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Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' to hang for 1988 gas attack

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Keep in mind that at the time these heinous gas attacks occurred, they were denied by the Reagan administration which was trying its best to cuddle up to Saddam's regime, which several officials referred to as "moderate." Reagan's people pooh-poohed the reports of the human rights organizations as so much propaganada. The decade of the 80s saw the peak of Saddam's killings.

The Republicans running the country at the time (Reagan-Bush) did not break with Saddam and continued giving aid to his regime even after he killed 37 American sailors on the USS Stark (FFG-31) in 1987.

Only when Saddam deviated from performing his duties as a good buddy by attacking Kuwait in 1990 that, after some hesitation, did the U.S. finally come out against him.

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Why would we keep that in mind? It's off-topic and irrelevant to the story.

The guy was guilty of genocide and his conviction is justice served. I can't say that I'm a supporter of the death penalty, but I can't say I'm going to protest this one too much. I hope some Iraqis will find some closure with his conviction.

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SuperLib: because the people whom provided him the weapons and logistics are also guilty and should be hanged.

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Looks like he will get with the programme!

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because the people whom provided him the weapons and logistics are also guilty and should be hanged.

I would never say they should be hanged, but through their denial of the crimes at the time and their continued assistance to the criminal and his regime, they are complicit.

The problem with so many Americans is that events seem to go into a memory hole. Nothing is learned and history repeats itself.

So when we want to go back to the actual time of the crime -- 1988 -- and ask what the U.S. stance was, there are some people who want to believe that the U.S. was stainless and innocent, when in fact the U.S. abetted the crimes.

And then the day comes when the same U.S. leaders declare that Saddam and his henchmen are so terrible and must be dealt with, why is it so irrelevant to point out that these are the same people you've helped all along the way?

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Yabits is totally correct. Any other time anyone else had a hand in this, so many Americans would be baying their blood. Imagine if it had been Iran who provided the tech for those chemical weapons among other support! Hello hypocrisy! Sit down and have some tea for your daily visit!

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Keep in mind that at the time these heinous gas attacks occurred, they were denied by the Reagan administration which was trying its best to cuddle up to Saddam's regime

So how to we know the current US leader is not lying just as previous president have lied?

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neverknow2: that will surface later, as always.

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Good. This chap is well past his use-by date. The process of justice having been served, it is now time to pay the piper. Lets just hope that the Iraqis can handle this themselves without some idiot taunting the prisoner before he swings (like happened when Saddam cast off his mortal coil).

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[Nothing is learned and history repeats itself.] --- Nothing is learned because cliches keep repeating themselves on JT.

[Imagine if it had been Iran who provided the tech for those chemical weapons among other support! Hello hypocrisy! Sit down and have some tea for your daily visit!] ---- I don't think the US provided chemical weapons for this attack. They provided conventional weapons for Saddam to oppose the Iranians. Hello idiocy! Sit down and have some coffee for your daily visit! Maybe you'll wake up.

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No yabits, once again, is totally wrong ! What nations choose to do with the technology, weapons, or any other service provided from other nations is at their own free will. If I sell you a hunting rifle and you go out and shoot your wife, no court on the planet will find me guilty ! Saddam and his cronies are nothing more than a perfect example of traitors. They did it to the French, Americans, British, The UN, and many more so called supporters. Trying to fix blame on the US and Reagan is typical America bashing from this forums #1 America hater yabits. What a shame this clown hasn't been run from this site for blatant lies and obvious trolling.

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Those who were opposed to the liberation of Iraq favored letting this monster continue his atrocities.

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bushlover: I don't think the US provided chemical weapons for this attack.

Sorry, but "you don't think" does not qualify as a valid source.

They provided conventional weapons for Saddam to oppose the Iranians.

The Iraqis received assistance in making chemical weapons from the United States, the Netherlands, France, China, the U.K. and West Germany. I hope that being able to distribute the blame makes you feel a little better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons

Hello idiocy! Sit down and have some coffee for your daily visit! Maybe you'll wake up.

You must have been talking to yourself.

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dontknockit: can we trust wikipedia as a source?

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Those who were opposed to the liberation of Iraq favored letting this monster continue his atrocities.

And that is the only argument you can come up with? I for one am not that keen on the invasion of Iraq, not because I have any great love for Saddam or any great affinity with soft, cuddly wildlife, but rather because the whole Iraq screw up represented a prime example of intelligence failure. Moreover, I did not and do not like the idea of putting (US) kids on the street to act as targets for every fundi and his mates.

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The Iraqis received assistance in making chemical weapons from the United States, the Netherlands, France, China, the U.K. and West Germany. I hope that being able to distribute the blame makes you feel a little better.

Yep, the blame for this should be shared around equally. In their total ignorance of what the revolution in Iran actually meant (at that time - not now), these leading countries got into bed with the devil incarnate in the form of Saddam. It was only when people realized how unsavory he was that they started to distance themselves from "our man in Baghdad." Not the first time though, Manuel Noriega was everybody's favorite dictator until he tried to bite the hand that fed him.

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timorborder: there was intelligence but the ideals were strong enough to make intelligence lie. Anyways, Ali deserves it.

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TumbleDry: can we trust wikipedia as a source?

