Whether or not you support the U.S. decision to go to war with Syria, there is no denying the blatant hypocrisy in the justification that the U.S. should intervene because of Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
Here are three of the biggest hypocrisies:
1. The U.S. supported one of the worst chemical warfare attacks in history.
In a bombshell, though under-reported, story from last week, Foreign Policy revealed CIA files that prove the United States helped Saddam Hussein as he was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in human history against Iran in 1988. The files show that the U.S. knew about — and did nothing to stop — a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has experienced to date. The U.S. continued to provide Iraq with military and intelligence aid, despite knowing that Hussein was using the same chemical weapon — sarin gas — that Assad is allegedly using today.
2. The U.S. used chemical weapons during the 2003 Iraq war.
During the Gulf War, the U.S. classified white phosphorus as a “chemical” weapon when Saddam Hussein was using it against the Kurds. Yet, fast-forward to the 2003 Iraq War and the U.S. identified white phosphorus as a “conventional” weapon to justify their use of it in Fallujah. The use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium during the Iraq War has led to a rise in birth defects and cancer rates in the country, even ten years after the start of the war.
3. The U.S. allowed companies to manufacture and export components used to make the same chemical weapon that Assad allegedly used in Syria.
I have previously written about the horrendous U.S. policy that allows companies to continue to manufacture and export chemicals after they have been banned for domestic use. So it comes as no surprise that in 1992 when a cargo jet bound for Israel from the U.S. crashed in the Netherlands, a component of the nerve gas sarin was found aboard the plane. More recently, Britain allowed a company to export nerve gas chemicals to Syria, 10 months after the Syrian uprising began. British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he understands and supports Barack Obama's position on Syria. So even though Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria, Cameron is apparently shocked that Assad may have actually used them.
If the U.S. wants to continue the state of perpetual war that the military industrial complex depends on, just admit it. Let’s stop pretending that we’re going to war with Syria because Assad allegedly used chemical weapons.