Skip to comments.Bush's Reasons For War (Vanity...need help from FREEPERS)
Posted on 08/21/2005 6:54:18 PM PDT by SideoutFred
One of the favorite lines by our leftist friends is that the reasons for war by Bush keep changing. Personally, I don't buy that at all.
I've been using the State of the Union Address prior to the war, the speech to the UN General Assembly as my guiding tools here. I find that there were about 8 or 9 reasons given, not just the WMD reason. I'm trying to dispute this garbage from the left but I'm looking for some better sources. Any help folks?
Reasons I have documented (most of which are true or on their way)
1) WMD (not found in mass quantities, but could still be there or moved or destroyed 2) Regime Change (Successful, Hussein is gone). Elected gov't put in place 3) Removal of Hussein (Successful) 4) Stabilize region (TBD, but in the long run I think so) 5) Part of the War on Terrorism (Iraq funded Hamas and others for suicide bombers) 6) Uphold UN Resolutions that called for "serious consequences"
Bush stated in his State of the Union speech that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are to be destroyed.
He couldn't have been more clear that night, but some people still don't get it.
That's it in a nutshell. If any of your Leftist friends care to dispute it, ask them to produce credible sources. And no, the "Daily KOS" and similar Leftist screeds are not credible.
It doesn't matter what you say, it will not change their mind. All the lefties care about is defeating Bush...too bad they are complete failures at that as well.
The President said that Saddam was an imminent threat, and that he needed to be removed before he could use his ability to produce and deliver WMD's to terrorists.
Cause the Middle East has been a festering boil for half a century. It's about damn time somebody had the balls to attempt real change there.
And it ain't a gonna happen over night, either.
Fred, it was a front, in the war on Terror. A very strategic and important front. It was a very difficult decision for the man to make. He knew it would ruin his reputation, but he also knew that in the long run it would save more American (and world wide) lives. I admire him for going to war.
What is the country on the left of Iran? What is the country on the right? Where are our troops? Where were our troops in the year 2000? Were we safe in 2000?
These terrorists would part your head from your body, right in your own home, if we were not there. Libya would still be involved in terror, if we were not there. Iran would send a nuclear missle on our cities, if we were not there. We NEED to be there.
Please be sure to tell your friend that Clinton signed the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998 which called for regime change.
Kerry went on ABC and met with Cokie Roberts after the legislation was passed and advocated American boots on the ground (this was pre 9/11) and said our allies wouldn't be with us and Germany and France in particular would have a lot to answer for.
And give your friend this link with all the Democrats wailing about WMD in Iraq and Clinton himself said in one of his state of the union addresses that Iraq threatened the region and indeed the world, including the US.
Revenge: Saddam put a hit out on Pappa Bush in 1993.
Whay are you wasting your time? The Left will never listen - they are beyond redemption.
Some days, with all the news from back home, I wonder why I'm here in Ramadi defending them. And a lot fo tropos who are less politically connected say it loudly.
I am sure the smarties here on FR will help you but you should know the left is NOT INTERESTED IN THE TRUTH. You are on a fool's errand.
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.
The rest of his justification for removing Saddam is in the 2002 SOTU as well.
~ Because he took an oath to protect the safety of Americans.
~ Because anyone who's ever made a cake knows that:
Bad guy who hates America and has food for oil $ to fund bad things
Bad guy who hates America and was born into wealth so he has $ to fund bad things
future problems for America.
Now...let's see...add in a pinch of ...
~ Your Country has just lost over 3,000 people in a terrorist attack.
A) Do nothing
B) Try to look like you're serious about finding bad guys by dropping a bomb or so on a rogue factory, or
C) Go to the one bad guy who ignored 17 UN resolutions; and many foreign governments, your predecessor, and your own CIA is telling you this guy has WMDs, and since you already have his address, you kick booo-tey!
W picked "C"
I think he made the right decision.
Pretty elementary to me.
Bill Clinton signed an 'executive order' for the removal of Saddam from power in Iraq before he left office. President Bush was merely following his predecessor's order.
