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Mass graves `are everywhere': Iraq littered with bodies, but number of dead unknown
Chicago Tribune ^ | 21Jan04 | Stephen Franklin

Posted on 01/23/2004 9:06:45 AM PST by xzins

BAGHDAD -- They were killed in their hospital beds and buried in the hospital flower gardens, some with their arms still wrapped in bandages or IVs still connected.

And they were killed on long death marches in northern Iraq--Kurdish women and children, separated from their families and carrying the few household items they could drag with them.

Wherever they were killed, many were blindfolded and shot in the forehead. Saddam Hussein's whole country became a killing field.

Mass graves "are everywhere," said Sandy Hodgkinson, a U.S. State Department attorney who has been working with Iraq's Human Rights Ministry, the agency in charge of investigating the mass graves. "You follow reports, and they turn up in places you would never suspect."

Iraq is littered with bodies stuffed dozens at a time into cemetery plots, bodies shoved over cliffs, tossed in lakes or hidden in farm fields where vegetables still grow, said Saad Sultan, 32, a lawyer and detective with the Human Rights Ministry's mass graves research team.

So far, 282 possible mass grave sites have been identified, 55 have been confirmed and 20 have been explored. But nine months after Hussein's fall, the total number of graves is unknown. So, too, is the number buried, though the figure is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Among Kurds alone, for example, there are at least 182,000 people missing, 8,000 of them from one clan, the Barzanis.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: atrocities; graves; humanrights; iraq; massgraves; murder; saddam
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To: gooleyman
No, no , no! His October surprise is to bring Bin Laden out from jail. Mad Maddy told me so.
21 posted on 01/23/2004 9:49:30 AM PST by Dilbert56
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To: xzins
Well said.

It is good to see this in a mainstream paper.

We will be hearing these stories for many years to come, long overdue.

Just knowing that the world is finally listening may help the Iraqi people heal.

More on the CPA-Iraqi commission set up to locate the missing and protect the mass graves:

8 Mass Graves of Iraq: Uncovering Atrocities ~ Coalition Provisional Authority | 1/05/04

Eyewitness testimony:

8 Baghdad, with Victims ~ To those with eyes to see, Saddam Hussein’s butchery was reason enough for war ~ Commentary  | 12/03/03 | Steven Vincent

8 THE CRUELEST COVER-UP ~ Tales of Saddam's Brutality ~ White House | Various

Pictures, important ~ and mostly absent from mainstream coverage of Iraq, and from the net:

8 Graphic proof from Saddam's Killing Fields ~ | 1/12/04 | the dead of Iraq

22 posted on 01/23/2004 9:50:04 AM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The chapter of Iraq's history - Saddam Hussein's reign of terror - is now closed." Lt. Gen. Sanchez)
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To: stylin_geek
Yeah, and you gotta love the "exit strategy" talking point when it comes to Iraq. I'm still waiting for an "exit strategy" in Bosnia.

How about an exit strategy from Korea. We have been there 50 years on the DMZ.(Demilitarized Zone.)

23 posted on 01/23/2004 9:50:33 AM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: montag813
Wes Clark's kneepad approach to power has him a laughingstock in the military. Everyone now knows what Shelton and Franks were talking about.

Clark in a "gay" shot in a "gay" magazine dissing "don't ask, don't tell" is a final nail in his coffin, imho.
24 posted on 01/23/2004 9:51:53 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
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To: montag813
I posted this on another thread, but I think it should go here as well:

Here's what I've been thinking:

When President Bush said what he said about Saddam's WMDs before we invaded, he was just as, if not more, adamant of the threat being real. Now, does everyone remember all the "WMDs FOUND!!" threads we had here on FR? There was something in those reports (Not all of them) that warranted further investigation, but perhaps the news shouldn't have been leaked so fast.

I believe that in the course of the war after the first few reports of WMDs got out, a quickly launched order was sent to all of the field commanders that if they found something in question of reference to WMDs, they were to silence traffic and mark it for investigations and inspections. They had to keep the integrity of their findings for the CIA and other investigational organizations so they could be catalogued and, possibly, traced to their origins.

However, President Bush has remained solid about the WMDs. If they had been sent to other nations (Syria), he'd have told us this by now. Why hasn't this happened?

I believe it's because he already has all of the information and is in the process of preparing a rock solid case against the nations helping Saddam violate the embargos and sanctions. IF we had revealed everything too early, shredders worldwide would fire up and wipe out everything before the case could be made.

Saddam's WMDs is only ONE aspect to this puzzle. There's so many other ties that must be secured before anyone starts blabbing about this and that.

