The Obama Administration is publicly moving toward possible military strikes in Syria, a major escalation in yet another war for the United States. The reason is the likely use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against rebel controlled areas. In the meantime, documents have been released that show that the United States has been hypocritical on the use of such weapons. According to Foreign Policy magazine (a highly respected publication), the documents show that the Reagan Administration not only knew of the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqi Regime in the Iran-Iraq war but supplied the intelligence and satellite imagery used in the attacks. The CIA then sat on evidence of the attacks while Iraq denied their use.
The Reagan Administration was concerned that Iran would win the war in 1988 and discovered build ups of Iranian forces near weak points in Iraqi lines. The United States supplied Iraq with detailed maps and images and intelligence on the location of the forces, their air support and other intelligence. A former official is quoted as saying that they knew Saddam Hussein was going to use chemical weapons and that the United States had evidence of the use of mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988. The U.S. then assured the public that it had no knowledge about the attacks or acquiesce to the use of chemical weapons.
Of course, the great irony is that we later cited the use of chemical weapons in the war to justify our actions against Iraq in the second Iraq war — insisting that any maniac who would use them in 1988 would use them again. The government never told the American people that the earlier use of chemical weapons was done with our knowledge and tacit support.
Now, the Obama Administration is publicly moving military assets closer to Syria and is preparing for “all contingencies” after the Syrians “crossed the red line” set out by President Obama. Obama has been suggesting that the United States would attack if chemical weapons were used. He has already intervened in the supply and training of rebel forces in the country.
The recent release of documents, again, show a shocking degree of duplicity and dishonesty in our foreign policy on such issues. Notably, the Reagan Administration debated whether Iran could prove the attacks and advised that the international response was likely to be muted. Indeed, the biggest use of the attacks would come later . . . when we cited it in support of our second Iraqi war under George W. Bush.
Source: Foreign Policy