Note: Repost from the old blog. The video plays well with a broadband connection, though an attempt to watch it over dialup failed. This is a video of the famous hanging of Saddam Hussein that was secretly taped with videophone and then surreptitiously distributed on the Net to mass outrage and curiosity.
Warning: gruesome footage.
Hat tip to the blog The Reaction for a link to the video, which I then embedded.
This is a video of the actual hanging of Saddam Hussein at a two-story building the Shia Khadamiya District in Baghdad at 6:10 AM on December 30, 2006, as shot surreptitiously by a cellphone camera held by one of those in attendance.
This is not the more tame video that is being shown on US TV but is instead the more gruesome video being shown on Arabic websites and now spreading virally around the web and the world.
In the video, Saddam was taunting and being taunted by some of those who were getting ready to hang him. As he was getting ready to be hung, he recited the Muslim prayer a couple of times. Saddam refused to wear a hood over his head and carried a Koran in his hand. His team of three black-hooded executioners (called a mashmawi) had noticeable Shia Southern Iraqi accents.
All of his executioners were members of the SCIRI political party, and they and his guards tormented Saddam in the six hours before his execution, refusing to let him sleep much by waking him up every half an hour to taunt him. One of the taunting executioners had the Shia sectarian name of “Ali The Butcher”. Saddam reportedly refused a last meal of chicken the night before and asked only for a Koran.
At 5 AM, he was offered breakfast, but he refused and asked for a cigarette instead. The request for a cigarette was refused and he was taken to an execution cell where a judge read the details of the sentence to him and asked Saddam if he wanted to make a last statement.
While the judge was reading the verdict, Saddam periodically shouted out slogans, at one point yelling, “Long live Iraq! Long live the people! Long live the Palestinians!” He declined to make a final statement and was taken to the execution chamber.
The building where he was killed in Khadamiya was formerly used as a torture chamber by a special branch of Saddam’s security forces that focused on the Shia fundamentalist Dawa political party. Indeed, some of the men present had been tortured by Saddam’s thugs in this very building.
Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of Iraq, was a prominent member of Dawa and was himself sentenced to death in absentia by Saddam’s regime in 1980 before he fled the country to Iran. Presently, Maliki is the head of the Dawa Party. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari is number 2 man in the party.
Dawa was even involved in the case for which Saddam was sentenced to death – the assassination attempt on Saddam in Dujail was carried out by Dawa. There are suggestions that Jaafari made the relatively minor Dujail case the focus of Saddam’s trial as part of the Dawa versus Baath feud.
As you can see, this execution had strong elements of a revenge party attack on the Baath Party by the Dawa Party. Adding weight to this theory, the first tape showing Saddam’s dead body in a coffin was leaked to the Dawa Party TV station.
Just before Saddam was killed, a Shia observer in attendance shouted, “Praise to Mohammad Baqir Al-Sadr!” The uncle of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir Al-Sadr was tortured to death by Saddam along with his sister in 1980.
One version says that Baqir was executed by first having a nail hammered into his head and then being set on fire. Another version, in Robert Pelton Young’s World’s Most Dangerous Places, has Saddam’s henchman Chemical Ali personally strangling Baqir to death.
When you read the gruesome accounts of how Saddam’s men killed Baqir, you can begin to see how the execution of Saddam was a nasty act of revenge by Baqir’s followers for the gory killing of Baqir.
Baqir founded the Dawa Party and is revered by all the main Shia factions in Iraq – the SCIRI and Dawa political parties and the Mahdi Army. Baqir’s son-in-law, Muqtada al-Sadr, is the young radical cleric whose forces, called the Mahdi Army, have repeatedly battled the US in Iraq. Moqtada al-Sadr’s father and two of his brothers were assassinated by Saddam in 1999.
One of the Shia executioners shouted, “You have destroyed us. You have killed us. You have made us live in destitution.” Saddam said, “I saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the Americans and the Persians.” The guard then said, “God damn you.” Saddam responded, “God damn you.”
According to Munir Haddad, the judge at his trial who was witnessing the execution, “[Saddam] said we are going to heaven and our enemies will rot in hell and he also called for forgiveness and love among Iraqis but also stressed that the Iraqis should fight the Americans and the Persians.”
