Friday, June 10, 2005

Where Did You Dig Up That Old Fossil?

Well, I found it in one of Atrios's comment threads. I'd never seen it before. Check this shit out:

Who Appeased Saddam Hitler?

The New Republic was one of the first magazines to call for war with Iraq over the invasion of Kuwait, and in the shrillest possible terms—it even retouched a cover photo to give Saddam Hussein a more Hitlerian moustache. But the magazine's antipathy to Saddam Hussein does not have deep roots: In 1987, following the Reagan administration's taking Iraq's side in the Iran-Iraq war, The New Republic (4/27/87) published an article calling for even stronger support: "Back Iraq: It's Time for a U.S. Tilt," by Daniel Pipes and Laurie Mylroie. Highlights of the article follow:

Ironically, helping Iraq militarily may offer the best way for Washington to regain its position in Tehran. The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines, and counterartillery radar....

Many argue that a tilt to Iraq might drive the Iranians into the Soviet arms.... A more serious argument against a tilt toward Iraq is the danger that a victorious Baghdad would itself turn against pro-American states in the region—mainly Israel, but also Kuwait and other weak states in the Persian Gulf region.... But the Iranian revolution and seven years of bloody and inconclusive warfare have changed Iraq's view of its Arab neighbors, the United States, and even Israel. Iraq restored relations with the United States in November 1984. Its leaders no longer consider the Palestinian issue their problem. Iraq's allies since 1979 have been those states—Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco—most threatened by revolutionary upheaval, most friendly to the United States, and most open to negotiations with Israel. These allies have forced a degree of moderation on Iraq.... Iraq is now the de facto protector of the regional status quo....

If our tilt toward Iraq is reciprocated, moreover, it could lay the basis for a fruitful relationship in the longer term.

Pipes, Mylroie, TNR and Saddam all in one lump sum. That's good to know.