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Author Topic: Iraqi gas attacks on Kurds
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 12:47 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Genocide denial should always be countered, so I thought I should reopen this debate that was just closed here.

Moredreads, your sources have no credibility. None.

Actually, my favorite piece of evidence that Iraq gassed Kurds on a regular basis is a tape recording acquired by Human Rights Watch, in which Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, who led the campaigns against the Kurds in the late eighties, says:

quote:
Jalal Talabani [head of the PUK] asked me to open a special channel of communication with him. That evening I went to Suleimaniyeh and hit them with the special ammunition. That was my answer. We continued the deportations. I told the mustashars that they might say that they like their villages and that they won't leave. I said I cannot let your village stay because I will attack it with chemical weapons. Then you and your family will die. You must leave right now. Because I cannot tell you the same day that I am going to attack with chemical weapons. I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them! The international community and those who listen to them.

Oh well. Shouldn't the Kurds have taken heart from the news that they weren't the "primary targets" of Iraqi gas attacks?

[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: Whazzup? ]


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 05 February 2003 12:52 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Excelent.

But then, I should also note, that my source did not deny that Iraq used chemical weapons, but suggested that they were used against guerillas fighting alongside the Iranians.

From your source:

quote:
Even if the war with Iran stops and the Iranians withdraw from all occupied lands, I will not negotiate with him [Talabani] and I will not stop the deportations.

This fits in with the source I cited.

Now then, why was the US National War College going through all this effort in the late eighties to prove that Saddam had plausible deniability? Because indeed they did go looking for evidence to absolve him and came up with what they could. And this question goes to the very heart of whether or not the US can be trusted not to fabricate or develop misleading evidence to support the war they intend, now.

The truth is always maleable in Washington it would seem.

[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 01:32 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Whoops. My original reply disappeared.

Quick summary:

quote:
From your source:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Even if the war with Iran stops and the Iranians withdraw from all occupied lands, I will not negotiate with him [Talabani] and I will not stop the deportations.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This fits in with the source I cited.


How does that "fit in" with Pelletier's claim that "as far as the information we have goes, all of the cases where gas was used involved battles." That is obviously false based on the tapes. Gas was used against people who were proposing negotiations.

quote:
Now then, why was the US National War College going through all this effort in the late eighties to prove that Saddam had plausible deniability? Because indeed they did go looking for evidence to absolve him and came up with what they could.

Because Saddam was their client in the Cold War, and because they are assholes. The question that I have is why anybody today, right now, would continue to "go looking for evidence to absolve him." Moredreads?

[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: Whazzup? ]


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 05 February 2003 02:36 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, is that what I'm doing?

And they "were" not assholes, they "are" asshole, as in the same assholes who both of the Bush adminstration inherited form the Reagan adminstration.

If you like, and you stop presuming what I believe and think about this then we can talk. Are you game?

First of all we have to agree that there are two things happening here.

1) Iraq is determining to follow a plan of 'startegic hamlets,' of the kind used by Britain in Burma and the US in Vietnam. The object is to isolate the guerilla's from the population.

quote:
When we made the decision to destroy and collectivize the villages and draw a dividing line between us and the saboteurs...

2)There is a war with Iran, Iran is working closely with some of the Kurdish population, which lies on both sides of the Iran/Iraq border.

quote:
In October 1986, the PUK and the Iranian government concluded a sweeping accord on economic, political and military cooperation. Both parties agreed that they would press the fight against the Iraqi regime until Saddam Hussein was toppled, and both promised to make no unilateral deals with Baghdad.51 If either party faced a serious military threat, the other would open a second front to relieve the pressure; Iran agreed to provide the PUK with arms, financial support and medical aid, while foreswearing the right to impose an Islamic regime in Baghdad.52 The results of the accord were apparent almost at once,on October 10, when a group of Iranian Revolutionary Guards, or pasdaran accompanied by Kurdish peshmerga, struck at the Kirkuk oilfields, deep inside Iraqi territory. At the same time, to Baghdad's evident fury, the Iranians brokered a unity agreement between the PUK and the KDP, putting an end to their longstanding rivalry.

Your web resource

Correct?

[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 02:49 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Oh, is that what I'm doing?

