Remember back in March, when the Iraqi government showed captured American soldiers on television? Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was outraged. He called it a war crime, a violation of the Geneva Convention.
My, how things have changed. Now Rumsfeld himself acknowledges that he has personally ordered photographs of Saddam Hussein's dead sons to be broadcast on television, over the Internet and in newspapers, and admits that he's doing so for the purposes of propaganda.
The American military did not even try to capture the two men alive, but shot missiles into the Iraqi home where they were staying, killing them instantly by blowing them to bits.
Blown to bits? Wait a minute! Those up-close photographs of the dead Iraqis that the American government has been parading all over the airwaves show two bodies that have large cuts all over them but are nonetheless intact. How could Saddam Hussein's sons have been blown to bits?
The gruesome answer is that the American military reassembled and painted up their bodies before taking the photographs.
According to the Associated Press, the pieces of the men's bodies were flown out of Iraq to a secret location where Americans took tissue samples for their laboratories, then reconstructed their faces and covered the bodies with mortician's paint so that the bodies would look good for the cameras.
Next, American mortuary technicians shaved the beards from the dead men's faces in order for the propgaganda photographs to look more convincing.
Pause a minute and consider how we would feel if the Iraqi government had done this kind of sickening taxidermy with the bodies of captured and killed American soldiers.
Is it any wonder that the Iraqis do not believe that the sons of Saddam Hussein are really dead? Is it any wonder that the Iraqis are becoming ever more furious at the American soldiers occupying their country?
American Major General Ray Odierno has been quoted as bragging about the killings and morbid reassembly of the dead bodies. "We continue to tighten the noose," he says. The question is, whose neck is the noose around? Since the killings of Saddam Hussein's sons, the rate of American deaths has increased from one a day to two or three a day.
The American military admits that an average of 12 separate battles are occuring in Iraq every day. This is victory?
American officials protest that they have not done anything wrong by blasting apart, reassembling, painting and broadcasting photographs of the soldiers of its enemies. Other voices from around the world sharply disagree, and are demanding that American military leaders be held accountable for their war crimes. Of course, George W. Bush has long stated that American soldiers are not subject to the same rules of honorable conduct during wartime as the soldiers of other nations.
The Associated Press quotes one Iraqi businessman as stating, "Showing dead and deformed bodies on TV is not acceptable. But the Americans are criminals and unbelievers. We got rid of one tyrant and we ended up with a bigger one."
The noose is tightening, all right, and it looks like American soldiers are going to be hanging around in Iraq for a long time to come.
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