White House public relations chief Karen Hughes, already in hot water for numerous public-relations snafus on her recent tour of the Middle East, has done it again. Speaking before a group of students in Indonesia Oct. 21, just as Saddam Hussein’s trial opened in Baghdad, she defended Washington’s decision to invade Iraq, claiming Saddam gassed to death “hundreds of thousands” of his own people.
“The consensus of the world intelligence community was that Saddam was a very dangerous threat,” Hughes said. “After all, he had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. He had murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people using poison gas.” 5,000 were belived killed in Saddam’s most significant gas attack, on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988. When asked to elaborate on her inflated claims, Hughes told reporters: “I know it was upward of 200,000. I think it was almost 300,000. [That] is my recollection. They were put in mass graves.” (AP, Oct. 22 via Pakistan Daily Times)
The Bush administration’s repeated invocation of the Halabja massacre to justify the invasion is particularly galling given that the US was actively supporting Saddam Hussein at the time it was carried out, as we have noted. Meanwhile, idiot leftists are engaging in their own revisionism, claiming either that the Halabja massacre didn’t happen, or that it was really carried out by Iran, as we have also noted. (What are they going to do when the US invades Iran? Claim the massacre was carried out by space aliens?)
It must be very comforting to the survivors of Halabja to know that their dead loved ones have been reduced to political footballs.