Yep. You hammered at a single discredited source for 3 or 4 posts, without bothering to check up on the dozens of other sources effectively discrediting it.

But actually, you revealed yourself in the initial thread,, when you commented that arguments over Iraqi gas attacks were always "trotted out for moral suasion." Anyone who sounds so world-weary and cynical about nerve gas attacks on Kurdish civilians needs a reality check.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 03:01 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi Moredreads. It seems that you've been combing through that HRW report I provided you, combing through it for evidence that absol... sorry ... explains Saddam's decision to repeatedly drop gas on the Kurds. Congratulations for proving my point.
From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 05 February 2003 03:05 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Obviously that is what I am doing that is why I said...

quote:
Well then, what about the former CIA chief who says it is very likely that it was the Iranians who gassed the Kurds, not the Iraqi's.
Now this is not to say that this former CIA analyst doesn't have an axe to grind, but as far a sources goes, its as good as any you've provided to the contrary because all you do is yap.

quote:
But then ok, lets say that this CIA hack is not credible, good enough for me. But that doesn't say much for your evidence or the Bush evidence, because all of that comes from the CIA as well. Take your pick, either the CIA is credible or not.

And from the first time I posted the article:

quote:
Interesting in part because these early reports and (I believe) this writer are often considered to have white-washed the whole affair in order to justify ongoing 'startegic alliance' that the US had with Saddam against Iran, and to cover up US complicity through their support for Saddam (whatever methods he chose.) In other words they actively looked for holes in the allegations about the gassing, and tried to blame it on Iran, in order to give Washington a case (*plausible deniability*) for continuing support for Saddam.

Interesting none-the-less.


From Here

So why don't you stop trying to paint me like an asshole, asshole.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 05 February 2003 03:08 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Hi Moredreads. It seems that you've been combing through that HRW report I provided you, combing through it for evidence that absol... sorry ... explains Saddam's decision to repeatedly drop gas on the Kurds. Congratulations for proving my point.

So you post links so that we should not look at them?

While I have been trying to assertain the facts and try and actually detrmine what happened, and discuss this with you, you have just decided to continue being a dick, dick.

Your just a dick. Period.

[ 05 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
mandrake
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posted 05 February 2003 04:07 PM      Profile for mandrake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
While I have been trying to assertain the facts and try and actually detrmine what happened, and discuss this with you, you have just decided to continue being a dick, dick.

Your just a dick. Period.


Watch out. Big Muthuh is watching. Skdadl will probably threaten to report you to the moderator for slander.


From: erehwon | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 February 2003 04:10 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It isn't illegal to be a dick in Canada. (Obviously, I should have thought.)

mandrake, you're still missing the point.

God, but I hate etiquette patrol.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 05 February 2003 04:11 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Saddam supporter, dick... potato potahto, right Mandrake?
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 05:20 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Click.

quote:
In 1988, as a staff member working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I documented Iraqi chemical weapons attacks on 49 Kurdish villages in Dihok Province along Iraq's border with Turkey. These attacks began on Aug. 25, 1988, five days after the Iran-Iraq war ended, and were specifically targeted on civilians.

As a result of the committee's report, the Senate unanimously approved comprehensive sanctions on Iraq.

Between March 1987 and August 1988, Iraq made extensive use of chemical weapons against Kurdish villages as part of a campaign aimed at depopulating rural Kurdistan. These attacks have been well documented by human rights groups, forensic investigators and the Kurds themselves. Many occurred in places far from the front line in the Iran-Iraq war.

The Kurdish survivors of the Halabja attack all blame Iraq, and many report seeing Iraqi markings on the low-flying aircraft that delivered the lethal gas. While the most deadly, the Halabja attack was one of between 60 and 180 such attacks that took thousands of civilian lives.
PETER GALBRAITH
Washington, Feb. 3, 2003
The writer is a former United States ambassador to Croatia.



From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 February 2003 05:22 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The writer is a former United States ambassador to Croatia.

And thus a very interesting person, depending on the years he was there.

Not that I have any reason to doubt his testimony above.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 05 February 2003 05:33 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Peter Galbraith is John Kenneth's son, and Croatian ambassador from 1993-98.
From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 05 February 2003 11:58 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I thought that was James Galbraith. Though I note that he has three sons.

