Democrats & Liberals Archives

Friend or Foe Business Is Business

Our old friend Mikhail Gorbachev is accusing BushCo of creating chaos to extend an empire.

The question is whose empire and to what end? The empire that BushCo and the neo-cons are pushing is an empire of corporate and economic hegemony - only protected and advanced by the military power of the United States.

The headlines today trumpet a $20 billion arms package to Saudi Arabia (and NY Times, 7/28/07). There are even more billions in deals for other Gulf States and Israel. The weapons packages include the so-called "smart bombs" and other high tech weaponry. It should come as no surprise that some see the U.S. as a provocateur to an arms race from which it (or at least the arms industry) benefits hugely. Of course, it also legitimates increasing spending and escalation of the U.S. "defense" budget as well.

Business as usual.

The arms deal runs side by side with the accusation that Saudi Arabia is economically contributing to the Sunni fighters in Iraq, and doing nothing to stop Saudi fighters from joining the Iraq fray. Nor is the corporate media so "rude" as to note that the majority of the 9/11/01 suicide group were from Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has a long term vested interest in supporting the House of Saud, and no interest runs deeper than that with the House of Bush.

While it has faded from the news, there was the incentive money that Britain paid to Prince Bandar Bin Sultan for the BAE arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Yes, Prince Bandar, also sometimes referred to as "Bandar Bush," whose facilitation fee of $2 billion was traced back to the U.S. banks. Of course there are no hard feelings over such dealings - nor limitations on the financial activities of Bandar Bush.

Other Articles on the BAE Deal
US to probe BAE over corruption. BBC, 6/26/07.

The Bandar cover-up: who knew what, and when?. David Leigh & Rob Evans. Guardian, 6/09/07.

BAE accused of secretly paying £1bn to Saudi prince. David Leigh & Rob Evans. Guardian, 6/07/07.

Correction made. The article inadvertantly stated SA was funding Shi'ite fighters in Iraq. The text has been corrected to Sunni.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at July 29, 2007 10:11 AM
Comments
Comment #227726

Maybe if they spend all their money on fancy jets, they will have less to spend on other things.

Those sophisticated arms agreements work well for us. Most of these sorts of equipment won’t fly very long w/o U.S. supplied spar part, training and support. It ties them in for a long time.

American arms cannot provoke an arms race with us for the reasons above. We can turn off the supplies. Beyond that, we do not share the command and control systems. They do not get the latest.

It is a good thing for the oil kingdoms to spend some money on these things.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #227728

This is more than encouraging Saudi Arabia to do Bush’s bidding. The regional arms race leaves Iran in a bad situation. Iran is likely to respond with corresponding increases in weapons. Bush will get his excuse for war.

What should be done? 1. Set up a policy of no arms for the Middle East. 2. Sunset the authorization to use military force against Iraq. 3. Encourage cooperation in the Middle East in catching or destroying 9/11 attackers by setting up a reward system. 4. Back the navy away from Iran by sunrise and start talking with Iran.

Posted by: Scott at July 29, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #227732

6. Tell the Middle East if they don’t get their act together and stop their religious crusade nonsense by, oh lets say, December 2010, we’ll get all of the oil we need through the glass forest that will result.

(I’m mostly kidding)

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #227734

Jack
To the contrary.We are already in an arms race with ourselves.
Another reason we cannot win hearts and minds in the ME is because of our dispicable practice of providing arms to both sides in the Iran/Iraq war.Even the USSR stoped shipments to Iraq after they invaded Iran. Ours increased.

Posted by: BillS at July 29, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #227742

“The arms deal runs side by side with the accusation that Saudi Arabia is economically contributing to the Shi’ite fighters in Iraq,”

Rowan,

Good article, but don’t you mean “Sunni fighters”?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Congress. I actually have very mixed feelings on the issue. There is one part of me that would love to leave the whole damn mess for these Middle Eastern countries to deal with for themselves.

I certainly prefer the thought of Saudi’s being killed fighting Iranian’s than I do the thought of more American’s dieing in a Shia v. Sunni civil war. OTOH, I can’t get past the fact that AQ is primarily Sunni and the simple fact that the majority of 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi.

I only wish we either had a hell of a lot more troops in Iraq (possibly a million) or none at all! Right now we’ve just got an unbelievable mess.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 29, 2007 3:02 PM
Comment #227752

BillS

0.47%. That is the amount of Saddams arms supplied by the U.S. The Iraqis fought mostly with Russian, some French, Czech and even Brazilian weapons, but not much from us. The infamous arms for hostage deal supplied Iran with some spare parts, but we stopped selling arms to Iran in 1979.

The idea that we armed Saddam is a scandalous charge with absolutely no merit. We should just stop it. It is very easy to check. There are lots of people who spend lots of time trying to find links between the U.S. and Saddam They talk about secret deals and sales. But you really cannot keep arms secret if you have to use them. Just ask yourself this question. What kind of arms did Saddam have? He had lots of arms, how many were American?

Saddam had Mirage; Saddam had MIGs. He had Chinese missiles. He had Russian tanks. His troops carried Soviet block small arms. If the U.S. supplied arms to Saddam, where did they go?

This is a Lock Ness monster problem. Many people assume it is true, but nobody has seen it. I just figure if we were such a major arms supplier, we would be able to find at least some U.S. arms.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #227755

KansasDem - you are correct and that glitch has been fixed with correction noted.
Thanks

Posted by: rowan at July 29, 2007 4:22 PM
Comment #227763

Jack,

Whenever I do the “connect the dots” thing with this: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/
I end up with a picture of Denmark and it has the unmistakable odor of Limburger cheese.

The “west” has left a lot of really huge footprints (also fingerprints, skid marks, you name it) across the entire area.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 29, 2007 5:08 PM
Comment #227765

I also was wondering these past days about the connection between the “outrage” towards the Saudis for their sending money/arms to Iraq while we are negotiating such a huge arms deal with them. I end up feeling a little schizophrenic and crazy.

AND, not only am I remembering that the 9/11 suicide group came from Saudi Arabia, but of the very strong connection between the Bush family and the Saudis………even to the point of noises about the Bush family getting the Saudi’s out of US through private jets after 9/11. Am I/are we the only ones who see something strange and irregular about all this? Are those in congress mentally challenged? Or is everyone but us getting a huge financial cut? Or is all of this just a huge “joke” on the planet and is just a big Risk/Monopoly game being played by BushCo and the Saudi’s and Tony Blair and the oil companies and they use war/intrigue/torture conversations/arms deals as distractions so we never sit long enough to figure out what is really going on? Gorbachev might have some

Posted by: judye at July 29, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #227767

Jack
We provided arms to Saddam,period.We supplied the means and support for the manufactureand use of WMDs to Saddam. Just because you do not want to believe it does not make it untrue. That .47 % you often throw out is meaningless. .47% of what and when. His global budget,including military pay and boot laces? Source that please.
Check out www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/arming_iraq.php


9/1980 Iraq invades Iran.-US dept of State
2/1982 Despite objections from congress,President Reagan removes Iraq from its list of known terrorist countries. -Washington Post
12/1982 Huges Aircraft ships 60 Defender helicopters to Iraq.-Doing Business The Arming Of Iraq,Robichear
1982-1988 Defense Intelligence Agency provides detailed information for Iraq on Iranian deployments,tactical planning for battles,plans for airstrikes and bomb damage assesment.-NYT

11/1983 Banca Nazionale del Lavoro of italy and its Branch in Atlanta begin to funnel $5 billion in unreported loans to Iraq. Iraq,with the blessing and official approval of the US government,purchased computer controled machine tools,computers,scientific instraments,special alloy steel and aluminum,chemicals,and other industrial goods for Iraq’s missile,chemical,biologocal and nuclear programs-Colubia Journalism Review

The list goes on including US provision of anthrax toxins and mustard gas precursor chemicals. Yeah,maybe they made fertilizer out of them,if you want to count dead Kurdish children as fertilizer.Sorry I am unable to directly link the above sight but check it out. It is all annotated and footnoted. I await your apology.

Posted by: BillS at July 29, 2007 6:01 PM
Comment #227768

Jack:
“0.47%. That is the amount of Saddams arms supplied by the U.S. The Iraqis fought mostly with Russian, some French, Czech and even Brazilian weapons, but not much from us.
The idea that we armed Saddam is a scandalous charge with absolutely no merit. We should just stop it. It is very easy to check.”

Wow Jack, you really have absolutely no clue about the Iraq-gate scandal do you? I understand why though, because this is a really shameful story that was totally covered up by both the US government, and almost completely by the MSM. But the facts are indeed very easy to check, so allow me to help you a little with that:

From Wikipedia:U.S. support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war
Do yourself the favor of following the links on that page.

Here is the most relevant part:

Much of what Iraq received from the US, however, were not arms per se, but so-called dual-use technology— mainframe computers, armored ambulances, helicopters, chemicals, and the like, with potential civilian uses as well as military applications. It is now known that a vast network of companies, based in the U.S. and elsewhere, fed Iraq’s warring capabilities right up until August 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait. [8]

The “Iraq-gate” scandal revealed that an Atlanta branch of Italy’s largest bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, relying partially on U.S. taxpayer-guaranteed loans, funneled US$ 5 billion to Iraq from 1985 to 1989. In August 1989, when FBI agents finally raided the Atlanta branch of BNL, the branch manager, Christopher Drogoul, was charged with making unauthorized, clandestine, and illegal loans to Iraq—some of which, according to his indictment, were used to purchase arms and weapons technology.

