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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 chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: atrocities; graves; humanrights; iraq; massgraves; murder; saddam
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1 posted on 01/23/2004 9:06:46 AM PST by xzins
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To: MJY1288; Calpernia; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER; ...
Saddam Deserves Death Ping

Most of the graves have been found in the center of Iraq, leading experts to think that the dead are Shiites, victims of Hussein's onslaught against those who rose up in 1991 at the end of the first Persian Gulf war. But the regime apparently shipped bodies across the country, which would explain why those of Kurds killed in the north have shown up in the desert southwest. Iraqi officials also tried to cover their tracks by forcibly moving neighbors so as to eliminate those who might identify mass graves. In many places, a deep hole was dug with heavy equipment; then bodies were dumped from trucks and the site was covered with earth.

2 posted on 01/23/2004 9:08:11 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
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To: xzins
The hallowed ground of this country has become ground filled with horror.
3 posted on 01/23/2004 9:09:31 AM PST by Old Grumpy
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To: xzins
From the Leftists: Yeah, but where are the WMD?
4 posted on 01/23/2004 9:10:26 AM PST by Chewbacca (I want to be Emperor of Mars.)
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To: xzins
Still for the left, Bush is more evil than Saddam...
5 posted on 01/23/2004 9:11:13 AM PST by 2banana
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To: xzins
Bump!
6 posted on 01/23/2004 9:11:33 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Chewbacca
You beat me to it. This monster needed to be gone, regardless of the reason.
7 posted on 01/23/2004 9:11:44 AM PST by cjshapi
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To: xzins
Yep. That UN sure ran a tight ship.
8 posted on 01/23/2004 9:11:54 AM PST by JennysCool
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To: crosshair
ping
9 posted on 01/23/2004 9:13:41 AM PST by leadpencil1
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To: xzins
Prayers for the innocents. Godspeed to W, Avenger of the Bones. D*mn the appeasers, UN, left and complicit presstitutes....
10 posted on 01/23/2004 9:15:06 AM PST by eureka! (The ongoing destruction of the Rat party is giving me smile wrinkles.....)
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To: xzins
Wherever they were killed, many were blindfolded and shot in the forehead. Saddam Hussein's whole country became a killing field.

I'm waiting for fat slob POS Michael Moore to issue a statement about this...

still waiting...

still waiting...

still waiting...

11 posted on 01/23/2004 9:15:55 AM PST by rickmichaels
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To: Chewbacca; cjshapi; Alamo-Girl
Clinton used mass graves as the excuse for Bosnia/Kosovo and they've never been found. He gets a pass.

He promised to be out in one year. It's 8 years later. He gets a pass.

President Bush proposed a war against anyone who harbored Al Qaeda or participated in terrorism. He proposed ridding us of the problem of Saddam BEFORE WMDs became a problem.

He has found evidence of Al Qaeda and numerous ties to a variety of other terrorist organizations.

He has found numbers of weapons configured to carry chemical agents. He has found the technology of WMDs and the Programs of WMDs.

And he has found thousands upon thousands of murder victims in mass graves.

He doesn't need a pass.

Nonetheless, he doesn't get one.

The only answer: Politics.

12 posted on 01/23/2004 9:17:07 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
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To: xzins
Among the graves found were the countless political graves of American Democrats...
13 posted on 01/23/2004 9:21:02 AM PST by Tricorn
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To: xzins
So very true. Thanks for the ping!
14 posted on 01/23/2004 9:21:29 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: xzins
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.
15 posted on 01/23/2004 9:36:06 AM PST by RobbyS (XPqu)
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To: xzins
Apart from this is the stability that results from the military occupation of a major country in a regime full of unstable regimes.
16 posted on 01/23/2004 9:38:19 AM PST by RobbyS (XPqu)
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To: xzins
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.
17 posted on 01/23/2004 9:43:34 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: Chewbacca
From the Leftists: Yeah, but where are the WMD?

-----
That's not only from the Leftists. It comes from our own dear Third Party Conservatives too.

And when the WMD's are found, they're all ready to be the first to say that they were planted. Heck, if I was going to plant some WMD's I would have planted them early on in the war. To heck with going through all this anquish when I could have just planted some WMD's and gotten it over with.

I know...Bush is waiting to plant them the weekend before the election. That's it...that'll be the October surprise this time. [I've got extra sarcasm here in case someone needs some...smile]
18 posted on 01/23/2004 9:46:51 AM PST by gooleyman
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To: stylin_geek
You gotta love it.

