Who Armed Iraq?
The meme that "we" armed Iraq is a beloved canard of anti war types because it supposedly shows up the wests hypocrisy. Evoking images of government backed arms dealers filling their boots even as the Tomahawks are being dusted off for their date with downtown Baghdad.Norm
links to a piece written by Nick Cohen
that raises the important fact that it was not the US and Britain that sold Saddam a good proportion of arms. I have been aware of SIPRIs database
recording Iraqs arms transfers for at least a year now. What it shows is that those in the West whose cries were loudest against the war were the ones most busily at the trough, notably France and the Soviet Union. Perhaps they were still waiting to be paid? So there is hypocrisy in this tale but not of the Anglo Saxon variety.
So it is true that parts of the west were making a killing (in many different senses of the word) from Iraqs need for weaponry. Mitigating noises can be made in the case of Russia. Back when it was the Soviet Union Saddam was a socialist client, and even after the fall it is likely they would be eager for hard cash through the means of follow on sales and spare parts. The case of the French is harder to justify, apart from to say that it is the kind of thing we have come to expect from them. To have the chutzpah to claim the moral highground after such a track record on arms sales has a distinctly gallic whiff to it.
Even without the database it is chronically obvious where Saddams arms came from, you just need to use the mark 1 human eyeball. Remember all those photo's of gulf war 1 and 2 showing the Iraqi soldiers hefting M16's and driving M60 tanks? No, well that's because they were all carrying AK47's and pootling about in T72's.
To be honest i expected this meme to have been put to bed by now but i keep on coming across it in every form of media you care to think of, and it's beginning to become rather tiresome.
My message is simple. You can say what you like about the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war but don't expect me to listen to you if you can't even be bothered to do some basic fact checking.