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Sorry Filicity this message is long! It had to be. Dear Bert Thank you for allowing me to join the debate from Baghdad. I hope my comments will not be disregarded totally just because it came from Baghdad. Let me start by stating few basic points: 1- Both Iraq and Iran had and used chemical weapons in their war. 2- It was in the political and economic interest of the UK and USA governments to overlook the human rights violations in Iraq. The two governments assisted, encouraged, armed, even misinformed the parliament .. etc Iraq in its war with Iran for their own political and economical goals. 3- If, I do not know the facts, Iraq used gas in Halabja then the two governments, UK and US, made every effort to cover-up facts , again for their political and economic interest war college report is an example. 4-Iraq was on the Amnesty International list since probably before 1970. For 20 years, the UK and US government told us that, SH , and the government , was the "nice" or "not so bad" guy. They much rather ignore the human right abuse for their political and economic self interest. 5- SH is known to be ruthless dictator. 6- Then came 1990. The US and UK governments started talking about 30000+ political prisoners and human rights. Where were they for 20 years! 7- SH thought that if he takes foreigner as "guests" he might protect the country from being destroyed (stupid thinking). In six months every guest went home. 8- In the gulf war the allied deliberately bombed vital civilian targets like water purification plant, sewage, electricity, irrigation, hospitals, roads… in violation of UN conventions. Such facilities are essential for the civilian population. I am not going to tell you about the unjustified killing on the highway of death nor talk about the use of DU and its disastrous long-term effects. 9- Sanctions were imposed on Iraq for more than 10 years. These sanctions have caused any were between 500000 to 1.5 million additional deaths, nearly 300000 less than 5 years old. I hope till this point you and I do not disagree on these facts. Now comes the hard part: 1- I will accept any figure you wish to quote for political prisoners Add to it any figure you want for the Heabja victims then add to that the Anfal victims. I am sure the result would be less than 500000 ! 2- While his atrocities can not be justified let me make the following distinction. The political prisoners are adults who decided willingly to oppose the government knowing the fact that their action is punishable by death. The same thing can NOT be said for the nearly 300000 children under five they are too young to know the responsibility. 3- While his hostage taking lasted few months. The American and the British government have taken all the 20+ million Iraq’s as hostages for the last 11 years. Remember that the sanctions will not be lifted as long as he is in power! 4- While SH has denied the Iraqi people of their political rights The UK-USA-UN have denied the people of Iraq of most of their other rights namely the right to have decent education, clean water, medical health….. 5- One is free to accuse him of any thing he wants, America accused him of the 11 Sept. and then the Anthrax and they talked about it weeks only to find out that it is not true. Under such climate I do not think any one will find out the true (and I mean the true ) story of Halabja. 6- While SH actions could be looked at as stupid acts of a dictator I wish I could say the same on the actions of elected and civilized governments who imposed a genocidal sanctions on 20+ million Iraqi’s . I am sure that SH does not like what I just wrote. Best regards Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar Baghdad Iraq ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bert Gedin" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 5:45 PM Subject: Halabja & political agendas. > Dear All, > My appreciation to Glen for his very thorough, and well thought out, > research work re. the outrages committed upon the people of Halabja. Any > serious person would accept all the factors involved, without political > agendas, then attempt, impartially, to understand the truth of the > situation. It is unhelpful for anyone to say worse deeds have been committed > elsewhere, thus Halabja is a mere footnote in history. I also agree with > John S., when he says: "Evasion of the truth is harmful to our cause." > However, whilst welcoming someone from Baghdad, Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar, to join > in the debate, I have mixed feelings about some of his views. In > evaluating a political figure (e.g. S.H.), in fact anyone, it is not > neccessary to transform him, or her, into either an angel nor a demon. > Let the 'track record' speak for itself, bearing in mind that all the facts > are rarely available. > It saddens me when Ghazwan states: "...you killed more in 10" (years), > meaning Iraqis. Yes, the sanctions, as well as the bombings, have killed > some 500'000 people, perhaps far more. But Western groups, opposed > to the policies of the last eleven years, are not in the pockets of the > US/UK governments, and don't deserve to be blaimed for deeds which many have > campaigned against, sometimes even gone to prison for. Campaigning groups, > and individuals, throughout the Western world, and further afield, very > strongly aim to put a stop to present destructive policies against Iraq, > harmful to Iraqi people, and to the world. - My apologies to you, Ghazwan, > if I have misunderstood what you are saying, you may wish, at some point, to > clarify matters further. - Philippa Winkler asks: "Why aren't we debating > these attacks?" We are, Philippa, we are! - Greetings, Bert Gedin. > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > Join the world’s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail. > http://www.hotmail.com > > -- > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq > For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org > CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings. > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.