The Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP)
October 30, 2002 2:53 AM   Subscribe

The Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) website is a collection of resources documenting the government, politics, and society of modern Iraq. IRDP is engaged in the gathering of information of diverse content and format (official government documents, maps, citizen testimonies, reference sources, chronologies, bibliographies, notable articles, human rights reports, photographic and other images, audio and video materials). This online collection is made available to the public to provide a window into the inner workings of the repressive state system evolved under the aegis of the Iraqi Ba'th Socialist Party in Iraq since 1968. [More Inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood (23 comments total)
As part of Harvard's Iraq Research and Documentation Project, IRDP has compiled these internal documents from Iraq, many acquired by Iraqi rebels during the uprisings of March 1991. There is a lot of date to digest on this website, but the quickest way to get to some quite chilling information is to click on "NIDS translations" at the top. You will then find sub-categories like:
  • Bureaucratic Beheading
  • Assassination Attempt
  • Punishment of Dissidents
  • Destruction of Villages and Population Displacement
  • Citizen's Refusal to Cooperate
  • Burning of Prohibited Villages
  • List of Eliminated Villages
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:53 AM on October 30, 2002

Okay so he's bad man. Is it better to contain him, or eliminate him?
posted by PenDevil at 3:32 AM on October 30, 2002

Nice link, but a little tricky to navigate. It's amazing that the site's creator hasn't been sentenced to death by beheading yet.

Is it better to contain him, or eliminate him?

How about we invite him to Manuel Noriega's place for some drinks? (Or rather, not drinks, but a puff or two on the hookah) Just to discuss things and try to find a "solution" to the audacious Zionist world crusade to control and frame Muslims for hideous terrorist acts?
posted by hama7 at 3:45 AM on October 30, 2002

Yeah, those Ba'thists.......

After my voyeuristic impulses were inflamed by the "Phillipina christian princess bride" post, I went to this site hoping for mind searing tales of people slowly dissolved in vats of acid, and so on. Just to remind myself of what humans are capable of.

But the format was too murky, and so I was fortunately spared.

Here's a much more comprehensive site that surely has a vastly larger collection of tales of government atrocities and human right abuses worldwide - Amnesty International. Read it and weep.
posted by troutfishing at 5:03 AM on October 30, 2002

...audacious Zionist world crusade to control and frame Muslims for hideous terrorist acts?

I don't want to be part of what you consider a Zionist crusade, but haven't most of the recent terrorist attacks been led by Muslim extremists? Don't the followers of al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Pakistan's Harakat ul-Mujahidin and Egypt's al-Jihad all worship Allah? These are terrorist groups who kill innocent people. The simple fact is, I just haven't seen many Christian terrorist groups slaughtering random and innocent people lately.
posted by BirdD0g at 6:49 AM on October 30, 2002

Where on the site do you see "Cashed fat American check - bought nerve gas"?
posted by botono9 at 6:56 AM on October 30, 2002

Great link, Steve. Some very disturbing documents there. It's a shame so few of the Saddam-loving liberals will bother reading stuff like this.
posted by oissubke at 8:46 AM on October 30, 2002

Liberals absolutely love Saddam, that is why Amnesty International gave him Dictator of the Year award, and why Liberals were so chuffed when Halliburton et al starting doing business with Iraq.

If there's one thing liberals stand for, it's for totalitarian regimes which crush the human spirit and install a murderous patriarchal order, restricting the rights of women and minorities, and concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a few.
posted by cell divide at 9:09 AM on October 30, 2002

Oissubke - Saddam-loving liberals? Give me a break. How does Saddam fit into the usual left/right typology? The roots of Ba'thism may have been communist, if I recall rightly, but Iraq sure as hell ain't a commie regime now. Nooooooo....

Sure, Saddam is evil. So are many the US supports/has supported. But I don't think that moral outrage against Saddam's atrocities is the primary motivation for the Bush Adminstration.

