Ohhh the Lies we tell!
In the run up to the war in Iraq. President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair used "intelligence" about Saddam, specifically his possession and prior use of WMD. The London Times already exposed the fact that the Bush administration had long planned to attack Iraq. Furthermore the article show that Both Britain and the US were looking to create a political climate for such an attack:
The minutes, published by The Sunday Times today, begins with the warning: “This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. The paper should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know.” It records a meeting in July 2002, attended by military and intelligence chiefs, at which Blair discussed military options having already committed himself to supporting President George Bush’s plans for ousting Saddam.
“If the political context were right, people would support regime change,” said Blair. He added that the key issues were “whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan space to work”.
The political strategy proved to be arguing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed such a threat that military action had to be taken. However, at the July meeting Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, said the case for war was “thin” as “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran”.
Straw suggested they should “work up” an ultimatum about weapons inspectors that would “help with the legal justification”. Blair is recorded as saying that “it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors”.
We know that one of the arguments used by Bush to get into Iraq was how he gassed the Kurds. It now seems that claim is untrue. Counterpunch has published an interview with Ghazwan -al-Mukhtar in Iraq, who states:
In comparing Saddam with US actions there are remarkable similarities. Both Iraq and Iran had and used chemical weapons in their war. The United States and the United Kingdom assisted, encouraged, armed, priovided intelligence and protected Iraq in the UN during Iraq's war with Iran for their own political and economic goals. Iraq used gas in Halabja then the two governments, UK and US, made every effort to cover-up facts, again for their political and economic interests. Saddam supposedly "gased" his own people during the war with Iran: Not according to the CIA offical who wrote in the N.Y. Times that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency issued a report that said this was speculation and that in fact it was likely Iran used gas on the Kurds.
The New York Times article in question, A War Crime or an Act of War?, written by a senior CIA political analyst claims:
all that is known for certain is that Kurds were hit with poison gas that day, during battle with Iranians; explains that US Defense Intelligence Agency's report found both sides used gas during battle, and blamed Iranians for Kurdish deaths; notes Kurds died of cyanide-based gas that Iran, but not Iraq, had at time; explains that Iran sought control of key dam near Halabja, part of impressive Iraqi waterway system that is most extensive in Mideast; adds that Bush administration owes Americans full facts before going to war (M)
Clearly then the Bush administration has used the ignorance of the public (and members of Congress) to justify the war in Iraq. That this January 31.2003 Op-Ed piece was simply allowed to disappear in the press is amazing. Even the anti-war peopl have conceeded that Sadddam gassed the Kurds. We shall see what happens during Saddam's trial. I expect much embarrasing information to be revealed, if he isn't killed first.