“Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran
The U.S. knew Hussein was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in history — and still gave him a hand.”
This topic was well known to almost anyone who bothered to care. At the time Iran was a hated enemy as the result of holding 50 Americans hostage for virtually the entire Carter presidency. I believe you could research this and find Cheney and Rumsfield had their fingerprints all over this. There is a famous picture of Cheney shaking hands with S. Hussein. It was never a question of if these documents existed just a question of when we pawns would get a chance to see them and precisely how much did the US know. Turns out to be everything. In fact we provided most of the weapons and gave a wink and nod agreement to go ahead with the attack.
From the article in Foreign Policy:
In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.
The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.
U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.
Irans likely response to Iraq Chemical Weapon attack
Memo predicts use of Iraqi nerve agents
The Iraqi chemical weapons program in perspective
CIA confirms Iraqi use of Chemical Weapons
From a Washington Post article yesterday
These thoughts are speculated on endlessly in many think tanks around this Country and around the World. Much has been discussed along these lines but not much said openly in the media at least in our Country.
A Changing World Order
By most measures, reports of America’s declining power, relative to the rest of the world, have again proved premature. The U.S. economy increasingly seems to be on an upswing. The United States remains among the world’s safest and most attractive investments. The shale gas revolution is transforming America into an energy giant of the future. The dollar, once slated for oblivion, seems destined to remain the world’s reserve currency for some time to come. American military power, even amid current budget cuts, remains unmatched in quantity and quality.
Meanwhile, the “rise of the rest,” which Fareed Zakaria and other declinists touted a few years ago, has failed to materialize as expected. For all of America’s problems at home — the fiscal crisis, political gridlock, intense partisanship and weak presidential leadership — other great powers, from China to India to Russia to the European Union, have debilitating problems of their own that, in some cases, promise to grow more severe.
Overall, the much-heralded return of a multipolar world of roughly equal great powers, akin to that which existed before World War II, has been delayed for at least a few more decades. Absent some unexpected dramatic change, the international system will continue to be that of one superpower and several great powers, or as the late Samuel P. Huntington called it, “uni-multipolarity.”
If, however, by the normal measures of relative power things have not changed as much as some predicted, the international order certainly has entered a period of uncertainty and flux. In the United States in recent years, a great many Americans are questioning the nature and extent of their nation’s involvement in the world. It is not just the Great Recession or even unhappiness with the U.S. experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan that are driving disenchantment with what Americans used to like to call their global leadership. The old rationale for that deep global involvement, which took hold in the wake of World War II and persisted through the Cold War, is increasingly forgotten or actively rejected by Americans who wonder why the United States needs to play such an outsize role on the world stage.
President Obama’s foreign policies have both reflected and encouraged this desire for contraction and retrenchment. In fairness, explaining to Americans why the United States should continue to play the role of “indispensable” power is more complicated than it was during World War II, the Cold War or immediately after 9/11. With Nazis and Soviets around to keep things simple, very few American presidents ever needed, or bothered, to make the larger and more fundamental case that must be made now — that America’s task since 1945 has been to foster and defend a liberal world order and stave off international anarchy, not just to pounce on the latest threat and go home. The president himself may not understand this.
At the same time, others around the world are wrestling with their own questions. How should international affairs be governed and regulated? What should be the roles of multilateral institutions such as the United Nations? How should the great powers relate to one another, and what special role, if any, should the United States play? These questions have no easy answers. Around the world there is great ambivalence about the United States. Some wish to see its influence fade; others want to see the United States more engaged; still others seemingly express both desires simultaneously. But whatever one thinks about the world order shaped by and around the American superpower, it is arguably less clear than ever what kind of system might replace it.
And if not the United States, then who? For many, the United Nations does not hold the promise it once did. Saudi Arabia’s recent refusal to accept a seat on the U.N. Security Council is only one sign of the disappointment in that body, which many see as hopelessly gridlocked and unreflective of today’s world, at least in terms of its veto-wielding members. Institutions such as the European Union, which even a decade ago seemed to offer a path to a new and different kind of world order, are struggling to maintain themselves, while newer efforts to build similar institutions in Asia founder on great-power competitions and jealousies. Any hope of a great-power consortium, a global 21st-century version of the Concert of Europe, seems distant — even if such a thing were desirable.
Like the heralding of “American decline,” warnings about “the coming global disorder” have often proved premature. But with Americans and others rethinking the U.S. role in the world, and with no other nation, group of nations or international institutions willing or able to take its place, global disorder seems a more distinct possibility than it has since the 1930s. Perhaps the challenge is to fashion an international order that can reflect the continuing reality of “uni-multipolarity” but that somehow accommodates both global wariness of U.S. power and Americans’ wariness of their global role. History does not offer much reason for optimism. The world order rarely changes by means of smooth transitions. Usually, such change is a result of catalytic upheaval.
Ministry New World Order
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