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Saddam’s Victims, Continued


From Joseph Skelly, writing on NRO in November:

For the moment, let us pause again to recall the victims of Saddam Hussein. His next trial will focus on the Anfal campaign against the Kurds, including the chemical attack on the small town of Halabja on March 16, 1988. The grisly fate of those villagers, including countless children, has haunted the imagination of the civilized world ever since, including the Iraqi poet Bulland al-Haydari. The closing lines of his poem, “So That We Do Not Forget,” written in the wake of that atrocity, foretell Sunday’s sentence, and discern, in its inherent justice, a glimmer of hope for his homeland:

Not a narcissus dreaming of blooming in the flower bed
The villains didn’t leave
Only the dead, the ashes of the dead, and the blackness of smoke.
But my future
And the reckoning of the dead
And the blood of the slain will chase the face of Satan
From one mirror to another
From a thousand ages to a thousand ages.
The rope will coil around the neck of the hangman
Kurdistan will curse your past
Baghdad will disavow your vice
And to the sweet land will return all the beds
of narcissus and flowers
And my son will be reborn in all the children.


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