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August 27, 2006

Danger! Danger! Memory Hole Suffers Catastrophic Failure!

Jim Hoagland at the Washington Post deserves credit for writing this column today:

Change is news, and the important news from the second trial of Saddam Hussein is this: The U.S. government is helping expose the ex-dictator's genocidal assault on Kurdish tribesmen instead of helping hide it.

Welcome the change. But do not rush past the original malfeasance: U.S. officials were directly involved two decades ago in covering up and minimizing the horrifying details that were finally spread on the legal record in a Baghdad courtroom last week. In a long history of U.S. involvement in Iraq stained by official mistakes, betrayals and misunderstandings, the initial coverup of Hussein's Anfal campaign is among its darkest moments.

I visited Baghdad in May 1987, a month after Iraqi troops began using poison gas and burning Kurdish villages in a systematic program of ethnic slaughter and cleansing. The U.S. Embassy quickly learned of the devastation through a trip to northern Iraq by an assistant military attache. But he denied to me what I had learned elsewhere: that he had reported to Washington the beginning of the operation code-named Anfal. His report was promptly stamped secret...

The Reagan-Bush administration remained silent as it helped the Iraqis fight the Iranians; Washington even made sure Iraq was invited to a prestigious international conference on chemical weapons in 1988.

The important national moral obligation to Iraqis that such American actions have created must not be shoved aside in the debates over strategy and politics that proliferate as U.S. midterm elections approach.

Worst of all, with this disastrous malfunction, Memory Hole efficiency has now fallen to 99.7%!

Google News results for "saddam kurds" in U.S. publications within past seven days: 1430

Google News results for "reagan kurds" in U.S. publications within past seven days: 4

Posted at August 27, 2006 12:06 PM | TrackBack

Not only catastrophic memory hole failure, but from such an unexpected source! It's as if Thomas Friedman were to offer sound, practical adviced based on sharp analysis...

Posted by: Nell at August 27, 2006 03:24 PM

Holy shit. This is serious.

Posted by: Jean at August 28, 2006 03:17 AM

how DARE you impugn the absolute rightness of Saint Ron? have some respect for the dead, man

Posted by: almostinfamous at August 28, 2006 04:03 AM

Last week, this little exchange took place on NPR's "Day to Day":

BRAND: (draws deep breath) Well -- but -- you're not saying that the US facilitated the massacre of the Kurds, are you?

OTHMAN: They are indirectly responsible because they knew that those weapons are in the hands of Saddam, and Saddam is using them, and when he used them to kill all those people the US government didn't do anything. They are indirectly, yes, responsible for what happened.

Followed up at:

Posted by: darrelplant at August 29, 2006 02:40 AM