Iraq's Euro - American Weapons Collusion
Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2002
Dr. Kwame Nantambu
As the Bush administration gnashes its military teeth in its resolve to launch a unilateral, bilateral or otherwise bombing of Iraq' one salient variable in this military equation seems to have been left out and/or forgotten, that is, the European-American collusion in supplying biological/chemical weapons and materials, including anthrax, to Saddam Hussein.
In the words of Rep. David Obey D-Wisconsin, then chairman of a House Appropriations sub-committee that oversaw foreign arms sales: "Western political leaders and businessmen (MNCs) must shoulder a large share of the blame for the present bloody mess in the Persian Gulf." It is as a result of this Euro-American conspiracy with Iraq that at least 5,000 Gulf War veterans filed a $1 billion class-action law suit that accuses two dozen multinational conglomerates and their subsidiaries for creating Saddam Hussein's chemical-biological war machine.
Let us recall the President Saddam Hussein was able to build his daunting (military) weapons complex mainly with help form the United States, Britian, China and France and that 70 percent of the deadly-poisoned biological and chemical weapons or the critical scientific and technical capability to produce its mammoth arsenal of sophisticated weapons of mass destruction were sold to President Hussein by European Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to the tune of $48,7 billion between 1981-1988 with the approval and protection of their governments who are the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and were members of the 1991 United States-led coalition "multi-national forces" in the Persian Gulf.
These MNCs are from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Austria and the United States and were assisted by the U.S. government-run Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Departments of Commerce, State and Defense and National Security Council in the White House. Russia and China have also sold weapons of mass destruction to Iraq.
According to a Cable News Network (CNN)" Business News" Report by Steve Young on 20 February 1990:
..Saddam Hussein bought more than 70 percent of his chemical warfare arsenal or the makings from the so-called G-7 nations (major European industrial nations) Japan, France, United States, Italy, Britain and Germany; only Canada apparently sold nothing; experts say that's because Canada had no chemical weapons to sell. A report commissioned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles details how Germany sold more poison gases (and) chemicals to make them and testing facilities than any other country in the world.
Sales by 134 different German companies have been documented and the number is climbing. So far, German authorities have indicated just three German businesses .and are investigating 15 others, including ..Rhema-Labortechnik, It's been accused of building chambers to test poison gas on Iranian prisoners of war.
According to Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center: "The very same agents invented by German technologies in the 1940s and put at the disposal of a dictator were again recreated in the 1990s and put at the disposal of another dictator." Saddam's chemical warfare connection in the United States include some curiosities; the Center for Disease Control sold West Nile Fever Virus (that can be converted into chemical warfare agents).
Saddam's chemical warfare suppliers include companies from Belgium (8); Switzerland (13); and Australia (27). In all, 24 countries sold chemical warfare materials to Iraq amounting to 366 companies."
To buttress this accusation, military expert Michael Leeden, points out that "German involvement with Iraq chemical weapons program started in 1977" and that "for over a decade German businessmen and scientists had played key roles in Iraq's $50 billion program to produce weapons of mass destruction ..all the while claiming they didn't know Iraq was using their exports for military purposes.
The best American estimates suggest that a majority of Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical capacity was provided by Germans. What's more, the German government knew about all this in detail."
Let us also remember that it was the Reagan administration with George Bush Sr., as Vice President, that guaranteed Iraq's supply of arms and military supplies during its war with Iran. According to published reports, the Reagan-Bush administration "gave the green light to Western Europe to directly sell arms to Iraq" and U.S. arms "were trans-shipped to Iraq through third countries." Moreover, during the first 18 months of George Bush's presidency, Congress repeatedly pressed for the imposition of severe economic sanctions against Iraq, but then President Bush "aggressively resisted them until the day of the Kuwait invasion (2 August 1990)." In sum, therefore, the Reagan-Bush collusion created the "dictator from Baghdad" and this "repeat offender."
It is now rather hypocritical for these very same permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to cry "fowl" after the horse has already left the barn.
And it is no surprise that in mid-November 1995, the majority Third World membership in the General Assembly (now with a membership of 191 countries) decided to take up the issue of making the Security Council "more representative of the organization's membership." The proposed changes included adding new permanent members, expanding the number of non-permanent members and limiting the use of the veto power.
Third World representatives accused the Security Council of functioning as "a rubber stamp for super power aggression."
However, on 12 March 1997, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, emphatically stated that the United States "cannot and will not" accept any reduction in its veto power in the Security Council.
He reiterated that the United States "opposed any expansion in the 15 - member body unless it added more permanent members." The United States only "supports adding Japan and Germany as permanent members" with veto power in the Security Council.
Of course, Saddam Hussein is not the only head of state with chemical/biological weapons of mass destruction. There are five other countries in the Middle East (Libya, Iran, Israel, Egypt and Turkey) who have such weapons, although it maybe true that Saddam is the only one who has used such weapons on his own people ten times in the past ten years.
However, this silent fact must be exposed to the extent that on 8 October 2002, the U.S. Defense Department acknowledged:
"a much wider testing of toxic weapons on its forces (American citizens ) (and the use of) chemical warfare and live biological agents during military exercise on U.S. soil, as well as in Canada and Britain. the chemical warfare agents were used during exercises ..in Alaska, Hawaii and Maryland; that a mild biological agent was used in Florida; and that CS gas, a riot-control agent was used during tests in Utah. An estimated 5,500 people (American citizens) believed to have participated in the land and sea tests, because it remains unclear, ever today, whether all of the soldiers and sailors were fully aware of the subject of the exercises and the potential risks."
Now, the Bush administration and its British ally are accusing Saddam Hussein for doing to its citizens exactly what the United States also did to its own citizens decades ago.
This public accusation by these two European governments represents the highest level of hypocrisy and deceit on their part. They are blaming the victim for his victimization and for his isolated pariah position in the Middle East. This is geo-political denial.
In addition, the Bush administration has accused President Saddam Hussein of Iraq of not only being "the new Enemy No. 1" but also of defying "16 of the U.N. Security Council resolutions." Saddam Hussein has also been accused of making "the United Nations look foolish" by President George Bush.
The fact of the matter is that it is the Bush administration that has made the United Nations "look foolish" and more like the League of Nations.
The fact of the matter is that the Bush administration has also defied United Nations resolutions.
For example, in demanding immunity from the world court, the Bush administrtion:
"has decided to renounce formally any involvement in a (U.N.) treaty creating an international criminal court and is expected to declare that the signing of the document by the Clinton administration is no longer valid. (The Bush administration) warned foreign diplomats. that their nations could lose all U.S. military assistance if they become members of the International Criminal Court without pledging to protect Americans serving in their countries from its reach."
This policy-decision by the Bush administration reflects its role as a threatening, international bully if it cannot impose and dictate its will on smaller, weaker countries in defiance of the United Nations.
But as the German Justice Minister, Herta Daeubler -Gmerlin, interjects some modicum of international sanity and equality in relation to the United Nations: "International extablished law should also apply to large nations."
And as South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela concurs: "No country should be allowed to take the law into their own hands." No U.S. President is above national law; no country is above international law. In the final analysis, therefore, it is indeed the global "arrogance of power" on the part of the Bush administration that represents "a material breach" of its "international obligations".
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
Dr. Nantambu is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University, U.S.A.
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