Beginning in September, 1989, the Financial Times laid out the first charges that BNL, relying heavily on U.S. government-guaranteed loans, was funding Iraqi chemical and nuclear weapons work. For the next two and a half years, the Financial Times provided the only continuous newspaper reportage (over 300 articles) on the subject. Among the companies shipping militarily useful technology to Iraq under the eye of the U.S. government, according to the Financial Times, were Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, and Matrix Churchill, through its Ohio branch. [9]

Even before the Persian Gulf War started in 1990, the Intelligencer Journal of Pennsylvania in a string of articles reported: “If U.S. and Iraqi troops engage in combat in the Persian Gulf, weapons technology developed in Lancaster and indirectly sold to Iraq will probably be used against U.S. forces … And aiding in this … technology transfer was the Iraqi-owned, British-based precision tooling firm Matrix Churchill, whose U.S. operations in Ohio were recently linked to a sophisticated Iraqi weapons procurement network.”[10]

Aside from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and ABC’s Ted Koppel, the Iraq-gate story never picked up much steam, even though The U.S. Congress became involved with the scandal. [11]

In December 2002, Iraq’s 1,200 page Weapons Declaration revealed a list of Eastern and Western corporations and countries—as well as individuals—that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades. By far, the largest suppliers of precursors for chemical weapons production were in Singapore (4,515 tons), the Netherlands (4,261 tons), Egypt (2,400 tons), India (2,343 tons), and Germany (1,027 tons). One Indian company, Exomet Plastics (now part of EPC Industrie) sent 2,292 tons of precursor chemicals to Iraq. The Kim Al-Khaleej firm of Singapore supplied more than 4,500 tons of VX, sarin, and mustard gas precursors and production equipment to Iraq. [12]

By contrast, Alcolac International, for example, a Maryland company, transported thiodiglycol, a mustard gas precursor, to Iraq. Alcolac was small and was successfully prosecuted for its violations of export control law. The firm pleaded guilty in 1989. A full list of American companies and their involvements in Iraq was provided by The LA Weekly in May 2003. [13][14]

On 25 May 1994, The U.S. Senate Banking Committee released a report in which it was stated that “pathogenic” (meaning disease producing), “toxigenic” (meaning poisonous) and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq, pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It added: “These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction.”[15]

The report then detailed 70 shipments (including anthrax bacillus) from the United States to Iraqi government agencies over three years, concluding “It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the UN inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program.” [16]

A report by Berlin’s die tageszeitung in 2002 reported that Iraq’s 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council listed 150 foreign companies that supported Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. Twenty-four U.S. firms were involved in exporting arms and materials to Baghdad. [17]

Donald Riegle, Chairman of the Senate committee that authored the aforementioned Riegle Report, said, “UN inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and [established] that these items were used to further Iraq’s chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development programs.” He added, “the executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think that is a devastating record.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control sent Iraq 14 agents “with biological warfare significance,” including West Nile virus, according to Riegle’s investigators [18] And The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, also released a list of U.S. companies and their exports to Iraq. [19]

Also read this from the Columbia Journalism Review:
IRAQGATE
The Big One That (Almost) Got Away
Who Chased it — and Who Didn’t

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 6:10 PM
Comment #227772

Adrienne & BillS

Bottom line. Where did it go? Presumably, Saddam would buy arms in hopes of using them in his wars.

Even your relevant article essentially proves my point. We had some trading relationship with Iraq. Some of the things traded could be dual use. Yes, HP might have sold some computers. Others sold some chemicals useful in agriculture that could be used in war. And big arms supplies such as Singapore and India are higher on the list than the U.S.

The reason this scandal never picked up steam is that there is nothing much there. It also is kind of interesting that you all are trying to pin WMD on the U.S. when you generally claim there was no WMD.

There is no significant evidence that the U.S. played anything but a very minor role in arming Iraq. The Iraqis possessed NO major U.S. weapon system. That is just the ground truth fact.

You guys have lots of stories about what might have been. I have the benefit of hindsight to say, BUT IT DID NOT happen. Your speculation does not stand up to my truth. You understand that we now KNOW what he actually had. Unless you want to contend that Saddam managed to hide all that WMD and Bush was justified all along in that regard.

Name a major Iraqi weapon system supplied by the U.S. and I will be surprised. Saddam had lots of weapons. What % were supplied by the U.S.? 0.47% and that includes those dual use things that the Iraqis could turn into weapons. But when you remember, however, that nitrogen fertilizer or a jeep can be dual use, even that 0.47% might be less exciting.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #227774

How about this perspective that goes with the article. If we sell ONE JSF fighter to Saudi Arabia, that package will be a greater value of functioning arms than everything we transfered to Saddam over 20 years. All this spy novel stuff you guys are so fond of comes down to that bottom line.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 7:02 PM
Comment #227778

Jack:
“Bottom line. Where did it go?”

We went in and destroyed it in the first Gulf War.

“Even your relevant article essentially proves my point. We had some trading relationship with Iraq. Some of the things traded could be dual use.”

Throughout the 1980s, the U.S. Commerce Department approved at least $1.5 billion in exports with possible military applications from U.S. companies to Iraq, and the Agriculture Department administered a U.S.-goverment-guaranteed loan program that provided billions to Iraq. Thanks largely to the first George Bush, American taxpayers unwittingly co-signed for much of the loan money, and the government had to make good on these loans when Iraq later defaulted. Almost all of the transactions were legal under U.S. and international law at the time, even when the transactions either had direct military or dual-use (civilian and military) applications. Over and over again, the deals were encouraged and even abetted by the U.S. government, even after American officials had proof that Iraq was using chemical weapons to kill Iranian troops and subdue Kurdish uprisings. In fact, the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration even provided Hussein’s regime with military intelligence during his bloody eight-year war with Iran.

link


“chemicals useful in agriculture that could be used in war.”

Along with anthrax and mustard gas. Other countries supplied the VX and sarin — often using our money.

“And big arms supplies such as Singapore and India are higher on the list than the U.S.

We supplied billions for those arms.

“The reason this scandal never picked up steam is that there is nothing much there.”

Bullsh*t. They just covered it up.

“It also is kind of interesting that you all are trying to pin WMD on the U.S. when you generally claim there was no WMD.”

We destroyed most of what there was in the first Gulf War because we knew exactly where it was. What’s more they knew they had destroyed it.

“There is no significant evidence that the U.S. played anything but a very minor role in arming Iraq.”

Bullsh*t.

“The Iraqis possessed NO major U.S. weapon system.”

Just some of the necessary parts to build weapon systems. And we helped supply billions for the rest of what Saddam was buying in the way of weapon systems.

Same old song and dance, Jack. You don’t want to face the facts, so you just continue to claim that everything we show you means nothing.
Whatever.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 7:48 PM
Comment #227783
Bullsh*t. They just covered it up.

“They”? Whow are “They”?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #227786

Adrienne

Like what?

You have stories that say lots of things. I have the fact that nothing was found.

OPIC loans covering agricultural trade are a common part of our trade with many countries. They mean nothing much. These kinds of analysis find the obvious connections and think they have found something unusual. It is like discovering it snows in Minneapolis.

Did you know that the U.S. was the biggest supplier of food aid to Afghanistan during Taliban times? It is true. That means we built the Taliban? The U.S. sold many of the tractors and equipment used to modernize Soviet agriculture in the 1930s. Does that mean the U.S. build the Soviet Union? The U.S. accounts for around 25-30% of all the goods and services produced in the entire world. It is no surprise to find U.S. involved anywhere in the world, but 0.47% is not a very big part no matter how you count it.

During the Iraq-Iran war, our desire was that neither side win. To that end, we allowed our local allies to share intelligence with Saddam that allowed him to anticipate and fend off Iranian attacks. I have said this on many occassions and I still beleive that it was probably the best choice from among the bad choices. It worked, BTW, and neither side won.

This is very different from saying that we armed Saddam.

Among the wreckage after the Gulf war, we found lots of Soviet and French tanks. We found small arms from the Warsaw Pact. Saddam had MIGs and Mirage. He did not have U.S. weapons. If they covered all this up, they sure did a good job. How is it that you know and if they have such power why can’t they use it to achieve thier other goals?

AND please tell me that you know of even ONE major weapon system supplied to Saddam by the U.S., I mean, besides fertilizer, agricultural chemicals and some tractors.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 8:15 PM
Comment #227787

Jack
Not like you to ignore evidence. Read the links. Major weapons systems? Qualifiers now? Could you accept logistic and intell directly from the DIA a weapons system. I would, but no you will not find it stuffed in a wharehouse somewhere.”Spy novel stuff” ?Last I heard we employ quite a few spies.Read the links.Source your .47% figure please or assume that responsible readers will dismiss it.

10/1983 The Reagan Administration begins secretly allowing Jordan,Saudi Arabia.Kuwait,and Egypt transfer US weapons,including Howitzers,Heuy helicopters,and bombs to Iraq. These shipments violated theArms Export Control Act.-New Yorker Magazine….Is that included in your mythical.47%?

Point I had hoped to make with you before your challenge to reality was that we are in fact in an arms race with ourselves. Example: In order to smooth the sale to the Saudis we have promised to increase military aid to Isreal(todayNYT).Isreal will use more of our money to buy weapons from us to counter the Sauds buildup of our weapons.Seems to me that is an arms race with ourselves.Another example: We have embarked on a production and developement program to build a new generation of fighter aircraft. Is this a response to China, or Russia or France for that matter building a superior aircraft we need to catch up to. No It is a response to us selling so many advanced fighters all over the world. An arms race with ourselves.

Posted by: BillS at July 29, 2007 8:21 PM
Comment #227790

Jack
We provided arms to Saddam,period.We supplied the means and support for the manufactureand use of WMDs to Saddam. Just because you do not want to believe it does not make it untrue. That .47 % you often throw out is meaningless. .47% of what and when. His global budget,including military pay and boot laces? Source that please.
Check out www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/arming_iraq.php


9/1980 Iraq invades Iran.-US dept of State
2/1982 Despite objections from congress,President Reagan removes Iraq from its list of known terrorist countries. -Washington Post
12/1982 Huges Aircraft ships 60 Defender helicopters to Iraq.-Doing Business The Arming Of Iraq,Robichear
1982-1988 Defense Intelligence Agency provides detailed information for Iraq on Iranian deployments,tactical planning for battles,plans for airstrikes and bomb damage assesment.-NYT

11/1983 Banca Nazionale del Lavoro of italy and its Branch in Atlanta begin to funnel $5 billion in unreported loans to Iraq. Iraq,with the blessing and official approval of the US government,purchased computer controled machine tools,computers,scientific instraments,special alloy steel and aluminum,chemicals,and other industrial goods for Iraq’s missile,chemical,biologocal and nuclear programs-Colubia Journalism Review

The list goes on including US provision of anthrax toxins and mustard gas precursor chemicals. Yeah,maybe they made fertilizer out of them,if you want to count dead Kurdish children as fertilizer.Sorry I am unable to directly link the above sight but check it out. It is all annotated and footnoted. I await your apology.

