"I could not tell this secret because I knew it was dangerous knowledge that I should not hold, dangerous knowledge. But if the British Army want me to show them I will dig up the bodies myself, because I know they are there. I can never forget."
-- Satar Al Khalid, a Bedouin, recalls an incident he saw near Ramallah, Iraq, in 1998, Daily Mail (London), April 14, 2003


Former United Nations worker Vanessa Lough said children as young as four have been taken from their parents during the night over the past fortnight and murdered after extremists targeted families thought to have been helping the Coalition forces.

"'Some children were hanged as their helpless parents were forced to watch,' said Ms Lough, 37. She heard of the atrocities during a water drop on the outskirts of Basra, Iraq's second largest city and a Ba'ath party stronghold. 'In one street alone, they said three children could at one point be seen hanging from the lampposts and around the corner another child lay burned on the road. Parents and children who resisted were badly beaten.' Ms Lough said that, at first, the three women, all middle-aged, were reluctant to talk about what they had seen for fear of persecution.

"'They were genuinely afraid for their lives,' she added. 'Through what I can gather, they knew of at least 11 deaths but said there were many more elsewhere in the city.'

"'One of the ladies said Ba'ath party leaders and several henchmen had ordered and carried out the killings after their headquarters were bombed last week. It was their way of getting back. One of the men told a father his son was being killed because the father had been seen laughing with several men from the British Army that day. They told him he had "betrayed" Saddam in an act of treason. He received a broken leg and a severe beating. The men made the father watch as they set his son alight with petrol.'"
-- The Mail on Sunday (London), April 6, 2003


Evening Standard 

I saw thousands killed and buried in mass graves. Some were lined up and machine- gunned before being covered with sand. Others were just buried alive. Saddam had a programme of telling villagers (Kurds) they were being relocated south. We would take trucks that would normally hold 12 to 15 people and put in 200 with no water or ventilation. Many would die on the way. Survivors were driven to Al Anbar or Tharthar and buried alive in vast holes dug in the ground. I saw thousands of people . men, women and children . die this way."
-- Defecting colonel in Iraqi internal security service, Evening Standard (London), April 17, 2003


The Guardian

There in the corridor were the punishment units where men were stuffed into windowless cinder block cells, one metre by 50cm. On the left was the yellow holding pen where prisoners fought to sleep next to the open pits that served as latrines, suffering the stench for a few inches more space."
-- The Guardian (London), April 17, 2003


The Irish Times

"For five years Hashim, a teacher of English at a local secondary school, was held in an Iraqi prison and tortured. His scarred arms bore witness to how, he said, he was strung from the ceiling and beaten by members of the Iraqi secret services.

"'I had refused to join the party. They hit me a great deal and I was made to eat my meals like a dog with my hands tied behind my back. But I knew I could never join the Baath Party. How could I and keep my conscience clean?' he said.

"'If you want to stay out of trouble you have to join, and then you could be promoted in the party from the street level to representing the city. But then take part in beatings and the burning of property of the people they don't like. I was one of the people they didn't like.'"
-- The Irish Times, April 8, 2003


The Independent

"The day after the liberation, my aunt put out a black banner--an Arab mourning ritual--with the names of all her relatives who had been murdered by the regime on it. And she looked down her street, and there were black banners on almost every house. On some houses it looks like a long shopping list. She said to her neighbour, 'You too?' Under Saddam it was a crime to mourn people killed by the regime--it made you seem suspicious too. Everyone was suffering terribly, but they were suffering alone. They just didn't know that everyone else was hating it too."
-- Yasser Alaskary, co-founder of Iraqi Prospect Organisation, an Iraqi freedom group, The Independent (London), September 18, 2003


The Daily Telegraph

"My family lived in fear of his men, who were always watching us. Family friends were assassinated, tortured, or just disappeared."
-- Sharif Ali, The Daily Telegraph, June 11, 2003


"It was turned into a prison and torture chamber. Many of the people who carried out the coup were later tortured there. It was dubbed the 'Palace of the End.'"
-- Sharif Ali, pointing out what happened to his family palace, The Daily Telegraph, June 11, 2003