It beats "I don't think"! Look, wiki is as good a source as any other. No source is perfect, not even Faux News or Rush Limbaugh. More sources is always advised, but since some here don't like to do their own homework:

http://www.janes.com/defence/news/jcbw/jcbw030417_1_n.shtml

http://www.counterpunch.org/boles1010.html

In those you will find where Chemical Ali got his materials. That aside, keep in mind Yabit's main points: that the U.S. denied reports of chemical use by Iraq and continued to fund and supply Iraq despite its illegal chemical weapons use. One could be just as hard on Germany I suppose, but I am not German. Its the actions of the U.S. that embarrass me. Besides its the U.S. that hypocritically led the charge against Saddam...twice. And its the U.S. that has gone out of its way to make Iran an enemy which is the source of current and future trouble.

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Yabits: And then the day comes when the same U.S. leaders

I'm sorry Yabits, but I've read the article again and I just don't see any opinions being expressed by anyone in the US government. It talks about the trial and the feelings of some Iraqis who now feel a sense of closure. This is about their moment, and personally I think it's a bit rude of you to bully your way into the conversation and try to force everyone to talk about the United States. The world isn't just about the USA. There have been and will be plenty of opportunities for you to express your frustration, but perhaps it would be better in articles that actually mention America. Let the Iraqis make their own peace with their own monster.

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They should do it hybrid/Japanese style, let em stew in his own juices for ten or twenty years, and then whip out the rope that cuts the head off, as it hangs em.

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SuperLib: This is about their moment, and personally I think it's a bit rude of you to bully your way into the conversation and try to force everyone to talk about the United States.

Lemme tell ya something about the news...I always tend to wonder how it relates to me. By the way, no one was forced to do anything. You could have focused all your comments on the Iraqis if you wanted to, so could everybody else. But the comments about the U.S. struck a nerve, and justifiably so.

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What nations choose to do with the technology, weapons, or any other service provided from other nations is at their own free will. If I sell you a hunting rifle and you go out and shoot your wife, no court on the planet will find me guilty !

Yes, and when the person shoots the wife and then the party who sold them the gun denies that it happened, then sells them a thousand more weapons and then turns a blind eye to the thousands of murders that happen after that, you have a pretty good desciption of the U.S. relationship to Saddam Hussein throughout the 1980s.

The United States had a hand in putting Saddam in power in Iraq, so it's only natural that the administrations that followed Carter's would want to curry favor with him. (Because of human rights violations, Carter severed all U.S. ties with Iraq -- which Reagan's administration quickly restored.)

As an American, I find it very beneficial to go back to the time of the 1988 attack and try to determine what the U.S. government's position was when the attack occurred. At that time, U.S. policy was very hostile towards Iran. As the article above states, the Kurds aligned themselves with Iran against Saddam -- who was the U.S.'s buddy. Perhaps this explains why officials in the Reagan administration attacked the human rights organizations that attempted to bring the facts of the poison gas attacks to light in the West.

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This is about their moment, and personally I think it's a bit rude of you to bully your way into the conversation and try to force everyone to talk about the United States. The world isn't just about the USA.

Since I posted first, there was no ongoing conversation to "bully my way" into. Nor do I have any power or inclination to force anyone to talk about the U.S. But the facts are the facts, and they help to address the question, "What does this verdict mean to me as an American?"

If we look at the three of the national groups mentioned in the article -- Iraqis (Shia and Sunnis), Iranians, and Kurds (whose homeland is divided mainly amongst Iraq and Turkey) -- it is helpful to note that the United States has exercised quite a heavy hand among these three which has influenced the events like the gas attack that has culminated in this trial.

As U.S. involvement was key to installing and maintaining the Shah's brutal regime, which ultimately led to the Iranian revolution and Iran's current situation, the U.S. also had a hand in installing Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq. And later, giving him a green light to attack Iran. Since the Iraqi Kurds aligned themselves with the U.S.'s enemy Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, it may go a long way to explain why the officials in DC at the time made efforts to disavow that such a gas attack took place.

Of course, this is all very convenient a few years later when building up a rationale to attack one's former buddy. In the months following 9/11, Americans heard all about the 1988 gas attack in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. However, few Americans at the time seemed to recall or care to inquire what their administration was telling them at the time the attacks were actually occurring.

U.S. policy has brought a lot of death and misery to the region. The Kurds are receiving justice for just one of the terrible wrongs done to them. Their alignment with Iran was a mistake they paid for not only with the gas attack, but the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 killed by the Turks during this same period with U.S. logistical support.

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From Wikipedia: [assistance in developing chemical weapons was obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States,]

Dontknockit: Do you understand the meaning of "firms" as opposed to "governments"? I still think idiocy needs his coffee. I think it's you that can't think or maybe can't read your own source. I guess reading is so required in those rural high schools.

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Sorry: Not so required I meant.

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Sorry Yabits.... I got through the first few sentences of your post but then pretty much checked out once you started to bring the Shah of Iran into the fold. It's obvious you don't care about the contents of the article and your own personal agenda has taken over. Best of luck with your anger issues.

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It's obvious you don't care about the contents of the article and your own personal agenda has taken over. Best of luck with your anger issues.

It is very clear that some people believe that "contents" without any historical background determines the limits of any discussion of an article. (And Lord knows they would suppress any such discussion if they had the power to.)

What should the execution of Chemical Ali really mean to Americans -- espeically those who cluck their tongues and pretend to deny that their country had complicity in the crimes committed against the Kurds? This puts them curiously in the same position as their government in 1988 -- which denied that the very attack described in this article took place.

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Do you understand the meaning of "firms" as opposed to "governments"?