As they put the noose around his neck, Saddam yelled out, “Ya Allah!”, or “Hear me God!”.
Those in the audience then started chanting, “Those who pray for God and the family of Mohammad have won”, and “God bless Mohammad and his family”.
These are both Shia sayings, because the Shia revere Ali and Hussein, the actual members of Mohammad’s family, as opposed to the unrelated Umayyads, rivals in the early succession struggle for the leadership of Islam. The first saying is highly sectarian, meaning, “In the battle between the Shia and the Sunnis, the Shia have won.”
Then Sadr’s supporters chanted, “And may the Mahdi return soon! And the Hell with his enemies! And victory to his son! Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!” Saddam looked down dimly at the hecklers and smiled caustically, mocking their taunts by asking, “Moqtada al-Sadr? Is this how you act like a man?”
This is probably a reference to rumors that Muqtada’s wife left him, saying that he was gay. So what Saddam is asking here is, “This is how you show you’re a man – by chanting the name of this fag Muqtada al-Sadr?”
Then, in a barely audible retort, Saddam muttered, “Gallows of shame…” but he was drowned out by voices yelling, “Go to Hell!”
Saddam responded, implying that his Shia executioners and their US allies had ruined Iraq, “The Hell that is Iraq?” As the rope was put around Saddam’s neck somebody shouted, “Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr!” Onlookers then yelled more insults at Saddam.
Some of his last words before reciting the Shahada were “Down with the traitors, the spies, the Americans and the Persians.” Traitors means everyone who supports the pro-US regime. Persians refers to anti-Baathist Shia Iraqis. One onlooker, Haddad, then tried to stop those shouting insults at Saddam, yelling, “I beg you, I beg you – the man is being executed!”
Saddam then said the Muslim shahada prayer, “There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his witness”, that all Muslims are required to say before they die. He said it once, then said it again, but they didn’t let him finish.
When he got to the “Mohammad”, the trap door fell in the gallows, and immediately he was swinging. It took him a full minute to die, and the scarf around his neck (placed there to keep his neck from being cut open) had not prevented the rope from cutting a gash in his neck.
As Saddam fell through the door, an onlooker shouted, “The tyrant has fallen! God damn him!” Others yelled triumphant Shia slogans. An onlooker tried to remove the rope from Saddam’s neck, but a voice said, “No, wait for three minutes.” They let him swing for 10 minutes, chanting Muslim slogans praising Mohammad the whole time, and then they cut him down.
I would like to point out that at least some of the sectarian Shia chanting at this execution is not dignified or acceptable in this setting. To some extent, it is like a crowd of Whites hanging a Black man while dancing around, grinning and yelling, “Hang, nigger, hang!” The analogy with a US Southern lynching is intentional.
The Arab nationalist and Sunni chauvinist Internet publication Islam Online reported that the “Safavids”, meaning the Iraqi Shia, burned Saddam’s Koran after he was hung. Safavids is a very insulting term for Arab Shia.
It refers to the Persians that conquered and ruled part of Iraq from 1508-1534 and again from 1623-1638, periods that Sunni Arabs in the region still smart over. The purple bars on this map show the part of Iraq that was conquered.
The Safavids were also the dynasty that first cemented Shiism as the state religion of Persia in the early 1500’s. By the mid-1600’s, majority-Sunni Iran was now majority-Shia.
This was accomplished by aggressive proselytism of Shiism, in part by converting huge numbers of Persian Sunnis by the sword. Those who would not convert were put to death. Doubtless this is another source of Sunni anger at the Safavids.
Calling the Arab Shia “Safavids” is common amongst Sunni Arab Muslims in places like Iraq and Lebanon and is the equivalent of calling Jews “kikes”.
The site also said that Saddam was denied a Sunni imam’s last rites; that Iraqi Shia Ayatollah Sistani blessed the execution (this is true); that Saddam’s body was abused after death; that Saddam shouted, “Palestine is Arab” before reciting the shahada; and that Saddam exchanged insults with audience members and said, “God damn you, you Persian midget!” to one of them.
