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Re: question re halabja and the UN Security Council

Re: Halabja

Richard Byrne's question concerning the UN Security Council's lack of response to the poison gassing of Halabja is an important one, considering how prominently Halabja has figured in the imperialists' war propaganda since 1990.  The utter cynicism, nauseating hypocrisy, and infinite evil of the governments of London and Washington is highlighted by their defence and protection of Saddam when he committed this atrocity.
The despicable nature of our so-called "free press" is also brought into sharp relief. If journalists and interviewers had given due attention to their predecessors' complicity in this attack, Cook, Blair et al. would not have been able to so freely use Halabja to manipulate public opinion.

I haven't got any references to UN Security Council shenanigans concerning Halabja. The story in my mind was that the US prevented discussion on the Security Council, not that they vetoed a resolution condemning Iraq.

Andrew & Patrick Cockburn, in "Out of the Ashes - the Resurrection of Saddam Hussein",  have some interesting things to say:

"Prior to the invasion of Kuwait... Saddam's murderous regime evoked few complaints in the outside world. Even when he took to gassing his Kurdish subjects, governments in Washington, London, and other western capitals stayed mute, grateful that he was fighting the Islamic Republic of Iran. A strictly enforced rule... forbade any U.S. government official from meeting with any of the exiled Iraqi opposition groups." (p12)

"...the March 1988 gassing of  five thousand Kurds in the city of Halabja in a single afternoon was greeted by a thunderous silence from Western governments..."  (p49)

"... when Iraqi warplanes showered sarin, tabun and mustard gas on the inhabitants of Halabja in March 1988, the world's governments stayed mute. No one, including the government of Sweden, wished to discommode Saddam Hussein, the hammer of the ayatollahs. [Rolf] Ekeus [attending a UN Conference on Disarmemament in Geneva] found this outrageous and informed his foreign minister that, whatever the policy, he was going to make a speech to the conference denuncing this barbarism - which he duly did. He was the only official representative of any government in the world, apart from the Iranians, to do so."  (p97)

Saïd K Aburish, in  "A Brutal Friendship - The West and the Arab Elite",  says
"During the Iran-Iraq war the Iraqi use of chemical weapons against the town of Halabja and the ensuing death of five thousand Kurds found the United States, then in the busines of befriending Saddam, determined to put the blame on the unfriendly Iranians [an endnote, inserted at this point, cites as source: "Interview with filmmaker Gwyn Roberts, who produced conclusive evidence that the chemical attack was an Iraqi one"] "

It would be most interesting to go to the March 1988 newspapers, to see what and how Halabja was reported at the time. I'll do this when time permits, unless someone manages to get there first...

Greetings from Sheffield

John S

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