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US Hypocrisy Concerning Kurds and Iraq
Compiled by Karen O'Keefe (thank you!)
Here's a summary of the articles:
1. US continued to support Hussein as of Feb, 2001 by
allowing him to illegally sell oil to stabalize his
regime (according to UN diplomats), it also allowed
Turkey to bomb Kurdish villages in the "no-fly" zones
in northern Iraq.
2. One the Iraqi officers who the CIA reportedly
recruited leave Iraq and possibly replace Hussein,
Nizar al Khazraji, is being investigated for war
crimes against the Kurds. Human Rights Watch reported
that he was directly responsible for the massacre of
3. Myths and facts on Iraq from New Hampshire Peace
Action. (Including statements by Bush Sr showing that
the real reason for the Gulf War was not to protect
4. This article shows the history of Iraq's murderous
campaign against its Kurds resulting in 10% of them
dying and the international community's reaction at
the time. The US gave Hussein $1 billion more in
loans the next year and the security council failed to
condemn the gassing of a town of 60,000. Bush vetoed a
House and Senate bill condemning Hussein. It also
mentions the Bush's encouragement of the popular
uprising in Iraq after the Gulf War and how it allowed
it to be brutally crushed.
American & British pilots blow cover on the so-called
"humanitarian" no-fly zone.
NH Peace Action: Are NH Congressmen Ready to
March 30, 2001
CONTACT: New Hampshire Peace Action
Patrick Carkin 603-228-0559
March 30 - The British newspaper New Statesman
[British and American] pilots patrolling the so-called
no-fly zone in the north of the country [Iraq] have
spoken angrily about how they have been ordered to
return to their base in Turkey in order to allow the
Turkish air force to bomb the Kurds in Iraq - the very
people the British [and Americans] are meant to be
"protecting" . . .
Last October, the Washington Post reported: "On more
than one occasion [US pilots who fly in tandem with
the British] have received a radio message that 'there
is a TSM inbound' - that is, a 'Turkish Special
Mission' heading into Iraq. Following standard orders,
the Americans turned their planes around and flew back
to Turkey. 'You'd see Turkish F-14s and F-16s inbound,
loaded to the gills with munitions,' [pilot Mike Horn]
said. 'Then they'd come out half an hour later with
their munitions expended.' When the Americans flew
back into Iraqi air space, he recalled, they would see
'burning villages, lots of smoke and fire'."
This is the second story within a month to run in the
British media that has reported on huge discrepancies
and irregularities in the US dominated policy toward
Iraq. On February 21 the Times of London, quoting
several UN officials, stated that the US government
was purposely allowing Saddam Hussein to smuggle oil
order to stabilize his government and that US forces
in Turkey were using that oil to assist them in their
patrolling of the northern "no fly zone" of Iraq. The
Times concluded that the "real objective was to
maintain a weak but stable President Saddam Hussein"
Patrick Carkin, NH Peace Action Co-Director and a
former US Army Intelligence Analyst, responded to this
new report, "How many newspapers have to run these
stories before Representatives Bass and Sununu and
Senators Smith and Gregg pay attention? I want them to
explain how it's possible that we can prevent
diphtheria shots for Iraqi children from entering the
country, but then we can't seem to stop massive oil
tankers and pipelines? And now even American and
British pilots are balking at the idea that we're
protecting the Kurds with the no-fly zones. Our own
pilots can see through the moral hypocrisy, why can't
our Congressmen? We've asked Bass, Sununu, Smith and
Gregg repeatedly to investigate these irregularities
and to stop the current US policy that results in the
deaths of thousands of Iraqi children every month. So
far, there's only been silence."
The former Iraqi army chief of staff General Nizar
Khazraji has been picked by the United States to run
Iraq after the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein.
The prestigious London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat
quoted Iraqi opposition sources in Damascus that
Khazraji, who lives in exile in Denmark, "is the
favored candidate" among 62 ex-officers earmarked by
Washington as potential leaders. (French News Agency,
February 11, 2002) Khazraji was in charge of Iraq's
bloody campaign against the Kurds in the North of Iraq
between 1987 and 1988, which resulted in thousands of
deaths. In 1993, the organization Human Rights Watch
presented a report to the US congress says that
General Khazraji was directly responsible for the
massacre (The Swiss paper "24 hours", February 13,
2002). Also, Iranian sources report that the general
was not only involved in gassing the Kurds, but also
ordered the live burial of many Iranian POWs. (Jamejam
Newspaper, Tehran, February 16, 2002)
EXCERPT from Green Left Weekly on same subject:
According to a report in the March 11 Boston Globe,
Nizar al Khazraji, who was chief of staff of Iraq's
armed forces between 1987 and 1991 and now in exile in
Denmark, is the state department-CIA faction's
preferred candidate to be replace Hussein.
