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Saddam's Delusions

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  • Saddam's Delusions

    Ever wonder what was really going on in Saddam's 'regime' just before the U.S. invasion? The Pentagon sure did. Turns out his own officers did as well. Though fairly obvious now, it turns out that Saddam had fallen quite the victim to his own delusional paranoia.

    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/200605...he-inside.html

  • #2
    Re: Saddam's Delusions

    Very interesting, thanks Amosely.

    This quote from page 6 made me sit up a bit:

    The Saddam Fedayeen also took part in the regime's domestic terrorism operations and planned for attacks throughout Europe and the Middle East. In a document dated May 1999, Saddam's older son, Uday, ordered preparations for "special operations, assassinations, and bombings, for the centers and traitor symbols in London, Iran and the self-ruled areas [Kurdistan]." Preparations for "Blessed July," a regime-directed wave of "martyrdom" operations against targets in the West, were well under way at the time of the coalition invasion.
    New to TG?

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    • #3
      Re: Saddam's Delusions

      Terrific article. Yes I keyed in on that passage too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Saddam's Delusions

        You guys are certainly entitled to your own conclusions, but I didn't find anything in this report remotely threatening, in fact quite the opposite.

        I viewed that section (on Uday/Fedayeen plans to carry out acts of terrorism) as benignly as the rest of the lunatic operations outlined in the document. I have little faith that a corrupt and disjointed Fedayeen could even come close to pulling any sort of international terrorism. History would seem to prove this right, as there is no record of them successfully pulling off anything of the sort - not even against domestic targets in their own country - the Kurdish north - or Iran for that matter. The only thing they did manage to do was to sell weapons at border crossings and throw themselves in front of U.S. armor columns.

        The ineptitude outlined in this document is almost unbelievable. How about the story of Qusay and the ~70 military trucks/vehicles that he was ordered to repair (page 4)? They were painted and cleaned, he sent a representative to confirm this, then reported to Saddam that they were fixed. In fact, they weren't fixed at all - none of them would start. Rather than actually fix them, he chose to just cover it up. All this from Qusay, who I think was the one that liked to party.

        It's a wonder these guys could even figure out how to change lightbulbs.

        How about the parts about outright lying and fabrication by Saddam's own officers for fear of reprisals against anyone who bore bad news? His own officers were telling him that he had armament and capability when in fact he had none. And what about his attempts to actually comply with U.N. regulations (page 3)? This section was the most alarming, and sad, to me:

        Over the years, Western intelligence services had obtained many internal Iraqi communications, among them a 1996 memorandum from the director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service directing all subordinates to "insure that there is no equipment, materials, research, studies, or books related to manufacturing of the prohibited weapons (chemical, biological, nuclear, and missiles) in your site." And when UN inspectors went to these research and storage locations, they inevitably discovered lingering evidence of WMD-related programs.

        What was meant to prevent suspicion thus ended up heightening it. The tidbit about removing the term "nerve agents" from radio instructions was prominently cited as an example of Iraqi bad faith by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in his February 5, 2003, statement to the UN.


        I'm sure some may feel otherwise, but my reaction to this report is that Saddam was a loose cannon without a fuse.

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        • #5
          Re: Saddam's Delusions

          Yeah, Iraq gearing up to take down London seems to me like more delusions, not the one legitimate plan they had among the morass of insanity.

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          • #6
            Re: Saddam's Delusions

            That all may be true, but once again you have the benefit of hindsight. Who knew at the time?

            Well...the Russians and French maybe.

            Also, while Iraq may not have been in a position to "take down London" they most certinaly were creating partnerships with Al Queda and other affiliated terror organizations. Maybe they couldn't take down London any more than Al Quada can take down the USA, but they can cause a lot of damage, death, and misery.

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            • #7
              Re: Saddam's Delusions

              Also, while Iraq may not have been in a position to "take down London" they most certinaly were creating partnerships with Al Queda and other affiliated terror organizations. Maybe they couldn't take down London any more than Al Quada can take down the USA, but they can cause a lot of damage, death, and misery.
              Really? I thought Saddam feared Al-Queda's influence against his sunni secular society.