Yes, governments get their chemicals for warfare from "firms." Governments approve and grant export licenses for those chemicals to those same firms.

I still think idiocy needs his coffee.

Have you had your cup today?

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Yabits,

Saddam get his chemical warfare tech from France and West Germany.

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yabits I drink tea. firms still means firms not governments. Get a life yabits. Twist things like you want to but don't try to convince us normal people of your conspiracies. To jihadis like yourself everything is the fault of the US government. They don't put a stick up Chemical Ali's butt and say "go ahead and test some of these chemicals on your populations.". Your jihadi backward culture seems to do fine on itself in the self destruction arena.

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Saddam get his chemical warfare tech from France and West Germany.

It is important to note that, in 1982, the United States took Iraq off of the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, enabling the U.S. and its West European allies to transfer chemical and biological agents, dual-use technology and assistance to Saddam Hussein. The U.S. sent billions of dollars of aid to Saddam.

There are some conservatives who want to pretend that the U.S. was not the leader of the so-called free world back in the 1980s and that France and West Germany were sending assistance to Iraq in defiance of the U.S. Of course, we know the opposite is true.

Were I French or German, I would be digging more deeply into the extent of what the firms in those countries provided Saddam. But it couldn't have happened without the green light from the U.S. leaders. Besides, a lot of West European companies are multi-national in nature and often act as proxies to serve whatever the U.S. deems its strategic interest at the moment.

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[But it couldn't have happened without the green light from the U.S. leaders. Besides, a lot of West European companies are multi-national in nature and often act as proxies to serve whatever the U.S. deems its strategic interest at the moment.] --- You have very good faith in the US government to be controlling the firms of the world. Good on you for uncovering this conspiracy of the New World Order the Great Satan is about to release. Does this help you to justify your personal jihad?

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Wow, look at Yabits go. He's really hitting his stride.

What should the execution of Chemical Ali really mean to Americans

The story is about what Chemical Ali meant to Iraq and Iraqis, not about what it means to Americans. Stop being the blind American who only thinks about the US. It gives the rest of us a bad name.

(And Lord knows they would suppress any such discussion if they had the power to.)

You're suppressing any discussion of Chemical Ali himself and what he meant to the people of Iraq, all because of your personal issues with the US government. This is all about you. They key is that you lack self control.

Now, please continue. I'm sure you have even more information bookmarked and saved and ready to post. Let just hope that other people from other countries don't hijack the issue as well and start dominating the discussion about their own countries. It would be a shame if the Iraqis referenced in this story got brushed under the carpet because some people demand that the discussion focus on their country. We're lucky in the sense that others aren't as selfish as you.

And to think it's all about a man who you, if you had your way, would still be in power today. Talk about ironic...

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You have very good faith in the US government to be controlling the firms of the world.

I don't like to use the word "control" in this sense. The United States exerts a lot of influence. The fact is that the technology and weapons that Saddam's regime used to conduct the 1988 attack came from the U.S. and its allies, with the U.S. supplying most of the funding.

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The story is about what Chemical Ali meant to Iraq and Iraqis, not about what it means to Americans. Stop being the blind American who only thinks about the US.

When an Iraqi looks at the people who enabled Saddam to do most of his dirty work, and turned a blind eye while he did it, they won't be able to deny U.S. complicity and involvement the same way Americans like yourself want to brush it under the rug. An Iraqi will note that a few Americans are willing to acknowledge their government's complicity but that many other Americans would like to silence those few. (That's what freedom of speech is really about to some Americans -- something only reserved for certain, pre-defined situations.)

I do not blame an Iraqi today for looking at Chemical Ali and seeing the long shadow of the U.S. behind him.

And to think it's all about a man who you, if you had your way, would still be in power today. Talk about ironic...

I did not support U.S. policy when it helped to put Saddam in power. I did not support U.S. policy when they took Iraq off the list of sponsors of state terror (1982) -- especially at a time when Saddam was doing his worst killing. I was perfectly willing to live with a Saddam Hussein who, by 2001, was described by then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as being "completely contained" and no threat whatsoever to the region.

It gives the rest of us a bad name....Let just hope that other people from other countries..."

I suspect that to people of other countries, an American willing to examine and expose the broader truth about the nature of his country's involvement in this topic will seem like a breath of fresh air.

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Twist things like you want to but don't try to convince us normal people of your conspiracies. To jihadis like yourself everything is the fault of the US government. They don't put a stick up Chemical Ali's butt and say "go ahead and test some of these chemicals on your populations.".

It is a documented fact -- not a conspiracy -- that during the time the attack on Halabja occurred, the human rights organizations that reported it were attacked by the Reagan administration as spreaders of lies and distortions about their buddy Saddam.

The U.S. would never say "go ahead and test chemicals on your population." It doesn't work like that. The U.S. helps supply the technology and the logistics, as in: "Here are some things with which to make and weaponize chemicals and here are some satellite photographs. Use them as you will. We wash our hands of any involvement, and even deny that you used them (until it suits our purposes).

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Yabits, you continue to talk in illogical circles here. On one hand you want us to believe that Saddam and his cronies were under the absolute control of the US government as they were funded, trained, and encouraged to wage war on the local people and any regional enemy- at all costs. A total puppet under the devious control and watchful eye of the Americans.

