I'm glad to see some media outlets are following up on evidence of U.S. inconsistency on the use of chemical weapons.
Recently declassified C.I.A. documents (not at all related to The GUARDIAN or Edward Snowden, by the way) show how the Reagan Administration looked the other way as Saddam Hussein's military deployed chemical weapons against the Iranians during the Iran--Iraq war. The Reagan Administration even shared intel about Iranian movements with Saddam Hussein's government, knowing full well the Iraqis would use that information to launch chemical attacks against Iran.
(One thing I had forgotten about: Farm state politicians resisting sanctions...)
It starts again. Media cheerleading to start a war. The media love war (along with disasters, tragedy, and scandals). First comes outrage over what "they" have done. Then comes "support the troops." And finally "they lied to us" and "it's not worth it." By that time, a lot of people are dead and even more have had their lives ruined. But the media got lots to talk about, and that's all that matters.
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 9:15am
However there is a difference in scale. The Syrian use of chemical weapons hit the world's news immediately causing a large outcry. Plus it was in violation of the "red line" the world had set up for Assad.
Iraq's use, on the other hand, took place in a vacuum. Far in the desert somewhere. Way out in Kurd country. In fact, we apparently had to send human intelligence out into the Iraqi desert to confirm it happened as is mentioned above. Though not condemned at the time because it would compromise our intelligence there, and because they were fighting Iran, the same attack was used 20 years later to persuade the world that we needed to invade their country.
"The only person to use chemical weapons on his own people was the phrase used by Cheney" if I remember correctly.
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 10:12am
Given all the anti-Muslim/anti-Arab hatred from the Tea Party/Religious Right/Dittoheads on this board and elsewhere, I don't see why you all are getting so worked up about people you all consider "camel jockeys," "terrorists" and pagans killing each other. If Pat Robertson weren't so busy saying gays are trying to infect church goers with AIDs using rings with sharp points, I'm sure he'd find some Bible verse to show this is part of god's plan and the second coming is at hand.
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 12:25pm
Pat Robertson couldn't find such a Bible verse because he doesn't know the Bible.
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 1:07pm
I'm not so sure this is a case of inconsistency, as it is different administrations and different times. The Saddam Hussein situation came under Reagan, a Repulican, 30 years ago. The Syrian situation comes under Obama, a Democrat, in present day. It goes without saying they're going to handle things differently. And the world will view it differently because we've all changed, too. Even the Catholic church changes its tune on things from time to time (look at how much the rules on fasting have changed).
Whatever Reagan's reasoning for ignoring it with Saddam in the 80s, isn't it fair to say that maybe, today, we just know better?
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 5:26pm
So what's the best option? Carpet-bombing immediately, or dragging this whole thing out as long as possible until the real resolution shows itself, and then getting a consensus to attack it as a world problem and not a U.S. problem?
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 11:03pm
Most Americans are sick of war (one of the reasons why Obama was elected) yet this president continues to open up new war fronts yearly... Libya, Egypt, and now possibly Syria. How about we sit out this no-win war? I know it would make our supposed ally Israel much happier, as both Iran and Syria have vowed to strike Israel (not us) if the U.S. strikes Syria.
Or is it too late anyway? Did our "Franz-Ferdinand incident" already take place in Tunisia when the frustrated vendor set himself ablaze and set into motion the Arab Spring?
Add your comment: Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal
responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of
the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members
Only Group username and password are required to process your post.
You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please
Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.