The United States is sometimes portrayed as a major supplier of weapons to Saddam-era Iraq. For example (slightly edited):
Just look at the history books, Saddam was USA ally during the Iran/Iraq war. The USA provided them with a constant supply of weapons and turned a blind eye, even to attacks to ships in the Gulf (even hitting an USN ship once), while heavily punishing Iran for far less aggressive actions.
However, the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database says that for 1973 to 1990, the United States only accounted for half a percent of Iraq's weapons imports.
Why is the US seen as a major supplier of weapons to Iraq?
- Is there a basis in fact, with the United States supplying weapons that somehow don't get counted in SIPRI's methodology? The Wikipedia article includes claims that the CIA secretly ran a smuggling campaign of non-US weapons that even now we can't measure the extent of, which sounds a little Russel's Teapot to me.
- Is it because the United States is the world's largest weapons exporter when measured by cost, and people just assume that therefore the US exported weapons to Iraq?
- Is the claim made for political reasons?
- Or a bit of all of the above?