Never Forget: Halabja 25 Years On

The flag of Kurdistan.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s chemical attack on the town of Halabja: on March 16th 1988, as many as 5000 Kurds breathed as they did and then suddenly found that the air was poison. It was the most publicised event of the 1987-88 Anfal campaign: a systematic genocide of all the Kurdish and non-Arab peoples in the north of Iraq, leading to as many as 200,000 deaths. It should, I think, stand symbolic of the war against terrorism, however it manifests itself. There are some very distressing photographs online, but I decided against including them. Sometimes our imagination can capture horror well enough.

As the Kurdish ambassador said to Nick Cohen, “Everyone wants to remember Fallujah and no one wants to remember Halabja.” Well, for all the justifiable criticisms levied against the war 10 years on, we must never forget what the alternatives may have been.


2 Comments on “Never Forget: Halabja 25 Years On”

  1. Reblogged this on myatheistlife and commented:
    Because the MSM do not have your best interestes at heart nor do they care how history is remembered. Decide for yourself, was 9/11 the tragedy or do the Kurds own the real grief?

  2. […] recent chemical attack outside Damascus is a momentary echo of Saddam’s message to Halabja in 1988. The news of Sgt Bales’ imprisonment, meanwhile, is like valley to […]

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