Friday, September 16, 2005

A Soviet client...or ours

David Gelertner chews up history and spits it out today on the outspread pages of the LA Times.

Ponder our attack on Hussein and you'll see that 9/11 was a trigger, but our real motivation was the end of the Cold War. True, the Iraqi tyrant was a logical target post-9/11. He was a cheerleader for international terrorism and its billionaire bankroller, a famed preacher of anti-American hatred, a confirmed warmonger and mass murderer. But if the Sept. 11 attacks had happened before the Soviet collapse, we wouldn't have touched him. At least not directly. He was a favorite Soviet client. An attack would have risked world war. Once the Cold War was over, we were free to respond to 9/11 by ridding the world of Hussein. [emphasis added]

Well, if he's saying 9-11 had nothing to do with our invasion of Iraq, I won't disagree. But let's shed a little light of historical perspective. You know, real history, not the historical fantasies of neocons like Gelertner.

F'rinstance, I seem to recall that Hussein was a favorite client of another superpower. I also have a hazy recollection of a war in which we took sides.

To prevent an Iraqi collapse, the Reagan administration supplied battlefield intelligence on Iranian troop buildups to the Iraqis, sometimes through third parties such as Saudi Arabia. The U.S. tilt toward Iraq was enshrined in National Security Decision Directive 114 of Nov. 26, 1983, one of the few important Reagan era foreign policy decisions that still remains classified. According to former U.S. officials, the directive stated that the United States would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran.

Look, the socialist Ba'athists of Saddam Hussein were natural allies of the Soviet Union, just as the Shah we placed on the throne in Iran was a natural ally of ours. But to deny our relationship with Hussein following the fall of the Soviet Union is intellectually dishonest and just more hand fakes.

And let's not forget, September 11, 2001 was more directly connected to the Cold War than our invasion of Iraq.

In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166,...[which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies -- a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, ... as well as a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan's ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.

So, now that we've cleared that up, I ask Gelertner: Why did Ronald Reagan hate America so?

But, as I read the whole Gelertner op-ed, I realize that he may just have penned an elaborate practical joke, and is simply putting us on:

I'd rather have a superb doer than talker in the White House. Bush is a superb doer.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Weblog Commenting by Site Meter