Today 17th January 2012 is the 21st anniversary of the attack on Iraq by the United States of America in what became known as the Gulf War of 1991.
It also became known and is since remembered for atrocities/war crimes committed by American military forces on Iraqi and other civilians departing Kuwait. In clear retreat with tank turrets facing backwards, Iraqi military forces were also enviserated by US war planes using weapons including napalm that produced horrific casualities such as the “crispy critter” … a revolting americanism to describe an Iraqi tank commander burned alive.
The Basra road – a pathway of massacre became known as the Highway of Death.
As we now know, US enticement of Iraqi forces into Kuwait and the resulting destruction of Iraqi military capacity was long planned by Washington. Some half million American led forces were assembled with extraordinary haste in Saudi Arabia. All this was part of President Bush’s great plan to remake the map of the Middle-East to facilitate expansion and ease of US Empire building.
Coming on the staggering number of deaths and terrible damage of the Iran-Iraq War, this was the Bush dream to destroy Iraq and retard the further development of its talented people.
Tareq Aziz was one of the most conspicuous Iraqi globally visible spokesmen for a peaceful withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. America dismissed all peaceful solutions and forced the UN to endorse the use of massive air and land violence. The terrible price paid by the people of Iraqi, the illegal and deliberate bombing of civilian infrastructure (water and electirc power) is now history.
Meantime, Tariq Aziz the man who brilliantly defended his country globally has languished in American and now Iraq incarceration. Aged and ill, years in solitary confinement after voluntarily giving himself up to protect his family from US forces in Spring 2003, this extraordinary Iraqi patriot now faces execution.
Surely, this is the moment for the Government of Iraq to recognise the national role of Tariq Aziz, demonstrate the superiority of its sense of humanity and finally release him into the arms of his family.
Denis J. Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary-General