International, for whom human rights are not just a slogan, charges:
"Common methods of physical torture included electric shocks or cigarette
burns to various parts of the body, pulling out fingernails, rape. ...
Two men, Zaher al-Zuhairi and Fares Kadhem Akia, reportedly had their tongues
cut out for slandering the president by members of Feda'iyye Saddam, a
militia created in 1994. The amputations took place in a public square
in Diwaniya City, south of Baghdad."
As John Burns also wrote in January:
"History may judge that the stronger case [for an American-led invasion]
... was the one that needed no [forbidden arms] inspectors to confirm:
that Saddam Hussein, in his 23 years in power, plunged this country into
a bloodbath of medieval proportions, and exported some of that terror to
As Tony Blair, whose political career
was near extinction, told the House of the Commons: "We must face the consequences
of the actions we advocate. For me, that means all the dangers of war.
But for others, opposed to this course, it means — let us be clear — that
the Iraqi people, whose only true hope of liberation lies in the removal
of Saddam, for them, the darkness will close back over them again; and
he will be free to take his revenge upon those he must know wish him gone.
"And if this house now demands that
at this moment, faced with this threat from this regime, that British troops
are pulled back, that we turn away at the point of reckoning, and that
is what it means — what then?
"What will Saddam feel? Strengthened
beyond measure. What will the other states who tyrannise their people,
the terrorists who threaten our existence, what will they take from that?
... Who will celebrate and who will weep?"
As Lawrence Borok wrote to the the
New York Times' letters section, which he noted "is sometimes more penetrating
than the editorials": "As someone who was very active in the [anti-Vietnam
War] protests, I think that the antiwar activists are totally wrong on
this one. Granted, President Bush's insensitive policies in many areas
dear to liberals (I am one) naturally make me suspicious of his motives.
But even if he's doing it for all the wrong reasons, have they all forgotten
about the Iraqi people?"
And, in the New York Times Magazine
on March 23, Michael Ignatieff, a longtime human rights investigator, wrote
of "14,000 'writers, academics, and other intellectuals' — many of them
my friends — [who] published a petition against the war ... condemning
the Iraqi regime for its human rights violations and supporting 'efforts
by the Iraqi opposition to create a democratic, multi-ethnic, and multireligious
Iraq.'" But they say, he adds, that waging war at this time is "morally
"I wonder," Ignatieff wrote — as
I also wonder — "what their support for the Iraqi opposition amounts to."
Sorry, appeasement demonstrators,
Nat Hentoff won’t be marching with you this time.