As’ad Abukhalil : The US and the Arab Uprisings

As’ad AbuKhalil – The US and the Arab Uprisings from International Socialist on Vimeo.

Author and blogger As’ad AbuKhalil discusses the role of the US in supporting dictatorial regimes in the Middle East and North Africa both before and after the uprisings that swept the region in the spring of 2011. This presentation was part of the Building Solidarity with the Arab Spring Teach-In held on November 12, 2011 in Berkeley, CA.

Middle East Revolution Links

Kevin Coval – All the pharoahs must fall by Hossam El-Hamalawy

Propaganda and Coverage of Syria
Turkish FM Davutoglu Criticizes Assad’s Speech

Davutoglu said, “Syrian regime’s duty is not to accuse others but to listen and pay attention to its own people and meet its own responsibilities. The regime cannot survive by putting pressure on the people. Their not meeting the demands of the people increasingly shakes the confidence of the people. Syrian regime should understand that they cannot continue with status quo, the same system, one party regime, an order which pressurizes its own citizens.

Syrian regime should listen to its people instead of massacring them. As far as they do not stop massacring, they cannot get the support of the people by making epic speeches in every 3-4 months. They constantly make new promises and then postpone the reform dates they gave before.”

WikiLeaks Cables Show US Strategy for Regime Change in Syria as Protesters are Massacred

It is clear the Bush Administration was committed to bringing about regime change. Under President Barack Obama, it appears the US has not fully committed to the same of kind of destabilization efforts. The Obama Administration appears to have instead adopted a policy that is indicative of the sort of American exceptionalism rife within the Washington establishment.

US War Criminals : Where are they now? Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright - The Price Is Ongoing
The Price Is Ongoing

From an August 09 Wikileaks cable, Madeleine Albright, apologist for US genocide in Iraq, was once more elevated, this time within NATO:

(U) According to Rasmussen the twelve individuals were chosen in order represent a broad range of Allies, as well as to bring a broad range of skills and expertise to the job.
They are:

– Madeleine Albright as Chair of the Experts Group, the United States, former Secretary of State

To recap on Albright’s sociopathic admission:

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

–60 Minutes (5/12/96)

The disgraceful US sanctions and its successive wars of plunder and aggression against Iraq have been highlighted through Wikileaks’ publication of the relevant cable chronicling April Glaspie’s duplicitous ‘Green Light’ to Saddam. A year after the deranged Albright made her appalling statement, she was confirmed by the US Senate as Clinton’s Secretary of State.

Sheldon Richman adequately disposes of Albright’s bleating attempt to recant in her autobiography:

Albright has just published her memoirs, Madam Secretary, in which she clarifies her statement. Here’s what she writes:

I must have been crazy; I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations…. As soon as I had spoken, I wished for the power to freeze time and take back those words. My reply had been a terrible mistake, hasty, clumsy and wrong. Nothing matters more than the lives of innocent people. I had fallen into the trap and said something I simply did not mean. That was no one’s fault but my own. (p. 275)

In the paragraph before this one she complains about the 60 Minutes report because “little effort was made to explain Saddam’s culpability, his misuse of Iraqi resources, or the fact that we were not embargoing medicine or food.”

When one reviews the facts, it is clear that Albright’s explanation is woefully inadequate. First, it contains an apparent contradiction. She says food and medicine were not embargoed, but then she says Saddam Hussein could have avoided the suffering “simply by meeting his obligations.” Does that mean more food would have been available had Hussein done what the U.S. government wanted? If so, weren’t American officials at least partly responsible for the harm done to the Iraqi people? Hussein certainly did not let his people starve. The New York Times and Washington Post have reported that in answer to the sanctions, Saddam Hussein maintained an elaborate food-rationing program for rich and poor, presumably to hold the loyalty of the Iraqi people, which the sanctions were supposedly intended to dissolve. Iraqis are reported to be reluctant to give up the program even though Hussein is gone and the sanctions are over.

Albright is being disingenuous. Although food wasn’t formally embargoed when the sanctions began in 1990, Iraq was hampered in importing it because initially Iraqi oil couldn’t be exported. No exports, no imports. The UN’s “oil for food” program, started six years later, after Hussein dropped his opposition, was supposed to remedy that. But it didn’t entirely. Counterpunch.org reported in 1999, “Proceeds from such oil sales are banked in New York…. Thirty-four percent is skimmed off for disbursement to outside parties with claims on Iraq, such as the Kuwaitis, as well as to meet the costs of the UN effort in Iraq. A further thirteen percent goes to meet the needs of the Kurdish autonomous area in the north.” With the remaining limited amount of money, the Iraqi government could order “food, medicine, medical equipment, infrastructure equipment to repair water and sanitation” and other things. But — and here’s the rub — the U.S. government could veto or delay any items ordered. And it did.

As Joy Gordon reported in the November 2001 Harper’s,

The United States has fought aggressively throughout the last decade to purposefully minimize the humanitarian goods that enter the country…. Since August 1991 the United States has blocked most purchases of materials necessary for Iraq to generate electricity, as well as equipment for radio, telephone, and other communications. Often restrictions have hinged on the withholding of a single essential element, rendering many approved items useless. For example, Iraq was allowed to purchase a sewage-treatment plant but was blocked from buying the generator necessary to run it; this in a country that has been pouring 300,000 tons of raw sewage daily into its rivers.

For Albright to say that food and medicine were not embargoed is to evade the fact that critical public-health needs could not be addressed because of the sanctions. Preventing a society from purifying its water and treating its sewage is a particularly brutal way to inflict harm, especially on its children. Disease was rampant, and infant mortality rose because of the sanctions. Let’s not forget that destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure was a deliberate aim of the U.S. bombing during the 1991 Gulf War.

No wonder two UN humanitarian coordinators quit over the sanctions. As one of them, Denis Halliday, said when he left in 1998, “I’ve been using the word ‘genocide’ because this is a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq. I’m afraid I have no other view.”

Albright now writes that her answer to Stahl was “crazy” and that she regretted it “as soon as [she] had spoken.” Yet she did not take back her words between 1996 and Sept. 11, 2001. According to journalist Matt Welch, after being plagued by student protesters she “quietly” expressed regret for her statement in a speech at the University Southern California shortly after 9/11. But neither her office nor the Clinton administration issued a prominent clarification to the American people or the world. Could that be because her initial answer was sincere and that her belated apology was issued with her legacy in mind? We can be sure of one thing: word of her response spread throughout the Arab world. Maybe even among some of the 9/11 terrorists.

Albright resigned from her position on the NYSE Board in 2005 after the Grasso scandal.

Since the US has been caught redhanded spying on UN diplomats and others via Wikileaks cables, the ‘unparalled serpent’ Albright should hand in her jewelled bug brooch collection.

Future forecast – Albright should be in the dock at Le Hague, not wafting around Europe at lofty heights plotting more mass murder.

Related Links

Madeleine Albright
Democracy Now! Confronts Madeline Albright on the Iraq Sanctions: Was It Worth The Price?
Clinton aide’s idea: Let Iraq shoot down U.S. plane
Madeleine Albright at Wikipedia – needs updating
Baghdad gets less than one hour of electricity a day
For Albright and Rice, Josef Korbel Is Tie that Binds
Clinton’s New Foreign Affairs Team: Good on Bosnia, Bad on Palestine
The Missing Pieces in The Missing Peace – Dennis Ross
The genesis of the US tilt toward Saddam – American Dreamers:

‘JONATHAN HOLMES: The Soviet Union was the main enemy in the ’70s and early ’80s. But there were others too. In 1979, a certain Saddam Hussein became dictator in Baghdad. That year in the Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz was studying America’s war plans for the Persian Gulf. He and his assistant Dennis Ross warned that the new Iraqi leader could soon become a threat to the oil-rich Gulf States.

