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  1. #1
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    Sep 2000
    Pekin, IL USA
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    U.S., Iraq at crossroads

    By Herbert Shapiro

    Amidst the fervor aroused by the 2004 election, it has become crystal clear that the Iraq War is the crucial issue confronting voters. The outcome of this war has momentous implications for this nation and the world.
    Continuation of the present policy is not a viable option. We are at a crossroads, facing a choice between escalating an ever more costly and bloody war, and formulating a new policy that recognizes that American power, while great, is not unlimited, and abandons any aspiration of imposing U.S. control over the Middle East's vast resources.

    The U.S., to be sure, has unseated Saddam Hussein but fueled the rise of nationalism that will not accept American hegemony over the Middle East. Such hegemony would encourage the delusion that the United States can impose its will wherever it wishes, a prospect the international community will never accept.

    The reality is that the Bush administration's record since deciding to go forward with the invasion does not inspire confidence. As numerous American travelers have learned, the administration's credibility abroad approaches the vanishing point.

    One disclosure after another reveals that false information, particularly concerning the presence of weapons of mass destruction (a presence of which there is no evidence even today), was used to mobilize support for war. Without this misinformation there was little chance Congress or public opinion would have accepted turning the power of going to war over to President Bush.

    Mr. Bush and Tony Blair claim the war was justified by Saddam's ouster but when the mobilization of support was under way neither the U.S. nor the U.K. governments was willing to rest its case on this argument. As so often has happened in history, the statesmen decided the prudent course was to manipulate the public.

    There was also the impact of the relentless campaign to conjure up a link between the Iraqi regime and the "war on terrorism." As late as the Sept. 30 Miami debate President Bush sought to justify the war by asserting that "the enemy attacked us." Repeating the allegation of such a link over and over does not make it so. In fact, there is no credible evidence to back up the allegation. The long-standing enmity between Islamic fundamentalists and Hussein's secular regime further argues against the charge.

    Back in 2003 George Bush asserted "mission accomplished" but whatever the accomplishment, it did not include assurance against widespread Iraqi resistance and commitment to initiating the process of bringing our troops home. It was indeed Iraq resistance that set the context for the tortures perpetrated at Abu Ghraib and other locations in Iraq and elsewhere.

    There has been no admission that when the administration claimed Iraq was building a nuclear capability (that claim put forward by Secretary Powell at the U.N. in February 2003), it concealed the fact that leading Energy Department and State Department experts very much doubted Iraq was engaged in a nuclear weapons program.

    We have been told we must prepare for a never-ending war on terrorism but whether or not there is such a prospect, it is strange the government initiates that war by an invasion that has intensified hostility to the United States. At the U.N. session where Mr. Bush spoke, it was very likely Secretary General Kofi Anan was more in tune with the assembled delegates than was Mr. Bush when he stated the U.S. invasion was illegal.

    In the event of President Bush's re-election the administration hypothetically might simply await the collapse of the Iraq adventure, blaming our allies and/or the U.N. for failure, or decide to up the ante. The latter option is more consistent with the administration's vision of itself as arbiter of world affairs. This option would require massing a much larger military force and it is very difficult to see how this could be achieved without reinstitution of the draft.

    Such a turn of events would intensify public divisiveness and destabilize our already shaky economy. This is a path that can only end in disaster.

    What would Senator Kerry do about the war if he is elected? In the weeks before Election Day, he needs to further clarify his answer to the question. But he has spoken truly when he said that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld strategy is profoundly wrong. Kerry clearly believes that basing policy on factual evidence is more vital than adherence to doctrinaire ideology. Kerry, furthermore, has made clear his opposition to a unilateral course that alienates most of the world's nations.

    Kerry, unlike Bush, does not accept the notion that a policy of "going it alone" is the standard by which courage is to be judged. And unlike George Bush and Dick Cheney, he is most unlikely to seek the stifling of dissent. The election of Kerry and Edwards would signify that the American people reject government by deception.

    On Election Day, it will be the voters' turn to speak. All of us have the obligation to carefully weigh the positions taken by the candidates and to encourage a maximum voter turnout. There have been few elections in our history in which the stakes have been so high.

