The Iraqi Tribunal Charade --the Media Plays Along

As expected the Iraqi Special Tribunal sentenced Ali Hassan al-Majid alias Chemical Ali to death, along with two other defendants for their role in the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in the late 1980’s

All the key players in the media were there to capture the dramatic courtroom scene. What none of the reporters mentioned however was that when Saddam and Chemical Ali and the rest of Saddam killers were doing their worst, the U.S. governments of Ronald Reagan and later George Bush Senior were their de facto allies, providing them with vital satellite intelligence, weapons and financing, while shielding them from U.N. investigations or efforts by the U.S. Congress to impose trade sanctions for their depredations.

I admit to being somewhat obsessed by the subject, but perhaps someone can explain how it is that none of the accounts of Sunday’s session that I’ve read mention in any fashion how close were the ties of the U.S. and Saddam—and how carefully the U.S. and its Iraqi allies have manipulated the Tribunal from the beginning so that the complicity of the U.S. and other Western countries with Saddam and his crimes are never discussed.?

Surely it might be worth a side bar or analysis piece from the likes of the New York Times or the Washington Post or the LA Times or Time or Newsweek or the Boston Globe or CNN or ABC or CBS. Put things in context for your audience who might be led to think that Saddam and Chemical Ali were operating in an international vacuum. I find it difficult to believe that none of the many excellent reporters who have covered the Tribunal have never suggested the subject to their editors. Nor that none of those editors ever requested such a piece from their vast stable of reporters. But I guess they didn’t.

So it remains my obsession.

For what I’m talking about here’s an article I did earlier this week for Truthdig:

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