Al- Anfal And The Final Solution Were Two Facades Of One Coin Called

By Eamad Mazouri

Kurdish Media, UK
Sept 28 2006

Mass graves in Iraq
Archive photo
As, I was preparing to write this article, and to my delight, I read,
that soon in Denmark, there would be a seminar focusing mainly on
Al-Anfal, The Final Solution and the Armenian Massacre before and
during WWI. Seminar: al-Anfal, Holocaust and Armenian genocide

More than once, I have promoted the idea that Kurds should never
let the world fail to remember about the massacres they have been
subjected to in their more recent history. The main focused subject of
the Kurdish media must remains the Genocide committed against Kurdish
population, mostly civilians, including the use of weapon of mass
destruction, such as chemicals and biological by Saddam’s regime. Major
resources need to be put at the disposal of those efforts to remind
the world incessantly of these horrendous atrocities. Grand Monuments
should be erected and seminars and symposiums ought to be organized
to keep this painful memory constantly alive in the consciousness of
mankind forever.

This subject matter is gaining more momentum as the trial of deposed
dictator Saddam Hussein, his cousin Ali Hasan Al-Majid (known by
Kurds as Ali the Chemical) and the other 6 co-defendants has started.

Their charges range from war crimes to crimes against humanity and

Those who are following the trial have by now witnessed the gripping
testimonies of surviving Kurds. Horror stories and heart wrenching
tales of how Kurdish villages and towns were destroyed and demolished,
how people were exterminated and the rest rounded up, men, women and
children separated and mass transported like cattle to concentration
camps in various places build specifically for this purpose, and
some to the southern and western deserts left for certain death in
a very systematic method and operation dedicated to it most of the
state’s institutions and apparatus. Not to mention the mass graves,
those are being discovered on daily basis all over Iraq.

For those who have lived under the regime and are familiar with its
diabolic nature, it came as no surprise the insolent attitude of
the dictator and his co-culprits by not showing a slightest sign of
remorse towards the victims or the ordeal of those survived. On the
contrary, they have been defiant to the court and the suffering of
the victims. This psychotic behaviour should tell the court and the
whole world what these characters are about, what they have done and
what they are capable of doing if given another chance.

Twentieth century has been described as a bloody one. Many mass-
murders based on hatred were committed against certain groups of people
in order to annihilate that particular group. These include but are
not limited to Ottomans’ massacres against Armenians, the holocausts
against Jews, Genocide acts in Bosnia, Rwanda and finally in Kurdistan.

Once again, I emphasize that Kurds in general; their friends and
sympathizers, the civilized world and the entire humanity should never
let the world forget these horrible atrocities. No group of people has
to live in fear of being subjected once more to such a crime, ever
again. This task falls on the shoulders of every decent human being
to try to eliminate that awful possibility. However, I must point
out that although the world of post WWII and Holocausts thought for
once that no such crimes could or should be recurring again, it did,
and repeatedly in various countries, and in the latest the victims
were helpless Kurdish civilians; women, children, elderly and even
babies that their heartbreaking photos dominated TV screens all over
the world. Let us hope that the prosecution in Saddam’s ongoing trial
is skilled, competent, experienced, qualified and capable to prove
to the world that he is responsible for those crimes.

"Kurds rightfully have always referred to al- Anfal attacks as

In December 2005 a court in The Hague ruled that the killing of
thousands of Kurds in Iraq in the 1980s was an act of Genocide".

One thing, history has taught humanity that perpetrators of Genocide
acts and Genocide usually do not use the term Genocide while referring
to their mass-murder, but find substitute terms such as final solution
as by the Nazi during WWII against Jews. In Iraq the Ba’ath regime
of dictator Saddam did not break out of the rule by using various
phrases and expressions such as Kurdish solution or al-Anfal as it
was officially called later on.