All of these claims except for the body being abused (evidence shows it was not – the bruises on his face were just from the hanging) and the shout about Palestine (he shouted about Palestine in the judge’s chambers next door, not in the execution chamber, and there is no evidence of him shouting this on the tape) are possibly true.
Saddam was hung on the first morning of the Muslim holiday Eid, which is the equivalent of a Christian being hung on Easter morning. That is likely to outrage many Muslims, and could at least be considered poor taste. What is worse is that he was hung on the first day of the Sunni Muslim Eid, December 30. The Shia Muslim Eid did not start until the next day, December 31.
That is a direct slap in the face to Sunnis everywhere. As an analogy, try this: It would be as if Protestants and Catholics were fighting, and celebrated Easter one day apart. Catholics captured one of the Protestants’ top leaders and deliberately hung him on the Protestant Easter, and then made a party of his hanging.
According to the Iraqi Constitution, you cannot kill someone on Eid. The Shia government simply avoided that by declaring that December 31, not December 30, was the first day of Eid. This declaration effectively made Iraq a de facto Shia country.
The Saudi regime, no friend of Saddam’s, called the timing of the execution an affront to Islam. The Libyan regime, no friend of Saddam’s either, called for three days of mourning. Furthermore, the fact that he was dropped through the chamber midway through the Shahada is considered by Sunnis to be another sectarian insult.
Although in many ways he was a terrible person, Saddam’s behavior prior to being hanged was dignified and proper. No matter how he would have behaved, his enemies would have spun it to make Saddam look malevolent, humiliated or weak.
Despite propaganda from Iraq’s National Security Advisor Muwafaq al-Rubaie that Saddam was “weak and frightened”, he did not appear that way in the video at all (check for yourself). Nor did he seem especially defiant, except when taunted. At any rate, to those gloating that Saddam seemed a wee bit frightened, I would like to see how they hold up to being hung by a rope.
This execution could have been conducted with solemnity and professionalism, in which case you could argue that it was an act of justice. Instead it was turned into a squalid act of sectarian revenge. Saddam, a mass murderer, took the moral high ground and went to his death with class, composure and pride, while his hooded Shia executioners looked like little more than street thugs.
Saddam surely deserved this fate but I cannot see any good come of this. Surely this will only fan the flames of sectarianism in Iraq (and there are already signs that it is doing just that), in which case, what good did it do but sink the Iraqis deeper into this flaming Hell?
The fact that praise for Sadr was being shouted implies that some of those in attendance were supporters of the Mahdi Army, who are rightly referred to as sectarian militiamen.
When you hear about X number of bodies, tortured, blindfolded and handcuffed, found in Baghdad on a given day, it is the Shia Mahdi Army, not the Sunni guerrillas, who are generally responsible for all, or almost all, of those killings. This fact is conveniently almost never explained by the US media. The media simply says that X bodies were discovered, describes their state, and says “militias” killed them.
The Mahdi Army is supported by the US-supported Iraqi government. At first, most of those killed by the Mahdi Army were at least Salafist Sunni religious radicals. It could be argued that many were either guerrillas or sympathized with them.
Now, outrageously, the Mahdi Army is targeting any and all Sunnis Arabs, especially the men, and in particular the young men, merely because they are Sunni Arabs! They are also killing middle aged and old Sunni Arab men and even some of the women.
These death squads were set up by the US Government, specifically by US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte, who set up and ran similar death squads in Honduras in the 1980’s when he was ambassador there. More on that theory here, here, here and here.
This is a case of the Frankenstein monster created by the US coming back to bite the US on the ass, as has happened so many times in the past.
All the talk of Iran and Syria “interfering in Iraq” is dubious.
Let us deal with Iran first.
First, Iran does not support the Mahdi Army; they do not even like it. Iran doesn’t give Sadr any money; probably the only thing Iran wants to give Sadr is a bullet in the head. It’s true that Iran used to support Sadr a bit, but that was a while ago.
Instead, the Mahdi Army is supported almost totally by funds gathered inside of Iraq. For their part, the Mahdi Army is well-known for being an anti-Iranian, Iraqi nationalist or even Arab nationalist group.
For a long time, I could not understand why the Mahdi Army was behind so many death squad killing in Iraq these days. A ready explanation is now at hand but first an understanding of Shiism is in order.