The CIA lured Khazraji to defect with the promise a
major political role in a post-Hussein Iraq. He is
reported to have been involved in at least one
CIA-backed coup attempt against Hussein.
Khazraji is the highest ranking officer from Hussein's
military to have defected. Washington believes he
still has strong support within the army hierarchy.
Khazraji's hands are drenched in blood. He was head of
Iraq's armed forces in the last years of the brutal
1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, throughout Baghdad's vicious
military pogroms against the Kurdish minority in the
north in 1988-89 and he led the 1990-91 invasion of
Under Khazraji's command, the Iraqi army used poison
gas in attacks on Iraqi Kurds and Iranian soldiers on
at least 10 occasions between August 1983 and March
1988. The number of victims of these attacks has been
estimated to be at least 30,000.
In the most notorious atrocity, on March 16, 1988,
Iraqi military helicopters attacked the Iraqi Kurdish
village of Halabja with cyanide and mustard gas,
indiscriminately killing more than 5000 people,
including many children. Many thousands more
subsequently died from their injuries.
The attack on Halabja was part of broader military
pogrom against Iraqi Kurds, known as the Anfal
operation. In just over six months, the Iraqi armed
forces killed tens of thousands of people. More than
2000 villages were destroyed. The fate of more than
180,000 Kurds remains unknown.
Denmark's state prosecutor is investigating Khazraji
for war crimes after more than 90 Kurdish
organisations around the world demanded that action be
taken against him.
The US remained silent about these atrocities at the
time because it was complicit in them. It supplied
Iraq with its weaponry and approved the sale of the
chemicals from which Iraq's poison gas was
As a 1990 report prepared for the Pentagon by the
Strategic Studies Institute of the US War College
explained: ?Throughout the [Iran-Iraq] war the United
States practised a fairly benign policy toward Iraq...
Both wanted to restore the status quo ante ... that
prevailed before [the 1979 Iranian revolution] began
threatening the regional balance of power. Khomeini's
revolutionary appeal was anathema to both Baghdad and
Washington; hence they wanted to get rid of him.
United by a common interest ... the [US] began to
actively assist Iraq.?
After the Iran-Iraq war ended ? leaving Iraq as the
most powerful state in the Persian Gulf region ? the
US turned on its erstwhile ?ally?, suddenly
?discovering? that Hussein had ?gassed his own
US and British officials are also cultivating 55 other
exiled Iraqi officers, including Wafiq Sammarai, a
former chief of military intelligence who left Iraq in
1994, and Najib Salhi, a former army and Republican
Guard commander who fled in 1995. US agents meet with
these figures ?pretty regularly?, a state department
official told the Globe.
3. Article 3
Dispelling Myths About Iraq (posted 5/2/99)
MYTH: The UN sanctions allow Iraq to buy enough food
and medicine for its people. If the people are hungry
and sick its Saddam Hussein's fault.
FACT: 80% of Iraq's farms were destroyed in the Gulf
War, so Iraq can't feed itself. Iraq is technically
allowed to import food and medicine under the
sanctions, but it can't afford to because oil sales
are the country's main source of income, and the
sanctions ban most oil exports. The UN "Food for Oil"
program allows Iraq to buy some food and medicine, but
according to Denis Halliday, who coordinated all UN
humanitarian programs in Iraq before resigning this
fall in protest against the sanctions, the program is
wrought with "painful delays, frustration, politics,
and bureaucracy." Iraq is allowed to sell $5.2 billion
worth of oil every six months. Out of that it must pay
reparations to Kuwait and money to the UN. What's left
-- about fifty cents per person per day -- can be used
to buy food and medicine. Some medical and
agricultural equipment is by the UN banned because it
also has military uses. Because of the sanctions, 1.5
million Iraqis have died of starvation and disease --
over half of them children under the age of 5.
MYTH: Iraq has nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons and poses a military threat to its neighbors.
FACT: The international Atomic Energy Commission is
ready to certify that Iraq has eliminated its nuclear
weapons program. Raymond Zalnikas, a UN weapons
inspector from the US with two tours of duty in Iraq,
has said that by 1995 weapons inspectors had destroyed
all chemical and biological weapons facilities in
Iraq. Iraq's ability to wage a conventional war was
greatly diminished by the Gulf War.
Iraq is not the only country to have tried to develop
nuclear weapons in violation of international law.