    Herbert Shapiro is professor emeritus, History Department, University of Cincinnati

    Bush and Co. What an inept mess!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2001
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    Originally posted by motorboy1

    There was also the impact of the relentless campaign to conjure up a link between the Iraqi regime and the "war on terrorism." As late as the Sept. 30 Miami debate President Bush sought to justify the war by asserting that "the enemy attacked us." Repeating the allegation of such a link over and over does not make it so. In fact, there is no credible evidence to back up the allegation. The long-standing enmity between Islamic fundamentalists and Hussein's secular regime further argues against the charge.


    And for your reading enjoyment.

    Interview with Sabah Khodada

    Original article posted November 8, 2001

    Sabah KhodadaSabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992. He worked at what he describes as a highly secret terrorist training camp at Salman Pak (see Khodada's hand-drawn map of the camp), an area south of Baghdad. In this translated interview, conducted in association with The New York Times on Oct. 14, 2001, Khodada describes what went on at Salman Pak, including details on training hijackers. He emigrated to the U.S. in May 2001. (Editor's Note: Although U.S. officials acknowledge terrorists were trained at Salman Pak, they say it is unlikely that these activities were related to the Sept. 11 attacks. It should also be noted that the two defectors interviewed for this report have been brought to FRONTLINE's attention by members of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a dissident organization seeking to overthrow Saddam Hussein.)

    After your service in the army, you worked for a secret part of the Iraqi government?

    Some of it is not very secretive. But there's another part, which has a lot to do with international terrorism and this kind of operation -- this is very secretive.

    Maybe you could tell me what this section is called, and who runs it. And what did it do?

    It's called the Division of Special Operations. ... This whole camp where their training is run by the Iraqi [security service]... The government organization [that] basically possesses or have control of the camp is the Iraqi intelligence. But different training people who come, they are headed or sent by different people in the Iraqi government.

    You say that this is a secret camp. But what was it like? Was it something you drove by and could see on the highway? Did you need special clearance to go there? How would you describe this place, this location?

    If you're driving on those farm roads, you could probably see the edges of the camp, but you wouldn't realize this is a special camp. The camp is huge. And the locations for the training are far from anybody can see them from the outside. But even when we have visitors, even at the level of a minister, or even higher than a minister in the Iraqi government, they will have to drive around the camp or be driven in the camp inside very specific type of a vehicle. They will sit on the back seat, for example, of this vehicle and they would have ... in addition to the shaded windows, they will have to pull down curtains and they snap those curtains on the bottom, to make sure nobody can see anything outside this vehicle while they're driven around.

    This is even government officials [who] are not allowed to see this kind of training?

    Yes. At the very highest level, they cannot see this training.

    What kind of training went on, and who was being trained?

    Training is majorly on terrorism. They would be trained on assassinations, kidnapping, hijacking of airplanes, hijacking of buses, public buses, hijacking of trains and all other kinds of operations related to terrorism.

    The people being trained were Iraqis in one group, and non-Iraqis, or foreign nationals, in another?

    Non-Iraqis were trained separately from us. There were strict orders not to meet with them and not to talk to them. And even when they conduct their training, their training has to occur at times different from the times when we conduct the Iraqis our own training.

    So you were training Iraqis, Saddam's fedayeen, members of the militia in Iraq. And someone else, other groups, were training the non-Iraqis?

    They were special trainers or teachers from the Iraqi intelligence and al-Mukhabarat. And those same trainers or teachers will train the fedayeen, the Iraqi fedayeen, and also the same group of those teachers will train the non-Iraqis, foreigners who are in the camp. Personally, my profession is not this kind of training. My profession is to train people on infantry, typical infantry training, such as training on machine guns, pistols, hand grenades, rocket launchers on the shoulder and this kind of training. The special training that I'm talking about, such as the kidnapping and so, is conducted by those trainers who are not from the army; they are from ... al-Mukhabarat.And there was a person who is very famous. They call him Al-Shaba. [ph]. This is Arabic word means "The Ghost," who was responsible for all the training, and those trainers or the teachers.

    Why was he called the Ghost?

