Sarkis Soghanalian (middle). Photo: Joseph Trento
In 1981, Sarkis Soghanalian pleaded guilty to fraud in the sale of .50-caliber machine guns to Mauritania. But a judge granted him probation, saying the case “involved international affairs conducted by the State Department.”
In 1993, Sarkis Soghanalian was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for smuggling 103 helicopters to Iraq in violation of United Nations sanctions. But he managed to have his sentence reduced to two years after informing American officials of a place in Lebanon where high-quality counterfeit $100 bills were being printed.
The Second Persian Gulf War,. also known as the Iraq War, Mar.–Apr., 2003, was a largely U.S.-British invasion of Iraq. In many ways the final, delayed campaign of the First Persian Gulf War, it arose in part because the Iraqi government failed to cooperate fully with UN weapons inspections in the years following the first conflict.
"Merchant of Death" Sarkis Soghanalian was supplying Sadam and Iraq with weapons and helicopters while the US governement had troops on the ground in Iraq from 1991 to 1993.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, never so true in the world of "The Merchant of Death".