From a reader: "At the time, the United States prevented a move in the UN to impose economic sanctions against Iraq, saying that the sanctions would be useless or counterproductive. So in effect, the United States defended Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons even as late as 1988, and this kind of a relationship continued through the Reagan administration and into the first President Bush administration until the very day that Iraq invaded Kuwait in early August 1990."
"USDEL. should work to develop general western position in support of a motion to take "no decision" on Iranian draft resolution on use of chemical weapons by Iraq." Department of State Cable from George P. Shultz to the Mission to the European Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations. "UN Human Rights Commission: Item 12: Iranian Resolution on Use of Chemical Weapons by Iraq," March 14, 1984.
"Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday."
"A number of French companies have exported machinery and raw material for the manufacture of chemical weapons to Iraq since 1986, a French magazine reported today." "The magazine reported that Protec had struck up a relationship with the West German company, Karl Kolb, which the magazine said was implicated in the traffic of chemicals to Iraq, and with another export-import firm in Hamburg known as Water Engineering Trading, or W.E.T. The arrangements resulted in the sale of several units for fabricating chemical warfare agents to Iraq, the weekly reported."
"And here's the strange part, easily forgotten in the barrage of recent rhetoric: It was Western governments and businesses that helped build that capacity in the first place. From anthrax to high-speed computers to artillery ammunition cases, the militarily useful products of a long list of Western democracies flowed into Iraq in the decade before its 1990 invasion of Kuwait." "Also before the Gulf War, Iraq took delivery on billions of dollars of equipment "useful for making mass destruction weapons" from companies operating in more than a dozen Western nations: Germany mostly, but also the United States, Britain, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and more, according to Iraq Watch, a research group affiliated with the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. This wasn't, of course, charity. There was money to be made."