Past killing, torture in Irag affects today’s war

I would like to point out but one of the many flaws in Brian Skala’s letter supporting the Bush administration’s invasion (not “helping,” invasion) of Iraq. That is the common bleating of apologists for U.S. aggression – that “Saddam Hussein carried out attacks on his own people, even using chemical weapons on them.” Yes, he did, but when did he do it, what was our reaction? This occurred during the Reagan administration, and we knew about it because we were providing the said weapons.

Our response was to give him more, because Reagan and his henchmen didn’t care if he gassed some Iraqi Kurds, as long as he also gassed Iranians, which he was happy to do. Let’s not forget, Hussein was a CIA asset for something like 40 years, right up to the point where Bush I’s Ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, told him that we didn’t care if he invaded Kuwait. (Bush should have checked with his oil buddies first, huh?) Sorry, Mr. Skala, but a 20-year-old act in which we let happen is no more justification for our illegal attack on a sovereign nation than are phony reports that he still had weapons of mass destruction. We knew he didn’t, because we’d stopped supplying him. It is ridiculous idea to think that Hussein, a secular dictator, was in cahoots with Osama bin Laden, a proponent of radical Islamic theocracy and, thus, Hussein’s natural enemy. The claim that we are there to bring the Iraqis democracy is ludicrous.

Peter Gerlach

Graduate student, History