Here’s The Donald last Tuesday about the late Saddam Hussein:
Saddam Hussein was a bad guy. Right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights — they didn’t talk, they were a terrorist, it was over, Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s like Harvard. OK? So sad.
Iraq, The Donald is saying, was a better place under Saddam Hussein.1
The al-Anfal Campaign:
Some of the worst human rights abuses of Hussein’s tenure took place during the genocidal al-Anfal Campaign (1986-1989), in which Hussein’s administration called for the extermination of every living thing–human or animal–in certain regions of the Kurdish north. All told, some 182,000 people – men, women, and children – were slaughtered, many through use of chemical weapons. The Halabja poison gas massacre of 1988 alone killed over 5,000 people. Hussein later blamed the attacks on the Iranians, and the Reagan administration, which supported Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War, helped promote this cover story. Hussein called the Kurds terrorists. And gassed them. WC supposes that, in The Donald’s phrase, “They were a terrorist, it was over.” It was a war crime, and he killed women and children, not even just adults, let alone just terrorists.
The Campaign Against the Marsh Arabs:
Hussein did not limit his genocidal practices to Kurdish groups. He also targeted the predominantly Shiite Marsh Arabs of southeastern Iraq. These are the direct descendants of the ancient Mesopotamians. By destroying more than 95% of the region’s marshes, Saddam effectively depleted their food supply and destroyed an entire millennia-old culture. He reduced the number of Marsh Arabs from 250,000 to something less than 30,000. We don’t how much of that population drop was the result of direct starvation, how much to mass murder and assassination and how much to migration. But the human cost was unbelievably high.
The Post-Uprising Massacres of 1991:
In the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, the United States encouraged Kurds and Shiites to rebel against Hussein’s regime. They did. And then the U.S. withdrew and refused to provide support to the rebels. We’ll never know how many were slaughtered byHussein as the U.S. stood by. At one point, Saddam’s regime were killing as many as 2,000 suspected Kurdish rebels every day. As a result of Hussein’s genocide, some two million Kurds attempted the dangerous trek through the mountains to Iran and Turkey. Hundreds of thousands more Kurds died in the attempt.
The Barzani Abductions:
After the Iraqi-based Kurdistan Democratic Party allied with Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam punished the Kurds and their leader, Massoud Barzani. More than 5,000 males, some as young as 10, were “disappeared.” Decades later the remains of some 512 Barzani men were discovered in a mass grave. They were reinterred in 2005. After the U.S. invasion, a letter was discovered in Bhagdad’s records that shows Saddam’s direct involvement in the crimes.
This is a tiny fraction of the publicly known mass atrocities, war crimes and massacres perpetrated by Saddam Hussein against those he labeled as “terrorists.” It doesn’t address the countless sickening individual acts of brutality this monster inflicted on his own people.
For the Trumpster to offer any kind of praise for this brutal thug and criminal is despicable. For The Donald to laud Saddam’s treatment of anyone is either to be appallingly, inexcusably ignorant of what a monster the Beast of Iraq was. Or the Trumpster is embracing exactly the kind of conduct that the U.S. Constitution and our entire judicial system try to avoid. “They didn’t read them their rights.” That’s the point, isn’t it?
Besides, our erstwhile ally, Pakistan, is where terrorists go to be trained. Or Syria. The Donald is blissfully ignorant of that, too.
After suffering through Saddam Hussein’s appalling atrocities, so eagerly embraced by the Trumpster, you deserve something a little lighter. Garry Trudeau and Doonesbury are releasing a compilation of Trudeau’s prescient send ups/send downs of The Donald.2 He had a very good interview with Michael Cavna of the Washington Post that is well worth your time. Here’s a sample:
MC: Has anything about Trump’s rise as a candidate changed your sense of much of the electorate?
GT: Yes. I never imagined they could be so easily conned. Here’s what the people who love Trump don’t understand: He doesn’t love them back. I figured they’d be on to him by now. These are folks who feel anxious and left behind by the new economy. Many are struggling. Trump has a word for such people: losers. And he’s never had time for losers. He doesn’t have time to sit in their kitchens and go to their barbecues and listen to their problems. True, losers in the aggregate — say 12,000 at a time — get him to where he wants to be. But he’s always one squirt of Purell away from getting back on his plane so he can sleep in his penthouse. Never has an electorate been held in more contempt by its putative champion.
WC hopes that the
marks voters wake up to the con before they go to vote.