DENNIS ROSS, FORMER US MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATOR: At that point, the Arab neighbours were looking at Iraq as a kind of bulwark against the Iranians. We were looking beyond that, saying, “Look, we’re not so sure that Iraq has such benign intentions towards its neighbours. And if it becomes very powerful, we’re going to find that it may use its power either directly or coercively.”

JONATHAN HOLMES: You actually recommended effectively setting up what became Central Command, didn’t you?

DENNIS ROSS: Absolutely. Much of what we subsequently did in the Gulf and the basis for what we even do today was drawn from that study which Paul directed.

JONATHAN HOLMES: But within a year, a much more dangerous challenge had appeared in the Gulf. The Iranian Revolution replaced America’s closest friend, the Shah, with a charismatic and implacable enemy, the Ayatollah Khomeini. As Saddam Hussein fought a bloody eight-year war against Iran, the Reagan Administration overcame its moral distaste for tyrants. He was treated as a favoured American ally.

PHYLLIS BENNIS, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: Throughout the1980s, it was United States resources from a…particularly from a country right here outside of Washington, DC, a small company called the American Type Culture Collection, that sold Iraq the seed stock for biological weapons, the seed stock for E. coli, for anthrax, for botulism, for a host of horrific diseases. And even at that time, it was known that Iraq had used chemical weapons against Iranian troops and against Kurdish civilians. And yet, Donald Rumsfeld, who was then a special envoy of President Reagan, went to Baghdad simply to shake hands with Saddam Hussein and urge the reopening of full diplomatic relations.’

Text: Condoleezza Rice at the Republican National Convention

RICE: And tonight, we gather to acknowledge this remarkable truth: The future belongs to liberty, fueled by markets in trade, protected by the rule of law and propelled by the fundamental rights of the individual. Information and knowledge can no longer be bottled up by the state. Prosperity flows to those who can tap the genius of their people.

George W. Bush will never allow America and our allies to be blackmailed. And make no mistake about it, blackmail is what the outlaw states seeking long-range ballistic missiles have in mind.

Today’s Palestine / Israel Links

Chomsky: who says Israeli apartheid can’t last forever?
South African Jewish group prepares war-crimes charges against Livni in advance of visit
Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
Israël : Vanessa Paradis annule son concert à Tel Aviv

Today’s Wikileaks Links

Assange: Wikileaks timing “no coincidence”
Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer plans to hand over offshore banking secrets of the rich and famous to WikiLeaks

Other Links

Combat in Our Genes?

April Glaspie’s Toxic Green Light Unearthed – Thanks, Wikileaks

Here’s one of my historical bookmarks – the manipulation into war, again, of Iraq by the US and cronies for Gulf War 1 aka Desert Storm. In honour of the validation of my long-held stance, I’ll copy the cable in full.

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
90BAGHDAD4237 1990-07-25 12:12 2011-01-01 21:09 SECRET Embassy Baghdad

O 251246Z JUL 90
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4627
INFO AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE
ARABLEAGUE COLLECTIVE

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 BAGHDAD 04237

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: MOPS PREL US KU IZ
SUBJECT: SADDAM’S MESSAGE OF FRIENDSHIP TO PRESIDENT BUSH

¶1. SECRET – ENTIRE TEXT.

¶2. SUMMARY: SADDAM TOLD THE AMBASSADOR JULY 25
THAT MUBARAK HAS ARRANGED FOR KUWAITI AND IRAQI
DELEGATIONS TO MEET IN RIYADH, AND THEN ON
JULY 28, 29 OR 30, THE KUWAITI CROWN PRINCE WILL
COME TO BAGHDAD FOR SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS. “NOTHING
WILL HAPPEN” BEFORE THEN, SADDAM HAD PROMISED
MUBARAK.

–SADDAM WISHED TO CONVEY AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO
PRESIDENT BUSH: IRAQ WANTS FRIENDSHIP, BUT DOES
THE USG? IRAQ SUFFERED 100,000’S OF CASUALTIES
AND IS NOW SO POOR THAT WAR ORPHAN PENSIONS WILL
SOON BE CUT; YET RICH KUWAIT WILL NOT EVEN ACCEPT
OPEC DISCIPLINE. IRAQ IS SICK OF WAR, BUT KUWAIT
HAS IGNORED DIPLOMACY. USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE
WILL ENCOURAGE THE UAE AND KUWAIT TO IGNORE
CONVENTIONAL DIPLOMACY. IF IRAQ IS PUBLICLY
HUMILIATED BY THE USG, IT WILL HAVE NO CHOICE
BUT TO “RESPOND,” HOWEVER ILLOGICAL AND SELF
DESTRUCTIVE THAT WOULD PROVE.

–ALTHOUGH NOT QUITE EXPLICIT, SADDAM’S MESSAGE
TO US SEEMED TO BE THAT HE WILL MAKE A MAJOR PUSH
TO COOPERATE WITH MUBARAK’S DIPLOMACY, BUT WE MUST
TRY TO UNDERSTAND KUWAITI/UAE “SELFISHNESS” IS
UNBEARABLE. AMBASSADOR MADE CLEAR THAT WE CAN
NEVER EXCUSE SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES BY OTHER THAN
PEACEFUL MEANS. END SUMMARY.

¶3. AMBASSADOR WAS SUMMONED BY PRESIDENT
SADDAM HUSAYN AT NOON JULY 25. ALSO PRESENT
WERE FONMIN AZIZ, THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE
DIRECTOR, TWO NOTETAKERS, AND THE IRAQI
INTERPRETER.

¶4. SADDAM, WHOSE MANNER WAS CORDIAL,
REASONABLE AND EVEN WARM THROUGHOUT THE ENSUING
TWO HOURS, SAID HE WISHED THE AMBASSADOR TO
CONVEY A MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT BUSH. SADDAM
THEN RECALLED IN DETAIL THE HISTORY OF IRAQ’S
DECISION TO REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
AND ITS POSTPONING IMPLEMENTATION OF THAT
DECISION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, RATHER THAN BE
THOUGHT WEAK AND NEEDY. HE THEN SPOKE ABOUT THE
MANY “BLOWS” OUR RELATIONS HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO
SINCE 1984, CHIEF AMONG THEM IRANGATE. IT WAS
AFTER THE FAW VICTORY, SADDAM SAID, THAT IRAQI
MISAPPREHENSIONS ABOUT USG PURPOSES BEGAN TO
SURFACE AGAIN, I.E., SUSPICIONS THAT THE U.S. WAS
NOT HAPPY TO SEE THE WAR END.

¶5. PICKING HIS WORDS WITH CARE, SADDAM SAID
THAT THERE ARE “SOME CIRCLES” IN THE USG,
INCLUDING IN CIA AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT,
BUT EMPHATICALLY EXCLUDING THE PRESIDENT AND
SECRETARY BAKER, WHO ARE NOT FRIENDLY TOWARD
IRAQ-U.S. RELATIONS. HE THEN LISTED WHAT HE
SEEMED TO REGARD AS FACTS TO SUPPORT THIS
CONCLUSION: “SOME CIRCLES ARE GATHERING
INFORMATION ON WHO MIGHT BE SADDAM HUSAYN’S
SUCCESSOR;” THEY KEPT UP CONTACTS IN THE GULF
WARNING AGAINST IRAQ; THEY WORKED TO ENSURE
NO HELP WOULD GO TO IRAQ (READ EXIM AND CCC).

¶6. IRAQ, THE PRESIDENT STRESSED, IS IN SERIOUS
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, WITH 40 BILLION USD DEBTS.
IRAQ, WHOSE VICTORY IN THE WAR AGAINST IRAN
MADE AN HISTORIC DIFFERENCE TO THE ARAB WORLD
AND THE WEST, NEEDS A MARSHALL PLAN. BUT “YOU
WANT THE OIL PRICE DOWN,” SADDAM CHARGED.

