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Rumsfeld met Saddam in late 80s
December 30, 2002 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Rumsfeld helped Saddam during war with Iran, while they had precise information about daily use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, nerve gas, anthrax, and sarin. He met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations, in order to help Iraq win the war. [source: Guardian]
posted by hoder (60 comments total)

 
Gee, now we have paperwork that proves what we already knew, that our government sided with Iraq in their war against Iran. Show of hands: who's surprised? Anyone?
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:48 PM on December 30, 2002


Our government also sided with Russia in WW2 because their interests were aligned with ours. Didn't stop us from deciding later on that they were an enemy, too.
posted by jammer at 11:01 PM on December 30, 2002


Japan was an enemy and now they're a friend. Where are we going with this?

I helped Bobby beat up Brian in the third grade. But now... Bobby is a dick. I hate Bobby. Bobby bad. Brian... he ain't so bad actually.
posted by Witty at 11:23 PM on December 30, 2002


Where are we going with this?

Oh, didn't you know? The argument is simple. We must hold the current administration responsible for actions of past administrations, while at the same time forbidding any action to be taken which might in any way allay some of the problems previously caused.

Why? Doesn't that seem a bit unfair?

Oh, er, um..... America Sucks! No blood for OILLLLLLL!
posted by jammer at 11:28 PM on December 30, 2002


Here's the WaPo article referenced by the Guardian piece.
posted by homunculus at 11:30 PM on December 30, 2002


'While Rumsfeld was on the board of directors of ABB, a Zurich-based global technology group, the company sold North Korea 200 million dollars worth of equipment and services for two nuclear power plants. '
posted by plep at 11:41 PM on December 30, 2002


Uh, jammer, you're missing the point entirely. Rummy started out in one administration with "yay for Iraq using chemical weapons," and now he's in a new administration going "Goddamn Iraqis with those chemical weapons which are a threat to America." It's complete hypocrisy, especially because he hasn't even come close to admitting any sort of wrongdoing, no "Oops, I messed up."

There's a difference between volunteering for charity upon one's own volition and doing community service to get felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor, y'know?
posted by LimePi at 12:18 AM on December 31, 2002


Lime...there's also the difference between Iraq before their actions in the late 80's/early 90's and Iraq after. They did attack four nations, ranging from firing missiles (israel, saudi arabia, bahrain) to full-out invading Kuwait in the interim. Further, in the mid-80's, there was a lot of worry about Islamic Revolution across the Middle East, and Iraq at the time was the buffer zone.

Put it this way: Lots of countries have chemical weapons. Not many have attacked foreign nations and caused the world to spend hundreds of billions to liberate the countries they invade. That's why Iraq can't have the weapons.

Should Rumsfeld have done more to stop the Iraqi use of weapons? Sure. Should any nation use bio weapons? Certainly not. But this piece is gotcha journalism, not a real look at the reasons why a certain policy was used or not used. It's simply meant to portray the current cabinet as hypocrites, while the two time periods and situations contrasted are vastly different.

The U.S. policy *now* is to not work with governments of the type that Saddam used to run and is currently running. As the US is a democracy, the policies can change vastly every four years. This, I'm sure, appears strange to much of the world, and no doubt is detrimental to US foreign policy, but it is the price to pay for having democratic and not despotic leadership.
posted by Kevs at 12:41 AM on December 31, 2002


Kevs, Rumsfeld's US Policy does not change every four years-- it's short-term optimization--which means that, long-termwise, we get bitten in the ass.

The U.S. has no problems working with the Saudis, and had no problem giving millions of dollars to the Taliban for wiping out opium production. I'd say that both governments are "of the type that Saddam used to run."

America is becoming less of a democracy, and more of a "democracy" (like the People's Republic of China) each and every day.
posted by LimePi at 12:58 AM on December 31, 2002



To be fair, supplying weapons is not just a U.S. thing


But it is an economic thing.

posted by larry_darrell at 2:32 AM on December 31, 2002


World map of which countries supplied which side in the Iran-Iraq war. Ten governments from across the political spectrum supplied both sides.
posted by plep at 2:57 AM on December 31, 2002


The American Left: in it's death throws as we speak. Er...write.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:43 AM on December 31, 2002


[sarcasm]

I thought Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

[/sarcasm]
posted by ZupanGOD at 6:08 AM on December 31, 2002


had no problem giving millions of dollars to the Taliban for wiping out opium production

HAD. They HAD been giving millions under the previous administration and that policy extended into the current administration. But, the current administration wiped out the Taliban. So what's your point?
posted by fried at 6:17 AM on December 31, 2002


so, is bush dead yet?
posted by quonsar at 6:21 AM on December 31, 2002


The American Left: in it's death throws as we speak. Er...write.