Posted by: BillS at July 29, 2007 8:26 PM
Comment #227791

oops..double post

Posted by: BillS at July 29, 2007 8:28 PM
Comment #227793

I have seen and read lots of stories, many of them have not panned out. Some like Adrienne have suggested and others that list there are documents detailing Saddam’s WDM programs that were found shortly after invasion. Just because it is written down does not necessarily make them true.

The ‘we armed Iraq’ is an old one. One of my most favorite ever commedians, Bill Hicks, had a WONDERFUL joke about how we knew that Iraq had a huge military in 1991. How did we know? Well, we looked at the receipt! And as soon as that check clears…

Now, that’s freaking funny. It wasn’t actually TRUE to any real extent, but it was funny. The problem I think is that so many people want things to be true that they are willing to listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Jon Stewart to get their news from, all they are are entertainers, trying to get as many people to listen to them in order to sell advertising. Unfortunately, most news media are the same. It use to be that people tuned in to the news media because they wanted the boiled through facts. Now, though, it appears people want to know about Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan instead of the boring political stuff. So much so that they gravitate to the Rush and Jons of the world because it is entertaining and over the top.

I am with Jack here, if you could give us the name of a major weapons system we supplied Saddam I would be much appreciated.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #227795

Rhinehold:
“They”? Whow are “They”?

The government, along with quite a bit of help from the media.

Final quotes from that Columbia Journalism Review link I put up earlier (you should read it to get the full story):

For ABC, which broke plenty of stories in concert with London’s Financial Times, only to watch them sink, covering Iraqgate has been a sobering experience. “It’s been very frustrating for us,” says Gordon Platt, a Nightline producer. “We’d put it on the air, but there would be no follow-up by the other press. We’d expect the Times or Post would pick up on it. But until this last summer, they didn’t.”

As for why much of the press fears this kind of story, perhaps Ted Koppel put it best. “There’s a good reason why we in the media are so partial to a nice, torrid sex scandal,” he said as he opened yet another Nightline Iraqgate report last July. “It is, among other things, so easy to explain and so easy to understand. Nothing at all, in other words, like allegations of a government coverup, which tend to be not at all easy to explain, and even more difficult to understand.”

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 8:36 PM
Comment #227800

Adrienne & Bill

Yes. Lots of ink spilled. BUT not one real weapon system. Maybe the scandal is that all this supposed activity resulted in nothing much at all.

We are talking about two different types of evidence. Yours is the hypothetical kind. Mine is the real world result.

You have found evidence of a crime that evidently did not occur. Saddam DID NOT have American weapons. All the coulda, shoulda, might have etc is just commentary and speculation.

This is the typical liberal line: “false but accurate”. They find no hard evidence and use the lack of evidence as evidence that evidence is hidden.

Let me try one more time. If you went into a country that bought a lot of American arms and checked the military stockpiles and junkyards, you would expect to find American arms. Especially if you found massive quantities of arms in general. Lack of evidence is not proof of lack, but it is very unlikely that all the American arms could be lost or hidden if there were ever very many of them.

I know many people are very enthusiastic about blaming America for all the troubles in the world, but this is just one of the exceptions. 0.47% just does not cut it. Maybe some of your sources misplaced the decimal point.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 8:54 PM
Comment #227806

Jack and Rhinehold say that Bill and I are just making up something out of whole cloth — nothing but some wacky internet conspiracy theory. But, if anyone reading chooses to read that Columbia Journalism Review link that I put up, they will read that that Alan Friedman and The London Financial Times, and Douglas Frantz and the LA Times, and Ted Koppel and the producers of Niteline at ABC, and Murray Waas and The Village Voice, and William Safire, and Representative Henry Gonzalez, who was the chairman of the House Banking Committee at the time, all thought the numerous and shocking details of the Iraqgate scandal carried plenty of credibility.
Read it for yourselves, and you decide whether or not that story seems credible to you.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 9:54 PM
Comment #227808

Adrienne

I am not saying you made it up. I am not saying that the writers do not believe what they wrote. What I am saying that no matter what anybody said or planned, nothing came of it. Saddam did not have U.S. weapons.

People say lots of things. They plan to do lots of things. More things could happen than actually DO happen. The things they write about could have happened, but they did not happen. What did happen is that Saddam got 0.47% of his weapons from the U.S. and most of these were dual purpose like fertilizer, agro-chemicals, jeeps and computers.

We happen to know the end of this story. We do not need to dig into the evidence from the middle re what was going to happen.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2007 10:11 PM
Comment #227810

Sure Jack, this was just a non-story that held no real significance.
The fact that Bush Sr. secretly funneled several billions of dollars worth of loan guarantees and military technology to Saddam Hussein from 1986 to 1990 is no biggie. The fact that the money and materials that were directly and indirectly given to Saddam were the very same weapons he later used against American and allied forces in the Gulf War is neither here nor there. And if Bush Sr.’s Administration tried to cover up what it had done by altering documents it supplied to Congress and by attempting to obstruct official investigations of aid to Iraq, what does it matter? We won the Gulf War, didn’t we? So what if the US Attorney General at the time announced that he would not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether any laws were broken? That’s just par for the course. Who cares if a president illegally takes us to war, or makes a war inevitable by his actions?
We should be getting used to that by now, right?
Sure, it’s just business as usual in Bushworld.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 10:34 PM
Comment #227812

But, Adrienne, he didn’t. Saddam did not get American military technology. No Americans weapons were used against American troops in the Gulf War.

I do not have the time or inclination to read through all the sources. I assume you have. Did they reveal the names of ANY American weapon systems that were used against American troops?

This is a ghost story. All these dealings are manifest no place in the real world. When you have no evidence for something, you need not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.

If we sold all this stuff to Saddam, where did these weapons go? Has anybody ever seen them? We found lots of Soviet weapons; lots of Chinese weapons; lots of Warsaw pact weapons and even lots of French weapons, but no Americans weapons. This means nothing to you?

It might be fun to blame America, but this time we are way down on the list.

Posted by: Jackj at July 29, 2007 11:01 PM
Comment #227816

Adrienne,

That’s why I use the analogy of connecting the dots when I refer to this link:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

It takes a long time to go through all of the documentation provided, but even as highly redacted as the documents are, I can only come up with one conclusion. The Reagan administration supported Saddam———-period, end of story.

Die hard supporters of current and former Rethuglicans will never, ever concede.

Another good example is the continuing denial of the planned coup to basically overthrow FDR in 1933. Mike Thomson has an updated audio on BBC:

http://tinyurl.com/2cc7af

It’s about 30 minutes long but well worth the time.


Posted by: KansasDem at July 29, 2007 11:34 PM
Comment #227818
I do not have the time or inclination to read through all the sources. I assume you have.

Actually, Jack, I assume the exact opposite.

You’re bothering to respond to a post which states:

We won the Gulf War, didn’t we?So what if the US Attorney General at the time announced that he would not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether any laws were broken? That’s just par for the course. Who cares if a president illegally takes us to war, or makes a war inevitable by his actions?

Follow that? You’re trying to use facts to counter an argument which has so little interest in facts that it maintains that the first Gulf War was “illegal.” It’s totally pointless to try to counter something like that. The first Gulf War was more “legal” than ANY war in history, with the full support of the UN, and with 25 nations fighting alongside the United States. There is no response to be made to such a completely irrational claim as the assertion that the first Gulf War was “illegal.” Don’t waste your time.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 29, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #227819


In regards to weapons, The military removed
enough weapons from the Iraqis that covered an area
stack over twenty five acres. Included were guns,
rocket launchers an ammunition. None of which were
destroyed, an no reasons were given for their
stupidity! ABC news also found three bunkers, full
of C4-Explosives, an showed the military, who never
returned for C-4. ABC returned an found that the
material had been stolen an not removed by the
military. Why would this happen??? I guess if you
want a War, you would stupid shooting a lot of
unarmed people.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 29, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #227821

It’s ok LO, you’re talking to people who think there was a massive conspiracy to form a fascist government in 1933 and who think Bush was never elected, either time.

KansasDem, btw, if the organization that was going to enact this coup was ready to strike, why didn’t they the full year it took to even start an investigation? Why not just move forward with a different person instead of Butler? And why weren’t any of these people arrested for treason? As has been stated:

    * Historian Robert F. Burk: “At their core, the accusations probably consisted of a mixture of actual attempts at influence peddling by a small core of financiers with ties to veterans organizations and the self-serving accusations of Butler against the enemies of his pacifist and populist causes.”
    * Historian Hans Schmidt: “Even if Butler was telling the truth, as there seems little reason to doubt, there remains the unfathomable problem of MacGuire’s motives and veracity. He may have been working both ends against the middle, as Butler at one point suspected. In any case, MacGuire emerged from the HUAC hearings as an inconsequential trickster whose base dealings could not possibly be taken alone as verifying such a momentous undertaking. If he was acting as an intermediary in a genuine probe, or as agent provocateur sent to fool Butler, his employers were at least clever enough to keep their distance and see to it that he self-destructed on the witness stand…MacGuire repeatedly perjured himself…Butler may have blown the whistle on an incipient conspiracy…”
    * Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.: “Most people agreed with Mayor La Guardia of New York in dismissing it as a “cocktail putsch… As for the House committee, headed by John McCormack of Massachusetts, it declared itself “able to verify all the pertinent statements made by General Butler” except for MacGuire’s direct proposal to him, and it considered this more or less confirmed by MacGuire’s European reports. No doubt MacGuire did have some wild scheme in mind, though the gap between contemplation and execution was considerable and it can hardly be supposed that the republic was in much danger.”
    * Historian James E. Sargent reviewing “The Plot to Seize the White House” by Jules Archer: “Thus, Butler (and Archer) assumed that the existence of a financially backed plot meant that fascism was imminent and that the planners represented a wide spread and coherent group, having both the intent and the capacity to execute their ideas. So when his testimony was criticized and even ridiculed in the media and ignored in Washington, Butler saw (and Archer sees) conspiracy everywhere. Instead, it is plausible to conclude that the honest and straightforward, but intellectually and politically unsophisticated, Butler perceived in simplistic terms what were in fact complex trends and events. Thus he leaped to the simplistic conclusion that the President and the Republic were in mortal danger. In essence, Archer swallowed his hero whole.”

