Mona Charen

The whole world is focused on what we've failed to find in Iraq -- to the point of neglecting what we have found. In doing so, the press is missing the significance of what the United States and Britain have achieved.

The banned weapons will eventually be accounted for. Of that there can be no doubt. But the more important story is that the coalition overthrew a regime that can fairly be compared with Nazi Germany. Such a deed would be applauded by the world -- if we lived in a better world.

The absolute numbers of those tortured, maimed and killed by the Ba'ath government will never be known. But some estimates say 1 million Iraqis were butchered by Saddam. American and British forces are finding mass graves throughout the country. Corpses of men, women and children were found. Even some of the children had been tortured before being executed. A columnist for a Lebanese newspaper wrote: "This barbarism, unprecedented in human history, was committed by Arab hands, by hands that found such delight in death and murder that the death squads would send the heads of the victims to Saddam Hussein's two sons in cardboard boxes. . . . These plastic bags in the mass graves contained bullet-riddled skulls, bodies wrapped in rags, tied in ropes, or dressed in worn pieces of clothing. . . . Ropes still tied a mother's bones to her infant's, and a father's to his son . . . "

U.S. forces have reportedly captured millions of pages of meticulous documents from the files of the security forces, detailing tortures and murders by the regime. According to Insight magazine, "A single document dated August 1989 lists the names of 87 people who were executed and a summary of each case. The alleged crimes included trespassing into forbidden zones and teaching the Kurdish language." In one police station in Nasiriya, survivors showed U.S. Marines the electric shock prods, electric chair, and other torture implements, as well as tons of surveillance equipment. The station was filled with pictures of burned bodies.

The Saddam regime apparently used photos of its torture victims to intimidate others, particularly the victims' families.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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