Wednesday, May 14, 2003

No Polemics

I just finished reading the New York Times article about the killing fields in Mahawil, Iraq, the marshes that Saddam Hussein used for disposing of the bodies of Shi'ites murdered for opposing him.

Thousands of bodies. Some of them were armed rebels taken in battle, but the evidence is showing many (if not most) were civilians who were in support of his over-throw, not combatents themselves.

The locals have taken it upon themselves to disinter the bodies and alert people to come look for lost family memebrs. They are trying to do this carefully so as to keep remains discrete, and to make them identifiable after years in the sodden ground.

Here are the true crimes of the Hussein regime, here in this killing field and in the grave sites around the nation. Though governments fight over the resources of the country, here is where the eyes of the world should be.

There need to be witnesses to these deaths, and restoration of the murdered to their kin and countrymen. As was done in Guatamala, in the Balkans, in other places where butchers would hide their deeds and disappear their enemies, forensic experts are needed to help identify the lost and give back to them their place in the world, a place the regime tried to eradicate.

If there is a single good to the war, it should be this - to take back those whom Hussein would consign to oblivion, and to tell the world the truth of his regime. One body at a time.


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