A story that obviously doesn't mesh with what eventually happened. I mean why would Saddam and his ilk give up all that international support, the funding, the advanced technology, science, gifts from the beloved Americans ??? Why Yabits ? Just to gas a small village of rebels ??? Just to take out a few minor groups of Iranian soldiers ? Please explain this basic flaw in your thinking. Or better yet, try this on for size. Saddam and his henchmen acted independently to build WMD's, just like the Bush administration said, actually went out and tested them on their enemies, and then announced to the world "don't mess with us we have WMD's" ! And then, set off to disrupt the region, wage war on neighbouring nations, all in attempt to secure large percentages of world oil supplies. "That" sounds more feasible. Your insistance that the US equiped Saddam with his weapons is a very moot point. For example, over the years many people have equiped you with the ability to read, write, and use a computer. "You" have chosen to use those skills to promote negativity, anger, and hate ! Now who is to blame for how "you" turned out Yabits ?

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Bah, I don't get the radical left defending Iraq's decision to hang this bloke.

He was one of the few Weapons of Mass Destructions inside Saddam's Iraq that actually existed. Why he wasn't hanged years ago beats me, as getting rid of the scum of the last regime is the only way Iraq can commence to rebuild itself after the destruction it has known since the very early eighties.

The Americans along with everyone else had an agenda to push through Hussein's proxy war - I don't see how anyone can bring up the past and believe their own governments innocence in trading with the enemy.

I rarely support the snuff penalty, but here's one I do.

Awf with his head.

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"I don't get the radical left complaining about Iraq's decision to hang this bloke."

Whoops!

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On one hand you want us to believe that Saddam and his cronies were under the absolute control of the US government as they were funded, trained, and encouraged to wage war on the local people and any regional enemy- at all costs. A total puppet under the devious control and watchful eye of the Americans.

You seem to want to believe that those are my views, but you are very, very wrong.

Most serious people understand the difference between a party to a crime and the actual perpetrator of it. Taking Iraq off the terror list in 1982 and giving the green light to sales of chemical and biological weapons capabilities was a lot like giving Ted Bundy the keys and directions to the sorority house. (Ted, like Chemical Ali, did not have to be "encouraged" to do what he did.)

I understand that the tools and assistance rendered by the U.S. are a moot point to you. The more important question is do the people of the region consider this to be a moot point? If they don't, then it goes a long way to explain why so many Americans -- so self-satisfied in their delusions of their own goodness, and blind to their own evil doings -- become shocked when their symbols and persons are attacked.

Regarding the "watchful eye" part, I would find it hard to believe that the chemical attack went unnoticed by U.S. intelligence at the time. So why was the Reagan administration so vociferous in its denials of the attack and why was it so loyal in its defense of Saddam?

I mean why would Saddam and his ilk give up all that international support, the funding, the advanced technology, science, gifts from the beloved Americans?

You are assuming that Saddam would have to give up all those gifts. It is precisely because Saddam knew that the U.S. would stick by his side, even if he used chemical weapons in the manner he did. Look at how the Reagan administration immediately forgave him for the attack on the Stark, which killed nearly 40 U.S. sailors.

Iran was the enemy du jour (also thanks to blowback from U.S. policy) and the U.S. showed it was willing to embrace the devil himself to strike a blow against the Iranians. I consider embracing the devil to be a form of evil -- just as I consider suppressing the truth in the guise of "being positive" to be as well.

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Huh...though he died a while back. Must have been another mass murderer I was thinking about.

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Yabits: I was perfectly willing to live with a Saddam Hussein

This article isn't about you, something you just don't seem to get. It's about Chemical Ali and the people he gassed. Stating that you (and Reagan) were perfectly fine to live with someone like Ali is selfish and incredibly cruel to the memory of the people mentioned in this article.

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"Most serious people understand the difference between a party to a crime and the actual perpetrator of it."

yes ! It's called the court system ! Which is what you don't seem to understand. You seem to have appointed yourself judge and jury here, yet no court in the world will saddle up along side you and prosecute Reagan or any other American President for your accusations... and do you not now why ? Chew on that fat a bit yabits. And if you are still torn about the injustice vanquished on your mates Ali and Saddam, start your own fund raiser and bring them damn yankees into a court of law. Until you back your mouth with some action, well you are just peein' in the wind !

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This article isn't about you, something you just don't seem to get.

The article was not about me, but your following comment certainly was:

"And to think it's all about a man who you, if you had your way, would still be in power today."

You seem to think it OK to post personal shots and then let your emotions run wild when someone responds to them.

Stating that you (and Reagan) were perfectly fine to live with someone like Ali is selfish and incredibly cruel to the memory of the people mentioned in this article.

I can't think of anything more cruel than what the U.S. did when the attack occurred in 1988: Denied that it happened and defended the very killers they enabled. Makes your little rant here in 2010 all the more embarrassing.

Moderator: Readers, please focus your comments on what is in the story, not at each other.

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"because the United States has steadfastly refused to submit to the idea of an international court where its leaders and military personnel could be called to account for their actions."

LOL, Surely you jest !

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Well, what's in this story is the final demise, as stated, "The fourth death sentence against Ali Hassan al-Majid for crimes against humanity"

and it

"serves as a reminder that victims of Saddam’s atrocities remain determined to seek justice"

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I cannot say I support Yabits 100 percent, but its got to be pretty darn close. What I certainly do not support is the misinterpretation (maybe willful) of his words. He has been very careful and accurate with both his wording and accusations. His detractors should study his posts very carefully so that they can learn what it means to post carefully and accurately.

