Ronald Reagan Helped Saddam Hussein Sarin-Gas Kurds in 1988

Once again, because a lot of Americans, not just rabid Republicans, will find the facts on this one hard to accept: Ronald Reagan assisted Saddam Hussein in committing one of the worst acts of genocide since the end of WWII. The United States assisted Iraq in building its WMD programs, assisted Iraq in targeting Iranian forces, and assisted Iraq by keeping secret the location of the Iraqi's WMD factories. Reagan knew thousands of human beings were going to be killed by Iraqi WMD. That was part of the calculations of Reagan's and US foreign policy, which loved Saddam Hussein because he was killing Iranians. And the Kurds that Saddam was wiping out in his genocide campaign? You know the term by now—"collateral casualties". 
In a new report by Foreign Policy, it is revealed that President Ronald Reagan not only knew in advance of Saddam Hussein’s intentions to use sarin-gas-WMD to kill Iraqi-Kurdish civilians, Reagan made sure Hussein would face no objections or hindrance from the US government in carrying out the genocide.

In fact, the CIA possessed conclusive evidence of genocidal war crimes being committed by Iraq, and covered it up. Worse still, the CIA knew of the locations of the chemical weapons facilities that were making the deadly WMD for the Iraqi military, and kept it a secret, thus dooming thousands of innocent human beings, most of whom were women and children, to a horrifying death in places like Halabja, Kurdistan.

As FP says, the US government employed a “cold calculation” that the sarin gas attacks would not only kill and badly injure many thousands of Kurds, but they also figured the world wouldn’t care about it either.

“The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the [sarin gas] attacks continue...And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.”

Why? Because the CIA said the world showed little interest in poor people in remote places being exterminated like cattle or bugs. For example, the CIA claimed, nobody was objecting in the 1980s to the Soviet Union slaughtering Afghans with poison gas.

And why was Ronald Reagan so war-criminally cozy with Iraq's use of WMD?

Because Reagan wanted Saddam Hussein, a US ally supported by billions of dollars in American aid, to be victorious in his military actions, no matter how horrible, since they were part of Iraq’s war against America’s favorite country on the face of the Earth to fear and loathe—Iran. Even the Soviet Union, withering away to extinction, couldn't measure up to villainous status in US propaganda like Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran.

Hussein had sought to take advantage of the instability Iran suffered, after the 1979 overthrow, by Iranian Islamic revolutionaries, of the Shah of Iran. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. Initial Iraqi military successes had been stopped and thrown back by massive Iranian "human wave" attacks, which overwhelmed the better-armed but outnumbered Iraqis. Saddam determined early on the Iranian numerical advantage in troops could be offset by the use of Iraqi chemical weapons, initially tear gas and mustard gas, and eventually nerve agents like extremely deadly sarin gas.

The United States monitored the development of Iraq's chemical weapons and WMD programs all through the war, the CIA noting that the use of such weapons made tactical sense for Iraq, in that nerve agents particularly are highly effective against the battlefield tactics of human wave assaults being used by the Iranians.

When, in 1988, the US intelligence services noticed a large buildup of Iranian forces opposite what the US determined was a "hole" in the Iraqi lines, the US (i.e., Ronald Reagan) made the decision to share this intelligence with the Iraqis, knowing full well the Iraqi counter to the Iranian troop surge would be the use of chemical and WMD weapons.

The US was also aware before the attacks, that large numbers of civilians could be killed and injured in these attacks. Saddam was already engaged in a campaign of ethnic extermination against the Kurdish people, and with the Iranians intending on exploiting Kurdistan as a breakthrough area for their military, Saddam had an extra reason to employ his most destructive and terrifying weapons.

Finally, the CIA was well aware of the locations of the Iraqi chemical factories. But the US had no intention of turning over this information to the Iranians, and in fact after the Halabja attack, the US military initially did exactly the same thing that Bashar al-Assad did after last week's suspected sarin gas attack on suburbs east of Damascus—the US blamed the Iranians for the chemical weapons attacks.

The US of course knew that was a lie.

Six months after Saddam's use of sarin to kill thousands of Kurds, in September, 1988, the public outcry was not as "muted" as the CIA had predicted. Further, the Iran-Iraq war had just ended a few weeks earlier (and thus Saddam's usefulness to the White House was over)—and suddenly Ronald Reagan "discovered" evidence that Saddam Hussein just might be a bad person after all:
“The Reagan Administration, endorsing the Kurds' accusations of Iraqi use of chemical warfare, has said it has evidence of its own that Baghdad has been employing poison gas in this latest attempt to crush the Kurdish rebels.”
This turning on Saddam by Reagan (and then Bush I), always viewed as hypocritical and bizarre by people who were trying to make sense of US foreign policy moves in the Middle East, was designed to veil the truth: that the United States government had no problem being complicit in Saddam Hussein's war crimes.

So intent has been the US effort to cover up this fact, that it was willing to slaughter thousands of its own people—just like Saddam Hussein would do—in twenty years of war against the Iraqi people, to protect the lie of Saddam's special brand of evil (presumably a brand no American would have anything to do with).

The truth is that Saddam's brand of evil was one Ronald Reagan recognized as being all-American, and perfectly consistent with the brutal, idiotic US foreign policy.

Comments

  1. His effigy should be burned in the street for selling out the Middle Class to Big Business. Reagan has a legacy so distorted by the Conservative idolization of him that we may never have a clear picture of the real man behind the television set beyond the elaborate myth now concocted around him. Did he really rid the world of commie scum? Did destroy or save our economy? http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-100th-gipper.html

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