In 1987-88, the Iraqi government sprayed scores of Kurdish villages with a combination of chemical weapons. Jacoby writes, "Scores of thousands of Kurds died horrible deaths. Of those who survived, many were left blind or sterile or crippled with agonizing lung damage. But most of the Kurds slaughtered in that season of mass murder were not gassed but rounded up and gunned down into mass graves. . . . In one village . . . after the males were taken to be killed, the women and small children were crammed into trucks and taken to a prison. One survivor, Salma Aziz Baban, described the ordeal to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg . . . in the New Yorker: . . . More than 2,000 women and children were crammed into a room and given nothing to eat. When someone starved to death, the Iraqi guards demanded that the body be passed to them through a window in the door. Baban's 6-year-old son grew very sick. 'He knew he was dying. . . . He started to cry so much.' He died in his mother's lap. 'We gave them the body. It was passed outside.' . . . Soon after, she pushed her way to the window to see if her child had been taken for burial. She saw 20 dogs roaming in a field where the dead bodies had been dumped. 'I looked outside and saw the legs and hands of my son in the mouths of the dogs. The dogs were eating my son.'"
Yet, at the anti-war march in London, the protestors never heard any of these voices. "Abdel-Majid Khoi," said the National Post, "son of the late Grand Ayatollah Khoi, Iraq's foremost religious leader for almost 40 years, spoke of the 'deep moral pain' he feels when hearing the so-called 'anti-war' discourse. 'The Iraqi nation is like a man who is kept captive and tortured by a gang of thugs,' Khoi said. 'The proper moral position is to fly to help that man liberate himself and bring the torturers to book. But what we witness in the West is the opposite: support for the torturers and total contempt for the victim.'"
But, then, as Rev. Jesse Jackson put it, "It's not about Saddam Hussein."
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