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[casi] FW: US Suppressed Gas Charge Report



Thanks again to Rick Rozoff - Stop NATO for the article below.

fyi - who knows in the labyrinth of political games which were going on at
the time, but an interesting take given the writer and the commentator.

As for the actual numbers of deaths (Pilger under attack) even when we were
trying to find accurate monthly/yearly stats for the New Internationalist
edition on Iraq several years ago, we went to UN site, after UN site and
each often differed on the same month - or used such diverse methodology
that to compare them - or compare the difference, needed an expert of some
stature ...
Per and Peter have put eloquently, in different ways, the needs for number
crunching and the distaste for it. My distaste is for an attack on someone
of Pilger's integrity  by another who says - broadly - well then, there were
not one million dead, it was only perhaps half a million, or maybe a mere
three hundred and fifty thousand. So that's all right then? No, it is an
obscenity three hundred and fifty times over, half a million times over, a
million times over - or whatever the true figure ever arrived at proves to
be.
This thinking from Oz comes from the Madeleine Albright school of humanity
and there can be few who would wish to register.

best, felicity a.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=22499602

The Times of India
September 18, 2002


US Suppressed Gas Charge Report
SURAJIT KUMAR DAS


-If the US bombs Iraq, it is not the direct loss of
Iraqi lives from žcollateral damageÓ alone that will
be the only tragedy, but the unseen and accelerated
loss of lives of tens of thousands of more infants,
the sick and the elderly from lack of medicine and
other healthcare. Before the US bullies all countries
into supporting its bombing of Iraq, major countries
such as France, Germany, Russia, China, India and
Indonesia should stand up in unison and say žno moreÓ
to the sole superpower.




The repeated American propaganda weapon to rationalise
the deaths of more than one million innocent Iraqis
since 1991 through economic sanctions is that Saddam
Hussein used poison gas against Iranians during the
Iran-Iraq war and against IraqŪs own Kurdish citizens.
The accusation is now being invoked to launch a
full-scale American assault on Iraq.


This claim of Iraq gassing its own citizens at
Halabjah is suspect. First, both Iran and Iraq used
chemical weapons against each other during their war.
Second, at the termination of the Iran-Iraq war,
professors Stephen Pelletiere and Leif Rosenberger,
and Lt Colonel Douglas Johnson of the US Army War
College (USAWC) undertook a study of the use of
chemical weapons by Iran and Iraq in order to better
understand battlefield chemical warfare. They
concluded that it was Iran and not Iraq that killed
the Kurds.


In the first report they wrote: žIn September 1988 ů a
month after the war had ended...the state department
abruptly, and in what many viewed as sensational
manner, condemned Iraq for allegedly using chemical
weapons against its Kurdish population...with the
result that numerous Kurdish civilians were killed.
The Iraqi government denied that any such gassing had
occurred...Having looked at all the evidence that was
available to us, we find it impossible to confirm the
state departmentŪs claim that gas was used in this
instance. To begin with there were never any victims
produced. International relief organisations who
examined the Kurds ů in Turkey where they had gone for
asylum ů failed to discover any. Nor were there any
found inside Iraq. The claim rests solely on testimony
of the Kurds who had crossed the border into Turkey,
where they were interviewed by staffers of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee.Ó


Regarding the Halabjah incident where Iraqi soldiers
were reported to have gassed their own Kurdish
citizens, the USAWC investigators observed: žIt
appears that in seeking to punish Iraq, Congress was
influenced by another incident that occurred five
months earlier in another Iraq-Kurdish city, Halabjah.
In March 1988, the Kurds at Halabjah were bombarded
with chemical weapons, producing many deaths.
Photographs of the Kurdish victims were widely
disseminated in the international media. Iraq was
blamed for the Halabjah attack even though it was
subsequently brought out that Iran too had used
chemical weapons in this operation, and it seemed
likely that it was the Iranian bombardment that had
actually killed the Kurds.Ó


In March 1991 as the massive US-led attack on Iraq
ended, I was visiting the USAWC to give a lecture on
South Asian security and discussed this problem with
professor Pelletiere at lunch. I recall Pelletiere
telling me that the USAWC investigation showed that in
the Iranian mass human wave battlefield strategy,
Teheran used non-persistent poison gas against Iraqi
soldiers so as to be able to attack and advance into
the areas vacated by Iraqis. On the other hand,
Baghdad used persistent gas to halt the Iranian human
wave attacks. There was a certain consistency to this
pattern. However, in the Halabjah incident, the USAWC
investigators discovered that the gas used that killed
hundreds of Kurds was the non-persistent gas, the
chemical weapon of choice of the Iranians. Note it was
the Iranians who arrived at the scene first, who
reported the incident to UN observers, and who took
pictures of the gassed Kurdish civilians.




However, Saddam HusseinŪs Iraq invaded and annexed
Kuwait in August and the truth of the Halabjah
incident became inconvenient. I asked professor
Pelletiere in March 1991, when he thought their
findings would come out. I recall him telling me that
it would probably take about five years after emotions
over the Gulf war crisis died down. However, the USAWC
report of 1990 has been dispatched into oblivion. The
propaganda that Iraq gassed its own Kurdish civilians
is cons-tantly invoked by the media. It was
reactivated by president Clinton in December 1998 to
justify the further bombing and destruction of Iraq.


Meanwhile, estimates of the number of innocents who
have died in Iraq from relentless American-dictated UN
sanctions range between 1-1.7 million, including more
than half-a-million children. An article in The New
England Journal of Medicine, assessed through a study
of monthly and annual infant mortality rates in Iraq
that žmore than 46,900 children died between January
and August 1991. UNICEF official Thomas Ekfal
estimates that about 500,000 children have died in
Iraq since the United Nations Security Council imposed
economic sanctions on Baghdad.


If the US bombs Iraq, it is not the direct loss of
Iraqi lives from žcollateral damageÓ alone that will
be the only tragedy, but the unseen and accelerated
loss of lives of tens of thousands of more infants,
the sick and the elderly from lack of medicine and
other healthcare. Before the US bullies all countries
into supporting its bombing of Iraq, major countries
such as France, Germany, Russia, China, India and
Indonesia should stand up in unison and say žno moreÓ
to the sole superpower.


(The author is the Allis Chalmers distinguished
professor of International Affairs at Marquette
University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)


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