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On September 11, 2001, the United States faced, what we saw as the most horrific form of terrorism. On March 16,1988, the northern Iraqi city of Halabja endured the greatest chemical and biological assault on a civilian population in the history of mankind. Today this is our worst fear, being bombed by chemical weapons. What should have been a day of celebration was a day not to be forgotten according to Sabir Abdullah Ahmad. The air smelt like apples and onions. It was a bad smell. I saw people who smelt it and they were affected immediately. In front of me six people, three of them my brothers, tried not to breathe, they tried to hide in some water, but the water was poisoned by the chemicals too and they died. Those who were very close to the bombs died instantly, those who did not found it very difficult to breathe and began to vomit. The gas stung their eyes, some suffering temporary blindness. Many villagers ran towards water, jumping into streams to escape the spreading gases. Iraqi military had been attacking the city for three days until they were forced to retreat, on the fourth day Iraqi planes began bombing the city and surrounding areas. Not long after the bombings stopped, there were helicopters flying overhead taking pictures and dropping paper. About 6pm that night the bombings started again, but this time there were no sounds of explosions. They were attacking the city with a deadly cocktail of chemicals, including mustard gas and various other nerve agents that can cause death as well as medical and genetic problems. About 60,000 Kurds fled Iraq to Turkey, claiming poison gas attacks. Iraq has also denied charges it has used poison gases in this massacre against the Kurdish, who are a minority of people living in Northern Iran, Iraq and Turkey constantly fighting for a separate homeland in Northern Iraq. Over the past 12 years some 45,000 people have been faced with cancer, respiratory infections, blindness, infertility and birth defects. In fact according to Dr. Mardin Hahumud Fatah, there has not been a normal delivery in the last five births. People also suffer from neurological disorders as well; they will never forget that day. Those who survived and are still alive today, remain in the city of Halabja. Since these attacks Mike Amitee, who is the executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute, has formed the Halabja Medical Institute. This is one of the only organizations helping the victims and conducting research into long-term effects of chemical weapons. There is virtually no assistance available for these people. The UN will not assist for fear that this would anger the Iraqi regime and jeopardize their continued role in administering UN 986 program, which is the program that allows Iraq to swap oil for humanitarian needs. These people live their lives in fear everyday. Halabaja is always on red alert. In fact, the no fly zone imposed by the Americans and the British (which has protected the Kurdish) administered Northern Iraq from Iraqi offensives since 1991, does not cover this town at all. These people have no money for preventative measures in case of another attack. Even the Kurdish fighters cannot defend themselves; their assault rifles are years past their use-by date. The Kurdish soldiers are known as Peshmerga. Translated, it means those who face death. Long before these bombings started the Kurds were fighting for their rights and freedom. In the 1950s the Kurdish Democratic Party was formed. Much like us Americans who believe in the rights of individuals to express themselves and the freedom of speech, the Kurds believe in the same values as well as international peace. I really do not know a lot about politics nor do I understand why Saddam Hussein does what he does. There are so many aspects of the situation in the Middle East that we could go from one topic to the next, one thing I do know is that I thank the lord everyday for my life, but also fear that one day we could face what the Kurds faced on that fateful day of March 16,1988.
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Long-Term Effects of Chemical Weapons in the Middle East essay
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Long-Term Effects Of Chemical Weapons In The Middle East Essay

Words: 684    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 9    Sentences: 39    Read Time: 02:29
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              On September 11, 2001, the United States faced, what we saw as the most horrific form of terrorism. On March 16,1988, the northern Iraqi city of Halabja endured the greatest chemical and biological assault on a civilian population in the history of mankind. Today this is our worst fear, being bombed by chemical weapons.
             
             
              What should have been a day of celebration was a day not to be forgotten according to Sabir Abdullah Ahmad. The air smelt like apples and onions. It was a bad smell. I saw people who smelt it and they were affected immediately. In front of me six people, three of them my brothers, tried not to breathe, they tried to hide in some water, but the water was poisoned by the chemicals too and they died. Those who were very close to the bombs died instantly, those who did not found it very difficult to breathe and began to vomit. The gas stung their eyes, some suffering temporary blindness. Many villagers ran towards water, jumping into streams to escape the spreading gases.
             
              Iraqi military had been attacking the city for three days until they were forced to retreat, on the fourth day Iraqi planes began bombing the city and surrounding areas. Not long after the bombings stopped, there were helicopters flying overhead taking pictures and dropping paper. About 6pm that night the bombings started again, but this time there were no sounds of explosions. They were attacking the city with a deadly cocktail of chemicals, including mustard gas and various other nerve agents that can cause death as well as medical and genetic problems.
             
              About 60,000 Kurds fled Iraq to Turkey, claiming poison gas attacks. Iraq has also denied charges it has used poison gases in this massacre against the Kurdish, who are a minority of people living in Northern Iran, Iraq and Turkey constantly fighting for a separate homeland in Northern Iraq.
             
              Over the past 12 years some 45,000 people have been faced with cancer, respiratory infections, blindness, infertility and birth defects. In fact according to Dr. Mardin Hahumud Fatah, there has not been a normal delivery in the last five births. People also suffer from neurological disorders as well; they will never forget that day. Those who survived and are still alive today, remain in the city of Halabja.
             
              Since these attacks Mike Amitee, who is the executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute, has formed the Halabja Medical Institute. This is one of the only organizations helping the victims and conducting research into long-term effects of chemical weapons.
             
              There is virtually no assistance available for these people. The UN will not assist for fear that this would anger the Iraqi regime and jeopardize their continued role in administering UN 986 program, which is the program that allows Iraq to swap oil for humanitarian needs. These people live their lives in fear everyday. Halabaja is always on red alert. In fact, the no fly zone imposed by the Americans and the British (which has protected the Kurdish) administered Northern Iraq from Iraqi offensives since 1991, does not cover this town at all. These people have no money for preventative measures in case of another attack. Even the Kurdish fighters cannot defend themselves; their assault rifles are years past their use-by date. The Kurdish soldiers are known as Peshmerga. Translated, it means those who face death.
             
              Long before these bombings started the Kurds were fighting for their rights and freedom. In the 1950s the Kurdish Democratic Party was formed. Much like us Americans who believe in the rights of individuals to express themselves and the freedom of speech, the Kurds believe in the same values as well as international peace.
             
              I really do not know a lot about politics nor do I understand why Saddam Hussein does what he does. There are so many aspects of the situation in the Middle East that we could go from one topic to the next, one thing I do know is that I thank the lord everyday for my life, but also fear that one day we could face what the Kurds faced on that fateful day of March 16,1988.
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