Before the shooting starts

A fabricated case?

As I have listened to the discussions about Saddam Hussein and Iraq, some disturbing questions have arisen. As an ordinary citizen with no special expertise in foreign policy, I am unable to get to the bottom of them. As a skeptic, however, who remembers how the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964 was made the pretext for the horrific escalation of military action in Vietnam, I think they are worth posing.

Did Saddam Hussein gas the Kurds? He is regularly accused of doing so, but the story may not be true. A little-known Army War College study, written by Stephen Pelletiere and Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Johnson, came to the conclusion that he did not. Throughout the Iran-Iraq war, Pelletiere served as the CIA’s senior political analyst on Iraq, and Johnson has taught at the U.S. Military Academy. Their study investigated what happened at Halabja, where gas was used by both sides.


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