NOTE: THE DESIGNER OF THIS SITE, MOUSTAFA ELHOUSHI, DOESN'T SUPPORT THE IRAQI REGIME OR THE OPPOSITION GROUPS WHICH ARE BACKED BY AMERICA AND BRITAIN. HE ONLY SUPPORTS THE IRAQI PEOPLE.
SADDAM AND BUSH = COW AND CHICKEN
The funniest thing about the American-Iraqi dispute is that the whole world had forgotten that America was once Saddam's best friend. The western and Iraqi propaganda had played an outstanding role as a brainwashing machine since neither the Americans nor the Iraqis want to admit that fact. Here is the full story for you...
ON WHICH SIDE WAS IRAQ ON DURING THE COLD WAR?
Before 1958: When Iraq was a monarchy (i.e. ruled by a King) it was on America's side. In fact, it joined the Baghdad Pact which had United States and Britain.
1958: However, in 1958, there was a military coup by General Karem Kassem kills the King.
1959: Iraq withdraws from the Baghdad Pact.
1963: Another left-wing military coup by Abdul Salam Arif and kills Kassem. Relations with America worsen.
1968: General Ahmed Hassan Bakr leads another coup and ousts Arif. Iraq turns towards the Soviet Union.
1979: Iranian Revolution. Iran turns towards the Soviet Union too.
1979: In the same year, Saddam Hussein comes to power.
1980: Iraq fights again Iran in a war. Relations between Iraq and America become better.
HOW DID AMERICA HELP SADDAM HUSSEIN?
Protestors against Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iran. Notice "Stop Western Support to Saddam" on the left of the picture. This picture was brought from a British book published in 1989- when Saddam was the west's friend. When Saddam became the west's enemy, such pictures had disappeared in the west to make everyone forget that the west was one day supporting Iraq.
As soon as Saddam Hussein came to power, he executed many of his political opponents for treason. America did not do much as it would have done with another anti-American dictator.
Saddam Hussein killed many Kurds and treated them brutally. Not much reaction from America.
In the Iran-Iraq war, America and Britain helped Saddam Hussein secretly by giving him weapons and satellite maps. It had done that because there was hostility between Iran and America. Note that, although Iran was not very democratic at that time, Iraq was much more dictatorial and America still helped it.
Only in 1984 did America announce publicly that it resumed diplomatic relations.
Many war-crimes were committed by Saddam Hussein. The Iranians protested that Saddam was using illegal chemical weapons. America, once again, quietly, helped Saddam.
Both the British and American government kept quiet about helping Saddam Hussein. It was only discovered recently that they were selling weapons to Iraq.
"During the late 1980s (after the Iraq-Iran War) the nation rebuilt its military machine, in part through bank credits and technology obtained from Western Europe and the United States."
Source: MS Encarta 97
The above quote is from a western source. Just remember it till the end of this article.
A) After the Iraq-Iran war, the Iraqi economy was deteriorated.
B) Iraq had 20% of the world's oil. Kuwait had 10% and Saudi Arabia had 20%.
C) Saddam thought that invading Kuwait and later Saudi Arabia would then improve his economy.
D) Saddam invaded Iran and he had the support of the west. He thought that the same might happen again.
There were in fact some signs from the USA that it would not interfere if Iraq had invaded Kuwait. Also, "In early 1990....(George Bush) actually sent a high level senatorial delegation to Iraq, just a couple of months before the invasion of Kuwait. It was headed by Bob Dole, soon to be presidential candidate. The purpose of the delegation was to convey to Bush's friend Saddam his greetings and good wishes, and to assure him that he shouldn't pay attention to the occasional criticisms he hears in the United States. It's just that some of the American reporters are kind of out of control and we've got this free press thing and don't have a way to shut him up. But in fact, we think you're a fine guy." (SOURCE: Chomsky Talk For Middles East Children's Alliance, by Noam Chomsky)
E) Just before the war, the American officials had declared that they would not interfere into Iraq's policies. This gave Saddam the impression that if he had invaded Kuwait, they wouldn't do anything.
WHY DID THE USA AND BRITAIN OPPOSE THE INVASION?
