Monday, January 29, 2007
Western Support for Saddam
Thanks to BarryLando.com and Barry's work in conjunction with Canal + France, we know more about America's involvement in the support of Saddam Hussein against the Iranians in the 1980's. We also learn more about about how United Nations sanctions against Iraq did not hurt Saddam, but hurt his people greatly.
We all know that Saddam used weapons of mass destruction to kill many of his people. But what is not commonly known is that Donald Rumsfeld met with and shook hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983, and although it is not known what went on in this meeting, only a couple of months later, Saddam used chemical weapons on his people. In an effort to support Iraq against Iran, the US provided satellite imagery to the Iraqis about Iranian troop formations. The Iraqis used nerve gas against the Iranians after receiving this intelligence.
George W Bush cited the village of Halabja, whose residents were killed in 1988 by chemical weapons, as a reason to overthrow Saddam Hussein. But at the time it happened, no western governments wanted to talk about it. Partly because of its support of Iraq over Iran, and partly because what Lando and Canal + France say was western desire to control Iraqi petroleum, the US and other western governments ignored Halabja when it happened. Opposition in the US to legislation to place sanctions on Saddam were orchestrated by Colin Powell, at that time National Security Adviser. French and German companies had sold chemicals and other equipment to Iraq in the 1980s. Records of these sales are kept under lock and key in the United Nations.
Sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Iraq for 12 years is estimated to have caused the deaths of at least 500,000 Iraqis. Despite knowledge of death rates under the sanctions, the UN continued the sanctions. Medications, including rehydration fluids, ran out quickly. Some politicians in Washington accused those warning of the mass deaths of succumbing to Saddam's propaganda. The allegation is made in the following video that the west deliberately targeted water and electrical supplies in Iraq. Untreated water resulted in mass outbreak of disease. The theory was that if the people of Iraq were hurt by the sanctions, they would rise up against Saddam. But in reality, the Iraqi people blamed the west. The embargo is now over, but Iraqi doctors still don't have the supplies they need. The United Nations kept the embargo in place even though it was learned that Saddam was circumventing the embargo and that only the Iraqi people were suffering.
For more information, visit barrylando.com. Barry is the recent author of the book WEB OF DECEIT: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush.