18 Apr

Saddam’s Ties to Al Queda Debunked?

                                       

When did the question of Saddam’s Ties to Al Queda become debunked?  Politicians on the left and right have all kinds of buzzwords and talking points on the matter, but what’s the difference between “ties,” “a relationship,” “a collaborative operational relationship,” “operational ties,” “a cooperational relationship,” “an alliance,” an “agreement”?  What does it all mean?

As far as I can tell, the debunking of the idea that Saddam and Al Queda would ever work together to attack the United States stems first from the 911 Commission report which said,

"According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.76"

“Collaborative Operational Relationship” seems to be the words that started the idea that Saddam and Al Queda would never work together to attack the US, but those three words are cherry-picked from the comment as a whole-a comment that hinges on the precursory words, “we have seen no evidence.”  These are repeated again in the very next sentence, “Nor have we seen evidence….”

At first glance it sounds like the commission members are saying that no evidence exists, but that’s not it at all as some of the 911 Commission members later elaborated.

“John Lehman, a 9/11 commissioner, spoke to The Weekly Standard at the time the report was released."There may well be–and probably will be–additional intelligence coming in from interrogations and from analysis of captured records and so forth which will fill out the intelligence picture. This is not phrased as–nor meant to be–the definitive word on Iraqi Intelligence activities."”

Upon seeing just a glimpse of the 18% of the millions of documents and thousands of hours of tapes captured from Saddam’s regime, 911 Commission member, Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) said,

"This is a very significant set of facts," former 9/11 commissioner, Mr. Kerry said yesterday. "I personally and strongly believe you don’t have to prove that Iraq was collaborating against Osama bin Laden on the September 11 attacks to prove he was an enemy and that he would collaborate with people who would do our country harm. This presents facts should not be used to tie Saddam to attacks on September 11. It does tie him into a circle that meant to damage the United States."

Other 911 Commission members have spoken out as well and made clear that the lack of evidence cited in their report was a reference to a lack of evidence gathered.  That word, “gathered” come directly from the CIA reports and other intelligence agency reports regarding Saddam’s Ties upon which the 911 Commission was using to make its assessments.

President’s Daily Brief (PDB)

  • Sept, 21, 2001
  • Just 10 days after the 911 attacks this summary assessment clearly suffered from lack of intelligence gathering and analysis since at the time it still wasn’t 100% clear that Al Queda was behind the 911 attacks.

NESA Report on Iraq’s Ties to Terrorism (terrorism in general/not specific to Al Queda). 

  • This was basically a preliminary draft of the CIA’s “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002” and “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2003” reports.
  • October 2001
  • Formed no conclusions
  • lack of evidence gathered

"Iraq and al-Qa’ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship"

  • 6/12/02
  • Formed no conclusions
  • specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered

“Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002”

  • 9/18/02
  • Formed no conclusions
  • specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered

Letter from DCI Tenet, head of the CIA, to Sen. Bob Graham, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee

  • 10/7/02
  • Formed no conclusions, simply reiterated closed door testimony from CIA officials to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the more time passes, the more likely it is that Saddam would make WMD and use Al Queda to covertly and deniably attack the United States
  • Lists several examples of Saddam’s support for terrorism, Al Queda, and its proxy terror affiliates

“Report of the Joint Inquiry Into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001-By the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence  and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence”

  • December 2002
  • Reiterated the comments from the 9/21/01 PDB and the 10/7/02 Tenet Letter
  • Added more reports of possible Iraqi involvement in the 911 attacks
  • Cited a lack of evidence gathered as a problem that prevented forming any conclusions

“Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2003”

  • January 2003
  • This was basically a rehash of the 2002 version with a little new info since the CIA finally got a spy back into Iraq just a few weeks prior to its release
  • Formed no conclusions
  • specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered

“Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Investigation Into Pre-War Intelligence on Iraq (Phase I report)”

  • July 7, 2004
  • confirmed the various reports of ties between Saddam’s regime and Al Queda as presented in other reports (including confirmation of most of the comments made by Feith and his office), and repeatedly stated that the Bush Administration’s claims were “reasonable” as well as often accurate reflections of the intelligence reporting at the time.
  • “Due to the limited amount and questionable quality of reporting on the leadership intentions of Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Ladin, the CIA was unable to make conclusive assessments in Iraqi Support for Terrorism regarding Iraq’s relationship with al-Qaida. The CIA stated in the Scope Note: ‘Our knowledge of Iraq’s ties to terrorism is evolving DELETED. . . . ‘”

“911 Commission Final Report”

  • July 22, 2004
  • Formed no conclusions regarding regime ties to Al Queda
  • members later specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered and asked that the question of regime ties to Al Queda be examined further-not dismissed or otherwise closed.

“Iraqi Perspective Project Report” (DoD)

  • March 2006
  • Confirmed many of the previously reported ties between the regime and Al Queda
  • Found many more examples of ties and further demonstrated that there was in fact a relationship between the two, that it was dangerous, and that it was growing faster than expected
  • Cited a lack of intelligence gathered before the war, and an even larger, more deliberate, and more unexplained refusal to investigate the relationship after the invasion given the wealth of captured intelligence and detained regime members.

“REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE ON POSTWAR FINDINGS ABOUT IRAQ’S WMD PROGRAMS AND LINKS TO TERRORISM AND HOW THEY COMPARE WITH PREWAR ASSESSMENTS (Phase II report)”

  • September 9, 2006
  • Cited the post-war refusal of any and all intelligence agencies to investigate the depth and threat of the relationship between Saddam’s regime and Al Queda
  • Used the refusal of intelligence agencies to investigate pre-war intelligence and the causes for the lack thereof, the Senate Intelligence Committee openly, freely, and admittedly took it upon itself to act as an intelligence agency and form an intelligence assessment on its own.
  • (U) The CIA has not published a “fully researched, coordinated and approved position” on the postwar reporting on the former regime’s links to al-Qa’ida, but has published such a paper on the postwar reporting on Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi and the former Iraqi regime. The CIA told the Committee that regarding Iraq’s links to terrorism, “the research the Counterterrorist Center has done on this issue has called into question some of the reports of contacts and training . . . revealed other contacts of which we were unaware, and shed new light on some contacts that appeared in prewar reporting. On balance, this research suggests that the prewar judgment remains valid.“
    2004 SSCI Report Page 62
     (Recall that previous investigations had determined that pre-war judgments as presented by the Bush Administration were “accurate” and “reasonable.”)

There are some consistencies in all these investigations and their reports.

They all refuse to form a conclusion

They all say there was a relationship, but the depth of it is debated inside the intelligence community

They all say the matter should be looked into rather than dismissed, closed, or perpetuated as a resolved point of discussion.

With all that consistency in mind, why hasn’t Congress demanded an investigation into the relationship?  This relationship is core to the strategy and approach in both of the wars that America has been fighting for years now:

A war in Iraq where Saddam once ruled,

and a war in Afghanistan, where Osama Bin Laden ruled.

Republicans seem afraid to ask that simple, vital question, and Democrats seem all too eager to ignore the only 3 consistencies between all of the previous investigations that have been conducted so to date.  Members of Congress routinely demand investigations into anything and everything on Capitol Hill, so, why not examine the depth of the relationship between America’s enemies; enemies who have killed their constituents, and seek right now to kill even more?  One would think that’s a little more important than raising the minimum wage for tuna fishermen in American Samoa, but apparently not.  In direct contradiction to every investigation so far (both pre-war and post-war) the Democrats who control Congress seem even more afraid than Republicans to finally conclude this matter.  Instead, they’ve chosen to act in denial of not one, not two, not three, but in denial of every single investigation so far that said there was a lack of evidence, then a lack of analysis, and that the question remains open-not closed.  Speaker Pelosi’s mind is closed-lest some CIA analyst point out that everything she’s been feeding her lobbyists, political action committees, and other supporters has been based on nothing but political pandering.

We the American people must demand that an investigation into the depth of the relationship between Saddam’s regime and Bin Laden’s terrorist network be conducted and conclusions that should have been made before the war finally be made.  At a time of war with the remnants of both enemies, how can responsible legislators and a dedicated intelligence community continue to refuse to investigate this?  The answer is simple, the legislators who deny the 3 commonalities listed earlier and who dismiss the relationship are simply not responsible legislators.

The absolute denial of politicians who continue to falsely claim that there was no relationship at all between Al Queda and Saddam’s regime are either inept beyond acceptability if they have not read the reports listed above, or they are flat out liars if they have read those reports and are dismissing the nature of those who seek to kill Americans; our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Politicians who claim the war in Iraq is “separate from the war on terror” (where every single soldier and Marine killed or wounded since 5/1/03 has been killed in an attack using terrorist tactics) are either completely uninformed by the US military (ignoring or turning down military briefings and intelligence reports), or they are acting in direct and deliberate misrepresentation of the conduct of this war for little more than penciled in circles on ballots every other year.

Additionally, an intelligence community that continues to take a lackadaisical approach to the matter is not properly dedicated at all levels, but rather as politicized and ideologically divided as Congress.  The events of 911, the intelligence failures of the Iraq War, the surprise collapse of the Soviet Union, high level spies infiltrating the CIA and FBI, and so much more all serve as examples to the American people of an intelligence community packed with people who are more concerned about saying the politically correct thing in the political capital of the world than they are about forming a conclusion on who the enemy of the United States is and has been.

Saddam is dead.  He was a criminal.  He was a mass murderer.  He was a tyrant, and he was a liar.  Why take his word?  Americans spend $40 billion to $100billion a year for 16 different intelligence agencies, and yet rather than get a conclusion based on the intelligence collection and analysis from those any of those 15 agencies, the American people are told to believe Saddam because they are afraid of presenting unpleasant conclusions on a matter that is at least 4 yrs old, and more accurately 15years old.

