Some of the left’s egregious lies about America’s past relationship with Iraq are just crying out to be debunked. For instance, take the commonly-mentioned Rumsfeld visit to Iraq:
Anonymous42321: If recall correclty, Saddam was a friend of the US during Regan’s administrtion and was paid a number of visits by Rumsfeld!
The left specializes in compound lies. The implication here is that the Rumsfeld visit was somehow an extraordinary event. The reality is that that visit (with Rumsfeld in his capacity as a private citizen drafted as an envoy) was preparatory to the US resuming full diplomatic relations with Iraq, long after just about every UN member had recognized the government (and the reality of Baath Party supremacy) in Iraq, including China, the Soviet Union and France, all of which scrambled to recognize (and arm) the new dictatorship pretty much as soon as it took power in the early 1970’s. The US, by contrast, held out on recognition until the mid-80’s, resuming diplomatic ties (and re-establishing an embassy in Iraq) only when it appeared that Iran was on the verge of overwhelming Saddam’s armies.
Even if the US were a friend of Saddam (which is not the case), as the anti-American left and America’s enemies insist, let me quote Lord Palmerston’s adage: Britain has no permanent friends, only permanent interests. If I recall correctly, Stalin was a friend of the US during Roosevelt’s administration and was paid a number of visits by Hull, the actual Secretary of State, rather than a semi-official envoy like Rumsfeld*. (And this is after Stalin had killed millions of Russians in recurrent purges, and more importantly, made a side deal to divide up Poland with the Nazis via the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, not to mention hosted and supplied the Nazi military during the interwar years, when Germany was rearming, out of sight of prying Western eyes). Actually, the US was much more of a friend to Stalin than it was a friend of Saddam’s. The US sent tens of billions of dollars in food and material aid to the Soviets, back when billions of dollars actually meant something.
And the Soviets repaid this friendship by spending hundreds of billions of dollars to finance, train and supply Communist insurgencies around the world and preventing free elections in liberated Eastern Europe, just as Saddam repaid American friendship by invading Kuwait. It just goes to show that ingratitude runs among both Russians and Arabs. Of course, Saddam’s greatest friends were the Soviets, the French and the Chinese, as evidenced by the fact that most of his armory came from these three countries - he had no American weapons systems at all, not even the M-16.
* The reason private officials are drafted as envoys prior to the restoration of full diplomatic ties (and the reopening of the American embassy) is not to make secret deals, but to allow for a graceful retreat if the conditions for the resumption of ties are not met.
-- Zhang Fei