"Who was helping Saddam all those years?"

Iraq’s justice minister has accused the US of concealing information about deposed president Saddam Hussein that could be damaging to “many countries”.

Abdel Hussein Shandal said it seemed there were “lots of secrets” that the Americans wanted to hide.

Saddam Hussein is set to go on trial in Iraq over alleged crimes against humanity, but no date has been set.

Mr Shandal spoke to the AP news agency on the eve of a major conference. US officials did not immediately comment.

“There should be transparency and there should be frankness, but there are secrets that, if revealed, won’t be in the interest of many countries,” Mr Shandal said.

“Who was helping Saddam all those years?”


Come on people. I want a vacation from P&R. Let’s see these stories getting posted without me around.

So, hands up, folks. Who thinks it’s a coincidence this is right before a conference between America and a bunch of countries to get donor support? Countries that might not want these secrets getting out any more than a Republican administration would?

Here’s a little flash synopsis of the Hussein story…


Don’t know how factual it is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were all true.

Basically Hussein has been a CIA asset since the late 50’s.


Rumsfeld in 1983.

The fact that Hussein received implicit permission to invade Kuwait by his Washington masters is something I’ve mentioned several times.

Another little tid bit I like to pull out of the memory hole once in a while: http://www.detnews.com/2003/metro/0303/26/a06-119619.htm

mtkafka- You notice the way that that flash thing stops sourcing things after the third screen?

Tim, Bren, etc.- Newsflash children, the world changes. The liberal fascination with the times we’ve allied ourselves with people who we later dislike bespeaks a powerful naivete about the way the world works.

Or a powerful truth about how Republicans think. Times don’t change that much. Yesterday it was Iraq and Bin Ladin we supported, supplied and trained. What’s tomorrow? Which dictator or “freedom fighter” we support now will turn on us? Or do we learn the lesson that covert actions, ends-justify-the-means thinking, and nationalistic mythologies and phantom enemies, the sort Straussian neocons are pushing so hard, cause us more trouble than they’re worth.

It is not naive to believe that politicians should have principles, only to believe that they actually have them. There’s no need to lash out simply because your hero’s flaws are exposed.

Rucker- Yes, because this habit of doing things in our interests at the time is a strictly Republican invention.

Tim- I don’t know who you think my hero is(uh, Rumsfeld?), but that’s not a flaw.

Obsessing over our past connections to Saddam is a waste of time. He wasn’t the first dictator we ever supported, and he won’t be the last. Seriously, how many people don’t already know that the U.S. supported Saddam during the 80’s? I’ve been hearing people harp on that fact since Gulf War I… I think it’s clear to everyone now.

As far as the Iraqi minister’s claim, it’s not clear to me what he expects to get from the U.S. His claim that there are “lots of secrets” is almost certainly true, but vague to the point of uselessness. This just sounds to me like anti-American grandstanding on his part.

Except that we knowingling sided with total pieces of shit specifically to contain communism above all other considerations. The world didn’t change that much, they people we sided with didn’t get bad suddenly in the last few years. The US wanted to get involved without actually getting involved, so we prop up garbage to get our ends accomplished. I don’t know what the solution is, but it feels like a practice that needs to stop (or maybe it already has now that we’ve gone into direct intervention mode the last few years).

awdoughtery- Well, sometimes they did get worse, sometimes they didn’t. But come on, ends really do justify means. Yes, we had to do some horrible things. That was true before communism and it will be true for the foreseeable future. Holding the moral high ground doesn’t do any good when you’re dead, and if a politician truly values impressing future Tim Partlett’s over my current interests he is unfit for office.

Yes, the battling puppet thing is more or less over since there’s no other superpower going around propping up their own garbage. But there are new bad things that we are going to have to do. The real world is full of hard decisions and messy consequences. It’d be great if that wasn’t how it was, but it is.

Which dictator or “freedom fighter” we support now will turn on us?