That’s not acceptable.  America didn’t pay $160 billion dollars to get told just take Saddam’s word for it.  It’s time to conduct a real investigation, and a form a real conclusion-a conclusion from intelligence agencies not political committees acting as intelligence agencies.

This entry was posted in Iraq/Al-Qaeda Connection. Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 at 9:00 pm
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40 Responses to Saddam’s Ties to Al Queda Debunked?

  1. THURS APR 19 Those Dirty Lyin’ Dems, Part ???

    Almost Perfect!

    ReplyReply
  2. James says: 2

    Several points here:

    1.) “Politicians who claim the war in Iraq is “separate from the war on terror” (where every single soldier and Marine killed or wounded since 5/1/03 has been killed in an attack using terrorist tactics) are either completely uninformed by the US military (ignoring or turning down military briefings and intelligence reports), or they are acting in direct and deliberate misrepresentation of the conduct of this war for little more than penciled in circles on ballots every other year.”

    Technically the soliders have been killed or wounded by insurgent tactics; being in a partisan war does not necessarily mean that all those partisans are terrorists. It’s a semantical difference but an important one.

    2.) Intelligence is and never has been a black and white game where we can reach hard conclusions, and a simple yes and no answer. That’s not the way intelligence works, but if there is no evidence of such a collabration after four years of owning Iraq, the chances are slim that a smoking gun will be found to “prove” one way or the other this relationship.

    3.) We don’t just take Saddam’s word for it, he was interrorgated throughly by the best in the world, and his statements were cross-checked. But why would he lie? Just saying he is a liar or hates the US is not a good enough reason to justify the belief that he would lie. Saddam is the kind of man who needs to gain something by his lies, and well he didn’t really gain anything by lying about this after he was captured, facing trial, and eventual death.

    4.) The belief that Saddam and Al Qaeda worked together stems from one, rather misguided, belief; that Saddam sought revenge against the US for Gulf War I. Contrary to this misnomer Saddam had always stated in public and private that he was willing to cut a deal with the US. His beef wasn’t with the US but with regional actors. Deterrence worked against Saddam in the first Gulf War and it, and it probably worked during the 1990s to the extent that he did not seek open collaboration with terrorist organizations to attack the US. If that were the case why didn’t he utilize groups more under his control (MeK, Hamas, etc.)?

    5.) If you can think of a good reason why Saddam wanted to attack the US (besides the usual boring claptrap that he was an enemy and must obviously hate the US), then we can go back and re-examine the intelligence and seek links between Saddam and al qaeda.

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  3. Scott Malensek says: 3

    1) Semantics…are the insurgents who kill Americans part of terrorist groups or partisans seeking political representation equal of others with the same nationality? If they’re seeking greater political representation, and/or fighting on behalf of other nations or and/or if they’re killing in the name of the religion of peace, then their not partisan freedom fighters or even partisan nationals-they’re terrorists seeking demands through the use of terror tactics. I submit that they’re not killing Americans in the name of a free Iraq or an Iraq where their political will is equally represented with the average peaceful Iraqi’s. Nope. They’re terrorists, and dismissing them as anything else is to sympathize with them.

    2) There’s lots of smoking guns of direct and indirect ties, and those are easy to find despite the pure and simple FACT that no intelligence organization conducted a conclusive pre-war or post-war investigation into the depth of that relationship. Political groups have, and they’ve reached (shockingly) conclusions that were the same as their political objectives. But look around, re-read the article, and one will find that not a single INTELLIGENCE organization has made any conclusions regarding the depth of the relationship.

    3) Why take Saddam’s word for it? The only conclusions made regarding regime ties were made by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s staffers, and rather than cite CIA interrogation debriefs of Saddam, or DIA debriefs, or Iraqi intelligence debriefs of him and other regime members, the SSCI staffer chose out of that long list of evidence…to use the FBI interrogation transcript and only portions. Of all the interrogations Saddam underwent, the FBI’s is the only one where he would have had to have had a lawyer, and since this was at a time when he was on trial for his life, hoping the insurgency would drive the US from Iraq, and thus bring about a path to his release…I find it suspect at best. It’s also completely out of pure denial that one would believe the claims of a man who was on trial for his life…where he claimed he was innocent of anything and everything. Now, if we’re to say he had nothing to gain by lying and might as well have told the truth, then why did he lie about all the crimes he committed by claiming he was innocent of those as well…unless, he was just another “innocent man on death row.” Nah, I don’t believe his word let alone his word in the context it was cherry picked.

    4) Saddam always said he was still at war with the US, and that the so-called Gulf War I had never ended-it was just the start of the mother of all battles (to use his own words). Only Americans would be so arrogant as to pretend that there was no war waged by the US on Iraq from 91-03. Do people really believe he got bombed daily, had major air campaigns launched upon him every 6 months or less, and was squeezed in by a blockade, and in the face of all that this arrogant dictator just sorta took it with no hard feelings? Yeah, right.
    “Saddam the forgiving”

    5) One good reason: he was at war with us. Americans weren’t as a population, but the US military was, the UN was, he was, and as a result or side effect of this Ignored War (often described in PC terms as “containment”), Bin Laden decided to start killing Americans instead of just being another po’d Middle Easterner who was killing everyone and anyone BUT Americans.

    Iraq wanted to use Al Queda
    Al Queda wanted to use Iraq

    That’s been well proven.

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  4. James says: 4

    “Semantics…are the insurgents who kill Americans part of terrorist groups or partisans seeking political representation equal of others with the same nationality? If they’re seeking greater political representation, and/or fighting on behalf of other nations or and/or if they’re killing in the name of the religion of peace, then their not partisan freedom fighters or even partisan nationals-they’re terrorists seeking demands through the use of terror tactics. I submit that they’re not killing Americans in the name of a free Iraq or an Iraq where their political will is equally represented with the average peaceful Iraqi’s. Nope. They’re terrorists, and dismissing them as anything else is to sympathize with them.”

    I would say they are fighting to rid their homeland of invaders, and give a group without a poltical voice and one in danger of being killed through genocide (Sunnis) representation through violence.

    2.”There’s lots of smoking guns of direct and indirect ties, and those are easy to find despite the pure and simple FACT that no intelligence organization conducted a conclusive pre-war or post-war investigation into the depth of that relationship. Political groups have, and they’ve reached (shockingly) conclusions that were the same as their political objectives. But look around, re-read the article, and one will find that not a single INTELLIGENCE organization has made any conclusions regarding the depth of the relationship.”

    A “conclusive” pre-war investigation could never be done becasue we were lacking cooperation from both Iraq and al Qaeda…both entities weren’t excatly on speaking terms with the US. INTELLIGENCE Organizations by and large don’t make conclusions…that’s up to the policy makers, all an INTELLIGENCE agency does is provide INTELLIGENCE, ideally without bias or prejuidce (this is what would fall under conclusions). We can make predictions based on facts we have gathered, but predictions can be wrong,a nd are not the same thing as conclusions.

    3)” Why take Saddam’s word for it? The only conclusions made regarding regime ties were made by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s staffers, and rather than cite CIA interrogation debriefs of Saddam, or DIA debriefs, or Iraqi intelligence debriefs of him and other regime members, the SSCI staffer chose out of that long list of evidence…to use the FBI interrogation transcript and only portions. Of all the interrogations Saddam underwent, the FBI’s is the only one where he would have had to have had a lawyer, and since this was at a time when he was on trial for his life, hoping the insurgency would drive the US from Iraq, and thus bring about a path to his release…I find it suspect at best. It’s also completely out of pure denial that one would believe the claims of a man who was on trial for his life…where he claimed he was innocent of anything and everything. Now, if we’re to say he had nothing to gain by lying and might as well have told the truth, then why did he lie about all the crimes he committed by claiming he was innocent of those as well…unless, he was just another “innocent man on death row.” Nah, I don’t believe his word let alone his word in the context it was cherry picked”

    Saddam never said he was innocent of everything and anything (you should read his trial transcripts), but there wasn’t any evidence to contradict what he was saying either. You can scream to the high heavens that Saddam is a liar and cannot be trusted, but you should also be prepared to find the evidence that proves he lied.

    3.) “Saddam always said he was still at war with the US, and that the so-called Gulf War I had never ended-it was just the start of the mother of all battles (to use his own words). Only Americans would be so arrogant as to pretend that there was no war waged by the US on Iraq from 91-03. Do people really believe he got bombed daily, had major air campaigns launched upon him every 6 months or less, and was squeezed in by a blockade, and in the face of all that this arrogant dictator just sorta took it with no hard feelings? Yeah, right. “Saddam the forgiving”

    Saddam also wrote bad novels and isolated himself for years at a time. His “mother of all wars” assertions was just propaganda so his people would blame the US for their misery instead of Iraq. As for the “blockade” many conservatives claim it was full of swiss cheese and Saddam was getting rich off the deal; so which was it, he was getting squeezed or rich?

    5) One good reason: he was at war with us. Americans weren’t as a population, but the US military was, the UN was, he was, and as a result or side effect of this Ignored War (often described in PC terms as “containment”), Bin Laden decided to start killing Americans instead of just being another po’d Middle Easterner who was killing everyone and anyone BUT Americans.”

    Funny I don’t recall any offensive actions the Iraqi Army undertook between the years 1991-2003, I don’t recall the Iraqi Air Force bombing US bases in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, I only recall defensive actions when US planes violated Iraqi airspace. Strange way for him to conduct a war. As for bin Laden, it’s well known why he targeted Americans and did so without any prodding from Saddam (funny how he still exhorts jihad long after his supposed benefactor is dead). No the two entities are seperate, and the sooner yo come to this realiztion maybe the sooner we can get back to winning the GWOT.

    “Iraq wanted to use Al Queda
    Al Queda wanted to use Iraq

    That’s been well proven.”

    Then why are we having this discussion? Proved by whom; Stephen Hayes, Doug Feith, Laurie Mylroie?