Even the off-topic accusations among his detractors ring hollow. If somebody said it was thanks to the U.S. that Ali could be tried, they would not complain it was off-topic. But what they would miss is the idea that its thanks to the U.S. in more ways than one! I already mentioned the other countries, but as Yabits said, it was U.S. government support for Iraq that led the way and made it possible. The U.S. made a criminal mistake supporting Saddam and encouraging him. America egged him on against Iran. And when he used chemical weapons against Iran America still supported him. Then America tried to cover up his use of chemicals against Kurds. Saddam thought America would support him no matter what and that led to the invasion of Kuwait. And Bush Sr. had to have a good think about whether to keep supporting Saddam even then! It was no cut and dried decision.

America needs to reflect on the decisions of her leaders...badly. And I wonder how much America should reflect about will die with Ali? I wonder if old Rummy will breathe a sigh of relief when he is gone?

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Naturally the above is off-topic as well. This story is about Iraq and Iraqis. Stop being so selfish. The world doesn't revolve around America.

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Al-Majid was previously sentenced to hang for his role in a brutal crackdown against the Kurds in the late 1980s known as the Anfal campaign, which killed hundreds of thousands of people.

When these hundreds of thousands of people were being killed in the "late 1980s," the position at the time of the leaders of my country, the United States, was that the Iraqi regime was showing signs of moderating itself. The Anfal campaign was only officially reported at the time by a few human rights organizations, who were decried as leftist propagandists by the U.S. regime -- which authorized and sent billions in enabling technology and assistance to Baghdad.

The ripples of the crimes for which Chemical Ali is being convicted of extend much farther than the Iraqi leadership.

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dontknockit writes:

"If somebody said it was thanks to the U.S. that Ali could be tried, they would not complain it was off-topic."

Of course not! When I first read the article, that is what I was sure would be said by some, and so a preemptive strike (by pen) was needed to give that kind of observation proper background and perspective.

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Of course not! When I first read the article, that is what I was sure would be said by some, and so a preemptive strike (by pen) was needed to give that kind of observation proper background and perspective.

I don't see anyone congratulating the US for putting him on trial. At this point we should be able to conclude that your prediction was entirely incorrect, which means you've made a preemptive strike against an opponent that never arrived even though, as you state, you were sure he would. Although you misread the situation you don't seem to be showing any signs of letting up which means your motivation cannot be believed.

Not only are you arguing against an imaginary position from an imaginary opponent, you're doing so with an argument which is completely illogical. You're criticizing the government for downplaying an issue that you yourself said you personally were fine with. I really don't see what changes your position brings to the table other than to say the government shouldn't be fine with Saddam but you can.

The fact is that your position is off-topic, disingenuous, and illogical. You obviously don't care about the Kurds when you say you're Ok with Saddam as long as he's contained and no threat to you. What this boils down to is that you really, really, really, really want to talk about the US. Again, it's all about you and what you want to talk about, not about Chemical Ali getting the death penalty for genocide. Just fess up that this is about your obsession with the US government and nothing else and we'll be in agreement.

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You're criticizing the government for downplaying an issue that you yourself said you personally were fine with....You obviously don't care about the Kurds when you say you're Ok with Saddam as long as he's contained and no threat to you.

This may come as news to some people, but the 1980s were a different decade and presented much different conditions than the 1990s. Quoting from the article:

"The Kurds have since the end of the Gulf War over Kuwait in 1991 enjoyed a large degree of autonomy under the protection of U.S.-led Western powers that enforced a no-fly zone over the Kurdish north of Iraq."

I cared and still care very much about the Kurds. That is why I opposed my country -- the United States -- aiding and abetting Saddam Hussein throughout the 1980s as he unleashed his evil against them. I deplored the fact that my country would not even acknowledge that the Kurds were being killed to the extent that the article indicates they were -- and which was well documented by the human rights groups monitoring the situation at the time.

Once Saddam was well-contained after the Gulf War and the Kurds were enjoying much greater autonomy, I could easily live with a Saddam that was no threat to the Kurds or to other nations in the region. "Live with" should not be constued to mean giving him billions of dollars of aid as the United States did when he and his henchmen were committing most and worst of their crimes.

It seems cruelly sad to me that the very gas attack that the United States government denied at the time it occurred was later used by the U.S. to provide some of the justification to launch further death and destruction on Iraq and its people. Ironically, Saddam and Chemical Ali were criminals the U.S. had a large role in enabling.

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Again, it's all about you and what you want to talk about, not about Chemical Ali getting the death penalty for genocide.

I have spoken about the events surrounding the crimes for which Chemical Ali was charged and convicted for, especially this 1988 gas attack and the Anfal massacres. Pretending that they only involved Ali and Saddam is a lie and a sham. Some people are comfortable living a lie and a sham, but I don't happen to be one of those.

Just fess up that this is about your obsession with the US government and nothing else and we'll be in agreement.

This is more about my fascination with the extent and manner of denial that exists in some people when someone presents historical facts about their nation's complicity in the crime that Chemical Ali will hang for.

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"The ripples of the crimes for which Chemical Ali is being convicted of extend much farther than the Iraqi leadership."

Not according to the "World's Courts"- which you still seem to conveniently ignore.