Just "like the Nazi Germany, the Ba’ath regime covered its actions
in euphemisms. Where Nazi officials spoke of "executive measures,"
"special actions" and "resettlement in the east," Ba’athist bureaucrats
spoke of "collective measures," "return to the national ranks" and
"resettlement in the south." But beneath the euphemisms, Iraq’s
crimes against the Kurds amount to genocide, the "intent to destroy,
in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,
as such." Definition of Genocide

"L. Elizabeth Chamblee in her "POST-WAR IRAQ: PROSECUTING SADDAM
HUSSEIN" states that the multilateral treaty, the 1948 Convention
on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide
Convention), to which Iraq acceded on January 20, 1959, defined
genocide in Article II as:

Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole
or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental
harm to members of the group (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group
conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction
in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births
within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to
another group.

To convict Hussein of genocide he must have "committed" one or more
of the above forbidden acts against members of a protected group
with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, that group. Hussein
did not have to perform the acts himself. Instead, under Article III
of the Genocide Convention, acts punishable under the treaty include
"Genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement
to commit genocide; attempt to commit Genocide; [and] complicity in
genocide." Thus, if Hussein specifically ordered or even turned a
blind eye to any of these acts, his failure to act would constitute
genocide under the Genocide Convention. The International Court of
Justice, the ITCY and ITCR statutes, as well as the International
Criminal Court statute all follow the Convention’s definition and
its general elements".

On the other hand, Encarta encyclopedia defines, Genocide as, a crime
of destroying or conspiring to destroy a group of people because of
their ethnic, national, racial, or religious identity.

The definition continues to emphasize that, the perpetrator is usually
a non-democratic country that views the targeted group of people as
a barrier or threat to maintaining power, fulfilling an ideology,
or achieving some other goal .The perpetrator see the victim as
inferiors, subhuman who don’t deserve to live. This approach is used
mostly to mentally prepare the ruling group and state institutions
and apparatus to carry out the dreadful policy.

In 1948 the General assembly of the UN passed an act called the
International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime
of Genocide. It took effect in 1951, provided a legal definition
of genocide and established it as a crime under international
law. According to the Genocide Convention, any of the following actions
when committed with the intent to eliminate a particular national,
ethnic, racial, or religious group constitutes Genocide:

Killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental
harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group
conditions of life calculated to kill, imposing measures intended to
prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children
out of group.

In spite of these laws, the world was never serious about the
legal concept of Genocide Convention except when their interests
are intertwined with the application of the convention. In general,
the enforcement of the Genocide Convention has proven difficult. The
UN has not established an international office or system to enforce it.

Furthermore, victims do not have a permanent international criminal
court to which they can bring their complaints. In 1988 UN delegates
adopted a statute that would create a permanent international criminal
court to try individuals accused of genocide and other violations of
international criminal law. The court would have been established if
60 countries ratified the statute, and would have been headquartered
in The Hague, Netherlands. Regrettably, after George W.

Bush took office in the White House he refused to seek the
Congressional ratification of such a law.

Al-Anfal vis-?-vis The Final solution

Mass-killing, destruction of villages, deportation to forced
concentration camps is the first steps towards Genocide. In both
scenarios these acts stand salient and well documented. In fact,
in both instances victims were used as test subjects for chemical
and biological experiments.

Holocaust encyclopedia states that, the Nazis, under cover of the
war, developed the technology, bureaucracy, and psychology of hate
to efficiently murder millions of Jews. The details of the "Final

were worked out at the Wannsee Conference. All Jews in Germany and
the occupied countries were deported to sealed ghettos as a holding
area. Many were then shipped in cattle cars to labor camps where
they lived under brutally inhuman conditions. Hundreds of thousands
were sent directly to the gas chambers in death camps. As the Allies
advanced on the camps, death marches further depleted the ranks of
potential camp survivors." All the steps taken by the Nazis were aimed
at removing the Jews from German society. As well as exterminating
Gypsies Polish and Ukrainians.

