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Middle East Intervention

(Adapted from Iraq, Iran, and September 11: A Chronology, by Jacob G. Hornberger, December 19, 2002)

What has intervention reaped for the US in the Middle East? A brief chronology of interventionist US policy follows.

1951 ¡ª Iranian people democratically elect Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh as Iranian premier.

1953 ¡ª U.S. government, operating through the CIA, ousts Mossadegh in favor of shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, a cruel and tyrannical dictator who, with U.S. government support, brutalizes his own people for the next 25 years.

1979 ¡ª Iranian people revolt and oust the shah of Iran from power and take U.S. officials hostage in anger and retaliation against the United States. U.S. government is outraged over the ouster of the shah and the hostage-taking.

1981 ¡ª Iranian people release hostages to the United States.

1980s ¡ª U.S. government enters into partnership with Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq, to retaliate against Iran. U.S. government furnishes chemical and biological weapons to Saddam.

Late 1980s ¡ª With U.S. government¡¯¡¯s support and assistance, Saddam uses U.S.-government-supplied chemical weapons against Iranian troops.

1986 ¡ª U.S. government enters into partnership with Osama bin Laden and other Islamic radicals to resist Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. U.S. government furnishes partners with weaponry, including U.S.-made Stinger missiles.

1991 ¡ª Soviet Union falls and Cold War ends. NATO faces abolition and U.S. military-industrial complex faces massive reduction in budget and influence.

1991 ¡ª Saddam contends that neighbor Kuwait is stealing Iraqi oil through slant drilling and is also violating contractual agreements in OPEC. Saddam signals partner U.S. government of intention to invade Kuwait to resolve dispute. U.S. government, through U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie, expresses no objections, stating, ¡°¡°We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait.. . . Kuwait is not associated with America.¡±¡±

1991 ¡ª Saddam invades Kuwait to resolve slant-drilling and OPEC dispute. President George H.W. Bush turns on partner Saddam and declares him to be a new ¡°¡°Hitler,¡±¡± effectively dissolving the long partnership between U.S. government and Saddam. Bush declares intention to attack Iraq with UN assistance to repel Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

1991 ¡ª Persian Gulf War. UN forces, led by U.S. government, defeat Iraq and oust Iraq from Kuwait. UN and President George H.W. Bush leave Saddam in power but require him to dismantle his nuclear facilities and chemical and biological weapons.

1991 ¡ª U.S. government attempts to oust Saddam from power through UN-enforced military-economic blockade, also known as ¡°¡°sanctions,¡±¡± against the Iraqi people, which continues to the present. According to UN officials, sanctions contribute to the deaths of multitudes of Iraqi children, with estimates ranging from hundreds of thousands to a million.

Early 1990s ¡ª U.S. government establishes illegal no-fly zones over Iraq, resulting in a continuous U.S. bombing campaign against Iraq to the present. Illegal bombing campaign kills hundreds of Iraqi people.

1993 ¡ª U.S. World Trade Center terrorist bomber cites death of Iraqi children as a motivating factor in bombing attack.

1996 ¡ª Osama bin Laden turns against former partner U.S. government and declares war against United States, stating in part, ¡°¡°More than 600,000 Iraqi children have died due to lack of food and medicine and as a result of the unjustifiable aggression imposed on Iraq and its nation.¡±¡±

1996 ¡ª U.S. government, through U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright, announces that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children resulting from the military-economic blockade against Iraq have been ¡°¡°worth it.¡±¡±

1998-2000 ¡ª High UN officials resign posts in protest against deaths of Iraqi children from sanctions.

2001 ¡ª September 11 terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon. U.S. government declares perpetual ¡°¡°war on terrorism¡±¡± and begins indefinite campaign to restrict rights and freedoms of the American people. NATO is reinvigorated, military spending soars, and military-industrial complex expands, all for the indefinite future.

2002 ¡ª President George W. Bush repeats President George H.W. Bush¡¯¡¯s 1991 declaration that former U.S. government partner Saddam is a ¡°¡°Hitler¡±¡± and that therefore he must be ousted from power, 12 years after the Persian Gulf War. Bush claims that former partner Saddam hates America for its ¡°¡°freedom and values.¡±¡± Bush cites former partner Saddam¡¯¡¯s acquisition of nuclear components and biological and chemical weapons (including those obtained from the United States) as proof that Saddam presents a dire threat to the United States.

2002 ¡ª UN Security Council, prodded by U.S. government, requires Saddam to file updated weapons report fully accounting for nuclear components and biological and chemical weaponry.

2002 ¡ª Saddam files updated nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons report with the UN Security Council.. U.S. government objects to public release of identities of suppliers of nuclear components to Iraq. UN turns report over to United States, which releases censored summary that deletes identities of nuclear suppliers, but information on suppliers nevertheless leaked to press. United States among suppliers of nuclear components to former partner Saddam.

2002 ¡ª Bush administration announces that former partner Saddam is in breach of UN resolutions by providing an incomplete accounting of nuclear components and biological and chemical weaponry, possibly on the basis of a comparison between the nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry that the U.S. government originally furnished Saddam and what he has accounted for.

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