Saturday, December 06, 2008

Confessions of a Ba'athist Henchman

I always wonder why some people in the West were so keen on finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? All the dead as a result of Saddam's wars, the mass graves, the victims of Halebja and much more, were they not mass destruction? wasn't all that enough for them? Did the masses who were destroyed have to be European or something?
Are not millions of Saddam's victims enough for these people?

Recent confessions by the senior Republican Guard interrogator and Ba'athist henchman, Major Abdulrashid Baten, just demonstrates what an evil regime was overthrown.

'An Iranian POW had lost one of his legs as a result of a land mine explosion, I started interrogating him but he kept resisting, so I started cutting his fingers one by one, after cutting each finger I would burn the severed area with my lighter for two minutes until I cut all his fingers, but he still resisted giving any information. He was very young and his resistance made me even more angry, I even sawed off his leg but he still never gave any information' Major Baten recants.

Abdulrashid confirmed that Saddam personally took part in the execution of at least 450 Iranian POWs and altogether six thousand Iranian POWs were murdered in cold blood.

Do I care if they found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Not really. Am I glad Saddam was overthrown? Absolutely.

41 comments:

Sohrab said...

I've been thinking: if Iraq is a relatively stable, relatively democratic country (think of the neighborhood) in 10 or so years, history will vindicate GWB as a visionary.

Anonymous said...

They'll pay for their crimes and many of them have already paid with their lives. I am hopeful this same punishment we saw in Iraq happen to the Khomeinists and Islamic Mullahs in Iran. Hang them high!

barmakid said...

Of course your glad, just like my parents. But that's because older people like you don't care to overcome your emotions.

More women and children have died in this war than Saddam killed over his 30 year period in power. How do you think that makes IRaqis think and feel?

And do you honestly believe the United States didn't use torture, and I mean gruesome torture? Do you need me to post a link to former US interrogators saying the same things as you quoted Saddam's interrogator as saying?

And of course you wouldn't care about WMDs (no one expects a thoughtless person like yourself to do so), but as an American voter it means a lot to us. We were duped into swallowing this war, and along the way we sacrificed our democratic system to remove an Arab dictator we installed and buttressed.

This is not a game to nourish the resent of Azarmehr and company for Saddam.

Americans want accountability, and they want their money to stop being wasted on a political war that removed a dictator, and not to mention, empowered the Soviet Union and the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN - two of our so-called enemies. What do you think about that? Jesus Christ, this is what happens when you read books by Kasra Naji et al.

But hey, keep waving your Iranian flag while you convince yourself that you're above Arabs and Democracy.

barmakid

p.s.

I hope you understand how foolish your post was and the offense American voters would take to it. Except, of course, the 20% who still think G. Bush is doing a good job - and they all wear white sheets over their heads while they chew on straw.

Azarmehr said...

Barmakid,

You are talking nonsense again. First of all it is not true that more women and children have died after the removal of Saddam. I think the most inflated estimate is 100,000 yet Saddam's invasion of Iran cost 1 million lives alone.

Secondly the majorty of the post-Saddam victims are due to sectarian conflicts which have unleashed with the help and interference of those outside Iraq and not as a result of Americans killing Iraqis or torturing them or as Zarafshan thinks 'squadrons of homosexuals with the mission to rape Iraqis between 10 and 16'

Sectarian violence is disgusting wherever it happens. It also happened after the Indian independence and broke Gandhi's heart. Millions of Hindus and Muslims killed and maimed each other and were displaced after India won its independence, would you then say that India should have never got its independence?? because similarly you are saying thousands have died in the sectarian violence after Saddam, so does that mean Saddam should have never been removed?

Saddam was the biggest enemy of our country and our people. You too should be happy if you had any sense. Saddam should have been removed and the sectarian violence should stop.

saggezard said...

The Ba'ath party from its inception has been an ultra nationalist, militarist movement, akin to the Nazi party. And Iran and the Iranian culture has been their perceived enemy number one, more so than Israel, I believe. If any credit should be given to the Bush administration at all, one of the few I can think of is the removal of Saddam and his sick government. Needless to say I think Bush's biggest mistake has been no to wipe off the Ayatollahs and their seeds of hatred.