The Shia of Iraq and 80% of the Shia in the world are Twelvers, since they follow what they see as the first 12 imams after Mohammad. Sunnis believe in a different path of succession, the Umayyads, who were not related to Mohammad but instead were just leaders of various parts of the Arab World who assumed the role of caliph.
There are other schools of Shiism called Seveners or Fivers, who split after either five or seven imams in who they consider to be the correct fifth or seventh imam. The 12th imam is said to be Muhammad al-Mahdi.
After his father, the 11th imam, died, his 5-year-old son was said to lead the prayers after his death. At that time, the boy disappeared and went into a state called occultation.
The Askariya Mosque that was blown up by Iraqi Al Qaeda in February, 2006, is said to be where the boy disappeared. A shrine was then built on the scene of his disappearance. Twelvers believe that he is coming back some day and that is he going to bring absolute justice to the world (like the belief in the return of Jesus).
Most Twelvers probably believe in this to some extent but do not make a virtual cult out of it (sort of like the way that many Christians only half-heartedly believe in Jesus’ return and others become passionate about it.
The Mahdi Army has almost made a cult out of belief in the Mahdi, to the point where some of them may think that Muqtada al-Sadr himself is the either the son of the Mahdi or perhaps even the Mahdi himself. Sadr himself has made illusive comments that added weight to these beliefs. At any rate, the Mahdi Army is a millenarian movement that believes that the Mahdi will reveal himself at any time.
While the destruction of the the Askariya Mosque was no doubt painful to most Twelvers, it simply drove the Mahdi Army insane due to their cult-like belief in the Mahdi. It is after that attack that the Mahdi Army went on their wild mass murdering spree against Sunnis in general.
Iran supports SCIRI, which has an armed wing called the Badr Brigades. Lately SCIRI is hardly involved in sectarian killings at all, although that is controversial. SCIRI is also part of the Iraqi government. You certainly could argue that the Iraqi government, dominated by SCIRI and Dawa, could be doing more to stop the killings.
For some time now, SCIRI and apparently also Iranian intelligence has taken advantage of the chaos in Iraq to carry out sporadic assassinations of former high-ranking members of Saddam’s regime. For SCIRI, this is vengeance, as SCIRI was formerly fighting an insurgency against the Baathist regime.
For Iran, similarly, it is a case of revenge – revenge for the Iraq-Iran War that Saddam started with considerable encouragement from the US. At any rate, SCIRI are simply Shia Iraqis, fired by the history of the Shia in Iraq – they are no Iranian puppets.
When they kill former top Baathists, they are doing it for their own reasons, not in service to the Iranian regime. The sporadic assassinations of former top Baathists in Iraq form a very small part of the Civil War and insurgency in the country. Hence, any suggestion that Iran or Iran-allied movements are tearing Iraq apart is nonsense.
For a long time, the Sunni guerrillas agenda, aside from attacking US forces, has been “kill the Shia”. The Sunnis who did not actually kill the Shia themselves were disgustingly silent when the racists did.
For years, the Shia were shockingly quiescent in the face of this regular terror. Iran was supporting SCIRI and Dawa while they were refusing to retaliate against the Sunni killers. Now that SCIRI and Dawa are not doing much to protect Sunnis against Shia killers of the Mahdi Army, Iran still supports them.
Iran will support SCIRI and Dawa practically whatever they do, just as the US supports Israel no matter what it does. But neither party is an agent of Iran anymore than Israel is an agent of the US. The Iraqi Shia have their own reasons for doing whatever they do. The notion that they are operating under orders from Tehran all this time is preposterous.
Fact is, it is not in Iran’s interest at all to have an insane Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq, a war that threatens to spread sectarian horror across the whole region, including their own country.
What Iran wants is simple: they want a peaceful, stable situation in Iraq, hopefully with a friendly, pro-Iranian regime in charge. Iran receives no benefit at all from the Inferno raging in Iraq, and the mess causes a lot of problems for Iran.
Iran also wants the US military out of Iraq, since by our presence there, we are threatening both Syria and Iran (this is one of the reasons the neocons plotted to have a large US troop presence in Iraq – to menace those two countries).
