Friday, September 13, 2002

Reasons for Regime Change in Iraq

Reason #1 -- No Freedom of Speech.

Actually in the Iraqi context freedom of speech is one of the more charmingly exotic traditions of the Western World. It goes without saying that no one is complaining about censorship from the editorial pages of Al-Thawra.

By all means let those in the West who disagree with the Bush Administration's foreign policy have their say . . . but when any of them claim that their civil rights are being violated remind them how repression is practiced by professionals:

    * In June 2000, a former Iraqi general reportedly received a videotape of security forces raping a female family member. He subsequently received a telephone call from an intelligence agent who stated that another female relative was being held and warned him to stop speaking out against the Iraqi Government.

    * Iraqi security agents reportedly decapitated numerous women and men in front of their family members. According to Amnesty International, the victims' heads were displayed in front of their homes for several days.

    * In 2000, the authorities reportedly introduced tongue amputation as a punishment for persons who criticize Saddam Hussein or his family, and on July 17, government authorities reportedly amputated the tongue of a person who allegedly criticized Saddam Hussein. Authorities reportedly performed the amputation in front of a large crowd. Similar tongue amputations also reportedly occurred.

    * Former UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Max Van der Stoel's report in April 1998 stated that Iraq had executed at least 1,500 people during the previous year for political reasons.

Nuclear-armed Iraq . . . . hmmm, I don't like the sound of that.

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