In light of the intensifying campaign by the government and media to portray Saddam Hussein’s government as the greatest threat in the Middle East to its neighbors and to world peace, I thought it would be useful to catalogue some of those actions by his government which could be characterized as such threats. Then I will compare them to actions by Washington during the same time period which could also be considered threats to world peace.
The time period I have chosen begins in 1985 and ends as of today, January 30, 2003. First, let’s look at the Iraqi record:
1) attacks on the Kurdish and Shi’a populations in Iraq with various weaponry, including the use of chemical agents;
2) the invasion of Kuwait;
3) SCUD missile attacks on Israel during the Gulf War of 1991;
4) elimination of opposition figures via murder;
5) torture of opponents of the regime in Baghdad;
6)unproven research and development of weapons of mass destruction.
Now, let’s take a brief look at the record of the U.S. government during that same period.
1) subversion of the legal government of Nicaragua through war waged by mercenaries trained and paid for by the United States;
2) funding and training of death squads in El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America–squads responsible for innumerable murders;
3) the invasion of Panama resulting in the deaths of over 2000 Panamanian civilians;
4) killing, via war and sanctions, over 1 million Iraqis since January 16, 1991;
5) the training and funding of mercenary forces in Afghanistan who subverted the government there, traded in heroin and now represent many of the terrorist forces arrayed against the US and other Western regimes;
6) the imprisonment of tens of thousands of mostly poor, mostly non-white American citizens via laws specifically targeting these populations deemed “surplus” the use of these prisoners as cheap government subsidized labor;
7) massive military and political support to the Israeli government’s campaign of terror against the people of Palestine;
8) verified development and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction on aircraft carriers and bases throughout the world, esp. in the Middle East, with the intent of using these weapons to blackmail governments into doing Washington’s will;
9) the use of these weapons against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan;
10) torture, preventive detention and assassination of foreign and domestic opponents of the regime in Washington.
In both cases, I have listed only the most obvious and better publicized threats known. One can be certain there are others. Which government has been the greater threat to world peace? I know what my conclusion is. What’s yours?
RON JACOBS lives in Burlington, VT. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org