"After the beginning of World War II, anti-Jewish policy evolved
into a comprehensive plan to concentrate and eventually annihilate
European Jewry. What is clear is that the genocide of the Jews was
the culmination of a decade of Nazi policy, under the rule of Adolf
Hitler. The "Final Solution" was implemented in stages. In January
1942, the Nazis began the systematic deportation of Jews from all
over Europe to six extermination camps established in former Polish
territory — Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau,
and Majdanek. Extermination camps were killing centers designed
to carry out genocide. Over three million Jews were gassed in
extermination. In its entirety consisted of gassing, shootings,
random acts of terror, disease, and starvation that accounted for
the deaths of about six million Jews — two-thirds of European Jewry"
How it was carried out, these were the preparations steps:

1. An entire state bureaucracy was mobilized solely for the purpose
of annihilating Jews.

2. German technological expertise was harnessed to make the mass
murder as efficient and low-cost as possible.

3. Special camps were created solely for the purpose of killing Jews
and other "undesirables."

4. The conditions in these death camps and other concentration camps
were brutal, and designed purposely to make survival only temporary
Comparing al-Anfal Campaign to the above mentioned procedures,
it is easy to find the many similarities both campaigns share with
same objective of terminating people as a whole. From the documents
seized after the Kurdish uprising of 1991, and later on following
the liberation of Iraq there are testimonies to the fact that the
whole state bureaucracy was drummed up to accommodate this particular
objective; the extermination of Kurds in Iraq.

Official correspondents among various state institutions are
unambiguous, straight forward and very much indicting when it comes
to the intention and the partial implementation of Genocide.

L. Elizabeth Chamblee in her report continues on the Kurdish Genocide
by Saddam’s regime "The plight of the Kurds at the hands of Hussein’s
regime began well before the first Gulf War. Beginning in 1985,
Hussein’s plan to address "Kurdish affairs" formed a systematic
program of destruction for Kurdish villages through chemical
weapons and military force, subsequent relocation of the Kurds in
concentration camps, and summary executions upon arrival. In 1988,
Iraqi forces killed as many as 182,000 Kurds and destroyed at least
4,000 Kurdish villages".

"Once it finished using chemical and conventional bombing, the army
and domestic militia dynamited and bulldozed Kurdish villages. The
Iraqi army destroyed at least 703 Kurdish villages in 1987 alone
After the armies razed the village of Serkand Khailani, officials
arrested most of the villagers and later subjected the leaders to
beatings with cables, suspensions from ceiling hooks, and electric
shocks to the earlobes. Some of those arrested were executed. Others
were sent to the collective camps. The Iraqi government painstakingly
videotaped and documented a number of these events Al -Anfal Campaign
against Kurds "Surat al-Anfal, a Verse on Jihad ("the Spoils of War")
is the eighth chapter of the Qur’an, with 85 verses. It is a Madinan
sura, recorded after the Battle of Badr.The al-Anfal Campaign was
an anti-Kurdish campaign led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein
between 1986 and 1989 (during and just after the Iran-Iraq war). The
campaign takes its name from Surat Al-Anfal in the Qur’an, which
was used as a code name by the former Iraqi Baathist regime for a
series of military campaigns against the peshmerga rebels as well
as the mostly Kurdish civilian population of southern Kurdistan. The
campaign was headed by Ali Hasan al-Majid, a cousin of the Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein. The al-Anfal campaign included the use of ground
offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements,
mass deportation, concentration camps, firing squads, and chemical
warfare, which earned al-Majid the nickname of "Chemical Ali".

A report of Human right watch on al-Anfal campaign was detailed and
vivid and established beyond any doubt those gross crimes of Saddam’s
Regime against Kurds as Genocide, especially the Attack on Halabja
with Chemical weapons and al-anfal Campaign, which has been described
as a campaign of extermination against the Kurds of northern Iraq.

