From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 3:59 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: Bush’s Saddam Deception
1. U.S. BACKED HUSSEIN AT HIS WORST
2. RESISTANCE GROWS
1. U.S. BACKED HUSSEIN AT HIS WORST
Our examination shines a new spotlight on the revolving door between Bechtel and the Reagan Administration that drove U.S.-Iraq interactions between 1983 and 1985. The same men who courted Saddam in the 1980s while he gassed Iranians in 2003 helped plan and implement the invasion and assumption of control of Baghdad, ostensibly because Saddam harbored weapons of mass destruction. To a man, they now deny that oil has anything to do with the invasion of Iraq. Yet during the Reagan Administration, and in the years leading up to the present conflict, these men shaped and implemented a strategy that has everything to do with securing Iraqi oil exports.
[Source: Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein 2d (Sustainable Energy and Economy Network/Institute for Policy Studies, August 13, 2002), at < http://www.seen.org/PDFs/Crude_Vision2.pdf >]
[T]he vast majority of the war crimes committed by Saddams regime took place during the period in which he was supported by the U.S. government. This may be the primary reason why the United States objects to any kind of international tribunal, since it would more likely bring the U.S. role in Saddams repression to light than a trial set up by the Bush Administrations appointed Iraqi surrogates.
[Source: Saddams Arrest Raises Troubling Questions, Common Dreams, December 15, 2003, at < http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1215-14.htm >]
The U.S. restored formal relations with Iraq in November 1984, but the U.S. had begun, several years earlier, to provide it with intelligence and military support (in secret and contrary to this countrys official neutrality) in accordance with policy directives from President Ronald Reagan. These were prepared pursuant to his March 1982 National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM 4-82) asking for a review of U.S. policy toward the Middle East.
[Source: Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 82, February 25, 2003, at < http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/index2.htm >]
U.S. forces in Baghdad might now be searching high and low for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but in the past Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years, according to former U.S. intelligence diplomats and intelligence officials.
[Source: Exclusive: Saddam key in early CIA plot, UPI, April 10, 2003, at < http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030410-070214-6557r >]
The U.S. provided financial aid, military intelligence, and actual military planning to Iraq at a time when the Reagan administration was well aware that Iraq was using chemical weapons against Iran. One anonymous inside source told the New York Times that the Pentagon wasnt so horrified by Iraqs use of gas. It was just another way of killing people – whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didnt make any difference.
[Source: U.S. support for Iraq in the 1980s, Center for Cooperative Research, at < http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/globalissue/usforeignpolicy/USknowledgeIraqchemwarfare1988nf.html >]
2. RESISTANCE GROWS
Everyone is with the resistance, said 22-year-old Safa Hamad Hassan, whose cousin was wounded when a [U.S.] tank round landed near his home during the fighting. Saddam Hussein is finished. We are protecting our honor and our land.
[Source: Belief That Insurgency Will Fade May Be Misplaced, Washington Post, December 15, 2003, at < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A158-2003Dec14.html >]
[A]ll those hopes of a collapse of resistance are doomed. Saddam was neither the spiritual nor the political guide to the insurgency that is now claiming so many lives in Iraq – far more Iraqi than Western lives, one might add . . . .
Yesterday, for example, a sergeant in the 1st Armoured Division on checkpoint duty in Baghdad explained the situation to The Independent in remarkably blunt words. Were not going to go home any sooner because of Saddams getting caught, he said. We all came to search for weapons of mass destruction and attention has now been diverted from that. The arrest of Saddam is meaningless. We still dont know why we came here.
[Source: Saddams Capture Will Not Stop The Relentless Killings From Insurgents, Independent, December 15, 2003, at < http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5376.htm >]
A US official has conceded that the manner and circumstances of Saddam Husseins arrest makes it unlikely he was directing resistance forces in Iraq. . . . .