              Were there any links to back this up?
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              • #8
                Re: Saddam's Delusions

                Originally posted by aeroripper
                Really? I thought Saddam feared Al-Queda's influence against his sunni secular society.

                Were there any links to back this up?
                Oh, not this again...
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                • #9
                  Re: Saddam's Delusions

                  Originally posted by aeroripper
                  Really? I thought Saddam feared Al-Queda's influence against his sunni secular society.

                  Were there any links to back this up?
                  How would an original report back itself up? I'd understand it if this was some college paper that used this report as a reference providing links. This is from the CFR. Hell, a lot of media outlets pull from the CFR as a source.
                  Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Saddam's Delusions

                    The recently declassified documents captured in Iraq contain an 8-page fax between Iraq's ambassador back home and lays out the financial support that Iraq was providing Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law. This is the group who kidnapped foreigners and cut off their heads.

                    Iraq was helping them buy guns.

                    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...1/990ieqmb.asp

                    ABC News is reporting that there is some strong evidence in these documents that Iraq and Al Qaeda were colluding, but remains skeptical. Fair enough. But here are the docs and their translations.

                    http://abcnews.go.com/International/...1734490&page=1

                    And of course there was the much publicized support of the "martyrs" who blew up Israeli shopper, diners, and bus riders.

                    Edit: there are more sources out there, and I remind folks that these are the first of many thousand documents expected to be released "over the next several months." In other words these documents will be released more or less gradually over the summer and fall in an election year. There may be a death-by-1000 cuts in store for some as these documents are released and reviewed.
                    Last edited by leejo; 04-01-2006, 10:03 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Saddam's Delusions

                      Peter Bergen's general skepicism on the Iraq-AQ connection:
                      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/28/op...=1&oref=slogin

                      As for the new documents outlined in the Weekly Standard (which, for those of you keeping score, is openly, proudly biased toward the right and the Republican party), the evidence, even the logical arguments are pretty thin. Unsubstantiated documents, which the US government isn't even willing to get behind 100%, suggest an operational agreement with a local Philippines group. An agreement which Iraq annulled after the group began to commit actual acts of terrorism.

                      They are going to have to come up with some more concrete operational evidence of collusion if they want to justify this operation after the fact using AQ.
                      In game handle: Steel Scion
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                      • #12
                        Re: Saddam's Delusions

                        Why do you feel required to trash a point of view you don't like by pointing out its "bias toward the right?" and why do you think people need you to tell them?

                        FWIW, the NY Times is pretty well known to be openly, and proudly biased toward the left. At least according to its ombudsman. But maybe his opinion and ability to tell fact from fiction is worthless because of his bias to the right too.

                        Short of a picture of SH and UBL giving each other high fives in front of a blown-up print of the manifesto they each signed, you will always demand more information. Too bad you aren't willing to hold yourself to the same standard of skepticism in condemning your own military and political leadership or predicting its failures.

                        But Mr. Bergen and co. can keep flapping those lips and we'll just see what those documents that come out over the following months show.

                        Furthermore, no-one is trying to justify the invasion after the fact. The reasons for the invasion were reasonable and sound at the time and nothing has changed that, the sincere desires of many senators to distance themselves from their own votes to authorize military action notwithstanding.
                        Last edited by leejo; 04-01-2006, 11:48 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Saddam's Delusions

                          Originally posted by leejo
                          Why do you always feel required to trash a point of view you don't like by pointing out its "bias toward the right?" and why do you think people need you to tell them?
                          Kettle? Pot. You're black.

                          FWIW, the NY Times is pretty well known to be openly, and proudly biased toward the left. At least according to its ombudsman. But maybe his opinion and ability to tell fact from fiction is worthless because of his bias to the right too.
                          Judith Miller. One of the loudest and most prominent commentators urging for war in Iraq. Now one of the principles in the Plame affair, in which it it is pretty clear that she has been a willing mouthpiece for the administration in violation of professional principles. NYT star reporter.
                          David Brooks. On the talk shows every Sunday spitting our Republican talking points while describing the failings and follies of the Democratic Party. Long-time NYT Op-Ed contributor.
                          I could go on, but it would rapidly derail the thread. Suffice it to say, I think cries about a "liberal bias" at the NYT have more to do with mobilizing the Republican "base" than any objective truth.

