Mass Graves

See Chrenkoff, April 14th:

Two new mass graves uncovered in Iraq, mute testaments to the horror of Saddam Hussein’s reign. One of them containing

a large number of bodies of women, children and elderly people, mostly Kurdish, most, it is thought, from the nearby prison built by Saddam in 1983.

The other

said to contain dozens of bodies (25 exhumed so far), presumably of the Shia.

See this Chrenkoff post of April 18th where he tells us about two more mass graves discovered since then:

Near the city of Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, a grave was unearthed containing bodies of 41 Kuwaitis, some of over 600 Kuwaitis missing and unaccounted for after Saddam’s invasion and occupation in 1990/91.

Meanwhile, near Basra, a mass grave containing bodies of around 5,000 Shia has also been discovered late last week.

By the way, the 2,000 Kurdish bodies buried near Samawa, I mentioned previously, are now thought to be some of 8,000 clanspeople of the Kurdish opposition leader Massoud Barzani, detained in 1983 and never heard from again.

Then there’s this story of January of this year:

Iraq is to set up a national centre to trace around a million people who have disappeared there since 1979.

How much is a million? More than the number of American military casualties in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Viet Nam- combined. See here for stats. Roughly the population of East Timor or Fiji, or about three times the population of Iceland. One million is roughly the population of Detroit Michigan, more than the population of San Francisco, Indianapolis, Seattle or Denver (about twice as much as Seattle or Denver).

As one of Chrenkoff’s commentors reminds us, when the first President Bush was in charge, our government

“encouraged the Shia and Kurds to rise up, swearing that we would defend them. They rose. We allowed our nation to avert its eyes because it was not politically practical at the moment to keep our pledge. They were slaughtered by the thousands, mostly Shia in the south, and piled into mass graves. The soil that covers those bones shamefully has our own fingerprints on it. That is a badge of shame that we must always carry as our burden.”

Instapundit also has some history lessons:

President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address included these words:

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country.

And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. . . .

Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to humanity.

And in 2002 the President addressed these remarks to the UN General Assembly:

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they’ve suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq.

There’s a lot more, too much to quote here, so go read the whole thing (note: language warning for Common Room Scholars of tender years).

This seems a fitting time to note that

Hundreds of survivors of Nazi concentration camps on Sunday marked the liberation 60 years ago of three of the most notorious camps in the Third Reich’s vast system: Ravensbrueck, Sachsenhausen and Bergen-Belsen.

Innocent civilians died in that war, too, ‘collatoral damage’ caused by the actions of both sides of the conflict. There were people who objected to our involvement in that war as well, principled, honest, sincere, well meaning people, just like in this war. World War II and Operation Iraqi Freedome also had the other sort of ‘peace activist,’ the sort who ignore any evidence of atrocities committed by ‘the other side’ but accept without question any accusation, no matter how unsupported by evidence, against their own country.

About the other sort, those who cannot admit that Saddam was vile, violent, and had a voracious appetite for blood, I say
“They heal the hurt of my people as though it were slight. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.
Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.”

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More Musical Notes

We went to a performance of Faure’s Requiem yesterday. The first time I heard it was when I was 15 and playing around with our new CD-Rom Encyclopedia that allowed you to listen to audio recordings. Being new to the world of computers (previously, our technology had been an Apple II C. Those are fun for playing Frogger on, but that’s pretty much their limit), I spent quite a bit of time playing with the Encyclopedia. Somehow I stumbled upon Faure and listened to a clip from the Sanctus movement of his Requiem. It made me cry. I was like a new convert – I had to tell everyone about this new discovery. Now I own the CD, and I still like to tell people about it. 🙂

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Things You Need to Know

When you see steam coming out of Mommy’s ears and her face doing
strange and funny things, that is a signal to be *very* quiet.

You thought the steam out of the ears was a danger signal, but apparently, you really need to watch out for the hands on the hips.

Bonnet Tip Powerline.

This just slays me, it really does. I was hooting and hollering and reading excerpts to anybody who would sit long enough to let me catch my breath.

Come back and I shall taunt you another time, you silly, English K-niggets. Perhaps I shall even put my hands on zee hips. Yes, both of zem.

(If you don’t get this reference, don’t ask).

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Quote for the Common-Place Book

Thou hast set my feet in a large room should be the glad cry of every
intelligent soul. The question is not, -how much does the youth know? … but
how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he
care?–Charlotte Mason

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Television, more dangerous than we knew

I forget whether it was Pipsqueak or JennyAnyDots who at the age of nine told us that she didn’t want to do her schoolwork in the same
room where a movie was playing because she “might get extracted.”

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