Second, isn’t the one country “interfering in Iraq” more than any other called the US?
Talk of Iran interfering in Iraq is coming from three different sources.
The first is US imperialism, which hates Iran for a variety of reasons.
These reasons date back to Khomeini’s revolution, the seizure of the hostages at the US embassy in Tehran immediately afterward, and then the attacks on US targets in Lebanon in the 1980’s and Saudi Arabia in the 1990’s by Shia radicals.
These attacks in Lebanon included a car bomb attack on the US embassy, a suicide truck bomb attack on a Marine barracks that killed 100’s of Marines, kidnappings of various Americans and the capture and execution of a US CIA agent.
The kidnappings and killing of the CIA agent were done by Hezbollah, but it is not clear at all that Hezbollah attacked the barracks or bombed the embassy. For one thing, Hezbollah may not even have been formed yet when those attacks occurred. The barracks attack was claimed by a separate group that is not Hezbollah. However, it seems clear that Iran was involved in all of the above attacks.
The attacks in Saudi Arabia included the car bombing of the US military barracks at the Khobar Towers which killed two dozen US soldiers and wounded hundreds more. That attack is being pinned on an obscure organization called Saudi Hezbollah, not on the Lebanese Hezbollah as the US press often ignorantly states.
Saudi Hezbollah is one of maybe 50 small, shadowy armed Shia groups in Arabia, where the Shia are fired up about the outrageous racism they experience at the hand of Wahhabi Sunnis, who contemptuously regard them as infidels. The suggestion is that Iran was behind that bombing too.
The second source of anti-Iranian talk is coming from the KKK-Jews (Zionists) in Israel, who also have it in for Iran right now. They got rid of Iraq; now Syria and Iran are next on their list as they go for broke trying to wipe out all resistance in the region to their racist regime.
As Israel is now virtually a state of the US, Israel’s interests are US interests. The fact that the US media is dominated by Zionists (both Jewish and Gentile) helps matters. Congress is completely controlled by a heavily Jewish Israeli Lobby, which also includes fundamentalist Christian elements.
The third source of anti-Iran sentiment is coming from Sunni Arabs, and Sunnis in general, who often hate Iran for various reasons, none of which are reasonable, and all of which are simply based on virulent racism.
An essential introduction to the tragic legacy of vicious anti-Iranian racism via Arab nationalism is Kaveh Farrokh’s Arab Nationalism’s Legacy of Confrontation With Iran.
The fact that US imperialism and World Jewry is in alliance with these ferocious, Nazi-like Sunni Muslim ultraracists is sickening and revolting.
The Jews of all people.
Yet Zionism has turned the Jews into a nation of killers, liars and thieves; those who cheer them on from the sidelines; and those who hide the criminals from justice or acquit them in court. Astute readers will note the analogy with the Jim Crow South. That is intentional.
As anti-Semitism hates Jews for what they are, not for what they do, there is nothing anti-Semitic in that statement. As the racists in the Antebellum South could cut it out any time they like, so can the KKK-Jews. Just say no to racism. It’s not hard at all.
Along similar lines, neither is Syria supporting the Sunni guerrillas much. The Syrian regime is run by Alawi Shia, who are not even considered Muslims by many or most Sunni Muslims, due to the extreme heterodox nature of their sect.
To the fundamentalist Sunni guerrillas in Iraq, the Alawi are hated first for being Shia, and second and even worse for not even being real Shia. To too many Sunnis, Alawis are simply infidels.
The Alawi regime is threatened by the majority-Sunnis of Syria, many of whom support the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. Hafez Assad waged war on these fundies in 1982, when they took over the city of Hama and declared an Islamic state in Syria.
The Syrian army invaded, destroyed the city and killed 10,000 people, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria was effectively destroyed. It remains in ruins in Syria to this day, where membership in the group is punishable by death.
The membership scattered to the far winds, especially to Saudi Arabia, where they joined the exiled Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt (exiled in another crackdown, this time by Gamel Nasser, President of Egypt). Both exiled Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) groups became religious teachers in Saudi Arabia around the time a number of religious schools were being set up there.
