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RE: [casi] Another bogus mass grave story - from LA Times

> I have a backlog of mass graves stories to discuss, I will
> try and get through them in the next few days. ...
> In this photo a man is shown digging with his hand into a
> sand dune, that looks identical to all the other sand dunes
> in the area (in the article we are also told this area is
> prone to flooding!!!).


Do you have any first hand experience with mass graves?  I am fortunate not
to, but find it quite reasonable to imagine that the photo is accurate -
although revolting to engage in a process of coolly wondering about this: if
you shoot pleading people in the head at a sandy place, it seems to me that
the sand will gradually blow over their bodies, forming dunes of the sort in
the photograph.

Let us suppose, though, that this is not the case, and that the photo is
concocted.  Is this relevant?  If someone is asked to strike a pose for a
camera, that does not in any way alter the truth of the accompanying story.

What is the story?  You dismiss it as "the 'I was shot and left to die in a
mass grave, but crawled out under cover of darkness to tell all' variation,
an old favourite in the mass grave atrocity genre."  I find sneering like
this at mass murder - I assume that you are not doubting that the Anfal
campaign took place - deeply offensive.  This attitude also seems to me to
be found in some of sanctions' most distasteful advocates: the old 'starving
children' variation on sanctions, or 'baby funerals', or doubting Unicef
because they hired Iraqis.  A closer comparison, although different in
scale, is to Holocaust denial.

I, for one, am not interested in you dumping your 'backlog' of mass grave
stories onto this list.  I do not feel that your e-mail has contributed to
my understanding of mass graves in Iraq, or - more relevant to the list's
mandate - the current humanitarian situation in Iraq.  It has made me feel


Colin Rowat

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