Åbent Brev til TV-Avisen

Af Jan Øberg
TFF 02-07-03

Hvad der skete i Halabja i 1988 er givetvis en forbrydelse mod menneskeheden og som sådan værdig at mindes og minde hinanden om. Det er imidlertid ikke ligegyldigt hvordan begivenheden præsenteres og hvem der gøres ansvarlig for den, ex- eller implicit.

Jeg véd naturligvis ikke hvem der begik forbrydelsen. Det gør TV-Avisen heller ikke. Derimod véd enhver interesseret, at skyldsspørgsmålet stadig er til debat. Vi véd også at den vestverden, der idag anklager Irak og Saddam Hussein for forbrydelsen – som
TV-Avisen også gjorde i aften – ikke løftede en eneste finger da den fandt sted, fordi Irak i en vis forstand udkæmpede en stedfortræderkrig mod Iran til nytte for Vesten.

Her er et par eksempler på at skyldsspørgsmålet næppe er så klart:

(1)

Subject: Did Saddam ‘Gas His Own People’?
From: The Wisdom Fund <twflist@macosx.com>
To: <tff@transnational.org>

THE WISDOM FUND News & Views – http://www.twf.org/News.html

It appears that there is scant evidence that “Saddam gassed his own people.” Yet this mantra is repeated as a fact, over and over again, by virtually all media. Shouldn’t someone check this out?

Our concern is based on two articles: One by Jude Wanniski (former associate editor of The Wall Street Journal), and Robert Fisk of the Independent (arguably one of the most knowledgeable reporters in the Middle East). Excerpts from these are included follow:

“There is no evidence Saddam used anthrax or any other chemical weapons against the Iraqi Kurds. There have been allegations, but Iraq has always insisted it did not use such weapons in the two 1989 incidents alleged.
There were estimates that 1,400 to 4,000 Kurds died of chemical weapons in an Iraqi offensive. The Iraq Defense Minister insisted it did not use gas and that it was neither logical or feasible to use gas against small groups of Kurds in areas through which government forces had to pass. The sole ‘evidence’ seems to be the finding of a British laboratory that soil samples in the Kurdish region contained mustard gas (not anthrax).”
-Jude Wanniski, “Did Saddam Hussein Gas His Own People?,” Supply Side Investor, October 17, 2001

“No sooner had I filed a series of reports to London on this new and terrible war crime of Saddam Hussein than a British diplomat, lunching with one of my editors in London, remarked that ‘Bob doesn’t seem to understand the situation.’ True, he said, gas was a terrible weapon. But Saddam was fighting the West’s war against Iranian fundamentalism . . . The French had sold Saddam Mirage jets. The Germans had provided him with the gas that had me almost wretching on the train from Ahwaz. The Americans had sold him helicopters for spraying crops with pesticide (the ‘crops’, of course, being human beings). The British gave Saddam bailey bridges. And I later
met the Cologne arms dealer who flew from the Pentagon to Baghdad with US
satellite photos of the Iranian front lines – to help Saddam kill more Iranians.”
-Robert Fisk, “What Madness is Seizing Messrs Clinton and Blair Today?,” Independent, February 13, 1998

LINKS to these articles at http://www.twf.org/News/Y2001/1119-Iraq.html

(2)

Og her findes Stephen Pelletier’s artikel fra New York Times den 31.december 2002

A War Crime or an Act of War?
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/31/opinion/31PELL.html?ex=

Heri hedder det blandt andet:

“The accusation that Iraq has used chemical weapons against its citizens is a familiar part of the debate. The piece of hard evidence most frequently brought up concerns the gassing of Iraqi Kurds at the town of Halabja in March 1988, near the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. President Bush himself has cited Iraq’s “gassing its own people,” specifically at Halabja, as a reason to topple Saddam Hussein.

But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story.

I am in a position to know because, as the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair.”

________

Med erfaringerne fra mediedækningen af Kroatien, Bosnien og Kosovo in mente bør man være forsigtig med at fremme historier i tider med voldsom propagandakrig fra begge sider i en aktuel konflikt. Det er svært at IKKE se timingen af indslaget – samtidig med den indledende historie om at danskerne har skiftet holdning til fordel for en krig – som relateret til udenrigsminister Colin Powells tale i går i Sikkerhedsrådet, en tale som baseredes mere på påstande, hypoteser og indicier end på beviser.

Det er ikke på nogen måde urimeligt at fremhæve at Saddam Hussein er en udemokratisk og tidvis brutal leder. Heller ikke at spejle den menneskelige tragedie, som Halabja-begivenheden skabte, også for dem vi så i indslaget.

Det er derimod yderst betænkeligt at præsentere begivenheder og skyldforhold som om de var indiskutable og uimodsagte, når dette ikke er tilfældet. Og gør det i en sammanhæng hvor det KUN kan bidrage til at heppe på krig.

Så meget om Jeres dækning af Halabja.

Hvis TV-Avisen iøvrigt er interesseret i krænkninger af irakernes enneskerettigheder er det på høje tid med nogle reportager om de af vesten besluttede sanktioner, der ifølge FN har kostet omkring 1million mennesker livet eller modsvarende 200 Halabjaer – uden udsigt til at skulle hæves.

Under mine 2 x 2 ugers besøg i Irak sidste år og i år har jeg med egne øjne set disse konsekvenser, ført samtaler med relevante internationale humanitære organisationer samt FN og vidner gerne om disse sanktioners dybt umenneskeligt konsekvenser på 25 millioner uskyldige civile i landet.

Afslutningsvis vil jeg være taknemmelig for at få den redaktionelt ansvarliges vurdering af om ikke det ville være rimeligt at a) gøre opmærksom på i en følgende TV-Avis at skyldsspørgsmålet ikke er afklaret og b) lave et eller flere indslag om de nævnte menneskerettighedskrænkelser, der følger i kølvandet af sanktionerne.

Med venlig hilsen

Jan Øberg

Netavisen 8. februar 2003


Dette er en artikel fra KPnet. Se flere artikler og følg med på
KPNET.DK – NYHEDER HVOR DER KÆMPES – eller på FACEBOOK
Udgives af APK – Arbejderpartiet Kommunisterne