Tuesday, August 27, 2013

U.S. Picking Sides — Then and Now — WTF is That About

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti and Bashar Hafez al-Assad
 Both Used Chemical Weapons

Based on the historical facts seen in this document, why is the U.S. against Syria and ready to blast them to Hell, but before we looked the other way and indeed may have assisted Hussein when he used them for the exact same reasons: on his own people??? Why is that, do you suppose? Oh, yeah, back then, we hated Iran and liked Iraq in their 10-year old war. 

Heart of the story revealed in the document link above:

It has been previously reported that the United States provided tactical intelligence to Iraq at the same time that officials suspected Hussein would use chemical weapons. But the CIA documents, which sat almost entirely unnoticed in a trove of declassified material at the National Archives in College Park, Md., combined with exclusive interviews with former intelligence officials, reveal new details about the depth of the United States' knowledge of how and when Iraq employed the deadly agents. They show that senior U.S. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the nerve gas attacks. They are tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.  

Choosing Sides in that War

Given the perceived importance of the outcome, third parties aligned with one or the other in hopes of influencing the fighting. Iran's principal ally was Syria, which used its military to periodically divert Iraqi forces from the Iranian front. Syrian President Hafez Assad also closed a key Iraqi pipeline to the Mediterranean that affected Saddam Hussein's income. Libya, China, and North Korea all sent weapons, particularly missiles, to Iran.

The most unlikely country to support Iran was Israel, given that the revolutionary government had replaced the country's longstanding alliance with an obsessive and hostile Anti-Zionism. Still, the Israelis did provide some arms to their Iranian enemies. Why? 

1.  One is that Israel often subscribes to the Middle East dictum, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," and Iraq was viewed as a more immediate danger.

2.  A large number of Jews remained in Iran, and the Israelis hoped to essentially buy their safety while covert and not-so-covert efforts were undertaken throughout the war to get Iranian Jews out of the country. 

Iraq's support came primarily from the Gulf states, which that viewed Iran as the greater danger to their security. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait each provided billions of dollars in loans and grants. Egypt and Jordan provided some weapons and supplies. The United States, France, and the old USSR sided with the Iraqis.

And, so we are here today ... picking and choosing sides and figuring out to bomb or not and why or why not. Decisions, decisions, decisions ...

I guess we can blame today on "times change and thus the sides and issues we have to pick do, too."

Some would call it fluid policy — they would be correct.

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