Saddam Hussain was executed this morning for a crime that he had committed back in 1980s, in complicity with, what has now become, the United States of Amnesia.
In December 1983, during the 8-year Iraq-Iran war, US President Ronald Reagan dispatched his special Middle East envoy, Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad with a hand-written letter to Hussein. Rumsfeld had served in various positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including as President Ford's defense secretary, and at this time headed the multinational pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Co.
On January 1, 1984, Washington Post reported that the US “in a shift in policy, has informed friendly Persian Gulf nations that the defeat of Iraq in the 3-year-old war with Iran would be ’contrary to US interests’ and has made several moves to prevent that result”.
Three months later, Rumsfeld was back in Baghdad for meetings with then-Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz. United Press International reported on March 24, 1984, that “mustard gas laced with a nerve agent has been used on Iranian soldiers in the 43-month Persian Gulf War between Iran and Iraq, a team of UN experts has concluded... Meanwhile, in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, US presidential envoy Donald Rumsfeld held talks with foreign minister Tariq Aziz on the Gulf war before leaving for an unspecified destination”.
In fact, even prior to Rumsfeld's visit, in May 1983, in a letter to the Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, US Secretary of State George Shultz had mentioned about the "very important common interests" between the two countries, and had noted that:
- "...Clearly, international terrorism is not only a parallel menace to our two contries, it also appears that at least the inspiration for certain terrorist acts against Iraq and again's the US emanates at times from the same sources.By working together to combat terrorism, our efforts should be more effective"
In November 1984, US resumed normal diplomatic ties with Iraq.
As I had posted long time back:
- During the eighties, the UN was concerned with Saddam Hussein's use of chemcal weapons. On March 21st, 1986, the Security Council President, "speaking on behalf of the Security Council," stated that the Council members were
"profoundly concerned by the unanimous conclusion of the specialists that chemical weapons on many occasions have been used by Iraqi forces against Iranian troops...[and] the members of the Council strongly condemn this continued use of chemical weapons in clear violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 which prohibits the use in war of chemical weapons"
The United States was the only country to vote AGAINST the issuance of this statement!!!.
In any case, Saddam is now dead and gone, killed by a form of "justice" which is paradoxical. A few months back, an article in New York Times (May 21, 2006), noted about the court proceedings in Iraq:
- "The American influence has been undeniably pervasive, with about 90 percent of the $145 million in annual costs for the court and associated investigations paid for by the United States Justice Department, and lawyers sent by Washington acting as advisers."
Commenting on the execution of Saddam, Robert Scheer observed:
- "It is a very frightening precedent that the United States can invade a country on false pretenses, depose its leader and summarily execute him without an international trial or appeals process. This is about vengeance, not justice, for if it were the latter the existing international norms would have been observed. The trial should have been overseen by the World Court, in a country that could have guaranteed the safety of defense lawyers, who, in this case, were killed or otherwise intimidated.... This rush to execute him had the feel of a gangster silencing the key witness to a crime."
So today, besides all his cruel deeds, Saddam finally paid for two of his costliest mistakes:
1. He did not choose his friends wisely, and
2. He did not learn from his past experiences with his "Best of Enemies"
National Security Archives
(this contains links to some of the de-classified documents from State Dept)
The Saddam in Rumsfeld’s Closet
Who should pay for Saddam's Crimes?