And are you seriously suggesting Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, was in this plot to overthrow the United States, based off of this testimony as well? Does that really ring true to you?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 30, 2007 12:03 AM
Comment #227823

Rhinehold, the funny thing is that if you want to go all the way back to the 1930s (and even earlier), you can find all kinds of real and very well-documented conspiracies to overthrow the US government, including many which resulted in prosecutions, that were hatched by the American left and its hordes of Communist sympathizers. But those seem to have all fallen down the memory-hole and what we hear about instead is this tin-foil conspiracy stuff about stuff that never happened.

Ah, some things never change.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 30, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #227824

LO, the funny thing is that the reason the BBC special was made was because someone has incorrectly linked Prescott Bush in the plot as well. In fact, he was part of some investigation of the same committee that looked into the plot, but he was being investigated for something else completely, something he was cleared of, btw.

If it weren’t for that this would have never been trotted out again as it is mostly seen by historians as a conspiracy of one, who died of brain fever weeks after the hearings. No evidence other than Butler recounting a meeting he had with MacGuire, a Bonds salesman. I’m reminded of ‘A Beautiful Mind’…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 30, 2007 1:00 AM
Comment #227825

LO
Name one.

Posted by: BillS at July 30, 2007 1:04 AM
Comment #227826

Jack
No it is not fun to blame America. It is heartbreaking. Sometimes we have done things that are wrong. Taking a good look at them might,just might,keep us from doing them again.Denial will not.

Posted by: BillS at July 30, 2007 1:16 AM
Comment #227827

BillS, only one? That’s too easy. This mentions some of them. Just read the descriptions of each case and see if you can detect a pattern.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 30, 2007 1:19 AM
Comment #227828

Rhinehold,

Why would Butler have lied?

I believe Butler simply because of his astounding record:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

He had absolutely nothing to gain by lying!

This account by John Spivak seems pretty darn convincing to me:

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/53/Plot1.html

Posted by: KansasDem at July 30, 2007 1:30 AM
Comment #227830

Iraqgate Congressional Record

The Teicher Affidavit
This is the text of an affidavit by Howard Teicher who served on the National Security Council for Reagan. It was filed in connection with a criminal trial that was held in Miami in 1995. This was a sworn public account, given by a Reagan insider of the covert US Iraq relationship that was developed on their watch.

I know you people would prefer to claim that nothing at all ever happened, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a trail that says otherwise.

Btw, you might be interested to know that Clinton isn’t in the clear on this either. the Clinton Justice Department had declared after looking into Iraqgate that they “did not find evidence that U.S. agencies or officials illegally armed Iraq.” Yet, their report also said, that the CIA had withheld an unspecified number of documents that were contained in “sensitive compartments” that had to be denied to investigators.

Two weeks after that report exonerated Bush Sr.’s administration however, Howard Teicher’s above affidavit was filed in federal court. This was a big embarrassment to the officials in Clinton’s Justice Department. They preferred to take the word of former Reagan and Bush officials and had actually agreed not to look into those “sensitive CIA compartments” — even if this did make them look like total incompetents who weren’t even interested in getting to the truth.

After Teicher gave this sworn affidavit, Clinton officials claimed that it had to be totally unreliable. Strangely enough though, while they insisted that his testimony was false, they also decided to declare this document a state secret — actually classifying it and putting it under a court seal. But before they had moved on that, some of the copies had already been distributed outside the court to reporters. This text got posted to the Internet the same day they received it — so that’s why we still have it to read today. Once something gets on the internet, it seems to be rather hard to get rid of completely.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 30, 2007 2:15 AM
Comment #227832

“you can find all kinds of real and very well-documented conspiracies to overthrow the US government, including many which resulted in prosecutions, that were hatched by the American left and its hordes of Communist sympathizers.”

LO,

That speaks to my greater point when I said to Adrienne, “Die hard supporters of current and former Rethuglicans will never, ever concede.”

I’ll grant you that I got a dig in with the “rethuglican” comment and you got one back with “hordes of Communist sympathizers.” and “tin-foil hats”.

You’ll call my references to history “revisionist” and I’ll counter in some way. Whether it’s recent history, such as the Plame outing, or something much older there is always some bias.

It truly is like connect the dots. My book has only the even numbered dots and yours has only the odd numbered dots evidently.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 30, 2007 2:35 AM
Comment #227834

What we have here is the elegant disprover. It does not matter who, if anybody, lied. It does not matter who, if anybody, made nefarious plans. It does not matter who, if anybody, was a crook. The bottom line is that Saddam did not have American weapons.

Some people are trying to find people guilty of a crime that never happened. It is as if you prove that it was professor plum, in the study, with a candle stick, but then discover that no murder had taken place at all.

You can connect all the dots, but there is no picture.

Remember 0.47% That is the upper limit of U.S. supplies. When you consider the very terrible sales of dual use fertilizer, tractors and agro-chemical, you understand why even the liberal MSM knows there is not a story here.

You will have to trash America on a different occassion because there is nothing to see here.

Posted by: Jack at July 30, 2007 8:30 AM
Comment #227840
Why would Butler have lied?

I believe Butler simply because of his astounding record:

He had absolutely nothing to gain by lying!

I never said that Butler lied. But you have to realize that he only spoke to one person and that person was most likely not mentally stable. And you then have to accept that MacArthur lied, and his record was pretty stellar as well…

This account by John Spivak seems pretty darn convincing to me:

Sure it does, when you consider that Spivak was looking for his next anti-semetic article to write. It still all hinges on the fact that the only evidence of this plot was a story told to Butler from MacGuire.

Answer these important questions.

1) Why did this plot attempt to bring in someone to be the figurehead who was a publiclly political opponent to those who were behind it?

2) Why would they think he would agree?

3) Why did they not have a plan to silence him if he said no? Surely a plot like this would have a plan to deal with someone getting mouthy.

4) Once Butler turned down this ‘offer’ why did they not go after someone else? Did they just say ‘well, we couldn’t get Butler so let’s just scrap the whole deal”.

5) Where was any shred of evidence? In a plot this size there must be SOME physical evidence, money moving around, meetings monitored, etc.

6) Why did the committee never go beyond Butler and MacGuire’s testimony?

Well, there are others, but let’s deal with these sticky ones first.

The fact is, all we have is a meeting between Butler and MacGuire in which MacGuire tries to recruit Butler and tells him of the plot. That’s pretty much it. All of the rest comes from this with no other real evidence to support it.

And it did NOT involve Prescott Bush. That is current mistake by the BBC. In fact, I imagine that the plot included anyone would would have been ‘important’ at the time of the telling of the story, similar to when this was big in the 70s when some of the transcripts and video were released…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 30, 2007 9:43 AM
Comment #227846

Jack and many others here are missing the big picture. Arms, yes, even if .47, misses the fact that American dollars as foreign aid translated into weapons purchases.

Perfect example is the billions Bush has given to Pakistan. Oversight hearings ask for accounts of where and how that money is being spent in Pakistan and who is receiving it? Response: we don’t know the answer to that regarding a portion of it. A portion of many billions can be hundreds of millions, and if those hundreds of millions end up purchasing other country’s weapons, are we not still arming Pakistan, which potentially could be our #1 enemy after Musharraf dies naturally or otherwise, or is overthrown at the polls?

I am not against foreign aid in our interests. Foreign aid without accountability for the funds and whose hands are the ultimate recipients of those funds, is a serious and dangerous threat. The Bush Admin. has a very poor record of accountability for these funds, in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #227849

David

Your point is valid. If you are against any U.S. arms sales, that is one point of view. The point you make about Pakistan also has more merit. American arms ARE important to Pakistan. American arms were NOT the key to Saddam’s power.

My problem is not with what you call the big picture. We can debate the usefulness of arms sales. My problem is with the U.S. bashing that indicates that we created Saddam or we armed Saddam. These are just wrong. Did not happen. Are propaganda.

Saddam had a collossal arms mountain. It is more than a little silly to look at the grain of sand provided by the U.S. (in the form of dual use stuff, like fertilizer and tractors BTW) and blame the U.S. for the mountain.

I am not surprised our enemies like to make these kinds of exagurated claims, but I really cannot understand why Americans are so eager to jump on the bandwagon.

Posted by: Jack at July 30, 2007 11:15 AM
Comment #227856

Jack

July 1984 CIA begins giving Iraq intelligence necessary to calibrate its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops—Bob Woodward,CIA Aiding Iraq in Gulf War,Waqsington Post 15 December,1986

Again,intell and logistics are not something you find in a stockpile ten years later but are a big part of arming a military. Your reaction to this reminds me of Rush’s denial of the Native American Genocide.
Except for the extent your blindness manages to whitewash a repugnant past forign policy measure for domestic political consumption,it fools no one internationally,especially the Iranians.If we ever want to have a real dialog with them we will have to admit some past mistakes including the installation of the Shah or do you want to deny that also?

Posted by: BillS at July 30, 2007 12:06 PM
Comment #227862

Rhinehold,

Most importantly, my intent was not to change the focus from the debate over US support for Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war. It was only to make the point that it’s incredibly difficult for us with different political leanings to look at any historical account and arrive at the same conclusion. This is true whether it’s recent history or something long past.

In answer to the last of your questions: “Why did the committee never go beyond Butler and MacGuire’s testimony?” I don’t know. Why has there not been more concern over such revelations as the Downing Street Memo? Politics as usual? Possibly a perfect example of the American taxpayer NOT getting his/her moneys worth :-/

FYI: While the BBC program brought this to the forefront of my mind, it’s of special interest to me because I did an “extra credits” report on Jules Archer’s book: The Plot to Seize the White House in my junior year of college. (As far as the depth to which Prescott Bush was directly involved with the Nazi’s, the fact that his son was fighting in the Pacific has always caused me to take pause—suffice it to say I’m not sold on that conspiracy theory)

Jack,

“Some people are trying to find people guilty of a crime that never happened.”

