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Having just arrived back into civilisation to read about the supposed capture of Saddam Hussein, someone brought to my attention this little gem from the NY Post. Regulars here would recall that I argued (successfully I think) that the supposed death and burial of the Hussein sons Uday and Quasay was a media hoax. That the media reports did not in anyway match the photos accompanying these reports. That the setting was not a cemetary, let alone a family cemetary of numerous important Tikritis. http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2003/msg04643.html Now it appears that even the "graves" of the Uday and Quasay have disappeared. From Dec 15 New York post this quote struck me "When Saddam's sons were killed last summer, U.S. forces asked family members to quietly bury Iraq's notorious sadists. Yet it was Tikritis from Saddam's home town who recently unearthed the royal graves to feed the son's remains to stray dogs. Iraqis felt justice should come from their hands. " Is digging up graves to feed dogs an Iraqi custom or simply the fervid imagination of some hack? If anyone has a better source for this I would be fascinated. Full article follows. December 15, 2003 -- IN Iraq, people love fantasizing about what they would do if Saddam was caught. It's been a good conversation-starter, since everyone has a thoroughly studied opinion on the subject. "I would slowly torture him," "I'd make him watch videos of the people he's killed," "Try and hang him immediately," Iraqis have been telling me in Baghdad and elsewhere this year. Only a week after establishing their human rights tribunal for Saddam's crimes, Iraqis now have a chance to see at least some of those fantasies fulfilled. "Fantastic news! We will quickly move forward with his trial," Ahmad Chalabi, member of the Governing Council and a longtime Saddam foe, told me over the phone yesterday. He was jubilant, as were others I spoke to. "This will shake up the Arab world. Arab rulers will see that there is justice for crimes at the end of the day," another friend in Baghdad said. But most important is the message this weekend will deliver to Iraqi hearts. Thousands of years ago, Sumerians, the ancestors of modern Iraqis, introduced the dictum "eye for an eye," and it's not hard to see why the capture of Saddam, and the ensuing efforts to bring him to trial, was the only possible rehabilitation for this ravaged nation. Worried about the Al-Jazeera crowd and political correctness here at home, U.S. authorities in Iraq have never understood how essential this desire for a proper punishment was for Iraqis. There was great effort to prevent "settling scores" at war's end. People were asked to live among the regime's henchmen; de-Ba'athification came two months after Baghdad fell, after much lobbying by Iraqis on the ground. When Saddam's sons were killed last summer, U.S. forces asked family members to quietly bury Iraq's notorious sadists. Yet it was Tikritis from Saddam's home town who recently unearthed the royal graves to feed the son's remains to stray dogs. Iraqis felt justice should come from their hands. For, you see, the grave-like hole that Saddam was finally nabbed in is something he did not grant his victims, who perished in their thousands in unmarked fields or in torture chambers over the last three decades. Iraq is a mind-boggling place in terms of the astounding number of people whose lives have been devastated by state brutality. Pretty much any conversation reveals a murdered son here, a few lost relatives there. A doctor could mention in passing his 12 years in Abu Ghraib prison; a driver could just blurt how out his university education was wasted when he was sent for 10 years to the front to fight Saddam's meaningless wars. In high-class Sunni neighborhoods, there are fathers who hide in shame daughters dishonored by the royal clan. I vividly remember a beautiful young Shi'ite woman last spring, frantically trying to find her husband's remains among hundreds of plastic bags stuffed with human skulls and bones. "He had just gone to get water," she kept saying of his 1991 arrest. "Who will pay for his blood now?" Indeed, what else but Saddam's head would have brought this woman some peace of mind? Iraq's liberation has always been as much about freeing the human soul from his internalized fear as it was about dismantling the external apparatchiks of a totalitarian power. With Saddam unpunished, the war was never finished; liberation incomplete. Today's great news may not stop the Ba'athist insurgents in the short run, but it will go along way toward healing the broken spirit in many Iraqi households. It will say to millions of Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere that there can be an end to tyranny, that it's not fate, and that the path to a free world will also bring the emancipation of the soul. Asla Aydintasbas is a Turkish journalist who specializes in Mideast reporting and analysis. ____________________________________________________________ Free Poetry Contest. Win $10,000. Submit your poem @ Poetry.com! http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;6750922;3807821;l?http://www.poetry.com/contest/contest.asp?Suite=A59101 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk