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Saddam's Beheadings, Circa 2000

UPDATE: I hope that ThreatsWatch readers will also read RE: Saddam's 2001 Beheadings at The Tank on National Review Online. Apologies for failing to originally provide proper context. Mea culpa.

Saddam Hussein had over 200 female family members of internal opponents beheaded by his Fedayeen Saddam (Saddam's Martyrs) domestic terrorist unit in 2000 and 2001. The videos were apparently widely available (for intimidation purposes) on Baghdad streets before the 2003 invasion. Researching a few unrelated specific details, I stumbled across this from the Small Wars Journal by Malcolm Nance.

AQI Did Not Bring the SVBIED, the SPBIED, the IED and Beheading to Iraq – Many supporters of the ‘All AQI. All the time.’ meme have limited knowledge of Iraq before the war. The former regime intelligence and paramilitary forces were active for years prior to the war perfecting numerous types of unconventional weapons, which are used extensively throughout the insurgency. In each instance, these systems were first developed and deploy by the FRLs in both the invasion and post-war insurgency. Take beheading for example. Largely attributed to AQI and Zarqawi there was in fact an extensive use of it in 2000 and 2001 by the Saddam Fedayeen. They were tasked to carryout an “anti-prostitution” campaign that targeted against political opponents. They publicly beheaded over 200 wives and women family members of Saddam’s enemies. Videos of the brutal beheadings could be found on the streets of Baghdad for less than .25 cents a full year before AQI carried out their first beheading.

I mention not simply because the information is important for pre- and post-invasion context, but also because the other day at The Tank on National Review Online, I brought up the sorry fact that a former US attorney General energetically defended Saddam Hussein at his Iraqi trial. Perhaps Ramsey Clark could not be bothered by videos of Hussein's Saddam Fedayeen beheading over 200 Iraqi women in 2000 and 2001.

The anti-war crowd (ANSWER, their all-star Hollywood cast, Ramsey Clark, et al) are about as disingenuous as one can find.

I have intellectual respect for conscientious objectors and their adherence to personally held moral principle. The problem is, I haven't met many. I'll not confuse protest against American involvement in war with true conscientious objection. Nor should you.


I agree with your general point, but as evil as he was, Saddam had every right to defense counsel. There's no shame in providing it, and while Clark has done many awful things this is not one.

Your point is a good one, Kim. It is also one that Ramsey has made clear attempts to cloak his actions in. I am not arguing against the basic premise of a defense.

What I am,/i> arguing against, however, is the message sent when a former US Attorney General so vociferously engages in such. The message is clear and quite intentional.

And I condemn it. Completely and thoroughly.