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Dear CASI list, Apologies to the CASI list for including an unchecked and inaccurate factual statement in my recent posting, as picked up by Sir Terence Clark in his reply (see below). Just as Glen, in his posting on Halabja, showed in a positive way why we should all carefully check and weigh facts before asserting them, so I have provided a negative example of this same imperative. Sir Terence has set the record straight on one issue of fact, but he has used my inaccuracy to recreate some of the confusion about who carried out the attack on Halabja, an important issue which had been substantially settled by Glen's observations. It is interesting what Sir Terence does and does not say in his brief posting. He refers to the "two conflicting version of events", as if responsibility for Halabja is an open question. He adroitly - or should I say maladroitly - sidesteps other parts of my statement: both the general point about the UK government's nefarious alliance with the Saddam regime during the period when he was London's representative in Baghdad, and the specific one about the UK government's role in protecting Saddam from UN censure for perpetrating the Halabja attack. Sir Terence is undoubtedly in a position to shed light on these and many other questions of interest to the ordinary people of Iraq and the UK. It would be interesting to know, for instance, which arms deals he did help to arrange during the period in question (from, say, February 1988, which he describes as "well before Halabja", which took place on March 16th, to autumn of that year). Sir Terence's comment will spur me to locate the press cuttings I made of the Scott enquiry; and, as time permits (which is right now in very short supply), I look forward to formulating some more precise questions for him to answer. Any other CASI list subscribers who would like to participate in this, please get in touch. John S Original Message from Terence Clark 10 January 2002 Subject: RE: Halabja Message text written by "John Smith" >Halabja is important not just for what it confirms about the character of the Saddam regime, but also for what it reveals about his western sponsors. The US and UK acted to cover up the Halabja atrocity, to protect Saddam from UN censure, and - as the Scott enquiry revealed - the UK government sent David Mellor to Baghdad to negotiate a major arms contract while the bodies were still lying in the street.< As the British Ambassador to Iraq at the time, my recollection is rather different! Leaving aside the enormous difficulties of verifying at the time either of the two conflicting versions of events, as they have been related on this List, I accompanied David Mellor throughout his visit, which took place in February 1988 well before Halabja, and can assure you that he did not negotiate a major arms contract. The only really successful piece of negotiation was to persuade Saddam Hussain to release one of our long-term prisoners - a certain John Smith! Terence Clark -- -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.