    I don't know exactly why he's being called the Ghost. I came there and his name was the Ghost. But I know that he has conducted several terrorist operations in Lebanon and in other countries all over the world. And I know that he told us that he's been requested to be arrested by the Interpol. This is probably why he called himself the Ghost.

    And the foreign nationals, the Arabs who are there, but who are not Iraqis -- what were they like? Were they Egyptians, Saudis? Do you know where they came from?

    They look like they're mostly from the Gulf, sometimes from areas close to Yemen, from their dark skin and short bodies. And they also are Muslims. ...

    Were they religious?

    I don't know exactly because I saw them seldom very [briefly]. But some of them has beards, long beards, which is an indication of being a religious Muslim. ...

    How long were you at this base, at this secret location?

    Approximately six months.

    What was your job?

    Administrational things, such as providing food, leave of absence permissions, general training. Ammunition ... providing them with ammunition when needed.

    How did you meet the Ghost? And what did he say?

    I meet him several times a day. We usually meet in the morning when they go to training. We meet in the afternoon or the noontime when they come back from training. And several times, we'll meet at the evening to drink tea. And he will come, him and other teachers who always with him. They always talk about their operations proudly. For example, they were telling us about how they were able to penetrate the American forces during the 1990 Gulf War, where they went inside the Saudi Arabia territory, and they were able to bring exact coordinates of the Dharan airbase where it was hit by the Scud missiles and many Americans were killed.

    He is an Iraqi, the Ghost?


    Did he explain what kind of training they were giving to the people who were there, especially to the non-Iraqis?

    He tried not to talk about training as much as possible. I even, out of curiosity, asked him about those Arabs. Sometime he told me, "Don't ask about them. This is something we're not supposed to talk about."

    So the Ghost said, "I can't talk to you about these Arabs who are training, or what we're training them in."


    So did you find out what kind of training was going on?

    I don't necessarily know what kind of training they do, but they were trained exactly at the same locations, and they were trained by the same teachers who were training ... [the fighters for] Saddam. Training includes hijacking and kidnapping of airplanes, trains, public buses, and planting explosives in cities, sabotaging villages, sabotaging houses, assassinations.

    And the training also included how to prepare for suicidal operations. For example, they will train them how to belt themselves around with explosives, and jump in a place and explode themselves out as part of the suicidal training. I think the trainings of the Arabs was much harsher, and much stricter, than the training of the Iraqis.


    Because we know that Arabs, non-Iraqis who come to train in these kind of camps, are going to be sent to very dangerous and important operations outside Iraq; not inside Iraq. And they will be conducting very specific operations and dangerous operations in their own cities, or in their own countries, or other countries all over the world. Those Arabs are real volunteers. They come in small numbers, and they come with the intention to do some real suicidal operations. ...

    There are other types of training, such as physical training, which we are all familiar with. But there's another kind of special training, which is called "self-confidence training." ... For example, a bunch of the fedayeen will be taken in a helicopter. They will fly them away to an unknown area, and they will be asked to jump out of the plane without knowing if there is underneath them a desert or a house or there's water. But they're supposed to jump. So, they will jump.

    Another type of self-confidence training would be, for example, they will pull the pin of a hand grenade, and they will throw the hand grenade from one to another until the last one will throw it in the air and it will explode in the air. Another type of self-confidence training would be, they will put a hand grenade in a pipe, and they will pull the pin and throw it in the pipe, and stand near the pipe saluting the hand grenade until it explodes.

    Other type of self-confidence training would be holding a rocket launcher, which is an Army GB-7, and holding it vertically, then shooting the rocket vertically, which is very unusual, but the backfire of this hand grenade will hit the ground next to you. And if you don't have self-confidence, you cannot do it. This is another kind of self-confidence training.

    And they trained people to hijack airplanes?


    For what purpose?

    ... It has been said openly in the media and even to us, from the highest command, that the purpose of establishing Saddam's fighters is to attack American targets and American interests. This is known. There's no doubt about it.

