mr. mittens (akmed) wrote,
mr. mittens

'a guide for the bedeviled/ paschal feast'

"Gosden [ note: only western doctor to have studied, on site, victims of saddam's gas attacks] believes it is quite possible that the countries of the West will soon experience chemical- and biological-weapons attacks far more serious and of greater lasting effect than the anthrax incidents of last autumn and the nerve-agent attack on the Tokyo subway system several years agoÑthat what happened in Kurdistan was only the beginning. "For Saddam's scientists, the Kurds were a test population," she said. "They were the human guinea pigs. It was a way of identifying the most effective chemical agents for use on civilian populations, and the most effective means of delivery."

The charge is supported by others. An Iraqi defector, Khidhir Hamza, who is the former director of Saddam's nuclear-weapons program, told me earlier this year that before the attack on Halabja military doctors had mapped the city, and that afterward they entered it wearing protective clothing, in order to study the dispersal of the dead. "These were field tests, an experiment on a town," Hamza told me. He said that he had direct knowledge of the Army's procedures that day in Halabja. "The doctors were given sheets with grids on them, and they had to answer questions such as 'How far are the dead from the cannisters?' "

Gosden said that she cannot understand why the West has not been more eager to investigate the chemical attacks in Kurdistan. "It seems a matter of enlightened self-interest that the West would want to study the long-term effects of chemical weapons on civilians, on the DNA," she told me. "I've seen Europe's worst cancers, but, believe me, I have never seen cancers like the ones I saw in Kurdistan."
Experts now believe that Halabja and other places in Kurdistan were struck by a combination of mustard gas and nerve agents, including sarin (the agent used in the Tokyo subway attack) and VX, a potent nerve agent. Baban's suggestion that biological weapons may also have been used surprised me. One possible biological weapon that Baban mentioned was aflatoxin, which causes long-term liver damage.....

I asked Salih to respond to the criticism, widely aired in the West, that the sanctions have led to the death of thousands of children. "Sanctions don't kill Iraqi children," he said. "The regime kills children."

This puzzled me. If it was true, then why were the victims of the gas attacks still suffering from a lack of health care? Across Kurdistan, in every hospital I visited, the complaints were the same: no CT scans, no MRIs, no pediatric surgery, no advanced diagnostic equipment, not even surgical gloves. I asked Salih why the money designated by the U.N. for the Kurds wasn't being used for advanced medical treatment. The oil-for-food program has one enormous flaw, he replied. When the program was introduced, the Kurds were promised thirteen per cent of the country's oil revenue, but because of the terms of the agreement between Baghdad and the U.N.Ña "defect," Salih saidÑthe government controls the flow of food, medicine, and medical equipment to the very people it slaughtered. Food does arrive, he conceded, and basic medicines as well, but at Saddam's pace.

On this question of the work of the United Nations and its agencies, the rival Kurdish parties agree. "We've been asking for a four-hundred-bed hospital for Sulaimaniya for three years," said Nerchivan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the region controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Party, and Salih's counterpart. Sulaimaniya is in Salih's territory, but in this case geography doesn't matter. "It's our money," Barzani said. "But we need the approval of the Iraqis. They get to decide. The World Health Organization is taking its orders from the Iraqis. It's crazy."

Barzani and Salih accused the World Health Organization, in particular, of rewarding with lucrative contracts only companies favored by Saddam....

Baban said that in Halabja "there are more abnormal births than normal ones," and other Kurdish doctors told me that they regularly see children born with neural-tube defects and undescended testes and without anal openings. They are seeingÑand they showed meÑchildren born with six or seven toes on each foot, children whose fingers and toes are fused, and children who suffer from leukemia and liver cancer....

Saddam's confidant and Iraq's deputy Prime Minister. Butler asked Aziz to explain the rationale for Iraq's biological-weapons project, and he recalled Aziz's answer: "He said, 'We made bioweapons in order to deal with the Persians and the Jews.' "

Iraqi dissidents agree that Iraq's programs to build weapons of mass destruction are focussed on Israel. "Israel is the whole game," Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, told me. "Saddam is always saying publicly, 'Who is going to fire the fortieth missile?' "Ña reference to the thirty-nine Scud missiles he fired at Israel during the Gulf War. "He thinks he can kill one hundred thousand Israelis in a day with biological weapons."

Today, the experts say, Saddam's desire is to expel the Jews from history. In October of 2000, at an Arab summit in Cairo, I heard the vice-chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council, a man named Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, deliver a speech on Saddam's behalf, saying, "Jihad alone is capable of liberating Palestine and the rest of the Arab territories occupied by dirty Jews in their distorted Zionist entity."

Amatzia Baram said, "Saddam can absolve himself of all sins in the eyes of the Arab and Muslim worlds by bringing Israel to its knees. ..

It is no comfort to the Kurds that the Jews are now Saddam's main preoccupation. The Kurds I spoke with, even those who agree that Saddam is aiming his remaining Scuds at Israel, believe that he is saving some of his "special weapons"Ña popular euphemism inside the Iraqi regimeÑfor a return visit to Halabja. The day I visited the Kalak Bridge, which divides the Kurds from the Iraqi Army's Jerusalem brigade, I asked Muhammad Najar, the local official, why the brigade was not facing west, toward its target. "The road to Jerusalem," he replied, "goes through Kurdistan." -The Great Terror
by Jeffery Goldberg
by the burying of their shoes, the hanged men were unable to walk at night.

i had forgotten. it's the anniversary of your death . you left and let lose a demon -howling in the street,breaking bones burning down the house, screaming at me over the phone.

nothing will rise out of those ashes until he is dead. next time i go 'home' please leave out one of your guns- it's the least you can do for haunting me, leaving me with your creature and never saying a word in my dreams.

come and get your beloved vile gollum.

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