By Gajendra Singh 04/10/06 "ICH" -- -- Western leaders and in house corporate and subservient media, continue to line up one show after another. Soon after the death of Serbian nationalist hero Slobodan Milosevic's death in western custody, which ended his trial ( the Hague tribunal did not even allow him to be treated in Moscow ), another third world leader has been put on trial ,Charles Taylor of Liberia . Just a little side show.
But, at Anglo-Saxon request, the perennial popular show with the West, Saddam Hussein's trial, is back again , this episode covers gassing of Kurds at Halabja. After all West has expanded so much effort and money on his demonisation to cloak its policies. Make an example of all those who dare oppose US led Western hegemony!
In history , this began as soon as the West crossed the Turkish straits , when Mithradates VI of Pontus in Asia was demonized for standing up to Rome. In that conflict 2 millennia ago , the power breaking all the rules was the Roman empire, who ruthlessly exploited and taxed their subjects in Asia, a complaint similar to what the Arabs have about the exploitation of their oil resources, with the connivance of the client rulers.
Of course there are no trials of US leadership and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in spite of illegal invasion of Iraq, proven crimes and violation of almost all international conventions and treaties and even laws at home.
'There were thousands of tactical mistakes' coyly confessed the US face of democracy crusader , Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice , some of which were rightly described by others as strategic blunders. When Pentagon boss Donald Rumsfeld snarled witheringly "I don't know what she was talking about, to be perfectly honest," she mumbled, "I guess I shouldn't use figures of speech."
Robert Dreyfuss , an expert on Middle East ,recently described Condi as a leading know-nothing on Iraq – and said that it was her utter ignorance of the Middle East as national security adviser through 2004 that allowed the cabal led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld to get away with so much . It is and, until the US withdrawal from Iraq, the government will remain a collection of charlatans and quislings, leavened with separatist warlords such as the Barzanis and Talabanis of Kurdistan and Abdel Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).
Incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari, who has been nominated for the post by members of his alliance in the Parliament, elected 4 months ago , refused to withdraw , even after requests in person in Baghdad by Ms Rice and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw to make way for a pro-US candidate. Was not sovereignty transferred to Iraq long time ago!
After Bush's ordering of telephone surveillance without legal sanction , Court documents released this week show that I. Lewis ''Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff for Dick Cheney, testified that both Cheney and President Bush authorized him to leak classified intelligence about Iraq in July 2003. Libby had outed information to the media on the covert CIA officer wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson to punish him and to warn other whistle blowers .Ambassador Wilson had exposed the administration's claims that Saddam Hussein was getting Uranium cake for his nuclear program from Niger.
Boston Globe commented "the next thing you know, President Bush will channel Richard Nixon to say, ''I am not a crook." The clock has started on whether Bush will make this declaration.
There is panic in USA about what to do with the mess on its hands in Iraq and the unraveling of the credibility of the Bush Administration. These would adversely affect fortunes of the ruling Republican party in November elections.
Another shocker now. Seymour Herse has just disclosed that the Administration has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack including use of tactical nuclear weapons. Perhaps to also drown the rising whispers of censoring and even impeaching the President.
So the Great Western Circus must produce newer or repeat popular shows on third world leaders to divert attention from failures abroad and at home, where popularity of Bush and Blair remains low
Nato's War on Serbia and Milosevic Trial ;
To give a perspective on western form of perverse entertainment and education of its young and adult minds alike , let us re-visit the demonisation of Slobodan Milosevic and Serbia . I had watched the unraveling of Yugoslavia and Nato led war on Serbia from Ankara and Bucharest and was horrified by western spins , lies and propaganda .
Before the Nato led war on Yugoslavia , the then British Defence Minister George Robertson ( he was later made Nato's Secretary General , a normal US practice to reward subservient and loyal British functionaries) said that the war was to "prevent a humanitarian catastrophe" and stop "a regime which is intent on genocide". Genocide word was used many times. US President Bill Clinton referred to "deliberate, systematic efforts at . . . genocide".
