By Susan Lindauer, Former CIA Back Channel to Iraq at the United Nations
Most Americans are astonished to discover that right up to 9/11, the CIA was developing a “Real Politik” vision of Iraq that recognized the fast approaching collapse of U.N. Sanctions. The CIA was preparing for Peace—with a ruthless determination that the United States would capture the lion’s share of spoils from Iraqi Reconstruction contracts in any post-sanctions period. (Image: can3ro550)
German pilots transporting medical supplies and doctors into Baghdad International Airport at the end of the Clinton Administration had blasted the myth of invincibility surrounding sanctions. To this day, those pilots are anonymous—but they changed the equation in total. Their courage honoring the Berlin Airlifts in the Cold War was quickly copied. Across Europe and the Arab world, activists began to organize humanitarian flights into Baghdad. On the Security Council, France and Russia argued strenuously that the ban on air travel had been self imposed, and the no-fly zone could not prohibit humanitarian flights.
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