Israel has developed a nuclear arsenal in violation of
the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and it may have
helped South Africa and India develop nuclear weapons.
India and Pakistan have very active nuclear weapons
programs. None of these countries have been threatened
with bombing or subjected to intrusive inspections.
The NPT also requires the US and other nuclear nations
to work to abolish their own nuclear weapons -- the
World Court has affirmed this obligation, The US has
openly defied the treaty.
MYTH: If Iraq complied with UN weapons inspections the
sanctions would be lifted.
FACT: In April 1997, Secretary of State Madeline
Albright said that sanctions would not be lifted as
long as Saddam Hussein is in power. Because the
sanctions were put in place by the UN Security Council
and the US has veto power in the Security Council, the
US can block the lifting of sanctions indefinitely. In
August, 1997 UN Ambassador Bill Richardson said
"Sanctions may stay on in perpetuity."
MYTH: Saddam Hussein doesn't care about his people.
FACT: Saddam Hussein has brutally repressed dissidents
and Iraq's Kurdish minority. But he is also
responsible for using Iraq's oil revenues to build a
modern infrastructure and the best medical end
educational systems in the Arab world while
neighboring nations allowed a few wealthy people to
hold onto their oil wealth. Before the Gulf War Iraq
had one of the highest standards of living in the
Middle East because Saddam Hussein's government had
invested money in improving the lives of poor and
middle class Iraqis. If Saddam Hussein cared about his
people before the war why would he stop caring after
the war? Saddam Hussein is guilty of many crimes, but
failing to care about or meet the basic needs of his
people is not one of them.
MYTH: The UNSCOM (the committee charged with the
weapons inspections) has been professional,
respectful, and impartial in performing its duties.
FACT: UN humanitarian workers have described the
UNSCOM inspectors as arrogant and openly hostile to
the Iraqis. Some inspectors have insisted on flying
American flags on their vehicles. Clergy, professors,
and international journalists have reported abuses of
power by UNSCOM including burning chemistry books in a
university library, demanding to be allowed to dig up
the graves of nuns at a convent, and sending armed
inspectors to search an elementary school while
classes were in session, frightening the children. On
November 11, 1998 NBC news reported that UNSCOM has
been supplying intelligence, including military
targeting intelligence to the US -- a clear violation
MYTH: In the Gulf War the US mainly attacked military
FACT: The US deliberately targeted Iraq's
infrastructure in the Gulf War. It bombed many major
roads and bridges, water, sewer, and electrical
systems, 688 schools, 94 hospitals, and 80% of Iraq's
farms. Under the sanctions Iraq has been unable to
rebuild its infrastructure, so people are drinking
dirty water and human waste runs into the streets and
the water. After the war a Pentagon analyst told a
Washington Post reporter: "People say 'You didn't
recognize that it was going to have an effect on water
and sewage.' Well, what were we trying to do with the
sanctions -- help out the Iraqi people? No. What we
were doing with the attacks on the infrastructure was
to accelerate the effect of sanctions."
MYTH: The US fought the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait.
FACT: In their recent book, A World Transformed,
George Bush and his National Security Advisor, Brent
Scowcroft admit that the main reason for the war was
to insure that "no hostile regional power could hold
hostage much of the world's oil supply" and that the
Bush administration eventually tried to provoke a war.
There is considerable evidence that the US may have
even provoked the invasion of Kuwait. Certainly the US
does not have a strong record of protecting small
countries from invasion by their larger neighbors. The
US approved, assisted, and subsidized Indonesia's
invasion and occupation of East Timor -- an occupation
that has led to the deaths of 1/3 of the people of
East Timor. And we have been shamefully silent about
China's invasion and occupation of Tibet. Why would
the US suddenly care about the sovereignty of Kuwait
if oil weren't the main issue?
NH PEACE ACTION - PO Box 771, Concord, NH 03302 -
4. Article 4
US DOMINATION PUT TO THE TEST
When our "friend" Saddam was gassing the Kurds
Le Monde Diplomatique March 1998
Baghdad's refusal to allow UN experts to inspect the
presidential sites on which chemical and biological
weapons were allegedly hidden was taken to justify a
new bombing campaign on Iraq last month. Times have
changed. Ten years ago, the systematic gassing of the
Kurdish population of northern Iraq had far less
impact on America. Only six months after the slaughter
at Halabja, the White House lent Saddam Hussein
another billion dollars. And in 1991, at the end of
the Gulf war, US troops stood idly by while Saddam's
presidential guard ruthlessly suppressed the popular
uprising by the Kurds for which the American president
had himself called.
(for full story see:
Page created January 3, 2002 by Charlie Jenks