Countered John Pilger in New Stateman in November , 1999. " The British press took their cue. "FLIGHT FROM GENOCIDE," said a Daily Mail headline over a picture of Kosovar children in a lorry. Both the Sun and Mirror referred to "echoes of the Holocaust". Figures were supplied. The US defence secretary, William Cohen, said: "We've now seen about 100,000 military-aged men missing . . . They may have been murdered." Geoffrey Hoon, then Foreign Office minister, put the Albanian dead at 10,000, adding that "the final toll may be much worse". A widely quoted US Information Agency fact sheet claimed: "The number of unaccounted-for ethnic Albanian men ranges from a low of 225,000 . . . to over 400,000." Cherie Blair told the Sun she was "horrified about the rape camps"
But after the war, thousands of western journalists and forensic investigators, found no evidence of mass murder on the scale used to justify the Nato bombing of Serbia. The head of the Spanish forensic team attached to the International Criminal Tribunal, Emilio Perez Pujol, said that as few as 2,500 were killed .He told Al Pais" I called my people together and said, 'We're finished here.' I informed my government and told them the real situation. We had found a total of 187 bodies." He complained angrily that he and colleagues had become part of "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one – not one – mass grave".
In November 1999, the Wall Street Journal published the results of its own investigation, dismissing "the mass-grave obsession." Instead of "the huge killing fields some investigators were led to expect ... the pattern is of scattered killings [mostly] in areas where the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army had been active." The Journal concluded that Nato stepped up its claims about Serb killing fields when it "saw a fatigued press corps drifting toward the contrarian story: civilians killed by Nato's bombs...."
"The FBI has found 200 bodies in 30 sites. The village of Ljubenic was believed to hold a mass grave of 350 bodies. Seven bodies were found. So far, 20 forensic teams operating in Kosovo have found 670 bodies. Perhaps the most significant disclosure, confirmed by the International Criminal Tribunal on 11 October, was that the Trepca lead and zinc mines contained no bodies. Trepca was central to the drama of the investigation: the corpses of 700 murdered Albanians were presumed hidden there. On 7 July, the Mirror reported that a former mine-worker, Hakif Isufi, had seen dozens of trucks pull into the mine on the night of 4 June and heavy bundles unloaded. He said he could not make out what the bundles were. The Mirror was in no doubt: "What Hakif saw was one of the most despicable acts of Slobodan Milosevic's war – the mass dumping of executed corpses in a desperate bid to hide the evidence. War-crimes investigators fear that up to 1,000 bodies were incinerated in the Auschwitz-style furnaces of the mine with its sprawling maze of deep shafts and tunnels."
"All this was false," said Pilger
" We (Nato) killed more innocent civilians than the Serbs did?" the Mail
Continued Pilger, "This is not to say that evidence supporting a figure close to 10,000 may not yet materialise; fewer than half of the 400 "crime scenes" have been examined. But a pattern of truth versus propaganda is emerging. The numbers of dead so far confirmed suggest that the Nato bombing provoked a wave of random brutality, murders and expulsions, a far cry from systematic extermination: genocide. Other atrocities of particular media interest, such as the "rape camps" that so horrified Cherie Blair , are turning out to be fiction. Dr Richard Munz, the doctor at the huge Stenkovac refugee camp told Die Welt: "The majority of media people I talked to came here and looked for a story . . . which they had already . . . the entire time we were here, we had no cases of rape. And we are responsible for 60,000 people." He stressed that this did not mean that rape did not happen, but it was not the tabloid version. The same is true of the Milosevic regime. No one can doubt its cruelty and atrocities, but comparisons with the Third Reich are ridiculous.
"These facts and the questions they raise have not been judged newsworthy. A data-base search reveals hardly a word in the news pages of the serious mainstream national papers, with the exception of the Sunday Times. The Guardian has published only a piece by their columnist Francis Wheen, critical of the author of an article on the Kosovo figures in the Spectator on 30 October. BBC News, to my knowledge, has remained silent on the subject."
Perhaps a troubled Andrew Alexander put it best in his column in the Mail. "Could it turn out to be," that we killed more innocent civilians than the Serbs did?"
And now the piece de resistance ;
"The famous story of Serb concentration camps was built on a photo of a gaunt man surrounded by others, staring at the viewer from behind barbed wire; surely an image to chill one to the bones. It took years before a German journalist Thomas Deichman, in an article titled "The picture that fooled the world," described how the famous photo was staged by its takers, British journalists, who were photographing the inhabitants from inside barbed wire which was protecting agricultural products and machinery from theft in a refugee and transit camp; the men stood outside of it; and at no time was there a barbed-wire fence surrounding the camp. But by that time the image had done its deed, terminally slamming the Serbs as genocidal mass murderers."
The Tribunal (ICTY) was obliged by its charter to investigate and prosecute all credible charges of war crimes in Yugoslavia, including NATO forces. But a petition by Toronto based International law professor to Louise Arbour , the tribunal prosecutor ,with a compilation of evidence on NATO war crimes, with an accompanying legal analysis of why these constituted serious crimes were first stalled by Arbour and then by Del Ponte for over a year, with the latter announcing that there was no basis for even opening an investigation with a crime base of only 500 dead, although Arbour's May 1999 indictment of Milosevic was based on a crime base of 340 victims, mostly from a war zone, maded by US and UK only.