[ 06 February 2003: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 06 February 2003 07:57 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Peter too. (An interesting article, btw, on Galbraith's tenure in Croatia.)
From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 06 February 2003 09:22 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The New York Times op-ed piece is deconstructed in this week's New Republic: http://www.thenewrepublic.com/doc.mhtml?i=foreign&s=ackerman020403blic.
From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 06 February 2003 09:34 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jeff: "Sorry that URL was not formed correctly."
From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 07 February 2003 12:34 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The point missed again here, is that what has been shown is that the US intelligence services are ready, williing and able to selectively use data to reinforce there foreign policy objectives.

This is not to say that the basic data, is necessarilly falsified, but that the way it is intepreted creates a misleading impression.

One has to consider this factor when cosidering the 'intelligence' that Colin Powell is using to justify and attack against Iraq.

Those who simply dismiss the past history of the US intelligence community by dismissing the last crop as being 'assholes,' as if that has no relative baring on the present crop of 'assholes,' are choosing to be blind. This is particullarly true in this case, where the liniage of the present Bush administration directly stems from those of the Reagan asdministration that supported Saddam in his war against Iran, and their allies the Kurds.

"Oh! This time things are going to be different," is the never ending refrain of those who support unflinchingly every US war effort.

[ 07 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 07 February 2003 07:47 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's the link.

Thanks a lot, Jeff. That was phenomenal!

And no, Moredreads, you have missed the point yet again.

quote:
What's perhaps most infuriating, though, is that Pelletiere is now reviving his decade-old hobbyhorse as a cynical argument against war with Iraq. "President Bush himself has cited Iraq's 'gassing its own people,' specifically at Halabja, as a reason to topple Saddam Hussein," Pelletiere writes. Considering the Bush administration's "lack of a smoking gun" in the U.N. weapons inspections, he continues, "perhaps the strongest argument left for taking us to war quickly is that Saddam Hussein has committed human rights atrocities against his own people."

Even if Pelletiere had his facts straight on Halabja, his would be a noxious and dishonest argument against war. To begin with, it is an insult to the principled antiwar critics who recognize and condemn Saddam's record of genocide but who still oppose an invasion of Iraq. One such critic is Maryland Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen, who as a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September 1988 visited Kurdish refugees in Turkey to determine what had happened in Kurdistan. Van Hollen's team documented Iraqi chemical attacks on 49 Kurdish villages, leading him to conclude that "at the end of the Iran-Iraq war, all evidence pointed to the fact that [Saddam] used chemical weapons against the Kurds." More important, though, Van Hollen grasps the distinction that eludes Pelletiere, which is that while Bush invokes the Kurdish genocide in his brief against Saddam, the president does so to establish Saddam's willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, not to argue that, as Pelletiere ludicrously puts it, "we go to war over Halabja." The only one fighting a war over Halabja, it seems, is Stephen Pelletiere. And it's one he'd lost before it had even begun.



From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 07 February 2003 08:31 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
All of that is irrelevant, what is relvant is this:

quote:
Those who simply dismiss the past history of the US intelligence community by dismissing the last crop as being 'assholes,' as if that has no relative baring on the present crop of 'assholes,' are choosing to be blind. This is particullarly true in this case, where the liniage of the present Bush administration directly stems from those of the Reagan asdministration that supported Saddam in his war against Iran, and their allies the Kurds.

What you are attempting to do is divorce yourself and the Bush administration from history, its own history and the history of the region, and pretend that Pelletiere is an abberation when in fact he is the norm. One of those who shamlessly formed the facts to confrom to the reigning agenda. Today Pelleteire is out of the loop as Bush desires a new reading of the past, to justify future inteference.

It is quite obvious to you and I that the US knew of this use, and approved of it enough to go to considerable lengths to give Saddam, and by extenstion themselves, plausible deniability. For the US to then turn around and now charge him with the crime they helped commit is cynical in the extreme.

This is especially true when this administration is so closely linked to the Reagan administration that one might consider them to be one and the same.

This is the reason I object to your, and Mr. Bush's, use of these events as moral suasion to justify this war. It is you who is trying to absolve the criminals by making Pelleteire and Saddam the fall guy for the crimes they share with the Texas oil lobby.