Arguments against the invasian of Iraq are being advanced from both the left and the right -- and they are not about "loving" Saddam (can't get that cartoon Saddam, who buggers Satan, from "South Park - the movie" out of my head...) but about the possibilities that 1) the war could escalate into Armaggedon (A "South Park - the movie" theme too), 2) it could cause a 10-fold increase in terrorist training/activity in the Mideast and trigger - possibly - reprisals against the US (Maybe Saddam, maybe Hezbollah or other less noticed Islamic terrorist orgs.) 3) It sets an awfull precedent, 4) It seems to be (from documents by the Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Cheney faction) to part of a long thought out plan for the Mideast - and the world - in which "Iraq presents the immediate pretext" - note that word "pretext" - the quote is from "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (doc., commissioned by Cheney, began in late '91, authored by Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby, many US force modernization ideas in the doc. are Rumsfeld's) from the "Project for a New American Century" think tank. 5) per aforementioned document, control of oil is over 1/2 the motive. The other fraction is about Brezezinskian plans for US geopolitical dominance (the Pax Americana) through a dramatically amplified US military presence in Southwest Asia for relatively rapid force projection into either the Mideast or into Asia (where forecasts put the big, emergent conflicts of the 21st century).

By the way, have you ever read "The Gulag Archipelago"? Honest question. I have ('s a long, brutal book). Some would describe me as "left". I posted that "Amenesty International" link because they are pretty evenhanded at chronicling the crimes of all types of governments regardless of ideology.

I ran into a somewhat more usefull politcal typology recently, a two axis graph: one axis would be defined by attitudes towards classic government functions such as taxation and wealth redistribution, and beliefs about the general size and scope of goverment (maybe foreign policy sits on this axis too? I'm not sure...)

Axis two adds nuance and dimensionality, for it is about beliefs about the extent to which government intrudes (or not) into our private lives. It is the "libertarian" (or antilibertarian) axis. So: abortion/birth control issues, gun ownership, dictates about morality in general, laws against public nudity -- whatever.

Now obviously this axis 1/axis 2 distinction is problematic since there is much overlap/spillover between the two categories. And yet........

This describes a real world, emergent phenomenon on the American scene: the bifurcation of American Republicanism into varieties of the libertarian right (once dominated by John Birchers and their ilk) but now increasingly defined by those who want government out of dictating issues of personal morality and into Authoritarian Republicanism - typified by both John Ashcroft's cramped vison for civil liberties in America and also, somewhat differently, by the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz vision of the new American empire (the "Pax Americana" - their term) which implies big government......

and the bifurcation of the American left, also, into mirror images of this, the classic big gov., (strong $ reditributive function) dems. who - mostly from bureaucratic "creep" are gradually making government more overweening and intrusive (think - future gov. regulation/micromangement of personal food/substance intake for "health" reasons, meaning that you would no longer have a right to self destructive behavior) and into the libertarian left (the anarchists, sure. but this groups also includes the gun owning, pot smoking, self reliant back woods types who just want to be left alone.

I think two axis are too few, and that this typology is kludgy at best, but I applaud the attempt to move political charactorization and stereotyping beyond those tired old "left/right" cliches which have lost most of their descriptive functions.

By the way, I would be on solid historic ground calling some right wingers in the US "fascism lovers - except that, a la the typology I just described, many on the right in the US would have libertarian (antifascist for sure) leanings.