"At the first grave site that the team is investigating - a bleak square-mile expanse of sand and silt near the town of Musayib, 40 miles south of Baghdad - local people have already dug up the skeletal remains of almost 650 victims. Blindfolded with their hands tied, they had been herded into trenches and shot - executed in March and April 1991 during the failed uprising that followed the first Gulf war. Some were buried alive when the holes were filled in over them by bulldozer. In a race against time, it is now up to the scientists from Inforce (the International Forensic Centre), a British charity set up 18 months ago to investigate mass killings and genocide, to persuade their relatives not to uncover any more bodies so that vital forensic evidence is kept intact."
-- The Sunday Telegraph (London), June 1, 2003


"Seven days into the dig, the scene resembles a battlefield of the dead, the loose sandy soil carved into trenches, ditches and foxholes by a bulldozer. All around lie piles of remains: pelvic bones, ribs, femurs and skulls--one still wearing its weave-pattern prayer cap, another the blindfold affixed by his killers shortly before death. From many protrude the identity cards, amber necklaces, front-door keys and watches used by relatives to identify their brothers, cousins and sons. A plastic artificial leg sticks out of one pile, two crutches from another."
-- The Daily Telegraph (London), May 14, 2003


In 2000, Mr Abu Sakkar [a clandestine government agent] was caught "under-reporting" activities in the mosques and sent for two months to Tourist Island on the Tigris river, south of Baghdad, to receive a crude brand of re-education.

"'Three of my fellow Shias were shot in front of me,' he said. When he returned to his work with the police campaign to put down Shia opponents and rebels, he witnessed more savagery. 'One day I walked into the station and the room of the interrogation office was wide open. I saw Captain Abbass, one of our men, beating a man on the floor. I recognised him as a Shia religious student. He beat the man in the head and I noticed and pointed out to the captain that the student was already dead. He just said that he wanted to punish him more and that his hand was the "hand of god".'"
-- The Daily Telegraph (London), April 23, 2003


When Shias, both leaders and young religious students, were taken into custody, they were often transferred to special torture cells.... 'The method of the investigations was usually to hang someone upside down and beat them, hammering hard on their bones,' Mr Abu Sakkar said, pointing to a hook on the ceiling. Some people would be left here for days upside down and would just die of fatigue and thirst.'"
-- The Daily Telegraph (London), April 23, 2003


The Observer

"'You see, sir,' said Karim Jasim, an excavator brushing dirt off a skeleton at the al-Musayyib mass grave near Kerbala, 'there are two Iraqis; one above the ground, and another beneath it.'"
-- The Observer (London), July 6, 2003


See also:

The inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein: Pt. 1 - The New York Times

The inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein: Pt. 2 - The Washington Post

The inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein: Pt. 3 - USA Today, LA Times

The inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein: Pt. 4 - Newsweek, Time Magazines

To be continued....

American free press - AP, Newsday, ABC, CBS...

Foreign free press - Agence France Presse, Toronto Star...



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: censorship; freedom; gnfi; godblessamerica; iraq; liberation; sacrifice; supportourtroops; terrorism; truth

1 posted on 08/25/2004 6:01:45 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: TexasCajun; backhoe; onyx; cgk; atomicpossum; CrazyIvan; Dog; JustPlainJoe; BJungNan; ...

MPs plan to impeach Blair over Iraq war record
The Guardian  | Thursday August 26, 2004 | David Hencke


      Ping !
 (click ping)

2 posted on 08/25/2004 6:03:26 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (No, brave, free, reporter in Baghdad, reading daily AP news wires - that is *not* "ALL from Iraq.")
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
So? It in no way compares with panties on the head, or liberation. We need to focus on the real butcher: Bush.


3 posted on 08/25/2004 6:06:27 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Proud To Be Part Of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

4 posted on 08/25/2004 6:07:43 PM PDT by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Yet despite all the horrors that continue to be revealed the loony left continues to assail those with the internal fortitude to fight for the liberty and freedom of others. That just does not make any sense.
5 posted on 08/25/2004 6:08:51 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Paul Atreides

You forgot the ultimate crime... nudity and having their genitals pointed at as dogs barked at them.