Nato's bombings resulted in the deaths of estimated 500 to 3,000 Serb civilians---- But Tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte issued a report in June 2000, declaring Nato not guilty. Del Ponte said—"I accept the assurances given by NATO leaders…," that their press releases are reliable evidence, and that all of their killings of civilians and destruction of civilian sites were "genuine mistakes,"
Nato bombed Yugoslavia because the Serbian delegation did not sign up the Rambouillet accord , because of a secret Annex B, inserted by Madeleine Albright's delegation on the last day. It demanded military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia Nato . It was later conceded by British Foreign Office Minister 'to deliberately to provoke rejection by the government in Belgrade." As the first bombs fell, the elected parliament in Belgrade, which included some of Milosevic's fiercest opponents, voted overwhelmingly to reject the accord.
Neil Clark has pointed out, "the rump of Yugoslavia ... was the last economy in central-southern Europe to be uncolonized by western capital. Yugoslavia had publicly owned petroleum, mining, car, and tobacco industries, and 75 percent of industry was state- or socially owned." In the bombing campaign, it was state-owned companies, rather than military sites, that were targeted. Nato's destruction of only 14 Yugoslav army tanks compares with its bombing of 372 centers of industry, including the Zastava car factory, leaving hundreds of thousands jobless. "Not one foreign or privately owned factory was bombed," wrote Clark.
Kosovo today is a violent, criminalized UN-administered "free market" in drugs and prostitution. From here more than 200,000 Serbs, Roma, Bosnians, Turks, Croats, and Jews were ethnically cleansed by the KLA with Nato forces standing by. KLA hit squads have burned, looted, or demolished 85 Orthodox churches and monasteries, according to the UN.
Africa and Charles Taylor;
In Africa , there is a never ending litany of wars, famines, death and misery ,thanks to the unholy union of Western mineral multinationals and their African crony dictators and militias.
Following the civil war in Angola in 1990s for diamonds with terrible consequences, in 1999, the UN Security Council acted to enforce sanctions on diamond sales by the UNITA rebel group and the conflict finally ended a short time later. But since then, further diamond-related conflicts have raged in Sierra Leone , Liberia and Congo .UN has passed resolutions and reports but rape of Africa by multinationals continues unabated . Charles Taylor, the exiled former strongman of Liberia was brought to the Sierra Leone capital from the Nigeria-Cameroon border when he tried to flee Nigeria, which had granted him exile status under a 2003 peace deal.
It is strange that it happened just around the time President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria was to visit the White House . The monthly magazine 'The Atlantic' had an article 'Nigeria ;worse than Iraq' and speculated on the possible implosion of Nigeria .Was it a deal to provide good news of the Western international justice imposed on third world to jack up Bush's plummeting popularity and shore up a unpopular Obasanjo. Nigerians nay African would not be proud that some one given asylum has been handed over . When Taylor represented by a court-appointed lawyer, was asked to plead, he refused. "I do not recognise the jurisdiction of this court," he said. He had said earlier ,"I think this is an attempt to continue to divide and rule the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone." Western pattern is same all over the world.
Court officials asked the trial be moved to The Hague, Netherlands, because of fears that Taylor, once among the most feared warlords in the region, could still spark unrest in West Africa The U.S. would have balked at the idea if it meant transferring jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court (ICC) which Washington opposes.[ US has bribed many countries to sign accords that they would not report US suspects to ICC.] But no matter where the actual trial is held, control of the case will stay with the Special Court, which Washington sees as a model for future war crimes courts and a welcome alternative to the permanent ICC.
At such contrived courts, obscure judges from obscure third world countries, say Samoa, would be paid well to participate in such charades.
Because of its minerals Africa remains a free for all for western multinationals. Let us take Democratic republic of Congo, a former Belgian colony, one of the most miserable places in the world with horrifying colonial exploitation record of the Belgian King . Its resources rich north east province of Ituri, adjoining Uganda was the cause of civil wars and border clashes. Apart from the region's farmland and valuable cross-border trade, Ituri is the gateway to the Kilo Moto gold field, the world's biggest, where exploration rights are claimed by Canada's Barrick Gold, among others. And interest is rising in Ituri's oil reserves in the Lake Albert basin, where Heritage Oil, signed a licensing deal last year.
