Bush Sr. Refused To Back 1989 UN Resolution To Investigate Iraq
For Human Rights Abuses
By Jason Leopold
1989, the State Department released a report that described in
gruesome detail Iraq’s violation of human rights, specifically how
Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein tortured his own people for
allegedly being disloyal.
despite the atrocities outlined in the report, which President Bush
now refers to when speaking about his desire to remove Hussein from
power, the United States, under the first Bush Administration, refused
to vote in favor of a United Nations resolution calling for an inquiry
into Iraq’s treatment of its population and possibly indicting
Hussein for war crimes and human rights abuses.
two people most vocal about refusing to go along with the U.N.
investigation are now lobbying for a U.N. resolution authorizing an
invasion of Iraq and are highly critical of the countries that refuse
to back a U.S. led coalition to use military force to remove Hussein
from power. Those men are Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
in 1989, the first Bush administration refused to join the U.N. in
publicly protesting the forced relocation of at least half a million
ethnic Kurds and Syrians in the late 1980s, even though the act
violated principles of the 1948 Genocide Convention, according to
Middle East Watch, a human rights organization.
Bush and Reagan administrations also declined to punish Iraq when it
used poison gas against Iranian soldiers in 1984 and Kurdish citizens
in 1988. Moreover, the U.S. did not oppose the fact that Hussein
bought 45 American helicopters, worth about $200 million, with
assurances they were for civilian use, then transferred them to his
said in 1990 that that "in retrospect, it would have been much
better at the time of their use of gas if we'd put our foot
down," according to an August 1990 story in the Los Angeles Daily
U.S. intelligence reports that showed Iraq’s capability of building
weapons of mass destruction and its inhumane treatment of its own
civilians, the Bush Administration turned a blind eye and instead
focused on improving U.S. relations with Hussein. The U.S. removed
Iraq from its list of countries supporting terrorism in 1983, which
reopened the door to federal subsidies and loans to Iraq.
Hussein “made it clear that Iraq was not interested in making
mischief in the world," Rumsfeld said, who, as a Middle East
envoy for the Regan Administration, reopened discussions with Saddam
in 1983, according to the Daily News story. "It struck us as
useful to have a relationship with him."
current Bush Administration, many of whom served in the Reagan and the
first Bush administrations, refuse to acknowledge that their policies
toward Iraq at the time backfired and we may be paying a price for it
now. But at this point, Iraq does not pose a threat to the U.S. and
threats against the nation appear to be purely personal.
former Rumsfeld’s watch during his years in the Reagan and Bush
administrations, he and the former presidents allowed Hussein to build
his army and a cache of chemical and nuclear weapons. In fact, many of
the hawks that serve in the current Bush Administration assisted
Hussein’s regime in reaching these goals during the late 1980s and
example, Judicial Watch said, according to the Daily News story,
“that the U.S. extended $270 million in government-guaranteed credit
from the Export-Import Bank to buy other American goods, despite
repeated failures to make loan repayments on time. Since 1982, Baghdad
has become one of the biggest buyers of U.S. rice and wheat,
purchasing $5.5 billion in crops and livestock with federally
guaranteed loans and agricultural subsidies and its own hard cash.”
benefited from a thriving grain trade with American farmers,
cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies, oil sales to American
refiners that helped finance its military, and muted White House
criticism of its human rights and war atrocities,” the Daily News
admitted in 1990 that the Reagan and Bush administrations were well
aware of Hussein’s brutality, but still, the U.S. was more
interested in maintaining a healthy relationship with Iraq because the
country’s vast oil reserves was beneficial to U.S. interests.
knew this wasn't the League of Women Voters," Armitage said,
referring to Hussein’s regime, according to the Daily News story.
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