Magazine article The New American

Building Baghdad's Arsenal

Magazine article The New American

Building Baghdad's Arsenal

Article excerpt

"American officials in Baghdad have identified at least 30 businesses and individuals in the United States that investigators said they suspect sold tens of millions of dollars in military technology to Iraq before the war," reported the October 16 New York Times. The officials are investigating cases in which U.S. businesses are "suspected of illegally providing Mr. Hussein's government with military technology or items that bad both military and civilian applications." If convicted, the suspects face 10 years in prison. The total value of the hardware in question amounts to tens of millions of dollars.

Heading the list of suspects are Sabri Yakou, a 69-year-old, permanent U.S. resident who was born in Iraq, and his 43-year-old son Regard, an American citizen. The Yakous are accused of selling three 85-foot-long patrol boats equipped with machine guns to Baghdad at a cost of $11 million. The boats may have been used in combat operations against U.S. forces during the invasion of Iraq.

By all means, those Americans guilty of building Iraq's war machine should be prosecuted. But the roster of suspects should be expanded to include Donald Rumsfeld, who opened the floodgates of aid to Iraq in a December 1983 visit to Baghdad. Henry Kissinger, founder of Kissinger Associates, helped broker deals that fed billions of dollars into Saddam's war chest--money that was used to build the despot's abortive WMD program. Former Kissinger Associates co-founders Lawrence Eagleburger and Brent Scowcroft, who helped close Iraqi aid deals with the firm, went on to hold key posts in the first Bush administration (national security adviser and secretary of state, respectively). …

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