Saturday, May 24, 2008

In which I argue about fairly recent history with Coline McEnroe

Coling McEnroe wrote

Reagan did everything BUT talk to Khomeini, and the result was a series of disasters. His first notion was -- tell me if this sounds familiar -- dumping arms into the hands of somebody who didn't like Khomeini. In this case, the somebody was Saddam Hussein.


I argue in a comment which might or might not be lost in cyberspace

I think your version of history is innacurate. Discussing Reagan you write "His first notion was -- tell me if this sounds familiar -- dumping arms into the hands of somebody who didn't like Khomeini. In this case, the somebody was Saddam Hussein. "

I do not believe that the US ever dumped arms into the hands of Saddam Hussein under Reagan or anyone else. According the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which, I think can no more be suspected of having any sympathy for Reagan than I can (that is not at all) less than 1% of weapons in Iraq (by value) in 1991 were constructed in the USA. The weapons in question were 8 Terril Bell Huey helicopters which were sold un-armed to Iraq which claimed they were for civilian search and rescue and then armed them.

I think that by "dumping arms" you are referring to three policies which are not dumping arms. As a result of the "tilt" towards Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, the Reagan administration shared intelligence with Iraq. The Reagan administration also gave diplomatic support to Iraq, among other thinhgs, refraining from denouncing Iraqi use of chemical weapons. Finally, the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale di Lavoro loaned money to Iraq ostensibly for food imports which money was, in fact, used to purchase arms.

If you have any reason to challenge my claim about US weapons in Iraq, I would be interested to learn about it. If you just assumed that, since Rumsfeld shook Saddam Huszein's hand, the USA must have dumped arms into Iraq, I would like to ask you to check your facts and write a correction if you find that your claim of fact is baseless.

1 comment:

Colin said...

So, dude, I did receive your comment and answer it to the best of my meager abilities over on my blog. You make an interesting point, and I can't decide whether we're splitting hairs over the same set of facts or not.