The same incidentally is true of his weapons of mass destruction. It's commonly claimed that we couldn't allow him to survive because of the danger of the weapons of mass destruction that he's probably was creating - which could have been correct except it was also correct during the time when we were providing him consciously with the means to develop those weapons of mass destruction at a time when he was a far greater threat than he is today. So that raises some questions about that argument.
What follows is and accurate chronology of United States involvement in the arming of Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war 1980-88. It is a powerful indictment of the Bush administration. It reveals US ambitions in Iraq to be just another chapter in the attempt to regain a foothold in the Middle East. The United States invaded Iraq to gain control of one of the major sources of the world's energy, right in the heart of the world's energy producing regions, to create, if they can, a dependent client state, to have permanent military bases, and to gain what's called "critical leverage" (quoting Zbigniew Brzezinski) over rivals, the European and Asian economies. It's been understood since the Second World War, that if you have your hand on that spigot, the main source of the world's energy, you have what early planners called "veto power" over others.
Iraq is also the last part of the world where there are vast, untapped, easily accessible energy resources. And you can be sure that they want the profits from that to go primarily to U.S.-based multi-nationals and back to the U.S. Treasury, and so on. Not to rivals. There are plenty of reasons for invading Iraq, none of them good.
September, 1980 -- Iraq invades Iran. The beginning of the Iraq-Iran war.
February, 1982 -- Despite objections from congress, President Reagan removes Iraq from its list of known terrorist countries.
December, 1982 -- Hughes Aircraft ships 60 Defender helicopters to Iraq.
1982-1988 -- Defense Intelligence Agency provides detailed information for Iraq on Iranian deployments, tactical planing for battles, plans for air strikes and bomb damage assessments.
November, 1983 -- A National Security Directive states that the U.S. would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing its war with Iran.
November, 1983 -- Banca Nazionale del Lavaro of Italy and its Branch in Atlanta begin to funnel $5 billion in unreported loans to Iraq. Iraq, with the blessing and official approval of the US government, purchased computer controlled machine tools, computers, scientific instruments, special alloy steel and aluminum, chemicals and other industrial goods for Iraq's missile, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.
October, 1983 -- The Reagan Administration begins secretly allowing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to transfer United States weapons, including Howitzers, Huey helicopters, and bombs to Iraq. These shipments violated the Arms Export Control Act.
November, 1983 -- George Schultz, the Secretary of State, is given intelligence reports showing that Iraqi troops are daily using chemical weapons against the Iranians.
December 20, 1983 -- Donald Rumsfeld, then a civilian and now ex-Defense Secretary, meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him of US friendship and materials support.
July, 1984 -- The CIA begins giving Iraq intelligence necessary to calibrate its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops.
January 14, 1984 -- State Department memo acknowledges United States shipment of "dual-use" export hardware technology. Dual use items are civilian items such as heavy trucks, armored ambulances and communications gear as well as industrial technology that can have a military application.
March, 1986 -- The United States with Great Britain block all United Nations security council resolutions condemning Iraq's use of chemical weapons, and on March 21st the US becomes the only country (out of more than 150) refusing to sign a Security council statement condemning Iraq's use of these weapons.
May, 1986 -- The US department of Commerce licenses 70 biological exports to Iraq between May of 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax.
May, 1986 -- US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade botulin poison to Iraq.
March, 1987 -- President Reagan bows to the findings of the Tower Commission admitting the sale of arms to Iran "in exchange for hostages." Oliver North uses the profits from the sale to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua.
Late 1987 -- The Iraqi Air Force begins using chemical agents against Kurdish resistance forces in northern Iraq.
February, 1988 -- Saddam Hussein begins the "Anfal" campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq. The Iraq regime used chemical weapons against the Kurds killing over 100,000 civilians and destroying over 1,200 Kurdish Vlliages.
April, 1988 -- US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas.
August, 1988 -- Four major battles were fought from April to August 1988, in which the Iraqis massively and effectively used chemical weapons to defeat the Iranians. Nerve gas and blister agents such as mustard gas are used. By this time the US Defense Intelligence Agency is heavily involved with Saddam Hussein in battle plan assistance, intelligence gathering and post battle debriefing. In the last major battle of the war, 65,000 Iranians are killed, many with poison gas. Use of chemical weapons in war is in direct violation of the Geneva accords of 1925.
August, 1988 -- Iraq and Iran declare a cease fire.
August, 1988 -- Five days after the cease fire Saddam Hussein sends his planes and helicopters to northern Iraq to begin massive chemical attacks against the Kurds.
September, 1988 -- US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade antrax and botulism to Iraq.
September, 1988 -- Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State: "The US-Iraqi relationship is... important to our long-term political and economic objectives.
December, 1988 -- Dow Chemical sells $1.5 million in pesticides to Iraq despite knowledge that these would be used in chemical weapons.
July 25, 1990 -- US Ambassador to Baghdad meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him that President Bush "wanted better and deeper relations." Many believe this visit was a trap set for Hussein. A month later Hussein invaded Kuwait thinking the US would not respond.
August, 1990 -- Iraq invades Kuwait. The precursor of the Gulf War.
July, 1991 -- The Financial Times of London reveals that a Florida chemical company had produced and shipped cyanide to Iraq during the 80's using a special CIA courier. Cyanide was used extensively against the Iranians.
August, 1991 -- Christopher Droguol of Atlanta's branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro is arrested for his role in supplying loans to Iraq for the purchase of military supplies. He is charged with 347 counts of felony. Drogoul is found guilty, but US officials plead innocent of any knowledge of his crime.
July, 1992 -- "The Bush administration deliberately, not inadvertently, helped to arm Iraq by allowing U.S. technology to be shipped to Iraqi military and to Iraqi defense factories... Throughout the course of the Bush administration, U.S. and foreign firms were granted export licenses to ship U.S. technology directly to Iraqi weapons facilities despite ample evidence showing that these factories were producing weapons." Representative Henry Gonzalez, Texas, testimony before the House.
February, 1994 -- Senator Riegle from Michigan, chairman of the Senate banking Committee, testifies before the senate revealing large US shipments of dual-use biological and chemical agents to Iraq that may have been used against US troops in the Gulf war and probably was the cause of the illness known as the "Gulf War Syndrome."