By Rudaw – 10 August 2016 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The government of Halabja has written a letter to US Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, denouncing his “obnoxious statements” regarding the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and his use of chemical gas on the Kurdish people. The Halabja Governorate demanded an apology from the presidential nominee.
Trump, in his off the cuff style, has at least twice made comments about Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and use of chemical weapons in a manner that minimizes the brutality of Hussein’s record. In December Trump said, “Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy, ‘Oh he’s using gas!”
The Halabja Governorate drew Trump’s attention to the reality of what it means to ‘throw a little gas,’ the effects of which the people of Halabja are still struggling with today.“We would like to remind Mr. Trump that Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical gas in our city alone on March 16th, 1988 killed over 5,000 civilians, including children, women and men and wounding over 10,000 more,” reads the letter from the Halabja Governorate.
Last month Trump praised Hussein for killing terrorists. “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. A really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good,” Trump said.
The Halabja Governorate responded to Trump’s praise for the dictator by pointing out that he was responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
“[D]uring Saddam’s three-decade reign, he killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq. For example, in his so-called Anfal genocide campaign against Kurds, over 180,000 civilians are still unaccounted for.”
“For this, it’s quite deplorable for the potential leader of the “Free World” to make such obnoxious statements, while many people in Halabja are still suffering from the aftermath of the chemical gas of 1988 and thousands of others have remained in waiting for the fate of their beloved ones.”
“We demand an apology from Republican Presidential Nominee to families of the chemical gas victims and we hope Mr. Trump would stop adding insult to injury in his future remarks,” the letter concludes.Donald Trump has repeatedly been accused of making remarks on the fly without a true understanding of the issues. “Trump’s cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks,” Jake Sullivan, Senior Policy Advisor for the campaign of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told NBC News after Trump’s comments on Hussein in July. www.mesop.de