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The Kurdish Genocide
Transcript of The Kurdish Genocide
Kasia Zuber Why? From one stage, to the next Extermination Denial International Reaction Polarization Symbolization Organization Classification Where Did This Happen? History Northern Iraq (Kurdistan) South East of Turkey and North West of Iran.
Considered the world's largest nation without a state of its own. The Kurds are a non-Arab Middle-Eastern people
Currently and historically fought for separatism—a sovereign nation-state for the preservation of the Kurdish language and culture First World War: Kurds systematically oppressed in Ottoman Empire
Kurds asked for a safe homeland for their people in the Treaty of Sevres
Promise of homeland never acted upon (1920) Al-Anfal campaign (1986-1988) ordered by Hussein government at the end of the Iran-Iraq war
Millions forced to relocate, hundreds of thousands flee Who Was involved?
Headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid. “Chemical Ali”.
Trialed on the Halabja Genocide case.
Sentenced to death and executed by hanging.
Acting in the interests of Iraqi security. The Kurdish genocide had occurred, because of nations demanding an ethnic cleansing on the Kurds.
Killed for their means of livelihood – villages, agriculture, infrastructures, roads, etc.
Women, children, and elders were targeted.
The Kurds would alienate themselves from other cultures
You were either a Arab, or a Kurd- (Since they were Kurdish they would be killed)Kurds considered lesser
As well as greed for oil, had been part of the reason for the genocide The Kurds their own culture
Carried identification cards with them Dehumanization •As if they were cattle, the Kurds were forced to leave their homes in northern Iraq and move to less fertile areas in the south
•Dehumanized the Kurdish population in “prohibited” areas
•The Kurds in the “prohibited” areas were given the name of “saboteurs” Deserved to be punished & killed (Al-Majid thought)
•A meeting in Northern Bureau in April 15, 1988, where al-Majid said; ‘From now on I won’t give the villagers flour, sugar, kerosene, water or electricity as long as they continue living there. Let them come closer to me to hear me, so that I can tell them the things I believe and want in ideology, education and common sense…’. He also didn’t show any respect for the Kurds.
•From a meeting with unnamed officials in August 1, 1988, al-Majid said; ‘…every Kurd who lives there (in the prohibited areas thus), send them to the mountains to live like goats…’. Poison gas attack on Halabja 4-5 thousand Kurdish people were killed
As many as 80,000, Iraqi Kurdish refugees from the northern mountains of the Badinan area into the Turkish borderlands
Iraqi government started the an-Anfal campaign against the Kurds.
Aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, firing squads, and chemical warfare
al-Majid the nickname of "Chemical Ali" Saddam Hussein claims the Kurds are traitors
Kurds already seen as “other”
Statement led to heightened distrust of the Kurds
· Ba’ath government orders Kurds to be rounded up
· Divided by gender, further divided by age Preparation Saddam’s regime mostly of relatives from Tikrit and surrounding areas. Led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. · Chemical attacks on villages
· Concentration camps: Starvation,dehydration, executions
· Destruction of 90% of Kurdish villages Government used Iran as a scapegoat
United States and other nations believed Hussein (they took the side of Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war) Not much reaction internationally until recently
Saddam Hussein’s trial and execution brought much to light
Condemnation by several governments after the fact (2006 onwards) If the Iraq – Iran war had not even started in the first place there would have been no genocide to begin with
Everyone wanted the black gold in the Kurdish Region
International relations should have changed
West supplied and armed Saddam throughout his campaigns against both the Iranians and the Kurds
WHY? IT COULD HAVE ENDED BEFORE IT STARTED