Skip to comments.Who Armed Iraq? Myth vs. Fact
Posted on 04/10/2003 4:27:37 PM PDT by backhoe
Name one weapon in the Iraqi arsenal that was made in the United States.
I have offered that challenge to dozens of so-called anti-war activists who claim that the U.S. armed Iraq. According to these protesters for "peace," George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan supplied Iraq with tons of weapons.
None have been able to name the specific weapon missile, bomb, fighter, tank or shell that is U.S.-made or has U.S. equipment installed in it. None have been able to name any specific weapon system.
All of them have failed the challenge, providing no more than allegations that U.S. parts are in Iraqi missiles or U.S. electronics are being used by the Iraqi military. One protester even claimed that Iraq was armed with U.S.-made trucks.
Since when is a truck a weapon? Are the Iraqis going to drive backwards, fuel tank first, into the U.S. Army?
Time to separate the myth from the reality. The propaganda spun by the far left is false. The facts show that Iraq is armed with a wide range of weapons none of which came from the U.S.
Iraqi Air Force
The Iraqi air force does not fly Falcons or Eagles. The majority of the Iraqi air force is made in Russia. The Russian MiG and Sukhoi design bureaus supplied Iraq with hundreds of advanced strike-fighters and the Mach 3 Foxbat interceptor.
Saddam could field a force of advanced MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters if they had not chickened out of combat during the Gulf War, flying to Iran for asylum. The Iranians, who love Saddam even less than we do, never returned the MiGs.
The remainder of the Iraqi air force comes from France and China. The Chinese supplied Saddam with the Chengdu F-7, a copy of the Russian MiG-21. The F-7 can fly from unimproved runways and is known to be a vicious in-close dog fighter.
However, the French Mirage F-1 is reportedly the best jet fighter in Iraqi hands. You can view an Iraqi F-1 in action on the State Department Web site, testing a chemical spraying system.
If you still believe that the Iraqis have no chemical weapons, think again. Iraq did not modify its best multimillion-dollar fighter jet to spray for fruit flies.
Anyone with half of a brain knows that you cannot keep a modern jet fighter in the air without spare parts. Thus the Russian, Chinese and French jets should be museum pieces after 12 years of a so-called U.N. ban on weapons sales to Iraq. Yet somehow Saddam has his air force flying over 1,000 sorties a month.
Thanks to excellent reporting by Bill Gertz we now know that France has been supplying spare parts for Saddam's Mirage fighters. The French spare parts arrived in Baghdad not 20 years ago during the Cold War but last year, just in time to face our forces today.
Merci! With friends like, that who needs enemies?
Perhaps the Iraqi missile force has some U.S.-made weapons? Not. The primary Iraqi missile is the Russian-made Scud. Other missiles include the FROG-7 from Russia, the Exocet from France and the Silkworm from China.
The Iraqi air defense has plenty of missiles ... from Russia, China and France. The SA-2 Guideline, SA-3 Goa and SA-6 Gainful SAM missiles are all of Russian or Chinese manufacture. The French also supplied Baghdad with a number of Roland air defense missile systems.
Even the missile parts are from Chinese, German and French sources. Israeli authorities know full well what is inside Iraqi-made Scud missiles since many of them fell on Tel Aviv during the Gulf War. The Israelis found that the Scud warhead electronics were made in Germany not the U.S.A.
In addition, William Safire recently wrote a column noting that a Chinese chemical company had supplied rocket fuel to Iraq through a French front company. Safire identified the fuel, the companies and the Iraqi missile facility where it was mixed into new Iraqi rockets. Again, the missile fuel sale was made within the last year, just in time to make new Iraqi missiles pointed at Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Saddam sends his love to Paris and Beijing. Without your help he certainly could not threaten his neighbors with nerve gas and anthrax.
Okay, if not jet fighters and missiles, then how about tanks? Certainly the biggest weapons seller in the world, the U.S.A., sold tanks to Iraq.
