March 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm (fascism, hell, history, Human rights, iraq, iraq war, Jim D, kurdistan, murder, terror)

Prof Norm reminds us that:

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the attack on Halabja :

Chemical weapons Halabja Iraq March 1988.jpg

On March 16, 1988, 5,000 Kurds died in the city and 10,000 were injured after a seven-hour bombardment by Saddam Hussein’s jets and artillery. The population was blanketed with blood, nerve and blister agents in the worst chemical attack on a civilian population since the Second World War.

The poet Choman Hardi has written this poem, ‘Yek deqiqe bo Halabja’, to commemorate the dead. On her Facebook page she says that the poem is ‘dedicated to the memory of the victims who, because of circulating images of their mutilated bodies, seem to have disappeared from our consciousness as human beings, their value seems to be reduced to their victimhood.’


  1. Mark said,

    I don’t know why – but something about seeing the cat really made things hit home. It makes it seem more real, more than numbers.

  2. Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

    Back then Saddam was our guy cause he was fighting the Ayatollahs and so we looked away. What makes me especially sick was those who favoured the 2003 Iraq war on human rights ground were nowhere to be seen nor heard during the 80’s cause you know he wasn’t the bad guy then yet that’s the decade when he was committing his worst atrocities.




    • Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

      FT asking to subscribe so here it is c&p.

      December 30, 2011 12:00 am
      UK secretly supplied Saddam
      By Michael Stothard

      Margaret Thatcher’s government was covertly supplying military equipment to Iraq as early as 1981, according to newly released government documents.

      Secret files made public on Friday contain an exhaustive list of equipment from Hawk fighter jets to military air and naval bases that the government was attempting to sell Saddam Hussein’s regime.

      This came despite the fact that the UK was officially neutral in the Iran-Iraq war, which begun in late 1980. Britain had also signed up to a UN Security Council resolution calling on its members to “refrain from any act which may lead to a further escalation and widening of the conflict”.

      The list shows 78 different types of military equipment including Land Rovers, tank recovery vehicles, terrain-following radar and spare tank parts that were in the process of being sold. Not all the sales on the list were completed.

      All the equipment on the sales list was technically “non-lethal”, although equipment such as tank parts stretched the definition.
      One prime-ministerial brief recommended that the best way to avoid public condemnation but to still make money from Iraq was to sell only non-lethal equipment but to “define this narrowly”.
      “Contracts worth over £150m have been concluded [with Iraq] in the last six months including one for £34m (for armoured recovery vehicles through Jordan),” writes Thomas Trenchard, a junior minister, in a secret letter to Mrs Thatcher in March 1981.
      The letter also says that a meeting with Saddam Hussein “represent a significant step forward in establishing a working relationship with Iraq which … should produce both political and major commercial benefits”. Mrs Thatcher wrote by hand at the top of the letter that she was “very pleased” by the progress being made.

      Throughout her premiership Mrs Thatcher took a direct roll in securing deals for British defence companies, calling her efforts “battling for Britain”. Partly thanks to her efforts, the UK climbed from being the fifth- to the second-largest supplier of military equipment over the decade.

      Her greatest defence coup over the decade was the Al-Yamamah contract with Saudi Arabia in 1985 and 1988, which was one of the largest arms deals in history worth about £40bn to British Aerospace and other British companies.

      The push to sell arms in Iraq, encouraged by the privatisation of British Aerospace in 1981, in the end caused serious embarrassment when, in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Britain then found itself at war with the country they had been selling weapons to just a few months earlier.

      Another consequence was the Scott Report, which was published in 1996 and gave a damming assessment of the Conservative government’s role in selling arms to the Middle East through the 1980s.

      The newly released papers also show how some in the government were concerned about Mrs Thatcher’s aggressive arms sales policy. One prime ministerial brief in January 1981 warned that “if we expose ourselves to serious accusations of breach of neutrality obligation [in Iraq] or deviousness our efforts could backfire”.
      Ivor Lucas, the ambassador to Oman, writes: “I should prefer a more balanced approach to arms sales in the Sultanate, for fear that an accumulation of sophisticated equipment largely for prestige reasons will be more than the defence capability of this country requires.”

  3. Babz said,

    Are comments with links deleted? I’ve had two deleted so far both with hyperlinks.

    • Jim Denham said,

      The filter system automatically puts comments with links into moderation. We then release them, but sometimes don’t notice, so if it happens again do what you’ve just done and send us a reminder.

  4. Michael Moran said,

    Iraq clearly much better off in the grip of Shiite fascists

  5. Norm is a Tory said,

    Winton Churchill was also in favour of the arial murder of the Kurdish “uncivilised tribes”.

    • Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce (Much More Bounce) OOps upside your Head this time with feeling said,


    • Babz said,

      Using chemical warfare to boot.

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