Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi The Spin Goes On

By Sue Schuurman

10 Years Ago This Week

Only a decade ago Iraq was firing scud missiles at one of its "neighbors," and the conservative Reagan administration, as well as the United Nations, were for all intents and purposes silent. Targets in Iran included hospitals and a girls' school, as evidenced in the following excerpts from the first week in March, 1988. How ironic then that our current Democratic president would attempt to justify the misnamed "showdown" with Saddam Hussein by claiming the United States is worried about protecting Iraq's neighbors. Try again, Bill.

Iraqis Retaliate by Rocketing Tehran.

"NICOSIA, Cyprus--Iraq said it retaliated for pre-dawn missile attacks on Baghdad by firing long-range rockets into the heart of Tehran Monday. Iran reported 16 people killed in the bombing of a hospital.

"The official Iraqi News Agency, monitored in Nicosia, said its gunners fired five surface-to-surface missiles into Tehran after two similar projectiles had exploded in Baghdad, killing and wounding 'many civilians.'"

Iraq Missiles Hit Iranian Holy City, Capital.

"NICOSIA, Cyprus--Iraq and Iran battered each other's capitals with long-range missiles for a third day Wednesday and the first Iraqi rockets of the 7 1/2-year-old war crashed into Qom, seat of the Iranian religious hierarchy.

"Iran reported no casualties in Qom, a holy city of 250,000 where Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini once made his home. ...

"'Fear not,' Khomeini told Iranians in remarks quoted by the official Islamic Republic News Agency. 'It does not make any difference for a people who seek martyrdom whether they are killed by missiles, tanks or artillery.' ...

"Western military analysts believe Iraq uses Soviet-made Scud-B missiles fitted with strap-on boosters enabling them to reach Tehran, which is 290 miles from the border. ... "

Missile Attacks Target Iran, Iraq Capitals.

"NICOSIA, Cyprus--Iraq fired six missiles into Tehran on Saturday, and its air force pounded other Iranian cities. Iran responded by firing missiles at Baghdad and Basra, Iraq's second largest city.

"Iran said the rocket and bomb barrage killed 57 civilians and wounded more than 130 others. Iraq also reported many casualties but did not specify the number.

"Iran said more than 30 missiles have hit civilian targets in Tehran since Monday, including three hospitals, a girls' school and several houses."

Source: Albuquerque Journal; March 1, 3, 6, 1988

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