                          Short of a picture of SH and UBL giving each other reach arounds, you will always demand more information. Too bad you aren't willing to hold yourself to the same standard of skepticism in condemning your own military and political leadership or predicting its failures.
                          When have I condemned the military? Don't throw this straw man at me. We are talking about the validity of the documents in question, that's it. I say they are questionable, and the Weekly Standard analysis of them carries too much political baggage and does not convince me.

                          Furthermore, no-one is trying to justify the invasion after the fact.
                          The Weekly Standard seems intent on it. As do Republicans looking to secure their seats as the war turns unpopular.

                          The reasons for the invasion were reasonable and sound at the time and nothing has changed that, the sincere desires of many senators to distance themselves from their own votes to authorize military action notwithstanding.
                          On this we will simply have to disagree.
                          In game handle: Steel Scion
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                          • #14
                            Re: Saddam's Delusions

                            Kettle? Pot. You're black.
                            Really?

                            Originally posted by Steeler
                            There is nothing factually or even rhetorically untrue about that statement. I'm tired of political zealots crying foul when someone reports something in a way that doesn't fit within their narrow political preference.
                            So tell me what about the weekly standard article you found factually or rhetorically untrue.

                            With regard to my comments on the NY Times, I base them on the words of their very own ombudsman. Google it if you think I'm skewing the truth. And if you ignore it, well then you're just confirming your own blind idiology.

                            http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...54C0A9629C8B63

                            THE PUBLIC EDITOR; Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?

                            By DANIEL OKRENT
                            Published: July 25, 2004

                            OF course it is.

                            ......

                            Start with the editorial page, so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.
                            etc.

                            I read all sorts of left-leaning materials and use my brain to sort fact from opinion. The left, including you, seem merely to dismiss everything that comes out of Fox News, or the Weekly Standard, or "that doesn't fit within their narrow political preference" as biased and refuse even to read. Furthermore, you shout these articles and opinions down as if there were invalid merely because they don't fit with your narrow political preference.

                            You also grant yourselves the full force of hindsight while denying the same to the right. You use current information to criticize the past decisions of the Senate who voted to authorize the military action and the adminstration who sought that action and is executing it, yet when people use current information to criticize your position they're retroactively justifying the invasion? No, we're ACTIVELY telling you guys to shut up.

                            Originally posted by Steeler
                            The problem with Abu Ghraib is, it WAS indicative of a pattern of abuse. Some of those same techniques (waterboarding, faux electrocutions) were reported in Afhanistan and Guantanamo in various accounts (some true, some probably false) in varying degrees. So it's not hard to make the jump that there may be a systemic problem worth ferreting out. We all know of the casual abuses that took place in Japan and Vietnam, and as much as we can try to claim the moral high ground for being the "good guys," that's not the sort of thing we can tolerate in any war.
                            You just condemn their actions and the honor of their leaders. You undermine their judgment of how to approach solving the challenges they face. Again, you grant yourself the full benefits of careful parsing while dismissing similar word-play when it comes from someone with whom you already disagree.
                            Last edited by leejo; 04-01-2006, 12:39 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Saddam's Delusions

                              Saddam Hussein's government was buying guns for a terrorist organization lead by UBL's brother in law.

                              His government was holding meetings over the course of several years with UBL and Al Qaeda operatives in and around Iraq.

                              His government was providing material support for terrorist organizations in Palestinian territories.

                              There is a clear pattern of behavior combined with the shared interests of these terror organizations and SH's government. The explicit planning revealed in these documents to explore committing terror acts outside the middle east shows that there was a very real threat of these meetings and strategic partnerships eventually resulting in collaboration on "projects." I'm not attempting to move into a court of law here, I'm simply saying that I believe that it's impossible to be serious about addressing militant islamic terror while leaving the 2002 version of Iraq's government in place.

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