Off topic: One question that has been occupying me for a while concerning Shiite Islam is whether any of the Shiite Islam's Twelve Imams were actually Shiite. Where they not Sunni?

by the way I have been very busy, not being able to post for a long while, but have been reading all your blogs in this network.

barmakid said...

Should Should Should..."Shoulds" don't work in this scenario. And that 100,000 number is garbage, it is no where near the truth - other more reliable numbers place the civilian death toll way above a million. LOOK IT UP.

And with that terribly nonsensical example of India, are you telling me Iraq has its independence? That has to be a joke. It's almost as funny as Sohrab saying GWB will be known as a "visionary" because violence has decreased. HAHAHAHA Sohrab obviously hasn't read a history book that covers the entire length of IRaqi and Middle Eastern History, that's the only reason I could think of that would inspire him to make such a foolish (and laughable) statement.

And furthermore, as an American, it's not about being successful in Iraq. I would really hope that we could be successful, in fact, it increases my job opportunities.

But we also have a democracy to protect, and we failed miserably while GWB was in office - AND THAT'S WHY WE CARE ABOUT WMD SO MUCH. Our president used that as the main reason to convince the public to accept a war with Iraq, and of course he played off the nation's post-9/11 sentiment - and we resent that, especially since Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11!!. GW needs to be held accountable, for the sake of our democracy.

be salamat,
barmakid

p.s. Azarmehr, I have these same arguments with my parents, especially my father, who idolizes the Shah. But I don't share their experiences, or yours for that matter, so it allows me to look past what you and my parents are not able to. So I understand your animosity toward Saddam and Arabs, but I don't share it.

Sohrab said...

"p.s. Azarmehr, I have these same arguments with my parents, especially my father, who idolizes the Shah. But I don't share their experiences, or yours for that matter, so it allows me to look past what you and my parents are not able to. So I understand your animosity toward Saddam and Arabs, but I don't share it."

God Barmakid, your comments here and elsewhere are sounding more seething and angry than ever. Plus, isn't there an almost Oedipal undertone in your statements above?

Azarmehr said...

Barmakid,

How did you equate my animosity towards Saddam with that of animosity towards Arabs?? I don't have any animosity towards anyone because of their race or religion. If someone tries to impose the Arab culture or any other culture on me by force, like Saddam and his Baathist henchmen did, then yes I have a problem and I am sure if I tried to impose Iranian culture on a non-Iranian by force then they would have a problem with me. It may surprise you that I have really good friends who are Lebanese supporters of Hezbollah.

As usual your logic and extrapolations are very warped.

The example of India I gave is a very good one actually. The sectarian violence which followed India's independence was not what Gandhi wanted and even if some suggested it was inevitable then it was still no reason not to go ahead with the independence. Similarly the sectarian violence in post-Saddam may have been inevitable but even so Saddam's removal had to be done.

What would you prefer that Saddam still remained in power and as an 'American' and all of a sudden kaseh daghtar az aash - your democracy would have been protected?!

Also if you are convinced that one million people have been killed by Americans or otherwise in post-Saddam, please provide a link that lists their names and addresses :))

Sohrab said...

Also Barmakid -- you must be seething that Obama is taking such a realist, 2nd Bush term-style approach to national security, huh? Are you sad Bernie Sanders isn't taking the helm at DoD? Is Obama letting you down?

God you must be so disappointed! Jim Jones, Hilary Clinton, Bob Gates: I couldn't have hoped for a better security team! It's the absolute antipode of what the anti-war left was salivating about before he was elected.

Anonymous said...

azarmehr, why do you waste so much of your time arguing with Barmakid. He is about Iran's Arab islamist past - you hopefully represent its secular and liberal future.

Barmakid is a bache mollah, as such he has the best interests of islamism at heart not Iran. Let him post what he likes but use your time for better things than arguing with this loser whose dreams of islamic arabiyat in Iran have long past.

barmakid said...