The Iraqi armor force is made up of Chinese and Russian models familiar to any "cold" warrior. The Iraqi T-72 and T-55 tanks are all of Russian manufacture. The Iraqis also have a large number of Type-59 Chinese tanks and Russian-made BMP armored troop carriers. No M-1 Abrams here.
How about attack helicopters? The Iraqis have a number of choppers they used against the Kurds and Shiites.
So sorry, the Iraqi attack chopper force is Russian and French. The Russians supplied Iraq with a large number of the Mil-24 Hind attack helicopters, armed to the teeth with cannon, missiles and even chemical weapon sprayers.
The French supplied Saddam with a large number of Gazelle attack helicopters. The same French also managed to keep Saddam's attack helicopter force flying today with spare parts.
Guns, then? Surely the U.S. supplied Saddam with guns?
Nope. The main Iraqi artillery is the French 155mm howitzer. The remainder of Iraq's artillery is 122mm Russian-made cannons and Russian-made short-range rocket launchers. Even the Iraqi foot soldier is armed with the venerable AK-47 of Russian and Chinese make.
The facts are that during the Iran-Iraq war the U.S. supplied Iraq with something much more valuable than guns: satellite information on when and where the Iranians were going to attack.
Of course, current anti-war activists seize this piece of information without putting it into historical context. The information was supplied during the height of the Cold War. The main threat to America was the Soviet Union and the biggest fear in the Gulf was the Ayatollah Khomeini.
You remember the chant "death to America"? It almost seems that the ayatollah invented it. Ironically, the Ayatollah made his way to Tehran from his home in exile Paris.
The Reagan administration, aware that the Iranian ayatollah had threatened to turn the Gulf into a sea of fire, assisted Saddam so that he would not lose the war. The assistance stopped short of helping Saddam win the war.
In fact, when it appeared the Iraqis were on the verge of victory, the Reagan administration transferred real weapons to the Iranians. The infamous Iran-Contra scandal involved a large number of badly needed U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles that were sold to Iran.
The U.S. missiles proved to be critical to the Iranian defense against Iraq's superior Russian tank force. The result was a stalemate and the war ended.
The fact is that Saddam owes billions to France, Russia and China for weapons purchases. Clearly, Iraq is buying more weapons from Paris and Beijing despite a U.N. arms embargo. Perhaps one reason why Paris, Moscow and Beijing oppose a war in Iraq is because they would lose their best customer.
The propaganda spun by the far left that the U.S. armed Iraq is false and backed by no facts. The so-called anti-war types are more interested in slamming Bush than stopping a war. None have been able to name one American-made weapon in the Iraqi arsenal.
More importantly, none of them can give one good reason why Saddam should stay in power.
Off the top of my head, we backed Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war, as the lesser of two evils.
The main suppliers of dual-use technology & weapons were the Germans & French, IIRC.
A review of thousands of declassified government documents and interviews with former policymakers shows that U.S. intelligence and logistical support played a crucial role in shoring up Iraqi defenses against the "human wave" attacks by suicidal Iranian troops. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague.
I can. It's not accurate. The "1%" number for the USA includes unarmed civilian helicopters (Bell 212/214, etc) that were sold to Iraq for civilian purposes and then confiscated by the Iraqi military and used as VIP transports. Since they are unarmed, they should not count as "weapons", and since they weren't sold to the military they should also not count as "weapons". The correct percentage for the USA should be zero on this chart, because other than these helicopters, nothing in the Iraqi inventory is made in the USA.
Actually, this too is a lie from the left. As strange as it might seem, we backed our "enemy" Iran, not Iraq. Reagan sold Iran TOW ATGMs, HAWK SAMs, and spare parts for the systems sold to the earlier Shah regime, in order for Iran to be able to effectively resist Iraq. The only time we ever gave any "backing" to Iraq was a single instance in which the state department gave them strategic intelligence in order to prevent an Iranian incursion into Basra.
That's the part I like... I figure it's projection--
I found it interesting that what we sold them was a total of 117 helicopters over a three year period from 1983-1985 of which 87 were intended for civilian use but taken over by the military. I would hardly call that arming them. France sold them 108 Mirage Fighter jets. Russia was the big supplier overall with just one sale being 2,150 T-62 tanks. But as far as just tanks go, China sold them 2,600.