Dogs of wars and black mercenaries continue to play their games for personal gains or for foreign mineral multinationals to rob the impoverished masses of vast mineral wealth being mined in Congo and elsewhere. Unless these powers and vested interests are controlled ,ethnic conflicts and killings would continue. The vested multinational mineral interests are rarely mentioned in media. Years of wars, destruction and famines and the vast debts amounting to US$ 14 Billion left behind by Mobutu are major problems. He died a rich man benefiting his benefactors.
An October 2002 report written for UN by an independent panel of experts, accused dozens of multinationals including Barclays Bank, De Beers and Anglo American of facilitating the plunder of Congo's wealth. This scathing account accused 85 multinational companies based in Europe, the US and South Africa of violating ethical guidelines in dealing with criminal networks which have pillaged natural resources from the war-torn country. A scramble for gold, diamonds, cobalt and copper by army officers, government officials and entrepreneurs from Congo and neighbouring African countries had generated billions of dollars which found its way to mining companies and financial institutions.
"In this inhuman exploitation ,the list of the local accused is a roll call of top military officers, government officials and businessmen, --The elite networks derive financial benefit through a variety of criminal activities, including theft, embezzlement, diversion of public funds, undervaluation of goods, smuggling, false invoicing, non-payment of taxes, kickbacks to public officials and bribery," the report said. So lucrative and elaborate was the looting that there were attempts to prolong the fighting by stirring conflict between rival militias and rebels. "Those [criminal] groups will not disband voluntarily. They have built up a self-financing war economy centred on mineral exploitation," the report added. Rwanda's claim to have stayed in Congo to hunt the Hutu militia responsible for the 1994 genocide was described as a cover for its army's desire to strip minerals.
Verily, the era of colonization and exploitation is far from over. In Africa, globalization means rapacious loot of its mineral wealth.
Gaddafi calls Saddam Hussein trial illegal –He is still the legal President of Iraq
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi became a darling of the west after giving up efforts to build a nuclear bomb. Can any one take that seriously Remember how Gaddafi had sent his deputy Major Jalloud with a cheque book to Cho-en Lai in early 1970s to purchase a few nuclear bombs. Recently Gaddafi also handed hundreds of millions of dollars to victims of air accidents , which the West accused were carried out by Libyans , but many reports saw the hands of Mossad and doubt the integrity of Western trials .
Gaddafi told an Italian TV Channel that Saddam Hussein's trial was illegal under the Geneva Convention. While he always considered Saddam a dictator, the former Iraqi president was nevertheless a " prisoner of war" and as such should have been released by now.
Gaddafi also dismissed the election last year of an Iraqi parliament, saying it was invalid because it took place under foreign occupation. Saddam was still the legal president of Iraq, because "he wasn't toppled by his people".
Halabja Gassing of Kurds;
"Voice of America" , which claims to be "a trusted source of news and information since 1942' announced on April 4 that " Iraq's former leader Saddam Hussein faces new charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1980s crackdown against the Kurds, including the infamous gassing of thousands of civilians in thevillage of Halabja."
US leaders and media had made Halabja part of campaign in 2002 -03 for a regime change in Iraq.
John Stauber , co-author of Weapons of Mass Deception said before the invasion in 2003 ," I have been absolutely stunned by the statements of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, especially the secretary of state who went to Halubjah recently and said the U.S. should have acted sooner there because of what occurred there, which is the gassing of thousands of men, women, and men. And here is the ultimate hypocrisy. I think this has become the primary justification now for the war. But the event occurred in 1988. The chemicals were supplied by the Reagan administration. And after the gassing of civilians in Halubjah, there was a bipartisan effort to try to pass the 1988 prevention of genocide act." That act was killed by the administration.
" And I won't spit out the statistics stinks, they're in our book, but they ignored Halabjah in which the U.S. was complicit, provided the weapons of mass destruction, and then Colin Powell (?) led the lobby campaign to kill the prevention of genocide act. More recently, I think they've got the American public duped and confused into thinking that Halabjah was some sort of recent event because they are now repeating the Halabjah story over and over, and it's been echoed over and over in the news since September 2002."
During the buildup to "Operation Desert Storm", and I'm just reading right out of our work here in "Weapons of Mass Deception," the first Bush administration avoided mentioning the Halabja incident, didn't mention it, reporters seldom mentioned it either. The search of the Lexis Nexis news database shows that Halabjah was mentioned in 188 news stories in the U.S. in 1988, the year it occurred. It was rarely mentioned, however, in subsequent years. 20 stories in 1989, and only 29 in 1990, the year that Saddam invaded Kuwait. Between the invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and the end of operation desert storm on February 27, 1991, Halabjah received only 39 mentions. And during the entire following decade, it barely averaged 16 mentions per year. During the presidential election year of 2000, Halabjah got 10 mentions. The story didn't really begin to circulate again in the U.S. media until September 2002 when the George W. Bush administration began its public push for war with Iraq. After that, mentions began to increase sharply. The Halabjah incident was mentioned 57 times in the month of February 2003 alone.
