Iraq: Bloodbath in Baghdad

A disgusted Arab diplomat once noted that few nations can match Iraq at staging "fiestas of madmen dancing around corpses." In the 1958 revolution, they dismembered Premier Nuri as-Said's corpse. In 1963 they displayed the bullet-riddled body of President Abdul Karim Kassem on television. Last year they hanged eleven "Israeli spies" and mounted their bodies on ceremonial gallows in Baghdad's Liberation Square.

Last week the Iraqis outdid themselves. Sixteen people were executed by firing squad or gallows for plotting against the Baathist junta of President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, which seized power in 1968. "All conspirators will be crushed to pulp,"...

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