Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fisk On Covert U.S. Support For Saddam

Robert Fisk in the Independent:

We've shut him up. The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe. The shameless, outrageous, covert military support which the United States - and Britain - gave to Saddam for more than a decade remains the one terrible story which our presidents and prime ministers do not want the world to remember. And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support - given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War - is dead.

Gone is the man who personally received the CIA's help in destroying the Iraqi communist party. After Saddam seized power, US intelligence gave his minions the home addresses of communists in Baghdad and other cities in an effort to destroy the Soviet Union's influence in Iraq. Saddam's mukhabarat visited every home, arrested the occupants and their families, and butchered the lot. Public hanging was for plotters; the communists, their wives and children, were given special treatment - extreme torture before execution at Abu Ghraib.

There is growing evidence across the Arab world that Saddam held a series of meetings with senior American officials prior to his invasion of Iran in 1980 - both he and the US administration believed that the Islamic Republic would collapse if Saddam sent his legions across the border - and the Pentagon was instructed to assist Iraq's military machine by providing intelligence on the Iranian order of battle. ...

Iran's official history of the eight-year war with Iraq states that Saddam first used chemical weapons against it on 13 January 1981. AP's correspondent in Baghdad, Mohamed Salaam, was taken to see the scene of an Iraqi military victory east of Basra. "We started counting - we walked miles and miles in this fucking desert, just counting," he said. "We got to 700 and got muddled and had to start counting again ... The Iraqis had used, for the first time, a combination - the nerve gas would paralyse their bodies ... the mustard gas would drown them in their own lungs. That's why they spat blood."

At the time, the Iranians claimed that this terrible cocktail had been given to Saddam by the US. Washington denied this. But the Iranians were right. The lengthy negotiations which led to America's complicity in this atrocity remain secret - Donald Rumsfeld was one of President Ronald Reagan's point-men at this period - although Saddam undoubtedly knew every detail. But a largely unreported document, "United States Chemical and Biological Warfare-related Dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War", stated that prior to 1985 and afterwards, US companies had sent government-approved shipments of biological agents to Iraq. These included Bacillus anthracis, which produces anthrax, and Escherichia coli (E. coli). That Senate report concluded that: "The United States provided the Government of Iraq with 'dual use' licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological and missile-systems programs, including ... chemical warfare agent production facility plant and technical drawings, chemical warfare filling equipment." ...

The whole truth died with Saddam Hussein in the Baghdad execution chamber yesterday. Many in Washington and London must have sighed with relief that the old man had been silenced for ever.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that link, Mr. F -- would that there were more Robert Fisks on the planet....

And also, thanks for all the enlightenment you've provided to your readers in 2006... When I read articles such as this one I realize that the need to transmit the other side of the story to Americans and to the world is so crucial... the only reason that the Bush crime family and all the other world crime families can get away with what they're doing is because the public is so drugged and uninformed.

As the Irish say, May God hold you in the hollow of His/Her hand.

Dena

12/31/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Thank you indeed for the fine words of encouragement.

(Bows deeply)

And also for all of your perceptive observations throughout the past year.

We are doing our small bit to illuminate the masses to the crimes being committed in their names.

12/31/2006 4:51 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

While I certainly have little empathy for Saddam Hussein, people in this country need to understand that our hands are filthy dirty in this entire thing. People are so willing to buy into the "USA good, Saddam evil" storyline that they fail too see what we did to facilitate his brutality. So who from the U.S. is going to hang for what happened in Irag and Iran in the 1980s? Saddam becomes the ultimate scapegoat - the fool, if you will - just as our leadership would have it.

God Bless America. And God help us.

1/02/2007 9:27 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

Not only will nobody hang, nobody even has the decency to hang their head in shame over their enabling of the excesses of the late Iraqi dictator.

They are too busy on the lookout for another American-friendly strongman, wherever in the world will be of most use to us next.

1/03/2007 7:52 AM  

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