- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) — A group of Iraqi dissidents Tuesday called for Saddam Hussein to be tried as a war criminal before an international tribunal for crimes against humanity.

Members of the Iraqi-American Council urged Saddam's ouster at last weekend's anti-war rally in Washington.

Aziz Al-Taee, chairman of the IAC, charged that the peace movement and anti-war demonstrators are unwitting pawns in Saddam's dangerous political game. He cited news reports of Saddam hailing worldwide anti-war demonstrations as proof of his "international support."

Calling Saddam Hussein "the supreme master of biological, chemical and nuclear terror," Al-Taee issued a scathing statement detailing Saddam Hussein's crimes against humanity.

He cited personal examples of Saddam's crimes, including a chilling account of the death of his cousin, who was brought to his aunt's house "in a plastic bag, cut up into little pieces." Iraqi officials charged Al-Taee's aunt for the price of the bullets used to kill her son, Al-Taee said.

"Saddam's evil genius lies in dispensing death," said Al-Taee, who cited as examples the executions of prominent Iraqi citizens and the thousands of others who were beaten, tortured and poisoned. He said others perished melted in acid baths or were burned to death by Saddam's chemical weapons, like the thousands of Kurds in Halabja and Anfal.

"Halabja … Anfal… these names will join Auschwitz and Dachau as part of the lexicon of genocide," he said.

Al-Taee stated that human rights groups have well documented that Saddam's sons have institutionalized the rape and public beheading of women as a means of political coercion.

"Saddam has upset the balance of nature by destroying the environment — by torching the oil fields of Kuwait … by draining the marshlands of Iraq and displacing thousands of marsh Arabs lost without their historical habitat, " Al-Taee added.

"He is violating all of the human rights agreements by his campaigns of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds and his racist discrimination against the Shiite Muslims, Christians, Jews, Chaldeans, Assyrians, marsh Arabs and other ethnic minorities."

"The U.N. weapons inspectors need look no further than Saddam," charged Al-Taee. "Saddam is the real weapon of mass destruction."

He said that Saddam Hussein is "in daily 'material breach' of the United Nations Security Council resolutions protecting the human and civil rights of the Iraqi people."

Al-Taee reiterated the IAC's position that the world community has a moral and legal obligation "to free the Iraqi people from "the Butcher of Baghdad."

"We must help them establish a democracy under United Nations-sponsored elections, based on U.N. Security Council resolutions 688 and 1441."

He stressed that, in a post-Saddam Iraq, only a democratic government, and not another dictatorship, can prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and using them against the American people.

The Iraqi-American Council demands that Saddam and his lieutenants must be brought to justice before an international tribunal for war crimes and crimes committed against humanity, just like former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

"If Saddam imposes a war on us, this war must be a war of liberation and NOT occupation," Al-Taee said.

"This will not be a war between two nations," he added, but rather, "a war of humanity against brutality, a war of the free world against the forces of darkness."

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