6 posted on 08/25/2004 6:10:42 PM PDT by AmericanCheeseFood (Zing!)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
This makes me sick to my stomach to read this, what makes it worse is that we "Canadians" did absolutely nothing to stop it...nothing. I hang my head in shame for my country
7 posted on 08/25/2004 6:22:24 PM PDT by snowballinhell (Me thinks something is afoot)
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To: snowballinhell

None of this is true. Before the ignorant American thugs invaded and bombed it into the stone age, Iraq was an advanced country with a high literacy rate and good health care.

Everyone was allowed to vote, even women. Iraqi children ran around playing happily all day long!

I know it's true, I heard it from Michael Moore...

8 posted on 08/25/2004 6:28:43 PM PDT by Pete98
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

bump for later

9 posted on 08/25/2004 6:42:43 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Pete98
Pete98, thanks for setting us all straight, but you forgot to mention that the war was all orchestrated by Halliburton to make Bush and his friends rich.
10 posted on 08/25/2004 6:43:28 PM PDT by Knownothing
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To: Pete98

Well if Moore says so...

11 posted on 08/25/2004 6:57:01 PM PDT by snowballinhell (Me thinks something is afoot)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

That is so incredibly sick. There really aren't words to adequately describe it.

12 posted on 08/25/2004 7:19:09 PM PDT by Jaded ((Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain))
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Saddam's chambers of horrors
Saturday, November 23, 2002

Abu Ghraib, 30 kilometres west of Baghdad, is Iraq's biggest prison. Until recently, it held perhaps 50,000 people, perhaps more. No one knows for sure. No one knows how many people were taken there through the years and never came out.
For a generation, Abu Ghraib was the centrepiece of Saddam Hussein's reign of torture and death. Yahya al-Jaiyashy is one of the survivors.

Mr. Jaiyashy is an animated, bearded man of 49 whose words can scarcely keep up with the torrent of his memories. Today he lives in Toronto with his second wife, Sahar. This week, he sat down with me to relate his story. With him were his wife, a lovely Iraqi woman in her mid-30s, and a friend, Haithem al-Hassan, who helped me with Mr. Jaiyashy's mixture of Arabic and rapid English.
"Nineteen seventy-seven was the first time I went to jail," he says. "I was not tortured that much."
He was in his mid-20s then, from an intellectual family that lived in a town south of Baghdad. He had been a student of Islamic history, language and religion in the holy city of Najaf, but was forced to quit his studies after he refused to join the ruling Ba'ath party. His ambition was to write books that would show how Islam could open itself up to modernism.

In Saddam's Iraq, this was a dangerous occupation, especially for a Shiite. Shia Muslims are the majority in Iraq, but Saddam and his inner circle are Sunni. Many Shiites were under suspicion as enemies of the state.
"My father was scared for me," says Mr. Jaiyashy. " 'You know how dangerous this regime is,' he told me. 'You know how many people they kill.' "

Mr. Jaiyashy continued his studies on his own. But, eventually, he was picked up, along with a dozen acquaintances who had been involved in political activity against the regime. They were sent to Abu Ghraib. The others did not get off as lightly as he did. One was killed by immersion into a vat of acid. Ten others, he recalls, were put into a room and torn apart by wild dogs. Several prominent religious leaders were also executed. One was a university dean, someone Mr. Jaiyashy remembers as "a great man." They drove a nail through his skull.

For three decades, the most vicious war Saddam has waged has been the one against his own people. Iraq's most devastating weapon of mass destruction is Saddam himself. And the most powerful case for regime change is their suffering.
Sometimes, it is almost impossible to believe the accounts of people who survived Saddam's chamber of horrors. They seem like twisted nightmares, or perhaps crude propaganda. But there are too many survivors who have escaped Iraq, too many credible witnesses. And Mr. Jaiyashy's story, horrible as it is, is not unusual.

