The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Introduction to Wonderland: the story of Iraq The story of Iraq is a great way to learn the truth, Neo. It will show you which choice we made at the end of WW II. The story, if studied carefully, may help you penetrate the Matrix. Much of the story of Iraq is public, but not quite put together so people can understand it. It's also a great example because most of this story happened after the fall of the Soviet Union -- so we don't have to wonder whether our government's actions were meant to defend us from the "communist menace." The Official Story Let's start with the Official Story -- the things you hear all the time: We attacked Iraq (and have sanctions on Iraq) because Hussein is a murderous dictator who used chemical weapons against his own people The US defended the innocent country of Kuwait against aggression, because we will not let aggressors pick on small countries The US attacked Iraq's military with surgical precision. The war and the sanctions which followed were carefully crafted to avoid civilian casualties. The US wanted, and still wants, the people of Iraq to overthrow Hussein The US works to promote democracy and human rights in the world Questions And here are some questions you might consider about the whole affair: Why did we leave Hussein, the latest Hitler, in power--when we were willing to take out Noriega, a minor thug, in Panama? Before our attack in 1991, we said repeatedly that we wanted the Iraqi people to overthrow Hussein--but when the Iraqis rebelled against Hussein immediately after our attack, we gave no help at all and allowed Hussein to crush them. Why? Hussein is indeed a monster, having used chemical weapons against his own people in 1988. Why did we do nothing when that happened, if we care about human rights? Likewise, the Turkish government has carried out vicious attacks against their Kurdish people. Why aren't we concerned about their human rights violations? Shouldn't we use sanctions against Turkey too? If we are concerned about weapons of mass destruction held by countries that attack their neighbors, why aren't we concerned about Israel's nuclear weapons? Now let's see if we can make sense of these "facts" and questions. The Truth -- Iran 1951 to late 70's To understand the Iraq story, we need to start with Iran. In 1951, Iran had a parliamentary government, a type of representative democracy like that of Britain and Canada. One of the ministers, Mossadegh, organized the parliament to take over the oil industry (primarily from the British). In other words, they decided it was not fair for their major natural resource to be controlled by foreigners. Now they didn't just take it. They offered the British 25 percent of the profits and allowed the British employees to keep working there. This wasn't good enough, so the CIA began working to overthrow the Iranian government, and in 1953 Iran's parliamentary democracy was overthrown and replaced by a dictator, the Shah. [For a brief, fascinating insight into the CIA, read Morpheus' interview with a former, disillusioned, US intelligence agent .] You might think the "liberal media" would have a problem with this. Instead, one year later, on August 6, 1954, a New York Times editorial said: "Underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserk with fanatical nationalism." And what is "fanatical nationalism"? Again, it's the crazy idea that a small country should have control of its own resources. The Official Story, of course, was that the independent Mossadegh really planned to turn over the oil and power to the Soviet Union. The facts do not support this (see Blum, Killing Hope, pp 64-72). But what if they did? Did the Iranian people benefit from their "rescue" from the communist menace? No--they got the Shah and his secret police, SAVAK, who ruled the country with terror, torture, and murder for the next quarter century--WITH OUR SUPPORT. As Blum explains: Amnesty International summed up the situation in 1976 by noting that Iran had "the highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts and a history of torture which is beyond belief. No country in the world has a worse record in human rights than Iran." (Killing Hope, p 72) Incidentally, the US got control of 40 percent of Iranian oil in the deal. This situation persisted until the late 70's when a popular revolution overthrew the Shah and put the Ayatollah Khomeini in power. The Shah, our good friend, was given asylum. (I remember seeing him shaking hands with our leaders on TV) The Ayatollah, for (now) obvious reasons, began calling the US the "Great Satan." Later, in 1979, Iranian students took over the US embassy there, taking the employees hostage for a year because they claimed that the US was attempting to overthrow their governmentagain , using the embassy to coordinate efforts. The Iran-Contra affair showed that this effort continued into the 1980's. If you want to overthrow a government, what you do is identify people inside the military and offer them arms and support. That's why we were sending arms, through Israel, to Iran. Many Americans remember the late 70s and early 80s when this was happening. I was one of them, Neo. I never heard why the Iranians thought we were the "Great Satan" -- in fact it was suggested repeatedly that they were just crazy "Arab" extremists who hated us for no good reason. They never explained that we overthrew the Iranian government before and that we were trying to do it again. This was verified in the fascinating email of a former Iranian-American citizen in his mid-30s, who remembers this story clearly from his teenage years when his parents took him back to Iran, when he could only read English and the English news. So he watched one thing with his own eyes, but read another. Incredible. The Truth -- Iraq Once you understand the truth behind Iran, Iraq is easier to understand. 