Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Too little, too late? The Washington Post ran an article yesterday describing the major role that the US, under the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations, played in the buildup of the Iraqi military and its development and use of chemical and biological weapons. It mentions Donald Rumsfeld's key meeting with Saddam Hussein in 1983, offering him US support even though it was known at the time that Iraq was using chemical weapons. It also mentions something rarely covered in the US media, that the Kurds gassed in northern Iraq in 1988 were probably collaborating with Iran. So while not justifying the gassing, it makes the "gassed his own people" claim dubious at best. The article describes how the US government allowed and even encouraged the sale of chemical, biological and "dual-use technology" (items that could be used in a nuclear program) by US firms. It even dares mention the infamous meeting of US ambassador at the the time April Glaspie with Saddam in July of 1990:

When the then-U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, April Glaspie, met with Hussein on July 25, 1990, a week before the Iraqi attack on Kuwait, she assured him that Bush "wanted better and deeper relations," according to an Iraqi transcript of the conversation. "President Bush is an intelligent man," the ambassador told Hussein, referring to the father of the current president. "He is not going to declare an economic war against Iraq."

Unfortunately, the article refrains from mentioning the so-called "green light" that Glaspie gave Saddam when she stated that the US had no opinion on the Iraq-Kuwait dispute. While Saddam did not tell her that he was planning on invading Kuwait a week later, he certainly must have been surprised at the vehement "worse than Hitler" response from someone who had "no opinion" and who "wanted better and deeper relations." Unless, of course, as many in the Middle East believe, Saddam has been a US agent all along, providing a ready excuse for the ever-increasing military presence in the region. Saddam has stayed alive and in power, either with US help or due to US reluctance (or whatever it was that stopped Desert Storm from storming Baghdad in 1991), while the Iraqi people pay again and again and again: war with Iran, Gulf War, sanctions, no-fly zone bombings, Desert Fox, and now, probably, Gulf War II.

I don't know what the truth is, but I am quite sure that what the Bushies are telling us is lies, just as it was in 1990. Saddam is not a threat to the US: he's a convenient ongoing excuse.