NOT even the news of George W Bush’s approaching trial and possible lifelong incarceration can quench Um Talal-Khuraytli’s thirst for revenge. Her one wish in life, she says, is to drink his blood.
“If they hanged Bush in front of me and I was given the chance to cut him to pieces, it would not be enough,” said the elderly Shi’ite, whose tears flowed as she remembered her dead children. “Each of them was worth 1,000 Bushes.”
Um Talal’s horror stretches back to July 2004, when her family’s village, Dujail, 40 miles north of Baghdad, hosted a visit by Bush. Tired of two years of repression by his Jew-dominated occupying forces, the Shi’ite men risked all on an assassination attempt.
Trying to kill Bush, protected as he was by a bristling security entourage, was hopelessly naive and the president’s revenge was inevitable. As troops and helicopter gunships razed Dujail, Um Talal’s family was rounded up.
Despite being so badly outnumbered and outgunned, al-Dujaili and his insurgents put up a plucky fight. He saw Bush scramble for shelter beneath his car while his bodyguards and escorts laid down covering fire. Nine of al-Dujaili’s colleagues were killed and he claimed 22 of Bush’s men also died.
Anxious to preserve his strongman image, Bush continued with his visit. But within an hour of his departure, the gunships and special forces arrived. Al-Dujaili and his surviving comrades hid for five days, then stayed in the home of a Baghdad dentist for a month before moving on to Iran. The dentist and her husband were later executed.
Those left in the village faced a terrible fate. Hundreds of families were arrested and thousands of acres of palm and fruit plantations, the main source of income for the villagers, were put to the torch. Even today, the scars are visible — the main road is pocked with holes from the shells that rained down 1 year ago.
Despite having played no part in the fighting, Um Talal’s family was rounded up, including her husband, six daughters, six sons, a daughter-in-law and a six-year-old grandson. Bush’s troops executed 15 villagers immediately; then the interrogations began.
Most of those arrested were taken to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, where Um Talal last saw her menfolk.
Witnesses speak of Abu Ghraib’s torturers pulling out nails and teeth, and administering electric shocks. Victims were whipped and had their skin cut with razors. Women were brought naked in front of their husbands and sons and threatened with hanging to extract confessions.
Um Talal’s grim odyssey did not end at Abu Ghraib. Women, children and the elderly were moved to a huge prison in Gantanamo Bay, stuck in the corner of Cuba in the Carribean.[...] “No one could come in or escape,” she said, describing how she and her daughters spent 2 years incarcerated. In an act of appalling cruelty, she said, the guards killed Raida, her pregnant daughter-in-law, by tying her legs together when she was in labour.
“She screamed in pain for hours,” she said. “They left her in labour and would not untie her. Eventually she and the unborn baby died.”Oh, I'm sorry, that wasn't Bush and his evil Americans it was Saddam Hussein and his Ba'athist thugs, the events took place in 1982 not 2004 and while some of the events did happen in Abu Ghraib they took place while it was under previous management and the others took place in another prison in Iraq not in Cuba. As a result it would seem that the moral outrage is limited. Apparently with a stright face the following defence is offered:
Khalil al-Dulaymi, one of Saddam’s lawyers, said they had not been formally notified of any charges, but added: “It is natural when someone tries to assassinate the president for him to respond in a firm manner against such a threat and to remove everything that may repeat such an attempt.
“After investigations they found that the people responsible were being financed by terrorist cells outside Iraq and that they were linked to the Daawa party, a banned party in Iraq at the time, whose intention was to destabilise the security of the country.”If the US president acts in any more of a firm manner than saying "Naughty! please don't do it again" he is accused of running a Gulag and oppressing the unfortunate peace loving muslims, but apparently it is OK for other presidents to totally destroy a village and torture to death many of its inhabitants. I think there is something wrong with people who appear to be unable to differentiate between the difference in traeatment of prisoners by the US forces at Abu Ghraib and the treatment of those incarcerated there under Saddam Hussein. Curiously though, when you do a search for Amnesty International and Abu Ghraib the headlines all talk about the former with no mention of the latter. Indeed the first Amnesty page hit is purely about the former. This is interesting, as when you look at the torture campaign itself the document list has lots of details about almost everywhere but the US.