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Oh sweet Jesus, He's bashing the US again.

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by -Ken, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Ok, how about this article talking about the Reagan Administration. You might remember during this time Iraq was an ally of the US and we were helping them in their war with Iran.

    We knew they were using illegal weapons (gas) as demonstrated by this quote from the article,

    <I>"The only occasion that Iraq's use of banned weapons seems to have worried the Reagan administration came in 1988, after Lt Col Francona toured the battlefield on the al-Faw peninsula in southern Iraq and reported signs of sarin gas.

    "When I was walking around I saw atropine injectors lying around. We saw decontamination fluid on vehicles, there were no insects," said Mr Francona, who has written a book on shifting US policy to Iraq titled Ally to Adversary. "There was a very quick response from Washington saying, 'Let's stop our cooperation' but it didn't last long - just weeks." </I>

    Ok, I can deal with that. This quote disturbed me a little though,

    <I>"Furthermore, in 1988, the Dow Chemical company sold $1.5m-worth (930,000) of pesticides to Iraq despite suspicions they would be used for chemical warfare."</I>

    We supplied them with the gas? Knowingly?

    This really frosted the situation,

    <I>"A 1994 congressional inquiry also found that dozens of biological agents, including various strains of anthrax, had been shipped to Iraq by US companies, under license from the commerce department."</I>

    And this one,

    <I>"The US provided less conventional military equipment than British or German companies but it did allow the export of biological agents, including anthrax; vital ingredients for chemical weapons; and cluster bombs sold by a CIA front organization in Chile, the report says."</I>

    We sold them Anthrax? Is there a commercial purpose for this stuff? Do you think anyone is going to jail on this one?

    I was wondering, exactly how big is the commission one gets for selling their soul to the devil like this?
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Sorry, I know a bit about this guy Francona, he is a joke he was a Sr. Military Attache, his job was to provide cover for the real Spies. He was to wine and dine the Iraqi Military and to see what the Iraqi's wanted him to. Several things in the article are mistakes, but I cannot point them out to you, as it is violating my oath. He made it to Light Colonel and then got canned from missing some very important stuff in his reports. Franky, I haven't thought about him and years, thanks for the memories Ken :thumbsup: :_ :beer:
  3. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    FIle it under 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'.

    A policy which can turn around and bite you in the ass if you are not careful.

    Again you miss the point. If *all* you do is bash it gets old real fast. No one is going to argue this country is always right and is noble and pure all the time.

    We try to do the best things and sometimes we do things that are expedient.

    How about posting *one* good thing to say about this country (without any slant) for every say ten bashes.

    Try it. It's called balance.
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Edited for peace on forum.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Let's keep to discussing ideas, not people. If you don't want to do that, ignore the thread.

    I don't want to split threads or split hairs. ;)

    Ken, the US was not doing anything other countries were doing. There was only one country out of the entire non-African world (even Somalia and Sudan were invovled though) that didn't profit from the Iran-Iraq war.

    I've done a few research papers on this whole thing, so I am not talking out of my ass when it comes to the politics of this issue.
  6. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Ok, so everyone else was getting paid - but the point is we knew back in 1988 that Iraq had used a gas weapon. The evidence was there. Given the history with the region, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they were unstable and probably couldn't be trusted. So instead of erring on the side of caution, we give them permits to export ANTRHAX?

    That doesn't make sense. We knew there was a chance of it coming back to bite us in the ass, but we went ahead and did it anyway?? Why? Because of the money? Because everyone else was doing it?
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Yes, prior to their gassing, however. I must state for the record that the turning point of US relations with Iraq was not what they were doing with Iran but what they were doing to their own people. USS Stark was no accident but a message.
  8. jamming

    jamming Banned

    The Anthrax that they had access to was nothing that they couldn't get their hands on anywhere else, and remember we had the Evil Empire USSR, back then. Which had quite and advance Bioweapon Capability, we did not give them weaponized Anthrax and we got the genetic markers, to identify anything they produced from our strains, to point the finger at them. It was a net gain, Misu. They got Anthrax in small non-weaponized quantities and we got to be able to mark anything they produced from the strain.
  9. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Ok. let's be fair -- in a manner of speaking -- to the US goverment. Up until the last few years, any medical institution in the world could order bacterial/viral cultures from a number of medical wholesalers... including the CDC. All they had to do was present documentation from their government that the request was government-sponsored and that they would guarentee the culture would be used for medical purposes; as I remember it (I can't find the info online right now) Iraq said the anthrax was to be used in developing cures/medical treatment for herd animals in that region.