"The campaigns of 1987-1989 were characterized by the following gross
violations of human rights:

Mass summary executions and mass disappearance of many tens of
thousands of non-combatants, including large numbers of women
and children, and sometimes the entire population of villages; ·
The widespread use of chemical weapons, including mustard gas and
the nerve agent GB, or Sarin, against the town of Halabja as well as
dozens of Kurdish villages, killing many thousands of people, mainly
women and children; · The wholesale destruction of some 2,000 villages,
which are described in government documents as having been "burned,"
"destroyed," "demolished".

and "purified," as well as at least a dozen larger towns and
administrative centers (nahyas and qadhas); · The wholesale destruction
of civilian objects by Army engineers, including all schools, mosques,
wells and other non-residential structures in the targeted villages,
and a number of electricity substations; · Looting of civilian property
and farm animals on a vast scale by army troops and pro-government
militia; · Arbitrary arrest of all villagers captured in designated
"prohibited areas" (manateq al-mahdoureh), despite the fact that
these were their own homes and lands; · Arbitrary jailing and
warehousing for months, in conditions of extreme deprivation, of
tens of thousands of women, children and elderly people, without
judicial order or any cause other than their presumed sympathies
for the Kurdish opposition. Many hundreds of them were allowed to
die of malnutrition and disease; · Forced displacement of hundreds
of thousands of villagers upon the demolition of their homes, their
release from jail or return from exile; these civilians were trucked
into areas of Kurdistan far from their homes and dumped there by
the army with only minimal governmental compensation or none at all
for their destroyed property, or any provision for relief, housing,
clothing or food, and forbidden to return to their villages of origin
on pain of death. In these conditions, many died within a year of their
forced displacement; · Destruction of the rural Kurdish economy and
infrastructure." "According to Iraq’s report to the UN, the know-how
and material for developing chemical weapons were obtained from firms
in such countries as:

The United States, West Germany, the United Kingdom, France and
China. By far, the largest suppliers of precursors for chemical
weapons production were in Singapore (4,515 tons), the Netherlands
(4,261 tons), Egypt (2,400 tons), India (2,343 tons), and Federal
Republic of Germany (1,027 tons).

One Indian company, Exomet Plastics (now part of EPC Industries) sent

2,292 tons of precursor chemicals to Iraq. The Kim Al-Khaleej firm,
located in Singapore and affiliated to United Arab Emirates, supplied
more than 4,500 tons of VX, sarin, and mustard gas precursors and
production equipment to Iraq".


-During the Anfal campaign, the Iraqi government destroyed about
4,500 villages in Iraqi Kurdistan -The Iraqi government executed
approximately 182,000 men, women, and children -1,754 schools
destroyed -2,450 mosques destroyed -27 churches destroyed -270
hospitals destroyed -around 75% of villages wiped out -The Kurdish
town of Qaladize of over 70,000 populations was totally destroyed.

– Parts of major Kurdish cities were demolished in 1991 as the start
of another or final phase of the annihilation of Kurds.

"The campaigns of 1987-1989 were not out of the blue, they were rather
deeply rooted in the history of the Iraqi Kurds. Since the earliest
days of the establishment of Iraq. when Kurds were coerced into an
involuntary union with the newly established Iraq and were denied
their rights. They faced that with a chain of revolutions.

However, the situation became worse when Ba’ath took power and started
a systematic plan to annihilate the Kurds who Saddam saw them as an
obstacle on his path of pan-Arab nationalism.

However, with the granting of emergency powers to al-Majid in March
1987, the intermittent counterinsurgency against the Kurds became a
campaign of destruction. As Raul Hilberg observes in his monumental
history of the Holocausts" Hilberg’s Paradigm

Raul Hilberg (born June 2, 1926) is one of the best-known and most
distinguished of genocide historians. His three-volume, 1,273-page
"The Destruction of the European Jews" regarded as the seminal study
of the Nazi Final Solution "A destruction process has an inherent
pattern. There is only one way in which a scattered group can
effectively be destroyed. Three steps are organic in the operation:

Definition –> Concentration (or seizure) –> Annihilation

"This is the invariant structure of the basic process, for no group
can be killed without a concentration or seizure of the victims,
and no victims can be segregated before the perpetrator knows who
belongs to the group.

