Comment on this article |
Email this article |
We go to war for dead (english)
by BRIAN FLYNN
16 Mar 2003
We go to war for dead
We go to war for dead
THE war against Saddam Hussein will avenge the death of the baby girl pictured above — and prevent more slaughter by the Butcher of Baghdad.
The infant and her mother were among 5,000 civilians killed in a chemical attack Saddam ordered against his own people exactly 15 years ago tomorrow.
And yesterday it was clear that the carnage and the murder of millions of others since then were spurring the commander of British forces in the Gulf to crush the tyrant.
Air Marshal Brian Burridge said: “Saddam is a very, very dangerous man.
“I have been inside his mind and it’s a very murky place. He is such a bad person.
“When we unpick the legacy of human rights abuses in Iraq people back home will understand what this is all about.”
The Air Marshal had clearly been moved by the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja, in northern Iraq.
More than 10,000 men, women and children were injured in the attack on the bustling city, near the border with Iran, on March 16, 1988.
One survivor, Nasreen Abdel Qadir, later told the world of the horror unleashed on the population of 80,000.
They had started a revolt against Saddam and were punished with barbarous severity.
Nasreen, who was 16 at the time, said the chemical bombardment followed intense shelling. She noticed a strange sickly, sweet smell — then saw animals falling and dying.
Next, her neighbours began collapsing in the streets.
Alert ... Air Marshal Brian Burridge warned
Saddam was a 'very, very dangerous man'
Nasreen said: “Children started throwing up. They kept throwing up. They were in so much pain, and crying so much.
“They were crying all the time. My mother was crying. Then the old people started throwing up.”
Saddam still has the chemical weapons used in Halabja and Air Marshal Burridge — Britain’s most senior military commander — vowed to help topple his evil regime.
He said: “There are 23 million people in Iraq who don’t want anything to do with Saddam and we owe it to them.”
Air Marshal Burridge spoke of his pride in Britain’s 45,000-strong military force in the Gulf.
He revealed Saddam had NO IDEA of the size and firepower of the Allies massing on Iraq’s borders — because his henchmen were too terrified to tell him.
And he said the Iraqi leader and his forces had NO HOPE against the 300,000 British, American and Australian forces ranged against him.
The Iraqi army still follows Soviet battle plans drawn up in the 1960s and have NO CHANCE of standing up to the onslaught. The Air Marshal went on:
"If I was Saddam I would say, ‘Ok, I’m done, I have not got a hope’.
"Will we be taking part in full combat? Too right we will. We have had to plan for nose to nose stuff.
"His people really should not want to fight. If they do fight, we will hit them hard. Very, very hard indeed.
"They need be under no illusion that if they put up a fight they will be hit hard."
The Air Marshal spoke to The Sun after a three-hour council of war with American General Tommy Franks at US Central Command in Qatar.
He heaped praise on British soldiers, sailors and airmen — and singled out the Royal Marine Commandos for special mention.
Air Marshal Burridge said: “Our military are astounding and outstanding. People know they are the best in the world. It gives me great pride being able to sit alongside Tommy Franks with our armed forces on show.
Saddam ... still has chemical weapons
“The great thing about British servicemen and women is that they will wring the last ounce out of their kit.
“They will make technology go further than even the makers ever intended and they can use their creativity to get the job done.
“They always get their job done. I have seen our Commandos standing in the desert with sand in their faces, smiling.
“They are as fit as hell and raring to go. Frankly, we are ready for anything.”
The commander said he had nothing but respect for General Franks, who will be in overall charge of the second Gulf War.
But he said he would have the power to overrule General Franks if he believed British forces were being asked to hit targets regarded in London as off limits.
He said: “Tommy Franks is one hell of a great commander and he greatly appreciates the role the UK will play.
“I trust him and I like him enormously. He has a great military mind.”
After lavishing praise on the Americans, Air Marshal Burridge revealed he had been forced to borrow a pair of their boots.
He tore a foot ligament during a training run and needed some size tens to be comfortable.
The disclosure was a minor embarrassment in the wake of complaints from British troops they have had to beg for US boots because the British supplies had not arrived.
Some soldiers had even earned the nickname The Borrowers because they went cap in hand to their US comrades for help.