¶7. RESUMING HIS LIST OF GRIEVANCES WHICH HE
BELIEVED WERE ALL INSPIRED BY
“SOME CIRCLES” IN THE USG, HE RECALLED THE
“USIA CAMPAIGN” AGAINST HIMSELF, AND THE
GENERAL MEDIA ASSAULT ON IRAQ AND ITS PRESIDENT.

¶8. DESPITE ALL THESE BLOWS, SADDAM SAID, AND
ALTHOUGH “WE WERE SOMEWHAT ANNOYED,” WE STILL
HOPED THAT WE COULD DEVELOP A GOOD RELATIONSHIP.
BUT THOSE WHO FORCE OIL PRICES DOWN ARE ENGAGING
IN ECONOMIC WARFARE AND IRAQ CANNOT ACCEPT SUCH
A TRESPASS ON ITS DIGNITY AND PROSPERITY.

¶9. THE SPEARHEADS (FOR THE USG) HAVE BEEN KUWAIT
AND THE UAE, SADDAM SAID. SADDAM SAID CAREFULLY
THAT JUST AS IRAQ WILL NOT THREATEN OTHERS, IT
WILL ACCEPT NO THREAT AGAINST ITSELF. “WE HOPE
THE USG WILL NOT MISUNDERSTAND:” IRAQ ACCEPTS,
AS THE STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN SAID, THAT ANY
COUNTRY MAY CHOOSE ITS FRIENDS. BUT THE USG KNOWS
THAT IT WAS IRAQ, NOT THE USG, WHICH DECISIVELY
PROTECTED THOSE USG FRIENDS DURING THE WAR–AND THAT
IS UNDERSTANDABLE SINCE PUBLIC OPINION IN THE USG,
TO SAY NOTHING OF GEOGRAPHY, WOULD HAVE MADE IT
IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE AMERICANS TO ACCEPT 10,000 DEAD
IN A SINGLE BATTLE, AS IRAQ DID.

¶10. SADDAM ASKED WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE USG
TO ANNOUNCE IT IS COMMITTED TO THE DEFENSE OF
ITS FRIENDS, INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY.
ANSWERING HIS OWN QUESTION, HE SAID THAT TO IRAQ
IT MEANS FLAGRANT BIAS AGAINST THE GOI.

¶11. COMING TO ONE OF HIS MAIN POINTS, SADDAM
ARGUED THAT USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE AND KUWAIT (SIC)
ENCOURAGED THEM IN THEIR UNGENEROUS POLICIES. THE
IRAQI RIGHTS, SADDAM EMPHASIZED, WILL BE RESTORED
ONE BY ONE, THOUGH IT MAY TAKE A MONTH OR MUCH
MORE THAN A YEAR. IRAQ HOPES THE USG WILL BE
IN HARMONY WITH ALL THE PARTIES TO THIS DISPUTE.

¶12. SADDAM SAID HE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE USG IS
DETERMINED TO KEEP THE OIL FLOWING AND TO
MAINTAIN ITS FRIENDSHIPS IN THE GULF. WHAT HE
CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS WHY WE ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO
ARE DAMAGING IRAQ, WHICH IS WHAT OUR GULF MANEUVERS
WILL DO.

¶13. SADDAM SAID HE FULLY BELIEVES THE USG WANTS
PEACE, AND THAT IS GOOD. BUT DO NOT, HE ASKED,
USE METHODS WHICH YOU SAY YOU DO NOT LIKE,
METHODS LIKE ARM-TWISTING-

¶14. AT THIS POINT SADDAM SPOKE AT LENGTH ABOUT
PRIDE OF IRAQIS, WHO BELIEVE IN “LIBERTY OR DEATH.”
IRAQ WILL HAVE TO RESPOND IF THE U.S. USES THESE
METHODS. IRAQ KNOWS THE USG CAN SEND PLANES AND
ROCKETS AND HURT IRAQ DEEPLY. SADDAM ASKS THAT
THE USG NOT FORCE IRAQ TO THE POINT OF HUMILIATION
AT WHICH LOGIC MUST BE DISREGARDED. IRAQ DOES NOT
CONSIDER THE U.S. AN ENEMY AND HAS TRIED TO BE
FRIENDS.

¶15. AS FOR THE INTRA-ARAB DISPUTES, SADDAM SAID
HE IS NOT ASKING THE USG TO TAKE UP ANY PARTICULAR
ROLE SINCE THE SOLUTIONS MUST COME THROUGH ARAB
AND BILATERAL DIPLOMACY.

¶16. RETURNING TO HIS THEME THAT IRAQ WANTS
DIGNITY AND FREEDOM AS WELL AS FRIENDSHIP WITH THE
U.S., HE CHARGED THAT IN THE LAST YEAR THERE WERE
MANY OFFICIAL STATEMENTS WHICH MADE IT SEEM THAT
THE U.S. DOES NOT WANT TO RECIPROCATE. HOW, FOR
EXAMPLE, SADDAM ASKED,CAN WE INTERPRET THE
INVITATION FOR ARENS TO VISIT AT A TIME OF CRISIS
IN THE GULF? WHY DID THE U.S- DEFENSE MINISTER
MAKE “INFLAMMATORY” STATEMENTS?

¶17. SADDAM SAID THAT THE IRAQIS KNOW WHAT
WAR IS, WANT NO MORE OF IT–“DO NOT PUSH US TO IT;
DO NOT MAKE IT THE ONLY OPTION LEFT WITH WHICH WE
CAN PROTECT OUR DIGNITY.”

¶18. PRESIDENT BUSH, SADDAM SAID, HAS MADE NO MISTAKE
IN HIS PRESIDENCY VIS-A-VIS THE ARABS. THE DECISION
ON THE PLO DIALOGUE WAS “MISTAKEN,” BUT IT WAS
TAKEN UNDER “ZIONIST PRESSURE” AND, SADDAM SAID, IS
PERHAPS A CLEVER TACTIC TO ABSORB THAT PRESSURE.

¶19. AFTER A SHORT DIVERSION ON THE NEED FOR THE
U.S. TO CONSIDER THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF 200,000
ARABS WITH THE SAME VIGOR AND INTEREST AS THE HUMAN
RIGHTS OF THE ISRAELIS, SADDAM CONCLUDED BY
RESTATING THAT IRAQ WANTS AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP
“ALTHOUGH WE WILL NOT PANT FOR IT, WE WILL DO OUR
PART AS FRIENDS.”

¶20. SADDAM THEN OFFERED AN ANECDOTE TO ILLUSTRATE
HIS POINT. HE HAD TOLD THE IRAQI KURDISH LEADER
IN 1974 THAT HE WAS PREPARED TO GIVE UP HALF OF
THE SHATT AL-ARAB TO IRAN TO OBTAIN ALL OF A
PROSPEROUS IRAQ. THE KURD HAD BET THAT SADDAM WOULD
NOT GIVE HALF THE SHATT–THE KURD WAS WRONG. EVEN
NOW, THE ONLY REAL ISSUE WITH IRAN IS THE SHATT, AND
IF GIVING AWAY HALF OF THE WATERWAY IS THE ONLY
THING STANDING BETWEEN THE CURRENT SITUATION AND
IRAQI PROSPERITY, SADDAM SAID HE WOULD BE GUIDED
BY WHAT HE DID IN 1974.