"In March, the month the war began, it was mentioned 145 times. By then, nearly 15 years had passed, memories had faded, and it was safe to talk about Saddam's gassing of Iraqi citizens. Only a few of the journalists who wrote about Halabjah in 2002 and this year bothered to mention that Saddam committed his worst atrocities while the president's father ( Bush Sr.) was showering him with financial aid. So there you have it. "
Stephen Pelletire , who left CIA to become a professor at US war College ," was specifically asked to investigate Halabjah said ," -- We know the circumstances under which the alleged attack took place. It was a battle. The Iranians had infiltrated the town and were attempting to take it over so they could use it as a staging ground to perpetuate—to perpetrate an invasion into Iraq. The Iraqi commander ordered the use of chemical weapons in order to drive the Iranians out of the town. Those chemicals were delivered by mortar shells. Chemical Ali had nothing to do with this operation. That was a decision of the Iraqi commander on the spot, and he took that decision because it was essential to regain the town. Now, the Kurds that were killed, and it's an unfortunate expression, collateral damage. The Iraqis were not aiming at the Kurds, they were aiming at the Iranians.
"And there was a report done by the D.I.A. at the time, which also investigated it, in which the D.I.A. determined because of the condition of the bodies that the Kurds had been killed by Iranian gas, not by Iraqi gas. And they determined this because the extremities were blue, and that indicated a cyanide-based gas, and the Iraqis didn't have it.
"Finally, the journalists who appeared on the spot and investigated it and took those awful pictures which everyone has seen, never counted more than a few score of bodies, and the original stories, and you can go back and look at the Christian Science Monitor and other reports of what went on by reporters in the town, all uniformly saying a couple of hundred people killed, now that's been swollen to the point where we're now claiming between 3,000 and 5,000. '
Stephen Pelletire wrote the Halabja story in Jan, 2003 in New York Times. Among others Inter Press Service ,also published a piece on Halabja in July,2004 Many have quizzed Pelletire and his story appears to be solid and acceptable.
Among those who propagate US administration line is the Washington Kurdish Institute, with connections to Jewish lobbies. Jeffrey Goldberg 's 18,000-word story, the Great Terror, in the 25 March 2002 issue of The New Yorker forms the basis of the US Department of State's website on alleged Iraqi genocide. He says, "Saddam Hussein's attacks on his own citizens mark the only time since the Holocaust that poison gas has been used to exterminate women and children ."Goldberg has dual Israeli/American citizenship and served in the Israeli defence forces a few years back.
What about the use of chemical weapons by Western nations since Holocaust? How quickly and regularly the Jews use the word Holocaust to brow beat criticism .It is pitiable and smacks of some kind of sickness .They have long used it against Europeans as guilt weapons.
Nazism's roots in European[Western] culture;
Le Monde wrote in May, 2005 under " Nazism's roots in European culture- Production line of murder"
"There are many other threads that link the ideology of Nazism and its methods (domination and extermination) with the history of the West. Despite its pathological aberrations, they make it part of the historical development of the West.
"The first link is ideological. Nazism emerged in the socio-political constellation of German nationalism, which was crisscrossed by currents well represented in European culture as a whole: racial anthropology, with its idea of a hierarchy of human groups dominated by "Aryans"; Social Darwinism, with its concept of natural selection of the fittest; and eugenics, with its reactionary utopia of an artificially created higher species.
"It (Nazism ) was, however, only a radical expression of an ideology and wide-ranging forms of social discrimination and persecution that were hardly a German monopoly before the second world war. Racial anthropology was well represented in Italy (Cesare Lombroso), Social Darwinism in England (Alfred Russel Wallace), eugenics in the United States (Francis Galton), and anti-semitism in France (Eduard Drumont, Maurice Barrès, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, and many others). "
"Moreover, the exacerbated nationalism and biological racism of the Nazis were closely linked to the culture and practice of imperialism that had characterised the whole of Europe since the beginning of the 19th century. Germany had not played a leading role in this development. On the contrary, it was a latecomer, a keen pupil following the two great colonial powers, France and Britain. The natural supremacy of the white race and its corollary, Europe's civilising mission in Africa and Asia; the view of the world beyond Europe as a vast area to be colonised; the idea of colonial wars as conflicts in which the enemy was the civilian population of the countries to be conquered, rather than an army; the theory that the extinction of the inferior races was an inevitable consequence of progress: these central tenets of Nazi ideology were commonplaces of 19th-century European culture.
"Nazism was also a product of the first world war, the total war that was the real founding experience of the 20th century. Therein lay the roots of industrial extermination, the anonymous death of millions, and the authoritarian re-modelling of European societies in the inter-war period. As the historian George Mosse has convincingly demonstrated, the first world war began a brutalisation of political life of which Nazism was the culmination. In the context of the civil wars and uprisings that shook Russia, Germany, Hungary and Italy between 1918 and 1923, fascism emerged as a typically reactionary, nationalistic and anti-democratic movement. To that extent, it was indeed the offspring of the counter-revolution waged throughout the "long" 19th century, from the anti-Jacobin coalition of 1793 to the massacres that followed the defeat of the Paris Commune of 1872."
Views on Halabja;
Cyber search indicates that many well known journalists like Robert Fisk and Prof Juan Cole also believe in the US -Western version of Halabja massacres, based on Human Rights Watch's conclusions from captured documents after the uprisings instigated by George Bush Sr in 1991.[ Any material which falls in US government hands is likely to be tampered with.]
Titled "Fact & Fiction" ,Prof Juan Cole wrote on 2-04-03 ;
"In a recent New York Times op-ed, Stephen Pelletiere argued that the March, 1988, gassing of Kurds during the waning months of the Iran-Iraq war may have been perpetrated by Iran, not Iraq. This issue has taken on importance because Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's gassing of the Kurds is often given as one ground for the U.S. to go to war to effect regime change. As it happens, Pelletiere, a former CIA analyst, is just plain wrong and appears not to have kept up with documentation made available during the past decade.
"As a result of the successful bid for autonomy of Kurds in northern Iraq under the U.S. no-fly zone, tens of thousands of documents from the Iraqi secret police and military were captured by Kurdish rebels from 1991 forward. These were turned over to the U.S. government. Some ten thousand of them have been posted to the World Wide Web at the Iraq Research and Documentation Program at the Center for Middle East Studies of Harvard University: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~irdp/.
The captured documents explicitly refer to Iraqi use of chemical weapons against Kurds, called "Anfal" (spoils) operations. Some documents were reviewed by Human Rights Watch in the early 1990s, which issued a report, entitled "Genocide in Iraq." Robert Rabil, a researcher with the IRD Program, has also published an analysis of the documents, in the Middle East Review of International Affairs.
"The documents under review never mention Iraqi authorities taking precautions against Iranian uses of chemical weapons, and there is no good evidence that Iran did so. Since Iran and the Kurds were allies, Iran in any case had no motive to gas thousands of Kurds. The Baath documents do frequently mention the Anfal campaign of February-September 1988, when high Baath officials in the north were authorized to gas the Kurds." He also said,
"My own knowledge of the horrors Saddam has perpetrated makes it impossible for me to stand against the coming war, however worried I am about its aftermath. World order is not served by unilateral military action, to which I do object. But world order, human rights and international law are likewise not served by allowing a genocidal monster to remain in power".[italics added]
I admire Prof Juan Cole's efforts to provide uptodate and comprehensive information on Iraq and the region on his blog , which I visit regularly and recommend to others. I wrote to him about his assessment of Halabja massacres now but have not received any answer.
Professor Mohammed al-Obaidi ,an Iraqi and the spokesman for the People's Struggle Movement (Al-Kifah al-Shabi) in Iraq, and a university professor in the UK wrote in Al-Jazeera .net on 4 Jan, 2005 that
" After 15 years of support to the allegations of HRW, the CIA finally admitted in its report published in October 2003 that only mustard gas and a nerve agent was used by Iraq.
"The CIA now seems to be fully supporting the US Army War College report of April 1990, as a cyanide-based blood agent that Iraq never had, and not mustard gas or a nerve agent, killed the Kurds who died at Halabja and which concludes that the Iranians perpetrated that attack as a media war tactic.
"Despite the doubt cast by many professionals as well as the CIA's recent report, and after years of public relations propaganda made for the Kurdish leaderships by the assistance and support of the Israeli Mossad, the issue of genocide has been marketed to the international community."
Before the war, when US leaders were accusing Saddam Hussein of all crimes including the Halabja massacre ,Don Sellar, the Toronto Star's ombudsman cautioned on March 1, 2003.
"A War Crime Or an Act of War?" was the way The Times' headline writer neatly summed up Pelletiere's argument.. No doubt, Saddam has mistreated Kurds during his rule. But it's misleading to say, so simply and without context, that he killed his own people by gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja. --In light of that, editors need to consider assigning staff back home to do reality checks on claims and counter-claims made in the fog of war.
