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

Dear Colin and colleagues,
                          I, too, am sick of the brazen provocation of
some list members, who keep rubbing salt in our(Iraqi)wounds. This is
not the first time they cast doubt on the authenticity of photographs in
order to deny the Iraqi holocaust perpetrated by their idol, Saddam
As I replied to them at the time, Wed 01/10/2003 13:32:
I, too, am sick of the insensitivity of the unholy alliance between
Saddam's apologists and the loony ultra leftists, who add insult to
injury. The former have lost their idol and the latter have just woken
up belatedly to join the bandwagon of anti-Americanism. Why did not they
do so when America, all capitalist and almost all other governments were
hand in glove with Saddam, even when he invaded Iran, using chemical
weapons against them and Iraqi Kurds ? Where were they when Saddam
invaded Kuwait? Where have they been all my life ? It is for the Iraqi
people to judge Saddam's rule, the last war and the Iraqi Governing
Council. Non-Iraqis are politely  reminded to limit their remit to the
implications of the Iraqi issue on their respective internal politics.
At least they are familiar with their own language, culture and way of
life. Which is more than can be said of their familiarity with the
language, culture and way of life of Iraq, let alone its political
complexities. As Iraqis, we do not expect them to have that familiarity,
but they should have the common courtesy to ask us if they want to be
helpful internationalists. They should refrain from issuing political
Fatwas(edicts) on Iraq from the comfort of their ivory towers supplied
by courtesy of their capitalist states. How could those who were neither
born in Iraq, nor lived there, nor even followed the tragic situation in
Iraq in the pre-Gulf war past, be more Iraqi than Iraqis themselves ? I,
by virtue of having been born and bred in Iraqi Kurdistan, where I
finished my schooling and came to the U.K. for studying 45 years ago, am
more qualified and entitled to speak on Iraq than the entire loony
leftists of this wide world. Some of them have the audacity to preach to
us about our own Iraqi issue. This latest accusation qualifies as a
tasteless sick joke, which should be confined to the family albums of
such apologists and loony left. The markers of Saddam's apologists and
the loony ultra leftists are: 1. Lack of any positive idea, let alone
action, to improve the life of the Iraqi people. 2. They manipulate the
plight of the Iraqi people as pawns in their ideological opposition to
capitalist states.
3. Their reporting and comments on post-Saddam Iraq is conspicuous by
the absence of anything positive in the current situation, it is all
doom and gloom. 4. Their slogans on sanctions, pre-war and post-war are
exactly those of Saddam, such as their latest march in London on 27th
September 2003.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Colin Rowat
Sent: 06 December 2003 21:16
Subject: 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
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
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
camera, that does not in any way alter the truth of the accompanying

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'
an old favourite in the mass grave atrocity genre."  I find sneering
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
be found in some of sanctions' most distasteful advocates: the old
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
stories onto this list.  I do not feel that your e-mail has contributed
my understanding of mass graves in Iraq, or - more relevant to the
mandate - the current humanitarian situation in Iraq.  It has made me


Colin Rowat

work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham
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(+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) |

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