COLUMN SEVENTY-EIGHT, NOVEMBER 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
REAGAN-BUSH SUPPLIED SADDAM WITH WEAPONS
In 1952, the
CIA helped to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran and placed
the Shah on the Peacock throne. For the next 26 years, the Shah ruled the nation
with an iron hand while at the same time plundering the oil revenues of his
When the Shah
was overthrown in the late "70s, Americans were incredulous over the fact that
Iranians were showing so much resentment toward the US. Americans by and large
never understood the capture of the US embassy and American Citizens during the
chaotic moments after the Iranian revolution, Saddam Hussein tried to take
advantage of an unstable situation by launching an attack on Iran in an effort
to gain control of the Shatt al Arab waterway. The Iranians stopped the invasion
and pushed the Iraqi's back into their own territory.
With Saddam in
a precarious situation, the US came to his defense with secret intelligence of
Iranian positions and weaponry. We also gave Hussein a couple of billion in
Agricultural grants (our government was not allowed to sell Iraq weapons) which
allowed him to take money he would need to buy food and instead use it to buy
weapons, mostly from France.
At the same
time Saddam was using poison gas on Iranian soldiers, violating Geneva
Convention rules. In July of 1988, Saddam gassed his own Kurdish minority in
Iraq. On a Friday July, 15,000 Kurds were killed in Iraq by poison gas, 5,000
alone in the city of Halabja. Five times as many people were killed in that
poison gas attack as were killed at the WTC in New York. Did we care?
later, back in Washington, Senator George Mitchell led a delegation of
Republican and Democrat legislators to the White House to meet with the
President, then George W. Bush's father. In the meeting Mitchell laid out
Saddam's sins and told President Bush that tough sanctions needed to be placed
on Iraq. According to Mitchell, Bush told them, "Saddam is still a man we
can do business with."
In the summer
of 1989, Saddam Hussein called in the American ambassador April Gillespie to
inform her of his intentions of taking action against Kuwait, who he claimed was
stealing Iraqi oil by using drilling techniques that entered Iraqi oil fields.
Saddam was also upset because he believed the Kuwait was helping to hold down
the price of oil which was causing cash-strapped Iraq to believe it should take
action against it's neighbor. A tape of the meeting between Saddam and our
ambassador was aired in the U.S on 60 Minutes. It shows our ambassador
intimating to Saddam that the US would have no interest punishing him if he were
to capture the oil fields near the border. Of course the Iraqi leader captured
the whole country but the incompetence of our ambassador and her words to Saddam
helped give birth to Desert Storm.
We know that
Arabs have been watching Al Jezeera TV (The Arabic CNN) throughout their world.
They see children starving and dying from disease every day. They watch
Palestinian homes bulldozed and citizens dying from what they consider Israeli
hegemony. During the last war they watched a routed Iraqi force being
annihilated by US Aircraft. On CNN, a military expert tells the interviewer,
"It's a turkey shoot!"
Arabs throughout the Middle East with their TV's tuned to CNN (There was no Al
Jezeera during Desert Storm) watching this spectacle. Do you suppose that any of
this helped in the recruitment of young Islamic extremists?
Now were about
to take unprovoked action believing that we can stem the tide of terrorism by
being tough. The present President Bush and many of his advisors believe that
the unrest in the Middle East can be contained without destabilizing the area. I
don't! That is why I don't support this action.
If you saw CBS
News on Thursday, September 12, 2002, you saw a disturbing piece. CBS
interviewed four Special Forces soldiers who said that Afghanistan is beginning
to disintegrate. A captain said Afghanistan is turning into another Viet Nam. He
said that when they first came the people adored them. Now the people throw
stones at them. American soldiers in Afghanistan have been under increasing
attack, as the situation seems to be deteriorating. Now we want to double our
fun by invading Iraq.
that the reason the owners of the pro-attack press and legislators are being
cavalier is because they have never served in the military and their offspring
will certainly never serve. As long
as middle and lower middle class people are the ones serving in the military and
as long as the threat that the sons and daughters of the aforementioned elite
will never have to serve, military intervention is no great burden to our
legislators and those owners of the pro-attack press advocating this war.
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