"As our retrospective on the Halabja story suggests, the bang-bang coverage — gripping though it may be — may not be enough to get the job done. --The fog of war that enveloped the battle at Halabja in 1988 never really lifted. "
Conclusions of US led media been very persistently and vigorously contested by Jude Wanniski with whom I had some correspondence before he passed away last year. A Republican and a former Associate Editor of the WS Journal's editorial page in the 1970s , he coined the phrase "supply-side economics" and named "the Laffer Curve" after Laffer.
He wrote to me after reading my piece
*"Neo-Cons Grip Slipping as Iraqi Resistance Morphs Into Liberation War or Worse " mwcnews.net and Al-Jazeerah.info, June 30 ,2005.
Dear Ambassador Singh: A friend sent me your posting on Al Jazeerah and I enjoyed it immensely, a much different perspective than I have seen elsewhere. I was one of the neo-cons during the Cold War and have known Richard Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kristol et al from 1965, 67 or 69. They of course picked GWB when he was Texas governor because he was a blank slate on which they could write their plans for a New American Century.
Until is death he was working relentlessly to expose the neo-cons and other lies.
I received the following message received from his office
From: Patricia Koyce Wanniski ; September , 2005
Re: Jude's Final Thoughts on Iraq
When Jude died on August 29, he was at his office desk, working on this memo on Iraq. I know Jude would have been appalled at the recent Al-Qaeda bombings, and the rising toll in American and Iraqi lives, military and civilian, over the last few weeks. It is with this in mind that I offer a last look at the questions Jude was posing to one of his key sources, Dr. Mohammed Al-Obaidi, about the Iraqi elections, and to Joost Hiltermann, one of his key sparring partners on the opposing side, about mass graves. Ever the reporter, Jude was tireless and passionate about finding out what was happening in Iraq. Note that he writes to Mr. Hiltermann that "If the bodies had been found, I would be…encouraging the trial and execution of Saddam as a mass murderer." This last flexibility demonstrates that indeed Jude had no direct political agenda but was merely concerned with finding the truth. I've never been prouder of my husband.
Saddam Hussein did not commit genocide
Jude Wanniski wrote on March 14, 2004
Exactly a year ago, as I saw the Bush administration pick up the pace for war on Iraq, I sensed President Bush was being pulled along by the Pentagon civilians with their insistence that he [ Saddam Hussein] was a truly evil man because he had committed genocide. At the end of the Iran/Iraq war in 1988, it was said the Iraqi air force dropped poison gas on its own citizens in the Kurdish town of Halabja and killed at least 5,000 in the course of recapturing the town from the Iranians. That was in March of \'88. In the days after Iran sued for peace in August, it was reported the Iraqi army had systematically rounded up another 100,000 Kurds – and on the grounds they had fought with the Iranians – slaughtered them with poison gas.
Secretary of State George P. Shultz reported this latter assertion without checking and the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning Saddam, relying upon a report from Kurdistan by a staff member of its Foreign Relations Committee, Peter Galbraith, son of the famous economist, John Kenneth Galbraith. The story faded but resurfaced when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. In the years since, it has been amplified again and again by the Washington organization, Human Rights Watch. Its resident expert, Joost Hiltermann, an Arabic-speaking law professor at Johns Hopkins School for International Studies, was chiefly responsible for this amplification.
"In 1997, I had come upon a 1991 report of the Army War College at Carlyle, Pa., that had come to completely different conclusions. Its author, Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, had headed a team that pulled together all the specialists of the US intelligence agencies to study the Iran/Iraq war, to study how Iraq had defeated a country three times its size. The report touched on the Halabja deaths, saying that \"hundreds\" of civilians had died, with indications they were killed by a cyanide gas known to be used by the Iranian army, not possessed by Iraq. It said nothing about the \"disappearance\" of 10,000 Iraqi Kurds.
"Pelletiere had been the CIA's senior analyst in covering the eight-year Iran/Iraq war. When I tracked him down a year ago, living in retirement near the War College, he insisted nothing had happened in the dozen years since to change his mind. There was no genocide, he told me, and said the story about the 100,000 deaths was a hoax, a non-event, propagated by Human Rights Watch. He said he had discussed his differences with Joost Hilterman, arguing the \"victims\" had never been found, nor had any mass graves been located.
"I called Hiltermann at HRW for a discussion of his differences with Pelletiere, which led to an exchange of e-mails over a period of weeks. Here is the last contact I had with him, a long e-mail from me asking questions, and his lengthy response. I've merged the two letters so they can be read seamlessly. There are of course no follow-up questions in this exchange, but I think the exchange speaks for itself, and why I could easily conclude that Human Rights Watch had made an enormous blunder in propagating the genocide story and now will say anything to insist it was right all along. Unfortunately, President Bush has not yet been advised by his team that the U.S. intelligence agencies had the story correctly in the first place, as it suits the interest of the war hawks at the Pentagon to have the President believe Saddam is not just a dictator, but a Hitler.
As a footnote, the CIA last October issued a report on Iraq's use of gas during its war with Iran. It said its last use of gas was at Halabja, that \"hundreds\" had died, and that Iraq had used mustard gas, not cyanide gas. It dismissed the report of the disappearance of 100,000 Kurds later in the year. As for the assertion by Hiltermann that the Iraqi air force had delivered the gas on Halabja, I was advised in an e-mail by W. Patrick Lang, who was the chief intelligence officer at the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency in those years, that there was no evidence of air attacks, that both Iraq and Iran had used gas at Halabja and had delivered them by artillery.
My note ; This information on exchange between Wanniski and Hiltermann is available on the net and can also be easily googled . http://uruknet.info/?p=1454
During Wanniski's persistent amd focused investigations Hiltermann appears aggressive , sometimes rattled and even confused and says " Human Rights Watch never said the Halabja attack constituted genocide." [It was battlefield situation]
Wanniski had written to David Remnick, editor, The New Yorker in April,2002 .He also challenged senior US officials like National Security Adviser , Sandy Berger , Jesse Helms ,Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, back in 1998 but no one replied .Naturally.
I am convinced that Jude Wanniski is correct in his assessment .
I am convinced that Jude Wanniski is correct in his assessment .
Madarsas and Western Christian distant education;
Western leaders and media keep on repeating ad-nauseam about the adverse impact of Madarsa education on Muslim minds .Many times it is true .But with oil wealth of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere being funneled to the west, there is both shortage of funds and anger at the Western Crusades aimed at them .
But the West should realise that in these days of distant education, where education specially to uneducated adults is imparted through written material by post , TV channels and internet ,the same purpose is perversely being achieved as mirror image by the spins , half truths and blatant lies , repeatedly by Western leaders from the highest level , which the Western audience , specially in America , like the Madarsa pupils , believes in .The info purveyed in Western mainstream media has been emasculated or distorted . I have watched in horror , dismay and contempt lies being spewed by western media outlets. With this kind of brainwashing and training, western minds , even adult minds have been poisoned .No wonder then there are Guantanamos , Abu Ghraibs and renditions for torture in East Europe and elsewhere..
Then criminal behaviour becomes a natural outcome and not exception as Western leaders then try to explain away .What do Rambo films convey , marines trained to kill ruthlessly and efficiently . That is what they do best. And when faced with the task of 'running' a country like Iraq, untrained in policing or administration , they continue to kill with vengeance in revenge ,innocent civilians, women and children ,when attacked by freedom fighters in Iraq .There are umpteen such examples in Iraq , which Western leaders and propaganda try to hide . Till western Christian leaders and thinkers change their outlook on others ( historically called barbarians ) ie Eastern Christians , Muslims , Indians and Asians, Africans , the distance education of western minds led by Fox Channel, CNN, BBC etc would keep on producing , Christian bigots , mirror images of Muslim bigots and terrorists.
Western virginity ;
Reputation about the integrity and honesty of a country and its people is like virginity .Once it is ravaged , specially with help from its own people , it can not be repaired .Of course in the West there are some examples of women getting themselves surgically repaired to offer themselves to their spouses on marriage anniversaries . West is welcome to its devices. But such attempts by hiring US PR firms to improve USA's terrible image in the East have failed and will .Even in India , while the`English speaking media , brainwashed by CNN, BBC etc , many among them bribed by study grants , well paid seminars in the West or even a drink with the 11th second secretary , remain beholden to West's lies and propaganda .But it is not so in the small towns and the country side . Not many in vernacular media which is read by hundreds of millions had a real word of welcome for George Bush when he came visiting. There were widespread demonstrations against him.
Moral and ethical arithmetic in the world;
The moral and ethical arithmetic in the world was best shown up in the UN General Assembly vote a month ago , when for the new Human Rights Council , US was isolated with Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau, with 170 nations ranged against Washington .
Gajendra Singh, served as Indian Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan in1992 -96. Prior to that, he served as ambassador to Jordan (during the1990 - 91Gulf war), Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. The views expressed here are his own.- Email-Gajendrak@hotmail.com
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