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Re: Halabja

Dear Felicity Arbuthnot,
You're not the only computer illiterate, please don't expect precise 
answers, but possibly some clues. - How about checking out Hansard 1988?
Via Google, using the Keywords 'Iraq Chronology', I found this (an 
independent source?): "1998 (probably should be '1988'-BG):In the spring 
Iran, with the assistance of the Kurdish rebel organisations the PUK and 
KDP, launch an offensive into Northern Iraq capturing the town of Halabja on 
the 15th of March. The next day the Iraqi airforce bomb
Halabja, with poison gas causing 5000 deaths.
DAVID MELLOR, then a Foreign Office minister (+ Secretary to the Treasury?) 
was visiting Baghdad at the time. Within a month Defense Minister Tony 
Newton had returned to Baghdad to offer, on behalf of the British Thatcher 
government 340 million in export credits. Britain's
trade with Iraq had risen from 2.9 million in 1987 to 31.5 million.
Iraq becomes Britain's third biggest market for 'dual-use' machine tools.- 
You might also like to visit a U.S. government source, 'Iraq Watch'. -
Bert Gedin (B'ham).

>From: "farbuthnot" <>
>To: Terence Clark <> , CASI 
>Subject: Re: Halabja
>Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 15:14:55 +0000
>Could Sir Terence kindly confirm the exact dates of David Mellor's visit to
>Iraq and with whom he met, accompanied by Sir Terence (presumably this will
>be in the public domain, since the tax payer was paying - oddly I can't
>trace anywhere - but am an ackonowledged computer illiterate.) Also if 
>was any British interest brief regarding their companies and whether arms 
>any sort, or other interests involved. kindest, felicity arbuthnot.
> >From: Terence Clark <>
> >To: CASI <>
> >Subject: RE: Halabja
> >Date: Sun, Jan 13, 2002, 11:58 am
> >
> > Message text written by "John Smith"
> >>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 
> > 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.>
> >
> > Please read again what I wrote:
> >
> > " Leaving aside the enormous difficulties of verifying at the time
> > either of the two conflicting versions of events, as they have been 
> > on this List,"
> >
> > You have overlooked the three little words "at the time" and created 
> > own confusion! I was referring to the genuine difficulty all of us had 
> > the aftermath of Halabja of verifying what had happened. Halabja was
> > completely out of bounds to independent observers and while the 
> > pointed to Iraqi responsibility, there were also reports circulating of
> > Iranian use of cyanide shells. Both these versions were aired on this 
> > recently. I no longer recall when reliable evidence of Iraqi 
> > became available but it was I am sure only much later.
> >
> > < He adroitly - or should I
> > say maladroitly - sidesteps other parts of my statement: both the 
> > point about the UK government's nefarious alliance with the Saddam 
> > during the period when he was London's representative in Baghdad, and 
> > specific one about the UK government's role in protecting Saddam from UN
> > censure for perpetrating the Halabja attack.>
> >
> > You misunderstand the point of my intervention which was not to comment 
> > your  view of British policy towards Iraq, as the facts are widely on
> > record, but purely to correct your unfounded allegations about the 
> > and timing of David Mellor's visit to Iraq. You alleged: "the UK 
> > sent
> > David Mellor to Baghdad to negotiate a major arms contract while the 
> > were still lying in the street [of Halbja]". I repeat that he did not
> > negotiate any arms deals whatsoever and as his visit was 3 weeks before 
> > attack on Halabja there were consequently no victims lying on the 
> >
> > <Sir Terence is undoubtedly in a position to shed light on these and 
> > other questions of interest to the ordinary people of Iraq and the UK. 
> > would be interesting to know, for instance, which arms deals he did help 
> > arrange during the period in question (from, say, February 1988, which 
> > describes as "well before Halabja", which took place on March 16th, to
> > autumn of that year).>
> >
> > The short answer is none.
> >
> >
> > Terence Clark
> > --
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
> > For removal from list, email
> > CASI's website - - includes an archive of all postings.
> >
>This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
>For removal from list, email
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