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In US eyes, the 'white hope for Arabs' was the Ba'ath Party: 'democratic... secular'... socialist." Dear Sama Hadad, In "FW: Galloway Ranaway" you wrote: > If anyone is to be ashamed it is the Ba'athists > and their supporters. In this case, the powers in Washington should sport a permanent crimson blush, but they are of course past shame. Not only were they supporters, they were the patron saints of the Ba'ath Party. In 1963 the US got the CIA to organize a coup in which Iraq's President, Qasim,(sp?) and thousands of his supporters were liquidated. This was considered a good thing by the US - killing communists: [I am quoting James Akins from an interview on PBS (2000?). He was attache at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, 1963-1965] "The Ba'ath Party had come to control. We were very happy. They got rid of a lot of communists. A lot of them were executed, or shot. This was a great development." (The CIA does not _do_ assassinations or torture - they contract these jobs out. But they teach the techniques to 'friendly' right-wing dictatorships. For example, the US and Israel trained the Shah's SAVAK in Iran; the US also trained death squads in Latin America and elsewhere, complete with manuals. That way they "got rid of" a great many communists. In Indonesia alone the US orchestrated the slaughter of an estimated 500,000 and one million PKI members and supporters. First, a successful coup had installed the dictator Suharto - and deposed Sukarno, not a communist.) If this isn't ruthless, what is? And the Ba'ath Party was seen as the antidote to communism and 'Arab nationalism' (ie, independence). By 'democratic' the US simply means 'anxious to cater to American business interests'. Again, James Akins: "The Ba'ath Party was founded in the late 1940s or so. It seemed to me, and to a lot of others in the State Department, that it was the white hope for the Arabs. It was democratic, it was secular, it was socialist." Qasim himself wasn't communist, nor was his government. Even the US admitted that. But he did flirt with the Soviet Union - and he did nationalize the oil industry in 1958. Anyway, he had to be "got rid of". "The target "suffered a terminal illness before a firing squad in Baghdad", testified a CIA member. In this PBS interview, Akins doesn't mention that coup. But he explains the official US rationale against Qasim: "After the revolution in 1958, it wasn't exactly clear what the new government would be. Would it be Arab nationalist, or would it be leftist, or would it be Iraqi nationalist? Nobody knew very much about Kassem, who became the dictator. The world's assumption was that it was going to be Arab nationalist.... Certainly Kassem couldn't be pro-American, because the old regime [the monarchy?] was too close to be associated with us, and no regime could be pro-American--rather like the regime in Iran after the overthrow of the Shah. It had to be initially anti-American. "So Kassem obviously turned to the Soviet Union for support. The communists were given a lot of power. It's an overstatement to say that this was a communist regime--it wasn't. But the communists certainly had a lot of influence in the country. The Soviet Union had a lot of influence." In other words, if in doubt...liquidate. (Aiken fails to mention _why_ the Shah was overthrown. Nor did he mention that the Shah's torture of dissidents was paid for and condoned by the US. "Why should we protest? We were on their side, remember?", said a CIA officer. After the 1979 revolution, the Iranians found CIA films instructing SAVAK on how to torture women. - The US deeply resented the 'loss of Iran'. The Shah had been very generous with oil deals.) Aiken admits that a racist America didn't exactly encourage warm feelings in young Iraqis who went to study there: "Frequently, the students who came back from the United States were not terribly pro-American, and a lot of these communists had studied in America. They were dark-skinned. They went to Texas, and they ran into racial problems. People thought that they were black, and therefore they were discriminated against." (As an aside, aren't communists people too? Castro was great friends with Pierre Trudeau and came to his funeral in 2000. The US ambassador screamed that he shouldn't be 'allowed' into Canada. Quelle arrogance! But Montrealers cheered 'viva Castro!'.] The Ba'ath Party "betrayed its own principles", says Akins. Perhaps so. But the US hasn't even got any principles - it's killing for power and gains. Saddam Hussein too was considered 'wonderful', especially after the 'loss of Iran'. Akins cites the assistant secretary for Middle Eastern affairs, gushing forth at a dinner party at the US embassy in Baghad (with Iraqi guests present): "What a wonderful person he [SH] is. This is a person we can really work with. We have a fantastic relationship. We could make lots of commercial sales, agricultural material". Akin also refers to the betrayal of the Kurds, especially Mulla Mustafa. "Do you think he felt betrayed by America?", asked the interviewer. "He was betrayed by America", said Akins. But that, he implies, was really the Kurds own fault for trusting the US government. Apparently, Akins later asked Mustafa in New York "how he possibly could have believed Henry Kissinger, when Kissinger promised to help, and did give him some help." And Mustafa had replied "Yes, yes, we were somewhat skeptical.... [but] How could I not believe the foreign minister of the United States?" 'Helping' the Kurds was only meant to destabilize the Iraqi government: "We soured on Saddam, and we did give the Kurds military support through Iran." Then the Shah made a deal with Iraq and the US dropped the Kurds (1969?). Kissinger was asked, according to Akins, "about the morality of a policy that encouraged the people to revolt against their central government in order to obtain a minor political gain for us--and then when we achieved other goals, we would betray the people and allowed them to be slaughtered." And Kissinger made his infamous quip: "Covert military action is not to be confused with missionary work." Sorry this got so long - I stuck too much between the quotes. So beware, Sama, of the US government bearing help. Remember Mulla Mustafa... and many, many others. Regards, Elga Sutter P.S. Castro made a stopover the other day. "Take care of the salmon", he told reporters. And about Iraq? He didn't mention the US, but he said if only the parties could find a way to withdraw gracefully... -- "Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will we find out that money cannot be eaten." -- Cree proverb _______________________________________________ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk