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Rumsfeld Tried To Embed Bechtel And Himself With Saddam As Iraq Gassed Iranians
March 28, 2003 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Embedding? Rumsfeld et al Tried to Embed Bechtel and Themselves with Saddam as Iraq Gassed Iranians. "Our examination [issued by the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network and the Institute for Policy Studies with recently released supporting documents] shines a new spotlight on the revolving door between Bechtel and the Reagan Administration that drove U.S.-Iraq interactions between 1983 and 1985. The men who courted Saddam while he gassed Iranians are now waging war against him, ostensibly because he holds weapons of mass destruction. To a man, they now deny that oil has anything to do with the conflict. Yet during the Reagan Administration, and in the years leading up to the present conflict, these men shaped and implemented a strategy that has everything to do with securing Iraqi oil exports....[This paper] notes that the break in US-Iraq relations occurred not after Iraq used chemical weapons on the Iranians, nor after Iraq gassed its own Kurdish people, nor even after Iraq invaded Kuwait, but rather, followed Saddam's rejection of the Aqaba pipeline deal. Finally, this paper shows that the main actors in the 1980s drama are now back on center stage, this time justifying military action against Iraq in terms of national security....The Bush/Cheney administration now eyes Bechtel as a primary contractor for the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure." (via Progressive Review.)
posted by fold_and_mutilate (9 comments total)

 
....[This paper] notes that the break in US-Iraq relations [didn't] even [occur] after Iraq invaded Kuwait...

August 2, 1990, Iraqi force invade Kuwait.
August 6, 1990, UN Resolution 661 calls for restoration of Kuwaiti sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and for an embargo on Iraq.
August 7, 1990, Operation DESERT SHIELD begins. US president orders the deployment of US forces to Saudi Arabia.


Calendar, fold_and_mulilate.
fold.and.mutilate, calendar.

Glad to introduce the two of you to each other. /tolerance of "war for oil idiots
posted by darren at 10:55 AM on March 28, 2003


darren, I've been unable to find a date on the web for Saddam's rejection of the Aqaba pipeline, so your observations may very well be correct.

However, if the date for the rejection lies between August 2 and August 6, then I still find the timing somewhat suspect.
posted by mikeh at 11:24 AM on March 28, 2003


Watch out darren! Don't cross foldy, There will be a reckoning...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:31 AM on March 28, 2003


I don't know that I buy the central premise of this piece, particularly because the entirity of the 1990s is omitted from the timeline. However, what it does show is that some of the same U.S. officials who profess to be so concerned about WMD in Iraq now knew damned well that Hussein, et al were using chemical weapons against Iraq, and their response was merely, "Look, just don't embarass us by buying from U.S. suppliers."

WMD=red herring
posted by kgasmart at 11:47 AM on March 28, 2003


I don't know that I buy the central premise of this piece, particularly because the entirity of the 1990s is omitted from the timeline. However, what it does show is that some of the same U.S. officials who profess to be so concerned about WMD in Iraq now knew damned well that Hussein, et al were using chemical weapons against Iran, and their response was merely, "Look, just don't embarass us by buying from U.S. suppliers."

WMD=red herring
posted by kgasmart at 11:48 AM on March 28, 2003


WMD became an actionable problem after 9/11 -- prior to that it was simply containment and deal making.

While I think this links conclusion to go back to the early 80s and ignore everything that has happened since, it does make a point using actual source documents. That is very rare these days and impressive. This point could be used in conjunction with other source documents to build a case, while it is not an entirely damning on its own, it is a nail that has teeth.
posted by stbalbach at 1:00 PM on March 28, 2003


I trust Bush when he says Iraq has WMD. He has the receipts to prove it.
posted by mediaddict at 3:10 PM on March 28, 2003


This is just the long way to say "No War for Oil", isn't it?
posted by hama7 at 4:12 PM on March 28, 2003


Uh, darren, the straw man you created (and in which you curiously failed to respond to any of the other points made by the links) has nothing to do with what the articles note. Iraq-US relations were strained long before the invasion of Kuwait, and apparently had a great deal to do with Bechtel-Rumsfeld's little business deal gone awry. But I'm sure you and the chickenhawks won't let little things like facts get in your way.

Sam Smith notes:

1. Secretary of State George Shultz orchestrated the initial discussions with Iraq. Out of public view, he pushed the pipeline project on behalf of his former company, Bechtel. Behind the scenes, Shultz composed Donald Rumsfeld's pipeline pitch to Saddam. (At the time, Rumsfeld, officially, was a special envoy on a peace mission to the Middle East.)

2. From 1983 to 1988, Iraqi warplanes dropped over 13,000 chemical bombs. Iran first reported Iraq's use of chemical warfare well before Rumsfeld met with Saddam in a great victory. Reagan's envoy recorded no discussion of this horror. Instead, Rumsfeld impressed upon Saddam the U.S.'desire to help Iraq increase its oil exports.' He reiterated this desire in a March 26, 1984, meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, the same day that a UN panel unanimously concluded that Iraq dropped chemical munitions on Iranian troops.

3. Four days after officially condemning Iraq for using chemical weapons on the Iranians, the State Department desk officer for Iraq pressured U.S. Export-Import Bank to initiate short-term loans for Iraq "for foreign relations purposes" - to build a pipeline from Iraq to Jordan.

4. Following Hussein's use of chemical weapons on the Iranians, the only response was instructions, recorded by Shultz, to the Iraqis that they not put Americans in the "embarrassing situation" of buying future chemicals that could be the "source of supply for anything that could contribute to production of CW [chemical weapons]." Reagan officials spent much more time decrying the role of "Iranian revolutionaries" in fostering bloodshed. In private, they forged ahead with the pipeline plan and assured the Iraqis that "we do not want this issue to dominate our bilateral relationship."

5. The U.S. Export-Import Bank and U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, two government-backed export guarantee and credit agencies, were pressured by the Reagan Administration and private individuals lobbying on behalf of Bechtel to provide over $500 million in financing and insurance to the Aqaba pipeline.

6. Government officials and pipeline agents attempted several dubious methods of assuaging Hussein's concerns about a possible Israeli attack on the pipeline. These included secret plans to funnel pipeline income into the Israeli Labor Party and to assign U.S. aid to Israel or U.S. Defense Department funds as collateral in case of an attack on the pipeline. Judge William Clark, while on the payroll of the Bechtel pipeline promoters, flew to Baghdad as a representative of President Reagan and the National Security Council.

7. Two years after Rumsfeld first pitched the plan, Saddam issued a terse rejection. U.S.- Iraqi business relations have never been the same.

8. Many of the same U.S. officials and quasi-officials involved in the Aqaba pipeline project have orchestrated the current Bush/Cheney initiative against Iraq. In recent months, these men have denied any linkage between oil and war; but in previous years, these men repeatedly invoked the Iraqi threat to global energy security as a just cause for war. The hard lesson of the Aqaba pipeline project, it seems, is that an "evil dictator" is a friend of the United States when he is willing to make a deal, and a mortal enemy when he is not.


In other words:

facts - darren
darren - facts

/tolerance for idiots who think oil has nothing to do with this wretched little war.

Watch out darren! Don't cross foldy,

As usual, nothing substantive whatsoever on the issue from you....just your curious need for yellow, ad hominem swill. Must be still smarting over a certain "reckoning", eh?

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:34 AM on April 2, 2003


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