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December 19, 2004
Chemical Ali's Salad Bar

The judicial investigation of Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known to Westerners as "Chemical Ali," has already revealed more about the character of the man than expected. The London Telegraph reports that tapes of Ali's tirades show the extent of the inhumanity endemic to the Saddam Hussein regime:

Gruesome tapes of Saddam Hussein's most feared henchman threatening to cut up his thousands of victims "like cucumbers" have been disclosed as Iraqi war-crimes judges began court proceedings against him yesterday.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam's cousin and the man nicknamed "Chemical Ali" for gassing up to 5,000 Kurds, is also heard vowing to swamp Kurdish villages with clouds of poison for up to 15 days as part of his brutal campaign of suppression in the late 1980s.

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.

The tapes, which record al-Majid's foul-mouthed tirades at Ba'ath Party meetings, are part of the vast body of evidence handed to prosecutors at the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which began hearings against Saddam's senior lieutenants yesterday.

Just as in the Nazi era, the perpetrators of genocide and sadistic oppression recorded their own proud boasts, vain and certain never to be held accountable for their crimes. Bragging about his power to slice his fellow Iraqis up like cucumbers and both predicting and celebrating the mass murders and gassings he ordered and conducted should demonstrate the necessity of removing such monsters from the levers of power.

How can anyone doubt that capturing Ali Hassan al-Majid makes the world a safer place? Can anyone seriously argue that his continued control over the prostrate Iraqis made Southwest Asia safer for Iraqis, Americans, or anyone at all except the genocidal freaks of the Hussein regime? Their own words and recordings show the necessity of putting these animals in the cages they deserve.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 19, 2004 12:04 AM

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