    The chemical elements used to develop nerve gas are the same chemicals used to make pesticides, which is how Iraq ordered them.

    Hind-sight is alwasy 20-20 ;)
    If the US government knew then what they know now, they wouldn't have shipped arms and money, either :haha:
  10. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I think this is pretty much what I covered in my thread in the America's forum. Decisions made for what seem good reasons at the time look very different down the road. While we must recognize them in the hopes of not repeating them we do not have to beat ourselves for doing the best we can. Prove that the people who institued these policies broke laws and we should punish them, agreed. But if you start shooting people for doing the best they can I would submit you will soon have nobody doing anything.
  11. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    You are welcome for the memories.

    We sold "Anthrax", "$1.5m-worth (930,000) of pesticides to Iraq despite suspicions they would be used for chemical warfare" and "biological agents". I guess I will be glad to discount the first hand testimony of someone you don't feel confident in. I would like to redirect you back to the first sentence of this paragraph.


    I may not be able to teach an egg sucking dog anything but I am smart enough to know better than to give that dog big rotten Anthrax and Sarin laden eggs. I know you are not advocating the release of these weapons to lunatics but cut me a break, I know you better than to think you would give a loaded nuclear bomb to a baby.


    If I was to talk about how wonderful this country is, would you listen to me if I told you how bad it could be sometimes? I didn't miss the point of the bashing thread, I am trying to impress on you we need to keep vigilant oversight of our government. To dismiss this type of behavior is exactly the arrogance we are being accused of. We sold these fanatics biological weapons! Is there a level of criminal incompetence any lower than that? If I had to look at this and compare it to a murder case, which would you judge is more of a crime against society?

    Thank you Misu, I appreciate your comments (as always).


    Everybody was doing this? That makes it all right? We sold the weapons Saddam used to kill thousands of people. In a war, which only allows conventional weapons, we sold illegal weapons knowing they would be used. Because everybody else was doing it makes it no less damning!


    We did know what we know now. We knew this guy would use illegal weapons, we did have the proof. We also knew Saddam was not in love with us and was at best an opportunist. Even with all the rationalizations in your post, we were either pretty stupid or didn't care. Either way in pretty damning.

    Hey, here's the point.

    They sold weapons of mass destruction to a madman.
    These weapons will probably be used against all of us.
    Even more important, why aren't you all furious with this?
  12. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    I think the word "expedient" -- that short-term thinking which I personally think is US's largest bugaboo -- is the one which applies. In the minds of the political/military leaders of the time, dealing with Iraq served their (short-term) purposes and interests, but messed up in the long term. There does seem to be a lack political leaders who are able take the long view.

    Post Desert Storm, the US government encouraged the idea of regime change and promised to back any group which rose. The Kurds rose... and the Clinton government decided it was too politically dangerous to help them, so they were left out to dry. It was "expedient"

    Now, to be fair, no one saw suicide terrorists making to the US. I'm sure the politicans of the time figured it was expedient do what they wanted because "those people" would never be able to reach the US. Wrong, unfortunately.

    Politics is a strange beast... and does create the strangest of bedfellows.

    Because simply being furious does nothing, if all we do is emote. The point is, how do you stop it if the future? Any lessons learned here, or will the rule of "expediency" just carry on? Don't just get angry about what's happened, come up with some solutions. What is it precisely you'd like to see done?

    <small> extra material added</small>
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ken, we didn't sell them weapons to kill their own. You are not listening when and what people write.
  14. fritzmp

    fritzmp Fire Fire For Effect

    We could be like the French and sell both sides weapons in a war.

    Aside from killing all the world leaders and proping up our own people to run the world, I guess were left with what ever thug happens to be in power at any given time. Choosing the lesser of two evils is not for the faint hearted. The other option would take balls too.
  15. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    That bloody thumb of ours that you so rightly point out that we ourselves hit with a hammer doesn't quite stand out so much when you place it in the context of the times, and remembering that our Iranian Embassy and citizens had just been held. Here's a few other goings on in the region during that time.