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  5. Curt says: 5

    Reading through your drivel was bad enough until I got to this part:

    I only recall defensive actions when US planes violated Iraqi airspace.

    Really? You seem to have forgotten the cease fire Saddam agreed to in which no fly zones were established. If he didn’t want them he should not have agreed to the cease fire and then we would have taken him out in 1992 instead of 2003.

    Your excuses for terrorists and murderers is quite pathetic but typical of a liberal moral-relativist.

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  6. Scott Malensek says: 6

    “I would say they are fighting to rid their homeland of invaders, and give a group without a poltical voice and one in danger of being killed through genocide (Sunnis) representation through violence.”

    They have a political voice in their elected Parliamentary representatives and their locally elected representatives who deal with US forces everyday. By every standard of determining if someone is a terrorist or a freedom fighter seeking equal political representation, they are terrorists.

    2. “A “conclusive” pre-war investigation could never be done becasue we were lacking cooperation from both Iraq and al Qaeda…both entities weren’t excatly on speaking terms with the US. INTELLIGENCE Organizations by and large don’t make conclusions…that’s up to the policy makers, all an INTELLIGENCE agency does is provide INTELLIGENCE, ideally without bias or prejuidce (this is what would fall under conclusions). We can make predictions based on facts we have gathered, but predictions can be wrong,a nd are not the same thing as conclusions.”

    CIA formed conclusive opinions about Cuba during the missile crisis, and about the Soviet Union for 4 decades all while being on the same level of speaking terms. Yes, intelligence is not black and white, and it is not policy, but it is a factual reporting based on likelihoods. The likelihood of Saddam changing his spots after 1998 is minimal at best, while the likelihood of him acting as he had in the 8 yrs previous (denying while hiding and supporting/harboring terrorists of all sorts) IS likely.

    3) “Saddam never said he was innocent of everything and anything (you should read his trial transcripts), but there wasn’t any evidence to contradict what he was saying either. You can scream to the high heavens that Saddam is a liar and cannot be trusted, but you should also be prepared to find the evidence that proves he lied.”

    Sorry, I find death row confession highly suspect, and I find sudden confession from pathological liars even more suspect. Lastly, I find statements from dictators on trial for their lives less than believable. Trust Saddam’s word if you want, but imagine the contrast….many people believe President Bush is a liar, a killer, and should be impeached. Were he impeached, if he said, “no we really believed Iraq was full of WMD and had close ties to Al Queda.” Would you believe him then?

    3.) “Saddam also wrote bad novels and isolated himself for years at a time. His “mother of all wars” assertions was just propaganda so his people would blame the US for their misery instead of Iraq. As for the “blockade” many conservatives claim it was full of swiss cheese and Saddam was getting rich off the deal; so which was it, he was getting squeezed or rich?”

    The CIA and UN say he was getting rich. Neocons only parrot and cite the reports. Democrats refuse to read the intelligence assessments, ignore the briefings (don’t even attend), and when confronted with facts by the UN or generals in the field, they openly declare that they refuse to believe them because the statements will not fit their political agenda. Having said that, it’s important to remember that what Saddam made via oil-for-food was a fraction of what he made without the sanctions. He got about $12-16 billion from the UN program over 4yrs, but he was bringing in $50-75 billion before Operation Desert Storm

    5) “Funny I don’t recall any offensive actions the Iraqi Army undertook between the years 1991-2003, I don’t recall the Iraqi Air Force bombing US bases in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, I only recall defensive actions when US planes violated Iraqi airspace. Strange way for him to conduct a war. As for bin Laden, it’s well known why he targeted Americans and did so without any prodding from Saddam (funny how he still exhorts jihad long after his supposed benefactor is dead). No the two entities are seperate, and the sooner yo come to this realiztion maybe the sooner we can get back to winning the GWOT.”

    Yes, he targeted Americans (per 2/98 fatwa)
    1) Because the US was attacking Iraq
    2) Because the US had forces in Saudi which were there to attack Iraq
    3) Because of the US led sanctions on Iraq
    4) Because of US support for Israel (amazing since the peace process was well underway at the time)

    You’re mistaken if you think that I’m trying to say Saddam loved UBL and UBL loved Saddam and they were in complete coordination. I am not. I am saying (again) that the US war on Saddam in the 1990’s had the collateral effect of driving UBL from just ranting about Americans to going to war with Americans, and the reasons for that were the US/UN war on Iraq (at a time when this ignored war was sanctioned by the UN btw).

    Perhaps you’d like a list of Iraqi offensive actions against the US from 1991-2003; the “containment”/Ignored War period? I’ll be MORE than happy to provide it.

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  7. James says: 7

    Why don’t you make an argument, instead of reducing to ad hominem attacks?

    Anyway you’re point about the “cease-fire” agreement and no-fly zones is easily refuted.

    1.) The Safwan Accord was an informal cease-fire between the US and Iraqi military forces that arranged for such things as the exchange of prisoners, setting boundary lines etc. It was never written down and never codified.

    2.) The subsequent UN Security Council Resolutions formed the formal, legally binding basis for a cease-fire, but did not include the enforcement of no-fly zones.

    3.) The no-fly zones were conducted tri-laterally (and later bi-laterally after France pulled out) by the US, France, and Great Britain. It was never an issue taken up by the Security Council, and never one the Iraqi regime agreed to. The excuse given for the no-fly zones was to enforce a non-binding SC resolution against Iraq

    4.) I am not a liberal and I don’t think I excuse murder or terrorism. You assume too much and your use of such personal attack are beneath you, and could betray your lack of a clear argument.

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  8. James says: 8

    “They have a political voice in their elected Parliamentary representatives and their locally elected representatives who deal with US forces everyday. By every standard of determining if someone is a terrorist or a freedom fighter seeking equal political representation, they are terrorists.”

    Obviously the Sunnis don’t agree with your assessment. An insurgency thrives off support of the local population. The Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, had stated several years ago the insurgency itself numbered several hundred thousand (including part-timers) with the nominal support of over 1.2 million Sunnis. There is no reason to believe this number has decreased either. Obviously a sizeable number of Sunnis believe that their voice is still not being heard through the political process.

    “CIA formed conclusive opinions about Cuba during the missile crisis, and about the Soviet Union for 4 decades all while being on the same level of speaking terms. Yes, intelligence is not black and white, and it is not policy, but it is a factual reporting based on likelihoods. The likelihood of Saddam changing his spots after 1998 is minimal at best, while the likelihood of him acting as he had in the 8 yrs previous (denying while hiding and supporting/harboring terrorists of all sorts) IS likely.”

    The CIA provided evidence of Soviet behavior but policy makers shaped it to fit their policies. Also I don’t really recall Saddam harboring terrorists that he denied being there…Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas both lived openly in Baghdad; and incidentally both were not wanted by the US government.

    “Sorry, I find death row confession highly suspect, and I find sudden confession from pathological liars even more suspect. Lastly, I find statements from dictators on trial for their lives less than believable. Trust Saddam’s word if you want, but imagine the contrast….many people believe President Bush is a liar, a killer, and should be impeached. Were he impeached, if he said, “no we really believed Iraq was full of WMD and had close ties to Al Queda.” Would you believe him then?”

    Okay why would Tariq Aziz lie then? He is not on trial for anything, as far as I know, and his main patron and friend Saddam is now dead, so he has no reason to fear reprisals and every reason to please the US. So why does he stick by his story…a simple grant of immunity should have made him sing like a jaybird to all the evil deeds of Saddam.

    “The CIA and UN say he was getting rich. Neocons only parrot and cite the reports. Democrats refuse to read the intelligence assessments, ignore the briefings (don’t even attend), and when confronted with facts by the UN or generals in the field, they openly declare that they refuse to believe them because the statements will not fit their political agenda. Having said that, it’s important to remember that what Saddam made via oil-for-food was a fraction of what he made without the sanctions. He got about $12-16 billion from the UN program over 4yrs, but he was bringing in $50-75 billion before Operation Desert Storm”

    It seems like you are still trying to have it both ways here. Either the sanctions were effective in keeping Saddam contained in his box or they were ineffective.

    “Yes, he targeted Americans (per 2/98 fatwa)
    1) Because the US was attacking Iraq
    2) Because the US had forces in Saudi which were there to attack Iraq
    3) Because of the US led sanctions on Iraq
    4) Because of US support for Israel (amazing since the peace process was well underway at the time)”

    Well that was Osama bin Laden’s fatwa not Saddam Hussein’s. Osama may have disliked Saddam personally but he was still an Arab Moslem who saw it his duty to defend other Moslem Arabs when they were (perceived) to be under attack or occupation by non-Moslems. Osama’s support for the Iraqi people is not indicative, nor is it compelling evidence, of collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq.

    “You’re mistaken if you think that I’m trying to say Saddam loved UBL and UBL loved Saddam and they were in complete coordination. I am not. I am saying (again) that the US war on Saddam in the 1990’s had the collateral effect of driving UBL from just ranting about Americans to going to war with Americans, and the reasons for that were the US/UN war on Iraq (at a time when this ignored war was sanctioned by the UN btw).”

    Well it seems just as likely that Osama came to this conclusion on his own, without help from Iraq. He may have seen it as a good recruiting tool as well; the people of Saudi Arabia weren’t really suffering under US “occupation” but the Iraqi people? Boy howdy Osama could sell that real easy. Saddam though cannot be held responsible for the actions of independent actors who initiate strikes against America on their own volition.

    “Perhaps you’d like a list of Iraqi offensive actions against the US from 1991-2003; the “containment”/Ignored War period? I’ll be MORE than happy to provide it.”

    Please provide it, but keep in mind that violations of the no-fly zones or shooting at American aircraft in Iraqi airspace would not count as offensive actions seeing as they were defensive in nature and the Iraqi regime did not recognize the no-fly zones as legitimate.

