From Halabja to Kobane! - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

From Halabja to Kobane!

At first the New York Times wrote that chemical weapons left over from the Saddam era had passed into the hands of ISIL. It said the United States had identified where these chemical weapons were stored after its occupation of Iraq but hid this information since the weapons were of “Western origin.”

A retired British colonel told the paper that ISIL has shown its determination to use chemical weapons in Syria, and a result of its advance in Iraq is it is now in a position to access these weapons.

In the days that followed, news was disseminated that ISIL has gotten its hands on “Russian made” fighter jets.

These two pieces of news terrified me. Thousands of experts and observers left empty handed after conducting thorough searches for chemical weapons both in 1990 and after the occupation of Iraq in 2003.

If we are to believe what was said, Saddam Hussein had destroyed these weapons after the “First Gulf War.” It was announced that the Americans had made a “mistake” when they cited “chemical weapons stockpiles” as the reason for the occupation of Iraq in 2003.

Which story are we supposed to believe? Right in the middle of these two assumptions, we are also left with the question of why didn’t the Americans destroy the stockpiles of chemical weapons if they found any in Iraq?

I sense something fishy in all of this. The “Halabja massacre” of 1988 comes to mind. ISIL and the PYD (People’s Protection Units) have been waging war in Kobane for some time now. We witnessed what occurred in our country following news reports that “Kobane will become the scene of a massacre.”

In the meantime, the United States announced that it has established direct contact with the PYD. Public opinion all over the world is expecting a massacre in Kobane. Hair-raising claims are being made that ISIL members have even raped 5-year-old girls. Very slowly, claims are being made and photographs! are being circulated that ISIL has used chemical weapons in Kobane.

Strange events are occurring with regard to Kobane but it will perhaps be decades later when we find out what really went on.  In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, Western media were filled with stories of how Iraqi soldiers removed newborn infants from their incubators and left them to die. Apparently a lot of people had witnessed these barbaric events and their claims were published as facts. After the United States intervened to stop Saddam it was established that these claims were fabricated. 

The United States and the West only acknowledge civilian massacres when it suits them; but when it doesn’t they adopt the position of “I don’t know, I didn’t see and I didn’t hear anything.”

Saddam used chemical weapons against the Iranians on multiple occasions but the Westerners buried their heads in the sand. When serious claims were made about Iraq’s use of chemical weapons, they were dismissed as “Iranian propaganda.” It was much later when a U.S. intelligence officer told the New York Times that the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqis wasn’t of great strategic concern to them.

The reality was that U.S. officers had made Saddam’s task easier by providing military intelligence to Iraq. Even in 1988, when Iraqi jets dropped gas bombs on the Kurdish town of Halabja that resulted in the deaths of 5,000 civilians, the United States attempted to deflect attention to Iran. 

In 2003, following the occupation of Iraq by the United States, Joost Hiltermann of Human Rights Watch would say: “Whichever way you look at it, America’s stance regarding Halabja is shame inducing.”

The United States and the United Kingdom would remember that Saddam poisoned his own populace shortly before their Iraq operation. Of course it was just an action taken to legitimize Iraq’s occupation.

Are you aware that “Kobane” is a harbinger of many more developments than we know of? What is the aim of the game being played by the United States with regard to Kobane, when the deaths of 200,000 people in Syria have not been cause enough for “strategic concern” on its part?

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