Wednesday :: Jun 6, 2007

History of Bipartisan Mendacity on Iraq


by soccerdad

Jonathan Schwarz has an excellent post summarizing the lies of the Clinton administration on Iraq. Its the most complete discussion I've seen so far.
For me the new material comes from an interview of Andrew Cockburn on Antiwar.com radio

Madeleine Albright declared on March 26, 1997 that the sanctions on Iraq would continue whether or not Saddam had WMDs. The reason? Rolf Ekeus the chief UN weapons inspector was about to certify that Iraq was free of WMD's. The new American policy announced by Albright led Saddam to conclude that it didn't matter whether he cooperated with the UN inspection team which was widely known to contain CIA agents. Saddam ceased cooperation, giving Clinton the cover he needed to continue to insist that the sanctions remain in place.

Of course, Clinton was just continuing the Republican policy. In 1991 National Security advisor Robert Gates, now Sec of Defense said:

All possible sanctions will be maintained until he is gone. Any easing of sanctions will be considered only when there is a new government

Now what had changed between 1991 and 1997 was that there was substantial evidence that Iraq's WMD's had been destroyed after Gulf War I. But as Albright made clear the US would only lift sanctions if there was regime change.

Clearly, a change in Iraq's government could lead to a change in U.S. policy. Should that occur, we would stand ready, in coordination with our allies and friends, to enter rapidly into a dialogue with the successor regime.

And as I have discussed previously we know that the real motivation of the US was to prevent Saddam from honoring the contracts with Russia for modernization of the oil infrastructure. So in the neoliberal tradition Bush I and Clinton were not going to allow the profits from Iraq's massive oil reserves be gobbled up by others; even if keeping the sanctions meant that 500K Iraqi children would die as a result. As Albright infamously remarked "It is a price we are willing to pay".

So Bush I and Clinton managed to keep most of the Iraqi oil in the ground, they were unable to open up the market for their big oil cronies. This led Bush II to up the anti and invade, repeating many of the lies that Clinton told to justify the bombing of Iraq late in his Presidency.

So if you think for a moment that electing Hillary will change our foreign policy one iota you should stop taking those drugs.

soccerdad :: 6:34 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!