And in the UK the party of the Right has been reduced to the status of a church hall committee.

And yet the issues that worry many Americans about their government - an idiotically aggressive and hypocritical foreign policy, arms sales to unstable and immoral governments, curbs on personal freedom in the name of security, a love affair with big business - are the same issues that worry many Britons about their government.

Makes you think that left/right distinctions are somewhat redundant.
posted by Summer at 6:28 AM on December 31, 2002


(btw, it's death throes, not death throws)

I think some of the point here is to avoid the "our enemies are inherently evil" propaganda. We're constantly being told our enemies are horrible evil monsters by their very nature, yet, not long ago, they were good enough to be called friends. Given this sort of track record, either we need to reexamine how "evil" our enemies are or how "good" our friends are.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:43 AM on December 31, 2002


Karmakaze: I disagree completely.

On Iraq, "we are told" that the Iraqi people are not the enemy, and that they are being oppressed by a horrible leader. Korea is described as having an oppressed, enslaved people. The US government has (finally!) refused to deal with the corrupt, non-democratic leadership which has impoverished the Palestinians of the Israeli-held territories. More or less the same on Afghanistan. And the American adminstration has gone to great lengths not to indict the Muslim religion.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:03 AM on December 31, 2002


politicians lie?
posted by angry modem at 7:09 AM on December 31, 2002


The U.S. policy *now* is to not work with governments of the type that Saddam used to run and is currently running.

As of when? Last Tuesday? The US government is perfectly happy to work with dictators as long as they suit our interests. (Or what the US government sees as "our interests.") Attempted coups in Venezuela, anyone?

I'm not saying it's the US's fault that these clowns are ruthless and megalomaniacal, but we're often not exactly part of the solution.

(And, lest you think this is a liberal troll or something, I'd say that both Democratic and Republican administrations are equally culpable in this. If Clinton really cared about human rights as much as he claimed to, we'd have been in Sierra Leone and the Sudan, and in East Timor much earlier.)
posted by Vidiot at 7:15 AM on December 31, 2002


And in the UK the party of the Right has been reduced to the status of a church hall committee.

Yeah, and look how well that turned out.
posted by Beholder at 7:19 AM on December 31, 2002


I'd like to know what the point of saying this is:

The American Left: in it's death throws as we speak.

Just to incite emotionalist responses? Is that all you enjoy doing here Paris? If you disagree with someone it is more civil to say why, or just that you do disagree. To say that their views are held my a minority (questionable) and thus shouldn't be believed (inferred) is just stirring the pot to make people talk and get angry. I think there's a word for that.
posted by rhyax at 7:23 AM on December 31, 2002


The American Left: in it's death throws as we speak.

it's about time too! I heard on the radio that they hate america, isn't that messed up?
posted by mcsweetie at 7:31 AM on December 31, 2002


Anyone wonder if the administrations "evidence" of Iraqi weapons is something like, "What happened to the 500 tons of Anthrax we gave you in 1988?" Could that have anything to do with why they won't show the "evidence" to the public? I'm not condemning the Bush Jr. Administration for this, I'm just wondering if that's why we don't get to see what they "know" about Saddam. They're awfully hell bent on a war, I'd hope the "evidence" is more than a "Remember the Maine" or "Remember the Lusitania" sort of scam. If we're going to spend $600 billion and some (who know's how many, but I'm sure it will be a some) lives on a war, I'd hope we've got more than a hunch, I just wonder if our information comes from what we supplied him in the first place.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:46 AM on December 31, 2002


the current administration wiped out the Taliban.

What a completely uninformed statement. Cheney/Bush hardly "wiped out" the Taliban; they scattered it but it's still very much around and it's supporters in Pakistan are gaining ground and winning elections in Pakistan. Better get that head out of the sand, fried, if you want to help win this thing for real.

