Monday, September 11, 2006
Victory in Iraq
Grim days for the gravedigger of Baghdad
One man's mission grows awesome
FOR 23 years Sheikh Jamal al-Sudani has taken it upon himself to bury the bodies of murdered Iraqis — men, women and children — whose families were too afraid to retrieve them from the mortuary slabs of Baghdad.
Until recently they were the victims of Saddam Hussein’s pitiless and paranoid regime, which hunted down critics with ruthless efficiency and often dispatched their sons as well to eliminate the risk of revenge.
When Saddam was overthrown three years ago, Sudani thought his workload would ease. But now he is busier than ever and can barely imagine the suffering of those whose grisly remains are being tipped into new mass graves reminiscent of the old tyranny.
In July, which saw the worst sectarian slaughter so far in Baghdad, Sudani collected up to 500 bodies in a single week. There was one particularly dreadful day when he wondered how he would find the strength to carry on.
Arriving at al-Tub al-Adli morgue in the capital, he was asked to remove a coarse cloth sack of heads that had been left on a filthy floor. Among the heads was that of a boy no more than 12 years old. Sudani could see that it had been cut off.
“I felt something snap inside me,” he said last week. “My guts were knotted and I started to cry. It was like looking at my young son. He had such an innocent face.”
Ah yes, the smell of rotting flesh in the morningtime. It smells like... victory. If victory smells like complete and utter disaster and defeat, that is.
-- Badtux the Somber Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 9/11/2006 12:33:00 PM
I guess that we should be glad that we are not there and dealing with all that in person.
But we are not happy about any of it are we? Why? Because we are from a higher spirtual plane than most of the idiots on this planet.
# posted by BBC : 11/9/06 4:15 PM
I've actually met him - he's a very compassionate chap.
# posted by : 15/9/06 11:05 AM
Oops sorry BT that anonymous was me - thought I was signed in.
# posted by markfromireland : 15/9/06 11:06 AM