Wahhabi Islam in Arabia has not always been vicious, deranged and terroristic. Prior to the 1970’s, it was largely quietist (a Muslim religious term for Muslims who are not active in politics, especially in armed politics).
The infusion of radicalized Ikhwan exiles with Saudi Wahhabi Islam (still ultra-radical, even if quietist) metastasized to create a savage, militant fundamentalist Islam in Saudi Arabia by the 1980’s.
With the added boost of the Iranian revolution (which radicalized both Sunni and Shia Muslims around the world) of 1979 and the ensuing radical turmoil in Arabia (armed radicals captured the Kaaba, took hostages, and were routed in an armed counterattack that left hundreds dead) and the injection of the Afghan jihad of the 1980’s, the result was we call the Al Qaeda type groupings of today.
To this day, all Al Qaeda groupings are still significantly associated with the Ikhwan. One could even say that when it comes to Al Qaeda-like groups, “All roads lead to the Ikhwan”.
Based on that history, the notion that the super-secular Alawis of Syria would be supporting their most murderous enemies, the Sunni ultraradical Salafist guerrillas in Iraq, is comical and pitiful.
Instead, my understanding is that Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and even more so, wealthy Saudis, and probably wealthy Arabs from other Gulf States, are supplying the Sunni Iraqi guerrillas. The dominant Arabian Sunnis are as frightened of Shia political power as White racists in the US South were mortified by the threat of Black political enfranchisement.
The dominant theme here is, “Shia is the nigger of (Muslim) World”.
As you can see by the blatantly bigoted and murderously racist behavior of the Iraqi Shia militias described above, the Iraqi Shia are becoming “Niggaz with an attitude.” Which only proves that, barring intervention, the abused will become abusers as surely as day follows night.
The accusations against Syria are coming from US imperialism and the KKK-Jews. Imperialism hates Syria, probably just because it is not an ally. Syria is not an ally because it is an Arab nationalist regime still locked in conflict with Israel. As the US wildly supports Israel, Syria is not happy with the US.
But Syria really has no interest in the US per se. Their main problem is with Israel, which is still illegally occupying Syrian land, in violation of all international law, and in defiance of 98% of the nations on Earth.
Due to this Occupation, Syria and Israel are legally still at war. Syria’s interest is not to wipe out Israel, or kill all Jews or any of the crap that Zionists will tell you. Syrians just want the Golan back. To get it back, I am sure they will sell out Arab nationalism, the Palestinians, and the whole nine yards.
As a consequence of Israel’s theft of the Syrian Golan Heights, Syria retaliates by funding and supporting various Palestinian armed groups. Due to this ongoing conflict, Syria is on Israel’s list for regime change, along with Iran. The US simply has no real beneficial national interest in supporting Israel in this fight, other than that Israel is the 51st state of America.
Whenever you hear a US neoconservative commentator ranting about “Iran and Syria”, the ghost of Ariel Sharon may as well be pulling the puppet strings in back of them while they speak.
In my opinion, the KKK-Jews, who were part of the plot to get us into this insane Iraq War, also hoped to drag Syria and possibly Iran in too. With US troops in Iraq, hardline Zionism worked to use US forces to taunt Syria. Only the Iraqi resistance stopped US forces from attacking Syria, and probably also Iran. Terrible as the Sunni guerrillas are, the world does owe them something.
A huge US army in Iraq de facto menacing Syria is a taunt to the Syrians, in order to provoke them into supporting the Iraqi resistance to keep the US at bay. But once they start supporting Iraqi guerrillas, the US has cause to attack Syria.
Yet if Syria cooperates in crushing the Sunni guerrillas and pacifying Iraq, the US will then be free to evacuate most troops from Iraq and invade Syria. Yet the mad civil war in Iraq tears the region asunder and actually threatens Syria in many ways, mostly that the jihad of their radical Sunni Islamist enemies can spread to Syria.
What does Syria want? Same as Iran. A peaceful and stable Iraq that is friendly to Syria. Like Iran, they also want all US troops out of Iraq, since those troops are threatening Syria by their very presence.
Syria is in a poignant spider’s web; damned if she does; damned if she doesn’t. This is the trap Zionism-imperialism has set for her, with the only way out being abject surrender to imperialism-Zionism in the region, as almost all of the other Arab states have already done.