"I cared and still care very much about the Kurds. That is why I opposed my country"

But you don't oppose the actions of the more than 12 other nations including the UN for "aiding and abetting the Saddam/Ali regime ? Why not ? Why so afraid to say so ? Because it doesn't fit your anti-American agenda ? Yabits, your posts are all off topic rants that should have been delivered into the garbage bin hours ago. Chemical Ali was tried and convicted by Iraqis in their court of law. Face those facts, move on, leave your bitterness behind- it is starting to consume you. And JT lets stop "enabling" this poster, he needs help, I'm starting to get worried- yeh right !

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But you don't oppose the actions of the more than 12 other nations including the UN for "aiding and abetting the Saddam/Ali regime ? Why not ?

Simple:

First of all, by taking the "Saddam/Ali" regime off of the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1982, the United States led the way in making it OK for itself and other nations to transfer the technology, materials and know-how needed for Saddam and Ali to do their dirty work, including the 1988 gas attack. This may have involved other nations, but the U.S. was the leader and thus set the example. When you go after a pack of criminals, you normally go after the leader first. (Yes, I believe U.S. policy towards Iraq in the 1980s was criminal.)

It is also the nature of the criminal, when they are cornered, to look around to see who else they can pull in for blame. But there is still only one leader of the pack.

Secondly, when the attack occurred in 1988, the government of the United States denied and dismissed it. (I find that to be morally criminal as well.) Then as now, many Americans do not want unpleasant truths to get in the way of their business dealings and their illusions of being the "good guys."

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"First of all, by taking the "Saddam/Ali" regime off of the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1982, the United States led the way in making it OK for itself and other nations to transfer the technology, materials and know-how needed for Saddam and Ali to do their dirty work"

Nonsense ! Every other nation on the planet made their own decisions independantly of what America chose to do- which was transfer technology, materials, know how that--- was determined to have "dual capabilities" ! Which means the leaders of Iraq would determine if these goods were to be used for positive or negative means. Saddam chose to murder and kill ! His cousins and other family members joined in on their own velition ! Enough said !

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Saddam chose to murder and kill ! His cousins and other family members joined in on their own velition ! Enough said !

What you keep leaving out is the fact that while Saddam was killing people -- like this gas attack in 1988 -- the official U.S. position was that the report of such attacks was propaganda. The article mentions hundreds of thousands killed while the U.S. turned a blind eye, and continued sending assistance to Saddam.

That other nations may have acted likewise is a matter for citizens of those countries to deal with. My personal experience as an American deals with the actions of my own government.

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Yabits: This is more about my fascination with the extent and manner of denial that exists in some people when someone presents historical facts about their nation's complicity in the crime that Chemical Ali will hang for.

Can you show us some examples of people who are in denial about the relationship between the US and Iraq either from posters or the article itself? I've seen someone counter the argument that the US supplied the chemical weapons, yet I noticed you didn't involve yourself in that when trying to present some "historical facts."

Others have agreed that the US was involved but mentioned that there are other countries who should shoulder some of the blame, and even tho you say you are motivated by people's denial about their country's involvement, you've even tried to bar that evidence from being shown. Your stated motivation is a lie and a sham and is a simple cover up for your obsession with America.

I could easily live with a Saddam

Wonderful news. Now please keep educating people who don't exist on this thread, ignoring others who present false information about the US, and attacking anyone who says that the blame should be shared. You're obviously doing it from a position of moral authority.

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SuperLib: I don't see anyone congratulating the US for putting him on trial. At this point we should be able to conclude that your prediction was entirely incorrect, which means you've made a preemptive strike against an opponent that never arrived even though, as you state, you were sure he would.

His preemptive strike was more effective than he imagined or I would have predicted. I predicted the same course for this thread as Yabits and I am amazed at how it did not happen. But lets not kid ourselves about why it didn't happen. It didn't happen because Yabits utterly blasted the idea of posting delusional propaganda.

And you and everybody else has had plenty of time to make statements about the trial, Ali and the Halabja gas attack. Doesn't seem like anyone has much to say about those, and that would mean a very short thread if we did not talk about related matters that are far more significant to us.

Really. Yabits has answered everyone's counterpoints extremely well. I cannot find fault in anything he has said. Every question he answered he did so in an outstanding and complete manner. I find myself unable to add anything to what he has said. Again, I suggest his detractors study his posts well.

You're criticizing the government for downplaying an issue that you yourself said you personally were fine with.

Case in point. Yabits answered those well. I would have answered this horrible attempt to put words in my mouth with far less poise. The heinous acts of pumping out cover-up propaganda and attacking groups who are just telling the truth is poorly described by the word "downplaying".

And Yabits NEVER said he was fine with the gas attacks on Halabja! That is so completely outrageous I think you should apologize.

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Can you show us some examples of people who are in denial about the relationship between the US and Iraq either from posters or the article itself?

I try to refrain from commenting on posters like some people do. The topic to me is the crime of Chemical Ali -- and how that crime is shared by the former leadership of my country, the United States.

I've seen someone counter the argument that the US supplied the chemical weapons.

That the U.S. supplied Saddam's Iraq with chemical weaponry and the means to make chemical and biological weapons is well documented. To put weight on an unsupported counter-argument just might be considered by some to be a form of denial.

you've even tried to bar that evidence from being shown

One wonders how any poster can bar evidence from being shown on this or any other topic.

ignoring others who present false information about the US, and attacking anyone who says that the blame should be shared

If I have attacked anyone, the moderators would be correct in removing any post where I did so. The evidence is abundantly clear that the accusation is a false one.

Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Chemical Ali's trial and sentence, not the U.S. leadership during the time.

