Friday, 11 October 2002

Helping Iraq Kill with Chemical Weapons

You may feel disgusted by the hypocrisy of US plans to make war on Iraq and sickened at the inevitable slaughter of thousands of people. But if you could only vaguely recall the details of how deep the hypocrisy goes, then read on.

The US not only helped arm Iraq with military equipment right up to the time of the Kuwait invasion in 1989, as did Germany, Britain, France, Russia and others, but also sold and helped Iraq to integrate chemical weapons into their US-provided battle plans while fighting Iran between 1985-1988.

According to a New York Times article in August, 2002, Col. Walter P. Lang, a senior defense intelligence officer at the time, explained that D.I.A. and C.I.A. officials "were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose" to Iran. "The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern," he said. One veteran said, that the Pentagon "wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas." "It was just another way of killing people _ whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference."

Now consider just how deceptive the recent comments from the White House are. In late September spokesman Ari Fleischer said that British Prime Minister Blair's dossier of evidence is "frightening in terms of Iraq's intentions and abilities to acquire weapons." A few days later, while making his case against Saddam, President Bush said "He's used poison gas on his own people." Bush deceives because he hides the fact that US officials, including his father, had no qualms about helping Saddam gas Iranians. What is truly frightening are the US policies toward Iraq, the cover ups of those policies, and the US officials who personally profit in the millions of dollars from those policies. To whatever degree Saddam is a tyrant, he would not be that without the US government.

The question is not whether Saddam is willing to use chemical or other weapons of mass destruction again. The question is whether the US is currently selling and helping countries use weapons of mass destruction.

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