    All this training is directed towards attacking American targets, and American interests. The training does not only include hijacking of planes and sabotage. ... Some other people were trained to do parachuting. Some other areas were training on how to penetrate enemy lines and get information from behind enemy lines. But it's all for the general concept of hitting and attacking American targets and American interests.

    Who controlled this operation?

    In terms of training, they will train in this special camp. But after this training, they will go in small groups. These small groups are directly connected with Saddam, or to Saddam's son. For example, the Iraqi fighters, they will be spread all over the country. Occasionally those individual groups, very small groups, will be called for. They might encounter different kind of special training beyond this training on specific things. I'll give you an example. They were calling for some of these groups to train intensively to learn English language, Persian language, Hebrew language, to be sent out to different places of the world to conduct such kind of ... different kind of operations. I suspect that the higher level of training, or the additional training they encounter, has a lot to do with what happened. And there's a lot of similarity with what happened with New York and Washington on September 11.

    That was your reaction on September 11 -- that some of these people might be involved?

    I assure you, this operation was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam. And I'm going to keep assuring the world this is what happened.

    Osama bin Laden has no such capabilities. Why? Because this kind of attacks must be, and has to be, organized by a capable state, such as Iraq; a state where they can provide high level of training, and they can provide high level of intelligence to do such training.

    How could Osama bin Laden -- who's hiding in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan in small caves and valleys -- train people and gather information and send people to do such high-level operation? We all know this is a high-level operation. This cannot be done by a person who does not even own a plane in Afghanistan, who cannot offer such training in Afghanistan. This is definitely done by a mastermind like Saddam. ...

    And the camp has a 707 that they train on?

    Yes, there's a real whole 707 plane, a whole real plane, standing in the middle of the training area in this camp.

    And they train people on how to get access to the cabin, to the crew?


    And how to take over the plane using weapons? How?

    They will get trained on how to get weapons inside the plane. If there is a security weakness that they know of, they will prefer to get weapons. But I am sure that, before the attack of September 11, those people made a very thorough study. And they learned that getting weapons into the plane might not be a very good idea. But in this camp, I saw them getting trained on this kind of situations where security will not allow you to get weapons into the plane -- then what you need to do is to use all available methods and very advanced terrorizing method.

    These methods are used to terrorize the passengers and the crew of the plane. They are even trained how to use utensils for food, like forks and knives provided in the plane. ... They are trained how to plant horror within the passengers by doing such actions. Even pens and pencils can be used for that purpose they were trained. They can do it, and they can overcome any plane because they are very well physically trained, and they are very strong, and they can do it. They can overtake a plane in a very efficient manner. ...

    Recently, here in Washington, you met with the FBI.


    Did you tell them all of this?


    What was their reaction? Did they say they already knew about this, or did they act like this was all new to them?

    No, they do not know about it. But I told them everything I know, hoping that they can make it useful to them. I did that to protect the peace, not only for America; the peace in America and the peace of the world. People must know such training and such preparation for terror is happening in Iraq. Otherwise, it's going to happen again and again. And it's up to those people, meaning the FBI, to take action about it. ...

    Where is the camp located near? You could describe where it's geographically located.

    Yes. It's southeast of Baghdad, about 25 kilometers from outside of Baghdad ... . I think the American government should have pictures of this camp from the air. I know for a fact that on January 1995, the United Nations came and took pictures of this camp. But they don't know -- neither the United Nations nor the American government -- what's going on inside this camp.

    But they can see the 707, or the train?

    On a Friday, which is equivalent to Sunday here, it's a holiday, was on January 1995. They came and the United Nations inspectors visited us. They went all the way inside the camp. They saw the plane, they saw the train, and they didn't care anything about it, because the story was, they told ... his commanders told the United Nation, "This is a camp to train police, anti-riots police."

    Anti-riot police?


    And it really was a terrorist training camp?


    I can hear someone saying to me, "This is one person claiming that this happened. How are we going to check?" How do we prove or, if you will, test what you have to say?

    ... If you want to make sure about it, go back to pictures of your government, aerial pictures of your government, and go back all the documents that showed this camp is existing. And go back to my friend who is in Turkey, who could also tell you the same thing that I'm telling you now.

