You need to go back even farther than that:
Iraq-Iran relationship deteriorates.....
April: the Iranian-supported Ad Dawah attempted to assassinate Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz.
September: Border skirmishes erupted in the central sector near Qasr-e Shirin, with an exchange of artillery fire by both sides. A few weeks later, Saddam Hussein officially abrogated the 1975 treaty between Iraq and Iran and announced that the Shatt al Arab was returning to Iraqi sovereignty. Iran rejected this action and hostilities escalated as the two sides exchanged bombing raids deep into each other's territory, beginning what was to be a protracted and extremely costly war.
1980 to 1982:
Iran fights back using technology and military equipment provided by the US during past favorable relationship with US. (F-4s, F-5s and F-14s and Helicopters like Chinooks, Bell 214s and Sea Cobras armed with Maverick Missles) Iraq's army is primarily equiped with Russian technology. (Migs and SCUDs)
September: Iraq retreats from Iran. President Reagan legalized conventional military sales to Iraq in 1982, and resulting sales amounted to more than a billion dollars' worth of exports with military use in the same year. Along with direct military-use products and even more "dual-use" exports, however, the Reagan and Bush administrations furnished more indirect potencies: with the assistance in intelligence -- if you call it that -- and money and arms, the United States also furnished Saddam with biological and chemical capabilities.
Iraq returned purchased approximately thirty Mirage F-1 fighters equipped with Exocet missiles from France. By this time about 300,000 Iranians and 250,000 Iraqis have been killed in hostilities.
February: The Iraqi command ordered the use of chemical weapons.
Starting in 1985, The US Department of Commerce licensed 70 biological exports to Iraq between 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax, sent by the American Type Culture Collection, then located in Rockville, Md., and now in northern Virginia. (It shares one building with George Mason University; its landlord for its main building is the Prince William County, Va., Board of Supervisors.) Shipments continued beyond Reagan under President Bush, after the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988. In other words, Saddam Hussein was still able to purchase biological products for at least four more years after the justification of US/administration worry about Iran's threat to Saudi oil was past.
Also between 1985 and 1989, Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission got 17 batches of "various toxins and bacteria." In 1985, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) shipped at least 3 samples of West Nile Fever virus to Basra University. Other lethal biological samples included botulins and E. coli.
Too many US corporations supplied Iraq with chemicals to list here; a class-action lawsuit filed by over a thousand Gulf War vets in Galveston, Texas, in 1994 (Coleman et al. v Alcolac et al.) names several, including Alcolac, Phillips Petroleum, Unilever, Allied Signal and Teledyne.
Aside from biological and chemical products, American companies were also licensed by the Commerce Department to supply Saddam with computers, components, electronics, and specialized equipment for future weaponry. Other US shipments went to Iraq without benefit of license, some directly to Iraq and some through other countries including Canada, Germany and Switzerland. The late US Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Texas), chairman of the House Banking Committee, entered at least 30 documents into the Congressional Record as part of his heroic investigations into US assistance to Iraq -- investigations in which he was thwarted at every juncture, be it noted, by the CIA
, the Bush Department of Justice, and their supporters -- mostly GOP -- in Congress.
Again, too many companies provided essential assistance to Iraq to list here. A scant list would include 60 Hughes helicopters in 1982, at least 56 military helicopters from Bell Textron in 1984, and $8 million worth of Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters in the late '80s; equipment for a tungsten-carbide manufacturing plant (later blown up) from Kennametal (Latrobe, Pa.); mainframes and other advanced computer systems from Digital, IBM and Hewlett Packard; a supercomputer from Silicon Graphics in California; and military technology including glass fiber and machine tools from Matrix-Churchill (based in Britain and Cleveland, Ohio). Matrix-Churchill also sold equipment to an arms dealer and manufacturer in Chile, Carlos Cardoen, who sent it to Iraq. The lawsuit in which Teicher's above affidavit is filed involves Cardoen.
March: The UN secretary general, Javier Perez de Cuellar, formally accused Iraq of using chemical weapons against Iran. Citing the report of four chemical warfare experts whom the UN had sent to Iran in February and March 1986, the secretary general called on Baghdad to end its violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol on the use of chemical weapons.
Both superpowers indicated their interest in the security of the region. The United States decided it was imperative that Iran be thwarted, so it could not overrun the important oil-producing states in the Persian Gulf. It has long been known that the United States provided intelligence assistance to Iraq in the form of satellite photography to help the Iraqis understand how Iranian forces were deployed against them.
Though senior officials of the Reagan administration publicly condemned Iraq's employment of mustard gas, sarin, VX
and other poisonous agents, the American military officers said President Reagan, Vice President George Bush and senior national security aides never withdrew their support for a highly classified program in which more than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency were secretly providing detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for airstrikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq.
Saudi Arabia played a crucial role in pressing the Reagan administration to offer aid to Iraq out of concern that Iranian commanders were sending waves of young volunteers to overrun Iraqi forces. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, then and now, met with President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and then told officials of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency that Iraq's military command was ready to accept American aid.
In early 1988, after the Iraqi Army, with American planning assistance, retook the Fao Peninsula in an attack that reopened Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf.
Col. Walter P. Lang, retired, the senior defense intelligence officer at the time, said he would not discuss classified information, but added that both D.I.A. and C.I.A. officials "were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose" to Iran. "The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern," he said. What Mr. Reagan's aides were concerned about, he said, was that Iran not break through to the Fao Peninsula and spread the Islamic revolution to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Colonel Lang asserted that the Defense Intelligence Agency "would have never accepted the use of chemical weapons against civilians, but the use against military objectives was seen as inevitable in the Iraqi struggle for survival." Senior Reagan administration officials did nothing to interfere with the continuation of the program, a former participant in the program said.
The American intelligence officers never encouraged or condoned Iraq's use of chemical weapons, but neither did they oppose it because they considered Iraq to be struggling for its survival, people involved at the time said in interviews.
"Having gone through the 440 days of the hostage crisis in Iran," he said, "the period when we were the Great Satan, if Iraq had gone down it would have had a catastrophic effect on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and the whole region might have gone down. That was the backdrop of the policy."
The Pentagon "wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas," said one veteran of the program. "It was just another way of killing people -- whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference," he said.
Director Casey personally spearheaded the effort to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war ... the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing US military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure Iraq had the military weaponry required. The United States also provide strategic operational advice to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat. For example, in 1986, President Reagan sent a secret message to Saddam Hussein telling him that Iraq should step up its air war and bombing of Iran. This message was delivered by Vice President Bush, who communicated it to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein. Similar ... advice was passed to Saddam Hussein through various meetings with European and Middle Eastern heads of state.
The Iran-Iraq war lasted nearly eight years, from September of 1980 until August of 1988. It ended when Iran accepted United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 598, leading to a 20 August 1988 cease-fire. Casualty figures are highly uncertain, though estimates suggest more than one and a half million war and war-related casualties -- perhaps as many as a million people died, many more were wounded, and millions were made refugees.
Fast forward to the present:
The current Bush administration does not mention where the much-touted "weapons of mass destruction" came from, nor that they've been extensively bombed already. But regrettably, the same corporations that profited by dealing with Iraq before -- including Cheney's Halliburton -- would also profit from an invasion of Iraq, and from a "rebuilding" afterward. The same companies are well able to purchase both Bush foreign policy and the bloodthirsty commentary that supports it -- defying reason, evidence, and common sense -- in the media.