The Iraqi court trying Saddam Hussein announced that it's charging him with genocide against the Kurds. I wonder if any past or present Republican leaders will be indicted as accomplices. They could start with Donald Rumsfeld and work their way down the list.
As the National Security Archive's exhaustively researched website documents, Rumsfeld and other leaders of the Reagan Administration had specific information that Saddam was using chemical weapons in his war with Iran and against the Kurds (pdf files), yet chose to provide massive financial and military support to his war effort anyway. Some of this support was provided through Gulf State intermediaries, but much of it was given directly in cash or as military and intelligence assistance.
American support was invaluable in allowing Saddam to continue his murderous rampage throughout the 80's, as the Archive indicates:
"Prolonging the war was phenomenally expensive. Iraq received massive external financial support from the Gulf states, and assistance through loan programs from the U.S. The White House and State Department pressured the Export-Import Bank to provide Iraq with financing, to enhance its credit standing and enable it to obtain loans from other international financial institutions. The U.S. Agriculture Department provided taxpayer-guaranteed loans for purchases of American commodities, to the satisfaction of U.S. grain exporters.
The U.S. restored formal relations with Iraq in November 1984, but the U.S. had begun, several years earlier, to provide it with intelligence and military support (in secret and contrary to this country's official neutrality) in accordance with policy directives from President Ronald Reagan."
The Archive also documents the fact that "Rumsfeld was assured by the U.S. interests section that Iraq's leadership had been 'extremely pleased' with (his) visit, and that 'Tariq Aziz had gone out of his way to praise Rumsfeld as a person.'"
A Rumsfeld indictment would send the world a good message: Crime against humanity doesn't pay.
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