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Q: How many innocent people did Saddam's security apparatus really kill per year? ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: How many innocent people did Saddam's security apparatus really kill per year?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: garyrob-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 26 Aug 2004 07:23 PDT
Expires: 25 Sep 2004 07:23 PDT
Question ID: 392881
Often we hear about the number of innocent people killed by Saddam
Hussein. Indeed, some people  feel that putting an end to that killing
means that the war in Iraq is actually saving many lives in the long
haul. Yes, any war causes innocent people to die -- but Saddam would
have killed a far greater number in time than have been or will be
killed by the war itself.

However, some bring up the concept that most of the people killed by
Saddam were actually killed during his efforts to put down the
uprising that Bush the Elder inspired in the Gulf War. He convinced
many Iraqis that the time had come to overthrow Saddam, and that the
U.S. would help; and then the U.S. didn't help.

So, that line of reasoning goes, the U.S. is actually culpable for
most of the deaths of innocent Iraqis. (Some have said, it is
responsible for ALL of them.) And apart from putting down the
rebellion, Saddam has NOT in fact been killing hundreds of thousands
of people. So, removing Saddam's regime will NOT actually save
hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives.

The question of "who's right" in this debate is key, in my opinion,
for understanding the morality of the war.

But I can find no clear answers. I don't know what the truth is. It is
important, I believe, for both Iraqis and the American people to know.

What is the truth? How many people was Saddam killing, year-by-year,
if we remove the death counts associated with the U.S. inspired
rebellion in the early 90's?
Subject: Re: How many innocent people did Saddam's security apparatus really kill per year?
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 26 Aug 2004 08:55 PDT
Hello garyrob~

Thank you for the interesting question.

I believe the only way to answer is to look at deaths that took place
*before* the Gulf War (1990-91). I don?t believe there?s any way to
*legitimately* distinguish between uprisings ?caused? by the Gulf War,
unless we can get into individual minds to see how much the Gulf War
affected their actions.

With that in mind, here?s a list of crimes that we?re aware of:

In 1959, before Hussein was the leader of Iraq (before he had
completed high school, even), he participated in the assignation of
the then-current Iraqi leader. (?Crimes Against Iraq,? )

In 1968, Hussein, actively engaged in ?purifying the government and
society of potential dissidents.? (?Biography of Saddam Hussein of
Tikrit,? Iraq Foundation: )
In 1974, Hussein participated in the killing of five religious
leaders. (?Saddam?s Crimes,?
) Hundreds of other religious people were arrested and tortured.
In 1977, Hussein was responsible for the arrest of thousand of
religious people, and the killing of hundreds of them.
In 1978, Hussein participated in the assignation of former
Prime-Minister Abdul Razzaq Al naef in London. Between 1978-79,
Hussein helped ?eliminate? 7,000 communists in Iraq.
In 1979, Hussein ordered another purge to eliminate political
opponents. Hundreds of top ranking Ba'thists and army officers were
During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), 730,000 Iranians died. You will
recall that Hussein was the aggressor in this war, because he wanted
full control of the Arvand/Shatt al-Arab waterway at the head of the
Persian Gulf. (For more information on the war, see ?Iran-Iraq War,?
) Approximately 1,000 Kuwaiti nationals were killed in the Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait. It?s estimated there were 1,500,000 refugees from
this war, displaced by Iraq?s occupation of Kuwait.  750,000 ?endured
brutalities, oppression, and torture.? Although the date for the end
of the war is usually given as 1988, the struggle continued, and
500,000 Iranians were late killed (the Iranians say it was closer to 1
million), 100,000 by Hussein?s chemical weapons.  In one day, 5,000
men, women, and children were gassed. (?Sadaam?s Other Crime,? In The
National Interest:
 and ?Charges Facing Saddam Hussein,? BBC: )

Between 1987-1988, 180,000 Kurds ?disappeared,? and 4,000 villages
were razed, in an effort at ?ethnic cleansing.?
In 1983, Hussein killed of 8,000 members of the Barzani clan.  Also in
1983, Hussein arrested 90 members of Al Hakim family and executed 16
of them.
Between 1988 and 1999, Hussein killed 7,000 prisoners in what was
called ?prison cleansing.? (?NoBody Count,? )
We also know that Hussein killed and tortured many other ?enemies?
before the Gulf War. For example: Ayatollah Mohamad baqir Al Sadr and
his sister Amina Al Sadr (Bint Al Huda) were arrested, tortured, and
killed in 1980. In 1981, Haj Sahal Al Salman in UAE in 1981, Sami
Mahdi was killed. In 1987, Ni'ma Mohamad in Pakistan was killed. In
1988, Sayed Mahdi Al Hakim in Sudan was killed.
In addition, we know from Iraqi officials that Hussein put to death
?officers who did not agree to execute people in the street,?
religious leaders who didn?t lavish praise of Hussein, and Shiite
Muslims (for their religious views). (See, as an example, ?Officer's
tale: Iraq's web of assassination, ? Christian Science Monitor: ) Remember, too,
that mass graves were found during the FIRST Gulf War. (?Charges
Against Saddam,? TalkLeft: )

In the 1990s, Hussein killed 40,000 Shia?s (or Shiite Muslims) for
their religious uprisings; among those who became prisoners,
approximately 2,000 were executed on November 1993 alone. (?Death
Tolls,?  For more on
Shia?s, see ?Shiites,? ) As
further evidence that the Gulf War did not play a role in Shia deaths,
in 1980, before war with Iran, Hussein hanged two leading Shia
figures. (?Radical Shias Worry Bush as well as Sadaam,? Daily Times: )
Since 1974, at least hundreds of Shia leaders have been arrested.

I leave you to draw your own conclusions. Would fewer people have been
killed if the U.S. had not participated in the Gulf War? Or would
Hussein have continued to kill, even without U.S. intervension?

For a look at the usual figures we hear about Hussein, see ?Killer


"first gulf war" Iraqis killed Saddam
Iran-Iraq War
Shia war
Saddam ?charges against?
Subject: Re: How many innocent people did Saddam's security apparatus really kill per year?
From: neilzero-ga on 26 Aug 2004 17:13 PDT
In light of the clense by death idea in the Koran and Muslim culture,
innocent is quite subjective. Their view of capital punishment is
quite different from that of typical USA liberals.
 Even if the total body count was projected to be lower without
foreign counties meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, we were
justified in liberating Iraq IMHO = In my humble opinion.
 Since meddling has been in progress for centuries, perhaps a better
question is: When should foreigners have stopped meddling?   Neil

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