US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was told to assure Iraqi
leaders that Washington wanted close relations when he went there in
1984, despite public condemnation of Iraq's use of chemical weapons,
a declassified document released shows. . . .
When he returned in late March 1984, the secret relationship had
suffered a sharp setback because of strong US State Department
condemnation on March 5 of Iraq's use of chemical weapons in
fighting with Iran.
In the cable to Mr Rumsfeld, Mr Shultz said he and Under Secretary
of Defence Lawrence Eagleburger had tried to reassure Iraq's under
secretary of foreign affairs Ismet Kittani that they wanted to keep
the relationship on track. . . .
In November 1984, the United States and Iraq established full
diplomatic relations. . . .
The archive has in past uncovered and made public other documents
that describe a constant US policy of helping Iraq in its war with
arch US foe Iran, even as it publicly condemned Baghdad's use of
The policy began in the early 1980s as Iraq was fighting for
survival and continued during the administration of the elder George
Bush, the current president's father. . . .
Stephen C. Pelletiere, "Did Saddam Gas
His Own People?," New York Times, January 31, 2003
Eric Margolis, "People Who Live in
Glass Houses," The Wisdom Fund, March 15, 2003
Eric Margolis, "Saddam Captured: The
Man Who Knew Too Much," The Wisdom Fund, December 21, 2003
Andrew Buncombe, "Rumsfeld backed Saddam even after chemical attacks," The
Independent, December 24, 2003
[Hussein's crimes were committed on our watch, when he was a US ally, and we
knowingly looked the other way. But don't take my word for it; check out
www.nsarchive.org .--Robert Scheer, "US to
Hussein: WMD A-OK," The Wisdom Fund, December 30, 2003]