Every March, mixed feelings of joy and sorrow fills the skies of Kurdistan. From the first few days of March up to the middle of the month, there are celeberations of the anniversary of the 1991 uprising which was a begining for self-rule and freedom.
Then comes 16th of March, the Wednesday, 16th of March 1988 where Halabja was chemically and barbarically attacked.
Halabja is not an Iraqi village like many media outlets claim. In fact if you say that in the city itself, they will get very insulted.
The people of Halabja are not Saddam's own people. This is another very harsh insulting comment. In fact Saddam was their sworn enemy.
This is because chemical attacks on Kurdistan started from 1983, unfortunately, the world was just silent.
The world was silent, and as the proverb says "Silent is Approval", this left very little hope for the people of Halabja.
The American Reagan Administration knew very well about Saddam's use of chemical against the Kurds :
After the attacks on Halabja, which was the largest chemical attack of the Iraqi government, the American government stand still.
"As early as 1983 the Reagan Administration was already well aware that
Iraq was using chemical weapons in its war against Iran. According to U.S.
intelligence on an ‘almost daily basis’. But that wasn’t all. There were also
intelligence reports the Iraqis were using chemical weapons in the north of
their own country, in the battle against the Kurds. But the White House did
I find this amusing. Today, the Americans interfer in everything to protect "Democracy and Freedom", just look at Lebanon, Syria, Ukraine, Romania, Malodva etc etc. But why not the "Freedom" of the people of Halabja wasn't important to the American Administration ?!
Never mind. Not all, Senate Peter Galbraith, a long time friend of the people of Halabja, drafted legislation - the Prevention of Genocide Act - that imposed harsh economic sanctions on Saddam Hussein.
But, the draft died in Congress.
And the American government, which denounces terror and dictatorship, continued to do good business with Saddam Hussein.
One of those who opposed "Sanctions on Sadadm" in 1988 was our man Colin Powell.
But guess what, Colin Powell who kept Silent in 1988, suddenly remembered Halabja in 2003. He paid a visit to the city. But did the people of Halabja know about Powell's role in the blockage of sanctions on Saddam in 1988 ?
When the 1988 gassings took place at Halabja Colin Powell was the National
Security Advisor for the Reagan/Bush administration and Saddam was the Reagan
and then Bush administration's strategic ally. Saddam's chemicals, now called
WMDs, came from the US and other western countries. When the US Congress
attempted to act against Saddam, Colin Powell and the rest of the Reagan/Bush
administration made sure that the Prevention of Genocide Act died in Congress.
Of course Powell doesn't care about the people of Halabja. His visit was only to tell the world "Hey we couldn't find these damn WMDs but look at Saddam's own people who died from his WMD."
I hope Peter Galbraith, who comes to Kurdistan from time to time would explain this to the people of the city.
But not just America, the whole world stood silent, and as the proverb says, Silence was approval.
This is a flash movie with a collection of photos of the attack.
Finally I find this movie "WMD", in which photos of the deads of Halabja are being paraded on its website very abusive and moral lacking act.
The people of Halabja don't want movies to tell the world "Hey there was no WMD but look at Halabja" because your silence in 1988 was approval, we don't want people to feel sorry for us after 17 years.
Halabja after 17 years
Today, even after 17 years, thousands die each year due to affects of the chemical weapons on the genetics of the people of Halabja. Hundreds of new genetics-related diseases can be seen among people.
Babies are born with a single leg, with no legs, with neurogical damages, cancer rates have gone up to %80. The lands have become infertile and there are no species in the region who wasn't affected by the attacks.
A great number of survivors have lost vision, taste, fertility, and every other sense that a human needs to survive in this world.
Humans, birds, sheeps, plants, trees, flowers, and every other single living organism have numorous genetically related diseases which kill them before they have a chance to grow up.
The new generations in Halabja are a generation of mutated children. They don't want movies about 17 years ago (the movies were needed then not now), they want support for new clinical research centers to help them with their current problems.
Finally, this is a great documentary about the attack after 15 years (2003).
Don't approve Halabja, don't stay silent.