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"Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Chemical Ali's trial and sentence, not the U.S. leadership during the time."

Seems like a no brainer to me considering they are completely unrelated. Any and all research into the history and background into Ali Hassan al-Majid clearly show that he acted on his own in conjunction with orders from Saddam Hussein, who has already been executed. The butcher of Baghdad will finally get his just desserts for crimes against humanity, and there will be no sympathy from this poster.

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Branded: Any and all research into the history and background into Ali Hassan al-Majid clearly show that he acted on his own

The mod said change the subject. Yet here this guy is continuing it and telling falsehoods to boot.

Saddam Hussein, who has already been executed.

And how much information died with him? How much with Ali? No doubt enough that people can feel they can get away with tell self-soothing falsehoods, despite the fact that they themselves are not being accused of atrocity, but rather some greedy evil jerk that just happens to hold the same color passport.

The easy way out is to just stop supporting evil men. Its not hard. I don't even cheer for my country at the Olympics, because I don't know those people from a hole in the ground.

I wonder if someday Iraqis will whitewash the history of Saddam and Ali in order to feel better about themselves?

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For someone who has self proclaimed no interest in his own country's Olympic team, I would ask-

"wonder if someday Iraqis will whitewash the history of Saddam and Ali in order to feel better about themselves?"

Why do you care ?

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Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Chemical Ali's trial and sentence, not the U.S. leadership during the time.

When the MODS actually come out and tell people not to mention the US, you know things have gone pretty far over the top...

I rest my case.

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During the trial of Chemical Ali, the evidence showed that the following agents were used in the 1988 gas attack on Halabja: mustard gas, VX, sarin, soman and tabun. The agents were delivered mainly via helicopters sold to Saddam by a nation which leads the world in arms sales.

In an official 1992 report by one nation's senate, it was documented that, throughout the 1980s, this particular government sold Saddam the following: anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs, botulism, components for making and delivering mustard gas, etc. These shipments continued even after the 1988 gas attack on Halabja.

This assistance, according to the report, included "chemical warfare-agent precursors, chemical warfare-agent production facility plans and technical drawings, chemical warfare filling equipment, biological warfare-related materials, missile fabrication equipment and missile system guidance equipment."

Chemical Ali will hang for an attack that the Iraqis could never have carried out had not the means, tools, and logistics not been handed to them. As an Arab news service reporting the trial puts it, "Chemical Ali is only one culprit." (Like Saddam's trial, Ali's is heavily censored by the government so as not to allow too many embarrassing details out about these other "culprits.")

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yabits: (Like Saddam's trial, Ali's is heavily censored by the government so as not to allow too many embarrassing details out about these other "culprits.")

And soon he will be silenced. And other culprits will breath a sigh of relief.

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Branded: Why do you care ?

Because bullcrap leads to war, and idiots line up to fight it thanks to bullcrap. I would rather the truth was out, admitted and even apologized and atoned for. The day may come when Saddam and Ali are widely regarded as martyrs by the Iraqis. If and when they day comes I don't want fingers pointed my way.

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This "unnamed" official said this, and this "secret source" said that. And Oh yeh, this racist pointed out another thing, and that bigot-local politician with obviously nothing to gain-person getting kicbacks-disgruntled antiAmerican-wayward conspiracy theorist-yada-yada-yada... get a grip you two ! It don7t matter who delivered what to whom, it's "how and what" whom did upon receiving, creating, designing, securing etc the goods ! Ali Hassan al-Majid will swing from the rafters "alone" because he acted "alone ! So says the various court systems- especially the one that counts the most, the one run-operated-controlled by the Iraqi people... or Oh let me guess, the "outsiders" are pulling those strings also. Swing Ali Hassan ! Let the sight of your curled toes be a reminder that crimes against humanity will never go unpunished.

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This "unnamed" official said this, and this "secret source" said that

You are putting quotes around unnamed and secret source as though someone in this thread used those terms. Of course, no such things were written. The official report referred to in the previous post is the "U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq...." It lists everything used in the attack on Halabja.

Ali Hassan al-Majid will swing from the rafters "alone" because he acted "alone !

It is clear you did not read the article. Quoting from it: "The court also convicted and sentenced other former officials to jail terms on Sunday for their roles in the Halabja attack."

I seriously doubt that al-Majid "acted alone" -- note the proper use of quotation marks -- in what the article points out as "the Anfal campaign." Of course, you are free to believe what you want.

that crimes against humanity will never go unpunished

Oh, well. It's good to start with making sure you've got the guilty parties. And Chemical Ali is certainly a guilty party. However, there was one major country that was trying to pin the blame for the Halabja attack on Iran, even knowing who the guilty party really was.

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Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Chemical Ali's trial and sentence, not the U.S. leadership during the time.

Moderator: Stop parroting the moderator or you will be leaving us.

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In the game of chess, pawns are often sacrificed to achieve victory.

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featherhead, you are as wrong as yabits ! For example;

"AT THE TIME Saddam was committing the gassings"

Stop !!! Saddam didn't "commit" the gassings ! That is what Ali Hassan was convicted of.

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"I bet you would be singing a different tune."

I'll take that bet !

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Branded: Stop !!! Saddam didn't "commit" the gassings !

By this logic, neither did Ali! You think Ali piloted one of the planes that dropped the gas?? We have every reason to assume Ali either orchestrated this with Saddam's orders or at least approval. Saddam was not a bit player in all this, and neither were the others mentioned as having a hand in it.

