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Iraq: An Interview With Matthew Hoh

In todays video, I conducted an interview with Matthew Hoh, about the Iraq war and his time there. Along with his unique perspective of personally being there, he also backs up that experience with great knowledge of the subject area. The interview is packed with great information about the US War in Iraq and beyond.

Please feel free to comment if I have missed any links in the show notes.

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Bio - Matthew has been a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy since 2010. In 2009, Matthew resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department over the American escalation of the war. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew took part in the American occupation of Iraq; first in 2004-5 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-7 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. When not deployed, Matthew worked on Afghanistan and Iraq war policy and operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department from 2002-8. - Center for International Policy | Matthew Hoh

Matthew Hoh - Twitter

Show Notes

"Although Bush had heard about al Qaeda in intelligence reports before the attack he had spent little time learning about the sources and nature of the movement. His immediate instinct after the attacks was, naturally, to hit back. His framework, however, was summed up by his famous line "you are either with us or against us" and his early focus on dealing with Iraq as a way of demonstrating America's power. I doubt that anyone ever had the chance to make the case to him that attacking Iraq would actually make America less secure and strengthen the broader radical Islamic terrorist movement. Certainly he did not hear that from the small circle of advisors who alone are the people whose views he respects and trusts." Richard Clarke Against All Enemies Inside America's War on Terror Page 244 (President Bush Counter Terrorism Chief)

"There have been recent reports that Michael Spiker, a Navy pilot shot down over Iraq in 1991, may still be in Iraqi hands. We owe it to him and all those who may be called to serve in the coming months to pass this bill."107th Congress Rept. 107-749 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2d Session Part 1 PERSIAN GULF WAR POW/MIA ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2002 October 15, 2002.--Ordered to be printed Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following

“confirming Iraqi use of chemical weapons. We also know that Iraq has acquired CW production primarily from Western firms, including possibly a U.S. foreign subsidiary” “Iraq Use of Chemical Weapons,” unclassified memo from Jonathan Howe to the secretary of state, November 1, 1983, National Security Archives,

"1981: Israel bombs Baghdad nuclear reactor". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 June 1981

"Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former head of Iraq's secret weapons program and a son-in-law of President Saddam Hussein, told a United Nations delegation in a secret meeting in Amman, Jordan, on Aug, 22, 1995, that Iraq had halted the production of VX nerve agent in the late 1980s and destroyed its banned missiles, stocks of anthrax and other chemical agents and poison gases soon after the Persian Gulf War." Iraqi Defector Claimed Arms Were Destroyed by 1995, The Washington Post March 1, 2003

Participants in the chemical weapons discoveries said the United States suppressed knowledge of finds for multiple reasons, including that the government bristled at further acknowledgment it had been wrong. “They needed something to say that after Sept. 11 Saddam used chemical rounds,” Mr. Lampier said. “And all of this was from the pre-1991 era.” Others pointed to another embarrassment. In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies." The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons BY C. J. CHIVERS October 14th 2014 NYT

"It was also interesting to confirm that President Carter gave the Iraqis a green light to launch the war against Iran through Fahd.” Talking Points, State Department, "Talking Points" [for Alexander Haig meeting with Ronald Reagan], Top Secret/Sensitive, circa April 1981

"We should pursue, and seek to facilitate, opportunities for U.S. firms to participate in the reconstruction of the Iraqi economy, particularly in the energy area, where they do not conflict with our non-proliferation and other significant objectives. Also, as a means of developing access to and influence with the Iraqi defense establishment, the United States should consider sales of non-lethal forms of military assistance, é.g., training courses and medical exchanges, on a case by case basis." NSD 26 10/02/1989 U.S. Policy Toward the Persian Gulf (3 pages)

Corporate interests - The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War, and Peace, 1989-1992 Page 263James Baker (10th White House Chief of Staff and 67th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and the 61st U.S. Secretary of State before returning as the 16th White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush)

"Hammadi: We read in the newspapers the United States was providing weapons to the Kurdish movement in the north of Iraq. Our attitude is not based on that; we have a reason to believe the US was not out of this. What is your view?

Kissinger: When we thought you were a Soviet satellite, we were not opposed to what Iran was doing in the Kurdish area. Now that Iran and you have resolved it, we have no reason to do any such thing, I can tell you we will engage in no such activity against Iraq's territorial integrity ,and are not.

Hammadi: This is a result of that agreement. That you think we are not satellites

"Mr Kelly: We have no defense treaty relationship with any Gulf country. That is clear. We support the security and independence of friendly states in the region. Ever since the Truman administration, we have maintained Naval forces in the Gulf because of our interest in stability in that region. We are calling for a peaceful resolution of any differences in that area and we hope and trust and believe that the sovereignty of every state in the Gulf ought to be respected.

Mr. HAMILTION: Do we have a commitment to our friends in the Gulf in the event that they are engaged in oil or territorial disputes with their neighbors ?

Mr. KELLY: As I said, Mr. Chairman, we have no defense treaty relationships with any of the countries. We have historically avoided taking a position on border disputes or on internal OPEC deliberations, but we have certainly, as have all administrations, resoundingly called for the peaceful settlement of disputes and differences in the area.

Mr. HAMILTON: If Iraq, for example, charged across the border into Kuwait, for whatever reason, what would be our position with regard to the use of U.S. forces ?

Mr. KELLY: That, Mr. Chairman, is a hypothetical or a contingency, the kind of which I can't get into. Suffice it to say we would be extremely concerned, but I cannot get into the realm of '' what if answers.

Mr. HAMILTON: In that circumstance, it is correct to say, however, that we do not have a treaty commitment which would obligate us to engage U.S. forces ?

Mr. KELLY: That is correct.

Mr. HAMILTON: That is correct, is it not ?

"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor" PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defences Page 51


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