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3/28/03 - IRAQI WAR VIOLATIONS - 2003-03-28


Iraqi military personnel are committing serious violations of the laws of war. In the words of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the world is seeing direct evidence of the Saddam Hussein regime's brutality:

"The regime has committed acts of treachery on the battlefield, dressing their forces as liberated civilians and sending their soldiers out waving white flags and feigning surrender with the goal of drawing coalition forces into the ambushes. Using Red Cross vehicles to courier military instructions. These are serious violations of the laws of war."

In addition, Iraqi treatment of coalition prisoners of war violates the Geneva Conventions. American soldiers captured on March 23rd were paraded before news cameras and interrogated by Iraqi officials. And the bodies of dead American soldiers, two apparently shot execution-style, were displayed on television. As Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said, the Iraqi military's actions serve as a telling reminder of why it is necessary to remove Saddam Hussein:

"Those who behave with such brutality cannot be allowed to possess tools of mass murder. This is the behavior of desperate men. Iraqi authorities know their days are numbered and, while the Iraqi regime is on the way out, it's important to know it can still be brutal, particularly in the moments before it finally succumbs."

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said Iraqis who violate the rules of war will be found and punished.

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