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Reply #10


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 01:43 AM

10. This reminds me of Halabja, Halabja, Halabja that we found so offensive, but extended

agricultural credits to Saddam the following year.

I don't know how many times I've heard that from right-wing sources as justification for the invasion of Iraq. The gassing of the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja was in March 1988. (Remember how all we heard in leadup to the Iraq invasion was "Saddam gassed his own people, he gassed his own people, Halabja, Halabja, Halabja!")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack#International_sources_for_technology_and_chemical_precursors

But the U.S. government didn't seem to be so upset at the time -- the next year they extended agricultural credits to Saddam's regime.

http://axisofevelknievel.blogspot.com/2007/03/march-16.html

By the end of the 1990s, Halabja was rarely mentioned in the American press and almost never by political leaders like Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. By the summer of 2002, however, Bush administration officials had developed a certain fondness for the town’s name, invoking it as often as possible as the United State prepared for yet another war against Saddam Hussein. Three days before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, George W. Bush spoke in his radio address about the anniversary of the Halabja massacre:

"Whole families died while trying to flee clouds of nerve and mustard agents descending from the sky. Many who managed to survive still suffer from cancer, blindness, respiratory diseases, miscarriages, and severe birth defects among their children."



http://www.scribd.com/doc/30988264/An-Inconvenient-Atrocity-The-Chemical-Weapons-Attack-on-the-Kurds-of-Halabja-Iraq
U.S. Government Reaction

Reagan administration officials responded to the attacks on Halabja by rhetorically condemning the use of chemical weapons but failing to back their words with action. In fact, not only did the administration fail to penalize Iraq for chemical weapons use on civilians, it actively blocked efforts by others to hold Saddam Hussein and his regime accountable. The administration blamed Iran as well as Iraq for the attacks on Halabja, without ever producing evidence of Iranian involvement, a strategy that diffused international outrage; it tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent the UN from investigating the Halabja attacks; and it successfully stopped a tough Congressional bill—that would have hit Iraq with harsh sanctions for chemical weapons use—from becoming law. The administration put economic and energy-related interests above human rights when formulating official policy on Iraq, and evidence of these priorities appears frequently in memos and cables. The U.S. government, however, was not in lock step concerning Iraq and chemical weapons use. Some members of Congress argued passionately on the floor of the Senate and House to penalize Baghdad; the State Department was not unanimous in its objective to maintain good relations with Iraq, putting Secretary of State George Shultz in the position of having to decide which of his staffers’ policy positions to approve.

For one example of differing views regarding Iraqi policy among State Department staffers, in this case whether to extend Export-Import Bank credits, see Action Memorandum, “Export-Import Financing for Iraq,” Alan P. Larson, Richard W. Murphy, and Richard Schifter to George P. Shultz, 29 December 1988, Digital National Security Archive, document no. IG00739. The Digital National Security Archive


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Just another example of how we helped Saddam get and use gas.

As for Syria, well, let's watch out for phony outrage by some politicians over the use of gas.

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