President Bush to urge the Iraqi government to seek justice for
July 15, 2004
On December 13, 2003, US soldiers caught Saddam Hussein in a small
underground hiding place outside of Tikrit. Immediately, speculations
erupted on whether Saddam would face justice for the numerous crimes
he had committed against the peoples of the region, or whether
an open trial against the dictator would be too politically sensitive
So far, the skeptics have been
proven wrong - Saddam was
indeed put on trial earlier this month by the new Iraqi interim
But on one crucial point, justice remains selective. Amongst
the seven charges made against Saddam, including his short-lived
of Kuwait, none included any of his crimes against Iran and Iranian
civilians throughout the bloody eight year Iran-Iraq War.
An estimated 100,000 Iranians were affected by Saddam's chemical
weapons, and the CIA concludes that 20,000 Iranians were killed
by these weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's chemical warfare
against Iran has been recognized by both the UN and the US government,
and in 1990, the UN established Iraq as the aggressor in the Iraq-Iran
war of 1980-88.
Nonetheless, these crimes seem to have been unimportant
to the new Iraqi Government. Thus far, the US government has
on the subject, even though the US's involvement in the
trial has been intimate.
Not surprisingly, this rather peculiar twist in the Saddam saga
has raised eyebrows both abroad and in Washington . Afshin Molavi
of the New America Foundation writes in the Washington Post (July
11, 2004,) "The trial of Saddam Hussein will not be morally
complete unless he is forced to confront the chemical atrocities
he committed against Iranian soldiers...
All over the world,
too many people think of Washington's human rights approach as
selective, based on national interest, not moral imperative.
Here's an opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong and do what
NIAC has prepared a letter urging President Bush to strongly
urge the Iraqi interim government to include Iranian victims in
criminal docket in Hussein's trial. We strongly urge you to personalize
the letter in order to maximize its impact.
If you have relatives
or loved ones who have been affected by Saddam's chemical
warfare, do mention this in your letter. A personal perspective
has a far greater impact than a letter with only abstract arguments.
Here to Take Action Now! ***
Trita Parsi is President of the National
Iranian American Council (NIAC). He is pursuing his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins
University's School of Advanced
Francis Fukuyama, while working part-time as a policy advisor to
Chairman Robert Ney (R-OH) on the Middle East and Iran. This article
first appeared on NIAC's
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