While perusing a NYTIMES article about the battle against those preparing to kill civilian pilgrims planning to celebrate in the holy city of Najaf, I found hidden at the end of the article this information:

“…Also on Sunday, Saddam Hussein’s cousin Ali Hassan Al-Majid acknowledged that he had given orders to destroy scores of villages during Iraq’s campaign against the Kurds in the 1980’s…Mr. Majid is one of six defendants facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from Bagdad’s miltary campaign against Iraqi Kurds during the 1980-88 Iran Iraq war. More than 100 000 Kurd were killed…”

Mr. AlMajid is better known by his nickname: “Chemical Ali”.
Indeed, Iranians and the government of Iran have praised the execution of Saddam Hussein and others who planned and fought this terrible war. Westerners tend to forget that a million Iranians also died during this war, except those who prefer to remember it only to condemn the US for supporting Hussein who at the time was considered more benign than the mullahs who had kidnapped and held hostage American diplomatic personnel.

While Pol Pot and many of those behind the genocide in Bosnia have died in their bed, and while the international court in the Hague is busy indicting nuns and clergy  whose main crime was “cooperating” with a genocide when to oppose it would have meant death. So it is nice to know that some people who really ordered mass murder might actually find justice. Delayed and imperfect justice, but justice nevertheless.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines with her husband. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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