This collection of information will largely deal with why I am not for the war against IRAQ.
Is IRAQ the only current threat and that is why we are going after him?
Though Iraq does not threaten us, has not attacked us, cannot defeat us, and does not want war with us, the United States is about to invade and occupy that country. If we do, it will be the first purely imperial war in our history, a war launched to reshape the domestic politics and foreign policy of another nation to conform to our own.
North Korea openly defied EVERYONE, did we resolve to deal with them peacefully? They even tested weapons, so they seem like more of a threat, they even admit they have them. So don't tell me it is about fear of more attacks.
Absolutely not. Saddam is a brutal dictator who should be overthrown. But this is not the job of the US government. If the US removes Saddam, the US will only install a new dictatorship to benefit US oil companies and US corporate interests. Only the Iraqi masses themselves can create a government that serves their interests.
I will later show you multiple examples of US doing this.
The US isn't targeting Iraq to prevent the acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction by a dictator. The US government supports all sorts of kings and dictators in the Middle East and around the world, many of whom have biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The US supports Pakistani military dictator General Musharraf who almost used nuclear weapons against India last spring. The US's biggest ally in the region, Israel, possesses approximately 200 nuclear weapons, far more than any other country in the Middle East. When North Korea admitted to having several nuclear weapons, Bush hypocritically announced that diplomacy, not war, would be enough to pressure North Korea to reduce its nuclear weapons build-up.
The US is the country with the most weapons of mass destruction in the world. The US is the only country that has ever used a nuclear weapon on another country - when it dropped atomic bombs on Japan in World War II, killing 200-300,000 people. In Vietnam, the US used chemical warfare such as cancer-causing Agent Orange and flesh-burning napalm. The US has even tested biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons on its own civilians and troops, exposing more than 250,000 Americans to nuclear radiation (Tashiro, Discounted Casualties).
The Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review describes the US's new policy of willingness to use nuclear weapons in a first strike to eliminate any potential threat from a perceived enemy nation. How can the US claim that Iraq is such a threat, when no evidence of Iraqi nuclear weapons has been produced, while the US has clearly announced its willingness to attack a hit list of seven nations with nuclear weapons?
And we also have UN, World Court, and Security Council rulings against us. So its not like IRAQ is the only one defying them. Oh yeah, we have also been deemed guilty of terroristic acts by the latter 3 too.
Oh, we can't prove it. But we KNOW they have the chemical weapons. How you ask?
Possibly. Saddam is an authoritarian dictator interested in increasing his power by acquiring weapons of mass destruction. And since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is much easier for governments to buy these weapons on the black market. In 1988 Saddam massacred 5,000 Kurds (an ethnic group in Northern Iraq) in Halabja with mustard and nerve gas, and he used chemical weapons in the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war.
But where did Saddam get these weapons of mass destruction? According to the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the Reagan/Bush Sr. administration approved the sale of biological and chemical agents - including anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever, and botulism - to Saddam during the 1980's, even after he used chemical weapons against the Iraqi Kurds. As Representative Louise M. Slaughter from New York put it: "Sure he has biological weapons. We gave them to him."
After the Islamic fundamentalists took over the 1979 workers' revolution in Iran, the US feared the spread of Iran's theocratic, anti-western ideology to oil-rich Arab states. So they backed Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, regardless of his use of chemical weapons, and continued to sell him chemical and biological weapons.
Also, the former head of the UN weapons inspections team in Iraq, Scott Ritter, firmly believes that the vast majority of Iraq's weapons have been destroyed by previous inspections, and that the decade-long economic sanctions have rendered the remainder useless.
But wasn't Saddam behind the 9-11 attacks?
Also, bush likes to throw in the link to Al Qaeda. No single shred of proof has been given. Ranks right up there with his saying they have WMD. I believe they do, but cannot say for sure.
Of course after taking over IRAQ, we will allow them to choose their leader?
The US is openly considering a military occupation of Iraq, and placing US General Tommy Franks in charge. Foreign oil companies and politicians are discussing how to divide up Iraq's oil after a US war. If the US was truly interested in democracy for Iraq, it would let the Iraqi masses control their own resources, organize elections on their own, and vote for their own representatives.
After the US toppled the Taliban, no democratic elections were organized by or for ordinary Afghans. The tyrannical rule of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban was replaced with the tyrannical rule of Hamid Karzai and the loya jirga, a self-appointed council of warlords.
How can Bush claim to defend democracy when he undemocratically assumed office after receiving fewer votes than his opponent, Al Gore? Bush was only able to cheat his way into the White House because of the Electoral College, the conservative-dominated Supreme Court that stopped the ballot counting, and his brother Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, who mobilized police to prevent African Americans from voting.
Why would we let them choose their leader, when they picked Saddam?
They may have chose Saddam, but some of Saddam's greatly tragedies were fueled, paid for, and Ok'ed by the united stated.
But where was the US concern about "Saddam's human rights record," "democracy," or "weapons of mass destruction" then? Why would the US support Saddam Hussein in the 1980s?
