Iraqis press for war trials
Wednesday 15 January 1997
The Iraqi opposition, which opens its campaign for war crime indictments against Saddam Hussein's henchmen in London tonight, has even catalogued the wickedness of the "little men", the military officers whose names are largely unknown in the West.
There is Lieutenant-Colonel Abdel-Karim Al-Jouhaifi, "directly responsible for the murder and burning of 700 women, children and elderly persons" in Sourey; Major General Rashaash Al-Imara, accused of participating in the chemical bombing of the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988; and Major General Hisham Fakhri, a military governor who allegedly participated in mass executions in Basra in 1991. Saddam Hussein and his son Uday would face - if the Iraqi opposition had its way - charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.
But who believes the Iraqi regime will ever go on trial? The Iraqi National Congress (INC), which lost dozens of supporters to President Saddam's death squads in last year's Iraqi offensive in Kurdistan, claims there is a case in international law. So apparently does Warren Christopher, the former US Secretary of State, and his successor, Madeleine Albright. So does Ann Clwyd, MP, who will host tonight's opening campaign at the House of Commons for Iraq's leadership to be brought before an international tribunal. True, Baroness Thatcher, Danielle Mitterrand, Lord Archer and others support the campaign.
But the atrocities in Bosnia proved how difficult it was to institute due process against war criminals. So who will overthrow Saddam and hunt down the guilty men? Not the INC, who suffered from a bloody debacle in northern Iraq last year. Certainly not the Western powers which chose to allow Saddam to fight again another day when Kuwait was liberated in 1991.And if Tehran rather than Baghdad becomes America's new Enemy Number One in the Middle East, then Saddam may be needed - as he was in 1980 - to re-invade Iran.
Western leaders are indeedoddly uneasy about putting Saddam in the dock. While sending good wishes to the Iraqi opposition's campaign, John Major has talked of the difficulty of establishing "meaningful legal proceedings" under the Geneva Conventions or the International Court of Justice.
Even odder is the Government's supposed determination to see Saddam dethroned but its preparedness to allow into Britain the Iranian opposition groups based in Baghdad, who live under the protection and with the active support of a well known name who tops the list of the Iraqi opposition's "indictments": Saddam Hussein.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...