News Release

Saddam and Attacks on Kurds

AP is reporting: “The Iraq tribunal Tuesday announced new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity in [the] 1980s crackdown against the Kurds.”

The following analysts are available for interviews; many of them point to U.S. policy during the 1980s as helping Saddam Hussein. For background, see: “The Saddam in Rumsfeld’s Closet” and “Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984” from the National Security Archive, which includes photo and video of Donald Rumsfeld meeting with Hussein.

SUREYA SAYADI, MD
A Kurdish doctor and academic currently touring the U.S. with a delegation of Iraqi women organized by the women’s peace group Code Pink, Sayadi said today of Saddam Hussein: “When I see him, I’m overwhelmed by all the pain he caused Kurds and others; unfortunately, these court proceedings have become a mockery. The U.S. helped him stay in power, helped him do what he was doing in the 1980s against the Kurds and the Iraqi people so they couldn’t stand up against him.

“The Kurds get all this attention now because they are useful; they were useful for invading Iraq and might be useful for attacking Iran. Turkey attacked Kurds throughout the 1990s; that was fine with the U.S. government. There are still ongoing attacks on Kurds in Turkey.”

VERA BEAUDIN SAEEDPOUR
Editor of Kurdish Life and founder of the Kurdish Library in New York City, Saeedpour is available for a limited number of in-depths interviews about the dynamics of Kurdish politics, Hussein’s attacks on the Kurds and U.S. policy.

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of the new book Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy U.S. Power. She said: “The Central Criminal Court is a hybrid legal institution, created by the American-led occupation, in which U.S. lawyers prepare cases for Iraqi prosecutors to present to Iraqi judges, who were in turn chosen by the coalition. With such direct U.S. involvement behind the scenes of the trial, the possibility that defense lawyers will be allowed to subpoena and question the former allies of Saddam Hussein, particularly those who enabled the worst of his crimes, remains virtually nil. … They might include, for instance, officials of the Reagan-era Commerce Department who authorized selling Baghdad the seed stock for anthrax, e-coli, botulinum and other biological weapons, as well as the British, German, and other allied governments who provided Iraq with precursor chemicals, biological growth medium, and more.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167