Saddam personally enjoyed inflicting torture in the early years of his career, and he has modelled his police state after that of his hero, Stalin. According to Kenneth Pollack, a leading U.S. expert on Iraq, the regime employs as many as half a million people in its various intelligence, security and police organizations. Hundreds of thousands of others serve as informants. Neighbour is encouraged to inform on neighbour, children on their parents. Saddam has made Iraq into a self-policing totalitarian state, where everyone is afraid of everybody else.
"Being in Iraq is like creeping around inside someone else's migraine," says veteran BBC correspondent John Sweeney. "The fear is so omnipresent, you could almost eat it."
To Stalin's methods of arbitrary arrests and forced confessions, Saddam has added an element of sadism: the torture of children to extract information from their parents.

In northern Iraq -- the only place in the country where people can speak relatively freely -- Mr. Sweeney interviewed several people who had direct experience of child torture. He also met one of the victims -- a four-year-old girl, the daughter of a man who had worked for Saddam's psychopathic son Uday. When the man fell under suspicion, he fled to the Kurdish safe haven in the north. The police came for his wife and tortured her to reveal his whereabouts; when she didn't break, they took his daughter and crushed her feet. She was 2 then. Today, she wears metal braces on her legs, and can only hobble.

"This is a regime that will gouge out the eyes of children to force confessions from their parents and grandparents," writes Mr. Pollack in his new book, The Threatening Storm. "This is a regime that will hold a nursing baby at arm's length from its mother and allow the child to starve to death to force the mother to confess. This is a regime that will burn a person's limbs off to force him to confess or comply. This is a regime that will slowly lower its victims into huge vats of acid. . . .
"This is a regime that practises systematic rape against the female victims. This is a regime that will drag in a man's wife, daughter or other female relative and repeatedly rape her in front of him." And if he has fled the country, it will send him the video.

After nearly two years in prison, Mr. Jaiyashy was released and sent to do military service in the north. Then the security police decided to round up the followers of one of the executed clerics. In 1980, Mr. Jaiyashy was arrested again, along with 20 friends, and taken to a military prison. He was interrogated about criticisms he was supposed to have made of the regime, and urged to sign a confession. During one session, his wrists were tied to a ceiling fan. Then they turned on the fan. Then they added weights onto his body and did it again. Then somebody climbed on him to add more weight. "It was 20 minutes, but it seemed like 20 years," he recalls.
He was beaten with a water hose filled with stones. When he passed out, he was shocked back into consciousness with an electric cable. They hung him by his legs, pulled out a fingernail with pliers, and drove an electric drill through his foot.

Mr. Jaiyashy took off his right shoe and sock to show me his foot. It is grotesquely mutilated, with a huge swelling over the arch. There is an Amnesty International report on human-rights abuses in Iraq with a photo of a mutilated foot that looks identical to his. The baby finger on his left hand is also mutilated.
He didn't sign the confession. He knew that, if he did, they would eventually kill him.
They put him in solitary confinement, in a cell measuring two metres by two and a half, without windows or light. Every few weeks, they would bring him the confession again, but he refused to sign. He stayed there for a year.

In 1981, he was sent to trial, where he persuaded a sympathetic judge not to impose the death sentence. He got 10 years instead, and was sent back to Abu Ghraib. "They put me in a cell with 50 people. It was three and a half by three and a half metres. Some stood, some sat. They took turns."
There was a small window in the cell, with a view of a tree. It was the only living thing the prisoners could see. The tree was cut down. There were informants in the cells and, every morning, guards would come and take someone and beat him till he died. "This is your breakfast!" they would say.
Mr. Jaiyashy spent the next six years in that cell. His parents were told he was dead.

Abu Ghraib contained many intellectuals and professional people. Among them was the scientist Hussein Shahristani, a University of Toronto alumnus who became a leading nuclear scientist in Iraq. He was imprisoned after he refused to work on Saddam's nuclear program. He spent 10 years in Abu Ghraib, most of them in solitary confinement, until he escaped in 1991.

