In an excerpt from, "Prince Of Darkness: Richard Perle" By: Alan Weisman the author explains the relationship that America used to have with Saddam Hussein.
"Evidently, the choice was easier between Iran and Iraq during their savage war in the 1980s. Although the United States was officially neutral, it provided Saddam Hussein with everything from intelligence officers to training for Iraqi nuclear weapons scientists and a long list of chemical and biological agents whose export was officially banned, but which, with a wink and a nod, were listed as 'dual use.' Not only was the United States aware that Iraq was using chemical weapons against the Iranians, it was helping their efforts. Iraq employed U.S. military intelligence to 'calibrate attacks with mustard gas on Iranian ground troops,' and used some sixty U.S. officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency to help plan battles and airstrikes and to assess bomb damage. Washington also gave Saddam intelligence gathered by Saudi-owned AWACS aircraft operated by U.S. personnel, plus huge loans from the Export-Import Bank.
Once again, the moral relativism of foreign policy makers allowed them to justify backing Iraq for the sale of oil, for the sake of the Arab-Israeli balance, and as payback to Iran for taking and holding American hostages...
Not only was the United States shipping out material and advisers to help Saddam Hussein, but it had dispatched special envoy Donald Rumsfeld, at the time CEO of the GD Searle pharmaceutical company, to obtain Saddam's approval for construction of a new pipeline that would run Iraqi oil through to Aquaba in Jordan, the Iranians and Syrians having cutt off the flow of Iraqi oil through its territories.
The now infamous photo of Rumsfeld and Saddam shaking hands at their meeting in Baghdad has since become an Internet icon, a symbol of the moral relativism of American foriegn policy. Saddam Hussein was every bit the murderous tyrant in 1983 that he was in 2003, but, according to an Iraqi intelligence officer present at the meetings, "All Rumsfeld wanted to talk about were business deals.' It is a testament to both Rumsfeld impudence and his ignorance that his secret plan was to run a tap off that pipeline into Israel, a scheme he hoped to sell to Jordan's King Hussein...King Hussein immediately rejected the idea." -From, "Prince Of Darkness: Richard Perle" By: Alan Weisman