A) After the war with Iran (which was considered the west's enemy) ended, Saddam was no longer needed by the west.
B) The government of Kuwait was a friend of the west - for selling petrol at their required price.
C) If Saddam invaded Kuwait and then Saudi Arabia, he would then have had 50% of the world's petrol and could have increased the price of petrol as much as he would have wanted since he would have had a monopoly. The west clearly didn't want that. Iraq already had the 2nd largest oil fields in the world after Saudi Arabia.
The USA had always been concerned over the Saudi oil fields. Here is just an example: In 1981, King Fahad proposed an initiative for peace between the Arabs and Israelis. The Arab states waited for an American sign befiore they could react. "What about Israel's reaction?...Shimon Peres condemned the Saudi proposal, this is '81, because it threatened Israel's very existence. The official Labor Party newspaper, Davar, reported that the Israeli air force had carried out military flights, with U.S. planes, over the Saudi Arabian oil fields. This was, they interpreted, as a warning to the United States not to take the proposal seriously, or else. If it did, Israel would use its U.S. supplied military capacity to blow up the oil fields. The Labor Party newspaper described this as so irrational as to cause foreign intelligence services to be concerned over Israeli bombing of the Saudi oil fields." (SOURCE:Chomsky Talk For Middles East Children's Alliance, by Noam Chomsky)
PS: It sounds strange why would the west care so much about petrol. But you should remember that without petrol many industries and machines (e.g. vehicles, ships, planes, tanks and other weapons) would stop working. The economies of the west would collapse without petrol. If the price of petrol increases, then the price of transport will increase. This will cause other things to increase and can therefore lead to high rates of inflation (increase of prices).
D) Saddam was imposing a threat on another US ally in the Middle East: Israel. Saddam had promised to get revenge from Israel after Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear power station (claiming that the station was producing nuclear weapons).
E) The invasion of a strong nation against a weak nation provided an excellent excuse for sending troops to the Middle East.
The Kuwaiti government and the western media have shown that the Iraqi soldiers have deliberately damaged and thrown out babies' incubators from a hospital in Kuwait. This shocked many people. But the Red Cross in Kuwait denied that- but very few people heard of this denial. It was soon proved that the scenes of the Iraqi troops throwing the babies' incubators was an act directed by the same company which advertises for Coca Cola!!!!
Also, a Kuwaiti girl appeared on American channels and mentioned the brutalities caused by the Iraqi troops. She was weeping in front of TV. Soon, George Bush, the US President at that time, referred to this girl in his speech to convince the US Congress to help Kuwait. However, soon it was discovered that this girl was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to America and she was not in Kuwait during the invasion. The whole affair was a made up story!!!!
However, this does not justify the invasion of Kuwait neither does this mean that Saddam was a good and kind leader. He had committed other atrocities in Kuwait and in his own country, such as executing civilians in the streets, but there was a lot of exaggeration of what he was doing.
WHAT DID THE US TROOPS DO IN THE GULF?
US troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War.
When it was announced that America would send troops to lie on Arab land, most of the Arabs were dissatisfied. To them, it was an invasion. What's the use of getting rid of Iraqi troops if US troops were to replace them?
Western media had exaggerated Saddam's military power. They made the Arab leaders believe that it was impossible to defeat Iraq without American help.
Also, the Gulf War happened just after the collapse of the USSR. That meant that the leaders who were supported by the Soviets no longer had any support from them. They had to turn towards the USA.
Arab leaders promised their peoples that the American troops would leave after Saddam retreated from Kuwait.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE GULF WAR?
Saddam Hussein was forced to leave Kuwait
the American and British armies still stayed in the Gulf. Their excuse was that Iraq was still threatening Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at any time. They also claimed that Saddam had mass destruction weapons (i.e. nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, etc.). But the truth was that the Americans and British were using mass destruction weapons during the Gulf War.
But why would Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait if he had discovered that neither the west nor the Arab leaders would support such an invasion?
Why would Saddam Hussein be stupid enough to invade Kuwait again if he had already done that and proven that he would retreat?