¶21. THE AMBASSADOR THANKED SADDAM FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS DIRECTLY WITH HIM SOME OF
HIS AND OUR CONCERNS. PRESIDENT BUSH, TOO, WANTS
FRIENDSHIP, AS HE HAD WRITTEN AT THE ‘ID AND ON
THE OCCASION OF IRAQ’S NATIONAL DAY. SADDAM
INTERRUPTED TO SAY HE HAD BEEN TOUCHED BY THOSE

¶22. AMBASSADOR RESUMED HER THEME, RECALLING THAT
THE PRESIDENT HAD INSTRUCTED HER TO BROADEN AND
DEEPEN OUR RELATIONS WITH IRAQ. SADDAM HAD REFERRED
TO “SOME CIRCLES” ANTIPATHETIC TO THAT AIM. SUCH
CIRCLES CERTAINLY EXISTED, BUT THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION
IS INSTRUCTED BY THE PRESIDENT. ON THE OTHER HAND,
THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT CONTROL THE AMERICAN PRESS;
IF HE DID, CRITICISM OF THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD NOT
EXIST. SADDAM AGAIN INTERRUPTED TO SAY HE UNDERSTOOD
THAT. THE AMBASSADOR SAID SHE HAD SEEN THE DIANE
SAWYER SHOW AND THOUGHT THAT IT WAS CHEP AND UNFAIR.
BUT THE AMERICAN PRESS TREATS ALL POLITICIANS
WITHOUT KID GLOVES–THAT IS OUR WAY.

¶23. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS
VERY RECENTLY REAFFIRMED HIS DESIRE FOR A BETTER
RELATIONSHIP AND HAS PROVEN THAT BY, FOR EXAMPLE,
OPPOSING SANCTIONS BILLS. HERE SADDAM INTERRUPTED
AGAIN. LAUGHING, HE SAID THERE IS NOTHING LEFT
FOR IRAQ TO BUY IN THE U.S. EVERYTHING IS
PROHIBITED EXCEPT FOR WHEAT, AND NO DOUBT THAT WILL
SOON BE DECLARED A DUAL-USE ITEM- SADDAM SAID, HOWEVER,
HE HAD DECIDED NOT TO RAISE THIS ISSUE, BUT RATHER
CONCENTRATE ON THE FAR MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES AT HAND.

¶24. AMBASSADOR SAID THERE WERE MANY ISSUES HE
HAD RAISED SHE WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON, BUT
SHE WISHED TO USE HER LIMITED TIME WITH THE
PRESIDENT TO STRESS FIRST PRESIDENT BUSH’S DESIRE
FOR FRIENDSHIP AND, SECOND, HIS STRONG DESIRE, SHARED
WE ASSUME BY IRAQ, FOR PEACE AND STABILITY IN THE MID
EAST. IS IT NOT REASONABLE FOR US TO BE CONCERNED
WHEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER BOTH
SAY PUBLICLY THAT KUWAITI ACTIONS ARE THE
EQUIVALENT OF MILITARY AGGRESSION, AND THEN WE
LEARN THAT MANY UNITS OF THE REPUBLICAN GUARD
HAVE BEEN SENT TO THE BORDER? IS IT NOT REASONABLE
FOR US TO ASK, IN THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP, NOT
CONFRONTATION, THE SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR
INTENTIONS?

¶25. SADDAM SAID THAT WAS INDEED A REASONABLE
QUESTION. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT WE SHOULD BE
CONCERNED FOR REGIONAL PEACE, IN FACT IT IS OUR
DUTY AS A SUPERPOWER. “BUT HOW CAN WE MAKE THEM
(KUWAIT AND UAE) UNDERSTAND HOW DEEPLY WE ARE
SUFFERING.” THE FINANCIAL SITUATION IS SUCH THAT
THE PENSIONS FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS WILL HAVE
TO BE CUT. AT THIS POINT, THE INTERPRETER AND
ONE OF THE NOTETAKERS BROKE DOWN AND WEPT.

¶26. AFTER A PAUSE FOR RECUPERATION, SADDAM SAID,
IN EFFECT, BELIEVE ME I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING: WE
SENT ENVOYS, WROTE MESSAGES, ASKED FAHD TO
ARRANGE QUADRAPARTITE SUMMIT (IRAQ, SAG, UE,
KUWAIT). FAHD SUGGESTFD OIL MINISTERS INSTEAD AND
WE AGREED TO THE JEDDAH AGREEMENT ALTHOUGH IT WAS
WELL BELOW OUR HOPES. THEN, SADDAM CONTINUED,
TWO DAYS LATER THE KUWAITI OIL MINISTER ANNOUNCED
HE WOULD WANT TO ANNUL THAT AGREEMENT WITHIN TWO
MONTHS. AS FOR THE UAE, SADDAM SAID, I BEGGED
SHAYKH ZAYID TO UNDERSTAND OUR PROBLEMS (WHEN
SADDAM ENTERTAINED HIM IN MOSUL AFTER THE BAGHDAD
SUMMIT), AND ZAYID SAID JUST WAIT UNTIL I GET
BACK TO ABU DHABI. BUT THEN HIS MINISTER OF OIL
MADE “BAD STATEMENTS.”

¶27. AT THIS POINT, SADDAM LEFT THE ROOM TO TAKE
AN URGENT CALL FROM MUBARAK. AFTER HIS RETURN,
THE AMBASSADOR ASKED IF HE COULD TELL HER IF
THERE HAS ANY PROGRESS IN FINDING A PEACEFUL WAY
TO DEFUSE THE DISPUTE. THIS WAS SOMETHING PRESIDENT
BUSH WOULD BE KEENLY INTERESTED TO KNOW. SADDAM
SAID THAT HE HAD JUST LEARNED FROM MUBARAK THE
KUWAITIS HAVE AGREED TO NEGOTIATE. THE KUWAITI
CROWN PRINCE/PRIME MINISTER WOULD MEET IN RIYADH
WITH SADDAM’S NUMBER TWO, IZZAT IBRAHIM, AND THEN
THE KUWAITI WOULD COME TO BAGHDAD ON SATURDAY,
SUNDAY OR, AT THE LATEST, MONDAY, JULY 30.

¶28. “I TOLD MUBARAK,” SADDAM SAID, THAT “NOTHING
WILL HAPPEN UNTIL THE MEETING,” AND NOTHING WILL
HAPPEN DURING OR AFTER THE MEETING IF THE KUWAITIS
WILL AT LAST “GIVE US SOME HOPE.”

¶29. THE AMBASSADOR SAID SHE WAS DELIGHTED TO HEAR
THIS GOOD NEWS. SADDAM THEN ASKED HER TO CONVEY
HIS WARM GREETINGS TO PRESIDENT BUSH AND TO
CONVEY HIS MESSAGE TO HIM.

¶30. NOTE: ON THE BORDER QUESTION, SADDAM REFERRED
TO THE 1961 AGREEMENT AND A “LINE OF PATROL” IT
HAD ESTABLISHED. THE KUWAITIS, HE SAID, HAD TOLD
MUBARAK IRAQ WAS 20 KILOMETERS “IN FRONT” OF THIS
LINE. THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN
KUWAIT 20 YEARS BEFORE; THEN, AS NOW, WE TOOK NO
POSITION ON THESE ARAB AFFAIRS.

¶31. COMMENT: IN THE MEMORY QF THE CURRENT
DIPLOMATIC CORPS, SADDAM HAS NEVER SUMMONED AN
AMBASSADOR. HE IS WORRIED.

ACCORDING TO HIS OWN POLITICAL THEORIZING
(U.S. THE SOLE MAJOR POWER IN THE MIDDLE EAST),
HE NEEDS AT A MINIMUM A CORRECT RELATIONSHIP
WITH US FOR OBVIOUS GEOPOLITICAL REASONS,
ESPECIALLY AS LONG AS HE PERCEIVES MORTAL
THREATS FROM ISRAEL AND IRAN. AMBASSADOR
BELIEVES SADDAM SUSPECTS OUR DECISION SUDDENLY
TO UNDERTAKE MANEUVERS WITH ABU DHABI IS A
HARBINGER OF A USG DECISION TO TAKE SIDES.
FURTHER, SADDAM, HIMSELF BEGINNING TO HAVE AN
INKLING OF HOW MUCH HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT
THE U.S., IS APPREHENSIVE THAT WE DO NOT
UNDERSTAND CERTAIN POLITICAL FACTORS WHICH
INHIBIT HIM, SUCH AS:

–HE CANNOT ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE PERCEIVED AS
CAVING IN TO SUPERPOWER BULLYING (AS U/S HAMDUN
FRANKLY WARNED US IN LATE 1988);

–IRAQ, WHICH LOST 100,000’S OF CASUALTIES, IS
SUFFERING AND KUWAIT IS “MISERLY” AND “SELFISH.”

