Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bodies Pulled From Tigris

One very confusing story, partially reported in a previous item (Hostage-Taking in Iraq, or Just Another Hoax?), has been clarified -- maybe. It now appears that hostages were taken, that they were killed and that their bodies were thrown into the River Tigris. And yet, as we all know [but too often forget], appearances can indeed be very deceiving.

From Aljazeera: Iraq leader: Hostages' bodies found
The bodies of 50 people, thought to be hostages held in a town near Baghdad recently, have reportedly been found in the Tigris river, while another 19 bodies have turned up in a football stadium in Haditha.

Aljazeera reports quoting Iraq President Jalal Talabani as saying on Wednesday that the 50 bodies found near al-Suwaira were those of people recently abducted from al-Madain town, south of Baghdad.

Agencies quoted him as telling reporters: "More than 50 bodies have been brought out from the Tigris and we have the full names of those who were killed and those criminals who committed these crimes.

"We will give you details in the coming days … terrorists committed crimes there. It is not true that there were no hostages. There were, but they were killed and they threw the bodies into the Tigris."
From the BBC: Iraq 'hostages dumped in river'
The bodies of more than 50 men, women and children have been recovered from the River Tigris in the town of Suwayra, south of Baghdad.

Many had been badly mutilated, Iraqi authorities said.

President Jalal Talabani said the bodies were those of people who had been taken hostage and then killed in the nearby town of Madain.
But the details of the grisly find still raise disturbing questions. For instance, there's this passage from BBC's article:
It is not clear when the killings took place, though police in the area told the BBC the bodies had been pulled from the river over a period since the end of February.

Some victims were said to have had their heads cut off and others were badly decomposed.
It remains to be explained how the bodies of hostages captured late last week could already be "badly decomposed". It's difficult to imagine how such bodies could have been quickly and positively identified. And yet the Iraqi president assures us
[W]e have the full names of those who were killed ...
Yeah, sure. Sure you do.

In the fog of war, nobody knows anything for certain. Is the Iraqi president an exception? Yeah, sure he is!

And that's not all. Iraq is now the only country on Earth which defies the laws of time. In Iraq, but only in Iraq, bodies can be pulled out of the river in February but not killed until April. Do you believe that? Yeah, sure. Sure you do.