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Recent US-Iraq history(9 posts)

Recent US-Iraq historyDuane Gran
Dec 30, 2002 12:40 PM
I just read an interesting article that gives some details about American support for Iraq in the 80s:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52241-2002Dec29.html

A quote that particularly jumped out to me:

The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague.

If this is true, those responsible in the CIA and the State Department should be brought to trial for treason. Disgusting, simply disgusting.

I find it terribly ironic that the US government helped provide Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, and now America is threatening Iraq with war to eliminate said weapons. You can't have it both ways.
<i>We</i> can have it as many ways as we want.czardonic
Dec 30, 2002 2:34 PM
Most Americans seem to believe that we can do whatever the heck we want. If that means selling chemical weapons to a murderous dictator for use against his enemies, and then using them as an excuse to attack him, so be it. You'll be hard pressed to find a significant number of Americans who give a damn as long as their personal interests are protected.
why no damn given?tao
Dec 30, 2002 4:12 PM
You're right, about the lack of interest, knowledge, or care anyway of most Americans about Foreign policy, and Domestic for that matter. What I don't understand is why??

But I find it odd that you seem to imply that there's something selfish about Americans caring foremost about the protection of their personal freedoms: life, liberty, and happiness. Isn't that what we should care about first? Maybe I misunderstood...
Don't get me wrong. Americans are largely ignorant. . .czardonic
Dec 30, 2002 5:05 PM
. . .of the world outside of their borders (and often about the world within), and oblivious to their impact on it -- but no more so than people in most other parts of the world. (And occasionally less so, given a media-genic cause to rally around).

Why? First, because we can. You can't make everyone happy, so why should we make ourselves less so? Second, because ignorance is bliss. Recognizing that we live our relatively plush lifestyles at the expense of others who cobble together our goods, hock resources for our ravenous consupmtion or suffer under repressive regimes that we sponsor to facilitate these transactions for us is difficult and troubling. Even more difficult and troubling are the alternatives.

As I said, I don't think this makes Americans any worse than anyone else. However, I don't personally believe that caring foremost for oneself is a virtue. Nor, in the case of a country with such abundant wealth, do I even think it is a necessity (which makes it all the more damnable). Just my opinion.
re: Recent US-Iraq historytao
Dec 30, 2002 4:02 PM
The quote you cite is misleading because no authorization, explicit or otherwise was necessary in the 80's by an administration for the export of the materials mentioned. The article correctly notes later that the administrations turned a blind eye to the export, which is impossible when approval is needed. These actually came from American Universities and were valid research tools, thus the civilian use. I'm not saying the precursors should have gone to Iraq, only that no White House authorization was given nor needed. It also fails to mention that Bush I was responsible for implementing the laws to prevent these precursors from exportation.

And even if explicit approval was given, sharing intelligence and weapons with an ally is the farthest thing from treason; it's the exact opposite! There are plenty of holes to pick in American foreign policy, but I tend not to stand for the per se argument of hypocrisy over a time period. If country A attacks country B and we help country B there's nothing hypocritical about helping country C at a later time at the expense of country B when B attacks C.

There are valid reasons not to engage Iraq, but just because we helped them against Iran in the 80's is not one of them.
re: Recent US-Iraq historyDuane Gran
Dec 30, 2002 8:13 PM
The quote you cite is misleading because no authorization, explicit or otherwise was necessary in the 80's by an administration for the export of the materials mentioned.

The article discusses some of the suspicious politics in getting Iraq de-listed as a terrorist supporting state in 1979 in order to weaponize them. The politics in Iraq didn't change to warrant this, but Iran was seen as a more troublesome figure in the middle east.

There may have been a legitimate reason for sharing anthrax, bubonic plague and deadly chemicals with Iraq, however I find it hard to believe that no one forsaw them abusing those agents. I don't have a problem with sharing intelligence, but enabling Iraq to gas Iranians and Kurds is shameful.

Don't get me wrong, I don't bring this up as an argument for not going to war with Iraq (I have other reasons for that position). I just find the the facts to be shameful and I wish the US and the UN wouldn't act as if Iraq's weaponry sprang out of the desert, but instead was funded and delivered by the west.
What About Iran?Alpedhuez55
Dec 31, 2002 9:40 AM
Tao, you are right. The threat and situation in the 80's is different than it is now. Remember the Iran Hostage Situation? THe left wing usually leaves important details like that out when they present their flawed arguments agains invading Iraq. Iran was a bigger threat than Iraq in the 80s. The war weakened both countries so I guess it was not all bad then. The sitiation changed again when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The conspiracy of funding of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war also goes against the Left Wings Nutty Conspiracy that Reagan Rigged the election by having Iran hold the hostages until after the 1980 election. We can't have that kind of contradiction. I suppose they can blaim the Republicans for Clinton's Wag the Dog bombing of Iraq during the Lewinsky Scandal. I had some friends in the service at that time. They were calling it "Operation Divert Attention". Maybe if Clinton had stayed that vigilant against Iraq during his whole 8 years, we would not have to go back there.

I will throw out my nutty conspiracy. I think the turmoil in the middle east has nothing to do with terrorism and is only about boosting the carrer of the Professional Wrestler, the Iron Sheik. In the early 80's he rose to the WWF Championship on his pro Iranian sandbox and loaded pointed boots. In the early 90's he headlined Wrestlemania as a pro Iraqi. We was again featured in Wrestlemania Last year, just 7 months after the WTC Bombings. I think he has benefitted the most from the middle eastern turmoil of the past two decades. That holds almost as much logic as the left wing arguments ;) Now lets go Picket Vince McMahon's office in Greenwich CT :)

There was some good news out of Iran this week though. They banned stoning in the case of adultury. Welcome to the 15th Century Iran!!! ;)

Mike Y.
Did he ever prefect that Camel Clutch?(nm)tao
Dec 31, 2002 10:31 AM
I think Bob Backlund would say Yes :) n/mAlpedhuez55
Dec 31, 2002 10:49 AM