This is because the Iraqi invasion of Iran, and the consequent actions against their Kurdish allies, was allowed solely to take revenge for removal of the Shah of Iran by the Iranian people. The Shah who was 'installed' by the US and Britain in place of Mosadeq, so that BP and US oil interests would have a free hand in Iran.

Turkey anyone?

[ 07 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 07 February 2003 10:27 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As I keep on saying, the moral flaws in US policymaking are endemic, systematic, and systemic. They are the logical conclusion of a particular way of thinking combined with a set of interests that must be satisfied. People who seek to let the US off the hook, or to treat every administration and every wrongdoer in the US government as somehow an exception are therefore blind to this obvious fact and really have nothing useful to contribute.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 07 February 2003 11:18 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pelletiere got his facts wrong, Moredreads -- US journalists and politicians have long exposed this fact. That's why I find it a little bizarre when progressives seize upon his bullshit, and circulate it as an "interesting" perspective on the "alleged" deliberate gassing of the Kurds.

I'm motivated by concern for the Kurds and other Iraqi civilians. I think military intervention is the proper route, and I am supported in this notion by actual living Iraqi Kurds (who, incidentally, claim that other Iraqis will support this intervention). When I support a course of action, I don't generally glance through my "Anti-Imperialist Handbook" to determine whether I am being ideologically consistent. I don't care whether I support something also supported by capitalism's running dogs. I care for the victims.

So take your "objections" to my "use of these events as moral suasion to justify this war," and shove them up your ass.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 07 February 2003 04:22 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is anybody - besides the Reagan administration - arguing that Saddam didn't gas the Kurds here? Whazzup, you seem to be desperate to attribute this to Moredreads, but I don't see him claiming that Saddam didn't gas the Kurds. He did it in a pretty recognizable way, strategically speaking, shades of Vietnamese "hamlets" with nerve gas instead of napalm. We're all pretty clear on that. He gassed Iranian troops as well, did he not?

edited to correct my bad habit of thinking mandos is omnipotent

[ 07 February 2003: Message edited by: ronb ]


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 07 February 2003 04:26 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads, you mean. I didn't say anything to which Whazzup? has responded directly on this thread.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Can-Am
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posted 07 February 2003 04:27 PM      Profile for Can-Am     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What you are attempting to do is divorce yourself and the Bush administration from history

Curious statement coming from a person who advocates Stalinism. Talk about divorcing yourself from history. (At least I hope you "divorce" yourself from the Stalinist purges, but one never knows with you).


From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 07 February 2003 04:27 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry man.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 07 February 2003 04:30 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, lookee lookee, red bait's back in town.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 07 February 2003 04:32 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And he/she's still the poster child for the eternal truth that if nothing changes, then nothing changes.
From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
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posted 07 February 2003 05:57 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Is anybody - besides the Reagan administration - arguing that Saddam didn't gas the Kurds here?

OK, well let's see, over in this thread, Sisyphus says that he has tried to make other "question the facile received wisdom of the "Saddam gassed his own people" mantra." And Moredreads, when challenged on his evidence, asked "what about the former CIA chief who says it is very likely that it was the Iranians who gassed the Kurds?" Later wrote, "So a former the Former Chief CIA analyst for Iraq writes and article citing a report from the National War College (which by the way I have read the sanatized (non-secret version) of and you say that this is unsubstatiated." Then, when challenged on that, specifically stated that "Usually the research from the National War College, West Point, and even the CIA is fine." So I'm glad, ronb, that you at least are up to speed on things, but I'm not quite sure who that "we" is referring to.

"Strategically speaking," is Saddam's use of gas specifically targeted at civilians after the end of the war "recognizable"? I don't know. Why not explain that to the Kurds, who I'm sure will respond to this news by abandoning their desire for American military support. They've already given up hope that their fellow socialists will support them, after all.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 07 February 2003 06:26 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I tought this was pretty clear...

quote:
It is quite obvious to you and I that the US knew of this use, and approved of it enough to go to considerable lengths to give Saddam, and by extenstion themselves, plausible deniability. For the US to then turn around and now charge him with the crime they helped commit is cynical in the extreme.