The problem with most of these interviews with "former policymakers" is that they refer to Howard Teicher, who is a liar. Teicher insisted for years that several of the classified Reagan-era NSDD (national security decision directives, including NSDD-26 & 28) from 1982 secretly authorized the arming of Iraq. Unfortunately for him, those documents are now declassified, and really had nothing to do with Iraq (they established nuclear weapon stockpile policies). You can go to the Reagan presidential library and see for yourself if you like.
The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague
While techically true, this sounds more ominous than it is. The "numerous items" were just biological cultures, freely given at the time to just about anyone who asked for them (anthrax for cattle vaccine, etc) who had the proper technical credentials (they were sent to universities in Baghdad). They were also approved by the Commerce department, which, while technically part of the "administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush", were really just bureaucrats doing their job without any influence from any higher authority.
In other words, part of the Washington Post story based on a lie; the rest is just a deliberate distortion.
I ran across some info a few weeks back but I failed to bookmark it. I will look for it again. In short - for an extended period of time US policy was that any research labs were required to share viruses and items like anthrax with other research labs from other countries if that country was not deemed an "enemy." We sent three shipments to university research hospital in Iraq, with the first being in 1973. A lab in England supplied the fourth. The objective was to help others try to come up with antidotes or cures for certain diseases. It was not until Iraq invaded Kuwait that we put them on the "bad" list that would have prohibited the export of any anthrax or similar items.
The policy was naive but had good intentions. In hindsight, it was probably pretty stupid. In 1973 we were heavily involved in Vietnam and the Middle East was probably not high on our radar screen. Then in the 1980s after the hostage situation in Iran we saw Iraq as the enemy of our enemy so no flag would have been triggered by sales of viral strains to a University research hospital there at that time. Unfortunately, this has been spun into us somehow deliberatly creating a biological weapons program for Iraq as policy.
As soon as I locate something substantive I will post it.
What I and Technogeeb said is pretty accurate. This shows only two shipments but each contained more than one sample. The third, as I stated earlier was, I believe, in 1973.
Date : May 2, 1986
Sent To : Ministry of Higher Education
1. Bacillus Anthracis Cohn (ATCC 10)
Batch # 08-20-82 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
12. Bacillus Anthracis (ATCC 14185)
Batch #01-14-80 (3 each)
G.G. Wright (Fort Detrick)
V770-NP1-R. Bovine Anthrax
Class III pathogen
13. Bacillus Anthracis (ATCC 14578)
Batch #01-06-78 (2 each)
Class III pathogen
Date : September 29, 1988
Sent To : Ministry of Trade
1. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 240)
Batch # 05-14-63 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
2. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 938)
Batch # 1963 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
5. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 8705)
Batch # 06-27-62 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
8. Bacillus anthracis (ATCC 11966)
Batch #05-05-70 (3 each)
Class III pathogen
from the text: "...pathogenic (meaning "disease producing"), toxigenic (meaning "poisonous"), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Records prior to 1985 were not available, according to the supplier."
From a WSJ article:
Will our troops find caches of poison gas, or even be hit by it on the battlefield? If so, German and French companies will be mainly to blame. In the 1980's, the German firm Karl Kolb and the French firm Protec combined to furnish millions of dollars' worth of sensitive equipment to six separate plants for making mustard gas and nerve agents, with a capacity of hundreds of tons of nerve agent per year. These companies had to know what the specialized glass-lined vessels they peddled were to be used for. It is insufferable that, like Pontius Pilate, Germany and France now wash their hands of the whole affair, and even chastise others for cleaning up the mess their companies helped create.
And how would the poison gas be carried? A gas doesn't stream through the ether by itself to reach a target. A specially prepared munition has to deliver it. Iraq admits that in the 1980's it bought more than 3,000 chemical-ready aerial bombs from Spain, more than 8,000 chemical-ready artillery shells from Italy and Spain, and more than 12,000 chemical-ready rocket warheads from Italy and Egypt. Most of these munitions remain unaccounted for. If our troops take casualties from a gas attack, they will have been inflicted by an international consortium of reckless suppliers.