¶32. IT WAS PROGRESS TO HAVE SADDAM ADMIT
THAT THE USG HAS A “RESPONSIBILITY” IN THE
REGION, AND HAS EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT AN
ANSWER WHEN WE ASK IRAQ’S INTENTIONS. HIS
RESPONSE IN EFFECT THAT HE TRIED VARIOUS
DIPLOMATIC/CHANNELS BEFORE RESORTING TO
UNADULTERATED INTIMIDATION HAS AT LEAST THE
VIRTUE OF FRANKNESS. HIS EMPHASIS THAT HE
WANTS PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT IS SURELY SINCERE
(IRAQIS ARE SICK OF WAR), BUT THE TERMS SOUND
DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE. SADDAM SEEMS TO WANT
PLEDGES NOW ON OIL PRICES AND PRODUCTION TO
COVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.

GLASPIE

What happened in Iraq before Glaspie’s fateful meeting with Saddam? Robert Parry writes:

According to a sworn affidavit by former Reagan national security staffer Howard Teicher, the
administration enlisted the Egyptians in a secret “Bear Spares” program that gave the United States access
to Soviet-designed military equipment. Teicher asserted that the Reagan administration funnelled some of
those weapons to Iraq and also arranged other shipments of devastating cluster bombs that Saddam’s air
force dropped on Iranians troops.

In 1984, facing congressional rejection of continued CIA funding of the Nicaraguan contra rebels, President
Reagan exploited the “special status” again. He tapped into the Saudi slush funds for money to support the
Nicaraguan contra rebels in their war in Central America. The President also authorized secret weapons
shipments to Iran in another arms-for-hostages scheme, with the profits going to “off-the-shelf” intelligence
operations. That gambit, like the others, was protected by walls of “deniability” and outright lies.

Some of those lies collapsed in the Iran-Contra scandal, but the administration quickly constructed new
stonewalls that were never breached. Republicans fiercely defended the secrets and Democrats lacked the
nerve to fight for the truth. The Washington media also lost interest because the scandals were complex
and official sources steered the press in other directions.

‘Read Machiavelli’

When I interviewed Haig several years ago, I asked him if he was troubled by the pattern of deceit that had
become the norm among international players in the 1980s. “Oh, no, no, no, no,” he boomed, shaking his
head. “On that kind of thing? No. Come on. Jesus! God! You know, you’d better get out and read Machiavelli
or somebody else because I think you’re living in a dream world! People do what their national interest tells
them to do and if it means lying to a friendly nation, they’re going to lie through their teeth.”

But sometimes the game-playing did have unintended consequences. In 1990, a decade after Iraq’s messy
invasion of Iran, an embittered Saddam Hussein was looking for pay-back from the sheikhdoms that he felt
had egged him into war. Saddam was especially furious with Kuwait for slant drilling into Iraq’s oil fields
and refusing to extend more credit. Again, Saddam was looking for a signal from the U.S. president, this
time George Bush.

When Saddam explained his confrontation with Kuwait to U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie, he received an
ambiguous reply, a reaction he apparently perceived as another “green light.” Eight days later, Saddam
unleashed his army into Kuwait, an invasion that required 500,000 U.S. troops and thousands more dead to
reverse.

Francis Boyle describes in his 1992 paper the heinous Bush Senior & Co. war crimes during Gulf War 1. He describes the “Green Light” thus:

12. The Defendants showed absolutely no opposition to Iraq’s
increasing threats against Iraq. Indeed, when Saddam
Hussein requested U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to explain
State Department testimony in Congress about Iraq’s threats
against Kuwait, she assured him that the United States
considered the dispute to be a regional concern, and that it
would not intervene militarily. In other words, the United States
government gave Saddam Hussein what amounted to a
“green light” to invade Kuwait.

13. This reprehensible behavior was similar to that of the
Carter administration during September of 1980, when
United States government officials gave Saddam Hussein the
“green light” to invade Iran and thus commence the tragic
Iraq-Iran War. A decade later, Saddam Hussein simply
surmised that he had been given yet another “green light” by
the United States government to commit overt aggression
against surrounding states. Only this time, the Defendants
knowingly intended to lead Iraq into a provocation that could
be used to justify intervention and warfare by United States
military forces for the real purpose of destroying Iraq as a
military power and seizing Arab oil fields in the Persian Gulf.

9. Sometime after the termination of the Iraq-Iran War in the
Summer of 1988, the Pentagon proceeded to revise its
outstanding war plans for U.S. military intervention into the
Persian Gulf region in order to destroy Iraq. Defendant
Schwarzkopf was put in charge of this revision. For example,
in early 1990, Defendant Schwarzkopf informed the Senate
Armed Services Committee of this new military strategy in the
Gulf allegedly designed to protect U.S. access to and control
over Gulf oil in the event of regional conflicts. In October 1990,
Defendant Powell referred to the new military plan developed
in 1989. After the war, Defendant Schwarzkopf referred to
eighteen months of planning for the campaign.

10. Sometime in late 1989 or early 1990, the Pentagon’s war
plan for destroying Iraq and stealing Persian Gulf oil fields
was put into motion. At that time, Defendant Schwarzkopf was
named the Commander of the so-called U.S. Central
Command – which was the renamed version of the Rapid
Deployment Force – for the purpose of carrying out the war
plan that he had personally developed and supervised. During
January of 1990, massive quantities of United States
weapons, equipment, and supplies were sent to Saudi Arabia
in order to prepare for the war against Iraq.

11. Pursuant to this war plan, Defendant Webster and the CIA
assisted and directed Kuwait in its actions of violating OPEC
oil production agreements to undercut the price of oil for the
purpose of debilitating Iraq’s economy; in extracting
excessive and illegal amounts of oil from pools it shared with
Iraq; in demanding immediate repayment of loans Kuwait had
made to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War; and in breaking off
negotiations with Iraq over these disputes. The Defendants
intended to provoke Iraq into aggressive military actions
against Kuwait that they knew could be used to justify U.S.
military intervention into the Persian Gulf for the purpose of
destroying Iraq and taking over Arab oil fields.

The U.S. “Green Light” to Invade Kuwait

12. The Defendants showed absolutely no opposition to Iraq’s
increasing threats against Iraq. Indeed, when Saddam
Hussein requested U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to explain
State Department testimony in Congress about Iraq’s threats
against Kuwait, she assured him that the United States
considered the dispute to be a regional concern, and that it
would not intervene militarily. In other words, the United States
government gave Saddam Hussein what amounted to a
“green light” to invade Kuwait.

13. This reprehensible behavior was similar to that of the
Carter administration during September of 1980, when
United States government officials gave Saddam Hussein the
“green light” to invade Iran and thus commence the tragic
Iraq-Iran War. A decade later, Saddam Hussein simply
surmised that he had been given yet another “green light” by
the United States government to commit overt aggression
against surrounding states. Only this time, the Defendants
knowingly intended to lead Iraq into a provocation that could
be used to justify intervention and warfare by United States
military forces for the real purpose of destroying Iraq as a
military power and seizing Arab oil fields in the Persian Gulf.

Bush Is the Bigger War Criminal

14. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait
without significant resistance. The Kuwaiti government itself
estimated that approximately 300 people were killed as a
result of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and a few hundred more as
a result of the military occupation. By comparison, Defendant
Bush’s invasion of Panama in December of 1989 took
between 2,000 and 4,000 Panamanian lives, and the United
States government is still covering up the actual death toll.
Defendant Bush killed more innocent people in Panama than
Saddam Hussein did in Kuwait.