His citation of CIA sources has demonstrated US dissembling, they in no way exonerate Saddam. We're all starting from the understanding that the crimes occurred, by now they are irrefutable, and I still don't see anyone here refuting them. As for "gassing his own people" I do think it is worthwhile putting Saddam's crimes in context, rather than simply letting the notion that he is some utterly unhinged maniac who regularly gassed his subjects for no identifiable reason float around as a pretext for the current land grab. He is not that lunatic. He is simply the latest in a long, shameful military tradition that includes some of our own vaunted heroes. As Winston Churchill so memorably put it...

quote:
I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.

Guess who the tribes were. I bet you already know. The Kurds.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 08 February 2003 01:57 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Curious statement coming from a person who advocates Stalinism.

Looky, looky its a rookie. If you actually bothered to read my posts you would actually see something quite different. Rbil and disassembled various aspects of Stalanism on the first thread your smarmyiness appeared. Remember the Mandela thread? But of course your so busy trying to formulate invective, based entirely in some quasi-fictional internal dialogue, in which you always come out the winner, to notice what I, or any body else here has said about Stalanism, or anything else.

For instance you missed this:

quote:
I think you miss the point. At what point does the Leninist tradition of Marxism, as claimed by Stalin, take sole legitimate claim to the title communist? Opposition to the Communist Party is not a new thing for communists.

It was for this that Bhukahrin, Kamenev, Rhykov, Zionviev and Trotksy, and many more died for is it not?

This is my point. One can be a communist and oppose the party. This fabrication that one can not IS the Stalanist position.

It is in fact the MAIN reason for opposing a Communist Party (or any organization) that believes such.


From here

But I guess that kind of thing is a little to nuanced and steeped in Marxism and the history of the communist movement for some one who got their 'Red educatin' from getting drunk with Russian X-pats and reading op-ed cartoons.

But hell! Sure why not! I'm Stalanist, whatever you say -- if that fits with your the conversation that seems only to go on in your mind, and no where else. After all you seen one red you seen them all, right.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 08 February 2003 02:53 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
OK, well let's see, over in this thread, Sisyphus says that he has tried to make other "question the facile received wisdom of the "Saddam gassed his own people" mantra." And Moredreads, when challenged on his evidence, asked "what about the former CIA chief who says it is very likely that it was the Iranians who gassed the Kurds?" Later wrote, "So a former the Former Chief CIA analyst for Iraq writes and article citing a report from the National War College (which by the way I have read the sanatized (non-secret version) of and you say that this is unsubstatiated." Then, when challenged on that, specifically stated that "Usually the research from the National War College, West Point, and even the CIA is fine." So I'm glad, ronb, that you at least are up to speed on things, but I'm not quite sure who that "we" is referring to.

This is what you are not seeing: The two sets of facts are not necessarily exclusive of each other.

In other words it may be the case that in this incident, Halabja, that a battle took place and the Iranians did some gassing. Gas is known not to be an accurate tool of war, wind affects accuracy immensely. Perhaps they accidentally gassed their allies? It has happened before.

The war College people may have gone to this site found what they were looking for... 'evidence to give Saddam palusible deniability,' and then discounted all other reports. I am sure the actual autopsies and other apects of the report are professional, and this is what I mean about War College researchers and their reports being ok. It is the what is done with the information that is problematic.

If they found cyanide and not Mustard gas then I believe them. However, perhaps the Iraqi's did have cyanide, and this is what Ali Hassan al-Majid was talking about when he said:

quote:
"I will say it is from here [the Northern Bureau]. Anyone willing to come back is welcome, and those who do not return will be attacked again with new, destructive chemicals. I will not mention the name of the chemicalbecause that is classified information. But I will say with new destructive weapons that will destroy you."

Perhaps the people who wrote the report were unaware of that, when the report was written. Who knows? Do you, really, Whazzup?

None of this is to say that the Iraqi's did not do their own gassing, and that the greater part of the HRW report are not also true.

So perhaps Peletiere does in fact have his facts right, but does not have all the facts, so to speak, or has discounted some facts as groundless for other reasons.

But one of the main points that I find frustrating is the general sense you get from people, even people on this board, that Saddam went around gassing people for the fun of it. To say such is not to justify it or absolve the crime, but to contextualize in the fact that a war was being fought against Iran, the PUK and other Kurdish organization where allied with Iran, which also used gas.