1970's to 1989 Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq in the late 1970s. Eventually, Hussein got into a war with Iran. The US supported Hussein because Iran had become our enemy (for having removed our dictator). Our support for Iraq was quite strong as can be shown by the fact that in May 1987, an Iraqi missile hit the USS Stark killing 37 sailors. They got a tap on the wrist for this -- which shows our government was really committed. In 1988, the USS Vincennes was patrolling the Gulf and shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in a commercial flight corridor. 290 people died. This was an accident, according to The Official Story. Although most of us believed it, Iran didn't and subsequently gave up. Shortly afterwards, Hussein committed the worst atrocities of his career -- he used chemical weapons against his own people, the Kurdish citizens in the north. An estimated ten thousand Kurds died from the chemical weapons attack and another 40,000 died from conventional weapons used at the same time. Despite outcries in the international community, comparing Hussein's use of chemical weapons to Hitler, the United States did nothing to respond to these atrocities. In fact, in 1989, during our invasion of Panama, the US expedited loans to Iraq to "put us in a better position to deal with Iraq" on human rights violations. Notice that later, we had a different method, sanctions, that we used to deal with "human rights violations". 1990 to present In 1990, Hussein complained of "slant drilling" by Kuwait. In other words he was saying that Kuwait was angling their oil drilling rigs to tap into oil that was actually underneath Iraq. [A young friend of mine was actually in the Persian Gulf. One of his fellow soldiers, who used to work oil rigs in the south, actually saw the Kuwaiti rigs and confirmed this.] After much the saber-rattling, it appeared Iraq was about to invade. During congressional hearings, a Bush administration official was asked whether we had any treaties that would require us to intervene if Iraq attacked. He said "no" and the next day Iraq invaded--August 2, 1990. President Bush (senior) and Margaret Thatcher (Great Britain) immediately compared Hussein to Hitler and expressed hope for a popular uprising to depose him. This hope was repeated several times in the next few months. In January 1991, our government launched Desert Storm, the attack in which one hundred thousand Iraqi soldiers were killed and along with some 100 US soldiers. Immediately after we ended our attack, there were uprisings against Saddam. We were there in force, but we did nothing to stop the vicious Iraqi counterattack that crushed the rebellion with extreme violence and kept Saddam in power. Interestingly, the media did notice this, and in July 1991, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times had this to say: "Sooner or later, Mr. Bush argued, sanctions would force Mr. Hussein's generals to bring him down, and then Washington would have the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein." Curiously, Mr. Friedman didn't seem to find this idea disturbing at all -- that the "best of all worlds" was not a democracy but an iron-fisted dictatorship. And later you can find reporters in the New York Times and in many other publications extolling our greatness and our commitment to human rights in the world. Interesting. The sanctions against Iraq continued -- during which roughly one million people have died for lack of food, sanitation, and medicine. Most of these people are children. See this link for a detailed description of the state of the Iraqi people after several years of sanctions. Was this intentional? Yes. Thomas Nagy published his findings in the September 2001 issue of The Progressive--describing declassified Defense Information Agency documents. As he states: Over the last two years, I've discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway. The primary document, " Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities ," is dated January 22, 1991. It spells out how sanctions will prevent Iraq from supplying clean water to its citizens. Don't trust Nagy--read it yourself. If the Defense Department takes it offline, see this copy. >From time the time we have increased our bombing attacks, such as in December 1998. An explanation >was needed for this, and we got one. In a New York Times article , then Secretary of State >Madeleine Albright made this remarkable statement: " We have come to the determination that the Iraqi people would benefit if they had a government that really represented them." Assuming she was telling the truth, I'll leave it to you to consider what it means that in December 1998, the US finally decided that the most recent incarnation of Hitler was not the best ruler for the Iraqi people. Now (December 2001) Now, the US government wants to use 911 as an excuse to replace the Iraqi government by force. Of course, if they planned to replace it with a democratic government, that would be a welcome change. Recent history, unfortunately, assures us that this is not the plan. Please read this important essay for an analysis of what's planned and why we should oppose it, by Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, former UN humanitarian coordinators for Iraq who both resigned in protest of the "genocidal" effects of the sanctions. So, How Dangerous Was Iraq? Saddam Hussein was painted as a great danger to the planet to encourage us to go to war. Now of course he was a danger, but the danger was greatest when we were supporting him the most during the late 80's. That's when he had the most power and when he committed his most atrocious crimes. He already had chemical weapons at Continued... http://7mares.terravista.pt/morpheus_smith/wonderland.html --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk