“Prime Example” Not So Prime Really

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Bush Says Massacre at Halabja Shows Evil of Hussein’s Rule By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2003 – President Bush today held up the March 16, 1988, chemical attack on the civilians of Halabja, Iraq, as a prime example of the evil Saddam Hussein perpetrates.

Bush stressed the nature of the Iraqi dictator’s regime in his weekly radio address.

"The chemical attack on Halabja – just one of 40 targeted at Iraq’s own people – provided a glimpse of the crimes Saddam Hussein is willing to commit, and the kind of threat he now presents to the entire world," the president said. "He is among history’s cruelest dictators, and he is arming himself with the world’s most terrible weapons."

(Pentagon press release) And today . . .

The Halabja massacre is now prominent among the charges read out against Saddam in the Baghdad court. When that charge was read out, Saddam replied that he had read about the massacre in a newspaper. Saddam has denied these allegations ever since they were made. . . .

A report prepared by the top CIA official handling the matter says Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the massacre, and indicates that it was the work of Iranians. Further, the Scott inquiry on the role of the British government has gathered evidence that following the massacre the United States in fact armed Saddam Hussein to counter the Iranians chemicals for chemicals.