WHY DID THE US TROOPS STAY IN THE GULF?
A) The dictators of the Middle East want troops to support their own regime since they know that they are unpopular.
PS: A similar thing happened in eastern Europe after World War 2. The Soviets got rid of the Nazis and placed their Red Armies in several Eastern European armies with excuse of safety from Germany. The Soviets too claimed that Germany and the West were threatening the security of eastern Europe. There were several cases were Soviet troops re-entered cities to "restore order". To most countries in the world, Eastern Europe became a Soviet Empire. But when the Arab dictators asked America to send troops to "protect them from Iraq", very few considered it an invasion. In both situations, the people hated the troops which arrived and in both cases, the troops had their own benefits for invading. Some might argue that American troops had never entered cities to "restore order" and purge demonstrations like the Soviets. But this is because the American troops don't need to purge demonstrations - the Arab dictators are during their job well in preventing and stopping demonstrations.
B) The Arab leaders had to reward the Americans for sending troops and making thousands of Americans leave their families to live in the desert. The Arab leaders now could adjust the price of petrol to what the Americans want.
Although the price of petrol have increased during some periods during the 1990s, they dropped back again quickly. When the price of one barrel of petrol reached 40$, the western nations protested although this price was still cheaper then a barrel of ice cream!!!
C) Moreover, in general, despite the prosperity of the Gulf nations, the price of petrol is so low that the Gulf nations have high deficits of a balance of payments. That means that the Gulf nations buys from other nations than it receives from other nations.
D) Also, Gulf nations began to buy huge numbers of weapons from America. During the 1990s, Arab nations had spent 600 billion US$ on buying weapons. This is another reason for the deficit of the balance of payments.
E) US troops are not going to help someone else for free. The Gulf governments spend lots of money on the best accommodation for the soldiers, the best clothes, the best health care, health insurance, life insurance, high salaries, transport of weapons and much more. Until now, no Gulf nations had announced how much they had spent on those troops but it is believed that they spend billions of US$. This is another reason for the deficit of the balance of payments.
F) Several Gulf nations had decreased tariffs for all sorts of goods. This means that the west could sell their own products in as cheap prices as possible. This will cause any industries (other than oil and gas) to collapse since their products cannot compete with high quality western products.
G) America could use its troops in the Gulf to attack any other nation. They had already bombed Iraq and killed innocent civilians from bases in the Gulf. There is no reason why they might use their bases in the Gulf to bomb Afghanistan secretly. They had already admitted some ships from the Persian Gulf sent some missiles to bomb Afghanistan. This contradicts what the Arab leaders had said about their total control of their own land and that any action done by the US troops should be done after permission from them.
H) America is also placing its troops to defend its main ally in the Middle East: Israel. Israel sends tanks, helicopters and planes into Israeli towns and villages and the Arab dictators can't stand against these. If this happened in any other nation, the Israeli troops would be met with force. But the Arab dictators don't have the guts to do that because Israel will be protected by America by force (just like it had done in 1973).
WHY WERE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON IRAQ?
NOTE: Economic sanctions means that a nation is not allowed to sell or buy anything from another nation.
Sanctions were first introduced to force the Iraqi troops to leave Kuwait.
After that, the sanctions remained. The excuse of the west was that Iraq still had mass destruction weapons which threatened the Middle East. NOTE: Israel had declared publicly that it has hundreds of nuclear weapons in its Daemona Project and yet there were no sanctions imposed on it.
Later, a programme called, "Oil for Food", was implemented in which Iraq could get food products in return for it exporting oil. But still the amount of exports and imports are still limited.
Until now, the Iraqis deny having any mass destruction weapons.
The United Nations sent teams of scientists to discover any weapons. They had failed to prove that there were any mass destruction weapons. Yet, America said that the sanctions would be lifted when its totally certain that there are no mass destruction weapons. When will America be certain?
Dennis Haliday, former Humanity Official of the UN in Iraq had resigned in 1998. His successor, Hanzfon Asponic, also resigned just 2 years later.
