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It is puzzling what appears fairly obvious is meeting quite a bit of resistance from some people here. That the photos released supposedly of Saddam Hussein show two different people seems hardly a matter of debate. For those who wish to refresh their memory I have put an article up indymedia here http://www.sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/12/1666748.php Now another photo has come to my attention that puts the issue beyond doubt, it appears to come from an arab language TV station (I havent traced its origin yet, but I have determined it is in every way consistent with other images presented by Western media). It can be found here http://la.indymedia.org/news/2003/12/98074.php (the article accompanying made be a little beyond the tastes of some here). However, it shows a shaved and dishevelled arab man fully consistent with the bearded arab male that was presented as Saddam Hussein - but absolutely NOT consistent with the well groomed, neat hair and moustached man that had been presented as a Saddam Hussein. It is fairly obvious that the man in this photo bears no relation to the manipulated image, almost certainly based on an archived photo, that has been described as a Saddam Hussein in custody after shaving (or after his "fake beard was pulled off" as the head of the INC described it, which ever version you prefer). A note on the DNA test. The results of the DNA test was announced within 16 hours of the "capture" an implausibly fast time. Technically it would be possible if a state of the art genotyping laboratory was on hand. It is highly doubtful that such a laboratory exists within Iraq. It would also entail a sample being taken immediately upon capture for testing. No details have been released as to the location of the test or the testing authority, no report, no LIMS output has been released, nor have we even been told what kind of positive control was used. In fact, we only have the verbal assurance of the INC that any test took place, nothing further, in a nation with a barely functioning medical system. In the absence of any description of the testing procedure, laboratory, location, report or analysis I think we can be fairly safe in assuming that no test has taken place. In itself DNA testing is no real guarantee in anycase, as it depends on the authenticity of the positive control. Lets recap. A DNA test is announced in an implausibly fast time. Images of a capture site contain pictures of figs which are several months anachronistic. No moving images of Saddam Hussein in any recognisable form have been released. Only two still images that do not appear to related to the dishevelled arab man supposedly removed from the figladen spider hole. That these two still images have been manipulated into the frame seems to be beyond doubt. A sleazy farce indeed. Again we can see a repeat in the treatment in the "death" of Uday and Quasay Hussein. Here two dubious photos were released, to be followed by two even more dubious corpses thick with make-up. Then we had the burial where media representatives swore they were in a cemetary complete with infant Hussein cousin grave sites and gigantic mausoleums of Hussein relatives. And yet 360 degree news images showed this "funeral" took place in an empty field, without fence or gate in the middle of nowhere. And yet how loud were the media in denouncing the sadism of Uday and Quasay? And how silent as this imposture took place! And the same with Hussein pere, no atrocity has been too vile to ascribe to Hussein and yet the media is as quiet as a mouse as an obvious imposter is presented to the world. It seems that the Hussein family has powerful friends - prehaps Dick Cheney doesnt forget his old friends so quickly after all. Interestingly, you can fool most of the people most of the time, but perhaps not the Iraqis as the AFP article found here makes clear. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/25/1058853223819.html Its going to be a fun show trial in 2004. If people wish to continue pretending this is Saddam Hussein that is their business. I would have thought that would have had a little more self-respect though. I say bring on the circus. PS A quick response to some of Per Klevnäs assertions "conjuring up a world where backhoes cannot be used for excavation and exhumation" Nope, I said a news story that was describing the exhumation of 115 freshly killed political prisoners ought not to rely on one decades old skull as its photographic evidence. Further, I pointed out the presence of a Shiite political party organising the media event. Further, I pointed out that showing a picture of a ampoule and claiming that this contained a poisonous substance that had been injected into prisoners brains was simply propaganda and rumour-mongering. Finally I said that the presence of a backhoe was consistent with a quickly constructed photo op and not consistent with the exhumation of 115 recently killed political prisoners that had recently buried by villagers in a shallow grave. I have in another place asserted the use of a backhoe was inconsistent with a forensic exhumation relating to Srebrenica - and it was. But the relevance of dragging that separate issue here is puzzling. I have never claimed that a backhoe would not be used in an excavation in Iraq (although in sanctions plagued Iraq one wonders just where and when it came from....) - and I wonder greatly why someone would claim I had? "a Kurdish home cannot be torched (they can, and they have been, en masse); " Specifically the claim HRW has claimed that Kurdish villages were burnt to the ground, sometimes as many as 4/5 times. Given that villages in the region are made of mudbrick, concrete etc it is an absurd claim. It does not become any more credible by adding another bald assertion that it happened. It doesnt, because mud, brick and concrete do not burn. I left open the possiblity that HRW was trying to say the houses had been demolished by tanks and/or bulldozers although I rather doubt it. To insist that mudbrick villages burn is just absurd and childish. To pretend that to point out this simple fact is "disrepectful" or a "travesty of methodology" or "my appeal here is not moral, but intellectual" is hypocrisy at its most extreme. I am a biologist, I have some chemical knowledge. The gas attacks as described in the Anfal report are simply not compatible with any known gas. It could be compatible with a cocktail of gases known and unknown, however I think the probablity of that is slim. Let me pull out just one of the many absurdities contained in the Anfal report (although you need go no further than the titlepage of the report with its 1001 Arabian nights "letter from a Kurdish prisoner of war"). "There would, however, be no homes to return to, for virtually every structure in Halabja was leveled with dynamite and bulldozers after Iraqi forces finally retook the city. So, too, were Zamaqi and Anab, two complexes that had been built on the outskirts of Halabja in the late 1970s to rehouse villagers from the destroyed border areas. So, too, was nearby Sayed Sadeq, a town of some 20,000. In both Halabja and Sayed Sadeq, the electrical substations were also dynamited. Even after the razing of Halabja, many bodies remained in the streets to rot where they had fallen four months earlier" It is absolutely certain the wholesale razing of Halabja did not take place - I have seen pictures from 1991 that show streets complete with trees all intact. I cant completely rule out that some areas were not bulldozed as an "armchair critic". However I can certainly point out the absurdity of accusing the Iraqi army of leaving the bodies to rot in the streets after the razing, having already been lying there for four months already. As both the historical record and the Anfal report make clear the Iraqi army didnot retake Halabja until July - if bodies were left to lie unburied then it was at wish of the Iranian armed forces which controlled the town. What a farce. Clearly we have different ideas of how "to help Iraq to a better future". Frankly I think ethnic based hatemongering based on deceit and propaganda is a recipe for disaster. The "humanitarians" apparantly think it is just the ticket. My plan is to go to Iraq and methodically go to each village mentioned in the HRW report, and ask - did your mudbrick village get burned down? - where is the mass graves HRW talk about? - where is the monument that HRW says has been built? - what are your memories of gas attacks? Where are the 5000 graves of Halabja? Was Halabja and Sayed Sadeq bulldozed to the ground? And if I find major discrepancies in the Anfal report, will it change anyones mind here? I very much doubt it. For many of the "humanitarians" here it is not a matter of fact but of supporting an anti-humanist ideology. ____________________________________________________________ Get advanced SPAM filtering on Webmail or POP Mail ... 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