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Was Saddam really responsible for using chemical weapons to kill Kurds in '88?

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posted on Dec, 14 2003 @ 06:05 AM
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I was trying to find out what the charges against Saddam Hussein are, and I came across some information about the gassing of the Kurds in '88. I had only heard that Saddam was responsible the chemical attacks, until now. Apparently, there is much debate about whether or not Saddam was the culprit in the Kurdish genocide.

1990 Pentagon report
Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East
Excerpt, Chapter 5
U.S. SECURITY AND IRAQI POWER

Introduction. Throughout the war the United States practiced a fairly benign policy toward Iraq. Although initially disapproving of the invasion, Washington came slowly over to the side of Baghdad. Both wanted to restore the status quo ante to the Gulf and to reestablish the relative harmony that prevailed there before Khomeini began threatening the regional balance of power. Khomenini’s revolutionary appeal was anathema to both Baghdad and Washington; hence they wanted to get rid of him.

United by a common interest, Iraq and the United States restored diplomatic relations in 1984, and the United States began to actively assist Iraq in ending the fighting. It mounted Operation Staunch, an attempt to stem the flow of arms to Iran. It also increased its purchases of Iraqi oil while cutting back on Iranian oil purchases, and it urged its allies to do likewise. All this had the effect of repairing relations between the two countries, which had been at a very low ebb.
In September 1988, however -- a month after the war had ended -- the State Department abruptly, and in what many viewed as a sensational manner, condemned Iraq for allegedly using chemicals against its Kurdish population. The incident cannot be understood without some background of Iraq’s relations with the Kurds. It is beyond the scope of this study to go deeply into this matter; suffice it to say that throughout the war Iraq effectively faced two enemies -- Iran and the elements of its own Kurdish minority. Significant numbers of the Kurds had launched a revolt against Baghdad and in the process teamed up with Tehran. As soon as the war with Iran ended, Iraq announced its determination to crush the Kurdish insurrection. It sent Republican Guards to the Kurdish area, and in the course of this operation -- according to the U.S. State Department -- gas was used, with the result that numerous Kurdish civilians were killed. The Iraqi government denied that any such gassing had occurred. Nonetheless, Secretary of State Schultz stood by U.S. accusations, and the U.S. Congress, acting on its own, sought to impose economic sanctions on Baghdad as a violator of the Kurds’ human rights.

Having looked at all of the evidence that was available to us, we find it impossible to confirm the State Department’s claim that gas was used in this instance. To begin with there were never any victims produced. International relief organizations who examined the Kurds -- in Turkey where they had gone for asylum -- failed to discover any. Nor were there ever any found inside Iraq. The claim rests solely on testimony of the Kurds who had crossed the border into Turkey, where they were interviewed by staffers of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

It appears that in seeking to punish Iraq, the Congress was influenced by another incident that occurred five months earlier in another Iraqi-Kurdish city, Halabjah. In March 1988, the Kurds at Halabjah were bombarded with chemical weapons, producing a great many deaths. Photographs of the Kurdish victims were widely disseminated in the international media. Iraq was blamed for the Halabjah attack, even though it was subsequently brought out that Iran too had used chemicals in this operation, and it seemed likely that it was the Iranian bombardment that had actually killed the Kurds.

Thus, in our view, the Congress acted more on the basis of emotionalism than factual information, and without sufficient thought for the adverse diplomatic effects of its action. As a result of the outcome of the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq is now the most powerful state in the Persian Gulf, an area in which we have vital interests. To maintain an uninterrupted flow of oil from the Gulf to the West, we need to develop good working relations with all of the Gulf states, and particularly with Iraq, the strongest.
members.aol.com...

I'm researching this further and will post what I find. If, however, this is the case, I can't figure out what we are arresting Saddam for. The only information I could find on the charges against him, pointed to war crimes from the mass murder of thousands of Kurdish civilians with chemical weapons.

Now I'm really confused???


[Edited on 14-12-2003 by jezebel]



posted on Dec, 14 2003 @ 07:03 AM
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To be honest, it appears that both Iran and Saddam used chemical weapons during this, and that it was Iran who used them first....but even this is debatable... Point is, he still used it on his countrymen, regardless of rebellion, etc. Most feel it isn't cool to gas villages...to get troops.

The whole thing is really muddy, but I'm sure they could also bring him up on various human rights issues also (most don't take kindly to lowering people into acid vats, imprisoning children, mass executions of political opponents, etc.) Guess that's why he didn't go out fighting, as he probably feels he'll fare better in an international court....and he's probably right.....

