To see U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s press presentations, one would think that Secretary Rumsfeld holds the moral high ground in his dealings with the regime of Saddam Hussein. The way in which Mr. Rumsfeld reproaches Saddam seems to be from a position of righteous indignation and abhorrence of evil incarnate.
Yet, if you check the history of Mr. Rumsfeld in the service to his country, its multinational corporations, and its government, a far different picture emerges. You see a man sent to Baghdad in the mid-198’s on behalf of the Reagan administration to pave the way for a lucrative business deal for American oil interests. You see a man who huddles in secret WITH Saddam, telling him who important the business dealings are, and that the known possession (at that time) of weapons of mass destruction by the regime in Iraq must be properly “handled” so as not to scuttle the business relationships between the Reagan White House (with former oil executive George H.W. Bush as Vice-President and former Bechtel offical George Schultz in a high position in the administration) and the Iraqi government. Rumsfeld knew of the Iraqi weapons program at that time, and he certainly knew of the political and human rights history of Saddam Hussein. But “Business first!” was the program of that U.S. administration, and little matters like wmd’s were not allowed to stand in the way of a lucrative oil pipeline contract proposal, to be built by Bechtel and to carry oil between Iraq and Jordan.
The Sustainable Energy and Economics Network (SEEN) has published on its website (http://www.seen.org) a report detailing the history of the dealings of Rumsfeld (in the Reagan administration at the time) with Saddam Hussein. Rumsfeld did not travel to Baghdad to confront Saddam with the weapons of mass destruction issue. He went there to smooth over that issue so high-level business negotiations could proceed, just like President George W. Bush is known to have entertained Taliban representatives at his ranch in Crawford, Texas to negotiate a contract for a pipeline across Afghanistan for U.S. corporate interests. The U.S./ Taliban talks did not result favorably for U.S. interest, and war in Afghanistan resulted (with terrorism blamed as the cause of the war).
The U.S. talks with Saddam in the 1980’s did not result in favorable results for the U.S. interests, and in delayed reaction, war resulted with weapons of mass destruction blamed as the cause of the war.
The headline of the report published at SEEN.ORG is as follows:
It seems as if U.S. administrations sing to the tune created by business negotiations. If negotiations go well, the administrations will waltz with whomever their partner happens to be, no matter what the policies or backgrounds of the waltz partners. If unfavorable results form the dance tune, the whole world will dance to the blues.
The writer is a member of several falconry and ornithological clubs and organizations. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from California, USA.