No. I don't spend all day on the net. I just read the article.
Interesting article. Also interesting is how some of you people seem to ignore the parts of the story that you don't like. Like the fact that Iran was considered a far greater threat at the time. You talk with hindsight. Think of what we knew back in the early and mid-80s. Khomeini was still alive, and had visions of uniting all of the Muslim world under a single entity. Had he beaten Iraq, it's quite possible that Iran and Iraq's combined forces (Iraq is largely Shiite, like Iran) would have had enough critical mass to go after the Arabian Peninsula. At the time, Iraq was the better of two evils. Now we know what a son-of-a-bitch he is, but back then, we saw an option between letting Iran win, possible leading to a fundamental shift of the entire Middle East toward radical Islam, or supporting a dictator who had bitten off more than he could chew.
Also note that once the extent of Saddam's liking for chemical warfare became known, his ability to acquire aid and materials from the U.S. suffered.
In hindsight, we can easily say that the U.S. should have dumped his ass long before, but the level of treachery Saddam was capable of was not so apparent compared to the fear of a dominant Iran, until the end of the Iran-Iraq war and Saddam's attempt to grab Kuwait's oil reserves for himself.
So sure, mistakes were made. In hindsight, the U.S. (and France, Britain, Russia, Germany, among others) sold Saddam the rope that he would later try to hang us with (see - I've read Lenin too). But you cannot judge actions with hindsight. Chamberlain's Munich Pact with Hitler was hailed as a victory by many people, and those like Churchill, who did not want to deal with Hitler but to immediately crush him, were derided as warmongers. Even Franklin Roosevelt tried to step in and negotiate a peaceful resolution to WWII, early in the war. Eventually, the realization came that such noble hopes were foolish.
There is no question that Reagan (and to a lesser extent Bush Sr.) were completely fooled by Saddam. Their fear of a powerful Iran overwhelmed their clear vision of the Iraqi dictator, and they foolishly allowed this fear to smooth over what were some clear indications that Saddam was in the long run just as dangerous as Iran, if not more. We know that know, but how easy was it to know it then?
Your arguments seem to indicate that since the U.S. and other Western countries helped Saddam at one time, that it voids the argument about removing those weapons from him. That's like saying that the state, having at one time granted you a driver's license, should not have the right to take your license away after you developed a habit of running over pedestrians on a regular basis.
After over 20 years in power, I think we are safe to assume that we have enough evidence of what Saddam is really like, and the nations of the world have decided that, regardless of earlier, false opinions of Saddam, that he could no longer be trusted with weapons of mass destruction of any kind - he likes to use them way too often. Yesterday's presentation by the UN inspection team clearly indicates that Saddam is still hiding some. Why are you so opposed to taking them away from him?
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.