15. Defendant Bush’s invasion of Panama was even more
illegal, reprehensible, and criminal than Saddam Hussein’s
invasion of Kuwait. The world must never forget that the first
step in the construction of Bush’s “New World Order” was his
illegal invasion of Panama and the murder of thousands of
completely innocent Panamanian civilians. America’s
self-anointed policeman in the Persian Gulf had the blood of
the Panamanian People on his hands.

Bush’s Perversion of the Constitution

16. Pursuant to the Pentagon’s war plan for destroying Iraq
and stealing Persian Gulf oil fields – and without consultation
or communication with Congress – Defendant Bush initially
ordered 40,000 U.S. military personnel into the Persian Gulf
region during the first week of August 1990. He lied to the
American People and Congress when he stated that his acts
were purely defensive. Right from the very outset of this crisis
– and even beforehand – Defendant Bush fully intended to go
to war against Iraq and to seize the Arab oil fields in the
Persian Gulf. Defendant Bush deliberately misled, deceived,
concealed and made false representations to the Congress
to prevent its free deliberation and informed exercise of
legislative power.

17. Defendant Bush intentionally usurped Congressional
power, ignored its authority, and failed and refused to consult
with the Congress. He individually ordered a naval blockade
against Iraq – itself an act of war – without approval by
Congress or the U.N. Security Council. Defendant Bush
waited until after the November 1990 elections to publicly
announce his earlier order sending more than 200,000
additional military personnel to the Persian Gulf for offensive
purposes without seeking the approval of Congress. Pursuant
to the Pentagon’s war plan, Defendant Bush switched U.S.
forces from a defensive position and capability to an
offensive capacity for aggression against Iraq without
consultation with, and contrary to assurances given to,
Congress and the American People.

18. On the very eve of the war, Defendant Bush then
strong-armed legislation through Congress that approved
enforcement of U.N. resolutions vesting absolute discretion in
any nation, providing no guidelines, and requiring no reporting
to the United Nations. Defendant Bush knew full well that he
intended to destroy the armed forces and civilian
infrastructure of Iraq. Those acts were undertaken to enable
him to commit a Nuremberg Crime Against Peace and war
crimes. This conduct violated the Constitution and Laws of the
United States and especially the War Powers Clause found in
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the U.S. War Powers
Act of 1973, 87 Stat. 555, and the United Nations Charter,
which is the “Supreme Law of the Land” under Article 6 of the
Constitution. For this reason alone, Defendant Bush and his
co-conspirators committed “High Crimes and
Misdemeanors” that warrant their impeachment, conviction,
removal from office, and criminal prosecution.

On the 2nd August, 1990, Iraq began its onslaught.

Another cable 90BAGHDAD4397 relates that the US phone calls were ignored.

O 020411Z AUG 90
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 4708
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT NIACT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY DOHA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MANAMA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MUSCAT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T BAGHDAD 04397

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: PREL IZ KU AS
SUBJECT: IRAQI INCURSION ACROSS KUWAITI BORDER

REF: (A) STATE 253201 (B) WILSON/MACK
TELECON (C) WILSON/CHARLES TELECON

¶1. (S-ENTIRE TEXT)

¶2. WE HAVE TRIED REPEATEDLY SINCE 0630 LOCAL
TO REACH SENIOR MFA OFFICIALS, INCLUDING
FOREIGN MINISTER AZIZ. UNDERSECRETARY HAMDUN
IS APPARENTLY NOT AT HOME SINCE NOBODY ANSWERS
HIS HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER. THE FOREIGN
MINISTRY DUTY OFFICER IS AWARE OF OUR INTEREST
IN TALKING TO THE MINISTER, AND WE ARE REMIND-
ING THEM EVERY TEN MINUTES. AT 0710 LOCAL WE
WERE TOLD THAT BOTH HAMDUN AND THE FOREIGN
MINISTER WERE IN A MEETING.

¶3. EMBASSY HAS SET UP A CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM.
EMBASSY TELEPHONE NUMBERS ARE: 7196138/9,
7189265, 7189267, 7193791, 7189273. SECURITY
LINE IS EXTENSION 286.

¶4. IRAQI PRESS THIS MORNING MAKES NO MENTION
OF INCURSION. IRAQI PRESS COVERAGE OF THE
KUWAIT/IRAQ TALKS ARE CRITICAL OF KUWAIT’S
UNCOMPROMISING POSITION, BUT DO NOT IN ANY
WAY SUGGEST THAT THE GOI IS CONSIDERING THE
MILITARY OPTION.

WILSON

Who profited since?

When the United Nations relaxed its sanctions
regime in 1998 and permitted Iraq to buy spare
parts for its oil fields, it was Halliburton, under
Mr Cheney’s leadership, that cleaned up on the
contract to repair war damage and get
Saddam Hussein’s oil pipes flowing at full
capacity again. Two Halliburton subsidiaries
did business worth almost $24m (£15m) with
the man whom these days Mr Cheney calls a
“murderous dictator” and “the world’s worst
leader”.

Since taking over as George Bush’s
vice-president, Mr Cheney has severed all
formal ties with his former employer, notably
when he cashed in $36m in stock options and
other benefits at the height of the market in
August 2000. But Halliburton – currently
struggling with a corporate accounting scandal
that may or may not implicate Mr Cheney – could profit all over again if the
much-threatened new war against Iraq comes to pass.
Since taking over as George Bush’s
vice-president, Mr Cheney has severed all
formal ties with his former employer, notably
when he cashed in $36m in stock options and
other benefits at the height of the market in
August 2000. But Halliburton – currently
struggling with a corporate accounting scandal
that may or may not implicate Mr Cheney – could profit all over again if the
much-threatened new war against Iraq comes to pass.

We can certainly expect more air strikes against the oil fields, possibly combined
with a ground invasion. Then, when it is all over, someone is going to have to
mop up the damage once again. Halliburton, with its previous experience and
unparalleled political connections (not limited to Mr Cheney), would be in pole
position for the job.

Nobody could justifiably accuse the Bush administration of wanting to wage war
on Iraq solely as a favour to its friends in the oil business and the
military-industrial complex. But many of the companies that stand to gain most
from a war enjoy remarkably close ties to senior figures in the administration.
And some of the President’s closest confidants have shown extraordinary
elasticity down the years in their attitudes to President Saddam, America’s
on-again, off-again public enemy number one.

Mr Cheney, who has gone from warmonger to dealmaker and back to
warmonger, is just one example. Donald Rumsfeld, the current Defence
Secretary, has repeatedly raised the spectre of Iraq’s arsenal of weapons of
mass destruction. But in 1983, when Mr Rumsfeld was President Reagan’s
special envoy to Iraq, he turned a blind eye to Iraqi use of nerve and mustard gas
in its war with Iran, concentrating instead on forging a personal relationship with
the Iraqi leader, then considered a valuable US ally.

Mr Rumsfeld was actually in Baghdad on the day the United Nations first reported
Iraqi use of chemical weapons, but chose to remain silent, as did the rest of the
US establishment. Five years later, he cited his ability to make friends with
Saddam Hussein as one of his qualifications for a possible run at the presidency.

This Bush administration has been much more upfront about the role of oil in its
deliberations on Iraq than the last Bush administration. That is partly a matter of
circumstance: since the 11 September attacks, the stability of Middle Eastern oil
states has been a big policy consideration. But it also reflects the fact that much
of the Bush inner circle, including the President himself, is made up of former
oilmen. The oil and gas industry has pumped about $50m to political candidates
since the 2000 election.

There are also uncomfortably cosy ties between the government and the
defence industry. Mr Rumsfeld’s oldest friend, Frank Carlucci, a former defence
secretary himself, now heads the Carlyle Group, an investment consortium
which has a big interest in the contracting firm United Defense.