Hanzfon Asponic - Former Humanity Official of the UN 1998-2000:
Seeing this and understanding it created a feeling inside me that if I continued and both the British and American Ministries of Foreign Affairs knew that these policies were followed, then there could be no way that it was just. If my name was linked to this policy, I would have been a criminal and part of the problem. And this was what I didn't want to be.
It is not only because we imposed sanctions that sacrificed the innocent side, but also because we sacrificed international law. We ignored it.
Dennis Haliday - Former Humanity Official of the UN 1997-1998: (referring to the sanctions and depleted uranium. Click here.)
The results seem to be terrifying. It is not only about thousands, but hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and millions who were exposed indirectly to a mixture of poisons. But the depleted uranium is a unique poison because it managed to reach the soil, agricultural systems and vegetable roots grown in Iraq and consumed in most parts of the world.
The figures I have seen in Basra and Baghdad, explained that the increase in cancer cases, especially amongst children, and the rare types of deformities, were unbelievable. And there is no indication to that except the use of nuclear weapons.
Many others, followed by the feeling of guilt, said farewell to their colleagues in Iraq and resigned.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
When the UN sanctions were imposed on Iraq, the UN Charter said that these sanctions would decrease gradually as Iraq co-ordinates more with the UN. Dennis Haliday, the UN's official to Iraq, had announced that 98% of Iraq's duties were carried out by Iraq. But the sanctions were hardly reduced.
By the early 1990s, the UN had already announced that 90% of the mass destruction weapons in Iraq have been dismantled.
In 1998, America brought the UN inspectors back to America from Iraq. It claimed that Iraq was not coordinating well with them.
In the same year, the Iraqi government decided to refuse to accept the UN inspectors back again with the excuse that they were spying for America since they were entering top-secret military regions.
On a later occasion, Kofi Annaan said in a speech that it is not unlikely that some of the UN inspectors were spies for the USA.
America demanded that Iraq was to bring the inspectors back again. Iraq refused again.
Iraq complained that the nation's dignity and self-control was violated as so many inspectors went around many of Iraq's land.
Together, America and Britain and started bombing Iraq. Claiming that they were only bombing military targets, they had killed many innocent civilians. Their excuse was that civilians were murdered accidentally. How come the best American planes ever could make so many mistakes? How could they make so many mistakes even when using infra-red rays to see in the dark?
The British and Americans first said that they would keep on bombing until Saddam decided to bring the UN inspectors back. Saddam never agreed. Yet, the British and Americans decided to stop.
Despite that, the Americans still sent spy planes regularly to Iraq and America did occasionally bomb Iraqi military targets and killing innocent civilians.
WHY IS AMERICA STILL FOLLOWING THIS POLICY TOWARDS IRAQ?
Since the sanctions were impose in 1991, more than 1.2 million Iraqi children due to lack of medical care and the Iraqis blame the sanctions for it. There are many poor and starving people in Iraq and America is blamed for that. While you are reading this site, more than 5 children are dying in Iraq per hour.
America claims that it Saddam Hussein's fault for the poverty of Iraq. They say that Saddam Hussein deliberately spends billions of dollars on the army and building palaces for himself instead of spending on the Iraqi people. They claim that Saddam wants the whole world to see the Iraqis dying on purpose as a method of propaganda to gain world sympathy. Iraq is allowed to export 45 billion US$ per year. So why doesn't it spend this on its people?
But the truth is, the Americans are hiding the truth.
Dennis Haliday, the UN official in Iraq who had already resigned for being disgusted by what the UK and the USA were doing in Iraq, had said that this programme was not enough. First of all, out of those 45 billion US$, the UN had taken 15 billion US$. As Iraq's economy mainly depends on oil, this leaves us with not much more than 30 billion US$.
Moreover, as Dennis Haliday estimated, Iraq needs between 15 and 20 billion US$ yearly just to spend on food, medicine, education and agriculture.
He had also estimated that Iraq needs 100 billion US$ just to rebuild the base of its economy and oil production which was totally destroyed by the Gulf War and Iran-Iraq War. No nation or organization in the world had given Iraq any adequate help to rebuild its economy just like the Europeans got help from America to rebuild their economy after World War 2.
Let alone Iraq's debts to other nations which build up to billions of dollars. These were just one of the few problems faced by any nation which had faced devastating wars.
Therefore, as Haliday had said, the "Oil for Food" programme had failed and does not achieve the minimum needs of the Iraqi people.
Hanzfan Asponic, Dennis Haliday's successor, had the same views of Haliday concerning the Iraqi sanctions. He too resigned in March 2000, from the post for being disgusted and feeling guilty and knowing that the "Oil for Food" programme had failed.
WHAT DOES WESTERN PROPAGANDA DO TO CAUSE BRAINWASHING?
If someone was to compare the western media's attitude towards Iraq before the Gulf War and after it, he would have noticed a great difference.
During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein was considered the west's best friend. He was supported in fighting against the war and the west did not protest when Saddam used chemical weapons against Iran and the kurds: his own people. Many of Iraq's political opponents (some of who are supported, ironically, by Britain) say that America is largely responsible for Saddam Hussein's remain in power for a very long time. They have helped him in many ways. It was Iran which was viewed by the west as a nation with an evil, repressive and regressive regime.
But when Saddam Hussein became America's enemy. Everything had changed. British, American and many western newspapers began publishing reports on Saddam's regime and how he used to deal with his opponents. They came up with astronomical figures of the numbers of people who he have imprisoned and executed. They claimed that two of Iraq's football players have been to prison for their team's loss in the Asian Cup in the year 2000. Not even that, they even said that Saddam had sent people to rape the sisters or wives of his political opponents to force them to stop opposing his regime. Many of such reports were the main headlines of many newspapers.
Now, we hear George Bush and Tony Blair talking about Saddam's use of chemical weapons against his own people. "And that's perfectly true, he did use chemical weapons against his own people, an ultimate crime. All that's missing is that he did it with the full approval of Daddy Bush, who continued to support him right through that period and beyond, as did Britain. They thought it was just fine for him to use gas against his own people, to develop weapons of mass destruction, which he was doing with the support of the United States and Britain, which continued, irrespective of his atrocities, because he was useful at that time." (SOURCE: Chomsky Talk For Middles East Children's Alliance, by Noam Chomsky)
But why haven't they mentioned all of these brutalities before the Gulf War? Was Saddam an angel before 1990 and a devil after it?
Why don't American and British newspapers mention clearly that their governments were one day supporting Saddam Hussein? Isn't that because they want their people to forget that fact?
How many British and Americans actually know that Saddam Hussein was one day backed by America and Britain in committing many brutal crimes?
Hasn't the western media been successful enough in making their people forget the truth? Don't we call that brain washing?
When Tony Blair described Saddam as the "most dangerous man in the world", didn't he remember who made him the most dangerous man in the world?
When Iraq is punished for buying many weapons, why don't we punish those who had sold the weapons to Iraq? And who had sold the weapons to Iraq? America and Britain!!!!
If the British and American newspapers are actually writing such reports to "fight for democracy" and defend the Iraqi people from their dictator, why don't they write reports of the dictatorships of which their governments have supported?
NOTE: In 1994, there was a People's Uprising in Iraq which was backed by the northern and southern political movements in Iraq. These two movements were supported by America and Britain and seemed that they were about to overthrow Saddam's regime. However, soon, America stopped backing them deliberately and Saddam managed to crush the uprising. More than 250,000 people were slaughtered at once. If America hadn't backed the uprising in the first place, or at least continued backing, not so many people would've been killed. Why did America and Britain stop supporting it?
Also, "You may recall, in March 1991, right at the end of the Gulf War when the U.S., of course, had total control over the whole area, there was a rebellion, in the south, a major rebellion, a Shi'ite rebellion, which could well have overthrown the monster, probably would have, except for the fact that the U.S. authorized Saddam to use his air force helicopters, planes, military helicopters to devastate the resistance. In fact, there were probably more people killed then, more civilians, than during the war.
This is all while General Stormin' Norman Schwartzkopf was sitting there, watching it. He later said that the Iraqis had fooled him, when they asked him for authorization to use helicopters, he didn't really understand that they were going to use them. As he put it, he was "suckered by the Iraqis", these deceptive creatures, and therefore he didn't realize, and they sort of destroyed the resistance while he was looking the other way.
At that point, it was so obvious, you just couldn't refuse to report it. And it was reported. Thomas Friedman who was chief diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, then. Chief diplomatic correspondent means State Department spokesperson at the New York Times. You have lunch with somebody in the State Department, he tells you what to write, that sort of thing. He had a column, a good column, in which he explained the US position. He said, we just had to allow Saddam to smash the opposition, and then he explained, and it still holds, that "the best of all worlds" for the United States would be "an iron-fisted military junta" that would rule Iraq the same way Saddam did, and with the support of Saudi Arabia and Turkey and of course the United States. That's the best of all worlds, and we'll try to achieve it somehow. It's best if the name of the head is not Saddam Hussein, that's a little embarrassing, but some clone will do. That's what we have to aim at. And that's not easy to achieve." (SOURCE: Chomsky Talk For Middles East Children's Alliance, by Noam Chomsky)
For that reason, some Iraqi political opponents believe that America does want Saddam Hussein to remain in power, although it publicly claims that it wants to get rid of him. Without Saddam Hussein, oil prices wouldn't have been so low. Without Saddam Hussein, the American and British armies wouldn't have had the excuse to occupy the Gulf. Without Saddam Hussein, the American and British armies wouldn't have had the opportunity to try out different types of weapons while bombing Iraq. Saddam Hussein is America's best friend. He should have his own Statue of Liberty in New York for all the services he had provided for America.
And if Saddam is to be changed, a new Iraq should not be democratic because the Iraqi people would vote for a leader who would not kneel to the USA- or how could a people still like the USA after years of sanctions and more than 1 million children killed?
"Any regime change in Iraq has to be carried out in a way which ensures that it is not even marginally democratic, and there's a good reason for that. The majority of the population of Iraq is Shi'ite, and if they have any voice in a new regime, they might draw Iraq closer to Iran, which is the last thing the United States wants. The Kurds are going to press for some kind of autonomy, so that can't be allowed. It will drive Turkey berserk.
And therefore the new regime, whatever it is, has to be ruled by Sunni generals, military force. That's why the C.I.A. and State Department are now convening meetings of generals who are defectors from the Iraqi army in the 1990s. Unfortunately, their favorite according to the press, General Khazraji, can't come, he's being detained in Denmark where he's under investigation for participation in the Halabja massacre, the chemical attack on the Kurds, so he can't come, even though he's the guy we really want." (SOURCE: Chomsky Talk For Middles East Children's Alliance, by Noam Chomsky)
WILL THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS END?
Day after day, many nations in the world are beginning to have diplomatic and economic relations with Iraq. Many nations have sent aeroplane flights containing food and medical aid to Iraq. These nations include European, Arab and Asian nations.
Many Human Rights groups around the globe have condemned the economic sanctions and described them as crimes against humanity for causing so much poverty and misery to the Iraqi people.
In the USA itself, there are several organizations which oppose the sanctions over Iraq including "Voices in the Wild" which had visited Iraq in the summer of 2002 to sympathize with the American people.
Several ministers around the world have visited Iraq after a long boycott. The first leader to visit Iraq was Venezuela's Sanchez who was followed by Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Many voices around the world are calling for the end of economic sanctions, not for the mercy of Saddam, but for the mercy of the Iraqis.
But will America ever agree to end them?
Ending economic sanctions will have several advantages and disadvantages to America. One advantage is that American companies will be able to trade with Iraq.
But, ending the sanctions will be a great embarrassment for America. Saddam Hussein will claim victory for enduring for such a very long time and America will appear as a loser for failing to achieve its aims to end the Iraqi regime.
But as we talk and discuss, the American government and Saddam Hussein are challenging each other to see who will back first and meanwhile, the Iraqis are suffering from poverty, disease and misery. May God make the oppressed victorious over their oppressors.
Madeline Albright, the former US Secretary of State, was once asked," Are 1 million children the price of ending mass destruction weapons in Iraq?" And she replied, "Yes, and that is a low price."