Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saddam's Iraq - Lest people forget...
This is a very famous footage from July 16 1979. The man speaking was Secretary of the Baath Party who was forced to name Iraqi officials who supposedly were part of a Syrian plot against Iraq. The men being led out were never seen again. The men remaining were spared that day. Later some of the spared officials were forced to personally execute their colleagues who were not so lucky. On that day Iraq went from being a garden variety middle-east dictatorship to a totalitarian police state and added flying colors on CIA's achievement book which supported Bakr-Saddam coup in the first place, then supported Saddam extensively during the Iran-Iraq war and armed him with chemical and biological weapons. The Secretary of Baath also met an unfavorable fate. The person who tries to raise hand and speak in the middle of the clip was Saddam's old friend. He was not allowed to talk and led out. This video was sent all over Iraq to induce terror in people's hearts.
The biological weapons given to Saddam by the Western powers to fight the resilient Iranians were also used on the Kurds of the North. During the late stages of the Iran–Iraq War Saddam's proconsul Ali Hassan - aka Chemical Ali - is said to have used Mustard Gas, Sarin, Tabun, and VX against Kurdish targets. The first such attacks occurred as early as April 1987 and continued into 1988 culminating in the notorious attack on Halabja in which over 5000 people were killed. With Kurdish resistance continuing Ali Hassan decided to break the back of the rebellion by eradicating the civilian population of the Kurdish regions. His forces embarked on a systematic campaign of mass killings property destruction and forced population displacement in which thousands of Kurdish villages were razed and their inhabitants either killed or deported to the south of Iraq. For more on chemical and biological weapon sale to Saddam by the West, see http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0908-08.htm
It is well documented that Saddam-Bakr coup was supported by CIA. PBS Frontline's documentary "Survival of Saddam" (air date 2000) for one acknowledges that fact (some good footage in that documentary, otherwise a propaganda crap, manufacturing consent for war on Iraq). A Times piece published on December 30, 2006 states: "The coup that brought the Ba'ath Party, of which Saddam was a member, to power in 1963, was supported by the United States, openly welcomed by the White House and possibly even engineered by the CIA."
Saddam was encouraged to attack Iran, supplied with satellite information about Iranian military movements, and given conventional as well as chemical and biological weapons by America, France, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
Must-Watch: Behind Saddam's Attack on Kuwait and Suppression of Shias in 1991
As also argued by Michael Klare in a recent Media Education Foundation (MEF) documentary, "Blood and Oil", the US intentionally adopted a "containment" policy, instead of overthrowing Saddam after the Gulf War, to use that as a pretext for US military presence in that region. After the Iranian Revolution and against the Soviet threat, the Carter Doctrine in 1980 made it explicit that the US would expand its military presence in the region to protect the oil interests. The Reagan Administration launched CentCom in 1983 with the same mandate. What also helped the US during the Gulf War was the fear of the status quo regimes of the region - Saudia, Jordan, Egypt - that if Saddam was toppled, there was no other possibility but that Shias would come to power.
The same Times Online piece states: "That the regime survived was down not to the US commander of the liberation of Kuwait, General Norman Schwartzkopf, who allowed Saddam's forces to continue flying helicopters throughout the country and let two powerful units of the Republican Guard, trapped in Basra, to return to Baghdad. Saddam's fear sharpened his revenge. Iraqi opposition leaders say up to 300,000 people were tortured and executed in the repression that followed. The experience of March 1991 left a legacy of bitter suspicion. The Americans, having liberated Kuwait, were now widely perceived in Iraq to have come to Saddam's rescue." ("Saddam Hussein - obituary", Times Online, December 30, 2006)
A decade later the NeoCons invade Iraq with the plan to appoint puppets Ahmad Chalabi and his likes as leaders - a tactic used 80 years ago by the British who installed King Faisal I - but their plot was effectively foiled by Ayatollah Sistani's call for direct elections in 2005 (See Newsweek's "What Sistani Wants", Feb 14, 2005).