    I”t’s been well proven by independent investigations via bi-partisan commissions, by independent international intelligence groups, and even by the bi-partisan political reports. What’s been proven and repeated in every single case, is that Iraq would work with Al Queda if Iraq was at war with the US, and vice versa. The problem is that for political reasons people ignored the fact in Saddam’s eyes, in the eyes of the Middle East, in the eyes of the word, and in the eyes of UBL, the US was at war with Iraq from 3/91-3/03.”

    Now the qualifications come in; Iraq would use terrorism ONLY if the regime was threatened, but not otherwise. That is what the intelligence organizations said before the war and what they affirmed after the war. Given the evidence on hand I would say their assessment was correct.

    “Btw, I’m REALLY enjoying this conversation.
    Hope you are as well ;-)”

    Hopefully you are not being sarcastic, as I am enjoying the conversation as well.

    ReplyReply
  9. Scott Malensek says: 9

    “Anyway you’re point about the “cease-fire” agreement and no-fly zones is easily refuted.

    1.) The Safwan Accord was an informal cease-fire between the US and Iraqi military forces that arranged for such things as the exchange of prisoners, setting boundary lines etc. It was never written down and never codified.

    2.) The subsequent UN Security Council Resolutions formed the formal, legally binding basis for a cease-fire, but did not include the enforcement of no-fly zones.

    3.) The no-fly zones were conducted tri-laterally (and later bi-laterally after France pulled out) by the US, France, and Great Britain. It was never an issue taken up by the Security Council, and never one the Iraqi regime agreed to. The excuse given for the no-fly zones was to enforce a non-binding SC resolution against Iraq

    4.) I am not a liberal and I don’t think I excuse murder or terrorism. You assume too much and your use of such personal attack are beneath you, and could betray your lack of a clear argument.”

    Ok, I’ll seek to address these in order:

    1) The Safwan accord was informal at the end of February 1991, BUT on March 2, 1991, the UN passed resolution 686 which ordered the cessation of hostilities, Iraq accepted UN686 the next day, and in April (I think the 4th) the UN passed 687/Iraq accepted 687 which detailed the terms of the ceasefire and specifically stated that earlier resolutions-including the authorization of force-were still in effect until the terms of 687 were met. That’s why President Bush and the Coalition invaded under 687 and 678 rather than 1441.

    2) The no-fly-zones (and I’d enjoy debating those) were perfectly legal as every UN re Iraq resolution subsequent to 678 which authorized the use of force included the caveat that previous resolutions regarding Iraq were still recognized and in effect.

    3) You’re correct on who carried out the no-fly-zones, but missing the point completely. I’ll reiterate it again later…

    4) Liberal, Democrat, Independent, I don’t care. If one describes terrorists using terror as freedom fighters etc., then they are doing so incorrectly and either through a sense of denial, gross ignorance, or to further a political objective based on that incorrect description. They are not partisans seeking equal representation in a govt. They are terrorists by every standard of a terrorist.

    “Obviously the Sunnis don’t agree with your assessment. An insurgency thrives off support of the local population. The Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, had stated several years ago the insurgency itself numbered several hundred thousand (including part-timers) with the nominal support of over 1.2 million Sunnis. There is no reason to believe this number has decreased either. Obviously a sizeable number of Sunnis believe that their voice is still not being heard through the political process.”

    Most numbers have put the insurgency in the 10-30,000 range up until 2006 when it almost doubled. Support of community is important, but it doesn’t have to be happy support. It can be terrorized fear-based support. It’s not like the Taliban or NAZIs or Stalin held power because people loved them (particularly in conquered areas). People helped or were quiet because they feared them. I agree there’s large support for the insurgency, but 1/26th of the nation (the 1.2million Sunnis you describe) is hardly largescale cooperation. Nope. Ask yourself what a terrorist is, and you’ll see that the insurgents are terrorists.

    “The CIA provided evidence of Soviet behavior but policy makers shaped it to fit their policies. Also I don’t really recall Saddam harboring terrorists that he denied being there…Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas both lived openly in Baghdad; and incidentally both were not wanted by the US government.”

    Um, yes, both were wanted by the US. Both had killed Americans. Both were harbored by Saddam (as were thousands of others but Saddam denied that, and it was only when US forces entered that these terrorists and terrorist training camps were seen clearly). As for policy makers shifting the evidence, that’s not true either. HOWEVER, the facts and statements made by the administration have been grossly distorted by political opponents for their own political aims.

    “Okay why would Tariq Aziz lie then? He is not on trial for anything, as far as I know, and his main patron and friend Saddam is now dead, so he has no reason to fear reprisals and every reason to please the US. So why does he stick by his story…a simple grant of immunity should have made him sing like a jaybird to all the evil deeds of Saddam.”

    He’d lie because if he popped up and said, “Yeah, I know that Zawahiri guy. We paid him to drive the US from Somalia, to attack Americans, to bomb US embassies, and more” That’d be a confession to death-sentence crimes. Even Ted Bundy played innocent.

    “It seems like you are still trying to have it both ways here. Either the sanctions were effective in keeping Saddam contained in his box or they were ineffective.”

    I’m saying they had an effect, but-as the Duelfer Report makes abundantly clear-they were breaking, collapsing irrevocably, and the effect in 2003 was not what it was 12yrs previous. Ever read the Duelfer Report? The first few pages make it very clear, but the subsequent 1000 pages (and particularly the pictures) show that he was still successfully hiding stuff and that sanctions were broken and couldn’t be repaired.

    “Well that was Osama bin Laden’s fatwa not Saddam Hussein’s. Osama may have disliked Saddam personally but he was still an Arab Moslem who saw it his duty to defend other Moslem Arabs when they were (perceived) to be under attack or occupation by non-Moslems. Osama’s support for the Iraqi people is not indicative, nor is it compelling evidence, of collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq.”

    It’s absolute evidence that the “containment”/Ignored War caused Osama to start killing Americans rather than just ranting and raving about them.

    “Well it seems just as likely that Osama came to this conclusion on his own, without help from Iraq. He may have seen it as a good recruiting tool as well; the people of Saudi Arabia weren’t really suffering under US “occupation” but the Iraqi people? Boy howdy Osama could sell that real easy. Saddam though cannot be held responsible for the actions of independent actors who initiate strikes against America on their own volition.”

    I fully agree that Osama is just a killer seeking excuses and rallying cries, and that Iraq in the 1990’s was a great rallying cry. Glad you can see that as well. It means you can see that the US “containment” was an Ignored War that had consequences-like the rebirth of Al Queda and UBL’s decision to start killing Americans. Had Saddam been removed in 1991, there’d have been no need for US forces in Saudi etc.. An international force could have replaced Saddam, or the Kurds and Shia who rose up to the tune of 500,000 people could have replaced him. Either way, if the US had removed Saddam, there’d have been no US war with Al Queda which used the excuse of the US Ignored War/containment of Saddam.

    “Please provide it, but keep in mind that violations of the no-fly zones or shooting at American aircraft in Iraqi airspace would not count as offensive actions seeing as they were defensive in nature and the Iraqi regime did not recognize the no-fly zones as legitimate.”

    Here’s the catch 22 I was talking about earlier. You can say all you want about whether or not the no-fly-zones were illegal, or the 4 major air bombing campaigns, or the intrusive UN inspections, or the US-led blockade. You yourself claim Iraq’s response was defensive=these actions were offensive; the US was waging war on Iraq as perceived by yourself, Saddam, and Bin Laden.

    Now:

    you’re response is a peaceful discussion.
    Saddam, he was being attacked and fought back.
    Bin Laden, he used it as an excuse to turn the Muslim world against the US and start killing Americans

    I’m trying to say it doesn’t matter if these air campaigns, blockade/sanctions, etc were legitimate or not (it’s irrelevant to this point), they had an effect. They made Saddam feel he was at war and being attacked, and what was it that all the intel assessments and political assessments, and your own assessment said?

    “Iraq would use terrorism ONLY if the regime was threatened, but not otherwise. That is what the intelligence organizations said before the war and what they affirmed after the war. Given the evidence on hand I would say their assessment was correct.”

    Thus, my point is that the assessments ignore that Saddam was threatened and attacked for over a decade, and didn’t just sit there and take it. He was not Saddam the forgiving, or Saddam the peaceful.

    I am enjoying the conversation.

    Now, earlier, and in the previous discussion I said I’d provide “a list of Iraqi offensive actions against the US from 1991-2003; the “containment”/Ignored War period? I’ll be MORE than happy to provide it.”” You added the condition that I only present actions that were not in defense of no-fly-zones, but the point I’m making is a demonstration of your own point (and that of the various assessments re Saddam): that if attacked or threatened, Saddam responded. To that end, the legality is irrelevant as the question is Saddam’s response: did he sit back and take it, or did he respond and attack? I say he attacked OFTEN.

    http://www.scottmalensek.com/SAMPENDER/the%20ignored%20wartxtproof2.pdf

    http://www.scottmalensek.com/prebushiraqtiestoaq.htm

    Btw, I’ve a great list of the AQ guys who worked with Saddam and Saddam’s guys who worked with AQ as well….actually it’s just a partial list, but a good one at that.

    ReplyReply
  10. Curt says: 10

    Shocker, a lefty runs from your knowledge once again Scott. 3 days and no reply.

    ReplyReply
  11. James says: 11

    Sorry for the delay, life sometimes gets in the way of responding to blogs.