I thought Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

Oh, please; there's never been any dispute that Hussein has used chemical weapons. The major question for folks who examine WMD issues is the nuclear one, and Cheney/Bush's drum-beating on that point has often been sharply at odds with the evidence:

In a September 7 press conference with Prime Minister Blair, Bush leaned on what he called a report from the International Atomic Energy Commission, based on Hussein's nixing of inspections in 1998. "I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied—finally denied—access, a report came out...that they were six months away from developing a weapon," the president said. "I don’t know what more evidence we need." But last week the commission claimed that no such document exists. "There’s never been a report like that issued from this agency," Mark Gwozdecky, head of the group, told Reuters last week. Asked why Bush referred to an apparently imaginary document, the White House claimed he was really talking about a report from 1991. But Gwozdecky told Reuters no paper to that effect was issued by his agency in 1991, either. --James Ridgeway, Sept. 30, 2002
posted by mediareport at 7:46 AM on December 31, 2002


"Is that all you enjoy doing here Paris?" Not "all," but certainly some of it. And yes, I would like to hear a coherent, persuasive argument for not attacking Iraq. But all I hear is crap and rumour.

The odd thing is that you would think the Left would be enthusiastic about attacking Iraq.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:54 AM on December 31, 2002


you would think the Left would be enthusiastic about attacking Iraq.

The first move in any attack, Paris, would almost certainly be to rain a hail of bombs onto Baghdad to "soften it up."

How many children will be killed? How many is acceptable? An American first strike is unconscionable. There's not much else to say.
posted by mediareport at 8:01 AM on December 31, 2002


But all I hear is crap and rumour.

Been reading your own posts, eh?
posted by nofundy at 8:02 AM on December 31, 2002


You know Paris, I went back and looked, just to make sure, but I didn't find anyone arguing anything particularly leftist nor even that much in the war of Anti-war. Your comments had actually NOTHING to do with the post nor anyone's arguments. Where is the crap and rumor anti-war, hippie leftist talk?

Oh, and by the way, I am not going to bite on your blatant troll and ask why you think the left would be enthusiastic about going to war.

Odd thing is, you'd think "christians" would be against killing people.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:04 AM on December 31, 2002


And yes, I would like to hear a coherent, persuasive argument for not attacking Iraq. But all I hear is crap and rumour.

you never answered my charges the last time you and I bumped heads.

also, could you explain how Rumsfield's hypocrisy and historically bad judge of character is a victory for "the right?"
posted by mcsweetie at 8:11 AM on December 31, 2002


corrupt, non-democratic leadership?
posted by specialk420 at 8:17 AM on December 31, 2002


Odd thing is, you'd think "christians" would be against killing people.

Not sure about all christians but the Catholic church is definitely for a peaceful solution to mid-east problems.

They are also decidedly against the death penalty.
posted by jsonic at 8:26 AM on December 31, 2002


Going to war with Iraq is not necessary right now. The US needs to deal with Al Qaeda, and Hezbollha before we go to war with Iraq. Both groups have threatened attacks if the US goes into Iraq, and as we know Al Qaeda can cause some real damage. I've been reading Woodwards book Bush At War, and attacking Iraq has been on Rumsfeld's agenda since 9/11, and with the help of Wolfowitz's justifications Rummy convinced Dubya this is a good idea. Dubya has ignored Tenet, who has said that a war with Iraq will lead to terrorist attacks in this country, IMHO this is stupid, why attack Saddam? he is contained, and pretty harmless, and yes he's been evil in the past, and he's been an American ally in the past, so why not deal with real threats before spending billions to destroy Iraq? Saddam is not a threat!!!!!!!!!
posted by jbou at 8:49 AM on December 31, 2002


The U.S. policy *now* is to not work with governments of the type that Saddam used to run and is currently running.

As of when? Last Tuesday? The US government is perfectly happy to work with dictators as long as they suit our interests. (Or what the US government sees as "our interests.") Attempted coups in Venezuela, anyone?

I'm not saying it's the US's fault that these clowns are ruthless and megalomaniacal, but we're often not exactly part of the solution.

(And, lest you think this is a liberal troll or something, I'd say that both Democratic and Republican administrations are equally culpable in this. If Clinton really cared about human rights as much as he claimed to, we'd have been in Sierra Leone and the Sudan, and in East Timor much earlier.)