Azarmehr,

This is from a 2006 article in the Washington Post (a conservative publication): "A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 THAN WOULD HAVE DIED IF THE INVASION HAD NOT OCCURRED."

Here's the link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/10/AR2006101001442.html

And that's in 2006!!!

So your fallacious assertion that, "Saddam's removal had to be done" can be analyzed from the perspective of the 655,000 dead Iraqis and their families, which we can imagine what they would think about that statement, or from a US foreign policy perspective. And even in that case it is clear that, retrospectively, HAVING SADDAM REMAIN IN POWER WOULD HAVE BEEN BENEFICIAL. How so, you ask?

Well, let me put it in a nut shell: A reinvigorated Russia and the bolstering of what is now an unstoppable juggernaut in the region - The Islamic Republic of Iran.

You can begin to see the effects of this botched war: A hardening alliance between Chavez's Venezuela and Khameniei's Iran. Russia's capacity to effectively challenge missile radar systems in Eastern Europe, Venezuela's invitation to the Russians to conduct military exercises in Venezuelan waters and to build Air bases as well, and most recently, Russian battleships passing through the Panama canal.

The only way you can convince yourself that Saddam's removal was a good thing is via the Iran-Iraq war, which is a purely emotional argument. Yet, one I understand - but you should understand it's not rational.

Oh, and I haven even mentioned the negative economic impact it's had on the US which in turn effects other economies, like the UK's, who have ties to the US economy.

Furthermore, your comparison to India DOES NOT STAND. India was not created out of thin air with the intention of facilitating the rise of dictators that would necessarily need Western support to remain in power. Iraq was. It was never meant to be a self-sustaining state, let alone a state that can support a democracy. It's just not realistic to think that - something Sohrab obviously doesn't understand.

be salamat,
barmakid

p.s. I don't come close to believing that all the civilian deaths were caused by Americans, I'm just highlighting, from a humanitarian and moral perspective, it was a stupid way to remove Saddam. Oh yea, and GWB told us there would be no more than 30,000 deaths - visionary you say? Lets get real.

reza said...

For all its worth, I just want to say that the Iraqi death toll numbers are well in the upper hundred thousands. I don't think any reasonable person could deny this anymore. In fact, a well known Iraqi neocon who passionately supported the war - Kanan Makiya - himself pessimistically confessed 'the numbers are getting close' to Saddam's.

The scientific research on this (John Hopkins and co.) is too compelling to doubt. Maybe during the early phase of the war, skeptical reflection on these numbers was justified. But at this point, I think the consensus is quite clear and points to the upper bound (and why wouldn't it when you heard about a car bomb every day slaughtering hundreds, just alone).

But I also want to add that the numbers are mainly due to sectarian violence (namely Islamist butchery).

A true tragedy.

Azarmehr said...

Reza,

This is the point I am drumming, the high death toll in Iraq is due to sectarian violence and not Americans killing Iraqis. It is up to the Iraqi religious leaders on all sides to deal with this problem. Removing American troops will not make things better. Gandhi went on a hunger strike and almost died to plead with all sides to stop the sectarian madness. He told a Hindu whose boy was murdered by Muslims to adopt a Muslim boy whose parents had been killed by Hindus and bring him up as a Muslim. If the conclusion is that another Saddam is needed to keep the lid on the underlying sectarian violence then thats a bad reflection on the Iraqi population who themselves have to deal with this madness.

Sohrab said...

Azarmehr, I posted a very polite, very civil retort to Barmakid about 24 hours ago but it doesn't seem to be showing up? Unless you thought the "oedipal" piece was corssing a line?

Azarmehr said...

Sohrab jAn,

I checked to see if there was an unopened message from you that I had not published. I can not see anything. Can you check again please and if not send it again.

barmakid said...

Azarmehr,

This is from a 2006 article in the Washington Post (a conservative publication): "A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 THAN WOULD HAVE DIED IF THE INVASION HAD NOT OCCURRED."

