Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

US Middle East/Afghanistan Meddling Began Way Before 9/11. How Much Of An Improvement Have You Seen?

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2021

However, it was not the first time that “Iraqgate”–as the scandal of US military and political support for Hussein in the ’80s has been dubbed–has raised its embarrassing head in the corporate media, only to be quickly buried again.

On August 18, 2002, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, “Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas”. Quoting anonymous US “senior military officers”, the NYT “revealed” that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided “critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war”. The story made a brief splash in the international media, then died.

While the August 18 NYT article added new details about the extent of US military collaboration with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s 1980-88 war with Iran, it omitted the most outrageous aspect of the scandal: not only did Ronald Reagan’s Washington turn a blind-eye to the Hussein regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Iraq’s Kurdish minority, but the US helped Iraq develop its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.

Nor did the NYT dwell on the extreme cynicism and hypocrisy of President George Bush II’s administration’s citing of those same terrible atrocities–which were disregarded at the time by Washington–and those same weapons programs–which no longer exist, having been dismantled and destroyed in the decade following the 1991 Gulf War–to justify a massive new war against the people of Iraq.

A reader of the NYT article (or the tens of thousands of other articles written after the war drive against Iraq began in earnest soon after September 11, 2001) would have looked in vain for the fact that many of the US politicians and ruling class pundits who demanded war against Hussein–in particular, the one of the most bellicose of the Bush administration’s “hawks”, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld–were up to their ears in Washington’s efforts to cultivate, promote and excuse Hussein in the past.

See the rest here

NORM DIXON writes for Australia’s Green Left Weekly.

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