Chemical Ali tapes make the case against him

Sunday Telegraph:

Gruesome tapes of Saddam Hussein's most feared henchman threatening to cut up his thousands of victims "like cucumbers" have been disclosed as Iraqi war-crimes judges began court proceedings against him yesterday.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam's cousin and the man nicknamed "Chemical Ali" for gassing up to 5,000 Kurds, is also heard vowing to swamp Kurdish villages with clouds of poison for up to 15 days as part of his brutal campaign of suppression in the late 1980s.

...

In chilling words that foreshadow the mass graves that now litter the country, he gives warning that the body count will be so great that Iraqi forces will have to "bury them with bulldozers". His armies are thought to have murdered anything up to 150,000 Kurdish men, women and children.

The tapes, which record al-Majid's foul-mouthed tirades at Ba'ath Party meetings, are part of the vast body of evidence handed to prosecutors at the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which began hearings against Saddam's senior lieutenants yesterday.

...

On the tapes, al-Majid talks in his distinctive, high-pitched voice of demolishing swathes of Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq to crush their attempts at rebellion against Saddam's rule. During the campaign thousands of villages were destroyed and their inhabitants killed or evicted in an "ethnic-cleansing" project, intended to clear the way for ethnic Sunni Arabs to move into the area.

Al-Majid, then the secretary-general of the Ba'ath Party's northern bureau, can be heard ordering officials and army chiefs to carry out savage reprisals against any areas that try to resist.

"As soon as we complete the deportations we will start attacking them everywhere according to a systematic military plan," he says. "I will not attack them with chemicals just one day but I will continue to attack them with chemicals for 15 days."

Al-Majid even criticises his master for being too lenient when he orders that the families of Kurdish resistance leaders should not be harmed. "A message reaches me from that great man, the father [Saddam], saying 'Take good care of the families of the saboteurs…' Take good care of them? No, I will bury them with bulldozers."

This man is the mentor for the current resistance in Iraq.

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