And what about Turkey in 1984? No gas but an equally bruital ethnic cleansing, hardy a mention at all.

Reading Pelletiere takes you to these facts:

1) Iraq/Iran war
2) US support for Iraq
3) US eagerness to pin the blame on Iran

These are far more important in the grand scheme of things, even if he is wrong about the details.

The problem seems to be that every time you raise this context, and naturally bring into question all of the events that led up to the invasion of Iran by Iraq, we begin to see a picture that makes the US complicit, in all of these events.

And people who support the war for whatever reason, do not like to see that, because it brings the morality of everything in to doubt.

History did not begin in 1991.

[ 08 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]

[ 08 February 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
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posted 08 February 2003 12:27 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please provide a cite.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 February 2003 01:13 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jeff, the Grauniad published a page of hair-raising Churchill quotations last November, some of which I know to be authentic:

The Churchill you didn't know.

This doesn't prove it's authentic, of course. At least it provides a date (1919) and a context (he was writing as president of the "Air Council").

The only writer who's claimed that Churchill said this -- writer I could find quoted on-line, that is -- is David Irving. (Notice I did not call him a historian).

It's quite possible that Churchill said this, given what we know of his racist views. It's also possible, given Irving's campaign to prove that Churchill was worse than Hitler, that this "quotation" originated with him, not with Churchill. I hope the Grauniad got this from an original document, or (more likely) a historian's account.

Anyway, I intend to keep searching to see if I can't bunk or de-bunk the quotation.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 08 February 2003 05:09 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The only writer who's claimed that Churchill said this -- writer I could find quoted on-line, that is -- is David Irving. (Notice I did not call him a historian).


Yes indeed. I agreed with you that it is possible that Churchill said this. I myself think it is unlikely, though. It is one thing to be racist, and another to favour using poison gas on groups of innocent people. It is almost as if Irving wanted some sort of justification for the events of the holocaust.

Churchill was, among other things, an enemy of Nazis. They WOULD lie about him.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 08 February 2003 05:47 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't see why one would think this quote is unlikely. After all gas wasn't banned until after WWI. It's use by the French, Germans, and British was commonplace during the war.

Churchill was an active participant both in the campaign against Turkey in WWI (Minister of Fleet, no?) and had his hands deep in the colonial enterprise ever since he went with Kitchener up the Nile in the 1898.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Can-Am
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posted 08 February 2003 06:33 PM      Profile for Can-Am     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Some days I just feel like saying fuck it all. Hole up in a cabin with a few hundred pounds of Penguin translations and read pre-Socratic philosophy, St. Augustine, Zhuangzi and Dostoevsky until Armageddon comes.
From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 08 February 2003 06:51 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is not inherently improbable, but I have never come across it, even though I have read a fair number of works critical of Churchill.

Early in his life. Churchill was influenced by Teddy Roosevelt, both ideologically and personally. He believed in the white man's burden and in the need to be adventurous and swashbuckling. The campaign in Turkey which was such a disaster had its roots on San Juan Hill.

But there is a leap from that to the idea that brown races should be gassed. Maybe he said it, but I won't presume it is so just because David Irving said so.

quote:


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 February 2003 07:00 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I don't see why one would think this quote is unlikely.

The only thing making it at all unlikely is that it's David Irving making the claim. Not only does he have it in for Churchill, but as came out during the Lipstadt trial, he doesn't just misinterpret historical fact, he makes it up.

The question isn't how likely it is. It's whether Churchill said it. Which, I grant, is quite possible.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Can-Am
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3678

posted 08 February 2003 07:06 PM      Profile for Can-Am     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's whether Churchill said it. Which, I grant, is quite possible.

I don't automatically think Churchill incapable of statements like these. Without trying to let him off the hook entirely, I think it is at least worth pointing out that--odious as these remarks are--they would not have seemed so extreme, and certainly were not uncommon views at the time they were made. Especially the stuff from the early 1900's. England was still in full-blown colonial mode, and racism was the norm everywhere. Anti-semitism was of course ubiquitous.


From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
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posted 09 February 2003 12:48 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moving this to the Middle East forum.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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