There are also some Scud-type missiles to worry about that were left over from the first Gulf War. Saddam may fire some at Tel Aviv (as in 1991) to goad Israel into the fighting. Our friends the Russians sold Iraq 819 of these missiles, but the Iraqis soon discovered they didn't fly far enough. Their range had to be increased to reach Tel Aviv, where they flattened buildings in the first Gulf War, and to bombard Saudi Arabia, where they killed 28 American soldiers sleeping in their barracks. The Germans were only too happy to provide what was needed to make the missiles more lethal. From the German firm Thyssen came 35 turbopumps to enhance their rocket engines; from the firms BP, Carl Zeiss, Degussa and Tesa came training in wind tunnels and missile electronics; and from the electronic giant Siemens came switching devices and electrical systems to control missile fuel production. Not to be left out, Britain's Matrix Churchill Ltd. (in which the Iraqis had a controlling interest) supplied sensitive machine tools, Britain's TMG Engineering served as a front company for missile procurement, and U.S. defense contractor Litton Industries bankrolled the German firm that built Iraq's main missile production complex.
And anthrax? Botulinum? Most of the strains to make these deadly agents came from an outfit in Maryland - the American Type Culture Collection. France's Pasteur Institute also sold some. The Iraqis admitted producing 8,445 liters of anthrax (inspectors think three times as much was made) and almost 20,000 liters of botulinum. Both of these germs were loaded into missile warheads and aerial bombs. The Iraqis were also working on airborne spray devices. These weapons too remain mostly unaccounted for. If our troops or cities are attacked with this material, our own bugs will be coming back to bite us.
In all, the rush to outfit Saddam with mass destruction weapons reveals a lot about national morals. Our organization did a study of Saddam's pre-Gulf War suppliers a few year back. We discovered that Germany garnered fully half the total sales. In fact, just before the Gulf War, Germany was selling complete, ready-to-operate poison gas plants to Iraq and Libya at the same time. The rest of the world divided the remaining half of Iraq's purchases. The Swiss, who have an unreasonably good reputation in the world, placed second in the sweepstakes with about 8% of sales (specialized presses, milling machines, grinding machines and electrical discharge machines found at nuclear weapon sites; procurement of missile parts and supervision of missile plant construction; equipment for processing uranium to nuclear weapon grade). In third place, with 4% each, Italy and France scored a tie.
There was a coup in Iraq in 1963. What do we know about the U.S. involvement in that coup?
The U.S. involvement in the coup against Kassem in Iraq in 1963 was substantial. There is evidence that CIA agents were in touch with army officers who were involved in the coup. There is evidence that an electronic command center was set up in Kuwait to guide the forces who were fighting Kassem. There is evidence that they supplied the conspirators with lists of people who had to be eliminated immediately in order to ensure success. The relationship between the Americans and the Ba'ath Party at that moment in time was very close indeed. And that continued for some time after the coup. And there was an exchange of information between the two sides. For example it was one of the first times that the United States was able to get certain models of Mig fighters and certain tanks made in the Soviet Union. That was the bribe. That was what the Ba'ath had to offer the United States in return for their help in eliminating Kassem.
Sounds like an all too typical specimen...
I will tell you the truth-- I quit trying to debate, or change anyone's mind, during the impeachment fiasco.
It used to be that people over on the Left side of the aisle had some regard for facts and evidence versus mere opinions, but those days fled with the reign of the man I dubbed Little Big Fraud.
The 1990's ushered in a decade of deceit, spin, swindles, and frauds unlike any I have ever witnessed- and I hope to never witness it again.
You all claimed that Germany had something to hide and had doubts that it´s just their radical pacifism...
The electronics for the Scuds? Oh yeah, ok. But that´s not secret and that was delivered until 1991...
So, I ask you: what has the German government (that is in office since 1998 - before that Kohl was in power) to hide?