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Spider's Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq Hardcover – October 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553096508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553096507
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a very well done and well documented text.
zz top
There were even instances where the CIA would purchase Russian equipment in the Eastern European black market to service his existing Russian equipment!
Philip Greenspan
Mr. Friedman could possible do a superb job as well on further exposing our present administration's lies.
laser_mechanic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Philip Greenspan on March 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An appropriate metaphor. But in defense of Dr. Frankenstein - he was attempting to advance science and did not know that his experiment would produce the abominable creature that resulted. When the U.S. government clandestinely - with junior partners Briton and Italy and bit players, France, Germany, and Japan - provided Saddam Hussein with sophisticated military high tech weapons and biological and chemical warfare items it was well aware of what a despicable tyrant he was.
"Spider's Web" exposes a deplorable sub rosa world that was created in order to supply Saddam Hussein armaments during the Iran-Iraq war. Presidents Reagan and Bush pursued policies in direct contravention of existing law and of their own public statements.
It was no secret that Saddam was a despicable character, who--among innumerable criminal acts--was not averse to murdering his own people--the Kurds, with poison gas.
War had erupted between Iran and the Iraq, two countries both considered enemies of the US. Iran having overthrown the Shah and in the process humiliated the U.S. was judged to be the greater evil. Accordingly-while contending that it was neutral-the U.S. tilted to Iraq and Saddam. William Casey, head of the CIA at the time, was the strongest proponent of assistance to Saddam. He did not just tilt but in the vernacular "gave away the store".
In Europe, Margaret Thatcher was a strong advocate for strengthening Iraq, as was the Italian government. Other governments, namely France, Germany and Japan, did not want to miss out on good commercial possibilities and joined in. Some also sold to the Iranians. All except the U.S. and England dropped out when Iraq did not pay its bills.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Anne Sherwood on September 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a very important book which uncovers and describes in meticulous and uncompromising detail how the Republican administration, together with William Casey's CIA, secretly armed Saddam Hussein with atomic, chemical and nerve agents breaking domestic and international law and then lying about these clandestine activities to the American people.

Spider's Web is an outstanding book and one which George Bush Sr might want to read to his "Fortunate Son" at bedtime. This just might help the current President gain a clearer understanding and deeper perspective of the historical and illegal trading relationship which created Saddam's huge war machine at a time when he was George Shultz and George Bush Sr's close friend in the Middle East.

Why does the American Mainstream Media fail to hold US politicians to account on their past illegal dealings with foreign dictators which Washington helped to create? Maybe they lack information, confidence or courage? Or maybe some American journalists just don't care what's done in America's name by the White House? But the buck for Saddam's creation and arming stops in Washington D.C. ...and at a desk in the Oval Office which was once chaired by Ronald Regan and George Bush Sr.

Read this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Traveler TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Quite simply, this is the book to read to begin your research on how the US policy towards Iraq has brought about so much conflict, strife and confusion.

As offered with plain and clear irrefutable evidence, including copies of actual government memos, this book shows how many US politicians (many of them Republicans in the current Bush administration!) assisted Saddam up until his invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

This was no mere minor fling. The US government was in bed with Saddam and the Ba'ath Party since the very beginning when they (the party) overthrew the nationalist government with assistance of the CIA. At the time our government provided hit lists to the Ba'athists. One of the hit-men who received those lists was none other than Saddam Hussein. And it off it went . . .

After this book I highly recommend Said Aburish's "Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge" which exposes further Saddam's brutalities and the complicity of the US government and how they helped him rise to power and stay there.

From there readers should check out "George Bush's War" by Jean Edward Smith which shows, again with factual concrete evidence, how the US once again coddled Saddam right up until 24 hours after the invasion of Kuwait and then did a massive switcheroo and altered US foreign policy by _finally_ opposing Saddam and his brutal regime.

Add it all up, beginning with this book, and you have a much clearer picture as to why many people across the globe, especially Arabs and Muslims, are skeptical of US motivations in Iraq today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Wilder on September 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book, published in 1993, details Reagan's and Bush's (41) involvement in supplying Iraq with technology, funding, and weapons of mass destruction. Duplicity and illegal tactics were used to support the regime of Saddam Hussein nearly up to the day he invaded Kuwait, at which point the Thatcher and Bush administrations realized their horrific mistakes, for which they refused to take responsibility.

One of the reviewers on Amazon.com described the book as a fabrication. This charge is not credible, as Friedman has extensively supported his assertions with information collected from FOIA inquiries and the media. Selected excerpts of his detailed source material (memos, transcripts, original sources) are reproduced in appendices.

Friedman states:

"There is plenty of evidence, however, that in the first half of the 1980s the White House illegally armed Iraq and that in he latter period, running up through 1990, the tilt veered so far out of control, and so beyond reason, that it led to the willful abuse of taxpayer-funded programs and, after Operation Desert Storm, to efforts to hide the truth about U.S. policies toward Baghdad.

The author states this was not a conspiracy, neither in the US, nor Britain, nor Italy (who were each involved - Italy through the BCCI - Bank of Commerce and Credit - International) - but the outcome was indefensible and illegal, and the history has been obfuscated. This is a story of deceit and "manipulation of the truth at the highest levels of government."

Perhaps if more people read this history, the public would not be so trustful of their elected and appointed government servants, and there would be more advocates for full and open government communication.
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