    >>) The Safwan accord was informal at the end of February 1991, BUT on March 2, 1991, the UN passed resolution 686 which ordered the cessation of hostilities, Iraq accepted UN686 the next day, and in April (I think the 4th) the UN passed 687/Iraq accepted 687 which detailed the terms of the ceasefire and specifically stated that earlier resolutions-including the authorization of force-were still in effect until the terms of 687 were met. That’s why President Bush and the Coalition invaded under 687 and 678 rather than 1441.http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/596/23/IMG/NR059623.pdf?OpenElement

    http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/596/22/IMG/NR059622.pdf?OpenElement

    )>> The no-fly-zones (and I’d enjoy debating those) were perfectly legal as every UN re Iraq resolution subsequent to 678 which authorized the use of force included the caveat that previous resolutions regarding Iraq were still recognized and in effect.>>

    This is incorrect, as nothing in any UN resolution says anything about no-fly zones. The no-fly zones were set up as a response to UNSCR 688 which asked member states to provide assistance to humanitarian relief efforts inside Iraq.

    http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/596/24/IMG/NR059624.pdf?OpenElement

    >

    Terrorism is a tactic it doesn’t describe people or their motivations. Insurgents have political motivations, as the insurgents in Iraq do. I did not say they were “freedom fighters”, you are putting political buzz words into my mouth.

    >

    Abu Nidal was never indicted (wanted) under US law:

    http://www-tech.mit.edu/V118/N31/3dissident.31w.html

    And neither was Abu Abbas:

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/04/16/sprj.irq.us.abu.abbas/index.html

    So I stand by my original statement.

    As for thousands of other terrorists in Iraq at the time of invasion I would ask you to cite a source. The Salman Pak facility has already been discussed in detail and the consensus seems to be that it was a counter-terrorism facility for the IIS.

    >It’s absolute evidence that the “containment”/Ignored War caused Osama to start killing Americans rather than just ranting and raving about them.

    I fully agree that Osama is just a killer seeking excuses and rallying cries, and that Iraq in the 1990’s was a great rallying cry. Glad you can see that as well. It means you can see that the US “containment” was an Ignored War that had consequences-like the rebirth of Al Queda and UBL’s decision to start killing Americans. Had Saddam been removed in 1991, there’d have been no need for US forces in Saudi etc.. An international force could have replaced Saddam, or the Kurds and Shia who rose up to the tune of 500,000 people could have replaced him. Either way, if the US had removed Saddam, there’d have been no US war with Al Queda which used the excuse of the US Ignored War/containment of Saddam.>

    Well Saddam responded to being attacked by defending himself, with defensive military actions. Using Soviet-era AAA guns over your own territory against high-flying F-16s with precision guided weapons isn’t exactly an offensive military action. In one year alone (Feb. 2000-Feb.2001) the US entered the no-fly zone 10,000 times, yet only 500 times did Iraqis either engage radar or use AAA. A majority of these times only radar was locked. So you are telling me that the 2.5% of the time that the Iraqis fired AAA at US fighters violating their airspace constituted a serious effort by Saddam to attack the US?

    In addition we can see the number of times the US responded with “daily attacks” or whatever you are calling them. There were 207 US attacks in the combined four years that led up to the invasion of Iraq in the Southern zone, and 173 in the Northern zone; or .25 per day. Not exactly a serious threat to the regime.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/southern_watch.htm

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/northern_watch.htm

    Finally your links seem to be merely a rehashing of old history with little sourcing. Pender had a whopping total of 96 footnotes, mostly from the same sources. Your own link is full of insinuations that because Saddam said this and Osama did that they are linked, but short on actual evidence.

    BTW—Curt I repeat I am not a leftist. Having a thoughtful opinion about Saddam’s ties to al Qaeda as justification for a prolonged guerrilla war shouldn’t make one a leftist. I am also not running from any knowledge; I do have a life beyond looking at this blog.

    ReplyReply
  12. Scott Malensek says: 12

    You are correct that UNSCR 686 was the codified cease-fire that Iraq agreed to and UNSCR 687 set up the inspections regime for Iraqi WMD. However there is a big divergence in the language each of these resolutions utilizes regarding the use of force, which is only authorized under UNSCR 678.

    UNSCR 686, Paragraph 4: Recognizes that during the period required for Iraq to comply with paragraphs 2 and 3 above, the provision of paragraph 2 of resolution 678 (1990) remains valid.

    Paragraphs 2 and 3 of UNSCR 686 dealt with the mundane aspects of ending the war, borders, land mines, POWs, etc.

    UNSCR 687 has no such provision for the use of force. Even if Iraq violated the terms of 686 that violation had to be agreed upon by the entire Security Council and codified in a new resolution; neither 1441, 686, or 687 gives the US the right to use force against Iraq without another resolution specifically authorizing force.

    Great comments, but you’re still missing the point (I hope accidentally or through the confusion of international diplomatic phrasing and not deliberately as a parsing tactic). Your own citations above show that the cessation of hostilities authorized in 678 is dependent upon the time frame needed to fulfill the terms of the cease-fire in para 2 and 3, but those terms were never met=” the provision of paragraph 2 of resolution 678 (1990) remains valid.” And that provision is the authorization to use force.

    As I said, the US didn’t invade or hold enforce the no-fly-zones without authorization because almost all the subsequent Iraq resolutions included caveats reaffirming that 678 was still in effect. That’s why the US waged war citing 678.

    Now, the idea that a NEW resolution is required before taking action is interesting. I’d heard it before, and the reason I dismiss it-aside from the fact that 678 was repeatedly said to still be in effect-is because a new resolution would only be required if Safwan was a peace agreement or treaty or full on closure to hostilities. Instead it was a cease-fire, and cease-fires are temporary agreements to cease fire until conditions for peace are met. When they are violated they are no longer valid. Ya can’t have one side break a cease fire then head to the UN to debate a new resolution.

    This is incorrect, as nothing in any UN resolution says anything about no-fly zones. The no-fly zones were set up as a response to UNSCR 688 which asked member states to provide assistance to humanitarian relief efforts inside Iraq.

    You’re right. They don’t say anything about no-fly-zones specifically, but they do authorize the use of force per 678 which was still in effect, and since 686, 688, and so forth all include the caveats that recognize 678 was still in effect (ie that force was authorized until the terms of the cease fire were met which they never were).

    For example, a lot of people say the no-fly-zones were in support of 688, but that since 688 is an article 2 resolution and not an article 7, that it doesn’t authorize force (ignoring for the moment that later in your post you suggest the no-fly-zones were “Not exactly a serious threat to the regime.”). I say that they were valid under UN 686 which specifically says the authorization to use force (including the no-fly-zones) continued and was authorized because 686:

    Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter:
    1) Affirms that all twelve resolutions noted above continue to have full force and effect

    That tells me that the authorization to use force was still in effect, and the no-fly-zones were an example of that authorization. Now, were the no-fly-zones a response to 688? Sure, but they were authorized under a different resolution. These caveats affirming that all previous resolutions are still in effect (including the authorization to use force) are in most of the Iraq resolutions.

    Terrorism is a tactic it doesn?t describe people or their motivations. Insurgents have political motivations, as the insurgents in Iraq do. I did not say they were ?freedom fighters?, you are putting political buzz words into my mouth.

    If terrorism is a tactic, then those who use it are terrorists. People who don’t wear uniforms, use human shields, target civilians deliberately, and so forth are terrorists. Terrorists surely have political motivations, but I say since their motivations are inequal political representation, that their motivations are conversely inequal in legitimacy. Isn’t insurgency a strategy or tactic as well?

    It’s funny that the insurgency has had a static 10,000 man membership for the first 3 years of the war at the same time the US jailed and killed tens of thousands of “insurgents”. So doesn’t that imply that the strength of the insurgency is at least several tens of thousands strong? 1.2 million is a pretty sizable number ; in the US that would equal 12 million people or roughly the size of the Confederacy.

    Tens of thousands strong. Sure. But even at 50,000, it’s still a fraction of the population (5 in every 2700 Iraqis take up arms against the U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi Security Forces which compromise apx 900,000). The bit about the Confederacy is sheer argumentive. You can’t seriously be making a comparison between the hundreds of thousands of Confederates and the tens of thousands of terrorists in Iraq.

    Abu Nidal was never indicted (wanted) under US law:
    http://www-tech.mit.edu/V118/N31/3dissident.31w.html
    And neither was Abu Abbas:
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/04/16/sprj.irq.us.abu.abbas/index.html
    So I stand by my original statement.

    Great finds, but you’re missing the point, they were American killers, and their organizations had killed Americans.

    As for thousands of other terrorists in Iraq at the time of invasion I would ask you to cite a source. The Salman Pak facility has already been discussed in detail and the consensus seems to be that it was a counter-terrorism facility for the IIS.

    Even the heavily slanted Sen Intel Com Phase II rpt doesn’t conclude it was an anti-terrorism facility. No. There is no consensus on Salman Pak, and in fact most facts point to a terrorist training camp specifically for the Martyrs of Saddam and there are LOTS of reports of foreign fighters training there.

    Re sourcing for terrorists in Iraq…(a few)

    Thunder Run by David Zucchino
    (CLEARLY describes 5000-6000 Syrian mercenaries, foreign fighters, jihadis, and Islamofascists)

    American Soldier by Gen Tommy Franks
    (describes thousands to tens of thousands of foriegn fighter terrorists from all over the ME)

    The March Up by Maj Gen Ray L Smith(describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists roughly in the neighborhood of 2000-4000 in the various training camps captured by the US Marines (some still occupied by US Marines)

    War Stories by Oliver North
    (describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists roughly in the neighborhood of 2000-4000 in the various training camps captured by the US Marines (some still occupied by US Marines)

    Shadow War by Richard Miniter(describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists)

    The Secret History of the Iraq War by Yosef Bodansky(describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists)

    Under Fire by various Reuters reporters(describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists)

    Embedded by various reporters(describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists)

    and

    Generation Kill by Evan Wright (describes “thousands” of foreign fighters/terrorists)

    Estimates at the PRE-Second Battle of Fallujah had the foreign fighter, Islamofascists, Jihadis, around 2000-3000. Fewer seem to have been encountered as many (like AQ’s ZQ and other terrorist leaders) managed to escape. There have been other battles and large fights where there were claims of foreign fighter, Islamofascists, Jihadis numbering as high as a few hundred in each case. Most of the time it seems they’ve been reduced to small groups and pairs.