However, this is purely my opinion.
25 posted on 01/23/2004 9:55:44 AM PST by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
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To: xzins
I think Lieberman got it right. Saddam IS a WMD.
26 posted on 01/23/2004 10:03:12 AM PST by pgkdan
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To: 2banana
And for the left, black slavery and the "slaughter of the Native Americans" a few hundred years ago is more salient, more pressing, more important than anything so fresh as this. Who will pay for "reparations" for the 12 years that the UN fiddled while Iraq burned?
27 posted on 01/23/2004 10:06:16 AM PST by wizardoz ("Crikey! I've lost my mojo!")
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To: Capt. Tom
We have an exit strategy. President Bush is working on destroying North Korea. If Russia can collapse internally, then so can N.K. However, yeah, another sore point. As far as I'm concerned, if Seoul keeps acting the way it does toward Americans, then I think we should threaten to pull our troops. And then pull them when things don't change.
28 posted on 01/23/2004 10:06:39 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: xzins
Whatever the ultimate number of dead turns out to will obliterate the so called genocide that took place in Gen Clark and X42's, UN FREE, NECESSARY and democrat approved war.
29 posted on 01/23/2004 10:08:34 AM PST by PISANO (God Bless our Troops........They will not TIRE - They will not FALTER - They will not FAIL!!!!!)
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To: rickmichaels
I'm waiting for fat slob POS Michael Moore to issue a statement about this... still waiting...

He can't talk. His mouth is full. Usually.

30 posted on 01/23/2004 10:09:27 AM PST by wizardoz ("Crikey! I've lost my mojo!")
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To: Capt. Tom
"How about an exit strategy from Korea. We have been there 50 years on the DMZ."

Yes, 50 years of successfully keeping people from jumping the border. But our troops have no expertise at this, according to the "experts" so our own borders are like a sieve.
31 posted on 01/23/2004 10:11:32 AM PST by beelzepug ("It'll ooze a bit, 'eads do, ya know.")
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To: RobbyS
No thanks to Wesley Clark we know how many were murdered in Rwanda.
32 posted on 01/23/2004 10:14:08 AM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: xzins
I hate to be in the position of Devil's Advocate, but if you read between the lines, the writer of this piece never actually comes out and says they've found hundreds of thousands of bodies in mass graves. They've found X number of grave sites, they estimate that X number were killed, but the writer never comes out and says, "We've found hundreds of thousands of corpses from Saddam's reign of terror."

Please don't show me photographs of two people, ten people, and then say, "How DARE you question us!" Any Leftist can counter with photos of My Lai, or even Kent State, or how about the Iraqis killed and maimed during the war and occupation by US forces.

No, to prove that the war was necessary, you'll have to come up with an official, verifiable body count number in the hundreds of thousands. Only then can you maintain that the war actually saved lives by getting rid of a murderous tyrant.

I'm not saying you can or can't come up with this. I'm just saying that if you don't, then you're giving the Democratic Presidential candidate a powerful talking point in the debates come autumn.

33 posted on 01/23/2004 10:18:55 AM PST by JoeSchem
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To: JoeSchem
I have no problem with your thinking.

The article says people are doing the slow job of digging them up and verifying them. The number "confirmed" means exactly that.

It's not a sudden process, and it will take time, and then there's the problem of what to do with the bodies.

34 posted on 01/23/2004 10:26:20 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
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To: xzins
What's frustrates me is the leftists that regaled communism should have been significantly marginalized by communism's murderous foundation, but instead, have been lionized as victims of McCarthy and anti-communists. To defend their moral ineptitude, they create a moral equivalency that exaggerates Anglo imperialism and defends autocratic regimes as defenders against capitalism and Western hegemony.

It will be interesting to note as the dictatorial regimes in the Middle East fall, how leftists will be judged for their defense (and appeasement) of pan-Arabism and theocratic rule. I am optimistic that a return to the 50s confidence and patriotism is where the pendulum is swinging.
35 posted on 01/23/2004 10:39:34 AM PST by optimistically_conservative (Bill Clinton has called Clark a man of high character and integrity. What more need be said?)
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To: RobbyS
"This place seems to be like Germany in the spring of 1945, a huge charnel house. God know how it is in other countries where our troops have not set foot."

Not yet, but tomorrow !

36 posted on 01/23/2004 10:45:42 AM PST by TYVets ("An armed society is a polite society." - Robert A. Heinlein & me)
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To: Dilbert56
No, no , no! His October surprise is to bring Bin Laden out from jail. Mad Maddy told me so.

If/when Bush produces Osama, the leftist mantra will be "but is America any safer now?".

If Bush has Osama "stashed away" somewhere, it's in a one-quart baggie in a freezer.

37 posted on 01/23/2004 10:51:44 AM PST by 300winmag (FR's Hobbit Hole supports America's troops)
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To: xzins
Question for the libs....

How are mass graves of dead Iraqis any less horrible than mass graves of dead Jews?

And people wonder how the Germans could have stood by while the Holocaust happened right under their noses. We're witnessing the same thing now.

If Clinton was in the White House he'd be nominated for some humanitarian award for stopping this, but it's a Republican so it's only about oil/Halliburton/Cheney etc. etc. etc.

38 posted on 01/23/2004 10:52:25 AM PST by Lizavetta (Savage is right - extreme liberalism is a mental disorder.)
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To: TYVets
As the Dims keep saying, there are maybe 20 countries with worse records where we might intervene. To them I say: well, tell your buddies in Europe to build up your armied forces so that you can do your share and don't whine while we do what we can.
39 posted on 01/23/2004 11:02:34 AM PST by RobbyS (XPqu)
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To: xzins
bttt for later read. Thanks ...

40 posted on 01/23/2004 11:04:05 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!:
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