Wouldn't know; I don't have any...
When they say that after WMD weren't found, GWB changed his reason for going to war to liberate the Iraqi people, ask, "Why then did he name it Operation Iraqi Freedom"? The answer, of course, is it was an important reason from the beginning.
But the State of the Union address where he outlines all the reasons should be enough.
The fact is no amount of proof will be enough, because they aren't interested in facts. They'll listen to your facts, and then look at you dead in the eyes and repeat their false claims as if you hadn't said a word.
I don't think of them so much as "friends" as "acquaintances whom I find annoying."
My leftest "friends" call Bush a liar re WMDs. Somewhere, during the campaign, someone posted a collection of articles or cites where dems decried the WMDs in Iraq and demanded action - of course, that was when clinton was bombing Iraq. Does anyone have any cite to these articles or quotes from dems on this topic when their boy was Pres?
" 1. Iraq was not complying with U.N. resolutions it had agreed to comply with at the conclusion of Gulf War I" In what way?
" 2. Iraq knowingly aided and abetted terrorists and terrorism." There is not a shred of evidence of that.
"3. The U.N. was no longer fit to monitor Iraq due to the scandals in which it was embroiled; chiefly, the oil-for-food scandal." Get out of the UN and get the UN out of the US.
" 4. The U.S. built its own multi-national coalition to liberate Iraq and dismantle its war-making capabilities." There was a pathetic joinder of England which was a laughable "Coalition". Iraq was preparing for nothing against anyone. Iraq is a disaster. 4 out of 10 want to leave right now!!!! Bush will never live down "No WMD" which was the absolute stated reason for 1900 dead and 14,000 wounded Americans.
"They found 500 tons of yellowcake"
First of all, keep it away from Michael Moore, he'll eat the evidence.
Second...where exactly was that found?
Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;
Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;
Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;
Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;
Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235);
Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;
Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677";
Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1)," that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and "constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region," and that Congress, "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688";
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to "work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge" posed by Iraq and to "work for the necessary resolutions," while also making clear that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable";
Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;
Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;
Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and
Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.
This joint resolution may be cited as the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq".
SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to--
(a) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and
(b) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.
(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.
In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and
(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
(c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS. --
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. -- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS
(a) The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998).
(b) To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of Public Law 93-148 (the War Powers Resolution), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.
(c) To the extent that the information required by section 3 of Public Law 102-1 is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of Public Law 102-1.
God bless you SSG....some of us still care and still render a smart salute when we see the forces coming through the airport.
UN Resolutions, PERIOD! The rest were just "other reasons" that were also important, but not THE reason. Saddam didn't comply, Saddam must go bye-bye.
Kinda new here...ain'tcha?
Watch the 9/11 replay on National Geographic (Midight, I think)
Lots of new info. The answer is there. I picked up on it immediately.
Iraq knowingly aided and abetted terrorists and terrorism." There is not a shred of evidence of that.
" 2. Iraq knowingly aided and abetted terrorists and terrorism." There is not a shred of evidence of that. Saddam himself personally stated he would pay $20,000 to the families of suicide bombers.
"3. The U.N. was no longer fit to monitor Iraq due to the scandals in which it was embroiled; chiefly, the oil-for-food scandal." Get out of the UN and get the UN out of the US. Someone had to take on the role. If you have great power and don't find a way to use it, invariably someone will find a way for you to have to use it.
" 4. The U.S. built its own multi-national coalition to liberate Iraq and dismantle its war-making capabilities." There was a pathetic joinder of England which was a laughable "Coalition". Iraq was preparing for nothing against anyone. Iraq is a disaster. 4 out of 10 want to leave right now!!!! Bush will never live down "No WMD" which was the absolute stated reason for 1900 dead and 14,000 wounded Americans. Why the anti-military crowd wants to down play and put down countries like Poland and others is surprising to me. Pretty pathetic though.
First of all, keep it away from Michael Moore, he'll eat the evidence.
