SADDAM HUSSEIN DID NOT GAS THE KURDS. . . Nor did Iraqi soldiers pull babies out of incubators in Kuwait, as the Zionist-controlled media proclaimed in order to promote the first Gulf War. That was later exposed and admitted to be a story cooked up by the ad agency hired to arouse American's support for a war thousands of miles from our borders with a country which leader never made a threat against America. They just wanted U.S. soldiers to "go get that evil mad-man" and if a few hundred thousand innocent Iraqi's die in the process. . . so what?
The book Saddam Hussein gives more information on the media lies about Hussein "gassing his own people", whatever the hell that means. The people in Iraq aren't 'his', anymore than Americans are the U.S. Government's people. Not me, anyway. How about you?
Here's what Nita Renfrew, the author of Saddam Hussein (.pdf format) tells us:
"In March 1988, the Iranians managed to take the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja, near the border. Some of the fiercest fighting of the war ensued in Iraq's effort to retake it, and Halabja became the site of one of the greatest tragedies of the war. After the fighting stopped, with Iran still in possession of the town, the international press was invited in. Hundreds of people lay dead in the streets, many of them Kurdish women clutching their dead babies, their dark blue lips indicating that they were victims of cyanide gas.
The Iranians condemned Saddam for gassing his own people, and the Kurdish rebels quickly joined in the condemnation, but Saddam denied the charges.
The Pentagon later issued a report that said that although both sides used chemical weapons at Halabja, each apparently believing they were targeting enemy positions, there was no evidence that it was the Iraqis who gassed the Kurds. In fact, Iraq was not believed to have cyanide gas, whereas, it was known that Iran did.
The mayor of Halabja also said he believed it was the Iranians who gassed the Kurds. Although the Pentagon's findings on the Halabja massacre were reported by the Washington Post, they went largely unnoticed by most Americans. Instead, most U.S. media used the Halabja incident as definite proof that Saddam was a mass murderer.
Later, there was another incident in which the Kurds claimed that Saddam had used chemical weapons. A UN inspection team, however, found bad burns but no evidence of gas."
We're inundated about the terrible 'human rights' violations committed by Saddam Hussein, and people repeat the accusations like good little parrots. Until I read the book, Saddam Hussein, I was not aware that the Kurds rejected an opportunity to form their own government. Here's an excerpt on that:
"In 1970, Saddam proposed a plan for Kurdish autonomy, meant to take effect as law in March 1974. The plan included provisions for the administration of Kurdish territory to pass into Kurdish hands and for a Kurdish parliament to be elected.
Also, Iraq would have a mandatory Kurdish vice-president. Unlike Turkey and Iran, where the Kurds have not been allowed to speak their own language, Iraq ensured that Kurdish would be the first language in the local kurdish government, schools, and universities.
However, at the instigation of the shah of Iran, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, the U.S. government agency that conducts most international covert activities), and Israel, the Kurds rejected the terms and unleashed a bloody civil war. Within a year there were 60,000 casualties, among them 16,000 Iraqi soldiers."
Now, you'll want to read what a CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, has to say about the media lies that "Saddam gassed his own people". I'm tired of the lies. Aren't you?
-- Jackie --
March 23rd, 2003
New York Times
January 31, 2003, Friday
A War Crime Or an Act of War?
By Stephen C. Pelletiere ( Op-Ed ) 1128 words
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- It was no surprise that President Bush, lacking smoking-gun evidence of Iraq's weapons programs, used his State of the Union address to re-emphasize the moral case for an invasion: ''The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured.''
The accusation that Iraq has used chemical weapons against its citizens is a familiar part of the debate. The piece of hard evidence most frequently brought up concerns the gassing of Iraqi Kurds at the town of Halabja in March 1988, near the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. President Bush himself has cited Iraq's ''gassing its own people,'' specifically at Halabja, as a reason to topple Saddam Hussein.
But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story.
I am in a position to know because, as the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair.
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas.
The agency did find that each side used gas against the other in the battle around Halabja. The condition of the dead Kurds' bodies, however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent -- that is, a cyanide-based gas -- which Iran was known to use. The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time.
These facts have long been in the public domain but, extraordinarily, as often as the Halabja affair is cited, they are rarely mentioned. A much-discussed article in The New Yorker last March did not make reference to the Defense Intelligence Agency report or consider that Iranian gas might have killed the Kurds. On the rare occasions the report is brought up, there is usually speculation, with no proof, that it was skewed out of American political favoritism toward Iraq in its war against Iran.
I am not trying to rehabilitate the character of Saddam Hussein. He has much to answer for in the area of human rights abuses. But accusing him of gassing his own people at Halabja as an act of genocide is not correct, because as far as the information we have goes, all of the cases where gas was used involved battles. These were tragedies of war. There may be justifications for invading Iraq, but Halabja is not one of them.
In fact, those who really feel that the disaster at Halabja has bearing on today might want to consider a different question: Why was Iran so keen on taking the town? A closer look may shed light on America's impetus to invade Iraq.
We are constantly reminded that Iraq has perhaps the world's largest reserves of oil. But in a regional and perhaps even geopolitical sense, it may be more important that Iraq has the most extensive river system in the Middle East. In addition to the Tigris and Euphrates, there are the Greater Zab and Lesser Zab rivers in the north of the country. Iraq was covered with irrigation works by the sixth century A.D., and was a granary for the region.
Before the Persian Gulf war, Iraq had built an impressive system of dams and river control projects, the largest being the Darbandikhan dam in the Kurdish area. And it was this dam the Iranians were aiming to take control of when they seized Halabja. In the 1990's there was much discussion over the construction of a so-called Peace Pipeline that would bring the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates south to the parched Gulf states and, by extension, Israel. No progress has been made on this, largely because of Iraqi intransigence. With Iraq in American hands, of course, all that could change.
Thus America could alter the destiny of the Middle East in a way that probably could not be challenged for decades -- not solely by controlling Iraq's oil, but by controlling its water. Even if America didn't occupy the country, once Mr. Hussein's Baath Party is driven from power, many lucrative opportunities would open up for American companies.
All that is needed to get us into war is one clear reason for acting, one that would be generally persuasive. But efforts to link the Iraqis directly to Osama bin Laden have proved inconclusive. Assertions that Iraq threatens its neighbors have also failed to create much resolve; in its present debilitated condition -- thanks to United Nations sanctions -- Iraq's conventional forces threaten no one.
Perhaps the strongest argument left for taking us to war quickly is that Saddam Hussein has committed human rights atrocities against his people. And the most dramatic case are the accusations about Halabja.
Before we go to war over Halabja, the administration owes the American people the full facts. And if it has other examples of Saddam Hussein gassing Kurds, it must show that they were not pro-Iranian Kurdish guerrillas who died fighting alongside Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Until Washington gives us proof of Saddam Hussein's supposed atrocities, why are we picking on Iraq on human rights grounds, particularly when there are so many other repressive regimes Washington supports?
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company