Here's the link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/10/AR2006101001442.html

And that's in 2006!!!

So your fallacious assertion that, "Saddam's removal had to be done" can be analyzed from the perspective of the 655,000 dead Iraqis and their families, which we can imagine what they would think about that statement, or from a US foreign policy perspective. And even in that case it is clear that, retrospectively, HAVING SADDAM REMAIN IN POWER WOULD HAVE BEEN BENEFICIAL. How so, you ask?

Well, let me put it in a nut shell: A reinvigorated Russia and the bolstering of what is now an unstoppable juggernaut in the region - The Islamic Republic of Iran.

You can begin to see the effects of this botched war: A hardening alliance between Chavez's Venezuela and Khameniei's Iran. Russia's capacity to effectively challenge missile radar systems in Eastern Europe, Venezuela's invitation to the Russians to conduct military exercises in Venezuelan waters and to build Air bases as well, and most recently, Russian battleships passing through the Panama canal.

The only way you can convince yourself that Saddam's removal was a good thing is via the Iran-Iraq war, which is a purely emotional argument. Yet, one I understand - but you should understand it's not rational.

Oh, and I haven even mentioned the negative economic impact it's had on the US which in turn effects other economies, like the UK's, who have ties to the US economy.

Furthermore, your comparison to India DOES NOT STAND. India was not created out of thin air with the intention of facilitating the rise of dictators that would necessarily need Western support to remain in power. Iraq was. It was never meant to be a self-sustaining state, let alone a state that can support a democracy. It's just not realistic to think that - something Sohrab obviously doesn't understand.

be salamat,
barmakid

p.s. I don't come close to believing that all the civilian deaths were caused by Americans, I'm just highlighting, from a humanitarian and moral perspective, it was a stupid way to remove Saddam. Oh yea, and GWB told us there would be no more than 30,000 deaths - visionary you say? Lets get real.

barmakid said...

do not publish:

what the hell is going on? why are we not getting published? I wrote a pretty lengthy post

Sohrab said...

Potkin, okay I think my connection dropped just as I clicked "publish." So must have been a technical issue.

But anywho, I just wanted ask Barmakid about how he feels about just how conservative and "hawkish" Obama's national security really is: Gates (DoD), Clinton (State), Jones (NSAdviser) -- I couldn't have asked for a better team.

hatman kunesh misuze!

Hidden Author said...

The problem that anti-imperialists have with your problem is this: If Saddam being a tyrant merited his removal by a foreign military occupation, then the same principle applies to other tyrannies such as Iran. Would you like it if the generals of the United States Army and Marine Corps ran Iran through a military regime set up by their occupation forces?

reza said...

Potkin:

I agree with you. It is mainly due to inter-religious hostility (and the meddling of foreign nations). That was my point - and namely, that this political friction has inflated the death toll number.

Needless to say, it could also have been avoided if certain measures (from the Iraqi and American political front) were taken over others. But that's another discussion.

However, I would also like to mention that there is some evidence the Iraqi youth are getting tired of the mullahs bullying them around. Take a look at the following links:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/03/africa/youth.php?page=1

http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=101549

Of course, the numbers revealed by the studies are not collective, but still quite impressive! I would be interested in seeing a more comprehensive study done on this issue.

I personally think Iraqis, if given a good taste of authentic Islamism, will come to the same conclusion Iranians have. They are humans like anyone else and if they look past the empty piety of the ruling mollahs, they will see the truth.

I could be wrong, but at least I'm somewhat hopeful.

anon said...

potkin jAn, can you tell us why and how you think saddam got to power in Iraq?

can you tell us how he stayed in power in Iraq for so long supported by people like Rummyfeld, Reagan and Bush I?

Honestly, tell us why you think saddam invaded Iran to begin with and why america supported both him and molas at same time?

can you tell us why saddam had to go during bush II but not bush I? we always knew it wasnt coz of WMD for bush II.