    Addition to that, maybe you can find archives of Iraqi TV, showing on the Iraqi TV Saddam's fighters ... putting bombs belted on their bodies, wearing masks. Maybe you should be able to get these archives and see something what's shown openly on Iraqi TV.

    The training of Saddam's militia was shown on Iraqi TV?

    They will show some of their training. For example, they will show clips of their jumping from the helicopters. But there was also parades, military parades, and they will show off Saddam wearing this explosive around themselves with their masks on. ... I even heard it on Arabic BBC when they were saying, when they were describing them, not as Saddam's fighters -- they describe them as "the terrorists of Saddam" -- wearing explosives and looking like crocodiles, black crocodiles. I'm very surprised that you, in America, don't know about these things.

    To you, then, the likely suspect here is the government of Iraq and Saddam in all this terrorism. And yet we're looking the wrong way?

    I assure you, and I'm going to keep assuring you, that all these things are obvious. I don't know why you don't see it. When we were in Iraq, Saddam said all the time, even during the Gulf War, "We will take our revenge at the proper time." He kept telling the people, "Get ready for our revenge."

    We saw people getting trained to hijack airplanes, to put explosives. How could anybody not think this is not done by Saddam? Even the grouping, those groups were divided into five to six people in the group. How about the training on planes? Some of these groups were taken and trained to drive airplanes at the School of Aviation, northern of Baghdad ... .Everything coincides with what's happening.

    In addition to that, we heard in the news about meeting some of those hijackers with the Iraqi intelligence people in Prague, and even getting money to get trained on flying airplanes in the United States from the Iraqi intelligence.

    [Did you hear that some of those training at the camp were working for] Osama bin Laden?

    Nobody came and told us, "This is Al Qaeda people," but I know there were some Saudis, there were some Afghanis. There were some other people from other countries getting trained. They didn't tell us they were part of Al Qaeda; there's no such thing. ... In this camp, we know that those are Saudis, or Arabs are getting trained. Nobody will talk about Al Qaeda or any other organization.

    They're just people.


    Who clearly wanted to ... or were interested in doing terror, becoming terrorists?

    This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world. ...

    In the conversations that you had with the Ghost and with others, was it clear that they were involved in international terrorism -- that that's what the object here was, to send people out to do missions?

    They all say it. On January 1, 1996, we all met with Saddam personally. And he told us we have to take revenge from America. Our duty is to attack and hit American targets in the Gulf, in the Arab world, and all over the world. He said that openly. When you volunteer to become Saddam's fighter ... they will tell you the purpose of your volunteer[ing] is to attack American targets and American interests, not only in Iraq, not only in the Gulf, [but] all over the world, including Europe and America. That's how Saddam was able to attract those Arabs and Muslims who came to train, because that's exactly what they want to do.

    I just wanted to understand that in the camp itself, when you were sitting down with the trainers and they were describing what they were doing, did they say they were getting people ready for missions in Europe, in the United States?

    Those people who are in the camp ... do the training, and the rest will be conducted by the higher command. For example, after you finish the training, there will be groups of five to six people, sometimes four people, but most likely between five to six people, not exceeding six. Maximum number will be six people.

    Or they would be able, for example, to call for a specific group for a specific purpose to Baghdad. And nobody knows what this group is going to do. They will go to Baghdad. They will be briefed on what they're going to do, or trained about something specific. They will be sent, and we don't know where they go, and they come back to us. That's how it works. It's not like the trainers in the camp know what's going on. The operations are headed directly from the top.

    But when someone would hear about an incident, like there was an attack on the U.S. military in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia in 1995, or the Khobar barracks was blown up in Saudi Arabia, you didn't hear anyone say, "We took part in that," or, "That was one of ours," during this period of time.

    They don't talk specifics. The only specific thing they talked about in front of me is ... location coordinates during the Gulf War. But I hear them talking about operations in Saudi Arabia, operations other places, in Lebanon. But I never hear the details from them.

    Any evidence of biological or chemical warfare training?

    This type of training, if it happened, it occurred outside our camp...

    Can you explain what's on this map that you drew?

    The surrounding area around this camp is an area for fitness training. This is a Boeing 707, where they trained how to hijack it. And also they were trained how to resist or stop hijacking operation.