To pursue Hilberg’s paradigm a little further, once the concentration
and seizure was complete, the annihilation could begin. The target
group had already been defined with care. Now came the definition
of the second, concentric circle within the group: those who were
actually to be killed."Beginning with a presidential order of October
15, 1987–two days before the census–that "the names of persons
who are to be subjected to a general/blanket judgment must not be
listed collectively. Rather, refer to them or treat them in your
correspondence on an individual basis." The effects of this order
are reflected in the lists that the Army and Amn compiled of Kurds
arrested during Anfal, which note each person’s name, sex, age, place
of residence and place of capture"."The Kurdish genocide of 1987-1989,
with the Anfal campaign as its centerpiece, fits Hilberg’s paradigm
to perfection" as Dr. Khalid Salih deems it.

The Halabja Attack

Almost all current accounts of the incident regard Iraq as the party
responsible for the gas attack, which occurred during the Iran-Iraq

The war between Iran and Iraq was in its eighth year when, on March 16
and 17, 1988, Iraq dropped poison gas on the Kurdish city of Halabja.

"The poison gas attack on the Iraqi town of Halabja was the
largest-scale chemical weapons (CW) attack against a civilian
population in modern times.

It began early in the evening of March 16, when a group of eight
aircraft began dropping chemical bombs, and the chemical bombardment
continued all night. The Halabja attack involved multiple chemical
agents, including mustard gas, and the nerve agents sarin, tabun
and VX. Some sources have also pointed to the blood agent hydrogen
cyanide" The massacre at Halabja did not raise protests by the
international community in March 1988. At the time, it was admitted
that the civilians had been killed "collaterally" due to an error in
handling the combat gas.

Two years later, when the Iran-Iraq War was finished and the Western
powers stopped supporting Saddam Hussein, the massacre of Halabja
was attributed to the Iraqi government.

After 1991 uprising in Iraqi Kurdistan, as Kurdish people were
liberating their cities they discovered hundreds of tons of documents
enough to indict every single Iraqi official who was involved. These
documents were transferred to the United States. All the elements
of the definition of Genocide under international law individually
and collectively do apply to the Kurdish case. For example,
killing members of the group, the attack carried all the element of
every type of Genocide: ideological, retributive, developmental,
and despotic. Simply, because the regime was trying to achieve
an ideal social structure in which all Iraqis are alike and hold
the same beliefs based on pan-Arabism. Their ideology based on pan
Arab nationalism mixed with the principles of socialism led them to
believe that Kurds as a different ethnic group are the major obstacle
in their way to implement their policies and achieve their goals.

Therefore, they have to be eliminated or at least neutralized or

Although Iraq is one of the signatory of the Genocide Convention
since January 20, 1959 the Iraqi regime was never charged for any
crimes committed against Kurdish people. It was the Ba’ath’s mentality
translated into state policy to annihilate Kurdish people since the
very beginning.

They have never given up on that. After the collapse of the Kurdish
revolution in the spring of the 1975 as the result of the Algiers
‘s Agreement, Hundreds of thousands of Kurds left Iraq to Iran and
other counties while the rest surrendered to the government. They were
deported to southern Iraqi desert. The majority of them perished or
were shot in unmarked mass graves. Arabization has been an official
policy of this government. Many Kurdish cities and towns such as
Kirkuk, Mendaly, Khanaqin, Shingar and Atrush has been systematically
evacuated of their Kurdish population and replaced with Arab tribes.

In 1980 the government arrested hundreds of thousands of the Faily
Kurds who were dwelling Baghdad and actually running the economy of
the capital city. They were rounded up, after confiscating all their
properties except the cloth on their back. They were split into two
groups. One group just disappeared without any traces. While the other
was deported to Iran. Nevertheless, the government was persistent on
pursuing its deadly policies towards the Kurds. In 1983 they rounded
up over 8 thousand male members of the Barzani tribe, and nobody ever
heard anything about their unfortunate fate. The rest of the women,
elderly male, and children were put in a concentration camp similar
to those used in Europe by the Nazi for Jews during the WW11.

