Thursday, May 04, 2006

Iraq, Iran, Israel and the U.S.

Yesterday, Juan Cole fought off an attack by Christopher Hitchens (May 3rd: Hitchens not Drunk, Only an Asinine Thief). He did a pretty good job of it, in my opinion. One of the things that struck me in his argument was this paragraph from The National Security Archieve:
'Even during the hostage crisis in Tehran, Israel—later the United States’ partner through much of the Iran initiative—began to strike weapons deals of its own with Iran. Tel Aviv, like Washington, had a long history of selling arms to the Shah, which Tehran’s revolutionary government was willing to exploit secretly, despite its public animosity toward the state of Israel. Reportedly, the United States knew about Israeli transactions during the early 1980s but turned a blind eye. News accounts alleged later that President Reagan’s first secretary of state, Alexander Haig, gave Tel Aviv an "amber light," acquiescing in the weapons transfers without officially approving them.....'
Why did this strike me as odd? Well, at the same time that Israel was providing weapons to Iran, we were providing weapons to Saddam Hussein's Iraq for use in the Iran Iraq War:
Iran-Iraq War, 1980–88, protracted military conflict between Iran and Iraq. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns since Sept. 4.

Who is that man shaking Hussein's hand? (three guesses)

There is more:
The war between Iran and Iraq was one of the great human tragedies of recent Middle Eastern history. Perhaps as many as a million people died, many more were wounded, and millions were made refugees. The resources wasted on the war exceeded what the entire Third World spent on public health in a decade.

France became the major source of Iraq's high-tech weaponry, in no small part to protect its financial stake in that country (!!! ed)l The Soviet Union was Iraq's largest weapon's supplier, while jockeying for influence in both capitals. Israel provided arms to Iran, hoping to bleed the combatants by prolonging the war. And at least ten nations sold arms to both of the warring sides.<3>

The list of countries engaging in despicable behavior, however, would be incomplete without the United States. The U.S. objective was not profits from the arms trade, but the much more significant aim of controlling to the greatest extent possible the region's oil resources. (emphasis added)

Then, a little later:
On October 5, 1986, an antiquated cargo plane was shot down over Nicaragua by a surface-to-air missile. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus of Marinette, Wisconsin, was captured. Within hours, the Vice President’s office in Washington received a telephone call from an operative on the ground in El Salvador saying that the plane was missing. The CIA station chief in neighboring Costa Rica sent a coded message to another operative, warning tersely: "Situation requires we do necessary damage control." But Hasenfus was temporarily beyond their control. Before long, his Nicaraguan captors had placed him in front of world television cameras where he told the story of the U.S. government-sponsored covert resupply program for the Contras and disclosed its apparent ties to the highest levels of the Reagan Administration.

Half a world away, Lt. Col. Oliver North, the National Security Council (NSC) staff member in charge of the hitherto-secret Contra operation, received word of the downing while in the middle of highly sensitive negotiations in Europe with Iranian government representatives. The talks were part of another major NSC-run covert operation—an arms-for-hostages trade with Iran which made a farce of President Reagan’s highly publicized maxim that "America will never make concessions to terrorists.....For his offense, North was summarily fired; his superior, National Security Advisor John Poindexter, who knew and approved of the plan, was allowed to resign." (emphasis added)
Wow Nelly, is that this John Poindexter?
Mr. Poindexter was indicted on March 16, 1988 on seven federal felony charges stemming from the Iran-Contra scandal.....On Thursday, February 14, 2002, John Poindexter was appointed by President George W. Bush to lead the Information Assurance Office at the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Despite Mr. Poindexter's criminal record of lying to Congress, the President thinks he is "an outstanding American and an outstanding citizen who has done a very good job in what he has done for our country, serving in the military".....It is at the IAO that Mr. Poindexter began work on Total Information Awareness, a plan to watch Americans like the Stasi watched East Germans -- but using technology this time, instead of people. Mr. Poindexter's friend Edward Aldridge told FOXNews that "John had a real passion for [Total Information Awareness]."
There is also a link to Opus Dei, but I won't go there.

No, that couldn't be related to the NSA spying scandal? Could it?
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said Thursday he is considering legislation to cut off funding for the Bush administration's secret domestic wiretapping program until he gets satisfactory answers about it from the White House.

You know, if you wrote a book of fiction about this people would say its too far fetched.

Isn't all this starting to stink just a little too highly? I think many Americans would like to rid ourselves of this gang and start over, even if it did mean a lot of hardship. At least I would.

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