That is significant and disturbing because it means the insurgents are not fighting for Saddam, theyre fighting against the United States, said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
[Source: Saddam not heading insurgency, Aljazeera, December 15, 2003, at < http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C47A8269-85EA-4EAE-ADCE-9B54AF438B9A.htm >]
Now that Saddam is no longer a bogeyman to scare the people with, trade union and other mass opposition is likely to increase, complementing and coalescing with the armed opposition. . . .
Saddams ignominious end is likely to weaken US-led efforts to divide the Iraqis along sectarian and national lines. In memory of all those who died resisting Saddams tyranny, the peaceful and armed resistance is likely to intensify and attract greater support across the world, including that of the American people.
[Source: Resistance to occupation will grow, Guardian, December 15, 2003, at < http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1107236,00.html >]
I felt no pity for Saddam. He had killed some dear comrades of mine and imprisoned too many others, but the US had no right to do this. It was the responsibility of the Iraqi people. . . . .
If it is true, as the warmongers argued once they couldnt find any weapons of mass destruction, that they were ridding Iraq of a tyrant, the logic should now be an immediate end to the Occupation. I dont think this will happen. That is why a political resistance could spread throughout the country. Banning trades-unions as the Occupation has done wont make too much difference. The Iraqi underground is vibrant and hopeful.
[Source: The New Model of Imperialism, Saddam on Parade, Counterpunch, December 16, 2003, at < http://counterpunch.org/ali12162003.html >]
Joy at the capture of Saddam Hussein gave way to resentment toward Washington on Monday as Iraqis confronted afresh the bloodshed, shortages and soaring prices of life under U.S. occupation. . . .
The Americans promised freedom and prosperity; whats this? Go up to their headquarters, at one of those checkpoints where they point their guns at you, and tell them that you hate them as much as Saddam, and see what they do to you, said Mohammad Saleh, 39, a building contractor.
The only difference is that Saddam would kill you in private, where the Americans will kill you in public, he said.
[Source: Resentment toward U.S. lingers, Gas lines, anger temper euphoria, Reuters, December 16, 2003, at < http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0312160213dec16,1,3302017.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed >
Some Iraqis said the capture of Mr. Hussein would actually deepen the rebellion against the occupation.
Of course there will be violence, and resistance will increase, said Col. Ibrahim Mutlak, director of police patrols for Salahadin Province, where Mr. Husseins hometown, Tikrit, is located. Lots of people did not want to join the resistance because they did not want to be called Saddam supporters. But now all the people who oppose the Americans will join.
[Source: Attacks Go On; Car Bomb Kills 6 Iraqi Officers, NY Times, December 16, 2003, at < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/16/international/middleeast/16IRAQ.html >]
This is the largest of the countrys more than 260 potential mass graves identified by human rights workers.
So one would expect the people of Mahawil to be clamoring for accountability from the imprisoned Mr. Hussein. They are, but they are clamoring even louder for accountability from the American occupiers.
Im against the Americans, said Alaa Abdul-Nabie, 25, as he drove some visitors along a palm-lined dirt road to one of the mass graves. Im a Muslim and Iraq is an Islamic country. The Americans should get out of Iraq and let the Iraqi people build their own country and do what they should do. The Americans dont have a pretext to be here now that Saddam Hussein has been captured.
[Source: Joy Fades as Iraqis Chafe Under a Grim Occupation, NY Times, December 16, 2003, at < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/16/international/middleeast/16GRAV.html >]
Col. William Darley, a spokesman for General Sanchez, said yesterday that the capture of Mr. Hussein had changed nothing in the generals assessment, the first mention from the American commander in Iraq of a minimum two-year time frame for the allied deployment.
[Source: U.S. Troops Are Expected to Remain in Iraq at Least a Couple More Years, Commander Says, NY Times, December 16, 2003, at < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/16/international/middleeast/16SANC.html >]
Soldiers who have served in the war and their family members interviewed yesterday said they do not expect Husseins capture to eliminate the danger of duty in Iraq in the short term. Nor do they hold much hope that it will reunite deployed soldiers with their families anytime soon. . . .
As for his comrades from the 101st Airbornes 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment who stay in touch from Iraq, [S/Sgt. Joshua] Olson said, Theyre ready to get the heck out of there.