    Perhaps they were breaking but they were not broken. There was still an effect as Iraq had not openly declared it was obtaining WMD.

    They were broken and almost fully. We can discuss whether they “break” like a glass, or crumble, but the 1000pages in the ISG Duelfer Report are clear that they were grossly subverted and irrevocable. Sanctions were no longer diplomatically feasible or worthwhile.

    Do you honestly think that the US would remove forces from Saudi Arabia just because Saddam was removed? Iran and Syria would be perceived as the next threats and the Saudis would be ?persuaded? to keep American troops in their country. The US has not voluntary removed its troops from a foreign country in at least sixty years, or perhaps more. There certainly would have been a war against al Qaeda if the US had removed Saddam Hussein, given that a Sunni insurgency would have risen up (and most likely more deadly than the one we are facing today) and the ensuing violence would have angered Osama even more. It is the perceived mistreatment (including occupation) of Arabs and Moslems at the hands of non-Moslems that makes Osama angry.

    I like this one. Might wanna check. I do believe the US did remove its forces from Saudi. The claim that Iran and Syria would be some sort of new excuse for keeping US forces in Saudi is baseless and sheer speculation particularly since the US hasn’t done so. Would there have been a war with AQ if the US had removed Saddam in 91? Probably, but Osama and other terrorists would have had their 3 core excuses removed, and would have had to find less appealing ones to fill their ranks. Would there have been an insurgency? I don’t think so because the 500,000 Iraqis that rose up would still be alive to keep peace, and the infrastructure in Iraq was a lot better in 1991 than it was in 2003.

    Re what ticks off UBL, please read his 2/98 fatwa and take note that your comment is barely correct-not even in a secondary or tertiary manner.

    “It was perceived mistreatment of Moslems, including the sanctions regime that angered bin Laden, it may have angered Saddam, but Saddam could also be dealt with. We could have cut a deal with Saddam, and in fact he was expecting a deal.”

    Catch 22. If the US made a deal with Saddam, then the same rant that opponents of the war claim (that Saddam was some sort of US creation) would be enhanced, and the dangers he posed to the region would have been even MORE an American responsibility-a responsibility to correct poor judgment in backing a dictator.

    “He didn’t take the threats of war in 2002 and 2003 credible even up to and through the invasion, thinking all along that the US would stop short and allow him to stay in power. He didn’t even prepare defenses against the Americans, not the kind of actions I would expect from someone who was “waging” a super secret war or whatever you call it. Saddam was a realist and recognized that he should become an ally of the US rather than an enemy; the US just didn’t believe him.

    I agree completely on the idea of him not taking the threat seriously, but as to why, I point to the US pattern of not addressing him seriously. A realist? The man had a Mosque built with an island in the shape of his thumbprint and had his name put in to the bricks of ancient Babylon….that’s hardly a realist. He was a psychotic dictator.

    But his regime was never threatened. As I said above he didn’t take the American threat seriously; sure he would go on TV and shout some bluster, but it was apart of his image “Saddam the Strong” and his ego demanded it; but only up to a point. Saddam saw both the intrinsic value of the US as an ally (Duelfer report…yes I have read it) and the folly of attacking the US.

    You’re arguing with yourself here: “he didn’t take the
    American threat seriously” vs. “his regime was never threatened”

    Well Saddam responded to being attacked by defending himself, with defensive military actions. Using Soviet-era AAA guns over your own territory against high-flying F-16s with precision guided weapons isn’t exactly an offensive military action. In one year alone (Feb. 2000-Feb.2001) the US entered the no-fly zone 10,000 times, yet only 500 times did Iraqis either engage radar or use AAA. A majority of these times only radar was locked. So you are telling me that the 2.5% of the time that the Iraqis fired AAA at US fighters violating their airspace constituted a serious effort by Saddam to attack the US?

    Ok, ignoring the spinning of taking 1 yr out of 12 and basing your argument on that cherry-picked data, you’re actually claiming that 10,000 air incursions and 500 direct engagements in a single year was no big deal despite each of those 10,000 incursions as being seen as illegal? This is the kinda thing a dictator just rolls with? Nah, not buying it. Either the no-fly-zones and the bi-annual bombing campaigns were a big deal or not. Pick a position, and we can discuss it, but on the one hand you’re claiming they were an abhorrent illegal act, and on the other you’re claiming that they were no big deal.

    In addition we can see the number of times the US responded with daily attacks? or whatever you are calling them. There were 207 US attacks in the combined four years that led up to the invasion of Iraq in the Southern zone, and 173 in the Northern zone; or .25 per day. Not exactly a serious threat to the regime.

    You’re getting confused by your own spun numbers-the no-fly-zones were in effect for a lot more than just 4 years, and the air attacks on Saddam weren’t just part of the no-fly-zones. There were Tomahawk bombing campaigns, air bombing campaigns, combined bombing campaigns, threatened invasions, and more. Again, please decide if you are making the case that the no-fly-zones and assorted additional attacks to Saddam were a big deal or no big deal.

    Finally your links seem to be merely a rehashing of old history with little sourcing. Pender had a whopping total of 96 footnotes, mostly from the same sources. Your own link is full of insinuations that because Saddam said this and Osama did that they are linked, but short on actual evidence.

    What kind of evidence are you looking for? Captured documents, detainee interrogations, videos, audio tapes, what would you like? If you dismiss their own statements out of hand, and you dismiss the historical events and confirmed contacts and more, then what evidence are you looking for? BTW Sam Pender is AWESOME!

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  13. James: I hope you’ll forgive me if I spare myself the time it would take to sift through your voluminous replies.

    Might I ask instead for a BRIEF and CONCISE statement regarding the following:

    Do you believe we should not have deposed Saddam and instead left him in power. A simple yes or no with a qualifying SHORT paragraph will suffice.

    Do you believe that Saddam was financing terrorists?

    Do you believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?

    Do you believe that Iraqis are capable of governing themselves in something like a representative government?

    Again, a simple yes or no with a SHORT qualifying paragraph would be most helpful.

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  14. Kuni says: 14

    Umm; what part of the Senate’s Report, among others, that says that Saddam had issued orders for al-Zarqawi arrest and did not turn a blind eye to al-Qaeda being in Iraq, did you gap on?

    Had there been any links/ties that would qualify to be called links/ties; that arrest warrant would not have been issued.

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  15. James says: 15

    Mike’s America Response:

    1.) Do you believe we should not have deposed Saddam and instead left him in power. A simple yes or no with a qualifying SHORT paragraph will suffice.

    Yes: Keep him in power as a counter-balance to Iranian hegemony in the region, and to avoid the hornets’ nest that we stirred up in Iraq. In his absence, Iran has grown in strength and al Qaeda has a new playground.

    2.) Do you believe that Saddam was financing terrorists?

    After 1991 Iraq only financed the MeK which was directly opposed to the Iranian regime. Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas were allowed to live in Baghdad but no longer participated in terrorist-related activities. Other than the MEK Saddam did not finance terrorism.

    3.) Do you believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?

    Prior to 1991 he did as he used them in the Iran-Iraq war, after 1991 production of WMD stopped , and the vast majority of old stockpiles were destroyed (500 missing chemical warheads were found in various places, and had been believed destroyed by the regime). So yes Iraq had WMD prior to 1991 no after 1991.

    4.) Do you believe that Iraqis are capable of governing themselves in something like a representative government?

    No, the true nature of Islam remains incompatible with democracy. Either Iraq will have to become more secular or the nature of Islam has to change.

    ReplyReply
  16. Scott Malensek says: 16

    “Umm; what part of the Senate’s Report, among others, that says that Saddam had issued orders for al-Zarqawi arrest and did not turn a blind eye to al-Qaeda being in Iraq, did you gap on?Had there been any links/ties that would qualify to be called links/ties; that arrest warrant would not have been issued.”

    That’s one of the many contradictions in the Senate Intelligence Agency’s report. In their Phase I report, they claim that the CIA and other intelligence agencies-based on AQ detainee information-believed that Saddam’s regime was working with Zarqawi etc. In the Phase II report the Senate Intelligence Agency chooses to believe (ie cherry picks) the Iraqi detainee claims that those regime members who were on trial were honest and said that an arrest warrant was issued for Zarqawi, that the regime was afraid of Jihadis, and that it was too secular to work with them. The problem here is (again) that the Sen Intel phase II rpt is based primarily on the word of a single interim DIA source and ignores any and all counter evidence, it assumes that the regime members like Saddam were honest men on death row and were totally honest in their interviews with the FBI (surely with lawyers present, and all other interrogation results remain excluded). Lastly, the Sen Intel phase II rpt only examined 18% of the captured docs, tapes, and other intel from the regime. All in all, it’s important to note that the Sen Intel phase II rpt-like all others-says that the issue should remain open for further investigation, and that the issue of regime ties is not closed (a fact that opponents of the war continuously, and deliberately ignore via lies of ommission if they actually read these reports at all).

    It’s also worthy of mentioning that Democratic Party panderers like Sen Levin, Sen Rockefeller, and others have committed the exact same “wrong-doing” that they cry Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans did. They accuse that office of cherry-picking intelligence to mislead its audience, to present an incorrect evaluation for political purposes, and they accuse the OSP of misrepresenting itself as an intelligence agency or entity capable of doing intelligence assessment on par with real intelligence agencies. This is exactly what the Sen Intel Com phase II rpt does (and the phase I to some extent). The Sen Intel Com Phase II report says that captured docs indicate an arrest warrant for Zarqawi, but in reality the CIA describes the captured docs as orders to find him-not necessarily to arrest him (a leap that the Sen Intel Agency chose to make on its own). The report also ignores CIA assessments that other captured docs mentioned in the Phase II rpt show Zarqawi was acting with the regime specifically in plots to kill US diplomats and other attacks in Europe. I could go on and on, but who’d read it?
    http://www.scottmalensek.com/PhaseIIrebuttalrpt.pdf

    ReplyReply
  17. Scott Malensek says: 17

    A sincere and honest hats off to Mike for some great questions and to James with relatively good responses. Well done.