Sounds like a familiar statement regarding the Valerie Plame affair, eh? :^)

Sort of furthers my point about different views of historical events.


Posted by: KansasDem at July 30, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #227869

Hearing before the Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, United States Senate:

United States Dual-Use Exports To Iraq And Their Impact On The Health Of The Persian Gulf War Veterans

Sunday Herald (a Scottish newspaper)article:
How did Iraq get its weapons? We sold them

THE US and Britain sold Saddam Hussein the technology and materials Iraq needed to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
Reports by the US Senate’s committee on banking, housing and urban affairs - which oversees American exports policy - reveal that the US, under the successive administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr, sold materials including anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs and botulism to Iraq right up until March 1992, as well as germs similar to tuberculosis and pneumonia. Other bacteria sold included brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 30, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #227881

Thanks to all for the excellent links provided.

Adrienne, thanks for the particularly pertinent link to the Senate Committee hearing.

Within the opening statement of Chairman Donald W. Riegle, Jr. is an answer to the irascible Jack:

The U.S. supplied Hussein with “WMD.”

Back in 1992, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is the Committee which has Senate oversight for the Export Administration Act, held an inquiry into the United States export policy to Iraq prior to the Persian Gulf War. During that hearing it was learned that U.N. inspectors had identified many United States-manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and that these items were used to further Iraq’s chemical and nuclear weapons development and missile delivery system development programs.

Hussein used WMD during Desert Storm which tens of thousands of veterans have fought the Pentagon over in relationship to Gulf War Syndrome. However, the munitions were largely discovered and destroyed either during the bombing

Then, in July 1993, the Czechoslovakian Minister of Defense announced that Czechoslovak chemical decontamination units had detected the chemical warfare agent Sarin in areas of northern Saudi Arabia during the early phases of the Gulf War. They had attributed the detections to fallout from coalition bombing of Iraqi chemical warfare agent production facilities.

… or by UN weapons Inspectors long prior to the Bush Jr. invasion of Iraq.

After the war, in addition to tens of thousands of other chemical munitions, U.N. inspectors-now listen carefully to this-U.N. inspectors found and destroyed 28 SCUD chemical warheads containing the chemical nerve agent Sarin.
Posted by: rowan at July 30, 2007 6:19 PM
Comment #227884

Adrienne- -Excellent response an discovery, Adrienne. I enjoy your ability in providing us with
factual material, sorta flat-lines the spinsters, in
the process, doesnt it!

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 30, 2007 6:35 PM
Comment #227901

BillS

We allowed our Arab friends to share intel with Saddam that allowed him to anticipate and defeat Iraqi attacks. I have written that on many occasions. It is not a revelation. Even today, with the benefit of hindsight, it sill looks like a reasonable response to a bad situation. Our preferred solution was a victory by neither of sides. That was a good idea.

Others

You have innuendo re the chemical weapons. I always like it when you include West Nile virus and botulism. These are not weapons of war. W. Nile doesn’t even make most people sick. Botulism gives you food poisoning. These are not pleasant, but it really is not much of a weapon. Release those W. Nile mosquitoes and maybe a couple of weeks later some people get sick, maybe some old guys die.

Saddam had WMD. We all know that. I am glad you all admit that. But his WMD was never deployed in any militarily significant way. It did not turn the tide of the Iran-Iraq war.

The U.S. traded with Iraq during the 1980s, but not much. Saddam had lots of weapons, but they were not American. Anyway, I guess you are fully admitting that we did not arm Saddam in any tangible way and have finally understood the meaning of 0.47%. So you fall back on ghost stories. Yes, we sold some computers, tractors, fertilizer and agro chemicals. All of these things can be used in some way to support a weapons program, just as you can “weaponize” a shovel or a fork.

We come to bottom lines again. You can bring up all the experts, innuendo and investigations you want. There is a bottom line. Saddam did not possess American weapons.

Let’s take YOUR method the other way. We had lots of evidence that Saddam had WMD in 2002. We could make a longer list of experts, innuendo and investigations. Yet when we found no WMD, what did you say? The same goes the other way.

I still really wonder why so many Americans want to trash their country even in the face of so much counter evidence. You got a mountain of Soviet, French, Chinese etc. weapons. Instead of looking at that, you try to find something -anything - that will allow you to blame your own country.

So this is the bottom line - you admit that we sold essentially no convential arms to Saddam. You believe that we may have sold small quantities of dual use items that Saddam COULD have converted to military purposes. But you also admit that he never did. He did not deploy antrax, botulism or the dreaded W. Nile virus, for example. But even though you think that Saddam could maintain this kind of program in secrecy - so much so that we still do not know the details - you are convinced that he stopped doing it and that he was no longer a threat after the Gulf War. From all this, you conclude that the U.S. is significantly responsible for the evil Saddam did, BUT that getting rid of him was a mistake. Does this make sense to you?

Maybe you should give a few more web links to add more manure to this pile. Of course you understand that manure is a potential dual use item.

Posted by: Jack at July 30, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #227902

Rowan:
“Adrienne, thanks for the particularly pertinent link to the Senate Committee hearing.

Within the opening statement of Chairman Donald W. Riegle, Jr. is an answer to the irascible Jack”

You know Rowan, I don’t think there are any answers or any sort of proof we could offer to people like Jack (or Loyal O, or Rhinehold) that they are willing to accept. Whatever doesn’t jibe with what they wish to believe about their preferred leaders is very quickly deemed a lie, or a “ghost story”, or a “tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theory”, or “U.S. bashing propaganda.”
To quote Jack:
“My problem is with the U.S. bashing that indicates that we created Saddam or we armed Saddam. These are just wrong. Did not happen. Are propaganda.”

Except that Reagan and Bush Sr. did create and arm the Saddam Monster at the expense of the American taxpayer, and then sent our troops over and allowed them to become the victims of the WMD they had given them. And Bush Jr. lied this country into another war over the Saddam Monster using WMD as the excuse, and again allowed the American taxpayer to foot the bill at enormous expense, and continues to feed our soldiers to the blood soaked GOP war machine.
These are not the actions of leaders, they are the actions of evil men. Monsters themselves.

What’s rather funny about this complete denial they’re maintaining on Iraqgate is that they are acting like we don’t already know that the Reagan administration also sold arms to Iran, and illegally used the profits to continue funding the Contras in Nicaragua. What’s so different about that scandal from this one? Not much. And just like in Iraqgate, in the Iran/Contra scandal the Reagan administration also destroyed large numbers of documents and withheld others from the investigators into that affair. And just like this affair was denied, Reagan appeared on national television and denied that they’d done any such thing. (Although unlike in this case, Reagan eventually had get back on the air and admit that weapons had indeed been transferred to Iran.)
Reagan and Bush Sr. got away with both of these scandals with no punishment. Just like Bush Jr. seems likely to get away with everything he has done.
It’s so disgusting. And so pathetic the way these apologists give their loyalty to such traitors. Calling anyone willing to look and try to understand what really happened “U.S. bashers” or “blame America first-ers” or “disloyal to our troops.”
They’re such a bloody bad joke.

KD:
“Sounds like a familiar statement regarding the Valerie Plame affair, eh?”

Indeed, very familiar. But it “never happened” KD. We’re just “wrong. That’s just lefty “propaganda.”

DAVID:
“Adrienne- -Excellent response an discovery, Adrienne. I enjoy your ability in providing us with
factual material,”

Thanks very much, David. I really appreciate that.

“sorta flat-lines the spinsters, in
the process, doesnt it!”

I don’t know, looks like Jack isn’t quite done spinning yet. But I’m done here. ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at July 30, 2007 9:03 PM
Comment #227904

Just realized that the second link on my previous post doesn’t work. So if anyone was interested in reading it in it’s entirety, here it is again: How Did Iraq Get Its Weapons? We Sold Them

Posted by: Adrienne at July 30, 2007 9:29 PM
Comment #227907

Jack
We did not “allow” other Arab coubtries to provide intell and logistics. We did it directly,even to the point of debriefing pilots.
We did not find WMDs to speak of because Saddam complied with the armistice terms,damned things have a shelf life anyway.Simple.
Are you being so obtuse on this as a diversion. Gorbachov is the only Russian leader the right has had any respect since the Romanovs, and he is pretty much saying that Bushco is too dangerious to leave in power.That is what we should be talking about.

Posted by: BillS at July 30, 2007 10:05 PM
Comment #227908

Adrienne

Is it spin to ask you to name ONE American weapon system that Saddam had? I know it infuriating to be confronted with a bottom line truth that contradicts all that clever lefty spin, but if we sold all this stuff to him, he should at least have something, don’t you think?

Saddam did not have American weapons. That is the ground truth. I have asked you dozens of time to name ONE weapon systems that Saddam got from American. You keep on piling on links, but none that answwer that simple question. I have to assume you got nothing because there is nothing there. When we boil off the hate, fury and frustration of the left, there is nothing left.

Passionate intensity does not substitute for real truth.

Posted by: Jack at July 30, 2007 10:06 PM
Comment #227911

Jack and Adrienne, one thing to remember here is that when we’re talking about such rudimentary chemical and biological weapons (as opposed to nuclear materials), obtaining or creating the actual substances involved is not exactly advanced science. A bright high school kid with a chemistry set could create many of these compounds.

Saying that western countries provided substances or samples of materials which have legitimate scientific and industrial uses but which could also be weaponized is NOT the same thing at all as “selling them weapons.” I’ve never seen anything to suggest that the US ever actually provided weaponized biological or chemical agents to Iraq.

What takes some skill in weaponizing these agents, but even that is relatively easy for somebody with the all of the resources of a national government behind them. It’s one of the things that’s scary about things like sarin or mustard gas. Even a single terrorist cell with a little know-how and money could potentially make and use it.

Saddam’s main WMD of choice was mustard gas. This is not exactly hard stuff to create—it just isn’t. In the west, it’s pre-World War I technology. A chlorine factory can be easily coverted to produce mustard gas, and chlorine has all kinds of civilian uses. And that’s one thing we know that Great Britain actually built in Iraq—a chlorine factory.

If you claim that we sold or gave weapons of mass destruction to Iraq, then you should claim that many a junior college chemistry or life science classroom in the United States are stocked with “Weapons of Mass Destruction” as well. Perhaps we should invade them and find out (that was a joke).