[Edited on 14-12-2003 by Gazrok]



posted on Dec, 14 2003 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
To be honest, it appears that both Iran and Saddam used chemical weapons during this, and that it was Iran who used them first....but even this is debatable... Point is, he still used it on his countrymen, regardless of rebellion, etc. Most feel it isn't cool to gas villages...to get troops.

The whole thing is really muddy, but I'm sure they could also bring him up on various human rights issues also (most don't take kindly to lowering people into acid vats, imprisoning children, mass executions of political opponents, etc.) Guess that's why he didn't go out fighting, as he probably feels he'll fare better in an international court....and he's probably right.....

[Edited on 14-12-2003 by Gazrok]

Doesn't it bother you though that it has been loudly proclaimed that Saddam, alone, gassed the Kurds, yet there has been no mention about Iran being the more likely suspect according to a PENTAGON report? It seems pretty significant to me, since the genocide of the Kurds was the other justification for the war, when the WMD claim didn't pan out. The deeper I read into the official government documentation that has been made public, the more I understand how severely corrupt our government has become.

In an April 7, 1998 memo to Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jude Wanniski writes:

"Like all other Americans, in recent years I had assumed that what I read in the papers was true about Iraq gassing its own people. Once the war drums again began beating last November, I decided to read up on the history, and found Iraq denied having used gas against its own people. Furthermore, I heard that a Pentagon investigation at the time had also turned up no hard evidence of Saddam gassing his own people..."

An advisor to President Reagan, Jude was also like an 'economics guru' to many people, including Republican leader Jack Kemp, who became an advocate for this economic theory. A well-known book on economics and politics, called The Way the World Works, was published by Wanniski in 1978, and he was an associate editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1972 until that year as well.

On the same page is the rest of this New York Times article excerpt, by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere (who was the CIA's senior political analyst during the Iran-Iraq war),
"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."



posted on Dec, 14 2003 @ 05:32 PM
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I was unaware that Satyr had already started a thread on this topic a while back, so if you want to find more discussion on this topic, see:
www.abovetopsecret.com...


[Edited on 14-12-2003 by jezebel]



posted on Dec, 21 2003 @ 12:28 AM
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Despite all the arguing on this and all the "outside" facts....maybe the ones who can better answer this question are those that are alive from that "event" Jez:

"Chemical Attack Victims Want Saddam Dead"
Link:
story.news.yahoo.com.../ap/20031217/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_chemical_attack_1

Excerpts:
"HALABJA, Iraq - Survivors of the 1988 chemical attack Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) ordered on this Kurdish town — killing 5,000 people — say the former dictator must be executed for his crimes against the Iraqi people.

Some interim Iraqi leaders have suggested Saddam could be executed as early as this summer. But international human rights organizations reject the death penalty for Saddam and say his trial should be used as a starting point for healing the country.

Saddam's trial ought to be "just and comprehensive" said Abdulqader Hassan Mohammed, whose 3-year-old daughter died in the attack — part of Saddam's scorched-earth campaign to wipe out a Kurdish rebellion in northern Iraq (news - web sites)."




regards
seekerof



posted on Dec, 21 2003 @ 12:48 AM
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Doesn't it bother YOU that it doesn't MATTER?! REALLY! Who gives a RAT'S behind if BOTH of them or only Saddam gassed people?! Saddam GASSED innocent women and children that were HIS COUNTRYMEN.

WHY do you liberals CONTINUE to attempt to paint this homocidal maniac in a less damning fashion?! WHAT'S in it for YOU?

I am BLOWN AWAY by this single thing. People who are so full of themselves and their twisted ideology are willing to take a madman, butcher, EVIL MURDERER into the hearts in the hopes of attacking the one and only person with the power, the GUTS and the faith in Humanity to TAKE HIM DOWN.

WHY? I ask again what do you hope to GAIN out of this line of thought? I have to beleive you are not a lover of evil and despotism so it TOTALLY confounds me.


P...
m...



posted on Dec, 21 2003 @ 01:48 AM
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WHY do you liberals CONTINUE to attempt to paint this homocidal maniac in a less damning fashion?! WHAT'S in it for YOU?

I think we are attempting to find out what he did rather than toss all the evils of the world upon the man. Being a dictator means you are going to kill some people. It comes with the job.

Whats in it for us? I would rather the United States respond to credible threats and not perform imperialistic actions. If the U.S. had always gone around ousting dictators, I would have no issue. This is a first for us and its got some really #ty reasoning behind it when multitudes of other dictators exist. I hope the U.S will now go around to all countries that have evil governments and force our democracy upon them. Or would you not want that to happen?

I have to beleive you are not a lover of evil and despotism so it TOTALLY confounds me.

You must be a very confused man then.




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