While US administration works for reconciliation in Iraq, hundreds of Kurds lose their lives to Genocide. Halabja started in 1988 but it continues today!

Kurdishaspect.com - By Ara Alan

Genocide is an act with intend to eradicate a group of people based on some criteria that binds them together such as race, religion, ethnicity, believe, class …etc.  Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the twentieth century while Anfal occurred at the end of the century.  Holocaust, Rwanda and Kosovo found themselves in between.  Our very first genocide in twenty-first centuries and our most recent shame on humanity takes place in Darfur.

While children women and men were killed in Darfur; simultaneously in Kurdistan, the same is occurring. Kurdish genocide in Iraq continues as the US administrations work hard to bring forth Iraqi factions to the table of “reconciliation”.

Kurds in 2009 die daily in cities like Halabja as its genocide continues. Kurdish genocide that occurred in 1988 didn’t end in 1988, nor in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992…2001, 2002…nor in 2009. The Kurdish Genocide didn’t end even after the Iraqi Army stopped its military operation. It continued as Saddam Hussein was charged in Iraqi tribunal court with genocide. It continues after the execution of Saddam. Kurdish genocide continues until today and into the future. It is the only genocide that crosses multi generations layers. 

The deadly cocktail of Chemicals used in 1988 to commit the acts of genocide against the Kurds has reacted in a synergistic matter.  The cocktail acted much stronger than any of its components, cyanide, mustered and nerve agent would alone. The cocktail proved to be lethal even in small doses.

The gassing of Halabja and Anfal villages has acted as a mutagen and caused the DNA of its victims to change. According to the health minister of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) the ratio of patients with cancer in the gassed populations is 5:1 when compared to non-gassed populations.  Many of the little girls exposed to the gassing in 1988 today give birth to children with down-syndrome or still-birth and they have very high rates of miscarriage and some are completely infertile.  According to KRG’s health minister incident cases of breast cancer are much higher.  Breast cancer in Kurdistan is much more aggressive than in other countries, and it is much more likely to kill.

As result of the gassing many Kurds are dying today. Many are paralyzed, handicapped, blinded or bedbound. Many babies from the new generation are born with genetic diseases that result in their death or a life that is dependent on a medical care which is almost non-existent where they are born. Kurdish genocide continues since 1988 into post Saddam-Iraq and today.

What has been done to heal the pain or at the very least to stop the ongoing genocide in Kurdistan? Most of the gas victims suffer from the complications that came with their exposure or the exposure of their parents. Psychological affect of the ordeal such as loosing most of their families, isolation in the community because of their infertility, disfigurement …etc are among the least of the problems that Kurdish victims of genocide are faced with. These victims are plagued with genetic diseases and cancer; there is a lack of adequate basic healthcare and hospital close/affordable to Halabja and Anfal victims.

The Iraqi government has not put forth any initiative not only to heal those affected but to ensure adequate health facilities are available to slow down the ongoing genocide that is continuing in Kurdistan. 

Without taking serious steps toward ending of the genocide in Kurdistan reconciliation is nothing more than a euphemism. Iraqi government is responsible for the actions taken in its name by Saddam Hussein. According to International law a new government inherits the assets and responsibilities of its previous governments. As it was the case with Germany and the victims of the holocaust.

Iraq must take serious steps in apologizing for what they have carried out in Kurdistan. Their apologies should not end with words but it should be reflected in serious efforts toward ending of the genocide in Kurdistan. There has yet been an effort by the Iraqi government to open special hospitals in the affected area. They must dedicate a percentage of Iraq’s revenue to provide adequate aid for those still suffering.  They must also work on cleaning the environmental affect of chemical gas in soil and water tables of Kurdistan. True reconciliation is done with good intension and it is reflected in action not with colorful euphemism.

For the sake of stability and tangible results in Iraq; US administration should work on promoting true reconciliation among its factions. Serious efforts must be taken to help stop the continuation of genocide in Kurdistan.


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May 31, 2009
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