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 30, 2007 10:35 PM
Comment #227925

LO

“I;ve never seen anything to suggest the US ever actually provided weaponized biological or chemical agents to Iraq”

1988 Dow Chemical sells $1.5 million in pesticides to Iraq disite knowlege that these would be used in chemical weapons. WASHINTON POST 12/30/2002


1988 US dept. of Commerce approves shipment of WEAPONS grad antrax and botulinum to Iraq Senate Committee on Banking 5/25/1994

Know any colleges that have weapons grade anthrx laying around?If you or Jack would take an honest look at the links abundantly supplied you would find out we were knee deep in Saddams chemical weapons use. It was shameful,wrong and not a good strategy but it happened.We need to learn from past mistakes but that can only begin by admitting them. Should we deny My Lai? Should we deny Wounded Knee? Should we deny the arocities of the Philippine War?Or would you rather hear no evil,see no evil,speak no evil.

Jack

Passionate intensity does not substitute for real truth.
“I love Big Brother” G.Orwell

Posted by: BillS at July 31, 2007 2:36 AM
Comment #227930

BillS

But Saddam never deployed weapons grade anthrax or botuism. This is a bottom line. You have the theoretical coulda; I am going with the concrete, didn’t.

Beside 1.5 million dollars in pesticides? Come on. A few relatively poor farmers in the county where my tree farm is can easily spend that much in one year killing the local bugs. The same chemicals that kills weivels and beetles can be chemical weapons, so anybody who grows trees, wheat, corn of soybeans is in that business.

Do you want to outlaw agricultural trade.

Re weaponized anthrax - there really is still no such thing. It takes a lot of it at very close range. It is not useful as a bioweapon. Adriene mentioned West Nile virus. That is about as dangerous as the flu. These are bad things, but a WEAPON must kill fast enough to be useful. I does you little good if you dose the advancing army with something that will make them sick next year. Conspiracy theorists, not being practical people, usually miss such simple things.

LO also points to another simple truth that some WMD is easy to make. Saddam didn’t NEED the U.S.

This whole thing is meaningless. You guys keep on saying how he could have used U.S. stuff. The fact is that he did not.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 7:31 AM
Comment #227941

Food for thought.

Also, this from Wikipedia, for LO and Jack.

The U.S. sold Iraq $200 million in helicopters, which were used by the Iraqi military in the war. These were the only direct U.S.-Iraqi military sales and were valued to be about 0.6% of Iraq’s conventional weapons imports during the war.[31]
Ted Koppel of ABC Nightline reported the following, however, on June 9, 1992: “It is becoming increasingly clear that George Bush Sr., operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam’s Iraq into [an aggressive power]” and “Reagan/Bush administrations permitted — and frequently encouraged — the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq.”
According to New Yorker, the Reagan Administration began to allow Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt to transfer to Iraq American howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons. [32] Reagan personally asked Italy’s Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to channel arms to Iraq.[33]
The United States, United Kingdom, and Germany also provided “dual use” technology (computers, engines, etc.) that allowed Iraq to expand its missile program and radar defenses. The U.S. Commerce Department, in violation of procedure, gave out licenses to companies for $1.5 billion in dual-use items to be sent to Iraq. The State Department was not informed of this. Over 1 billion of these authorized items were trucks that were never delivered. The rest consisted of advanced technology. Iraq’s Soviet-made Scuds had their ranges expanded as a result.[34]

L

Posted by: leatherankh at July 31, 2007 10:02 AM
Comment #227956

Leather et liberals

Piece of good advice. If you go into business, pay more attention to the big things and do not get stuck in small details. AND don’t get tricked by them.

The U.S. sold $200 million in helocopters, probably for agriculture. We use helicopters to spray herbecide on my tree farm. Most things can be dual use. But were these military helicopters? Your article specifically does not say and probalby for a reason.

You want to blame the U.S. so you look up anything that could be dual use - which is almost anything. Yet you largely ignore actual weapon systems supplied by the Soviets, Chinese, French, Brazilians etc.

The U.S. supplied 0.47% of Saddam’s total arsenal. This just is not very much. Why is it so important to you to trash America?

Or let me ask this question. If the U.S. supplied 0.47% of all the foreign aid in the world, would you give the U.S. credit for saving the world? (BTW - the U.S. actually gives more than 25% of all aid, but in those cases people insist on using % of GDP)

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #227959

Jack

Again,source .47%.
It was St. Reagan and Bush that trashed America by providing the means and international cover for Saddam to use WMDs.Why is it so important to you to continue defending the trashing of American respect throughout the world?It amazes me that you would actually defend providing arms and intell to both side in a conflict. That is about as evil and morally bankrupt a policy as any in history.Why do you keep trying to drag my country into the muck?Do you like causing death? Do you like our reputation being destroyed?

Posted by: BillS at July 31, 2007 12:47 PM
Comment #227973

Jack:
“Passionate intensity does not substitute for real truth.”

BillS:
“”I love Big Brother” G.Orwell”

Yeah, I’m sure Jack considers us a couple of ungood proles who are doubleplus ungood crimethinkers, Bill.
We’re nothing like the goodthinkers of the Inner Party who are doubleplus good at crimestop.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 31, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #227974

Bill S. and Adrienne,

This really is a must read if you want to know even more about the US arming Saddam:

http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1992/h920707g.htm

It’s a bit long, but it also brings back to mind Henry B. Gonzalez’ attempt’s at impeaching Reagan and later George HW Bush. Guaranteed to make you cringe.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 31, 2007 3:43 PM
Comment #227978

Thanks Adrienne
I needed a chuckle.Jack has me baffeled here. This is Jack. He knows he is spinning. Why? Its almost funny,”these are Duel Use. Of course you could blow up a city with it but you could also set your coffee cup on it so its really a coffee table and just where is this alleged coffee table now if we supplied it 20 years ago?Huh? Huh?”

Posted by: BillS at July 31, 2007 4:32 PM
Comment #227979

Good work, Kansas Dem! (You lovable old crimethinker, you.)
I must say, this bit certainly rang a current bell:

These are frightened officials who apparently cannot face having their actions judged by the Congress. They hide behind the cloak of secrecy rather than facing up to their actions. The President, or at least people acting in his name and apparently with his knowledge, has conspired to keep the truth about his Iraq policy from the very public that elected him and fought and died to support his efforts in the gulf.

Clearly the Bush Jr. Apple fell right off the same Rotten Bush Sr. Tree…

For those who saw the length of Kansas Dem’s link and didn’t want to read the whole thing, here’s the Cliffnotes version of that Henry Gonzales speech in the House of Representatives:

A CIA report of November 6, 1989, indicates termination of the $1 billion fiscal year 1990 CCC Program will harm United States-Iraq relations.
In recent weeks President Bush has been characterizing his administration’s actions for Iraq as proper and above board. `We were just trying to bring Iraq and Saddam Hussein into the society of law-abiding nations.’ What a funny way to do that, by arming them, arming him in a way that I will show later on was unparalleled with any other country outside of the top two superpowers. He states that his plan was to woo Saddam Hussein with agriculture credits in order to encourage Iraq to join the family of nations, as I said. At least the President is now admitting that his policy failed, but he is still intent on misleading the public about certain aspects related to the CCC Program for Iraq and the BNL scandal and how the credits were multiplied, obtained through the BNL scheme of financing and this elaborate network of procurement that Iraq built up for military hardware, including chemical weaponry and nuclear.
It is obvious that the White House and the State Department did not act properly in granting the $1 billion in CCC credits to Iraq in November 1989. They ignored many warning signs in granting agricultural credits to Iraq as well as what I am not mentioning here, and that is quite a number of hundreds of millions of dollars in export-import guarantees, on which Iraq has defaulted. For example, Iraq was not creditworthy, and this was known and set forth, when the decision was made to give them $1 billion in those new credits in 1989. TheIraq CCC Program was rife with corruption. We brought that out in the hearing we had in the committee, which at that time nobody was paying much attention to last year, and there was no proof that commodities destined for Iraq in the shape of agriculture commodities ever arrived in Baghdad.
The Lemay memo of October 13, 1989, indicated that there was a risk that Iraq was diverting agriculture credits to pay for weapons and nuclear equipment. In fact, just this morning it was announced on the radio that the United Nations is demanding access to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture’s records. Clearly the United Nations suspects that Saddam Hussein used the CCC Program to acquire weaponry.
Well, I would like at this point in the Record, and I ask consent to do so, to refer to an article that I first read before the firing started in the Persian Gulf. And it was from, it is from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist. So many of my colleagues and others in the news media seem to think that I came across this and that the documents that I have been putting in the Record would be the exclusive source. Absolutely not. I had been triggered by such articles as this and others.

This article is entitled `Fueling the Fire: How We Armed the Middle East.’ And in it it says on the very first page, `The arms-trade danger is underscored by the relative ease with which Saddam Hussein was able to assemble a massive arsenal of conventional weapons. Between 1981 and 1988,’ that was the Iran-Iraq war in which, I think, very few Americans realized we were wholeheartedly committed by the Reagan administration on the side of Iraq, `Iraq purchased an estimated 46.7 billion dollars’ worth of arms and military equipment from foreign suppliers, the largest accumulation ever of modern weapons by a Third World country. Included in the largesse were some 2,300 modern Soviet and Chinese tanks, 64 Mirage F-1 fighters armed with Exocet missiles,’ and it was one of those from Iraq that killed 37 of our sailors in the Persian Gulf, `2,650 armed personnel carriers, and 350 Scud-B surface-to-surface missiles.’

By the time Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, arms export restraint was no longer a major objective of U.S. foreign policy. Nonetheless, Reagan felt compelled to denounce his predecessor’s initiatives and to promulgate a new, open-door approach to foreign military sales. In a May 1981 speech unveiling the new policy, Undersecretary of State James L. Buckley affirmed that `this Administration believes that arms transfers, judiciously applied, can complement and supplement our own defense efforts and serve as a vital and constructive instrument of our foreign policy.’ 9 Reagan quickly approved the sale of F-16 fighters to Pakistan, F-15s and AWACS radar patrol planes to Saudi Arabia. AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunships to Jordan, and similar items to other U.S. clients in the Middle East and Asia.

