Back to Iraq - did I mention that it's completely preposterous to think that we're doing this for the benefit of the world? Why does the intellectual liberal establishment go along with it? Are they really idiots? Is it really a corrupt cadre of people in the pocket of the government (as Chomsky suggests)? It's really hard to explain without believing the worst. I'm finding it hard to read the New York Times these days - they're supposed to be liberal, but now all the articles just take this Iraq BULLSHIT so seriously.
Let's review a bit of history - these are facts - Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq in 1968 by staging a coup d'etat of the semi-democratic regime. This was done with the help and support of the US Government, as is common. The US wanted a client state in the Middle East, primarily because of fear of Iran and Saudi Arabia, which they considered dangerous and hard to control. Saddam Hussein at that point already had a history of violence, having tried to assasinate the Iraqi Prime Minister in 1959. Once in power, Saddam received support and arms from the United States. Iraq was given trade priveledges by various US governments (Carter, Bush Sr.), welcomed to the white house. Both Carter and Bush called him a "great man" and such garbage. In the mean time, Saddam was busy locking up polticial opponents in Iraq, and working on a genocide of the Kurdish people. Tens of thousands of Kurds were killed with poison gas and other weapons, and much of the Kurdish population fled Iraq to Turkey (see later). In 1980, Iraq attacked Iran. This matter becomes complicated, it's not exactly clear just how involved to US government was. We initially gave and sold arms to Iraq to support them against Iran, and sent CIA agents to train their commanders. Later the whole Ollie North/Reagan thing happened and we gave arms to Iran in return for releasing the hostages. Iran suffered the much greater casualties of the two, having received much bombing from Iraq's US-supplied arsenal of missiles and poisons. Throughout this, Iraq and Saddam Hussein were our good buddy. There was no talk of "evil-doing". Finally in 1990 things went south. Famously, our government made some remarks which seemed to indicate to Hussein that we would look the other way if he invaded Kuwait. Some people find this so hard to believe that I'm forced to include a link to some of the transcript. Why then did we attack Iraq to get them out of Kuwait? That's more complicated. I estimate that it was basically because we decided that Saddam was becoming too difficult for us to control. We wanted a client state, not an independent one, so we decided to fuck with them. The primary result of the gulf war, of course, has been the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians due our destruction of infrastructure and impoverishment of the nation. In fact, during the embargo after the war, the US fought hard to keep food and medicine from getting into the country, and even when we did allow it, we made sure a large portion of it was high-priced American product. Here's a bit of history : from asia , and there's lots more if you search a bit. You have to get past all the crap from the American journalists.
Now back to a side comment. The Kurds fled Iraq into Turkey, because of US-sponsored terrorism by Saddam. Turkey, of course, has been our good friend for quite some times. We've sold them a huge amount of arms (subsidized by the American taxpayer), second only to Israel. In turn the Turkish government has been violent and oppressive. Their invasion of Cyprus was historically brutal, and to this day they lock up and torture anyone who speaks out against the government. Political prisoners are held for any length of time with no trial, or perhaps a show trial. In the mean time, the Turkish government has been going about its own slaughter of the Kurds. The US government once again is helping with the slaughter to this very day. The Kurds of course are "dangerous rebels" which must be controlled by the Turks (just like the people of East Timor were controlled by the Indonesians). We will continue to look the other way in Turkey, because we need them as a power base in the Middle East. We prefer to use them instead of improving relations with Saudi Arabia, mainly because they are less powerful, so we can control them better. Good information on Turkey and the Kurdss is a bit difficult to come buy because the oppressed are rather fanatical themselves. This seems to be a decent page . By ignoring/supporting this attrocity, our government makes it completely clear that we have no interest what-so-ever in human rights. We care only for our interests.
Better watch out, I might be taken to Guantanamo...