    If I may….
    Mike’s America question:

    1.) Do you believe we should not have deposed Saddam and instead left him in power. A simple yes or no with a qualifying SHORT paragraph will suffice.

    Yes: Keep him in power as a counter-balance to Iranian hegemony in the region, and to avoid the hornets’ nest that we stirred up in Iraq. In his absence, Iran has grown in strength and al Qaeda has a new playground.

    This ignores the threat Saddam posed to his neighbors and to the US as an ally of Jihadis everywhere, as a martyr that set off Bin Laden’s war with the US (all 3 core reasons for UBL’s fatwa were regarding the US war with Iraq which had to be resolved, and there’s no way to just pay off and walk away from a blood hate that Saddam had), and it doesn’t address Saddam’s ties to Al Queda as a state sponsor of terror.

    “2.) Do you believe that Saddam was financing terrorists?

    After 1991 Iraq only financed the MeK which was directly opposed to the Iranian regime. Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas were allowed to live in Baghdad but no longer participated in terrorist-related activities. Other than the MEK Saddam did not finance terrorism.”

    The CIA disagrees with you. Per the Sen Intel Com phase II rpt and the Iraqi Perspectives Project Rpt (as well as others) we are told that CIA assessments were that Saddam’s regime was providing AQ with training, travel (including docs, passports, etc), and financing (there’s that little matter of the $300 grand given to Zawahiri on one of his many visits alone).

    “3.) Do you believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?

    Prior to 1991 he did as he used them in the Iran-Iraq war, after 1991 production of WMD stopped , and the vast majority of old stockpiles were destroyed (500 missing chemical warheads were found in various places, and had been believed destroyed by the regime). So yes Iraq had WMD prior to 1991 no after 1991.

    Duelfer Report confirms a lot of that, but says that he had WMD until 1998, and both the ISG Duelfer Report as well as the last UNMOVIC rpts leave a lot of WMD unaccounted for. Was there a plan to restart wmd? Absolutely. ISG report calls it “breakout capability” and it explains how it was deliberately maintained, enhanced, and the pics in the report alone prove that Saddam was working towards preserving and enhancing his wmd production capacity rather than turning it over. Stockpiles had proven vulnerable to the UN, political liabilities, and degraded, so after 1995 Saddam switched to the ability to make fresh WMD in weeks, days, or even hours.

    “4.) Do you believe that Iraqis are capable of governing themselves in something like a representative government?

    No, the true nature of Islam remains incompatible with democracy. Either Iraq will have to become more secular or the nature of Islam has to change.”

    Thus we must ask, if the nature of Islam is not in the rights of all men, if it’s inconsistent with the belief that everyone is born equal and has the rights to live, to live under a govt of their choosing, and to pursue their own happiness, then is tyranny inherit to Islam, or can secular govts like Turkey exist?

    ReplyReply
  18. James says: 18

    Scott Reply:

    1.) “Your own citations above show that the cessation of hostilities authorized in 678 is dependent upon the time frame needed to fulfill the terms of the cease-fire in para 2 and 3, but those terms were never met=” the provision of paragraph 2 of resolution 678 (1990) remains valid.” And that provision is the authorization to use force.”

    But the authorization of force would only be valid if Iraq was shown (proven) to have violated the terms of the cease-fire, usually by the entire Security Council. The inspection regime was not covered under the cease-fire hence the Iraqis could not be invaded on that premise alone. Paragraph 1 of 687 stated that Iraq only had to “agree in principle” to reparations to Kuwait but not actually pay them.

    As I said, the US didn’t invade or hold enforce the no-fly-zones without authorization because almost all the subsequent Iraq resolutions included caveats reaffirming that 678 was still in effect. That’s why the US waged war citing 678.

    Only operative clauses of UN Security Council Resolutions are enforceable; they can recall has many Resolutions that they want but they can only be enforced by a specific action of the Security Council detailing that force; hence 678 was needed because 660 was insufficient. 678 was specific to the situation between Iraq and Kuwait; as in if Iraq invaded Kuwait again force would be legitimate; but no-fly zones were never authorized under any cease fire agreement. They were designed to give humanitarian assistance to the Kurds and later Shiites, hence the reason that they started several months after the cease-fire agreement as the links I provided you show.

    2.) “Now, the idea that a NEW resolution is required before taking action is interesting. I’d heard it before, and the reason I dismiss it-aside from the fact that 678 was repeatedly said to still be in effect-is because a new resolution would only be required if Safwan was a peace agreement or treaty or full on closure to hostilities. Instead it was a cease-fire, and cease-fires are temporary agreements to cease fire until conditions for peace are met. When they are violated they are no longer valid. Ya can’t have one side break a cease fire then head to the UN to debate a new resolution.”

    A new Resolution was needed because 678 was insufficient to re-kindle a war over any issue except for Iraqi violations of Kuwaiti sovereignty. A “cease-fire” exists between North Korea and the UN (the only other time besides 1990 Iraq when the use of force was legitimized under international law), yet even with North Korea’s repeated violations of it (abducting South Korean citizens, USS Pueblo) a war between the UN and North Korea will not occur unless a Security Council Resolution authorizes it.

    3.) “You’re right. They don’t say anything about no-fly-zones specifically, but they do authorize the use of force per 678 which was still in effect, and since 686, 688, and so forth all include the caveats that recognize 678 was still in effect (ie that force was authorized until the terms of the cease fire were met which they never were)”.

    Except that the no-fly zones were not justified under 678 but under 688 as the links I provide show you. UNSCR 688 is a chapter VI and not a Chapter VII resolution; I don’t know where you are getting “article” from.

    4.) ”If terrorism is a tactic, then those who use it are terrorists. People who don’t wear uniforms, use human shields, target civilians deliberately, and so forth are terrorists. Terrorists surely have political motivations, but I say since their motivations are inequal political representation, that their motivations are conversely inequal in legitimacy. Isn’t insurgency a strategy or tactic as well? “

    There is a difference between a domestic internal insurgency and terrorist organizations. There is also a problem with the definition of terrorism. Certainly there are some groups that employ terrorist tactics in Iraq but they are the minority (AQI). What I am referring to is the overall Sunni movement backlash against the US occupation (or liberation whatever you want to call it) and Shiite-led government.

    Insurgency defines a political movement, terrorism defines a tactic. As I said before it is a semantic debate, you were using the word “terrorism” to de-humanize and de-legitimize the insurgency, though it has legitimate political concerns. I try to stay away from the political buzzwords like “terrorist” or “freedom fighter” and I am merely taking a pure academic approach to the debate. Call them what you will, I care not, however I will continue to refer to the political violence in Iraq as an insurgency

    5.) “Tens of thousands strong. Sure. But even at 50,000, it’s still a fraction of the population (5 in every 2700 Iraqis take up arms against the U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi Security Forces which compromise apx 900,000). The bit about the Confederacy is sheer argumentive. You can’t seriously be making a comparison between the hundreds of thousands of Confederates and the tens of thousands of terrorists in Iraq.”

    Of course they’re a minority that’s why they are an insurgency. My point is that they are a very strong and viable insurgency. The IRA tied down 35,000 British troops for 30 years, and it only had 1,000 members 20, 30, 50,000, 250,000, 1.2 million…whatever the number it is significantly stronger than most 20th century insurgencies and thus has a significant amount of support among the population (Most polls show a majority of Iraqis approve of attacks against coalition forces). Sunni Arabs make up 20% of the population; not a majority but a sizable disaffected minority whose grievances haven’t been dealt with.

    6.) “Great finds, but you’re missing the point, they were American killers, and their organizations had killed Americans.”

    You’re point was that they were “harbored”, harbored implies they were wanted for something by somebody. ANO was kicked out of Iraq prior to 1982. Between 1977 and 1981 (the time the group was based in Iraq) it did not engage in any terrorism that killed Americans. ANO ceased terrorist functions in the early 1990s (see the MIPT website for details http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=1) and its founder Sabri al-Bana (Abu Nidal) was dying of leukemia when he was allowed back into Iraq.

    As for Abu Abbas, he actually renounced terrorism, and actively backed the Oslo Accords, his conviction (tried en absentia) was overturned in Italy due to lack of evidence. So neither man was wanted for terrorism by the US, the US never asked for their extradition, thus they weren’t really being “harbored” against US wishes.

    7.) sourcing for terrorists in Iraq…(a few)

    It depends on when these foreigners arrived, what their intent was, and their reasons for being there. None of them fought for Saddam while the regime was intact….The Peoples’ Army that the Palestinians promised for Saddam failed to deliver. The only “terrorism” that Saddam engaged in to save his regime consisted of two IIS officers (one a pregnant woman) blowing themselves up near US Army checkpoints. If Saddam had these legions at his beck and call, and surely if they were trained in Iraq, and as you state living in Iraq, they would presumably owe some loyalty to Saddam, then why was the first suicide bombing by a foreigner six months after Saddam fled? Sure there were foreigners in Iraq prior to the war, but were they there at the behest of Saddam, or were they there in anticipation of an American invasion, and without the knowledge of the regime? If the regime knew they were there, why weren’t they used?

    8.) “I like this one. Might wanna check. I do believe the US did remove its forces from Saudi.”

    I did check; both the DOD website and several other sources. US troops are still in Saudi Arabia; several hundred, but several hundred too many.

    “A skeletal crew of a few hundred is to remain and U.S. military personnel will continue training with Saudi forces and holding joint exercises, officials said”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-08-28-ustroops-saudiarabia_x.htm

    Like I said the US will keep troops in Saudi Arabia for a while.

