Engineering as punishment

The facts about Saddam Husein’s brutal and murderous treatment of the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War are well known. But it’s still appalling to recall the huge resources he devoted to the project of draining water from the marshes to make them uninhabitable as punishment for the residents who supported the uprising against his regime after that war.

Watch this report on the death and rebirth of life in the Iraqi marshes on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

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It provides a useful reminder of one of the blackest moments in recent American history: President George H.W. Bush encouraging Iraqis to rise up against Saddam after the first Gulf war, only to stand aside and let them be crushed without even providing air support.