Tapes which provide evidence for the planning of mass-murder are being played in an Iraqi court as proceedings against the old regime’s number two Baathist begins.
One particular tape records Ali Hassan al-Majid’s plans for the Kurd’s in the late 1980’s:
In chilling words that foreshadow the mass graves that now litter the country, he gives warning that the body count will be so great that Iraqi forces will have to “bury them with bulldozers”. His armies are thought to have murdered anything up to 150,000 Kurdish men, women and children.
There are any number of casually spoken words that will come back to haunt him as he faces justice, but the following answer he gave to suggestions that using chemical weapons against civilians might attract the censure of the outside world offer the most food for thought:
“Who is going to say anything? The international community? F*** them!”
Well it took a while but the international community did finally say something. More than that it acted to overthrow the regime he was such a central part of.
Ali Hassan al-Majid will have to face up to the consequences of his miscalculation in the coming months. The trials of the once powerful Baath officials will send a signal to torturers, ethnic cleansers and murderers elsewhere in the region and the world.