Agreed. Beside having no respect for the Bush administration because they've hired a felon, Poindexter, to search our personal information, I don't respect them because there's no indication they will end our policy of working with horrible dictators to further the economic interests of big business.
posted by 4midori at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2002


well said jbou.....if musharaff were to fall in pakistan i think we'd have a much bigger mess on our hands than iraq.

oh and one more for paris - undemocratic?i>
posted by specialk420 at 8:53 AM on December 31, 2002


Poor Saddam. We give him illegal chemical weapons of mass destruction. We tell him sure, he can use this gas against people

Now we changed our mind, illegal chemical weapons are bad. Unless we use them against Iraq, like we did in the Gulf War. Pfffssshhh. The US has got to learn how to raise kids.
posted by romanb at 9:08 AM on December 31, 2002


And yes, I would like to hear a coherent, persuasive argument for not attacking Iraq. But all I hear is crap and rumour.

Paris: While I dislike acknowledging your existence, and am still a strong advocate of the "ignore" feature that would let me read comments with specific users' omitted...

We should not attack Iraq because:

a) Iraq poses little to no threat to our nation

b) Iraq ranks low on the list of "destabilizing" nations in the region

c) Iraq ranks low on the list of UN violators, including human rights

d) Our vast war budget could be put to use as foreign aid programs in any number of countries, saving and improving countless lives of innocents

D is obvious. If you disagree with A, B, or C, I suggest you stop sucking down our current glut of war propoganda and actually compare Iraq's record to other countries'.

It's not a matter of letting Iraq off the hook because other countries are just as bad or worse, it's that we have a limited budget, (national DEBT is indeed debt, you know... as much as the current administration would like to think otherwise) and it should be spent where it can make the most difference. Bombing the shit out of Iraq with our unthinkably expensive (corporately backed) military is far from the most efficient way to spend our hard-earned taxes.



Be careful what you ask for...
posted by zekinskia at 9:17 AM on December 31, 2002


The left is never in favor of any war, just as the consensus in Europe is not, even if it will, at least in a relative sense, liberate a population from oppression and enslavement. Christopher Hitchens(sp?) has cogently advanced why the Left should be in favor or an Iraqi war.

As for the argument that there are bigger fish to fry, that's a false one, simply because of the "exchange programs" between the various terrorist players. NK is selling to Yemen, Iran created Hizbolah, and Saddam is funding Hamas. Its also false because once Iraq is taken out, the other regimes--Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria, especially--will be that much higher on the "you're next" list.

No Iraqi exportation of terrorism proven? Wait until, post liberation, journalists are allowed to look around in Iraq. I may not love George Bush, but I trust him more than Saddam.

So, feel free to go apoplectic with your anti-war, anti-American rants: I ENJOY IT.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:24 AM on December 31, 2002


Well, how many billions has Egypt received over the last two decades, and why is it still a toilet?

It's not clear how many nations there are whose governments are not so corrupt, or not so devoid of government that additional aid would accomplish anything.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2002


(but of course, giving aid "feels good"; feels better than war, so it must be a better course of action. Bullshit.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:33 AM on December 31, 2002


So, feel free to go apoplectic with your anti-war, anti-American rants: I ENJOY IT.

Ah, anti-war=anti-American. I never tire of this equation. It's right up there with "Bush is stupid" and "Cheney is evil."

Can we stop feeding this guy?
posted by Skot at 9:34 AM on December 31, 2002


The left is never in favor of any war

Oh, horseshit. The left fought fascism in the 20th century long before the U.S. entered the fray in WWII.
posted by mediareport at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2002


Guess what? Almost no one is in favor of war. The issue is when, if ever, is it necessary; and what have you done to be ready for the eventuality.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:43 AM on December 31, 2002


America should attack the only nation in the Middle East who has nuclear weapons, who has flauted some of the most important international conventions created after WWII, who is pursuing a slow campaign of genocide outside its internationally recognized borders, and a campaign of religious intolerance and instituional racism inside its borders, who enforces the death penalty without judge or jury against innocent civilians who are outside their homes on their own land at the wrong time of the day, who seizes and destroys personal property without trial or just cause, who is the major destablizing influence in the region and in the world, and who refuses to listen to reason by every nation in the world, including the United States, telling it repeatedly that its actions are illegal, immoral, and blatantly contrary to its own interests and the interests of world peace.

The US should invade Palestine now, for the sake of world peace. Iraq can follow as soon as the biggest problems in the Middle East are taken care of. If we do not invade, fascism, tyranny, murder, and theft will trump justice and truth.
posted by cell divide at 9:44 AM on December 31, 2002


Why does ParisParamus hate America so much?

