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Profile: George Shultz


Positions that George Shultz has held:

  • Secretary of State (1982-1989)




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George Shultz actively participated in the following events:


1983      US-Iraq 1980s

       Secretary of Commerce Howard Baldridge and Secretary of State George Shultz successfully lobby the National Security Council (NSC) advisor to approve the sale of 10 Bell helicopters to Iraq in spite of objections from other NSC members. It is claimed that the helicopters will be used for crop spraying. These same helicopters are later used in 1988 to deploy poison gas against Iranians and possibly the Kurds.(see March 1988) [Phythian, 1997, pgs. 37-38; Washington Post, 3/11/1991]
People and organizations involved: Howard Baldridge, George Shultz

November 1, 1983      US-Iraq 1980s

       US State Department official Jonathan T. Howe tells Secretary of State George P. Shultz that intelligence reports indicate that Saddam Hussein's troops are resorting to “almost daily use of CW [Chemical Weapons]” against their Iranian adversaries. [The Times 12/31/02; Washington Post,12/30/02 Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Jonathan T. Howe

December 2, 1983      US-Iraq 1980s

       The US State Department invites Bechtel officials to Washington to discuss plans for constructing the proposed Iraq-Jordan Aqaba oil pipeline. Former Bechtel president George Shultz is US Secretary of State at this time. [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Bechtel

March 15, 1984      US-Iraq 1980s

       US Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger meets with Iraqi diplomat Ismet Kattani to minimize the damage that the State Department's March 5 condemnation (see March 5, 1984) of Iraqi chemical warfare has caused to US-Iraqi relations. Secretary of State George Shultz is also present and later sends a cable to embassies in the Middle East with a summary of the meeting. “Eagleburger began the discussion by taking Kittani aside to emphasize the central message he wanted him to take back: our policy of firm opposition to the prohibited use of CW [chemical weapons] wherever it occurs necessitated our March 5 statement condemning Iraq's use of CW,” the note explains. “The statement was not intended to provide fuel for Khomeini's propaganda war, nor to imply a shift in US policy toward Iran and Iraq. The US will continue its efforts to help prevent an Iranian victory, and earnestly wishes to continue the progress in its relations with Iraq. The Secretary [of State, Shultz] then entered and reiterated these points.” [New York Times, 12/23/2003 Sources: US Department of State cable summarizing meeting between Lawrence Eagleburger and Ismet Kittani, March 1984]
People and organizations involved: Said Rajaie Khorassani, George Shultz, Lawrence Eagleburger

March 24, 1984      US-Iraq 1980s

       The US State Department briefs Donald Rumsfeld who is preparing to make another visit to Baghdad (see (March 26, 1984)). In a memo to Rumsfeld, Secretary of State George Shultz laments that relations with Iraq have soured because of the State Department's March 5 condemnation (see March 5, 1984) of Iraq's use of chemical weapons and expresses considerable concern over the future of the Aqaba pipeline project [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)] which the US is pushing. Shultz writes:“Two event have worsened the atmosphere in Baghdad since your last stop there in December: (1) Iraq has only partly repulsed the initial thrust of a massive Iranian invasion, losing the strategically significant Majnun Island oil fields and accepting heavy casualties; (2) Bilateral relations were sharply set back by our March 5 condemnation of Iraq for CW [chemical weapons] use, despite our repeated warnings that this issue would emerge [as a public issue] sooner or later. Given its wartime preoccupations and its distress at our CW statement, the Iraqi leadership probably will have little interest in discussing Lebanon, the Arab-Israeli conflict, or other matters except as they may impinge on Iraq's increasingly desperate struggle for survival. If Saddam or Tariq Aziz receives you against consider, and to reject, a pending application from Westinghouse to participate in a $160 million portion of a $1 billion Hyundai thermal power plant project in Iraq, this decision will only confirm Iraqi perceptions that ExIm [Export-Import Bank] financing for the Aqaba pipeline is out of the question. Eagleburger tried to put this perception to a rest, however, emphasizing to Kittani the administration's firm support for the line (see March 15, 1984). The door is not yet closed to ExIm or other USG [US government] financial assistance to this project....” At the very end of the cable, it is noted that “Iraq officials have professed to be at a loss to explain our actions as measured against our stated objectives. As with our CW statement, their temptation is to give up rational analysis and retreat to the line that US policies are basically anti-Arab and hostage to the desires of Israel.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03 Sources: US Department of State briefing to Donald Rumsfeld, March 24, 1984]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elda James, Esq., Lawrence Eagleburger

1985      US-Iraq 1980s

       US Secretary of State George Shultz successfully convinces Rep. Howard Berman to drop a House bill that would have put Iraq back on the State Department's list of states that sponsor terrorism. Shultz's argument is that the United States is actively engaged in “diplomatic dialogue on this and other sensitive issues.” He asserts that “Iraq has effectively distanced itself from international terrorism” and insists that if the US discovers any evidence implicating Iraq in the support of terrorist groups, the US government “would promptly return Iraq to the list.” [Jentleson 1994, p. 54]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Howard Berman

mid-August 1988      US-Iraq 1980s

       The United Nations sends a delegation of experts to the Iraq-Iran War conflict zone to investigate Iraq's use of chemical weapons. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76] However, Baghdad refuses to cooperate and the US makes no serious attempt to press Baghdad to comply with the UN Security Council's decision. US Secretary of State George Shultz downplays the charges against Iraq, arguing that interviews with Kurdish refugees in Turkey and “other sources” did not conclusively support the allegations being made against Saddam's government. [The Nation 8/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz

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