The New York Times explained this mystery: "For ten years, as Iraq developed a vast army, chemical weapons and a long record of brutality, the Reagan and Bush [Sr.] administrations quietly courted Hussein as a counter-weight to Iran's revolutionary fervor." (8/13/90)
Fearing for his future, Saddam looked to stave off anger at home through a popular diversionary foreign adventure, invading Kuwait in August 1990. This allowed Iraq to cancel its debts and seize control of 20% of the world's known oil reserves.
Shortly before the invasion, Saddam called a meeting with then US ambassador April Gillespie, who told Saddam: "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." She went on to say: "James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction." (San Francisco Examiner, 11/18/02)
The US was prepared to turn a blind eye to Iraq seizing disputed oilfields on the Iraq-Kuwait border. However, Saddam overplayed his hand, occupying all of Kuwait. American big business was totally unwilling to allow Saddam to have such control over global capitalism's oil supply or the ability to push up the price of oil. The US also feared that Iraq could now attack Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer.
With the collapse of Stalinist block in 1989 Washington saw an opportunity to assert its new global dominance and establish a "new world order." On January 16, 1991 the US launched "Desert Storm," killing 100-200,000 Iraqis in the most intensive bombing campaign in history.
Well, the US can surely pick a good leader for them, right?
1. The United States was instrumental in arming the Taliban through it's covert policies in Afghanistan - the very agency and country that G.W. Bush is now condemning and threatening. It was, in fact, the largest project ever undertaken by the CIA, both in funds ($5 to 6 billion) and in personnel.
2. The United States recruited and trained both Osama bin Laden and Sheikh Abdel Rahman (The "blind sheikh") during this same period.
1949: CIA backs military coup in Syria, ousting elected government.
1951: Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of Guatemala by a landslide in a free and fair election. He hoped to transform Guatemala "from a backward country with a predominantly feudal economy to a modern capitalist state." The CIA, however, weighed in heavily on the side of feudalism. When Arbenz appropriated some unused land controlled by the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company (for which United Fruit was duly compensated), the company undertook an extensive PR campaign in the US, designed to paint Arbenz as a tool of the "international Communist conspiracy." Brother Allen's CIA was only too happy to take the job, which ended up costing only about $20 million. The agency sponsored a propaganda offensive and hired about 300 mercenaries who sporadically sabotaged trains and oil supplies.
Finally, in June of 1954, unmarked CIA planes staged a series of air raids on the Guatemalan capital and dropped leaflets demanding Arbenz's resignation. At the same time, CIA-run radio stations warned of the impending invasion of an occupying rebel army (actually the agency's 300 hired thugs). The CIA has always been particularly proud of the Guatemalan operation, which inaugurated a series of bloodthirsty regimes that murdered more than 100,000 Guatemalans over the next 40 years. In retrospect, however, some CIA veterans concluded that it may have come off too easily, leading to a certain overconfidence. As one CIA officer put it, "We thought we could knock off these little brown people on the cheap."
1953: CIA overthrows democratically elected Iranian government, placing the Shah in power. In 1951, Iranian parliament had nationalized the British Anglo-Iranian oil company. This popular move was spearheaded by the reformer, Mossadegh, who was elected prime minister shortly after. Britain and the US organize ruthless economic blockade. Shortly before the coup, the Communist Party calls a 100,000 strong demonstration to protest the US and the Shah. Nine hours of street fighting finally quells popular rebellion against the coup.
1954: Iranian oil re-privatized, with US and Britain in control. Popular opposition compels the Shah to rule through a reign of terror unrivalled in the region. US helps fund huge military and police build-up, and trains Savak, the notorious secret police. Amnesty International would write in 1976 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."
1957-58: Syria and Egypt take steps toward a merger, reflecting revolutionary yearning of the Arab masses to unite against Western imperialism. The US Sixth Fleet is dispatched, and huge arms shipments are delivered to US client regimes. Syria and Egypt claim to uncover "at least eight separate conspiracies to overthrow one or the other government, to assassinate Nasser, and/or prevent the merger of the two countries." Independent evidence detailing several of these failed plots subsequently emerges.
1958: Iraq and Lebanon: Two weeks after 1958 Egypt/Syria merger, the US establishes "Baghdad Pact," uniting monarchies and puppet regimes against threat of Nasserism and growing Soviet influence. Mass rioting erupts throughout the region. Iraqi troops are ordered into Jordan to put down unrest. Under popular pressure, the army mutinies and instead marches on the royal palace. The hated King, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister are lynched.
The next day, US Marines land in Lebanon and British troops are dispatched to Jordan. A virtual civil war erupts as 14,000 US troops enter Lebanon at the invitation of the unpopular, CIA-backed government of Chamoun. Lebanese forces manage to put down the rebellion after months of urban clashes. President Eisenhower would later write: "This somber turn of events could, without a vigorous response on our part, result in the complete elimination of Western influence in the Middle East."
1963: Right wing of Iraq's Ba'ath party leads successful coup with US support, after unsuccessful US assassination attempt against Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassim. The CIA provides Ba'ath party with names of Iraqi communists to murder, and the CP is ruthlessly slaughtered.
