Your arguments are becoming interesting and it appears you would like to continue this discourse. It is OT and as long as everyone else is cool, I have taken no offense so once more into the breech we go.
We used Saddam Hussein as one of the Twin Pillars in our ME doctrine from 1972 ‘till parting ways in the late 80s. We are guilty for propping him up, but not as you charge – unless you have proof of CBW exports. Dual use products are another story and more than you know are complicit here. We woke up, as I hope the rest of the world will when this tyrant and his entire regime are shown for what they are, and found our “ally” was not the beneficent ruler we were lulled to believe. And yes we supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War, as did most of our allies to contain not just the fundamentalist Iranian regime but to limit Soviet influence in the area. Saddam was buying Soviet weapons until we lured him with better.
It’s so easy to point the finger elsewhere to assuage the Franco-German conscience but truth be told, we are all guilty of creating and supplying this madman. France had a strong relationship with Iraq that predated the war – it was France that sold Iraq a nuclear reactor in 1976 that was ostensibly for energy production but the French knew it was intended to produce nuclear weaponry. Consequently, it did not take much encouragement for France to deepen its ties to Iraq. By 1982, Iraq accounted for 40% of French arms exports. Paris sold Baghdad a wide range of weapons including armored vehicles, air defense radars, surface-to-air missiles, Mirage fighters, and Exocet anti-ship missiles. German firms also rushed in without much compunction, not only selling Iraq large numbers of trucks and automobiles, but also building vast complexes for Iraq’s chemical warfare, biological warfare, and ballistic missile programs. Although Iraq did pretend that the German equipment and expertise were for civilian purposes, no perceptive scientist could have bought this ruse. But in the 1980s, no one in the West, and I believe both Germany and France are still part of the “West”, asked too many questions.
Some of what I stated was correct? Gee, I’ll take that hit. I went back and reviewed all UNCRs regarding the Iraq-Kuwait situation, on a page against the UN imposed sanctions BTW, and discovered I was in error. From the passage of UNSCR-660, which called for Iraq’s withdrawal from its occupation of Kuwait to date there are no less than 66 resolutions. Sorry for the error, but again I ask, over twelve plus years, how much is enough? Saddam has awarded oil for humanitarian aide contracts to those who sympathize with his point of view and sad to say its not the US and oil but the French and Russians and oil that are the winners here and it was the Russians with the French not wanting to be left out that broke the back of UNCR-670.
If you believe that Hans Blix and his inspectors were receiving Iraqi compliance and making good progress, then you need to go back and read Mr. Blix’s last report and tell him you disagree with his own conclusions. Saddam played the same cat-and-mouse game with Butler, Ritter, and the rest of UNSCOM – and they initially thought they were making progress. As for the Al-samoud II, listen to the theatre commanders and the imbedded reporters then argue with them that some of the missiles are not coming from over 150 km away and if they are then they must not have warheads. I give you the benefit here – maybe they’re not really Al-samoud IIs. They’re probably some other proscribed missile. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Another proscribed missile that our cooperative Mr. Hussein was about to declare before we launched a hideously amoral invasion of his peace-loving country.
The US was dragged kicking and screaming into its role as a super-power beginning with WWI. We were content to live on our isolated big island while keeping a hands-off approach as long as trade routes remained intact. Allen pegged it pretty well with German imperialism and I would go so far as to include the rest of Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East as minor players in the same category. Our imperialism, as you label it, was confined to Manifest Destiny and the horrors we wrought on our native Americans. What we have conquered in armed conflict has returned to the world of free nations and prospered, for the most part – and you’re welcome. You may not believe our vision of Iraqi Freedom and they may select a fundamentalist government. If they do, that’s their choice, and let’s hope it’s an honest fundamentalist and not a secularist who uses religion, Arab nationalism, and the self inflicted suffering of his own people as tools in a propaganda machine that is bent on its own survival. The stories will come out about life under Saddam soon enough for the world to see the horrors caused by the Ba’athist regime’s ruthless oppression. When they do, there will be the non-believers in the Arab world and the same Holocaust nay-sayers that accept Peter Arnett and Al-Jazeera as gospel. I hope you can keep a non-prejudiced eye and ear open and not fall prey to either side before deciding your truth here. You had asked what Germany under Hitler 50 years ago had to do with the current war. I might suggest that it served as a lesson for what could happen. Allen probably knows the quote source so I'll just say the "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it."
Nice points but your facts need restating to include all parties complicit here. I have an extensive reading list if you should desire. Got to hit the hay. Hang in there and keep on posting on! <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>
<font color="BLUE">"A hole-less knife is soul-less knife is a whole less knife" - <i>Javanese proverb"</i><font>