Yes, Zionism actually wants to provoke Syria into conflict with the US. Incredible, no? As if the world did not have enough problems as it is, the cancer of World Zionism adds another huge dollop of instability to the quivering mess as it pumps the black poison of its influence, menace and power through the veins of a cringing and suffering world.
Truth is that Syria has cracked down ferociously on those who have gone to fight in Iraq. Many jihadis have been imprisoned, beaten and tortured. Their relatives have also been harassed. Supporters of the jihadis inside Syria have actually set up organizations to protest this crackdown. The blog Syria Comment has been covering this story for some time now.
The Sunni guerrillas are being supplied mostly from inside Iraq itself but also by neighboring Sunnis, as noted above. The Sunni guerrillas’ external support is from US allies. The Shia militias are being funded from inside Iraq and are part of the US-allied Iraqi government.
Both sides of the Iraqi civil war are being funded and supported by US allies, not Syria and Iran. This is the lugubrious truth.
Many have wondered about the controversial study showing that 655,000 Iraqis had been killed by the US invasion of Iraq. Though the media has predictably poo-pooed the study, I studied it in depth and it is apparently a valid study. The same authors previously conducted a study in 2004 that found 100,000 deaths. That study was also very controversial.
The author of both studies, Les Roberts, wrote a piece in February 2006, prior to the latest study, in which he estimated 300,000 deaths. He lays out his reasons in the piece.
On July 12, 2005, an Iraqi group called Iraqiyun working with the Iraqi government counted 128,000 dead. These dead were lined up with actual names and records of the deceased based on door-to-door interviews throughout Iraq. Only dead confirmed by relatives were included, and the many who have vanished without a trace were not.
A study including infant mortality and looking at raw death rates has found an excess mortality of 900,000 deaths in Iraq since the US invasion, including 400,000 by infant mortality and 500,000 by other excess mortality. Note that the 500,000 figure includes excess deaths due to all causes related to the invasion – crime, stress, disease, dirty water, suicide, poor medical care, etc.
The same study, using raw death rate figures once again, found excess mortality of 2.9 million Iraqis from 1990-2003, almost all attributed to US and British sanctions, which were deliberately written to kill as many innocent Iraqis as possible. That figure includes 1.6 million via infant mortality and 1.3 million via other excess mortality, respectively. The study uses raw death rates, so the figures should be pretty good.
Those figures are from Gideon Polya, an Australian scientist who works, at least in part, in the field of excess mortality. He is the founder of the “Theory of Excess Mortality”.
The US and Britain killed 2.9 million Iraqis via sanctions, then started a war that killed another 900,000 Iraqis. That adds up to 3.8 million dead Iraqis. Either way you cut the cake, the US and Britain killed far more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein, whose number of victims is estimated at 300,000 and who also started a war with Iran that killed another 875,000, for a total of 1.175 million dead.
In reality, the mad Iraqi racist war against completely innocent Iran was fully egged on by and coordinated by the US and later many other nations all over the world. We even gave Iraq detailed maps of Iranian front line military positions before he attacked. Later, with the war on, we supplied him with the chemical weapons he fired at Iranian troops.
So in reality, perhaps Saddam and the US should share the guilt for the Iran-Iraq war dead. Even granting (dubiously) Saddam full culpability for the Iran-Iraq war toll, the US and Britain still killed over three times as many Iraqis as Saddam Hussein.
In a just world, would any other leaders deserve to be swinging from the end of a rope, due to mass murder of Iraqis? Something to think about…
For those who are interested, I authored an 80+ page dossier on the state Iraqi guerrilla groups as of April 15, 2005. It was published in 3 parts, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The report is now pretty much out of date but still holds historical interest on the state of the Iraqi resistance at a certain point in time. In that report, I believe I identified over 120 separate groups fighting the US Coalition.
Note: Repost from the old blog. The video plays well with a broadband connection, though an attempt to watch it over dialup failed. This is a video of the famous hanging of Saddam Hussein that was secretly taped with videophone and then surreptitiously distributed on the Net to mass outrage and curiosity.