Carlyle’s board includes George Bush Sr and James Baker, the former secretary
of state. One programme alone – the Crusader artillery system – has earned
Carlyle more than $2bn in advance government contracts. Carlyle’s European
chairman is John Major, who may have played a role in the Ministry of Defence’s
controversial recent decision to declare Carlyle the “preferred bidder” for a stake
in its scientific research division.

None of these links is illegal, but that does not mean there is no conflict of
interest. Messrs Bush, Cheney and friends have either sold their stock holdings
or put them in a blind trust, meaning personal gain is off the agenda. But gain for
their friends and family may well be a by-product of the looming war against Iraq

And more:

Even As Bombs Drop, Hypocrisy Prevails

By: Jason Leopold – 03/20/03

It was only five years ago when Vice President Dick Cheney, as chief
executive of the oil-field supply corporation, Halliburton Co., was
engaged in secret business dealings with Saddam’s regime by selling
Iraq oil production equipment and spare parts to get the Iraqi oil
fields up and running, according to confidential United Nations
records.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Cheney adamantly denied such
dealings.

While he acknowledged that his company did business with Libya and
Iran through foreign subsidiaries, Cheney said, “Iraq’s different.”

He claimed that he imposed a “firm policy” prohibiting any unit of
Halliburton against trading with Iraq.

“I had a firm policy that we wouldn’t do anything in Iraq, even
arrangements that were supposedly legal,” Cheney said on the ABC-TV
news program “This Week” on July 30, 2000.

“We’ve not done any business in Iraq since U.N. sanctions were imposed
on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn’t do that.”

But it turns out that Cheney was lying.

It’s only through the sale of Iraqi oil that Saddam would be able to
afford to obtain such weapons.

If Saddam was in fact building nuclear and other weapons of mass
destruction, which some news reports allege could be used against
American and British troops, Cheney is partially responsible.

The Washington Post first reported Halliburton’s trade with Iraq in
February 2000.

But U.N. records obtained by The Post two years ago showed that the
dealings were more extensive than originally reported and than Vice
President Cheney has acknowledged.

As secretary of defense in the first Bush administration, Cheney
helped to lead a multinational coalition against Iraq in the Persian
Gulf War and to devise a comprehensive economic embargo to isolate
Saddam Hussein’s government.

After Cheney was named chief executive of Halliburton in 1995, he
promised to maintain a hard line against Baghdad.

But his stance changed when it appeared that Halliburton was headed
for financial disaster in the mid-1990s.

Cheney said sanctions against countries such as Iraq were hurting
corporations such as Halliburton.

“We seem to be sanction-happy as a government,” Cheney said at an
energy conference in April 1996, reported in the oil industry
publication Petroleum Finance Week.

“The problem is that the good Lord didn’t see fit to always put oil
and gas resources where there are democratic governments,” he observed
during his conference presentation.

Sanctions make U.S. businesses “the bystander who gets hit when a
train wreck occurs,” Cheney told Petroleum Finance Week.

“While virtually every other country sees the need for sanctions
against Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s regime there, Cheney sees general
agreement that the measures have not been very effective despite their
having most of the international community’s support. An individual
country’s embargo, such as that of the United States against Iran, has
virtually no effect since the target country simply signs a contract
with a non- U.S. business,” the publication reported

“That’s exactly what happened when the government told Conoco Inc.
that it could not develop an oil field there,” Cheney told Petroleum
Finance Week.

Total S.A. “simply took it over.”

In 1998, Cheney oversaw Halliburton’s acquisition of Dresser
Industries Inc., the unit that sold oil equipment to Iraq through two
subsidiaries of a joint venture with another large U.S. equipment
maker, Ingersoll-Rand Co.

The Halliburton subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump
Co., sold water and sewage treatment pumps, spare parts for oil
facilities and pipeline equipment to Baghdad through French affiliates
from the first half of 1997 to the summer of 2000, U.N. records show.

Ingersoll Dresser Pump also signed contracts — later blocked by the
United States — to help repair an Iraqi oil terminal that U.S.-led
military forces destroyed in the Gulf War, the Post reported in a June
2001 story.

The Halliburton subsidiaries and several other American and foreign
oil supply companies helped Iraq increase its crude exports from $4
billion in 1997 to nearly $18 billion in 2000.

Since the program began, Iraq has exported oil worth more than $40
billion.

U.S. and European officials have argued that the increase in
production also expanded Saddam’s ability to use some of that money
for weapons, luxury goods and palaces.

Security Council diplomats estimate that Iraq may be skimming off as
much as 10 percent of the proceeds from the oil-for-food program,
according to the Post.

During his tenure as chief executive of Halliburton, Cheney pushed the
U.N. Security Council, after he became vice president; to end an
11-year embargo on sales of civilian goods, including oil related
equipment, to Iraq.

Cheney has said sanctions against countries like Iraq unfairly punish
U.S. companies.

Earlier this year, Halliburton was chosen as one of the companies to
rebuild Iraq’s dilapidated oil fields following a U.S. led attack on
the country.

U.N. documents show that Halliburton’s affiliates have had
controversial, dealings with the Iraqi regime during Cheney’s tenure
at the company.

The Clinton administration blocked one of the deals Halliburton was
trying to push through.

That deal, between Halliburton subsidiary Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co.
and Iraq, included agreements by the firm to sell $760,000 in spare
parts, compressors and firefighting equipment to refurbish an offshore
oil terminal, Khor al Amaya.

2003 Oil Blackmail:

France and Russia have been warned they must support the US military invasion and occupation of Iraq if they want acess to Iraqi oilfields in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. According to a report in today’s Tehran Times, US Senator Richard Lugar, a leading member of the Bush administration and Republican Party chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Russia and France “must be ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in any US-led military intervention” if they want a share of Iraqi oil.

The paper quoted Lugar as saying that Paris and Moscow oil companies will be deprived of Iraqi oil and have no share in the country’s resources if they refuse to join in the US war to oust Hussein. It noted that both the Russian Duma and the French parliament have both expressed opposition to a US military attack on Iraq

Why did so many children die under the hideous sanctions placed on Iraq at the behest of the US during the 90s? Here’s what I wrote about it:

According to Hans Graf Sponeck, the major cause of death of Iraqis, particularly children, is not starvation – it has been the intentional bombing of water installations during the war by the US and then the US-led UN sanctioning of chlorine and essential water equipment parts afterwards (on the dual purpose list until 1996).

There is incontrovertible evidence from the US government itself to show that the US knew exactly what the consequences of their destruction would be.

http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_0504rept_91.html
http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_511rept_91.html
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/091700-01.htm
http://www.progressive.org/0801issue/nagy0901.html

As far as food for oil goes, one of the most serious effects proceeding from these sanctions has been the unconscionable holds placed on essential items. Refer above to Sponeck’s article. Right now there are holds placed by the US/UK :

“The Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Iraq still had holds on
contracts for various supplies and equipment worth almost $4.1 billion. This figure includes
155 contracts valued at $290 million, which were in the “inactive holds” category. Contracts
are categorized as “inactive holds” after information requested by the committee is not
provided by suppliers in 60 days. Once this information is received, the relevant contract is
put back in the “active holds” category for action.”

There is also firm evidence that CIA and US Government incompetency contributed to the removal of the UNSCOM team of weapons inspectors as well as two failed coups against Saddam.

http://jya.com/cia-aoe.htm
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1096/9610009.htm
http://www.meib.org/articles/0104_ir1.htm

After all these stuff ups and spying (and although I don’t support this bloody dictator), I am not surprised he has remained uncooperative since 1998.

If you read the last sanctions committee meeting however, you will see that both Iraq and the League of Arab Nations are arguing for making the ME a nuclear free zone.

http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/undocs/sc010628open.pdf

There have been recent meetings in the UN to try to bring this about, and Israel is proving recalcitrant.

http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/ec8db69f77e7a33e052567270057e591/6fe84f16fb4977c185256aef004e3fd3!OpenDocument

If Israel cooperated, it would be possible for weapons inspectors to be welcomed in all Middle East countries, including Iraq.