1968: A counter-coup, in which Saddam Hussein participates, leads to nationalization of Iraqi oil in 1972.
1973-75: To destabilize Iraq during a border dispute with Iran, US supports Kurdish rebels with $16 million in arms, promising to back them in their struggle for autonomy. When Iran and Iraq reach an agreement in 1975 and seal off their border, Iraq proceeds to violently suppress the Kurdish rebellion. US ends support for Kurds and denies them refuge. Henry Kissinger, architect of the ploy, explained, "covert action should not be confused with missionary work."
1976: United States Terrorist Group "Operation Condor" Cable
The cable reports that Chile is the center of Operation Condor, and provides information about "special teams" which travel "anywhere in the world... to carry out sanctions up to assassination against terrorists or supporters of terrorist organizations."
1973, 1978: A nationalist coup in 1973 brings down the Afghan monarchy. A 1978 coup puts the Stalinist Peoples Democratic Party in power. Afraid of growing Afghan ties to the Soviet Union, US begins covert funding for the reactionary Islamic Fundamentalist rebels. Mujahideen "Freedom Fighters" (according to President Ronald Reagan), are lead by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose "followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil." Six months later, the Soviet Union sends in troops to prop-up the Afghan government.
1979-92: US gives over $3 billion in arms and aid to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. CIA sets up training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan - some of the same "terrorist training camps" the US will bomb in 2001. Osama bin Laden and many other of today's Islamic Fundamentalist terrorist leaders are direct recipients of US aid and training. By 1992, more than a million Afghan people will have died, three million disabled, and five million made refugees, in total about half the population. The civil war continues to this day.
1979: Striking oil workers and students in Iran call for ousting the Shah, sparking a revolutionary uprising. US tells Shah it supports him "without reservation" and urges him to violently crush protest, but Shah is overthrown.
1980: Iraq invades Iran. Though antagonistic to both countries, the US intervenes to promote and prolong the conflict, looking to weaken both regimes. US opposes UN resolution condemning Iraq's invasion, takes Iraq off its list of nations supporting terrorism, and allows US arms transfers to Saddam Hussein. US urges Israel to arm Iran, and in 1985 the US secretly provides arms to Iran directly.
1982-83: Heavily funded, armed, and backed by the US, Israel invades Lebanon. Over 17,000 civilians are massacred. US blocks several UN resolutions calling for an Israeli withdrawal. In 1983, US troops also land in Lebanon to intervene in the civil war.
1984: Iraq uses chemical weapons on Iran; US subsequently restores diplomatic relations with Iraq. A US Defense Intelligence Agency official involved in aiding Iraq later commented that the Pentagon "wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas. It was just another way of killing people."
1987: As Iran gets the upper hand in war with Iraq, the US moves to decisively back Iraq. A massive US armada in Persian Gulf ensures arms deliveries to Iraq. When a US gunship shoots down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290 passengers, Vice President Bush says, "I will never apologize for America. I don't care what the facts are."
1985-90: The US showers Iraq with billions in arms, loans, and aid. After Saddam Hussein uses chemical weapons to murder thousands of the Kurdish opposition in Iraq, the Bush administration continues to license the sale of chemical weapons, and blocks UN initiatives to curb their use.
1991: After Iraq invades Kuwait in 1990, US launches Operation Desert Storm - the most aggressive, high-tech military campaign in the history of warfare. Dropping more bomb tonnage than in all of Vietnam or World War Two, the 43 day air campaign kills between 100,000 and 200,000 Iraqis and destroys civilian infrastructure. Fearing a popular revolt and the destabilization of the region, the US refuses to aid previously encouraged uprisings by Kurds and Shi'as in the weeks after the war. US denies the rebels access to captured Iraqi weapons, and allows Iraqi helicopters use of "No-fly Zone" airspace to crush the uprising.
1990-now: Severe economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the UN. By UN estimates, the sanctions have cost over a million lives, half of them children. About 5,000 children die each month, mostly from malnutrition and treatable diseases. From the most economically advanced country in the region before the US attack, Iraq today is among the most destitute.
1998: Renewed US and British bombing campaign - called Operation Desert Fox - against Iraq after it exposes US spies among UN weapons inspectors (later admitted by US officials). The UN pulls out inspectors before bombings, which continue to the present on average every other day.
2001: Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, the US launches a war on Afghanistan, killing over 3,500 people. US led UN occupation of the country props up US puppet regime of Karzai.
And to end this... I would just like you to know I have another 20+ examples of the United States overthrowing democractically elected presidents, and replacing them with dictatorships. So no, I do not believe we have the right, intelligence, experience, or judgement to do what we will do in Iraq.
If you didn't read atleast most of this then STFU, because I don't care. Don't spout your fucking repeated garbage with your closed mind. (No one in particular). And you may question my sources, I would be glad to link you to the declassified government documents and interviews with the involved officials.
"If they do it it's terrorism, if we do it, it's fighting for freedom."
a U.S. Ambassador in Central America in the 1980s, asked to explain how such U.S. actions as the mining of Nicaragua's harbors and bombing of airports differed from the acts of terrorism that the U.S. condemned around the world.