It seems as though Pope Benedict XVI has short-term memory when it comes to Iraq. In his Palm Sunday message he said, “At the same time, I make an appeal to the Iraqi people, who for the past five years have borne the consequences of a war that provoked the breakup of their civil and social life.”

Let’s look at the Iraqi civil and social life under the rule of Saddam Hussein:

1. “Under Saddam’s regime many hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of his actions – the vast majority of them Muslims.”

2. “According to a 2001 Amnesty International report, ‘victims of torture in Iraq are subjected to a wide range of forms of torture, including the gouging out of eyes, severe beatings and electric shocks… some victims have died as a result and many have been left with permanent physical and psychological damage.”

3. “Saddam has had approximately 40 of his own relatives murdered.”

4. “Allegations of prostitution used to intimidate opponents of the regime, have been used by the regime to justify the barbaric beheading of women.”

5. “Documented chemical attacks by the regime, from 1983 to 1988, resulted in some 30,000 Iraqi and Iranian deaths.”

6. “Human Rights Watch estimates that Saddam’s 1987-1988 campaign of terror against the Kurds killed at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds. The Iraqi regime used chemical agents to include mustard gas and nerve agents in attacks against at least 40 Kurdish villages between 1987-1988. The largest was the attack on Halabja which resulted in approximately 5,000 deaths. Two thousand Kurdish villages were destroyed during the campaign of terror.”

7. “Iraq’s 13 million Shi’a Muslims, the majority of Iraq’s population of approximately 22 million, face severe restrictions on their religious practice, including a ban on communal Friday prayer, and restriction on funeral processions.”

8. “The UN Special Rapporteur’s September 2001, report criticized the regime for ‘the sheer number of executions,’ the number of ‘extrajudicial executions on political grounds,’ and ‘the absence of a due process of the law.”

9. “Executions: Saddam Hussein’s regime has carried out frequent summary executions, including: a) 4,000 prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in 1984 o 3,000 prisoners at the Mahjar prison from 1993-1998; b) 2,500 prisoners were executed between 1997-1999 in a ‘prison cleansing campaign’; c) 122 political prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in February/March 2000; d) 23 political prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in October 2001; e) At least 130 Iraqi women were beheaded between June 2000 and April 2001.

10. “The U.S. Committee for Refugees, in 2002, estimated that nearly 100,000 Kurds, Assyrians and Turkomans had previously been expelled, by the regime, from the ‘central-government-controlled Kirkuk and surrounding districts in the oil-rich region bordering the Kurdish controlled north.”

Now that is quite a top-ten list of reasons Iraq had a better “civil and social life.”

Ah, for the good ol’ days!

Source: Life Under Saddam Hussein