BTW if Saddam IS developing nuclear weapons, I would not blame him, given Israel’s arsenal and belligerence.

If Israel nuked any middle east country, who would nuke them back????
Where is Israel’s deterrent?????

Here’s a url that condenses many of the other myths and facts about Iraq.

http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw/mythsand%20realities3.html

Finally, it is clear that sanctions do not punish Saddam or his cronies. They punish the ordinary people in Iraq, who have now suffered 11 years AFTER a war.

The price was worth it, Madeline? Really? Look what you and the cold, avaricious lackeys of empire like you have done. Millions of Iraqis dead, thousands of Americans. For what? the Iraq of today. No stable government, an environment polluted with cancerous chemicals, women’s rights set back decades, antiquities and architecture vandalised. And some still wonder why the US is despised by those who know what it has done to benefit its perverse ‘national interest’.

Related Links

Controil
Cheney gets $1m from firm with Iraq oil deal
US plans to ditch industry rivals and force end of Opec
What Did April Say?.
OzRant: No ‘Follow the Leader’…
Wars nearing an end, so US can move on – Richard Hass – ‘In the short run, doing less in Iraq and Afghanistan will allow the US to concentrate on the two most immediate external threats to American interests: Iran and North Korea’
Glaspie Memo Leaked: US Dealings With Iraq Ahead of 1990 Invasion of Kuwait Detailed
Iraq Is Bleeding Every Day
Four Polygamous Families with Congenital Birth Defects from Fallujah, Iraq
Judith Miller: From the Times to the nuts

I will add more when time permits.

Today’s Palestine / Israel Links

AIPAC Protests Disclosure of Its Secret Files
Israelis ignore Palestinian documents, warn of “more ferocious” war
Gaza Youth Manifesto
TOXIC ZIONISM – ‘The above is an indication that zionism is not only toxic, it is a form of insanity. If there was no Palestine as they claim, who have they been killing for the past 63 years? Who have they walled into ghettos reminiscent of the ones created by madmen of history? Who have they been expelling from their homes in Jerusalem and other major cities?’
IDF: Palestinian killed at checkpoint was unarmed
Wikileaks: Israel preparing for ‘large scale war’
WikiLeaks quotes IDF chief: Iran could hit Israel within 12 minutes
Despite public denial, U.S. officials tell Haaretz: We’re angry at Barak
Abbas: Israeli-Palestinian peace could be reached in two months
Israel spying on latest Irish aid effort for Gaza, claim activists
Tel Aviv Protests as tweeted by Joseph Dana (@ibnezra/http://twitter.com/#!/ibnezra) on January 1-2, 2011
An awful lot of few bad apples – ‘Of course, there’s an asymmetry between the freedom accorded by Zionists to people who want to speak. If it’s a rabbi saying that Gentiles were born to serve the Jews — yes; if it’s a British Foreign Office employee saying “fucking Jews, fucking Israelis” — no.

It would be good for them to remember that Israel does not grant unlimited free speech to its population, and that there are laws against incitement to hate that could very well be applied to the rabbis who sign weird letters if the country were the democratic paragon it’s purported to be. ‘
Israel to isolate settlements around Gaza with trees
Gideon Levy : The year of truth : ‘The Israelis don’t really want peace, they prefer real estate’.
Israel extends family reunification ban
Israelis kill man carrying bottle – comments allowed calling Israel the Nazis of the 21st Century?

Today’s Wikilinks

WikiLeaks to draw weak information laws – media expert
THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG, Special New Year’s Weekend Editiion
Gigantic Irony : Reporter behind WMD claims calls Assange ‘bad journalist’
Jailed Belarus editor ‘bleeding from ears’
Israel extends family reunification ban
Let a million flowers bloom. – ‘Since the announcement of our Call for Papers, a number of other projects focused on interpreting the cables have sprung up. WikiLeaked is a new group blog from Foreign Policy magazine; Heinz Duthel published a Kindle ebook with commentary and excerpts, and an anonymous Amazon CreateSpace user has created a complete data dump in one book; BoingBoing premiered the first episode of Joe Sabian’s WikiWecaps; and the group Anonymous, fired up from the impact of Operation Payback and now looking for a constructive method of protest, has launched Operation Leakspin, which has a web and Facebook presence and also promises video analyses.’
Diplomats Help Push Jet Sales on Global Market

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Deaf, Dumb and Blind to 650,000 Iraqi deaths

Three Monkeys of the ApocalypseAs reported at Now Public, the United Stupids have denied a visa to one of the recent Lancet Iraqi death study researchers, Dr. Riyadh Lafta, who will instead present his talk in Canada.

An Iraqi medical school professor will talk about the death count in Iraq after the 2003 invasion: causes, types of victims, categories of violence, and other health indicators.

Dr. Riyadh Lafta will be in North America to collaborate with University of Washington colleagues on a research project to document elevated levels of pediatric cancers in Basra, Iraq. The project was conceived as part of a sister university relationship between Basra Univ and the UW. The research project is supported by a grant from the Puget Sound Partners, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative.

Dr. Riyadh Lafta, who teaches medicine at Baghdad’s Al-Mustansiriya University College of Medicine, co-authored the October 2006 Lancet article that estimated more than 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the the American-led invasion in 2003.

Lafta will speak at a public gathering at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre (580 W Hastings in downtown Vancouver BC) on Friday, April 20, at 7 pm.

His talk will be video cast to the UW’s Kane Hall at the same time with the opportunity for interactive audience participation.

Dr. Lafta will be a guest of Simon Fraser University, in part because the U.S. State Department would not issue him a visa to come to the United States.

The public is welcome at either location.

For more information:
Tim Takaro, MD, MPH, Simon Fraser Faculty of Health Sciences
ttakaro at sfu dot ca
604-268-7186

Amy Hagopian, PhD, UW School of Public Health
hagopian at u dot washington dot edu
206-616-4989, 685-3676 or Ian Maki 206-543-6020

The ABC records the members of the Coalition of the Gobbling’s infantile reactions to the Lancet study:

GEORGE W. BUSH: I don’t consider it to be a credible report.

JOHN HOWARD: I don’t believe that Johns Hopkins research, I don’t.

Continue reading “Deaf, Dumb and Blind to 650,000 Iraqi deaths”

Coalition of the Gobbling vs Iraq 111

This story from the UK Independent, on the 600,000 and more Iraqi casualties slaughtered by the Coalition of the Gobbling, received pathetically little coverage in the dailies.

As it’s such a significant and horrific admission on the part of the United Kooks, we’ll help air the facts some more. The Coalition of the Gobbling is certainly way ahead of Saddam’s efforts at this stage and is not looking like letting up. But what the hell – when the West kills en masse, it’s only collateral damage and a necessary side effect of creating “democracy” – yet when some tinpot dictator created and coddled by the West till he’s served his purpose does it, it’s genocide.

British backtrack on Iraq death toll
By Jill Lawless

British government officials have backed the methods used by scientists who concluded that more than 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion, the BBC reported yesterday.

The Government publicly rejected the findings, published in The Lancet in October. But the BBC said documents obtained under freedom of information legislation showed advisers concluded that the much-criticised study had used sound methods.

The study, conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, estimated that 655,000 more Iraqis had died since March 2003 than one would expect without the war. The study estimated that 601,027 of those deaths were from violence.

The researchers, reflecting the inherent uncertainties in such extrapolations, said they were 95 per cent certain that the real number of deaths lay somewhere between 392,979 and 942,636.

The conclusion, based on interviews and not a body count, was disputed by some experts, and rejected by the US and British governments. But the chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Roy Anderson, described the methods used in the study as “robust” and “close to best practice”. Another official said it was “a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones”.