Azarmehr said...

anon,

I am not disputing your questions as they are valid. Saddam was helped to stay in power by the Russians, the British, the French and the Americans at various points. I have never disputed these points but whatever happened in the past I am glad he is no longer there despite the terrible sectarian violence taking place now.

Anonymous said...

Hidden Author has a good point. Can you explain, Azarmehr, why the liberation by foreign army should not be applied to Iran when it has obviously done good for Iraq?

anon said...

Potkin, Point taken.

But, you not disputing the questions and your comment are akin to SOME saying I am glad the Shah [if little comparison with saddam] is no longer in power because the Shah RULED did not REIGN, despite the molas and terrible things happenin in Iran coz the British, French, Russians and Americans had a hand in Iran in the past, like in Iraq.

I think you need to make your views clear on posed questions.

Azarmehr said...

anon/hidden author

Well look at the pro-democracy rallies held yesterday, could it have happened under Saddam Hussein?

Azarmehr said...

anon

re: points taken.

I am not glad Saddam is removed because the US the russians ... helped him, I am glad he is removed because he was a mass murderer and a danger to the region.

anon said...

poktin

re: Point taken

Many mass murderers and dangers to region been installed instead and since Saddam. Happy about them? pro democracy rallies you note mean what in dysfunctional region?
Tons of pro democracy rallies protest in Iran last 10 years or so, so what? rallies protest got no one any where except in jail. You livin in a fantasy of a UK with decades of stability and democracy.

I asked you to answer the questions I posed before, you refuse and play games.

Azarmehr said...

anon,

Obviously I am in contention with your assumption that rallies and protests don't make a difference. Do you think Islamic Republic now is the same as when I left Iran? I don't think so. I once had a knife put on my throat when I was caught writing something on the wall. The person who put the knife on my throat was not a hired thug, he was an ordinary member of the public who believed in the revolution, in fact he couldn't read and write he was saying to me if you write on the wall now you must be a counter revolutionary and the knife he was using was a pen knife. In fact it was quite comical watching him struggle to get the knife out :) The point I am trying to make is that rallies and protests do make a difference, it takes time, it builds public confidence bit by bit until it reaches a critical mass. Passers by watch and they realise they are not alone.

Re your specific questions:

Can you tell us why and how you think saddam got to power in Iraq?
Saddam got to power by being a brilliant manipulator and extremely cruel and calculating through the ranks of the Baath party.

can you tell us how he stayed in power in Iraq for so long supported by people like Rummyfeld, Reagan and Bush I?
He stayed in power again by building a Stalinist state and removing any slight sign of threat to his power. Again having the reigns of the Baath party machinery helped him maintain control.

Honestly, tell us why you think saddam invaded Iran to begin with and why america supported both him and molas at same time?
Saddam invaded Iran because he thought the Iranian army had been dismantled and weak and it was an opportune time for him to settle his old scores with the Persians seeing himself as the next Qadessieh conqueror.
The West and Israel were in favour of the war continuing and both sides becoming weaker for obvious reasons.

I dont know how much more specific I can be?

barmakid said...

Is that all you got Sohrab? That I'm angry and "oedipal." Oedipal, really? I hope it means something else than what I think it means, because if you're accusing me of wanting to have sex with my mother - I don't even know what to say to that.

But about Obama's cabinet, what makes you think I'm not content with his picks? I am not averse to conservatism. In fact, I am quite content with Gates remaining on, he is an exceptional SOD - though I would have liked to see John McCain in that position.

barmakid

Sohrab said...

Well I wasn't trying to psychoanalyze you. So no, I didn't mean "oedipal" in a literal sense - but symbolically so perhaps: seething against and spiting a previous generation of Iranians' admiration for national capital 'F' Father figures such as the Pahlavis, to whom we owe what I consider to be great debts.

Sohrab said...

When he was running for POTUS in '04, Kucinich proposed replacing the DoD with a "Department of Peace"! What a moron.

barmakid said...

Yes, Kucinich proposes a "Department of Peace," and George Bush gets us into two costly and unnecessary wars he doesn't know how to get out of...who's the moron?

