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Saddam’s 1980s biochemical attacks were assisted by the U.S. and the UK
by Jalel Harchaoui.
Using only mainstream sources, it now is possible to establish that Washington and London provided decisive assistance to Saddam Hussein as he gassed thousands in 1983-88.
Saddam’s 1980s biochemical attacks were assisted by the U.S. and the UK

R. Reagan and M. Thatcher.

"The U.S. (with the UK) […] turned a blind eye while Iraq [dictator Saddam Hussein] gassed hundreds of thousands of Iranians in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war”, wrote the Financial Times on 22-Sep-13. The attacks killed approximately 20,000 and injured many times that.

Speaking of the same events, the Council on Foreign Relations (13-Mar-14) wrote: “Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq twice deployed sarin: in the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) and against its own Kurdish minority in the north. Iraq first used chemical weapons against Iranian infantry in 1983 and escalated to sarin in the last eighteen months of the war, causing tens of thousands of casualties. Hussein also used sarin against Iraq’s minority Kurdish population, assaulting the northern town of Halabja in 1988. Some 3,200 to 5,000 Kurds were killed, with thousands more injured, as Iraqi planes dropped mustard gas and nerve agents as part of a broader campaign against the Kurds.”

American and British stance is described by the CFR thus: “World powers did not take legal or military action after Hussein’s use of chemical weapons.”

As such a large (and almost never mentioned in history classes) atrocities were implemented, how did Washington and London “turn a blind eye” exactly?

To find that out, one must go to the New York Times, which, on 16-Feb-15, ten years after the fact, wrote about an American weapons-purchase program dubbed Operation Avarice in 2005 Iraq:

The U.S. “recovered thousands of old chemical warheads and shells [filled with sarin] in Iraq”. Moreover, several “Americans and Iraqis [were] wounded by them”.

As one reads yet a separate NYT article, one can learn that some experts “pointed to [an] embarrassment. In five of six incidents in which [Western] troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies” (NYT, 14-Oct-14).

How were Saddam’s planes able to target Iranians so effectively? Well, Foreign Policy Magazine on 26-Aug-13 determined using declassified files that Washington “provided [Baghdad with] data on the locations of key Iranian logistics facilities, and the strength and capabilities of the Iranian air force and air defense system”. The Reagan administration sent Saddam “‘targeting packages’ suitable for use by the Iraqi air force” on at least four occasions in 1987. The same was true when “Saddam’s government carried out [attacks] with sarin and mustard gas [killing] as many as five thousand [Kurds] in the assault” of Mar. 1988 (The New Yorker, 29-Sep-14, in an article that doesn’t mention the U.S.’ role in the massacre).

So what all of the above means is: If a layperson is thorough enough to gather the scattered pieces together, they can—over years of patience—translate into plain English what the mainstream press acknowledges rather conclusively:

(i) The entities thanks to whose crucial help Saddam Hussein “gassed hundreds of thousands of Iranians in the 1980-88” are in fact none other than Washington and London. That is what the FT calls “turning a blind eye": decisive participation. Washington and London committed that major crime against the Iranian population, a horror still absent from history books;

(ii) Those 1980s biochemical weapons are not by any means the early-2000s weapons of mass destruction Condoleezza Rice referred to when, on 10-Jan-03, she warned the public about the risk of “a mushroom cloud”. In actuality, “these munitions were [mere] remnants of [a program] abandoned [by Saddam] long before the 2003 invasion” (NYT, 16-Feb-15).

In other words, if you are a fanatic about dissecting the press every day, and—with obsessional rigor—collect pieces of information dispersed across articles and dispersed across the years, then perhaps you stand a chance to find out what your government has done to other countries’ civilians.

The information is not suppressed. It is all there. It just is scattered.

~ Jalel Harchaoui.