Plus Ca Change

I thought readers might find this Observer editorial from March 1990 interesting.

For those who don’t remember Farzad Bazoft was an Observer journalist who was investigating a story about weapons in Iraq that year. He was ambushed by Saddam’s thugs while doing so.

The Iraqi authorities produced no proof of espionage, other than ‘confessions’ clearly extracted from a man under intolerable pressure and fear for his life. They do not stand up to even cursory inspection. He died a horrible death without a fair trial or appeal.

I reproduce without comment what the Observer said about Saddam Hussein at the time.

Hussein cannot be controlled by words and messages, no matter how eminent and how well-meaning the senders. A man who unleashes chemical weapons against his own people is not likely to restrain his use of the same weapons against any other enemy – or nuclear warheads once he gets hold of them. The second anniversary of the massacre by gas of the Kurds of Halabja is a good time to remember this.

Read the whole thing. There are all sorts of reasons to do so, not least of which is reminding ourselves which British MP said Bazoft deserved to be hanged.

I discovered this on a blog which linked to Tim Newman but due to a technical hitch can’t seem to find again to acknowledge properly.