Azarmehr said...

Back on the Mexican weed again Barmakid? :))

anon said...

its cool potkin if you dodge and write half story. natural to have propaganda and counter propaganda.
nothing has or will change in iran coz of rallies you have in UK or they have in iran. 10 years i said isnt same time as when you left iran, whats achieved in last 10 years in iran?
whats clear is you give Saddam much more credit than due for deadliness. saddam was helped in his deadly years by america and others.
you didnt answer last question i asked, dont bother. your anwsers are clear making saddam more responsible then those who kept him in power.
im glad saddam is dead. those foreginers helpin him should be hanged high 2 twice same as those who brought him down and now we have other mass murderers
dont forget, when there was lootin in iraq, rummyfeld said too its part of democracy and freedom

anon said...

its cool potkin if you dodge and write half story. natural to have propaganda and counter propaganda.
nothing has or will change in iran coz of rallies you have in UK or they have in iran. 10 years i said isnt same time as when you left iran, whats achieved in last 10 years in iran?
whats clear is you give Saddam much more credit than due for deadliness. saddam was helped in his deadly years by america and others.
you didnt answer last question i asked, dont bother. your anwsers are clear making saddam more responsible then those who kept him in power.
im glad saddam is dead. those foreginers helpin him should be hanged high 2 twice same as those who brought him down and now we have other mass murderers
dont forget, when there was lootin in iraq, rummyfeld said too its part of democracy and freedom

Azarmehr said...

anon,

To say that Saddam's brutality was not a factor in keeping him in power and all the credit goes to America and 'others', is rather simplistic I think.

Also, and my connection to Rumsfeld is what??? Have I ever spoken highly of him?

barmakid said...

Anon has a point: The people who kept him in power, i.e. sold him billions of dollars of weaponry (like the helicopter gunships he used to strafe the Kurds and Shias after the Gulf War), are just as culpable as Saddam.

This is not a simplistic view; calling Saddam a brutal dictator that had to be removed by force is the simplistic view.

be salamat,
barmakid

Azarmehr said...

So the Israelis are just as guilty in keeping the Islamic Republic in power because they sold arms to the Mullahs during the Iran-Iraq war and the Iran-contra affair.

You can go on like this for ever, the French supplied Saddam with many things and so did the Russians, many dictators and corrupt rulers have been supplied arms and weapons but did not maintain their grip, but Saddam who much admired Stalin knew exactly how to hold on to power and him and his evil sons would have still been in power had Iraq not been invaded.

anon said...

Potkin what i said was very clear for equal credit to saddam, america and others, not more credit you gave to saddam and his deadliness.

Dictators still rule the region supported first by america, israel and others. you tryin to get a grip too?

saddam admired stalin, what you admire? demorcracy, nationalism and civil movement in iran? you sound more and more like khamenei, ahmdinezhad, those you claim you dislike and their pals. they too like islamism more than stalin, all with nationalistic secular overtones :))

my message is clear, if america, israel and others should stop giving tools and means to dictators and mass murderers then these mass murderers will not have a chance in hell to kill and reek havoc. If america, israel and others continue they are culprits too and i have no sympathy for their losses.

Azarmehr said...

anon,

If you want to enter a dialogue at least choose some name I can refer you to and not get confused with other anonymous comments. I hate discussing with anonymous commenters.

So all dictators are propped up America and Israel are they??

Please enlighten us on how dictators in North Korea, Syria, Belarus etc. have come to power and remained in power.

Let us share your fascinating insight that all th eills of the world are to be blamed on America and Israel.

barmakid said...

No, not America and Israel, but "Great" Britain and France (as far as the Middle East is concerned).

Azarmehr, it is a recorded fact of history that the British and French conspired to cut up the Middle East in a fashion that would prevent a formidable empire (like the Ottoman Empire) from ever challenging French and British interests in the region.

THIS IS A FACT - and is actually much more elaborate and significant to today's events then I care to explain.

You should really read your history before you start claiming that people are "blaming" America or Israel.

barmakid