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Bush Is Gone; Saddam Remains; Is There a Lesson to Be Learned?

  • More than half a dozen years after hundreds of billions of U.S. tax dollars were spent to protect oil investments, America is the big loser.
By Andrew Arnold

According to a pair of influential mainstream policy makers. Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein won the Persian Gulf War by means of perseverance.

Abe Rosenthal the former managing editor of the Yew York Times, opined in one of his influential columns last month like this:

"Mark the date: Saddam Hussein returned to Mideast political glory on Oct. 23, 1997 in a chamber of the United Nations Security Council."

Rosenthal was upset with the Security Council refusing to roll over to U.S. demands to starve Iraqi peasants into revolting against their popularly elected leader -- Saddam Hussein.

Washington has demanded, on numerous occasions over the years, for Iraq to give up its sovereignty and give UN inspectors free rein of what the UN suspects are chemical and nuclear weapons hiding places.

For the past half-dozen years, international inspectors have had pretty much a dominion over Iraqi locales. The problem is, inspectors almost always walk away empty handed.

Still, the State Department is sure Saddam is hiding the equipment the Pentagon allegedly sold him. So, evidence or not, bureaucrats at Foggy Bottom want the UN to keep looking.


Several members of the Security Council now say enough is enough. It's not that Red china, France, Russia and Egypt are interested in Iraqi sovereignty; these countries want a piece of Iraq's sanction-starved market.

"France and Russia, like some of our other dear ones, have signed oil deals with Iraq already," Rosenthal moaned. "They work for the day the sanctions on Iraq will be lifted or so weakened that they can be ignored. Then, contracts in hand, they can rush to the Iraqi trough, just as in good old days before Saddam started the gulf war."

Someone at the New York Times really should subscribe to The SPOTLIGHT. As an editorial in this newspaper, dated February 4, 1991, declared in bold 72- point type:


Contrary to Vietnam, the present war will not be fought to lose. It will be fought to win. But because it is impossible to win this war, we will inevitably lose it. Thus, This is another no-win war and our defeat will be far, far greater than that in Vietnam.

A story, under this writer's byline, explained in the July 6, 1992 edition: "Saddam Seen as Winner."

On assignment five years ago, while President George Bush was at the top of his popularity, The SPOTLIGHT found the mood in Baghdad was such that Hussein would be in power long after Bush was gone. And Iraqi analysts expected Bush to ben in power four more years at the time.

In the August 27, 1990 issue The SPOTLIGHT said:

"We predict that unless he is assassinated or felled in a coup, Saddam Hussein...will make Bush wish he had thought out the situation before bowing to his/Israeli controllers and intervening with troops."

A funny thing happened to Bush on his way to the polls in 1992.

While critics like to point out the Persian gulf War was a smashing success for America, they fail to take the effects of gulf War Syndrome into account. Critics also conveniently forget the billions of dollars spent to keep U.S. troops thousands of miles from home in the Saudi desert.

Hussein, on the other hand, is firmly in power.

The Iraqis and Iranians reportedly "laughed" at the Pentagon when it rushed ships into the gulf recently to threaten Iran.

The economic sanctions Washington insisted the UN apply to punish Iraq are falling apart. U.S. allies are drooling to trade with Iraq.

The SPOTLIGHT called this seven years ago too. A story in the December 17, 1990 issue pointed out George Bush had jumped in bed with the devil, actually devils, to build an alliance against his bogeyman.

Another outstretched hand was waiting for Bush in Geneva, Switzerland in the person of Hafez al-Assad, Syria's dictator who was on Washington's blacklist as a master of world terror but has now been recycled as a loyal U.S. ally against Saddam Hussein, yesterday's loyal U.S. ally.

Assad demanded $3.5 billion as his price as a loyal U.S. ally.

At the time, the United States was investigating the terrorist attack against Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1989. Some fingers pointed to Syrian involvement. However, once Assad jumped in bed with Bush, all "evidence" pointed to a pair of Libyans.

Although a trial has never convicted the Libyans, Libya has faced international sanctions since 1991 for its alleged involvement in terrorism.

The story also pointed out Assad's "cozy relationship" with Israel. So long as military tension exists between Syria and Israel, both countries can "secure profits."

While The SPOTLIGHT often disagrees with the New York times in feneral and Rosenthal in particular, we say, welcome in board, Abe, The question is, what took you so long?


On the other side of the country, strategic analyst Avigdor Haselkorn told subscribers of the Los Angeles Times service that Bush called off the ground war in February, 1991 to protect Israel.

"In the early morning hours of Feb. 25, a strangely armed Iraqi missile landed in southern Israel. It was Hijarah, an Iraqi variant of the Soviet Scud B, topped with a concrete and metal warhead. Israeli military intelligence suspected that it might have been a primitive biological warhead.

"The incident left U.S. decision makers, especially Gen. Colin Powell, in a quandary. Although there was no agreement among intelligence analysts as to the meaning of the "stone age" Scud, the possibility that it was a warning shot on Saddam Hussein's part could not be dismissed.

So, the story goes, Bush stopped the offensive, on Powell's advice, to keep Israel safe from attack by chemical or biological weapons.

In the meantime, tens of thousands of U.S. troops are still stationed in the Mideast, more than five years after the last shot of the Persian Gulf War was fired. They aren't coming home anytime in the foreseeable future, just as we said seven years ago.

Western propaganda provided the spark for the war. One of the lies was the threat posed to Israel. For example, the May 6, 1991 issue of this newspaper reported on claims by Dr. Bruno Gollnisch, a member of the European Parliament, that "140,000 apartments were not, as some have claimed destroyed in Israel.'

Lies were very important to Bush and Co. In selling the war.


The SPOTLIGHT received national recognition for its story in the October 8, 1990 edition: Saddam Was Bush-Wacked on Invasion.

The story pointed out that U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie gave Saddam Hussein a green light to invade Kuwait on July 25, 1990. This newspaper was honored by Project Censored for uncovering one of the most repressed stories of 1990 with the scoop.

But the mother of all lies was the performance by the Kuwaiti girl before congress and a national television audience. Warmongers called on a young Kuwaiti victim to explain to Congress, and America, how Iraqi monsters threw babies out of incubators after they moved in to Kuwait.