U.S. arms flowed to the Third World in record amounts. Capped by a $5 billion sale of F-15s and AWACS to Saudi Arabia, total U.S. military sales rose to $19.1 billion in fiscal 1981, an all-time record. Only the oil-induced recession of 1983-84, which greatly constricted the spending ability of would-be Third World arms buyers, prevented new records from being set in subsequent years. The recession notwithstanding, Washington continued to use arms sales to extend U.S. influence abroad and to counter similar efforts by the Soviet Union. `Arms sales are the hard currency of foreign affairs,’ an unidentified State Department official told U.S. News and World Report in 1983. `They replace the security pacts of the 1950s.’

As in past years, both superpowers also sought to woo away each other’s allies and clients, often using arms transfers in the process. The Soviet Union, for instance, has readily supplied Jordan and Kuwait with modern weapons when leaders of these countries encountered difficulty in obtaining high-tech systems from the West. The United States, for its part, has encouraged several long-standing Soviet allies, including India and Iraq, to diminish their military dependence on the Soviet Union. Consistent with this policy, the Reagan administration raised no objection to French sales of advanced missiles and aircraft to Iraq, or to Brazilian sales of multiple-launch rocket systems. In a further effort to pull Baghdad out of the Soviet orbit, Reagan (and later Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of $1.5 billion worth of sophisticated U.S. scientific and technical equipment—much of which has apparently been used in the development of conventional, nuclear, and chemical weapons. Indeed, so eager was Washington to forge links with Iraq that Reagan and Bush continued to allow deliveries of such equipment even after it had become evident that this technology was being diverted for military purposes, and long after Iraq had used chemical weapons in attacks on Iran and its own Kurds.
Despite progress on the rhetorical front, however, the superpowers have taken no steps to curb their exports of conventional arms to the Third World. As noted above, the United States has announced record-breaking sales to Saudi Arabia, and sales of sophisticated arms to Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are in the offing. The Soviet Union continues to supply major equipment to India, Libya, and Syria, and was pouring arms into Iraq until the moment Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait.
There is no escape from this pattern if the major powers continue to view arms exports as tools of convenience in their quest for political advantage, and if regional powers continue to rely on military means to resolve disputes with their neighbors, U.S. and Soviet leaders—and subsequently, the leaders of France, Britain, and China—must be convinced that a stable international order cannot be achieved in a world of uncontrolled arms transfers, and that curbs on arms are essential to post-Cold War stability. At the same time, Middle Eastern leaders must be persuaded that the best hope for long-term protection against dissension and bloodshed lies with a regional peace agreement that respects the national aspirations of unrepresented peoples, eliminates nuclear and chemical weapons, and limits the acquisition of offensively oriented conventional weapons.
Presidents Bush and Gorbachev have spoken glowingly of the new world order they hope to construct on the ruins of the Cold War system. But a new order cannot be built on the premises that have guided international behavior in the past. Obsolete practices will have to be abandoned, particularly the practice of supplying implements of war in return for political promises and favors. Only when munitions are eschewed as an instrument of statecraft and diplomacy will a more peaceful order be possible.

Which brings us full circle, right back to the topic of Rowan’s article.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 31, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #227980

BillS:
“He knows he is spinning.”

Yes, he knows it, and we all know it.

“Why?”

Goodthinker of the Inner Party really is my best guess.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 31, 2007 5:12 PM
Comment #227993

All

There is a change comming. This time lets finish the job and drive ALL the militarist and imperialist from the halls of power. Lets do what Eisenhower said and put real and closely monitored ristrictions on the influence of the MIC.For starters lets get congress to redefine offering or accepting a bribe from a defense contractor as treason,a capital offense.

Posted by: BillS at July 31, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #227994

Let me repeat again - what happens actually matters more than what could have happened.

Saddam’s did not deploy any U.S. weapons significant systems. He may have used some dual use things for transport. In that case, you might also fault Toyota for selling light trucks.

Those dual use chemicals etc were also never deployed. W. Nile, anthrax etc current cannot be deployed in a battle situation.

In any case, you are talking very small percentages, very small quantities, and no significant impact on any military outcomes.

Re my figures they came from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. I worked up that figure a long time ago. That report is evidently no longer online.
My google search turned up this this commentary based on the same source.

In any case, anybody who knows anything about Saddam’s arsenal knows that he had planes, tanks, rifles and missiles from Soviet block, China, France, and various other places, but not much from America.

You guys have been unable to name even one significant American weapons system possessed by Saddam. It is not because you are bad researchers. It is because there is nothing to find. Why don’t one of you be the first to find this secret thing?

Please tell me how it is spin to ask you to name ONE significant weapons system supplied to Saddam by the U.S.?

Even on the WMD your own sources include all sorts of weasel words AND include things like W. Nile, anthrax, botulism which WERE never deployed in battle at all.

So this is the non-spin bottom line. You are arguing that it could have happened. I guess you are right. Hypothetically the U.S. could have supplied some small amount of arms or chemicals that would be difficult to detect. I am arguing that he it DID not happen. We know that history. It did not happen.

So please name that significant U.S. weapon system we sent to Saddam and if you cannot, maybe you should reconsider your prejudice.

And maybe try to give your own country the benefit of the doubt for once. Even Obama advocates talking to the bad guys. Why are you surprised that such has happened before?

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #227999

Okay….time to throw a little duhhhhh into the mix here.
Page after page after etcccccc….have been provided showing what all was sent for Sadaam to use. I can’t see where the relevence is that he didn’t use it, but it’s the fact that we frikking sent it!!!! Intent is the major part of a “crime”…and of course the shukking and jiving and shit covering afterwards speaks volumes as well.
Valiant effort KD and Adrienne, and BillS…..but on a lost cause.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 31, 2007 9:05 PM
Comment #228007

Sandra

I do not believe all those things that say we sent it (or why), but I have found that it is no use to argue on the conspiracy theorists’ home tuft. So I go with the simple truth. The bottom line is that it never became weapons that Saddam used.

It is just silly to when you have a mountain of weapons from all over the world and cannot find even one American system to assume that the U.S. was a big supplier.

The reasoning is just defective. I have fought this lost cause on many occassions. It is a form of discipline to repeat the truth over and over and watch you liberals misunderstand and mess up.

This is a liberal-conservative divide. We are more fond of actual truth. You guys like to make endless arguments w/o bottom lines.

The bottom line is that you have nothing. Find me something and maybe we can talk.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #228009

BTW - Sandra, re intent - if you plan to rob a bank, but never do, can the police arrest you for robbery?

Do you remember the Monty Python and the Holy Grail? The unwashed peasants are saying a woman is a witch. As evidence, one guy claims she turned him into a newt. When the others look at him and see he obviously is not, he sheepishly adds, “I got better.”

This is very much like the case Adrienne et al are making.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 9:56 PM
Comment #228012

Once again, thanks for those who have shared a tremendous array of resources.

For Jack, and those like him, it is clear that no amount of evidence will be accepted or acknowledge. People like these have taken a “position” and are not open to either dialog or consideration.

I suspect that if Rumsfeld - who was one of the people responsible for making deals with Hussein - or either of the Bush presidents, or even Cheney, came out an said explicitly what has been argued here regarding Hussein that Jack would say that someone is holding a gun to their heads to get them to lie.

In other words, there is NO evidence which would be acceptable.

I have run into a number of provocateurs in my life and line of work. They like to argue and will continue to do so no matter what. For many it is a thrilling intellectual exercise. Personally, I don’t find it thrilling, and see it as a counter-intellectual exercise as fact, and proof, have nothing to do with it.

The discussion has however brought forward a tremendous number of information sources. My appreciation to you for that.

Posted by: rowan at July 31, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #228043

Jack
Intell and logistic support are significant military systems and an important ones.
The back door credit garentees we set up were used for arms purchases world wide.The weapons made have been made in France but the bill was paid by the US,Iraq defaulted mostly and us taxpayers picked up the tab.
Pesticides and precursors supplied by the US were almost certainly used in weaponry, wether the were used or destroyed after the second gulf war is an open question and largely irrelavant.
The level of evidence you demand is like claiming OJ Simpson was innocent because no one got any photos of him commiting the murders and his knife could have been used for whittling.
I know you will not listen to this but you do not get the last word here.FYI botulin is one of the most deadly poisons known. It is also easily grown and it is a simple matter to build a dipursement device that would be 100% lethal in its area of spread or maybe Saddam wanted botox treatments.

Posted by: BillS at August 1, 2007 2:30 AM
Comment #228049

Rowan

You guys have piled it really high with evidence for something that just never happened. With the benefit of 17 years of history, we know that Saddam did not use these things to make anthrax, W. Nile, botulism etc into weapons. We know that he did not deploy any significant U.S. weapons systems.

We know he had lots of Soviet, Chinese, French etc weapons. You can still see the remains if you go to Iraq. He did not have American weapons.

What you have discovered is a trading relationship between the U.S. and an agricultural country trying to industrialize. Considering the massive size of U.S. trade, it would be very surprising if you could not find such traces.

But you are grasping. When I drive my truck to the farm, it is packed with dual use technologies. The truck itself is the first. Then the rifle that can shoot a woodchuck can shoot a man. We have the saw/sword and the machete, which actually is a sword. Chemicals that kill bugs could be coverted. Even the clothes and boots are military like and a hard hat/helmet speaks for itself. Pretty sinister gear to attack a pine forest. There must be more to it, right?

Anway, when we get to the bottom line, we have could have, but did not.

BillS

Let me say again that our goal in the 1980s is for neither of the bad guys to win the war. To that end, we helped prevent an Iranian victory. That was a choice between to bad things. If you advocate the Iranians radicals (who were even more fanatical and had much more energy back then) conquering most of the Gulf region, then you can criticize the policy. Even with 20 years of subsequent history, I still think it was the best solution among many bad choices.

I would just ask you to do some math. Most of Iraq’s (more than half) were Soviet. Then came the Chinese, French etc. The American contribution was very small. I figured it at 0.47%, but lets be expansive. Say it reached 3%. What does that mean? The U.S. is the biggest economy in the world, accounting for around 25% of the WORLD total. Is it any surprise that you find American products in Iraq? What is a surprise is the very small amount.

