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Reagan, Rumsfeld & Iraq


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
I love this article! Selective memory disorder.

Reaping the grim harvest we have sown

In December 1983, Rumsfeld, then a special envoy to the Middle East appointed by President Reagan, travelled to Baghdad to inform Saddam Hussein that the United States was ready to resume full diplomatic relations with Iraq. A lengthy report in the Washington Post on December 30, 2002 - based on analysing thousands of pages of declassified government documents and interviews with former policy-makers - said that "US intelligence and logistical support played a crucial role in shoring up Iraqi defences" following Rumsfeld's visit.

The resumption of diplomatic relations was proposed despite warnings from the State Department a month earlier that Iraq was engaging in "almost daily use of CW [chemical weapons]" in the war against Iran. At the time, the US judged that preventing an Iranian victory against Iraq was a higher policy priority than obeying the 1925 Geneva Protocol outlawing chemical warfare. [...]

These days Rumsfeld likes to downplay or even deny his role in helping arm Iraq with the makings of weapons of mass destruction. He has been quoted as saying he had "nothing to do" with helping Iraq fight Iran in the '80s. However, the Washington Post says "the documents show that his visits to Baghdad led to closer US-Iraqi cooperation on a wide variety of fronts". [...]

It is in no one's interests for Saddam Hussein to retain deadly weapons he has shown no compunction about using in the past, including on his own citizens. But by what crazy logic does the West go to war to disarm him of weapons it supplied in the first place? Instead of so-called smart bombs, how about a bit of smart diplomacy? [...]

=> Reaping the grim harvest we have sown

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