portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

imperialism & war


More on Saddam Hussein, that American CIA stooge.
The Devil in the Details: The CIA and Saddam Hussein
The coup that brought the Ba'ath Party to power in 1963 was celebrated by the United States.

The CIA had a hand in it. They had funded the Ba'ath Party - of which Saddam Hussein was a young member - when it was in opposition.

US diplomat James Akins served in the Baghdad Embassy at the time. Mr. Akins said, "I knew all the Ba'ath Party leaders and I liked them".

"The CIA were definitely involved in that coup. We saw the rise of the Ba'athists as a way of replacing a pro-Soviet government with a pro-American one and you don't get that chance very often.

"Sure, some people were rounded up and shot but these were mostly communists so that didn't bother us".

This happy co-existence lasted right through the 1980s.

One thing is for sure, the US will find it much harder to remove the Ba'ath Party from power in Iraq than they did putting them in power back in 1963. If more people knew about this diabolical history, they just might not be so inclined to trust the US in its current efforts to execute "regime change" in Iraq.

Here then are some quotations that I've gathered on this fascinating early history of CIA involvement in the vicious history of "regime change" in Iraq:In early 1963, Saddam had more important things to worry about than his outstanding bill at the Andiana Cafe. On February 8, a military coup in Baghdad, in which the Baath Party played a leading role, overthrew Qassim. Support for the conspirators was limited. In the first hours of fighting, they had only nine tanks under their control. The Baath Party had just 850 active members. But Qassim ignored warnings about the impending coup. What tipped the balance against him was the involvement of the United States. He had taken Iraq out of the anti-Soviet Baghdad Pact. In 1961, he threatened to occupy Kuwait and nationalized part of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), the foreign oil consortium that exploited Iraq's oil. In retrospect, it was the ClAs favorite coup. "We really had the ts crossed on what was happening," James Critchfield, then head of the CIA in the Middle East, told us. "We regarded it as a great victory." Iraqi participants later confirmed American involvement. "We came to power on a CIA train," admitted Ali Saleh Sa'adi, the Baath Party secretary general who was about to institute an unprecedented reign of terror. CIA assistance reportedly included coordination of the coup plotters from the agency's station inside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad as well as a clandestine radio station in Kuwait and solicitation of advice from around the Middle East on who on the left should be eliminated once the coup was successful. To the end, Qassim retained his popularity in the streets of Baghdad. After his execution, his sup- porters refused to believe he was dead until the coup leaders showed pictures of his bullet-riddled body on TV and in the newspapers.

Source: Andrew and Patrick Cockburn, excerpt from Out of the Ashes, The
Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, 2000. Cited by Tim Buckley
< http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2000/msg01267.html>

The CIA has been organizing "regime change" for 50 years. They have removed many governments that are unfriendly to US corporate interests and replaced them with regimes that are more likely to work closely and slavishly to carry out the economic and geopolitical desires of the US corporate elite.

But the CIA's crimes don't end when a right-wing coup has succeeded. The CIA then has to keep its repressive despots in power in order to ensure that they can put into place and then maintain a variety of unjust economic systems and structures. This is done with arms sales (and outright gifts of "surplus" weapons), glowing diplomatic support, "intelligence support" (sic) and massive economic investment (i.e., pillaging as much profit as possible by exploiting the natural resources that drew them in there in the first place, and handing out some of the spoils to a loyal local elite).

Highly and enthusiastically recommened, this book is for anyone who is interested in the current Middle East situation. It reveals the sordid intrigues of the Middle East leaders that underlie the turmoil in the area.

When the corporate media describe the CIA's use of political assassination as if it exists in isolation from mass imprisonment, torture and murder, they cover up the horror, pain and suffering experienced by thousands of ordinary people in countries where CIA-backed blood baths have taken place. They neglect to reveal that when the CIA carries out its high-profile assassination efforts, they also carry out murders of thousands of lesser-known political figures.

Stephen Zielinski from Allison Park, PA United States reviewed "Out of the Ashes": To paraphrase the philosopher Walter Benjamin, 'hope was given to us precisely for the sake of the hopeless.' I recall here Benjamin's brilliant apercu because there might not be another people so utterly lacking in hope and so desperately in need of the consolations and opportunities provided by such hope as the Iraqis. These people have been fated to suffer not only the murderous clan led by Saddam Hussein but also the scheming and witless 'help' of their morally defective 'protector,' the United States. This conclusion is given ample support by Andrew and Patrick Cockburn's fine book on Saddam Hussein's Iraq, 'Out of the Ashes.'

The authors cover all of the relevant topics, including: The sanctions regime and the dreadful effects the regime has had on most Iraqis. The British creation of Iraq and its Monarch. The rise of Iraq's Baath party and Saddam Hussein. The mindlessness of Iraqi nationalism as represented by the Baath party. The nature and extent of Iraq's police state. Gulf war I and the many American betrayals of the Iraqi people. Hussein's pursuit and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Palace politics in Baghdad and Washington. The vicious fools at Langley, with their telling preference for dictators and military men.

It all makes for a dreary read, although the authors cannot be faulted for this since they keep the story moving along with clear prose and adequate organization. It's the story they tell. At the very least a million Iraqis have died because of the Baath party and Saddam Hussein. Many more will die because of Gulf War II. There was nothing inevitable about the catastrophe just as Gulf War II will be the product of the ill-formed men and women willing it into being.

The Cockburns end their book on a hopeful note by asserting that only the Iraqi people could effect the downfall of Saddam Hussein and Iraq's Baath party. But they published their book in 1999 and could not know that fate would again deal the Iraqis another disastrous hand with the election of George W. Bush to the presidency. Harboring the sinister men of The Project for the New American Century and using the horror veiling 9.11 as political cover, the Bush administration now seeks to transform the remnants of America's Cold War system of alliances, treaties and institutional commitments into a self'conscious and self'perpetuating imperium founded on the control of oil and an overwhelming military power. The coming war is merely a part of that grandiose effort. Given the sorry record of those now leading the country, it is also prudent to expect the American effort in Iraq to undermine any revolt of the Iraqis themselves just as Desert Storm ended with the United States enabling the Republican Guard to crush the rebellion that arose in the wake its victory. Neither democracy nor Iraqi sovereignty will be a war aim of the United States, notwithstanding Bush claims to the contrary.

But, then again, these are matters to be decided by the Iraqis themselves. The next war will only delay the just settling of accounts.



homepage: homepage: http://www.representativepress.org/CIASaddam.html