New Book by Creighton Law Professor Chronicles the Story of Kurdish Genocide
The latest book by Creighton University Law Professor Michael Kelly, titled “Ghosts of Halabja: Saddam Hussein and the Kurdish Genocide,” chronicles the story of the Kurdish genocide that was not told during the trial of Saddam Hussein.
Between 1987 and 1989, Saddam unleashed genocide on the Kurds, razing more than 2,000 villages and murdering at least 50,000 Kurds. His execution for his crimes against Iraq's Shi'a brought an end to his reign of oppression, but it denied the Kurds the long-awaited opportunity to hold Saddam responsible for the atrocities against them.
Those unspeakable atrocities are explored in the book along with the trials of Saddam by the Iraqi High Tribunal – both the completed prosecution for the Dujail massacre against the Shi'ites and the incomplete one for the Anfal Campaigns against the Kurds.
More than a litigation history, the book is also an exploration of the motivations behind and the depths of organized evil in the context of a single, brutal despot at the helm of an artificially created multi-ethno/religious state lying atop massive oil wealth, but situated in the most dangerous part of the world.
Kelly is professor of Law at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Neb. His 2005 book, “Nowhere to Hide,” received the Book of the Year Award from the U.S. Chapter of L'Association International du Droit Penal. He is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, a contributing editor to the online legal news site JURIST, and chair of the National Security Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools.