Baghdad mass funeral

Funeral in Baghdad - Shouts of "America Is God's Enemy".

November 30, 1997 – Mass Funeral In Baghdad – UN Inspectors Business As Usual – Farrakhan Friendship Tour – Taps Isn’t What It Used To Be.

Baghdad mass funeral
Funeral in Baghdad – Shouts of “America Is God’s Enemy”.

November 30, 1997 – CBS News On The Hour – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

November 30, 1997 – News for this day was focused on the Middle East. A mass funeral for some 100 children in Baghdad brought thousands of mourners and shouts of “America Is God’s Enemy”, blaming the sanctions the UN was imposing on the country for this tragedy. While that was going on, UN Weapons inspectors were going about their business looking for weapons of mass destruction and not finding much in the process.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was scheduled to begin what was being called a “Fifty Nation Friendship Tour” – among those places he planned to visit was Baghdad, despite what U.S. Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson called “a very bad idea”. He felt a trip like that needed to be coordinated with the White House and the State Department because they all had the same Foreign Policy objectives and it was important that everybody be on the same page and speak with the same voice.

And Israeli Cabinet approved a conditional troop withdrawal in the West Bank, although the move was not likely to satisfy PLO leader Yassar Arafat. The Cabinet members voted 16-0 with two abstentions to approve the plan. The stipulation was the PLO were to agree to all of Israel’s demands, especially the complete cessation of terrorist attacks. Also the amount of land to be returned was not spelled out. Instead, a Cabinet committee would be set up to work out the details.

And Veteran’s Organizations were complaining that, because of budget cutbacks, Military funerals aren’t what they used to be. In some cases Taps is pre-recorded on tape and played back over a boombox. Rifle salutes were disappearing as well.

And that’s a small slice of what went on, this last day of November, 1997 as reported by CBS Radio News.




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