Good News for Saddam Hussein

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To: Website Fans & Browsers
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: He Didn’t Gas the Kurds!!

neo-cons who propagated the story that Saddam "gassed his own
people," i.e., the Iraqi Kurds, will still insist he did gas
the Kurds, back in 1988 when he gave the order to Chemical Ali,
who told the Iraqi army to commit genocide at the town of Halabja.
But the news from Mohammed al-Obaidi is that the team prosecuting
Saddam for crimes against humanity has dropped the genocide charge
“due to insufficient evidence.”

assures me the news is true, and if it is, we should be learning
about it sooner or later from our news media. It will further complicate
the Bush administration’s problems in Iraq, as it had been
relying on the genocide charge to justify “regime change”
in Baghdad when the other rationales – WMD and Al Qaida connections
– failed. I may be wrong, but if this turns out to be true,
it would be a positive development in resolving the conflict in
Iraq sooner, rather than later. Once the U.S. press corps focuses
on the issue, it would force President Bush to re-examine his own
assumptions about the rationale for unilateral action and make it
easier for him to shift gears toward greater international involvement
in resolving the several conflated issues in the Middle East.

most of you know, I have for the last two years argued that whatever
else Saddam Hussein did for good or ill as Iraq’s president
since 1978, there is no evidence that he committed genocide. That
he gassed the Iraqi Kurds has been an assertion that has been repeated
so often by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the American
press that I’m sure 99.9% of the people believe it is gospel.
I sent the "news" to several editors and a great many
political reporters yesterday when I learned of it, but nothing
yet has surfaced. Al-Obaidi tells me the news has appeared in the
Arabic press.

is the note I got Monday from Dr. al-Obaidi (a medical doctor who
has been in exile in London for 20 years and is no fan of Saddam,
but who has been among those who have insisted there was no genocide
committed by his regime). It is followed with a press release he
subsequently sent from the legal defense team that spent several
hours with Saddam on December 16, which is interesting in and of
itself, but which of course should be taken with a grain of salt.

Jude: I have just been informed by Mr. Al-Khasawnah, Chief lawyer
of Saddam’s legal team, that after the Iraqi lawyer, Mr. Khalil
Al-Dulaimi met with Saddam a couple of days ago, the American legal
authority in Iraq informed the lawyer that they have dropped the
charges of Halabja and genocide in the south against Saddam due
to insufficient evidence.

clearly indicates that the information the legal team had about
the responsibility of what happened in Halabja lies on Iran and
not Iraq and made the American authority drop this charge against


press release by the Defence and support for President Saddam Hussien
and His Comrades

last Thursday the 16th of Dec., Mr. Khalil Doilami a member of the
Defence and support Committee for President Saddam Hussein met the
president at a detention center. The meeting lasted for four and
a half hours.

the light of this meeting, the Defence and support committee would
like to indicate the following points:

  1. Despite
    the repeated demands by the committee for more than one year,
    a meeting was appointed, and the lawyer was treated with our
    respect by the American forces.

  2. In spite
    of all warning, the Defence and support committee member saluted
    the president in accordance with the international protocol
    .i.e. he saluted him as a lawyer meeting the legitimate Iraqi
    President and not a usual person. This formal solution comforted
    the president to a large extent.

  3. The first
    words President Saddam said, were a quotation from an Arabic
    poem that he wished to address the whole public: "If you
    cannot be the head, do not be the last – the last is not
    more than a tail."

    After that,
    the President quoted a verse of the Holy Quran: "Do not
    feel sad or disgraced, that is because you are the uppermost."
    Our Colleague of the Defence Committee briefed the President
    on the 1500 Members Committee – that includes Arabs, Americans,
    British, Italians, Malaysians and lawyers from other Nationalities
    all over the world, the president highly praised the efforts
    of the Defence Committee and asked that its name should be the
    Support and Defence Committee for all Arab and Iraqi P.O.W.S
    and detainees.

    The President
    directed the Committee to challenge the Special tribunal’s creation
    which contradicts the Iraqi constitution and laws, in addition
    to Geneva Conventions. The president urged the Committee to
    launch a legal, political and media defence. He empowered the
    Committee to act as it deems suitable expressing his trust in
    the Committee.

  4. The President
    urged the Committee to denounce the unfulfilled role of the
    international committee of the Red Cross which has not abided
    even the minimum level of its duties in accordance with its
    principles, for a whole year. The Red Cross visited the President
    four times only. Those visits were futile and useless. The President
    confirmed that if they continue this policy of doing nothing
    he would not meet them in the future. On this occasion the Defence
    and Support Committee re-confirms its firm stance regarding
    the defects and defaults of the Red Cross performance in this
    Critical Situation.

  5. The President
    confirmed that he has not been visited by any one else, except
    the four pre-mentioned visits by the Red Cross.

  6. The President
    received only two letters. One was sent in August 2004, and
    he received it days before his meeting with the Committee Defence
    member. Contents of this letter has been badly erased. The President
    couldn’t receive any personal gifts or luggage sent for him
    by his family. The American side blames the Iraqi side for this
    failure, and the Red Cross has nothing to do with matter, as
    if its role has been totally dismissed.

  7. Detention

    1. The
      president is isolated from the outside world all the time,
      in his 3×5-meters room. There is not any communication or
      media facilities.
    2. The
      president can not see anybody except the guards.
    3. His
      meeting with his lawyer was closely watched all the time by
      an American soldier who was replaced by another soldier from
      time to time.

colleague briefing regarding his interview with the President has
demonstrated clearly that President Saddam is not treated properly
as far as Geneva Conventions are concerned. Article 44 of the Geneva
Convention provides that P.O.W.s should be treated in the due respect
they deserve in accordance with their original military ranks and
their ages.

is worth mentioning that President Saddam is the legitimate President
of Iraq. He is also the Super Commander of the Iraqi Military Forces
(Muhib Rukn) which is the highest rank in the Iraqi army.

accordance with article 44 of the convention, keeping the President
in a 3×5-meters room, and isolating him from the outside world are
striking violations to the convention. It is another unlawful act
that is added to the register of breaches committed since the military
invasion and occupation Against the Iraqi People.

Defence and Support Committee adds to what it has declared in its
previous statements that the violations to and breaches of rules
of international humanitarian laws including Geneva Conventions
and human rights treaties have become habitual actions by the occupation.

Defence and Support Committee holds the American administration
responsible for President Saddam Hussein’s life.

the same time, the committee appeals to all liberty loving people
around the world including all human rights’ activists to back its
efforts to deter the military occupation from continuing these striking
violations to human rights principles.

the Defence and Support Committee holds the American administration
and the interim government responsible for the safety and the life
of our colleague Khalil Doilami, member of the Committee. Any abuse
or life attempt against him will be a serious violation to all related
international treaties, including Geneva Conventions, and a criminal
act against Humanity in general.

issues raised by President Saddam during the meeting:

  1. He inquired
    about the Iraqi people conditions under occupation. He inquired
    also about the Palestinian people, conditions in particular, and
    the Arab peoples in general. Regarding the Palestinian people
    he quoted a verse of the Holy Quran: " If Allah stands up
    for you, no body can ever conquer you"
  2. He stressed
    the need to defend all detainees and all who were harmed by the
    crime of occupation.
  3. He confirmed
    the need to keep continuous contacts with popular and governmental
    Arab organizations to activate their performance.
  4. The President
    asserted the integrity of both the Iraqi people and the Iraqi
  5. The President
    sent his greetings for members of leadership giving this special
    importance in the absence of any contact with them.
  6. He praised
    the attitudes of some Arab figures and all freedom-loving people
    in the world.
  7. The president
    urged Iraqi men of religion regardless of their sects to hold
    their historical responsibilities towards Iraq during this critical
  8. The President
    praised the French and German attitudes when the committee member
    showed him an offer from the two countries.

Spokesman: Ziyad Khasawneh

Members: Hatem Shahin; Adnan Danawi; Boushra al Kahaleel; Ziyad
Najdawi; Issam Ghazawi; Andreh Shami; Khalil Dolimi

al-Obaidi has written a
separate account of what happened at Halabja
in March 1988.
It appears now on Al Jazeera’s English website.

23, 2004

Wanniski [send him mail]
runs the financial/political advisory service
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