[Source: Concern Tempers Soldiers Optimism, Hussein Gone, but Danger Persists, Washington Post, December 16, 2003, at < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2945-2003Dec15.html >]
American troops killed at least 17 Iraqis in ambushes and violent rallies on Monday and Tuesday, the military reported, as repercussions of the capture of Saddam Hussein continued to be felt from Washington to the seething Sunni Muslim heartland of Iraq.
[Source: Iraqis Ambush a U.S. Convoy; G.I.s Raid Cell, NYT, December 17, 2003, at < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/17/international/middleeast/17IRAQ.html >]
U.S. troops [in Samarra] smashed down workshop doors and junkyard gates with sledgehammers, crowbars, explosives and even armored vehicles in a massive raid to hunt for pro-Saddam Hussein militants and stamp out the increasingly bold anti-U.S. resistance. . . .
Samarra has been a little bit of a thorn in our side, , said Col. Nate Sassaman. It hasnt come along as quickly as other cities in the rebuilding of Iraq. This operation is designed to bring them up to speed.
No one knows the town better than we do, were gonna clean this place. Theyve made a mistake to attack U.S. forces. We will dominate Samarra, he said. . . .
The loud blasts mixed with the sound of women and children screaming inside the houses. At one point, there was a short exchange of gunfire, but it was not immediately clear what happened.
At another home, an explosion ignited a small fire.
Elsewhere, a suspect was punched in the head and a soldier said: Youre dead. Youre dead.
[Source: U.S. military conducts major operation in restive Iraqi town, AP, December 17, 2003, at < http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/12/17/international0727EST0479.DTL >]
The memory of persecution – particularly in the sphere of religion – at the hands of Hussein left some Iraqis determined to never again submit to an outside power, whatever the cost. . . .
When I heard what had happened, I wept, and do you know why? said Hashim Hassan, an Iraqi journalist who was jailed, placed under house arrest and had his newspaper closed down by Husseins security apparatus. Not for being sad over what happened to me, and not for being glad that he was getting what he deserved. Because it was an American soldier, not an Iraqi, doing this – and he mimed hauling someone upward by the scruff of the neck. . . .
I am a Kurd, and my people suffered greatly because of him – of course I cant forget that, said Gulzar Tahar, a 30-year-old Baghdad teacher. But when I saw these pictures, I just didnt want to look – I couldnt. Because I could not endure something like this happening to me.
[Source: For Iraqis, Husseins Arrest Not a Cure-All, They wonder if it will bring closure, Gratitude to the U.S. gives way to anger over occupation, LA Times, December 17, 2003, at < http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraqmood17dec17,1,5406453.story >]
An American soldier was killed in an ambush in Baghdad on Wednesday, the United States military said today, in the first American combat-related casualty since the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was captured.
[Source: U.S. Soldier Killed in Ambush in Iraq, NY Times, December 18, 2003, at < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/18/international/middleeast/18CND-IRAQ.html >]
[NYT Reporter Chris Hedges said]: I dont think the resistance movement in Iraq has very much to do with Saddam Hussein at all. And I think it obscures the fundamental issue, which is that Iraqis are chafing against U.S. occupation. Having spent a lot of time in Iraq, I can tell you he was a deeply detested and feared figure. The fact that he was removed doesnt in any way mitigate the fact that most Iraqis do not want to be occupied by U.S. troops.
[Source: The War Rolls On, at < http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/9623 >]
WARNING: These Pages Depict The Horror And Reality Of “OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM”: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2604.htm
General Smedley Butler, a much-decorated and celebrated US war hero of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with 34 years military service, later reflected on his campaigns and produced a telling volume entitled War as a Racket. He explained his central thesis thus: I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. . . I helped make Honduras right for American fruit companies in 1903. I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long.
[Source: The same old racket in Iraq, To the victors, the spoils: Bushs colonialism will only deepen resistance, Guardian, December 13, 2003, at < http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1106238,00.html >]