Tom Young | 12.12.2003 00:20 | Anti-militarism
Note: this article draws no conclusions about human rights in Iraq and under Saddam Hussein. Or the extent of mass killings that took place. It solely concerns the ethics of British left wing politician Ann Clwyd.
10 000 takes a while to count. In anycase it turns out that the site she visited had in fact yielded fewer than 3000 graves.
But a news photo found on the USinfo site casts doubt on Ann Clwyd's claim to have seen any bodies at all.
Ann Clwyd has shown standing at site, with a hillside in the background strewn with white plastic sacks. The viewer is invited to make the connection that these sacks contain human remains.
However, the sacks are both too bulky, the wrong shape and to be filled to the brim, to contain anything but sand or earth or some particulate matter. They appear to have been strewn across the hillside, quickly and at random, and have no indication of actually being excavated from anywhere.
The photo bears all signs of being a hurriedly constructed scene to provide a visiting politician with a nice photo-op. What does this say about the sincerity of Ann Clwyd and her views on the importance of human rights abuses and victims? What an utterly cynical display.
The dead bodies are not in the plastic bags, but in the earth. Ann Clwyd could see how many were dead in that mass grave because each grave had a plastic bag on top of it, just as a grave stone would mark a grave.