In April 2003, when U.S. officials were still celebrating their invasion and occupation of Iraq as a fantastic success, I wrote an article entitled, “Where Did Iraq Get Its Weapons of Mass Destruction?” Actually though, it wasn’t actually an article but rather a list of articles, with links to the listed articles.
One purpose of compiling that list of articles was to show why President Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA were so certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when their military forces invaded the country: Because they had the receipts for them.
That’s correct: That list of articles I compiled was to make the shocking suggestion that the United States and other Western powers had furnished chemical weapons and other WMDs to Saddam Hussein, the brutal dictator who U.S. officials were comparing to Hitler in their run-up to their military invasion of the country.
Think back to the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. There was no talk whatsoever about invading Iraq out of a sense of love for the Iraqi people and the wish to “liberate” them from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.
All of the talk was oriented toward Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Day after day, U.S. officials were pummeling the American people with suggestions that Saddam Hussein was about to unleash a barrage of WMDs on the American people, in form of chemical and biological weapons and other WMDs. Who can forget the infamous “mushroom cloud” reference used by U.S. officials to scare the dickens out of the American people?
And it worked. All that WMD fear-mongering garnered public support for President Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Don’t forget, after all, that Americans were still absolutely terrified from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and U.S. officials knew it and seized on all that fear.
Through it all, FFF steadfastly maintained that all the fear-mongering was nothing but a fraudulent and bogus attempt to cover up what U.S. national-security state officials and U.S. conservatives and neo-conservatives had wanted to do since the Gulf War — oust Saddam Hussein from power and install a U.S. puppet in his stead, one who would do the bidding of U.S. officials.
We pointed out that even if Saddam did have WMDs—and we said that almost certainly he did, given that he had acquired them from the United States — the notion that Iraq was planning to initiate a war against the United States was ludicrous.
Countless people during that time, including good friends of mine, said, “We’ve got to trust the president. He has access to information that we don’t have.” It was the ultimate in the deference to authority mindset that is inculcated into every public schooled child from the first grade on up.
As everyone knows though, after the invasion U.S. officials failed to find those infamous WMDs, or so we were told.
Did U.S. officials then apologize for their invasion, along with all the death, maiming, destruction, torture, misery, and chaos their invasion had wrought? Was there even an official investigation to determine whether U.S. officials had knowingly lied about the possibility of a WMD attack from Iraq?
Nope. U.S. officials just shifted gears and said that even though they hadn’t found WMDs, they might as well stay in Iraq out of a sense of love for the Iraqi people, with the aim of bringing them a model society of peace and prosperity, through one of the most violent, deadly, and destructive occupations in history, an occupation that lasted until 2011.
But wait a minute! As the New York Times reports on its front page today in one of the most shocking and extraordinary stories about Iraq, it turns out that the troops did in fact discover WMDs in Iraq!
Yes, you read that right! The New York Times discovered that from 2004 through 2008, U.S. officials discovered Saddam’s cache of saran, mustard gas, and other WMDs in Iraq.
Not only that, but many U.S. soldiers were actually injured by those WMDs, suffering severe burns, breathing problems, and other related illnesses.
This article is one of the longest I’ve ever seen in the Times. It consists of four full-sized pages plus the front page.
So, why are we just now learning about all this?
Because after the WMDs were discovered by the troops, U.S. officials decided to keep the discovery of Saddam’s WMDs secret from the American people. The troops, including those who were injured, were ordered to keep the discovery secret.
Yes, you read that right! U.S. warfare-state officials didn’t want Americans learning that they had finally discovered those infamous WMDs that had used to scare the American people into supporting the U.S. invasion and war of aggression against Iraq.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Jacob, that just isn’t possible. That’s why they said they needed to invade. By finally finding those WMDs, they could say that their invasion was justified after all, not out of a sense of love for the Iraqi people but rather as a preemptive military strike against a nation that was supposedly about to launch a massive WMD attack on the United States.”
Except for one big problem: When they did discover those WMD caches, they were in old, rusted-out, buried canisters that had clearly been abandoned long before, even before the 9/11 attacks.
Nonetheless, why keep the discovery secret from the American people?
Because they didn’t want Americans to discover the point I was making in my April 2003 article, “Where Did Iraq Get Its Weapons of Mass Destruction?” They didn’t want Americans to know that Saddam Hussein had gotten those infamous WMDs from the United States itself. They didn’t want Americans to know that the U.S. government had partnered with the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein, who they had compared to Hitler, and given him those chemical weapons so that he could use them against the Iranian people.
Why the Iranian people? Because U.S. warfare-state officials were still angry over the fact that the Iranian people had ousted from power the brutal dictator, the Shah of Iran, who the CIA had installed into power in its coup in Iran in 1953. So, when Iraq went to war against Iran in the 1980s, U.S. officials saw it as a perfect opportunity to retaliate against the Iranian people by furnishing saran, mustard gas, and other WMDs to their partner, Saddam Hussein, with the hope and expectation that he would use them against the Iranian people.
Interestingly enough, it turns out that even after U.S. officials discovered the WMDs, they failed to destroy many of them. In fact, you’ll never guess who now controls the main cache of chemical artillery shells. Yep—ISIS! AKA ISIL! AKA the Islamic State!
Now, let’s just assume, for a moment, that ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State is sufficiently brutal to use those WMDs against Iraqi military forces. What are U.S. officials going to say — that international law makes it illegal to use the abandoned WMDs that the United States furnished to Saddam Hussein so that he could use them against the Iranian people?
If all this doesn’t cause Americans to rethink the entire philosophy of foreign interventionism that has held our nation in its grip for too long, what will? It would be difficult to find a better example of the moral debauchery and dark hypocrisy that undergirds U.S. foreign policy and, for that matter, the entire national-security state warfare machine, than this.
After all, it isn’t just thousands of U.S. troops that have died, been maimed, and come back all screwed up in head from the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq, a country that never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so.
There are also the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been killed, maimed, tortured, and incarcerated, and had their lives, homes, and businesses destroyed by the U.S. invasion and occupation of their country, a war that U.S. officials justified under the name of protecting the United States from those infamous WMDs, the WMDs that were delivered by the United States to Saddam Hussein, found by U.S. troops from 2004-2008, and kept secret from the American people until today.
Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.
Photo: NY Times screen grab.