Monday, March 21, 2005

Time for another history lesson

In the comments to a previous post, my conservative friend Alamo City Commando asks “why the left has this fanatical love for mass murderers like Saddam Hussein...”

Ouch! That’s quite a charge to level at those pathetic liberals. No wonder they are so despised today!
But wait! Let’s look at this another way. If it is fair to say that liberals “love” Saddam because they opposed the Iraq war, then it must also be fair to say that President Bush “loves” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il because he does not currently favor launching a military invasion to oust his corrupt government and free the people of North Korea.
And Kim Jong Il actually has WMDs!!! Why does Bush have this fanatical love for Kim Jong Il??? Why does George Bush hate America??? Please help me understand how this can be, Commando.

Commando goes on to state that Saddam “would still be in power if it were up to (the liberals).”

Oh, my! Looks like it’s time for another history lesson.

Which U.S. president had a secret policy to give financial support to Saddam Hussein that helped build up his military might?
For the answer click here.

Which U.S. president signed a top secret national security directive ordering closer ties with Saddam Hussein’s government long after he had committed the mass murders of the Kurds in his own country?
Click here for the answer.

That’s right. The Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, over the objections of congressional Democrats, helped to build Saddam’s military and supplied him with most of the chemical weapons that he used in his attacks on the Iranians and the Kurds. Why were we so certain that Saddam had WMDs? Because we gave them to him! We just failed to realize or accept that he had gotten rid of them over the years.

Here is an excellent chronology detailing U.S. involvement in supporting Saddam’s regime.

Here are some key excerpts:

February, 1982. Despite objections from congress, President Reagan removes Iraq from its list of known terrorist countries.

1982-1988. Defense Intelligence Agency provides detailed information for Iraq on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for air strikes and bomb damage assessments.

November, 1983. A National Security Directive states that the U.S would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing its war with Iran.

October, 1983. The Reagan Administration begins secretly allowing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to transfer United States weapons, including Howitzers, Huey helicopters, and bombs to Iraq. These shipments violated the Arms Export Control Act.
(Oops! So much for whatever was necessary and legal)

November 1983. George Schultz, the Secretary of State, is given intelligence reports showing that Iraqi troops are daily using chemical weapons against the Iranians.
(Our first verification that Saddam is a mass murderer who uses WMDs in direct violation of global treaties. And what is our response?)

December 20, 1983. Donald Rumsfeld , then a civilian and now Defense Secretary, meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him of US friendship and materials support.
(We send Donald Rumsfeld over there to shake Hussein’s hand! )

It only gets worse from there - like the part about the U.S. and Great Britain blocking all U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Iraq for its use of chemical weapons or the U.S. Department of Commerce authorizing weapons-grade shipments of anthrax and botulinum to Iraq after Saddam had used chemical weapons against the Kurds “killing over 100,000 civilians and destroying over 1,200 Kurdish villages.”

There is lots more history of U.S. support for Iraq here and here.

But the point here is to emphasize how outrageous and hypocritical it is for conservatives to now be blaming liberals for Saddam Hussein and his regime. So Saddam might still be in power today if liberals had there way. So what? The time to get rid of Saddam was 20 years ago. By 2003, the threat posed by Hussein had diminished significantly according to the Duelfer report. While Saddam was a threat we were on his side, supporting him with arms and funding. After he had lost most of that capacity due to U.N. sanctions and had been reduced to a delusional old man writing bad novels, we decide to launch a costly military invasion.
And now we are supposed to believe that it was all done for humanitarian reasons because this administration loves freedom. Bull!

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