Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
The U.S. government recently transferred authority over Saddam Hussein to the new Iraqi government. Among the crimes Saddam is charged with is gassing Iraqi Kurds during Iraq's war in the 1980s with Iran (which also used gas). While Saddam is an evil man and should be brought to justice, there is supposed to be "eqaul justice under the law." And if Saddam is guilty of war crimes for gassing Kurds, are American officials guilty of war crimes for dropping atomic bombs on civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II? And didn't the U.S. provide Saddam with the material for the gas used on the Kurds?
And was it any "kinder" to napalm (rather than gas) people, burning them alive, as American officials ordered during the Vietnam War?
Another charge against Saddam concerns his putting down the Kurdish (and Shiite) revolt in 1991. Is it hypocritical, though, for Americans to claim he gassed "his own people" (the Kurds), but then also blame him for putting down a revolt of "his own people." To what extent, then can a commander-in-chief (e.g., Abraham Lincoln) of any nation put down an internal revolt?
All of this is not to excuse Saddam, but to demonstrate the U.S. government's hypocrisy, which has been tolerated or accepted by the American public for decades. After World War II, we championed self-determination for the people of Eastern Europe, while we covertly overthrew the government of Iran because they had nationalized their oil. While proclaiming our intolerance of murder, a few years later the CIA helped to train a young Saddam Hussein and others to assassinate the leader of Iraq. At about the same time, Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba and murdered many of his opponents, but one does not hear the U.S. or U.N. calling for Castro to be hauled off to the Hague for a war crimes trial. Nor does one hear a demand for a similar fate for Mikhail Gorbachev, who prosecuted the Soviet war against Afghanistan where the Soviets used exploding toys which severely maimed Afghan children. In fact, "Gorby" is hailed by the U.S. government, and Castro is applauded at the U.N.
This positive treatment of Gorbachev and Castro is at the same time we demanded Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia be dragged before the Hague war crimes tribunal. In fact, the U.S. government sent at least $5 million to opposition parties in Yugoslavia to oust Milosevic, while at the same time American officials and citizens expressed their outrage that Communist China had contributed money to certain American political figures. Again, this is not an approval of Communist Chinese political contributions, but simply another example of American hypocrisy which has been evident throughout our history. Remember how we repeatedly broke treaties with the American Indians, while demanding other nations abide by treaties with us? And remember after we invaded Panama and arrested Manuel Noriega for violating American domestic law, we objected to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait because they had violated Iraqi domestic law by slant-drilling for oil across the two nations' common border?
This isn't an approval of Saddam's action, but how can we set a precedent for invasion and then condemn others for acting similarly? When U.S. government officials say our intelligence information regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) justified the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, how would we then object if Communist China were to claim that it had intelligence information regarding WMD (attempts to develop nuclear weapons) that would justify its invasion of Taiwan?
And regarding the current war on terror, how do we object to American POWs in Iraq being shown on television simply being questioned, but the American public seems to care not at all that detainees at Guantanamo are shown shackled, blind-folded and forced to kneel? The American public was appropriately appalled at the Iraqi insurgents killing American Nick Berg, but it has expressed almost no concern over the 37 prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq who were tortured to death while in American custody. And while American officials have claimed they disapprove of torturing prisoners, they have no problem sending certain prisoners to other countries where they are tortured with the knowledge of the U.S. government.
All of this American hypocrisy is not lost on the people of the world, and particularly the people of Iraq who hear that full sovereignty has now been turned over to them under the leadership of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a known CIA asset! The Iraqi people aren't stupid, and unless the American public reverses its acceptance of hypocritical double standards, we will continue to face problems not only abroad, but at home as well. "At home," for example, in the sense that abortion rights proponents on the one hand say abortion is a private matter in which government should not intervene. But then they hypocritically demand tax funding of abortion, which imposes their view on prolifers who oppose their tax dollars being used for such killing.
All of this hypocrisy must end!
� 2004 Dennis Cuddy - All Rights Reserved
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Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress
on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or
edited seventeen books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles
appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post,
Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio
talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York
City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs
USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
When U.S. government officials say
our intelligence information regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
justified the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, how would we then object if
Communist China were to claim that it had intelligence information regarding
WMD that would justify its invasion of Taiwan?