It's not even a year since the war kicked off and we've got the place humming again and are methodically hunting down the bad guys.

What more could you want?

19 posted on 01/23/2004 9:48:49 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
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To: xzins
We found more bodies in "mass graves" in 5 days in Iraq than NATO and the UN have found in Serbia and Kosovo in 5 years. But don't expect any journalists to confront Wesley Clark with that inconvenient fact.
20 posted on 01/23/2004 9:49:01 AM PST by montag813
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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 ~ http://www.9neesan.com | 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 be...it 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!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: RandallFlagg
"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."

No, it's MY opinion, too.

41 posted on 01/23/2004 11:16:44 AM PST by redhead
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To: redhead
YAAGH!!! It's GOTTA be a CONSPIRACY!!!

42 posted on 01/23/2004 11:20:58 AM PST by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
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To: pgkdan
"I think Lieberman got it right. Saddam IS a WMD."

See THIS

Check the date...

43 posted on 01/23/2004 11:21:08 AM PST by redhead
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To: xzins
Ethnic cleansing ~ Bump!
44 posted on 01/23/2004 12:39:28 PM PST by blackie
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To: xzins
Whenever the libs I know cry about this war I bring up Kosovo. Even if Iraq was done purely on a humanitarain, and no other basis, it is still far far more compelling than Kosovo.

Libs are hypocrites.
45 posted on 01/23/2004 2:05:38 PM PST by Cubs Fan
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To: xzins
This is perfectly fine with Kerry, Clark and Dean!! If there is no physical WMD and only killing fields they would just turn a blind/cowardly eye. As a matter of fact they would cut and run like Nam and let the killing restart! Unless we get France's permission let the graves fill up. Oppression only is oppression when it is a USA ally. The DNC is the third axis of evil and must be destroyed.

Pray for W and The Truth

46 posted on 01/23/2004 2:11:19 PM PST by bray (The Wicked Witch of NY and Her (9-6) Flying Monkeys are In Flames!)
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To: xzins
Iraq Mass Grave Photos Link

The US media has been suppressing this. Why?

47 posted on 01/23/2004 2:29:26 PM PST by XHogPilot
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To: XHogPilot; Calpernia; Ragtime Cowgirl; JoeSchem
Awesome post XHP, I've saved it.

The rest of you have got to look at these pictures

48 posted on 01/23/2004 2:51:36 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
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To: RandallFlagg
Sorry, the Bush administration would salvage so much credibility on WMDs if they announced such intel, that it is not credible they (or the Kay report) would hold it back.

If we had anything, the Kay report in sept would have said so.

I think some of the assessments about WMDs, like all intel assessments, were not fully accurate. And that part of the inaccuracy was assuming that what was there in 1991 was still there, and trying to guess based on the opaque situation in Iraq. This is why Bush and Blair talked about tons of weapons 'still not accounted for'. But that leaves aside the possibiliy that Saddam's goons would hide their tracks, destroy evidence and then pretend the UN the stuff was never there as a way of getting the UN off their backs.

That was the gameplan. It failed, because the US wanted regime change and an honest Iraq. We got neither out of the Blix inspections.

As for WMDs, they still arent accounted for. But it seems clear that unless a great job was done of hiding them they were removed or werent there as of march 2003. Its possible Saddam had them destroyed and was waiting out sanctions before adding to stocks, and/or using its presumed existence as a threat to other nations. BUT - it is also possible that they are now in Syria or some quantity is there or in terrorist hands... but if that did happen, its most likely that we dont know, or we could have blown the lid much earlier and made a case on it.

You presume too much to think we would know something about WMDs but neither act on it nor tell the world. It's more likely we are still in the dark.
49 posted on 01/23/2004 2:53:35 PM PST by WOSG (I don't want the GOP to become a circular firing squad and the Socialist Democrats a majority.)
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To: JoeSchem
Excuse me but they have found literally thousands of bodies. Thousands upon thousands. Not stated in this article, but dig through Ragtime Cowgirl's posts and some old posts talk about what has been found. Some very compelling pictures.


To expect an exact count this early in the game is to expect too much, but the killing fields of Iraq are indeed very full. The numbers of 400,000-500,000 in the ANFAL genocide of kurds in 1986-1988 and perhaps 50,000-100,0000 shiites and kurds killed in 1991/1992 is likely correct range.

50 posted on 01/23/2004 2:57:09 PM PST by WOSG (I don't want the GOP to become a circular firing squad and the Socialist Democrats a majority.)
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