Saddam has reduced his people to abject poverty. He wiped out families, villages, cities and cultures, and drove four million people into exile. He killed between 100,000 and 200,000 Kurds. He killed as many as 300,000 Shiites in the uprising after the Persian Gulf war. He killed or displaced 200,000 of the 250,000 marsh Arabs who had created a unique, centuries-old culture in the south. He drained the marshes, an environmental treasure, and turned them into a desert.

In a recent Frontline documentary, a woman who fled Iraq recounted how she and others had been forced to witness the public beheadings of 15 women who had been rounded up for prostitution and other crimes against the state. One of the women was a doctor who had been misreported as speaking against the regime. "They put her head in a trash can," she said.

In 1987, Mr. Jaiyashy and a thousand other inmates were transferred to an outdoor prison camp. There, they were allowed a visit with their relatives, so long as they said nothing of their lives in prison. Mr. Jaiyashy's parents came, hoping he might still be alive. He remembers the day all the families came. "There was so much crying. We called it the crying day."

In 1989, he was finally released from prison. Then came the gulf war and, after that, the uprising, which he joined. It was quickly crushed. He fled with 150,000 refugees toward the Saudi border. But the Saudis didn't want them. "They are Wahhabis," he says. "They consider the Shia as infidels." The United Nations set up a refugee camp, where Mr. Jaiyashy spent the next six years. He began to paint and write again.
Finally, he was accepted as an immigrant to Canada. He arrived in Toronto in 1996, and is now a Canadian citizen.

Mr. Jaiyashy has a deep sense of gratitude toward his adoptive country. Canada, he says, has given him back his freedom and his dignity. He paints prolifically, and has taken courses at the art college, and is the author of three plays about the Saddam regime. He makes his living stocking shelves in a fabric store. "I'm a porter," he says. "No problem. I'm happy."

But Saddam's spies are everywhere. After one of his plays was produced here, his father was imprisoned. His first wife and three children are still in Iraq. He hasn't seen them since his youngest, now 12, was a baby. He talks with them on the phone from time to time, but it is very dangerous. One of his brothers is in Jordan, another still in Iraq.
Sahar, his second wife, is soft-spoken. She covers her head and dresses modestly, without makeup. Her face is unlined. She arrived in Canada with her two daughters the same year as Mr. Jaiyashy; they were introduced by friends.

She, too, has a story. I learned only the smallest part of it. "I was a widow," she told me. "My husband was a doctor in Iraq. He wanted to continue his education and have a specialty. But they didn't allow him. He deserted the military service to continue his education on his own. They beat him till he died."
Today, her daughters are in high school and she teaches at a daycare centre. Her new husband pushed her to study hard here. "ESL, ESL," she says affectionately.
Like many Iraqis, they are conflicted about the prospect of war. They want Saddam gone. But they do not want more harm inflicted on their country. "I want Saddam gone -- only him," says Mr. Jaiyashy.

A few weeks ago, Saddam threw open the doors of Abu Ghraib and freed the prisoners there. Many families rejoiced, and many others, who did not find their loved ones, mounted a brief, unheard-of protest against the regime. The prison is a ghost camp now. Nothing is left but piles of human excrement that cake the razor wire.

Saddam's Iraq is a rebuke to anyone who may doubt that absolute evil dwells among us. No one has put it better than Mr. Sweeney, the BBC reporter. "When I hear the word Iraq, I hear a tortured child screaming."

(Now tell me we shouldn't have gone in there)

13 posted on 08/25/2004 9:29:22 PM PDT by Valin (It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others.)
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To: Pete98

Everyone was allowed to vote, even women.

True, but if you voted the wrong way you'd end up being fed into a woodchipper feet first.

14 posted on 08/25/2004 9:31:54 PM PDT by Valin (It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; All
-When the Dungeon Doors Swing Open...--
15 posted on 08/26/2004 2:02:22 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Sunset...)
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To: All
Bio-Chemical Weapons & Saddam: A History.
16 posted on 08/27/2004 4:32:43 PM PDT by PsyOp (John Kerry—a .22 Rimfire Short in a .44 Magnum world.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Note: this topic was posted 8/25/2004. Thanks Ragtime Cowgirl.

17 posted on 08/17/2014 1:54:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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