Saturday, December 18, 2004

Today's Real Top Story

The process of bringing one of the worst mass murderers of the late 20th Century to justice has begun. Ali Hassan al-Majid, AKA "Chemical Ali", was brought before Iraq's special tribunal today to answer questions about his crimes. As one of Saddam's top henchmen, al-Majid was intimately involved in numerous atrocities. He is best known as the architect of the poison gas attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988, in which 5,000 people died. Sometime in 1987-88, al-Majid said the following at a meeting of Baath Party officials:

Jalal Talabani asked me to open a special channel of communication with him. That evening I went to Suleimaniyeh and hit them with the special ammunition. That was my answer. We continued the deportations. I told the mustashars that they might say that they like their villages and that they won't leave. I said I cannot let your village stay because I will attack it with chemical weapons. Then you and your family will die. You must leave right now. Because I cannot tell you the same day that I am going to attack with chemical weapons. I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them! The international community and those who listen to them.

(emphasis added-DD)

Source: Human Rights Watch

Al-Majid's record of barbarism is far too long for me to go over in any detail, but both Human Rights Watch and Indict provide useful summaries.

Justice for those murdered in Halabja, and for the rest of "Chemical Ali's" victims, cannot come soon enough.


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