Who armed Iraq? [link via Metafilter]
Iraq's Weapons Declaration underscores a tragic irony: The United States, the world's leading arms supplier, is taking the world to war to stop arms proliferation in the very country to which it shipped chemicals, biological seed stock and weapons for more than 10 years.Why were Bush and Powell so sure that Iraq possessed WMDs, even despite failing to produce hard evidence to corroborate their claims? Well... they knew, because they sold those weapons and launching capabilities to Saddam.
According to the December declaration, treated with much derision from the Bush administration, U.S. and Western companies played a key role in building Hussein's war machine. The 1,200-page document contains a list of Western corporations and countries -- as well as individuals -- that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades.
Embarrassed, no doubt, by revelations of their own complicity in Mideast arms proliferation, the U.S.-led Security Council censored the entire dossier, deleting more than 100 names of companies and groups that profited from Iraq's crimes and aggression. The censorship came too late, however. The long list -- including names of large U.S. corporations -- Dupont, Hewlett-Packard, and Honeywell -- was leaked to a German daily, Die Tageszeitung. Despite the Security Council coverup, the truth came out.
A German company, for example, exported 1,000 ignition systems for Styx and Scud missiles capable of carrying biological and nuclear warheads.
George Orwell's brilliant essay on empire and nationalism applies directly to the mendacity of the Bush administration:Almost prophetic, aren't those Orwellian words?!
"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them. There is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral color when it is committed by 'our' side. . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."