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Statement at Hallabja- March 16, 2004

Sixteen years ago today, Saddam Hussein showed his evil face to all the world.

Sixteen years ago today, Saddam Hussein showed his hatred for the citizens he was sworn to protect.

Sixteen years ago today, Saddam Hussein became a mass murderer when he used his weapons of mass destruction on the men, women and children of Hallabja.

In the past forty years, we have seen terrorism all over the world—in Vienna, Tehran, New York, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Karbala, Baghdad and Erbil.

But there is something especially evil and repugnant about the terrorism in Hallabja.

For here the government itself was the terrorist. The government itself turned its might and power on its own people, using the most odious chemical weapons to slaughter 5000 people.

For those in my country and elsewhere who unaccountably still ask if it was worth ridding the people of Iraq of Saddam Hussein, I say: come to Hallabja.

Come see the tombstones of the five thousand men, women and children killed here by chemical gases.

Come and look in the faces of their survivors.

Come and see how a peaceful village was transferred by evil into a hell.

And thank God that Iraq is now free.


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