Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, February 04, 2003  

All right, a comment or two on the gassing of the Kurds issue. In comments below, Tom questioned the Times piece by Pelletiere:

OK, a careful reading of the Pelletiere article in the NYTimes is required. Basically, he says that the question of whether the Kurds were gassed by the Iraqis at Halabja is in dispute. Well, whatever. There were numerous (many? several?) other gassing incidents that do not seem to be in dispute. Thus, Pelletiere is trying to trick his readers into drawing a conclusion he does not himself present, namely "that Saddam didn't gas the Kurds." Very clever, but of course, you see right through it.

In dispute are two gassings. The first happened during the Iran-Iraq war and the second afterward. While Tom’s sources don’t seriously refute the assertion of the first claim—that it may well have been Iran who were doing the gassing, and aiming not at Kurds but Iraqis—they ably do so with the second. Actually, everyone involved cites sources I don’t have access to, but reading through Pelletiere’s arguments and then Edward Mortimer’s rebuttal inclines me to agree with Mortimer. Furthermore, there’s a Human Rights Watch report that agrees with Mortimer. You can read a nice exchange Pelletiere and Mortimer here, and the Human Rights Watch report here.

Of course, Pelletiere’s weak argument doesn’t excuse the President’s lies. Tom, care to rebut those?

posted by Jeff | 11:16 AM |
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