    <li>April 1983: 17 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

    <li>October 1983: 241 dead at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

    <li>December 1983: five dead at the U.S. embassy in Kuwait.

    <li>January 1984: the president of the American University of Beirut killed.

    <li>April 1984: 18 dead near a U.S. airbase in Spain.

    <li>September 1984: 16 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut (again).

    <li>December 1984: Two dead on a plane hijacked to Tehran.

    <li>June 1985: One dead on a plane hijacked to Beirut.

    In hindsight, it looks bad, but it is not of the malevolent and insidious nature that one would infer from the rant. For better or worse, IMHO, the people making the decisions at the time believed they were making the right ones. Do you think it any small coincidence that the American hostages in Iran were released just prior to Reagan's inauguration?
  16. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    I do not need *anyone* to tell me what I have to do about anything regarding the rights that have been secured by the sacrifices of people routinely dismissed and denigrated by certain posts in this forum.

    Ethics is right. The ignore feature works well.

    Congratulations, your stridency has succeeded. Your give no quarter, no compromise attitude works well in a complex world full of shades of gray.

    I could say something about Haywire and you and opposite side of the same coin.

    But I won't.

    You will no longer have to worry about me commenting on anything you further have to say as I can no longer hear you.
  17. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    Thank you, I think your post hit it right on the head.


    I am having real problems with the arms dealers period. These weapons should not be sold to some of these people - No Shit! We need to put these people out of business if they continue to sell loaded weapons to kids!


    I do understand the timing issue. I even understand some of the possible motivations. My question is why didn't we sell them nuclear technology? Why (let me answer my own question) Because it was too dangerous. Like biologics are any safer? You know, I might have taken the US government's claim the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction if they had just come out an admitted we sold them to Iraq in the beginning. And, where are they now? Nowhere to be found in Iraq according to our inspectors.

    This is serious.

    <i>To all, I am sorry, it has been very busy here and I have not been able to devote the time and attention I should to this board I should. I am sorry but I just don't want to miss any of the fine discussion.
  18. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Quite right, though again, the political sitution of the time did have an effect... for example, remember that the US supported Iraq against Iran in their war (1980-1988)... that's why the US as giving Iraq money, weapons and... some say... the elements for chemical/bioweapons. From the following report: "There is strong public evidence (but by no means conclusive yet) that Iraq has been endeavouring to acquire these or related technologies from private corporations in the USA, Britain, FR Germany and Italy since 1975; and that it has been dissembling these endeavours under the guise of acquiring production capacity for organophosphorus pesticides. "

    This 1984 report:
    from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on chemical warfare during the Iran/Iraq conflict shows the evidence of use of chemical agents, production capabilities, etc.

    It also mentions that, bewteen March and April of 1984, most Western countries <b>did</b> place an embargo on chemical elements used in producing chemical weapons.

    "On 30 March (1984), the US government announced the imposition of 'foreign policy controls' on the export to the Gulf-War belligerents of five chemicals that could be used in the production of mustard and nerve gases. <u>US officials told the press that this had been done in response to an unexpected volume of recent orders from Iraq for those chemicals</u>. They also said that Japan, FR Germany and other unspecified European countries had been exporting the chemicals to Iraq. The British government took action similar to that of Washington on 12 April, adding three more chemicals to the control list (see table). Since then, other European governments have also announced embargoes of varying scope, and on 15 May the Foreign Ministers of the European Community agreed in principle on a common and complementary policy. There are Western press reports of suspicions in Western diplomatic circles in the Middle East that the USSR is shipping intermediates to Iraq through Jordan. "
  19. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    I would only add that on the larger scale of things, providing marked supplies of anthrax is pretty much a non-issue. Anthrax can be fairly easily obtained in substantial quantity on the African continent in the wild. Furthermore, to date, anthrax has yet to be successfully weaponized for mass dispersal...other than possibly out of a crop duster...it certainly doesn't rise to the threat level of atomics. It is in reality better suited to an assassin's tool.
  20. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Out of all of this, what I see is a bunch of hand wringing that makes no mention of the right thing to do <B>now</B>.


    Okay, so what now? He hasn't played nice since then. Let's kick his ass and not sell him anything any more.

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