Who took a dip in a pool of ACID?

Whilst speaking to a friend of mine over coffee this morning I found out something very disturbing, I need to know if there is any validity in it. I work with an Iraqi-American, he is an instructor at the same school as I. We were in a conversation this morning about the impending war with his mother country and he was telling me that Saddam has done irrefutable atrocities to the Iraqi people, including disposing of large groups of people in pools or large vats of acid. Dead or alive. He went on to say most Iraqi people will welcome a regime change, except maybe for Saddam and his fellow clansman.

Regarding the acid thing…Does anyone elses bullsh*t meter go off? Or did Saddam really do this kind of thing? I didn’t ask what other things he has done, but I am sure there are other horrible things…Anyone know?

My James Bond villain meter is going off, anyways… :smiley:

From the BBC:

I wonder why though. What did Saddam have against his own people? I don’t doubt your friends accusations. But did he give reasons. Or am I jaded to the fact that Saddam is simply just a ruthless tyrant?

This type of de-humanisation of the enemy is a typical part of all war propaganda, I’m afraid. What would Saddam have to gain by throwing people into vats of acid? There may be some truth in it, but then again, there might not be. As Amnesty International rightfully remarked (see article), the timing of the release of the dossier seems a bit too convenient.

I don’t want to turn this into a debate, so as for the OP: I really have no idea.

He’s a sociological tyrant. They don’t work on logic.

Interview with a former Iraqi prisoner on BBC radio the other day. He was detained for no reason, while still a minor, for two years, without trial. He said that the prison guards executed “one person a day”, seemingly for shits & giggles, but when an attempt was made on Uday Hussein’s life, 2,000 prisoners were executed on one day. Of course this guy might be a western stooge, but he sounded very convincing.

So did the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador when talking about Iraqi soldiers killing babies in hospitals.

Saddam just let out all of his prisoners. Is he that much of an idiot that he thought they’d join him and his cronies?

I think the term you’re looking for is “sociopathic”,jjimm not “sociological.”

There doesn’t seem to be much doubt that he’s a viscious man, as are his sons. A story about one of them, that I may have distorted SOMEwhat, has it that while strolling on a street, he selected a random woman for a tryst. I don’t think it was an invitation, but a demand. After taking her up to the 6th floor to have his way with her, he threw her off the balcony. This is not the type of behavior we usually seek in our political leaders and their families. They may not be directly threatening us here, but they are definitely not your civilized leaders. He is a despot.

Sociopathic. :smack:

Anyway, if you’ve been following the output of Amnesty over the years, you would have to agree, pro- or anti-war, that Saddam is a psychiatrist.

Or do I mean a psychotic?

I don’t know about the veracity of the acid claim either, but I’d be hesitant to reject it out of hand. If you are a tyrant, you pretty much have to rule by fear. Ghandi-like civil disobedience works, more-or-less, if all you face is beatings and the threat of imprisonment, and staunch revolutionaries might face even firing squads with stoicism. But it would take extraordinary devotion to the cause to commit yourself when that represents a quick trip to the acid baths for you and all your friends.

Don’t confuse me for a Hussein apologist, but Iraq is not a particularly unified country, yet they’ve found an effective solution to keep public order. Hussein’s harsh methods are not unique; they’re not even particularly unusual in history. He’s simply quelling the population through the time-honored methods of terror and oppression. Just because he has a sense of history doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy. I don’t think anyone should walk away from this thread thinking that Hussein is some sort of anomaly, and we had better not think such a thing couldn’t happen.

In fact, there is a lot of evidence that very nasty things have happened in Iraq since the 1980s. Things that make the Serbians look rather tame by comparison.

In the north of Iraq you have the Kurds. They have a fairly legitimate claim to sovereignty in both Iraq and Turkey, and neither of those countries particularly like it, especially since some of the Kurdish territorial claims include lucrative Iraqi oilfields.

In the south you have the Ma’dan, who live in the highly strategic area between the lower Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Iraq. The single port-city of Basra is Iraq’s only significant outlet to the Persian Gulf. They also also of the Shiite Muslim persuasion, while the Ba’ath Party which controls Iraq is primarily Sunni.

Southern Iraq is–or was until recently–administered by Saddam Hussein’s cousin, Ali Hassan al Majid, better known to some as Chemical Ali. He is unquestionably a bastard in that Reinhard Heydrich sort of way. He has been accused of poisoning the lower Tigris and Euphrates in an attempt to cull some of those annoying Shiites. Chemical Ali is also alleged to be the orchestrator of the mass-murders of the Kurds in the north with chemical weapons.

Given Chemical Ali’s proclivity to use nasty chemicals on those whose living shit he wishes to scare out, I suppose it’s possible that he’s used acid on some victims. He’s certainly accused of such things. Hydrofluoric acid is used in many oil refineries. Sulfuric acid is also sometimes used. That link mentions that Iraq recently resumed delivery of 600,000 metric tons of sulfur to Jordan.

Both hydrofluoric and sulfuric acid are useful in the disposal of bodies. Somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 Kurds disappeared during Chemical Ali’s pet project, Operation Anfal.

Chances are we’ll never find out everything that happened, but mass murder is very difficult to cover up–but not, unfortunately, too difficult to ignorantly deny. I suppose we’ll see.