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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:52 AM

Halabja chemical weapons: A chance to find the men who armed Saddam

Last edited Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:30 AM - Edit history (1)

Nearly 25 years ago, Iraqi forces killed thousands of their own civilians using chemical weapons on the Kurdish town of Halabja. Now steps are about to be taken to discover which country - and possibly which factory - supplied some of the chemicals.

The result of the chemical warfare attack on Halabja, on 16 March 1988, was one of the worst sights I have ever seen. Everywhere there were huddled bodies, lying in the street, sheltering against walls.


There was no protection against the nerve agents and gases which Saddam Hussein's men had dropped indiscriminately on Halabja to teach its Kurdish inhabitants a lesson.

I had seen the results of chemical warfare against soldiers, earlier in the Iran-Iraq War; that was terrible enough. But seeing what these insidious, cruel gases did to wholly unprotected men, women and children was worse.


Some mention of suppliers detailed here :

Italy gave Iraq plutonium extraction facilities that advanced Iraq’s nuclear weapon program along with 75,000 shells and rockets designed for chemical weapons. Between 1979 and 1982 Italy gave depleted, natural, and low-enriched uranium. Swiss companies aided in Iraq’s nuclear weapons development in the form of specialized presses, milling machines, grinding machines, electrical discharge machines, and equipment for processing uranium to nuclear weapon grade. Brazil secretly aided the Iraqi nuclear weapon program by supplying natural uranium dioxide between 1981 and 1982 without notifying the IAEA. About 100 tons of mustard gas also came from Brazil.[citation needed]

The United States exported support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war over $500 million worth of dual use exports to Iraq that were approved by the Commerce department. Among them were advanced computers, some of which were used in Iraq's nuclear program.[30] The non-profit American Type Culture Collection and the Centers for Disease Control sold or sent biological samples of anthrax, West Nile virus and botulism to Iraq up until 1989, which Iraq claimed it needed for medical research. A number of these materials were used for Iraq's biological weapons research program, while others were used for vaccine development.[31] For example, the Iraqi military settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive anthrax strain for use as a biological weapon, according to Charles Duelfer.[32]

In the late 1980s, the British government secretly gave the arms company Matrix Churchill permission to supply parts for Saddam Hussein's weapons program, while British Industry supplied Gerald Bull as he developed the Iraqi supergun. In March 1990, a case of nuclear triggers bound for Iraq, were seized at Heathrow Airport. The Scott Report uncovered much of the secrecy that had surrounded the Arms-to-Iraq affair when it became known.[33] The British government also financed a chlorine factory that was intended to be used for manufacturing mustard gas.[34]

Many other countries contributed as well; since Iraq's nuclear program in the early 1980s was officially viewed internationally as for energy production, not weapons, there were no UN prohibitions against it. An Austrian company gave Iraq calutrons for enriching uranium. The nation also provided heat exchangers, tanks, condensers, and columns for the Iraqi chemical weapons infrastructure, which can hardly be said to be for energy. Singapore gave 4,515 tons of precursors for VX, sarin, tabun, and mustard gases to Iraq. The Dutch gave 4,261 tons of precursors for sarin, tabun, mustard, and tear gases to Iraq. Egypt gave 2,400 tons of tabun and sarin precursors to Iraq and 28,500 tons of weapons designed for carrying chemical munitions. India gave 2,343 tons of precursors to VX, tabun, Sarin, and mustard gases. Luxembourg gave Iraq 650 tons of mustard gas precursors. Spain gave Iraq 57,500 munitions designed for carrying chemical weapons. In addition, they provided reactors, condensers, columns and tanks for Iraq’s chemical warfare program, 4.4% of the international sales. China provided 45,000 munitions designed for chemical warfare. Portugal provided yellowcake between 1980 and 1982. Niger provided yellowcake in 1981.[35]


And here :

How he US armed Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 10:00

On August 18, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, "Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas". Quoting anonymous US "senior military officers", the NYT "revealed" that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided "critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war". The story made a brief splash in the international media, then died.

While the August 18 NYT article added new details about the extent of US military collaboration with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during Iraq's 1980-88 war with Iran, it omitted the most outrageous aspect of the scandal: not only did Washington turn a blind-eye to the Hussein regime's repeated use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Iraq's Kurdish minority, but the US helped Iraq develop its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.

Nor did the NYT dwell on the extreme cynicism and hypocrisy of the current US administration's citing of those same terrible atrocities — which were disregarded at the time by Washington — and those same weapons programs — which no longer exist, having been dismantled and destroyed in the decade following the 1991 Gulf War — to justify a massive new war against the people of Iraq.

A reader of the NYT article (or the tens of thousands of other articles written after the latest war drive against Iraq began in earnest soon after September 11) would have looked in vain for the fact that many of the US politicians and ruling class pundits demanding war against Hussein today — in particular, the most bellicose of the Bush administration's "hawks", defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld — were up to their ears in Washington's efforts to cultivate, promote and excuse Hussein in the past.


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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:33 AM

1. After 24 years, why now? '94 Riegle Report: bio/chemwar was also provided by US

Donald Riegle, Chairman of the Senate committee that authored the aforementioned Riegle Report, said:

U.N. inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and [established] that these items were used to further Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development programs. ... The executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think that is a devastating record.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:12 PM

3. Here's the answer: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1919880

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:43 AM

2. Dubya, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, etc. were certain Iraq had WMD - Reagan-Bush had exported it

and even arranged EZ financing for it.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:34 PM

4. "How did Bush know Saddam had chemical weapons? His daddy still had the receipts."

Signed by Cheney & Rumsfeld.

Evil Fucks, all of 'em, oughta be rotting in The Hague.

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