I that we are now seeing the emergence of a new political class, or tendency, which spans both the republican and democratic party. I would call them "corporatists". They are more heavily represented among republican ranks but nonetheless exist in numbers in the democratic party. They are about, really, an emergent transnational oligarchy.....OMyGawd, lok at the time! Time for me to go.......*posts huge hunk of political discourse which won't really be read or noticed much*
posted by troutfishing at 10:03 AM on October 30, 2002

Saddam-loving liberals

Ah, the lonely cold warriors of FreeperFilter, tirelessly struggling against the domain of this ultra-leftwing group who is anything but open-minded, as they claim... By the way, Steve, congratulations on pushing me out as #2 blabbermouth hereabouts. And you were only #10 a week or so ago, too. Next stop, Miguel--you go, guy! (Jeez, when do you get time to study, anyway?) By the way, kids, look at how the ultra-leftwingers dominate the per capita top ten! Not! ;)
posted by y2karl at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2002

y2karl: Are you attributing the quote "Saddam-loving liberals" to me? If so, I suggest you re-read the thread. If not, then I see no reason for the attack. You petty frustration would be better focused on oissubke.

I posted a link I found interesting because it shows the interworking of the Ba'th Party, atrocities as well as other information, through the use of primary documents. I made no other comment.

Oh, thanks for the update, I don't check the Top 25 list everyday, like you must. But hey don't take it too hard, you are still #3 "blabbermouth"... Let me ask you, how do you get any work done with all your posts, or do you even have a job?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:17 AM on October 30, 2002

Oh, give it a rest guys. I was poking you with the conservative stick and you bought it. Yeesh.
posted by oissubke at 11:19 AM on October 30, 2002

y2karl: Are you attributing the quote "Saddam-loving liberals" to me?

Oh, please.
posted by y2karl at 11:27 AM on October 30, 2002

Oh, please, what?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:33 AM on October 30, 2002

Oh, please, what?

Oh, please, how could he be railing against anyone but me? :-)
posted by oissubke at 11:38 AM on October 30, 2002

By the way, kids, look at how the ultra-leftwingers dominate the per capita top ten! Not! ;)

Holy cow, I'm in the top ten. I need to get assigned some new projects at work or something....
posted by oissubke at 11:44 AM on October 30, 2002

oissubke I went on for a while, really, because I love to write (and often recycle text) -- but what about the typology idea? Left/right is getting sooooooooooo tiresome......
posted by troutfishing at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2002

I love the typology idea -- any reasonable person would -- but the problem is that it doesn't grab the public consciousness and would never gain cognitive acceptance as well as something as simple as "liberal vs. conserative" or "right vs. left", especially when (with perhaps a few bumps and scratches) most politically passionate people fit into that hypothetical continuum.

Right vs. Left isn't a serious method for describing or categorizing schools of political belief. It's a useful shorthand for commonly-found traits (i.e., it's a stereotype), and that's why it'll continue to be used until long after you and I are dead and buried.
posted by oissubke at 12:58 PM on October 30, 2002

poking you with the conservative stick

See, what you perceive as good clean fun easily comes across as plain old trolling (it did to me), a likely result being that people will insult you for it, leading to either 1) you insulting them back, starting a flame war, or 2) you sitting smugly back thinking "See what dummies these liberals are?" Neither result is good for you. I suggest you just say what you mean.
posted by languagehat at 1:11 PM on October 30, 2002

or you could put one of those smiley thingeys at the end of the sentence like this :) Or this ;) Or this ^_^ Or this:->
Or this ;-) Or this :@) Or this :D

Or you could just forget that I ever suggested that.
posted by hama7 at 11:17 PM on October 30, 2002

Wow, hama7, you've shot from #7 to #4 in one day! To quote Steve, Let me ask you, how do you get any work done with all your posts, or do you even have a job?
posted by y2karl at 11:32 PM on October 30, 2002

do you even have a job?

O.K. smarty. I am inependently wealthy and have come to MetaFilter to flaunt my exorbitant and lavish wealth by posting indiscriminately.

Smell the power!

y2karl, why are you picking on me? I remember that you were the first person on MetaFilter to notice my anemic presence, and you have the most awesome site ever, with Charley Patton graphics to boot.

I don't want political differences to come between us (although they will) and I enjoy the hell out of the debate.

All the best to you sir.
posted by hama7 at 5:02 AM on November 1, 2002

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