(hehe...feeding gollum...must have precious oil)
posted by nofundy at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2002


Justice, and Truth, cell divide are you Superman?
posted by jbou at 9:58 AM on December 31, 2002


Very interesting link on Rumsfeld-ABB-North Korea, plep. Thanks.

What jbou said. We should be focused on the war that really counts.
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on December 31, 2002


Paris, I don't want to wait, and see, not when Al Qaeda is still plotting our demise. Iraq has no real connection to Al Qaeda, no matter what Rummy tells us. Hezbollha is a serious global terrorist organization that gets funding from Lebanon, Iran, and Syria, wouldn't it be smart to focus on on real threats? I'm not bashing America, I'm asking our government to focus on the real problem, crazy terrorists who want the world their way, and are willing to do anything to get their way. Attacking countries is a lot harder then taking out terrorist training camps, and dealing diplomatically with the countries who have terrorists in their country.
posted by jbou at 10:14 AM on December 31, 2002


NK is, eventually going to be horrible, unless the place collapses first. What gauls me is how unappreciative South Koreans seem to be about the American Military presence there.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:18 AM on December 31, 2002


Jbou: I think you are correct in identifying some of the most, if not the most odious forces in the world today. The thing is, allocating more resources to Qaeda is not possible: we're doing all we can. It's not like we know of "X" number of Qaeda operatives that aren't being bumped off because of troops or CIA working on Iraq.

As for Syria and Iran, they're harder to deal with; and in the case of Iran, there would appear to be the beginning of the end of the Death to America! crowd.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:42 AM on December 31, 2002


Warren Christopher: Iraq Belongs on the Back Burner
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on December 31, 2002


Q: Can we stop feeding this guy?

Paris: The left is never in favor of any war...Christopher Hitchens(sp?) has cogently advanced why the Left should be in favor or an Iraqi war.

Paramus: Guess what? Almost no one is in favor of war.

A: No. He feeds himself.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2002


That's a good Op-Ed piece. But really, are we that incapable of focusing on North Korea diplomatically while handling Iraq (whether the media covers what's going on is another story)?

I'm not sure whether it's appropriate to bring up the issue of Christopher being the SOS when that wonderful agreement with the North Koreans was "negotiated."
posted by ParisParamus at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2002


I think the US has, at least three front burners on its stove.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:00 AM on December 31, 2002


Paris, you are correct in regards to Iran, the fundies are quickly losing power, as long as the US stays the hell out of it. An Iranian family friend said back in 1979 that Iran would be back on the friendly side as long as the US just let them sort out their own mess. As for South Korea, not so sure that they aren't appreciated, they just don't appreciate marines running over kids so much, who does really, but Roh did win (an actual plurality of votes) on a platform of restoring the coordinated alliance with the US, so it seems they may appreciate us more than you may think.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:11 AM on December 31, 2002


Roh did win (an actual plurality of votes) on a platform of restoring the coordinated alliance with the US, so it seems they may appreciate us more than you may think.

Very little of that election was about platforms. It was about Korean regionalism pure and simple with a minor part of the vote being swayed by anti-Americanism and the North Korean issue.

You could almost draw a line North to South in Korea and you would have the left voting for Roh and the right voting for Lee. I'm not talking small percentages either. Take for instance the cities of Kwangju and Taegu. Each city voted almost 98% for one candidate with Kwangju supporting Roh and Taegu supporting Lee.

The media's focus on anti-Americanism during the election is sensationalism at its worst. The deeper story is that South Korea is almost as deeply divided internally as it is from the North.
posted by Plunge at 2:14 PM on December 31, 2002


Rumsfeld helped Saddam during war with Iran? Did anyone not know this by now, or are we just trying to repeat it until someone in the major media starts to care? Good luck.
posted by owen at 1:42 PM on January 1, 2003


A: No. He feeds himself.

Apportez-moi des Surgelés Picard. Vite! J'ai faim!
posted by ParisParamus at 10:32 AM on January 2, 2003


Paris,

We had a recent article in the Herald-Tribune about Picard and the gradual acceptance of frozen food by the French. On New Years Eve, our local outlet was packed with shoppers -- more than I had ever seen. We go there mostly for soup but do try the occasional other goodies.

(How's that for the end of a thread about Iraq.)
posted by Dick Paris at 10:44 AM on January 2, 2003


Well, um, I think the article was actually written for the New York Times and reprinted in the H-T.

DP: did you work with Steve Austin in the '70's?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:52 AM on January 2, 2003


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