Record Straight on Who Armed Saddam
By Doug Patton
Are you as
weary as I am of hearing those who opposed the war with
Iraq repeat the phrase “America armed Saddam”?
a short trip with me down memory lane to the halls of the
United Nations. Do you remember all that whining and gnashing
of teeth among the assembled states on the U.N. Security
Council last fall and again this winter over the “warmongering”
Americans and our “cowboy” president?
Do you remember
the nations who protested the loudest? Do you remember what
they said? Something about, “give
inspections a chance” (read “give appeasement a chance”).
protesting the loudest included the Germans, the Russians,
the Chinese and, of course, our old friends, the French.
With everything in their diplomatic arsenal, these nations
stood in the way of removing Saddam Hussein. France, realizing
it could not persuade the Bush administration to continue
waiting on Han Blix to find something, even threatened to
veto any resolution to use force against the Iraqi tyrant.
And all the
while, from the left, we heard the refrain, “America armed
Saddam.” Well, the truth can now be told. The current issue
of The Weekly Standard, quoting from a study done by the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, provides
a breakdown of which nations supplied weapons to Iraq between
1973 and 2002.
by far, was the former Soviet Union (Russia) with a whopping
57 percent. Next came peace-loving France with 13 percent,
followed by China at 12 percent, Czechoslovakia at 7 percent,
Poland with 4 percent and Brazil with 2 percent.
the rear were Egypt, Romania, Denmark, Libya and those warmongering
cowboys, the United States of America, with a paltry 1 percent
To their credit
and my surprise, the Germans apparently have been behaving
themselves for the last 30 years (although it is worth noting
that half of them were behind the Iron Curtain for the majority
of that time).
Hypocrisy seems to be the major
export of the nations at the top of this list – especially
the French. Just when we think they can’t disappoint us
any further, they hit a new low.
We have known
all along that France provided the nuclear materials Saddam
used to build the reactor the Israelis had to destroy in
Now we learn
from a British newspaper, The Sunday Times, that files found
in the wreckage of the Iraqi foreign ministry in Baghdad
reveal that the government of Jacques Chirac has been funneling
information to Saddam Hussein gleaned from the United States,
even from meetings with President Bush himself.
Apparently, the information
so conveniently supplied by the French kept Saddam briefed
on every development of U.S. planning and may have helped
him prepare for war. One report warned of an American “attempt
to involve Iraq with terrorism” as “cover for an attack
As it becomes
increasingly obvious why Jacques Chirac didn’t want us poking
around in the ruins of a liberated Baghdad, for fear we
might find “Made in France” labels on a lot of contraband,
we find ourselves in the position of having to deal with
an “ally” who is completely untrustworthy.
little trust should be extended to Russian President Vladimir
Putin in this post-war environment. While the Soviet Union
is no more, and Russia is not the same sort of state it
was for 70 years, the fact remains that Putin came out of
that regime. In fact, he was the cold-blooded leader of
the dreaded KGB.
And, of course, it is a given
that China is never to be trusted.
Bush ultimately does about U.S. relations with these nations
remains to be seen. But the next time some peacenik tells
you that “America armed Saddam,” give him the facts. Not
that it will make any difference.
Patton is a
freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter
and public policy advisor at the federal, state and local
levels. His weekly columns can be read in newspapers across
the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com, where he serves as the
Nebraska Editor. He also writes for Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.