You betcha he will. We keep sending him boxes of the stuff... ;o)
Self-Defense! They (the terrorists) started the war - we didn't! The Muslim extremist terrorists who attacked us came from various Middle Eastern countries. However, of these countries, Iraq was the only one whose government openly sponsored their terror activities.
Better to fight them over there using highly trained, VOLUNTEER military forces than to suffer mass civilian and military casualties over here - in addition to major damage to our property and infrastructure.
It may have been true that, apart from oil, what happened in Middle Eastern countries was none of our business.
When people from that part of the world started killing us in our own country, it became our business. Period.
Put down the crack pipe and step away from the keyboard, John Forbes Kerry.
The appeal to no WMDs is a foolhardy attack made purely for partisan politics with complete disregard, if not traitorous intent towards our nation.
There were obviously valid concerns regarding WMD prior to our entry into the area.
Once our intelligence has a firmer grasp upon the actual WMD threat, there would be no reason for pertinent intel on sensitive issues to be released to the public. There may be tremendous justification to feign lack of intelligence regarding assymetric warfare where the underdog is in the process of gaining WMDs. The first rule is not to believe anything one might read in the press regarding WMD.
With this background, now consider the risk that is created when a partisan political campaign promotes the idea no WMD threat exists.
1) If an unknown threat exists, the policy to cry Wolf, Wolf, if no threat exists, means the real threat won't be taken seriously.
2) If an unknown threat exists, the controlling party in assymetric warfare as an advocate of terrorism, is now cornered into actually using such a device in a terrorist act, in order to manifest his actual power, otherwise his efforts have been fruitless. This means that if a WMD is used in the US and known to the public, the DNC bears a heavy liaibility in politically developing a situation promoting its use.
3) If a known threat exists, in assymetric warfare, others who are attracted to the same strategy are probably attracted to one another to form terrorist networks. Such networks are the things intelligence communities naturally love to document, track, and operationally control so as to defend their respective national interests. They aren't going to broadcast their secret information of highest intelligence value, but are more likely to safeguard the mechanisms of their discerning the information and intelligence. Broadcasting no WMD merely promotes a secret controlling interest in national security.
4) If the unknown threat doesn't exist, it's a moot point and the resultant outcome of our intervention still have promoted US national interests and security of our foreign policy.
5) If a perceived threat doesn't exist, then we have presented a better way to communicate to foreign nations not to pretend as though they do possess such WMD, because the consequences of their bravado and crying Fire in a crowded theater might result in their own demise without any control of their own. This naturally enforces nonproliferation upon those not yet venturing into the fray.
IMHO, the real truth is probably a convoluted extraction of one or more of these scenarios, compounded by multiple feints and maneuvering within intelligence and political circles, all maneuvering for worldly power.
IMHO, Those who support national legitimate government of respective nations will remain on righteous ground. Those advocating a one world government or socialist government or even a do-gooder interference into the proper domain of others not only risk those parties involved, but also promote an unrighteous solution.
What we are blessed to be witnessing firsthand here is the fulfillment of BUSH's answer to our being attacked here at home on September 11, 2001.
In April 2003, as my Vietnam War 7th Cavalry was bringing Freedom to Iraq, BUSH's written promise was read aloud to 1,000's of Vietnamese Americans demonstrating in Little Saigon CA in support of Freedom's Arrival to Iraq.
during a BUSH Presidency...
as America's own...
best self-protection against...
future attacks here at home...
Freedom's Return to:
Communist North Korea
as well as
All the countries of the Middle East
BUSH = The LIBERTY Century
Bush also addressed the nation in Cincinnati speech. That had 4 main points. None of them was that Iraq was an eminent threat.
I can't help but choke every time I see pictures like these.
What are these idiotic liberals thinking??? GRRRRRRRR!
ONE reason we went into Iraq.
(the column that brought me onboard.)
Saddam's chambers of horrors
By MARGARET WENTE
Toronto Globe and Mail 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."
"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction, as the core reason. There have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually, I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one, which is the connection between the first two." - Wolfowitz, May 9, 2003
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