What all of you are doing is a variation of the joint and several liability sometimes used in legal cases. You find that many people are involved, but you look to one of those least involved because you are eager to blame that one. You forget the obvious degree of involvment because you want to blame the U.S. In legal cases, lawyers go after the person who has the most money that they can grab. It is not really fair. If your parked car is hit by a drunk driver, you may be 5% responsible because of your parking job, but should you be held responsible for all HIS damages. In this case, why are you doing it.

Re botulism - there are lots of deadly poisons and diseases that are not weaponized. In order to be useful as a weapon, something needs to be efficiently deployed, safely handled and quick acting.

Guys, I listen to what you say. With all due respect, it just does not make sense. You start with an invalid proposition, one disproved by subsequent events and evidence. Then you pile on OBE’d evidence that it could have happened. Many things could have happened. This one did not.

Bill, in your OJ example, you could give all this evidence, but what if OJ really did find the “real killers”. Usually when you find out somebody else did something that is enough. In the case of Saddam, we clearly found out that someone else did it (mostly the Soviets, Chinese, French etc).

In my Monty Python example, when you saw the show, did you really think she had turned him into a newt and that he just got better?

Posted by: Jack at August 1, 2007 7:45 AM
Comment #228063

Jack:
“Guys, I listen to what you say. With all due respect, it just does not make sense.”

No, you’ve argued from a dishonest position without actually listening, and by harping on a single point which you think proves your whole argument. It doesn’t. The reason I use the word dishonest is because, as you said yourself:

“I do not have the time or inclination to read through all the sources.”

So stick with your blind partisan loyalty and remain ignorant if you wish, but don’t expect to be treated with respect from those of us who took the time to read and post these sources.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 1, 2007 10:19 AM
Comment #228069

Jack
You missed something very basic. The reason we are pointing to America is not a desire to “blame” America. It is because WE are responsible for the actions of OUR country. It is a sincere desire to see to it that our country acts ethically. This is not naive. This is practical. Much of the real problems we are facing now are the results of mis-deeds in the past.A good example is the bitterness of Iran stemming from the CIA interference in their government. Iranian influence could be the key to stability and peace in Afganistan and the ME. We will not get their help in particular because of our past actions.Helping Saddam arm is one of them.
Entirely in the relm of historical speculation. What if Iran had prevailed in the conflict? For one thing it is not likely that Iraq would have invaded Kuiwait or that we would have invaded Iraq. After a wrenching blow to oil supply lines we would probably be less dependant on forign oil by now.

Posted by: BillS at August 1, 2007 1:25 PM
Comment #228076

Adrienne

If you have read all those things, then you must be able to give me ONE major U.S. weapons system that Saddam used in his various wars. Did he have F-16s, Bradley fighting vehicles, Blackhawk helicopters or maybe Hellfire missles? Most of our allies have some or all of these things. Which ones did Saddam have?

If your sources tell us that, they might be worth reading, so since you have read them all, please let me know which of these (or other) systems Saddam possessed.

My one point disconfirms all the piled on links. Remember “she turned me into a newt”.

BTW - last time I read one of your links too carefully. You recall, the one where their own data contradicted their conclusions re pollution.

BillS

It is a matter of importance. The U.S. is the world’s biggest economy. I do not think there is anyplace in the world where you cannot find U.S. products. As far as U.S. weapons to Iraq, the amount supplied is vanishingly small. By the standard you have applied, the U.S. is responsible for everything in the world.

We can find no evidence of U.S. weapons ever being deployed by Saddam Hussein. They clearly were not instrumental in his rise to power or his wars. The term “insignificant factor” leaps to mind. If you are arguing that Saddam had some U.S. stuff, I agree. It just is not important. It had no effect. It was vanishingly small. It was not used.

Barack Obama has adovcated talking to our enemies w/o conditions. Many of you support that. If his talk is to mean anything, it may lead to some exchanges and some trade. So if Obama advocates talking to Cuba, N. Korea, etc. is he supporting their evil dicators?

You are setting up an absolute standard that cannot be met in the real world and problably not even in theory. If you hold your country (or anybody or anything else) to such a rule, you will always be disappointed.

Bottom line for you and Adrienne - name one significant U.S. weapons system. All those links and all that verbiage plus 20 years of observation must have turned up at least one significant U.S. weapons system. The man had lots of weapons. How many were American?

Posted by: Jack at August 1, 2007 4:28 PM
Comment #228086

“For Jack, and those like him, it is clear that no amount of evidence will be accepted or acknowledge. People like these have taken a “position” and are not open to either dialog or consideration.”

Rowan,

This is exactly why I used the “connect-the-dot” analogy. In this case some of the “dots” are missing entirely because complete files are still under “wraps’ in the Reagan library and elswhere, but even if (or when) all of those files are declassified Jack (and others) can still say, “well, we never provided them with an entire weapons system”.

IMO no one can look through all of the documents here, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/ and not see that we provided substantial support to Saddam. ………..sigh…………

Posted by: KansasDem at August 1, 2007 5:45 PM
Comment #228091

Jack
A major weapons system is not the only logical evidence acceptable to show US involvement. I keep saying this. Intell and battle field logistics are significant. US or proxy AWACS,bomb damage assesment,ground troops de[loyment,timeing and methods of deploying mustard gas. How about the US provising cover for Saddam against international sanctions re. poison gas deployment?We supported him. A weapons system in a stockpile somewhere is not the only evidence an unbiased observer would accept. We also helped the Iranians. Care to deny that. Name one major US weapons system Iran used.You sound like the Japanese premier that is willing to admit they forced women into sexual slavery but will not admit they forced women into sexual slavery.
The general point I had hoped you might listen to is that our interference in others countries has done us a great deal of damage and made us less safe. A reapproachment with Iran is vital if we ever want to put an end to the jihadist war.Your guy Ron Paul gets it.

Posted by: BillS at August 1, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #228098

Kansas

Saddam did not have ANY significant weapons systems. Even little U.S. allies have at least something American. Saddam, who had a fantastic asenal, did not. That tells more than all that “evidence” included in the links.

BillS

U.S. intel was important in preventing Saddam’s defeat by the Iranians. You may prefer an Iranian victory. As you mentioned, we do not know what the outcome might have been. However, it was not unreasonable for the U.S. to want neither side to win. And it clearly does not make Saddam a U.S. ally if the U.S. wants to prevent him from both winning and losing.

I am not ashamed that we provided such Intel and I am not displeased that neither Saddam nor the Iranian fanatics was able to dominate.

What I object to is the false idea that the U.S. was responsible for Saddam’s weapons build up or even that the U.S. contributed significantly to it. This is just wrong.

The Iranians under the Shah were U.S. allies. We provided a variety of weapons, which the Shah used to deter pressure from the likes of Soviet client Iraq or the Soviet Union. The relationship provided security for a generation. I am convinced that had the Shah remained in power, the Soviets would not have dared invade Afghanistan (since the Shah and the U.S. could have easily supported insurgents). Many of our current problems stem from the Soviet invasion. That led to the birth of much of radical Islam as we know it today.

There are two sorts of security mistakes: being too agressive and too weak. We supported W. Europe, Japan, Korea, the Gulf States and ASEAN. This helped create stable and peaceful societies. After the fall of the Soviet empire, we did the same for E. Europe, helping create conditions for the peaceful integration. We sold lots of things like F16s to Norway, Netherlands, Poland, S. Korea, Japan etc. It worked. In other places like Iran it did not. The record is mixed, but balanced generally toward success. The problem is that when it works, nobody pays attention. But remember this: no NATO and you would not have an EU. No security umbrella and you would have had wars in E. Europe or between Greece and Turkey. No U.S. security and Japan would have militarized. If you want to see what the world would be like w/o a strong U.S. security presence, look to the 1930s. Or just look at the places that are outside (like Darfur or Rwanda).

People might not like U.S. power, but the alternative looks worse if you really look at it.

Posted by: Jack at August 1, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #228164

Rawstory article:
US has been covertly arming Gulf States since 2004, officials say

Posted by: Adrienne at August 2, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #228210

Jack
You mentioned to security mistakes. Too weak a response and too strong a response. There is a third. Sometimes it is a mistake to get involved at all.In my opinion WW1 was such a case. Without us the European powers would have eventually stalemated,quite possibly avoiding WW2 in the European theatre. The Mid-east would also look much different.
The soviet invasion of Afganistan was a response to Islamic fundementalist attacks.They have been fighting jihadist far longer than we have. Our aiding of the Muslum insurgency was an error in my judgement.Boycotting the Olympics was as far as we should have gone. Had the Russians prevailed we would not have had 9/11 most likely and the Soviet Union would have crumbled from other reasons.
Bear in mind what I have stated often before. Historical speculations is fun but always futile.

Posted by: BillS at August 2, 2007 9:39 PM
Comment #228223

BillS

Maybe. My great grandfather was a Prussian veteran. I never met him, but I hear he was pro-Kaiser. If Germany had won, I suppose there would not have been WWII in the form we saw. Deutschland uber alles might have carried problems of its own, however.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was not the response to Muslim attacks. It was classic power politics, more akin to their invasions of Czech or Hungary or their use of surrogates in E. Germany.

I agree that historical speculations are sometimes just fun and not much else. However, this whole post was about just that. We are speculating whether or not it was a good idea to try to prevent an Iranian victory during the 1980s. We are speculating about how a U.S. contribution of 0.47% could be important. We are speculating whether or not the 1953 overthrow of Mossedeq caused the Islamic revolution in 1979. If you want to blame the U.S., all this history makes a difference.

Re the Soviet Union - it showed no signs of crumbing until the late 1980s. None of the experts predicted it. On the contrary, most experts thought it would last a long time and that we should be accomadating. The whole nuclear freeze movement was based on the continued existence of the Soviet Empire. Now everybody claims the fall was obvious. They are lying or fooling themselves.

Adrienne

We have been OVERTLY and enthusiastically arming the Gulf states for more than a generation. It is probably a good idea, given the rough neighborhood they live in. Does this bother you? If they want to spend some of those billions in oil money to buy a few F16s, I think it is a good thing.

Posted by: Jackj at August 2, 2007 11:37 PM
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