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Jun 20, 2016
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Former Iraqi Ambassador to Moscow Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: Massacres in Saddam's Days? Where?

#5552 | 03:40

During a June 20 TV show on the Egyptian TEN TV channel, a heated exchange developed between former Iraqi ambassador to Moscow Muzhir Numan Al-Duri and the interviewer over the human rights record of the Saddam regime. "Massacres? Where?" asked Al-Duri, a Ba'thist, who insisted that the chemical weapons used against the Kurds in Halabja had been Iranian.

Following are excerpts

Interviewer: We shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about different religious and ethnic groups in Iraq, because this is the reality. We are talking about religious groups - Muslims, Christians... No, I'm not saying it's something to be embarrassed about.

Muhzir Numan Al-Duri: On the contrary, it's a sign of the strength of Iraqi society. There used to be a sense of citizenship, there used to be a law that united Iraqi citizens, whether Sunni or...

Interviewer: Do you believe that a sense of citizenship imposed by the sword can be considered true citizenship? Or perhaps true citizenship is what we are seeing now: Iraqis fighting side by side, in the same trench, to liberate their homeland -Sunnis, Shiites, Sabians, Yazidis, Kurds, and Turkmens? They are all fighting together, in the same trench, to liberate their country. Is that true citizenship, or is it what you had the past, when you were facing a machine-gun?

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: No, no, you can stop worrying about those machine-guns.

Interviewer:How can i?!

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri:Iraq was united not because of machine-guns.

Interviewer: There have been massacres, recorded in the annals of history.

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: Massacres? Where?

Interviewer: Massacres? In the days of Saddam?

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: Where? Where? Where did Saddam Hussein strike with chemical weapons? Against whom?

Interviewer: Against the Kurds! There was ethnic cleansing of the Kurds!

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: And the sectarian massacres since 2006 - what should we call them?

Interviewer: Look, Halabja, the Al-Anfal campaign, the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds - all these are crimes. Many mass graves have been uncovered.

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: Madam, go see the mass graves that are being found now.

Interviewer: Go see the million and a half people who were massacred... Mr. Ambassador, they are liberating their country...

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: You are angry at the previous regime. I'm not defending the previous regime and saying that it was a model regime. Mistakes were made, but compare it to...

Interviewer: Nobody would be angry with you if you defended it, because you are a Ba'thist...

Muzhir Numan Al-Duri: I am first of all Iraqi and only then a Ba'thist.


You are talking about the past, but today, people long for the peace of the past. When a person would go to sleep at night, he would know that his children would be there when he woke up in the morning.


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