Ali Hassan al-Majid al-Tikriti followed Winston Churchill’s Example.

Some may prefer not to see to the link between the vital need for a
Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the north of Ireland; and Mr
Ali Hassan al-Majid al-Tikriti, a senior military commander and one
time Defense Minister in Saddam Hussein brutal Ba’ath Party
dictatorship; but if one probes a little deeper, the link becomes
clear and we ignore it at our peril. Ali Hassan al-Majid al-Tikriti
became infamous in the 1980s-90s due to the leading role he played in
the Iraqi government’s program of mass deportations and killings of
its Kurdish and Shiite population.

He was captured by the US Army shortly after their invasion of Iraq in
2003; and like his master before him, he was sentenced to hang after
what amounted to a less than perfect trial for his role in the regimes
al- Anfal campaign of the 1980s. Dubbed “Chemical Ali” by the Western
media after he authorized and over-saw the use of chemical weapons to
attack the Iraqi Kurds, which culminated in the notorious attack on
the Kurdish town of Halabja, in which over 5,000 people were gassed to

However, Saddam and his instrument al-Majid al-Tikriti were not the
first to use poison gas against the Iraqi Kurds, for Winston Churchill
can claim this dubious honor. As Minister of War and Air (1919-20) and
Colonial Secretary (1921-22) Churchill was partially responsible for
the British Mandate of Mesopotamia.[Iraq] When faced with an
insurrection which started in the Kurdish north and threatened to
ignite the whole country, Chruchill decided to crush the Rising and cower the
population by using the British Royal Air Force. After taking advice
from his military advisors such as Wing Commander J A Chamier, who
suggested that the best way to demoralize local people was to
concentrate bombing on the “most inaccessible village of the most
prominent tribe which it is desired to punish. All available aircraft
must be collected, the attack with bombs and machine guns must be
relentless and unremitting and carried on continuously by day and
night, on houses, inhabitants, crops and cattle.”

The officer in charge of putting this cruel strategy into practice,
Squadron Leader [bomber]Harris reported after several such raids, “The
Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means, within 45 minutes a
full-sized village can be practically wiped
out, and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured, by four or five
machines which offer them no real target, no opportunity for glory as
warriors, no effective means of escape.”

Whilst Chamier and his political boss Churchill never said so publicly
at the time, it
soon leaked out that the armaments that were used to crush the
uprising, included special ammunition, i.e. chemical weapons. Although
at the time there was a minor public outcry within the UK and the west
over the use of these chemical weapons in Mesopotamia [Iraq], it
failed to gain momentum and there was never any proper enquiry into
what amounted to a fragrant violation of international law. However
within Iraq where the effects had been dire, knowledge of this crime
was passed down through generations and the likes of Saddam and
al-Majid al-Tikriti must have reflected on the western attitudes to
the use of chemical weapons in 1920s Iraq. For the latter was heard to
say in a tape played at his trial, “I will kill them all with chemical
weapons! Who is going to say anything.”

Thus he was clear in his mind that he, like the British military and
political leaders before him would never be brought to book for his
genocidal gas attack on the Kurdish people. He was partially correct
in this as he was never tried for the attack on Halabja; and as he
walks to the gallows perhaps he will reflect on the injustice that
sends him to his doom and leaves Churchill and Harris as heros in
their own land.

And there’s the link between the wretched Ali Hassan al-Majid
al-Tikriti and the demand for a T@RC, for if those who inflicted
painful deaths on Iraqi Kurd by gassing them with chemical weapons in
1920’s Mesopotamia had been brought before a court of law, or at the
very least driven from Public Office. The likes of Saddam’s henchman
may well have thought of the consequences before he did his masters
bidding. Whereas what actually occurred was that this example of the
UK governments collusion in criminality was quickly and decisively
swept under the governmental carpet to be buried deep in the faults of
the UK Secret State. Until
that is some future satrap dusted it down and repeated
the obscene outrage.

Whose to say that at this very time members of the British Army’s
Intelligence Regiment, or the Security Services are not colluding with
Iraqi criminal elements to murder the UK state’s enemies in Iraq, much
as they did in the Six
Counties during the ‘long war’. All of us who shudder at the thought
of history repeating
itself, must support the call for a six counties/NI Truth and
Reconciliation Commission*

* This article was first published on The Blanket.–


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Filed under Ireland/Politics/UK State/Iraq/Kurds/Genocide/Truth and

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