    Next to it, there's a double-decker bus in which they could do the same thing -- training, hijacking. And this is next to it, there is a village, built houses like a model of a village. They will train how to plant TNT and explosives. And very next to it, there's a single house, where they're trained how to enter it, or sabotage it or explode it.

    The railway track is where the train is. That's where they would have the same training for hijacking of a train. I would like to also tell you that this is a village where farmers would live. Those farmers, by the way, are employees by the Iraqi intelligence -- all of them. They look like normal families, but they are not as you think. They are employees of the Iraqi intelligence to put cover and protection to the base. ...

    What's the method that's taught, in terms of hijacking? It's not just taking on weapons, is it?

    Training will include the way they would sit in the plane, how they enter the plane, provided they got the right documents from the top levels of Iraqi Intelligence, such as passports. ... They will, for example, sit in two's, and they will assign who will sit to the right of the other guy, and who will sit to the other side. Two will sit in the front, two will sit in the back, and two will sit, for example, in the middle. They are trained to jump all at one time, and make a declaration that "We are going to take over the plane. And nobody [move], don't move, don't make any moves."

    They will probably use a pencil or a pen, or even sunglasses or prescription glasses. Somebody will hold the crew members of the plane from their chins upward tightly, and you will pull it on his neck. He will think you are going to slaughter him and kill him. Including in this training is terrorizing by making very, very loud noises and screaming all over the plane. That will take over the planned horror, and will terrorize the plane, including the crew.

    Why are you coming forward with this information?

    I'd like to tell the whole world, and American people, that I wish peace ... in this world. And I want to tell you that what you have seen is very little from what we have seen done to the Iraqi people by Saddam. If somebody use chemical weapons such as in Halabja on his own people, what do you think he would do to different parts of the world? I call for the world and the Iraqi people and every Muslim not to believe the propaganda by Saddam and bin Laden. Those are murderers, and they have nothing to do with Islam.

    Here in the United States, as a Muslim, I was never been harassed or treated badly, and nobody stopped me from my prayers, or stopped me from being a Muslim. So what Saddam is doing is exactly what's against Islam, against the world, and against peace of the world.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2001
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    Hmm Kerry sez

    "He is and has acted like a terrorist, and he has engaged in activities that are unacceptable."

    "The hammer, ultimately, will be the evidence that we uncover as we go further down the trail that shows his support for terrorism and begins to build the coalition even more strongly."

    December 11, 2001, Fox News's O'Reilly Factor

    "Terrorism is a global menace. It's a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein."

    December 14, 2001, CNN

    "He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel."

    October 9, 2002, Senate floor

    Can anyone change their position more than John Kerry? Saddam/Iraq was no threat, then he/it is, then not.

    And from the last debate:

    John Kerry: "Well, let me tell you straight up: I've never changed my mind about Iraq. I do believe Saddam Hussein was a threat. I always believed he was a threat."

    Ten minutes later:

    John Kerry: "And what's interesting is, [Iran is] a threat that has grown while the president has been preoccupied with Iraq, where there wasn't a threat."

  4. #4
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    Motorhead Quotes :There has been no admission that when the administration claimed Iraq was building a nuclear capability (that claim put forward by Secretary Powell at the U.N. in February 2003), it concealed the fact that leading Energy Department and State Department experts very much doubted Iraq was engaged in a nuclear weapons program.


    Key Findings

    Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and signifi cance of the pre-1991
    Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively
    decayed after that date.

    • Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest
    concerted efforts to restart the program.

    • Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up
    to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.
    Nevertheless, after 1991, Saddam did express his intent to retain the intellectual capital developed
    during the Iraqi Nuclear Program. Senior Iraqis—several of them from the Regime’s inner circle—told ISG
    they assumed Saddam would restart a nuclear program once UN sanctions ended.

    • Saddam indicated that he would develop the weapons necessary to counter any Iranian threat.
    Initially, Saddam chose to conceal his nuclear program in its entirety, as he did with Iraq’s BW program.
    Aggressive UN inspections after Desert Storm forced Saddam to admit the existence of the program
    and destroy or surrender components of the program.
    In the wake of Desert Storm, Iraq took steps to conceal key elements of its program and to preserve
    what it could of the professional capabilities of its nuclear scientifi c community.

