Subject: On Saddam's alleged 1988 gas attack

paul illich paul_illich at
Sat Feb 1 04:51:55 MST 2003

>Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 16:50:50 +0000
>From: loupaulsen at
>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.

Position to know or not, my friend Nabaz Ahmad was from Halabja.

He has no doubt that the gas was primarily used to destroy his
villages, his family, his friends.

He and a few others escaped the immediate destruction with minor
injury to skin and lungs, only to fall into the hands of the
Turkish authorities, who proceeded to smash what was left of their
morale with a couple of years of mental and physical torture.

Like many of the asylum seekers who have since arrived in the UK
that I have met since arriving here myself, he was in a sorry state
when we first met. He still had very bad scarring from repeated
beatings to his chest, that had exposed his sternum. His eyes
were still filled with blood. He had arrived illegally and was
approaching the Home Office in Croydon to claim asylm. He was
right on the edge, barely coherent. He spent weeks in the street,
with a bedsheet covered in Kurdish, denouncing the Iraqi regime
and bemoaning the lack of a Kurdish homeland. He was a total wreock,
but in fact a reasonably educted man, who read Gurdieff, etc.

He has fallen out with the Ocalan oriented part of the movement
as he sees them as Stalinist, and believes that they will destroy
what is left of Kurdish culture.

Whether we think he is right or not, my bottom line is that he
is an honest fellow, who I have no qualms in believing, and who
I have seen pull himself back from the brink will little aid
in a frankly rascist society.

No-one is arguing that Saddam is a nice misunderstood fellow -
our arguments against war do not need to encompass misinformation.
Surely we all want Saddam and his ilk out, but know that, power
vacuums aside, the US and UK put him and other like him around
the world in power in the first place [or at least gave them much aid].

Here in London most feel that oil is behind the expected war, yet
few are able to see the [typical] US extension of the Monroe Doctrine
in the mid-east a closely connected to events in Latin America and
South America, and do not know who Chavez is, or that the US is
deployed in the region.

I am sure that Halabja was destroyed in a deliberate act of
anti-Kurd genocide, and by Iraqi forces, with the Timor-like
aquiesence/overt backing of the the west.


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