Michael J. Totten has some chilling imagery of one of Saddam’s torture centers in the Kurdish city of Suleimaniya. Most heart-breaking are the images of the children who were executed by the Hussein regime.
For all the talk about how terrible it was that Saddam Hussein was deposed, images like the ones Totten finds illustrate the utter depravity of the Ba’athist regime – a regime that was the equal of the Third Reich in terms of sheer and abject inhumanity. As bad as the situation in Iraq can be (and in Iraqi Kurdistan the situation is far different than the rest of Iraq), it still has a long way to go before it reaches the levels it did under Saddam. One of the most singularly disturbing things about the anti-war movement is the way that they would brush aside such atrocities, preferring to argue that the humiliations at Abu Ghraib make the US as morally culpable as a regime that routinely murdered innocent children in cold blood. That kind of historical revisionism is not only self-serving, but morally reprehensible as well. The fact that the faces of those Kurdish children are being eclipsed by images of abuses that are still worthy of condemnation, but nowhere near the scale of the Kurdish genocide, is something that illustrates just how far out of whack the priorities of some in the anti-war movement have become.
One can still oppose the war and the abuses at Abu Ghraib without forgetting that under Saddam Hussein, thousands of children were murdered by a murderous and oppressive regime. We all have the moral imperative never to forget what happened in Iraq under Saddam, as it reminds us of why we should never allow such things to happen again.