    • Baghdad undertook a variety of measures to conceal key elements of its nuclear program from successive
    UN inspectors, including specifi c direction by Saddam Husayn to hide and preserve documentation associated
    with Iraq’s nuclear program.

    • ISG, for example, uncovered two specifi c instances in which scientists involved in uranium enrichment kept
    documents and technology. Although apparently acting on their own, they did so with the belief and anticipation
    of resuming uranium enrichment efforts in the future.

    • Starting around 1992, in a bid to retain the intellectual core of the former weapons program, Baghdad
    transferred many nuclear scientists to related jobs in the Military Industrial Commission (MIC). The work
    undertaken by these scientists at the MIC helped them maintain their weapons knowledge base.
    As with other WMD areas, Saddam’s ambitions in the nuclear area were secondary to his prime objective
    of ending UN sanctions.

    • Iraq, especially after the defection of Husayn Kamil in 1995, sought to persuade the IAEA that Iraq had met
    the UN’s disarmament requirements so sanctions would be lifted.
    ISG found a limited number of post-1995 activities that would have aided the reconstitution of the
    nuclear weapons program once sanctions were lifted.

    • The activities of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission sustained some talent and limited research with potential
    relevance to a reconstituted nuclear program.

  5. #5
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    Motorhead Quotes : Kerry, unlike Bush, does not accept the notion that a policy of "going it alone" is the standard by which courage is to be judged. And unlike George Bush and Dick Cheney, he is most unlikely to seek the stifling of dissent. The election of Kerry and Edwards would signify that the American people reject government by deception.

    Comfort to the enemy in my humble opinion.

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    This pretty much sums it up

    Misreporting the Duelfer report

    "Gotcha, Mr. President." This was the consensus of the headlines from nearly every daily newspaper yesterday responding to the CIA's Iraq Survey Group report on Iraq's prewar weapons programs. Yes, the report found no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. It also concluded that whatever illicit weapons Saddam Hussein did possess were most likely destroyed just after the 1991 Gulf War in accordance with U.N. sanctions. But were these the findings that the report highlighted in the first line of its Key Findings summary? No. "Saddam [Hussein] so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone," the summary begins. "He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted."

    This hardly sounds as if the Iraq Survey Group, headed by Charles A. Duelfer, thought Saddam was cooperating with the international community. The fact is that U.N. sanctions did have a debilitating effect on Iraq and Saddam's weapons programs. But as the report notes, "Saddam's primary goal from 1991 to 2003 was to have UN sanctions lifted, while maintaining the security of the Regime. He sought to balance the need to cooperate with the UN inspections — to gain support for lifting the sanctions — with his intention to preserve Iraq's intellectual capital for WMD with a minimum of foreign intrusiveness and loss of face." International pressure to lift the sanctions led to the establishment of the Oil for Food program, which Saddam immediately saw "could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development."
    Saddam focused his attention on three members of the Security Council — France, China and Russia — by bribing government officials and business executives with billions of dollars skimmed from Oil for Food. "At a minimum," the report says, "Saddam wanted to divide the five permanent members [of the Security Council] and foment international public support of Iraq at the UN and throughout the world by a savvy public relations campaign and an extensive diplomatic effort." Indeed, Saddam's ploy almost worked: "By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support," the report said.
    Regrettably, in an election year, the real lessons from Saddam's decade of duplicity are lost beneath a pile of political motivations and personal interests. While the United Nations turned a blind eye, Saddam cheated and committed mass murder in an effort to achieve his goals. To suggest that "containment" could have been sustained without dire results verges on the delusional. There is a very pertinent lesson in the Duelfer report; too bad no one told the headline writers.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2001
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    It's In The Bag

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Buffalo N.Y.
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    What the majority of the liberal Democrats aren't understanding or saying, is that militarily speaking the move was a tactical one, one which Kerry also agreed with but now complains about.
    Hindsight is an instrument of a faultering party.

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