Usually it is the other way around: the evil dictator usually gets turned on by the US. It’s also common for this to be a matter of political expediency, like in the case of General Noriega in Panama. One minute he’s a good buddy, the next minute he is enemy number one, i.e. an easy target when poll ratings start falling. Likewise Saddam never turned on the US. In fact he was very happy to be allied with the US as it made him a powerful and influential figure in the region. He was so happy to be allied with the US that it is reported that even after the US turned on him over Kuwait he expressed a desire to mend relations and get back on the good side.

Not that turning on evil dictators is a bad thing, it’s just the hypocrisy of supporting one dictator while crushing another. I would like a system that would put all evil tyrants under the kosh, not just those who are flavour of the month. I just wish politicians could be honest and even-handed, but I guess that such desires are “naive”.

It’s easy to validate, should you wake up one day and find you really care about the world around you.

Drop the condescension, you sound like a smug ass.

Your aloof acceptance lends creditbility to arguments of complicity when people run airplanes into your skyscrapers. How can you say the above, and yet cry foul when terms like “payback” and “chickens coming home to roost” get thrown around? Add hypocrisy to your list of offenses.

I guess for some, constantly looking down on those who actually have the courage and wisdom to remain optimistic and idealistic in these dark times makes your own miserable cynicism and fear easier to bear.

The only naivete at work here is the US’s continued inability to learn from its mistakes, and the American public’s lemming-like “What, Me Worry?” attitude.

Oh bullshit! When you say “sometimes they didn’t”, you mean they didn’t come back and bite the States in the ass. You could care less about the death and misery your government “indirectly” inflicts on millions of innocent people in the name of “self interest.” Though I’m sure that makes it all A-OK as far as you’re concerned. All’s fair in love and war, and business, and religion, and ideology, yadda fucking yadda. That’s civilized? That a big part of the problem, Bubba.

I remember hearing that the US of A once allied with a fearful butcher who killed an estimated 20 million of his own people. Discuss over some Stolichnaya.

You guys don’t seem to be making much sense here.

The problem in supporting dictators and later attacking them is not hypocrisy. Its actually not hypocritical at all… the point of the whole process is short-term gain… they are supported to fulfill short-term goals and they are later attacked to fulfill short-term goals.

The problem is supporting dictators in the first place. If you are truly a leader of a country who believes in democracy you should be placing democracy and support of democracy AHEAD OF minor “we gain” procedures. In fact, that dictators are supported to gain fairly minor things for America PROVES a lack of support in democracy and freedom.

I know I’m going to kick myself for responding.

But you believe that Democracy as an idea (or ideal) does not utilize basic human instinct to create attraction as an ideal? That instict being protectiveness or agressiveness to other forms of government as “good and just” in order to have the support of those who are a part of the government. (See: Communism in the 50’s+)

I don’t think that it has anything to do with the real life facts, sacrifices, compromises and diversity of the ‘good’ of a Democracy. Instead how the people who live within it deem the right or wrong way (by their representative spokesmen) to protect their style, comfort and way of life.

You wouldn’t expect anything else from the primitive nature of man that each one of us shares to the whole.

Edit: I’m redundant and don’t make sense.

Brian, are you telling me you don’t see the hypocrisy of engaging in a war to bring freedom and democracy to a country while allying with a dictator that is worse than, or as bad as, the country you are bringing freedom and democracy to?

Assuming that “freedom and democracy” is the real goal instead of a smokescreen…

Wise Paladin Bren- Oh, come off it. We don’t randomly fuck around with dictators for kicks, we were fighting communism. Lesser of two evils, etc. etc. You wouldn’t know, you’ve never known a world where America wasn’t doing the dirty work for you. Shut up about “your” this and “your” that, America was protecting you by doing this stuff. The Soviets really did want to take over the world, communism is an evangelical doctrine. So that awful horrible death and misery we inflicted was better than the alternative.
And when I said “didn’t get worse”, I didn’t mean not bite the States. I meant stayed the same level of badness. We were discussing dictators who we supported and later turned against. Try to keep up.

As Midnight aluded to, we were allied with freaking Stalin. Pinochet and the like pale in comparison to the help we gave Soviet Russia. Was that hypocritical, Tim and Bren? Was that a mistake we can learn from? In the future, better to let Hitler’ conquer the world than engage in the hypocrisy of allying with a dictator that is worse than or as bad as Nazi Germany’.