The article says:

The fourth death sentence against Ali Hassan al-Majid for crimes against humanity serves as a reminder that victims of Saddam’s atrocities remain determined to seek justice

You should not boldly declare others as wrong with an exclamation point. Not unless you are trying to make us laugh!

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"By this logic, neither did Ali!"

And you know this for a fact ? Could you please then provide the names of the people that did ? I mean being in the know as you are. Laughable, simply laughable !

Moderator: Readers, no more sniping please. Focus your comments on what is in the story, not at each other.

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Branded: And you know this for a fact ?

Know what for a fact? If you absolve Saddam of this crime, you may as well absolve Ali. I do realize their roles were a little different, but their roles were for the most part of the same type; leadership roles that got the ball rolling. Or, if you have some evidence Ali went behind Saddam's back to do this, do tell.

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Branded: I'll take that bet !

So what is the difference? Do you look upon each weapon of mass destruction differently? Is it all good so long as its the Kurds who suffer or some other local group and not you and yours?

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To dontknockit:

Using Branded's logic, putting total blame on Ali for the gas attack, and not considering those who aided and abetted the attack is analagous to saying this: We should not have gone after AQ in Afghanistan because the 9/11 attack was carried out by those who hijacked and flew the planes. It was the hijackers' choice and theirs alone. Anyone who gives money to support AQ is also blameless, because whatever AQ does with the money is purely up to them.

Again, I am trying to make an analogy, not veer the discussion off of Chemical Ali and the guilt for the 1988 attack.

It bears repeating that the Saddam-Ali regime was once branded a terrorist state. Without changing anything they were suddenly taken off the list and considered OK -- despite their continuous acts of terror like the 1988 gas attack.

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Without changing anything they were suddenly taken off the list and considered OK

Perhaps they were fine with Saddam killing as long as he was contained.

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This, too, is a common phenomena at many right wing blogs i.e., someone making reasonable criticisms of some aspect of U.S. policy, followed by the usual whining from the right, followed by the removal or banning of the critics...

First of all, I hope your post will not be removed, and I'm fortunate to have seen it in case of that event.

The phenomena of Chemical Ali and Saddam Hussein are more than the events of Ali's trials and sentences. There is historical context that can not be avoided by anyone with a desire to understand a more complete picture of the events that led to this sentencing.

One of the premises put forth in this thread is that Chemical Ali acted alone, and that he alone is responsible for the crimes he is convicted of. The people who want to push that line want to deny any and all active involvement of others in these crimes. In my view, passing chemical and biological weapons technology to these Iraqis was no different than passing a set of knives to Hannibal Lecter.

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"Associated Press writers Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad, Yahya Barzanji in Halabja and Jamal Halaby in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report."

Congratulations to these fine writers for presenting the facts in such an indepth format. Quality journalism that cuts to the core of who the guilty partys are. No red herrings, no "chomsky" (conspiracy nut), no manufactured terms like "support, aid, led, etc" and of course no mention of any other nations involvement because--- these people acted of their own free will !

-The fourth death sentence against Ali Hassan al-Majid for crimes against humanity.

-Former Defense Minister Sultan Hashim al-Taie received 15 years in prison

-Iraq’s former director of military intelligence, Sabir Azizi al-Douri- 15 years in prison.

-Farhan Mutlaq al-Jubouri, a former top military intelligence official, was sentenced to 10 years.

-Saddam was hanged for the killings of Shiites after a 1982 assassination attempt against him in a town north of Baghdad but did not live to face justice for the Halabja attack. He was executed in December 2006.

Throw in Tariq Aziz and all the major players are accounted for. Congratulations to the people of Iraq- this is what democracy is all about !

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Congratulations to these fine writers for presenting the facts in such an indepth format.

Thanks for the laugh.

We see that those in denial want to pretend that no chemical and biological warfare agents were put into the hands of these criminals.

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Good news for the people who have been haunted by the ghosts of an evil dictator and his sidekicks for over 20 years. While their lives are still insecure since they live in a country which is still under the threat of military uprisings today, they've just turned the page. A small step for local residents, and a great leap(!) for Islamic democracy(or what you may call it) in the Arab world.

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Oh, and Branded, what "democracy is all about" is for the government which they've voted into office to inform its citizens what their up to i.e., in THEIR, the citizens, name. In this case, that would be informing the citizens that they've been supporting Saddam for 30 years, and in turn Ali, before, during, and after he committed his and Ali's crimes.

The people should have known about this from the time Saddam was ushered into power with the assistance of the CIA during his tenure as an assassin. The public should have been being informed the entire time he was in power of the crimes he committed. The people should have known everything about Saddam since their money was going to supporting him.

So, my question for you is why they didn't? Why, to this day, to we STILL have people whining that "Saddam gassed his own people" as a justification for the U.S.'s illegal and criminal invasion? Where is the rest of the story? Why, in their mind, do they not seem to be willing of such basics? And why do they respond so irrationally when informed of the basics?

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How ridiculous to think you need to look to Chomsky to understand what happens thousands of miles from where he lives and to people he can not even communicate with.

Just ask the victims. The Kurds wanted Ali hanged for his crimes against humanity.They had proof.

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News outlets are reporting that Ali was hanged today.

Aside from one person who the Dutch helped bring to justice, the culprits who supplied Ali with all that he needed to commit his crimes have gone unpunished.

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