However, the worst was still lurking ahead. In 1988 the government
attacked the Kurdish town of Halabja with chemical and possibly
biological weapons killing indiscriminately over 5000 people, mostly
women and children. This was the first time these weapons of mass
destruction has been used since the WW1.As a result and after showing
the demonic crime on the TV screens all over the world. It was decided
in a conference in Paris to reprimand the Iraqi regime while refusing
the Kurdish representatives, here, the real victims of the crime of
the century, to even attend the conference. This savage attack was
followed by the infamous al- ANFAL Campaign led by defense minister
Ali Hassan Al Majid, Known in Kurdistan as Ali the Chemical, who is
the dictator Saddam Hussein’s cousin. During this barbarous campaign
the entire southern Kurdistan was turned into a military zone. The
Iraqi army, whose only experience was the killing of Kurdish people,
was authorized to shoot and kill anything alive and moving. Over a
quarter of a million of Kurdish people were eliminated.

Many were taken to the Iraqi desert in the south and buried alive
in unidentified mass graves, according to very few eye witnesses who
survived by a miracle.

Human Watch report on al-Anfal Campaign The fact that al-Anfal was, by
the narrowest definition, a counterinsurgency as dictator Saddam and
defense team are trying to portray it, does nothing to diminish the
fact that it was also an act of genocide. There is nothing mutually
exclusive about counterinsurgency and genocide. Indeed, one may be
the instrument used to consummate the other.

Article I of the Genocide Convention affirms that "genocide, whether
committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under
international law." Summarily executing noncombatant or captured
members of an ethnical-national group as such is not a legitimate
wartime or counterinsurgency measure, regardless of the nature of the
conflict In addition to this argument of principle, many features of
Anfal far transcend the realm of counterinsurgency. These include,
first of all, the simple facts of what happened after the military
goals of the operation had been accomplished:

The mass murder and disappearance of many tens of thousands of
non-combatants–50,000 by the most conservative estimate, and possibly
twice that number; · The use of chemical weapons against non-combatants
in dozens of locations, killing thousands and terrifying many more
into abandoning their homes; · The near-total destruction of family and
community assets and infrastructure, including the entire agricultural
mainstay of the rural Kurdish economy; · The literal abandonment,
in punishing conditions, of thousands of women, children and elderly
people, resulting in the deaths of many hundreds.

Those who survived did so largely due to the clandestine help of
nearby Kurdish townspeople.

"Finally, there is the question of intent, which goes to the heart
of the notion of genocide. Documentary materials captured from the
Iraqi intelligence agencies demonstrate with great clarity that the
mass killings, disappearances and forced relocations associated with
Anfal and the other anti-Kurdish campaigns of 1987-1989 were planned
in coherent fashion. While power over these campaigns was highly
centralized, their success depended on the orchestration of the
efforts of a large number of agencies and institutions at the local,
regional and national level, from the Office of the Presidency of
the Republic on down to the lowliest jahsh".

By April 23, 1989, the Ba’ath Party felt that it had accomplished its
goals, for on that date it revoked the special powers that had been
granted to Ali Hassan al-Majid two years earlier. At a ceremony to
greet his successor, the supreme commander of Anfal made it clear that
"the exceptional situation is over."

To use the language of the Genocide Convention, the regime’s aim had
been to destroy the group (Iraqi Kurds) in part, and it had done so,
mission was accomplished as they proclaimed it. Intent and act had
been combined, resulting in the consummated crime of genocide against
Kurdish people. The survivors, the families of the victims, the entire
Kurdish people, those who have suffered from Saddam’s successive
belligerence and aggression, every decent human being and the whole
civilized world is waiting for this court to get the justice done.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS