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Betting on Saddam
U.S. boosted the Iraqi dictator for decades

January 6, 2004
The Iranian

In his view and analysis of JFK's assassination, Oliver Stone's controversial opinions and his subsequent motion picture originate from a very simple but intriguing concept. The concept is that when you consider, revisit and try to understand a historical or social event, it is often unproductive to get bogged down on the "how" details. The most important question to ask and answer is "why"!

You can argue and analyze the bullet ballistics, multi-shooter theories and all the rest of "how"s forever and there will always be a counter explanation for every detail. But just begin asking why John Kennedy had to die and you can't help but see that it had to be a conspiracy, no matter how the details are explained.

Applying this simple formula to Saddam Hossein simplifies things for me. But it also creates some new questions that may never be answered. The "why" questions cry to be asked when looking at the key milestones and turning points of Saddam's history, beginning at his rise to power, all through his more than two decades of brutal rule, his behavior with regard to his neighbor states and all the way to the suspicious demise of his regime.

Some of the most curious questions pose themselves when considering Saddam's flirtations with the United States and the assistance he certainly received from Uncle Sam all through his bloody career! These are the type of questions that will prompt many people to answer with "how" answers, and then if you further insist, they will call you a radical conspiracy theorist and just wave you off! And that is how the U.S. and Western media have dealt with the Saddam questions.

We have heard all about HOW Saddam Hossein had a key role in the Iraqi Baath Party's death squad and the failed attempt to kill the Iraqi leader Abdulkarim Kassem in 1959 which resulted in Saddam's near fatal injury and his escape to Cairo. But WHY are we not hearing more about the fact that during his subsequent stay in Cairo in the late 1950's and early 1960's, Saddam was a regular visitor to the American Embassy, occasionally mingled in the American social circles at the time and even lived at the American facilities for a while.

We hear HOW Saddam and his Baathist cronies returned in 1963 and took over the government in a bloody coup. But WHY is it that no CNN or FOX News reports mention the credible and historical evidence indicating that the take over of Iraq in 1963 that overthrew General Kassem, was organized, funded and lead from a command center that was setup in Kuwait by none other than the CIA.

We have heard HOW as a security officer, Saddam participated personally in the interrogation, torture and killing of hundreds of opponents in the aftermath of the 1963 coup but WHY is ABC, CBS and NPR news not reporting that between 1963 and 1968 the names of hundreds of communists and anti-Baath activists had been supplied to Baath Party death agents by the CIA operatives in Iraq?

This was the project that eventually, and through further overlap of interests and a deal made over Iraq's oil and sulphur mining rights, solidified the Baath power in 1968 and put a young and ambitious thug named Saddam Hossein on the final stretch of his bloody path to becoming the dictator of Iraq.

We have seen the phrase "he attacked his neighbors" listed as one of Saddam's evil acts and a reason for ejecting him from power. But given the history of Saddam-US relations and frequent alliances, WHY wouldn't it be possible that attacking Iran right after the 1979 revolution, resulting in a reduction of the Shah's stockpiled weapons and putting Khomeini under check was another project cooked up by Saddam's old pals in the CIA and US military intelligence?

We have heard HOW Saddam's army massacred thousands of Kurdish civilians and Iranian soldiers in the 1980's using chemical weapons. But WHY is no one in the US media or human rights circles highlighting the fact that instead of stopping Saddam and defending the rights of the many innocent victims, we sent high ranking delegates, including Donald Rumsfeld among others, to shake hands with Saddam and offered more military and intelligence support.

Both Iran and Iraq began the 1980's with over $100 billion in cash reserves. At the moment, Iraq has a national debt of over $120 billion while, by most liberal international accounting estimates, Iran has less than $20 billion in debt. If Saddam was such a menace all along then WHY did he get over $120 billion in foreign aid. And if the argument is that the mullahs in Iran were a much bigger threat, then WHY is Saddam's regime gone and the mullahs are still firmly in control of Iran? Wasn't the Islamic Republic of Iran the bigger evil in the axis?

I'm not ignorant of the context within which American foreign policy was implemented all through the Cold War. I know that much of the American dealings with the Baath Party, Saddam and his government can be categorized as alliances of convenience. But the simple and painful fact is that our dealings and alliances propelled and promoted the man along his bloody path. We assisted Saddam in more than one occasion to brutalize his political enemies, his own innocent people and his neighboring states through several decades. WHY shouldn't we be held accountable?

Since the attacks of 9/11 the American people have constantly asked "why do they hate us so much?" George W. Bush's answer is "because they hate freedom!" What a juvenile statement! The American people are a peace loving lot and deserve to know the truth. Isn't it time to be honest with them and tell them WHY?

Though he was ridiculed in the Western media for saying it, perhaps Saddam had good reasons for his first words after being pulled out of his concrete hole in the ground. "I want to negotiate," the bastard proclaimed. WHY not?

Now, the next questions to ask are how long will Saddam live? Will he be given an open trial and the opportunity to speak? Any bets out there?

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By Farhad Radmehrian


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