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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

The Occasional Muse
My humble opinion on current events

March 29, 2003

Saddam's War Crimes are Legion  

Funny story from UPI today. Here's the opening paragraph:

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf said Saturday efforts were growing to try President George W. Bush as a war criminal before an international criminal court. The Iraqi minister said "there are law professors from Latin America, the Arab region and Europe" joining the effort.

Quick, someone call Ramsey Clark - no doubt he'll offer his services to America's enemy. He's already done so much for them.

But back to the UPI story. The good Iraqi minister claimed that 140 Iraqis were killed and 351 wounded by airstrikes in Baghdad in just the last 24 hours. He also said that "U.S. forces targeted an ambulance carrying a wounded man in Najaf, killing the patient, the driver and a medical assistant." Quipped al-Sahhaf, "Congratulations to the villains. They now started hitting ambulances."

The Brits are also war criminals. Al-Sahhaf "accused British forces of bombarding food depots in the southern city of Basra where more than 75,000 tons of food and other essential stuffs, including milk, sugar, cooking oil, tea and detergents, were destroyed."

Those Basra Brits are nasty. In fact, they are so vicious, they actually tried to stop Saddam's loyalist goons from firing at Basra civilians as they tried to flee the city.

Basra is still largely controlled by the Saddam Fedayeen, who fight in civilian clothes and use civilian Iraqis as human shields. These brave soldiers for Saddam cower behind women and children as they courageously fight the Great Satan. Naturally, the civilians don't appreciate this, and thousands have tried to leave the city. A first batch made it, but the second was fired on by the Fedayeen. Those dastardly Brits placed themselves in harm's way to save Iraqi lives by inserting themselves between the Fedayeen and the civilians and returning fire.

And it's the British who are the war criminals.

Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh also got in on the act. After the British failed "to achieve their military targets, they started to hit civilian areas, kill innocents and burn citizens' food," he said, apparently with a straight face. He added that "this is the dirty war that the U.S. and Britain are leading and which expresses their moral defeat."

The Iraqi government is spouting nonsense. Coalition forces are not targeting ambulances or civilians or other noncombatants. How could they? The whole world has them under a microscope - soldiers can't pick their noses without some outsider seeing it.

Kofi Annan, the useless Secretary General of the useless United Nations, recently preached that the attackers are responsible for the safety of civilians. That's true only to an extent. Attackers cannot target or knowingly attack noncombatants, that is true. But, and I've said this before, if a country knowingly places its civilians in harm's way, that country is responsible for those civilians, not the attacking country. Kofi never mentions this, because it indicts Saddam Hussein and acquits the United States.

Saddam is the real war criminal. For months, he forced Iraqi civilians to move next to legitimate military targets like army bases and weapons depots. He's placed artillery and missile launchers in residential areas. He's used civilian buildings like schools and hospitals to house military personnel and supplies. He dresses his soldiers like civilians. He forces Iraqi men to fight by threatening their families with rape, murder, and torture. MSNBC reported today that dead Iraqi men have been found with bullet holes in their head, victims of a regime that forces them to become suicide bombers. If the men refuse, they die. He dresses his soldiers in U.S. Army uniforms, and if any Iraqi soldiers attempt to surrender to these bogus coalition forces, they get shot. Worst of all, Saddam mistreats prisoners of war, murders them, parades them before cameras, and tortures them. He has broken and grossly violated numerous conventional rules of war, while coalition forces have done their very best to abide by them.

And what do they get for their troubles? Pious speeches from grandstanding diplomats and baseless accusations from a dishonorable enemy.

The sad thing is, that Iraqi minister is probably right about one thing. There are enough left-wing wackos and America-haters out there to try to accuse President Dubya of war crimes. Meanwhile, the true criminal sits in Baghdad, free from any threat of international sanction. Who else but the U.S. and Britain would accuse Saddam of war crimes? France? Russia? Ain't gonna happen.

Bottom line: The U.S. and its some fifty allies are giving Saddam what he deserves, while securing America and the world from a dangerous threat.

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