Saturday, December 20, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Rumsfeld visited Baghdad in 1984 to reassure Iraqis
With friends like the US government and Mr Rumsfeld, who needs...

Lee Penn: Why are we convinced that Iraq had WMDs? Because we gave them to Iraq in the 1980s, when the Iranians were the Enemy of the Day.


"But throughout 1980s, while Iraq was fighting a prolonged war with Iran, the United States saw Hussein's government as an important ally and bulwark against the militant Shiite extremism seen in the 1979 revolution in Iran. Washington worried that the Iranian example threatened to destabilize friendly monarchies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Publicly, the United States maintained neutrality during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, which began in 1980.

Privately, however, the administrations of Reagan and George H.W. Bush sold military goods to Iraq, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological agents, worked to stop the flow of weapons to Iran, and undertook discreet diplomatic initiatives, such as the two Rumsfeld trips to Baghdad, to improve relations with Hussein."

Maybe when Rumsfeld meets Hussein again, they can give each other high-fives and tell each other war stories. [End.]

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