December 16, 2003

- - . . . and deeper and deeper and deeper . . . - -

In an IPS analysis piece, "U.S. Takes Custody of Another Wayward Client", Jim Lobe discusses how, time and time again, the cons and neocons have created gangsters in their own image who later formed their own gangs and turned on their creators. Excerpts:

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (IPS) - At last in U.S. military captivity, ousted former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein will soon mark an important 20th anniversary, the kind of anniversary that brings with it an appreciation of the ironies of life, and politics.

His captor, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, might also recall long-forgotten memories -- or memories best forgotten -- of what he was doing exactly 20 years ago.

If so, he will remember that he was in Baghdad, as a special envoy from then-president Ronald Reagan, assuring his host that, to quote the secret National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) that served as his talking points: the United States would regard "any major reversal of Iraq's fortunes as a strategic defeat for the West".

So began the effective resumption of close relations between Baghdad and Washington that had been cut off by Iraq during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Within a year, Washington would fully normalise ties with Saddam and even suggest that the dictator had become a full-fledged "Arab moderate", ready to make peace with Israel . . .

For the next five years, Washington would quietly ensure that Saddam got all the military equipment he needed to stave off defeat, even precursor chemicals that could be used against Iranian soldiers and Kurdish civilians.

Not that Washington supported the use of chemical weapons, particularly against civilians. It was more that the Reagan administration was very reluctant to condemn their use by Iraq back then.

How much more of this intimate relationship Saddam will recall when he gets a public forum is undoubtedly a concern of many current and past administration figures.

The situation echoes the worries of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush over what Panamanian strongman Gen Manuel Antonio Noriega might say in open court about his long and intimate connections to U.S. intelligence agencies when he surrendered to the U..S. military after Washington's invasion of Panama in 1989 . . .

As the Iranians continued to shift the strategic balance, however, the situation became more urgent. On Nov. 26, 1983, NSDD 114, which remains classified, was signed by Reagan, even as U.S. intelligence had learned that Baghdad's forces were using chemical weapons to stop the Iranian offensive.

Rumsfeld was soon on his way to Baghdad in a trip that, by 1985, would result in Washington supplying Saddam with some 1.5 billion dollars worth of weapons equipment and technology, including items applicable to Iraq's nuclear or biological-weapons programme, such as anthrax strains and pesticides.

At the same time, the CIA was tasked to ensure that its former charge not run short of either weapons or vitally needed intelligence on the disposition of Iranian forces, a task, according to a 1995 affidavit by Teicher, that then CIA director William Casey took to with abandon.

Casey, for example, used a Chilean arms company, Cardoen, to supply Iraq with cluster bombs that he thought would be particularly effective against Iranian "human wave" tactics.

Meanwhile, I've been wondering where Ramsey Clarke had got himself to. Stands to reason that he's surfaced as a possible mouthpiece for Hussein, according to IslamOnline.

Writing for Axis of Logic, Manuel Valenzuela gives us one of his well-thought-out analyses of the big picture. This guy continues to just nail it and nail it and nail it. Excerpts:

Deep in the halls of Washington a putrid wind of sweeping ideology festers, swirling like a hurricane from the Atlantic seaboard, becoming a tornado in the frozen tundras of the Midwest, an impenetrable and monstrous fire wall consuming vast tracts of open expanse in the West and a sweltering drought drying up the nation s future. This phenomenon has engendered itself onto an American landscape that remains oblivious as to its dark and ominous designs for the country and the world. The neo-conservative movement it is called, an ideology fostered by a cabal of powerful and influential members of the establishment that today sit at or near the top of the White House, Pentagon, National Security Agency and State Department. Like a virus that was given new life, the once dormant group, for years denied the claws of power, suddenly awoke and spread through all levels of the US government with the appointment of George W. Bush in 2000. This cabal of Machiavelli and autocratic-style believers of power is now deeply entrenched in the highest positions of our government, determining policy and the direction our government and by consequence our nation is headed in . . .

A central tenet of the neocon dream of a Pax Americana was control of centrally-located Iraq where the US would eventually construct three to four permanent military bases, a process that is becoming a reality today. These bases will enable US hegemony throughout the region, including control of the now US-friendly Central Asian nations eager for American energy conglomerate investment. With Iraq s oil reserves safely in American hands, US military strength can now, like a hawk overlooking its territory, keep an ever-watchful eye on the Eurasian regions of most interest to the neocon agenda.

The idea of a democratized Middle East, an important though illusory doctrine of the neocon ideology, was to begin with Iraq, which would act as a catalyst to the eventual domino effect expected throughout the region. That the idea of democracy in Iraq and the Arab world is but a hollow fallacy is of little importance to the neocon goals. Real democracy will never be allowed to prosper by Bush due to the threat of theological or fundamentalist elected mandates picked by the majority of the people. With the exponentially growing levels of anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli feelings running uncontrolled throughout the Muslim world, democracy will at the most mean the installation of cronies and puppets friendly to both the US and Israel under the guise of democracy. This plan assures American and Israeli control of the Middle East, forcing Arab nations to accept Israel s hegemony over the region. In reality, the mirage of democracy in the Middle East is but a propaganda tool being used to manipulate the population in the US into remaining passive believers of an otherwise surreptitious assault on world sovereignty.

Gotta tell ya . . . after reading Valenzuela I'm tempted to just stop writing and permalink to his stuff. Enjoy.

Be at peace.