    9.) “Re what ticks off UBL, please read his 2/98 fatwa and take note that your comment is barely correct-not even in a secondary or tertiary manner.”

    I don’t know what you are really talking about here since in Osama’s fatwa he clearly states it is the humiliation and mistreatment that Muslims are experiencing (in his mind, which is why I used the qualifier “perceived”) that angers him:

    “The Arabian Peninsula has never — since God made it flat, created its desert, and encircled it with seas — been stormed by any forces like the crusader armies spreading in it like locusts, eating its riches and wiping out its plantations. All this is happening at a time in which nations are attacking Muslims like people fighting over a plate of food. In the light of the grave situation and the lack of support, we and you are obliged to discuss current events, and we should all agree on how to settle the matter.
    No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone; we will list them, in order to remind everyone:
    First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.
    If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans’ continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.
    Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million… despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.
    So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.”

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1998.html

    10.) “Catch 22. If the US made a deal with Saddam, then the same rant that opponents of the war claim (that Saddam was some sort of US creation) would be enhanced, and the dangers he posed to the region would have been even MORE an American responsibility-a responsibility to correct poor judgment in backing a dictator.”

    Hey I was fine keeping him in power to balance Iran.

    11.) “I agree completely on the idea of him not taking the threat seriously, but as to why, I point to the US pattern of not addressing him seriously. A realist? The man had a Mosque built with an island in the shape of his thumbprint and had his name put in to the bricks of ancient Babylon….that’s hardly a realist. He was a psychotic dictator.”

    Even psychotic dictators utilize realism in foreign policy decision-making.

    12.) “You’re arguing with yourself here: “he didn’t take the
    American threat seriously” vs. “his regime was never threatened”

    He didn’t take the threat seriously and his regime was not really threatened. What’s wrong with that argument; it isn’t a false dichotomy. He didn’t expect the US to overthrow him so he didn’t take the US threat seriously.

    13.) “Ok, ignoring the spinning of taking 1 yr out of 12 and basing your argument on that cherry-picked data, you’re actually claiming that 10,000 air incursions and 500 direct engagements in a single year was no big deal despite each of those 10,000 incursions as being seen as illegal? This is the kinda thing a dictator just rolls with? Nah, not buying it. Either the no-fly-zones and the bi-annual bombing campaigns were a big deal or not. Pick a position, and we can discuss it, but on the one hand you’re claiming they were an abhorrent illegal act, and on the other you’re claiming that they were no big deal.”

    Stop forcing me into a false dichotomy. I don’t have the data for all 12 years hence I used what I could find. I didn’t say the no-fly zones were an abhorrent act (I didn’t make a moral judgment on them) I stated they were not justified under UN Security Council Resolutions, nor were they a part of any cease-fire agreement, thus any Iraqi response to them was justified under international law; that the response was muted only confirms that the Iraqis saw the no-fly zones as both illegitimate and irrelevant. They would fire a missile or AAA every now and then as a show of force but no serious damage was ever done. Your basic premise is that because Iraq did all these things Saddam believed himself to be at war with the US. I am stating that despite all the things the US did to Iraq, Saddam didn’t see himself in a war with the US.

    14.) “You’re getting confused by your own spun numbers-the no-fly-zones were in effect for a lot more than just 4 years, and the air attacks on Saddam weren’t just part of the no-fly-zones. There were Tomahawk bombing campaigns, air bombing campaigns, combined bombing campaigns, threatened invasions, and more. Again, please decide if you are making the case that the no-fly-zones and assorted additional attacks to Saddam were a big deal or no big deal.”

    Again it is the only data I have. In the links provided to you (globalsecurity.org you’ve heard of this website?) it stated the reasons why the data was incomplete, as statistics were not kept PRIOR to 1999. You state Iraq shot at US planes daily and that there were a whole bunch of air campaigns; please provide the evidence.

    Even this left-wing anti-war site only lists a few bombings prior to 1999, though I would not consider it statistically accurate:

    http://www.ccmep.org/usbombingwatch/1998.htm

    15.) “What kind of evidence are you looking for? Captured documents, detainee interrogations, videos, audio tapes, what would you like? If you dismiss their own statements out of hand, and you dismiss the historical events and confirmed contacts and more, then what evidence are you looking for? BTW Sam Pender is AWESOME!”

    Daniel Byman identified five types of support states can give to terrorist organizations (Deadly Connections by Daniel Byman http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Connections-States-Sponsor-Terrorism/dp/0521839734 ):

    A.) Providing training and operations
    B.) Weapons, money, and supplies
    C.) Diplomatic cover
    D.) Ideology
    E.) Sanctuary

    We know that al Qaeda’s ideology was formed during the 1980s without any help from Iraq. We also know that al Qaeda did not have any sanctuary (headquarters or training facilities) in Iraq (one can dispute the existence of Salman Pak as a “terrorist” training camp, but no evidence that al Qaeda used it). As for diplomatic cover the only evidence that any al Qaeda operative used an Iraqi passport was Yousef when he entered the US prior to the 1993 WTC bombing (Though he wasn’t an Al Qaeda operative at the time). He claims it was a fake passport and there is evidence that fake Iraqi passports had become commonplace in the aftermath of the 1991 Iraq war and could be easily bought in Pakistan. Laurie Mylroie thinks otherwise. No other serious commentators or terrorism experts make such a claim. So that leaves the first two options; providing training, operational direction, weapons, and money. Osama did request Chinese sea mines at one point but was rebuffed by Iraq (yes it is Saddam’s and Aziz’s and Hijaz’s and the other IIS guy’s word but if Iraq had given Al Qaeda sea mines they would have used them don’t you think?) Al Qaeda uses weapons it gets off the black market and its training camps have been well established in Afghanistan for several years. So if you can provide any evidence of money transfers or operational direction from Iraq (actual hands-on approach by IIS agents who had the power to choose and veto targets), that would be some evidence of state-sponsorship. Beyond that though I don’t think there would be anything to substantiate an operational link (state-sponsor) between the two.

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  19. Scott Malensek says: 19

    1.) “Only operative clauses of UN Security Council Resolutions are enforceable; they can recall has many Resolutions that they want but they can only be enforced by a specific action of the Security Council detailing that force; hence 678 was needed because 660 was insufficient. 678 was specific to the situation between Iraq and Kuwait; as in if Iraq invaded Kuwait again force would be legitimate; but no-fly zones were never authorized under any cease fire agreement. They were designed to give humanitarian assistance to the Kurds and later Shiites, hence the reason that they started several months after the cease-fire agreement as the links I provided you show.”

    Great! Then please read the operative clause of (for example) 686 which says it’s conditional upon the terms of 678 being met first. Ie, if those terms are not met, then 678 is still in effect. I’m gonna cut to the chase here and reiterate the question that seems most important: were the no-fly-zones and bi-annual bombing campaigns important enough for Saddam to see them as a threat, or were they effectively irrelevant? You’ve argued well for both sides of this question without determining WHICH one it is…whether this constant 12yrs of bombing was important or not. All other denials that 678 was still in effect (as stated in almost all subsequent Iraq resolutions) is just denial and finger pointing at the US for apparently actions that were no big deal…action Saddam supposedly saw as no threat and actions that had no effect on UBL’s decision to reform AQ and start killing Americans.

    No-fly-zones: if they were threatening, the debate about legality is worthy, if they were no threat and irrelevant, then it’s just baseless finger pointing.

    2.) “A new Resolution was needed because 678 was insufficient to re-kindle a war over any issue except for Iraqi violations of Kuwaiti sovereignty. A ?cease-fire? exists between North Korea and the UN (the only other time besides 1990 Iraq when the use of force was legitimized under international law), yet even with North Korea?s repeated violations of it (abducting South Korean citizens, USS Pueblo) a war between the UN and North Korea will not occur unless a Security Council Resolution authorizes it.”

    If Iraq launched a SCUD at Saudi a year after the cease-fire was in effect, and Saudi hadn’t done anything (except allow non-threatening no-fly-zones to launch from Saudi), then would the war be back on, or would it be time to debate and haggle, and negotiate the terms of re-opening 678 which was already left open until the cease-fire terms were met (as quoted in earlier post-note, I’m not just talking about that “recalling blah blah blah stuff either”). Or if Saddam started firing missiles at neighbors, does that mean the cease-fire is off? No way do troops in the field have to sit and take hits while the UN debates whether or not a temporary cease-fire has been broken. There is a difference between a cease-fire and a peace agreement.

    3.) “Except that the no-fly zones were not justified under 678 but under 688 as the links I provide show you. UNSCR 688 is a chapter VI and not a Chapter VII resolution; I don?t know where you are getting ?article? from.”

    Some say pointed to 688 as the reason, but myself and others point to them as enforcement tools for 678. Under that resolution they were legal (though irrelevant if they were no threat to Saddam and meant nothing to AQ).

    4.) “There is a difference between a domestic internal insurgency and terrorist organizations. There is also a problem with the definition of terrorism. Certainly there are some groups that employ terrorist tactics in Iraq but they are the minority (AQI). What I am referring to is the overall Sunni movement backlash against the US occupation (or liberation whatever you want to call it) and Shiite-led government.”

    Not one American has been killed in Iraq since 5/1/03 in a legitimate attack from a legitimate enemy. The enemy has political motivations-sure, but if they’re political motivations are a return to tyranny (as is the case with Saddam loyalists, Iranian and Syrian intel, AQ, AQ affiliates, etc) then they are not legitimate enemies, and since they are using terrorist tactics, they are terrorists. For debate sake, let’s agree to call them the enemy and close #4 ?

    5.) “Of course they?re a minority that?s why they are an insurgency. My point is that they are a very strong and viable insurgency. The IRA tied down 35,000 British troops for 30 years, and it only had 1,000 members 20, 30, 50,000, 250,000, 1.2 million?whatever the number it is significantly stronger than most 20th century insurgencies and thus has a significant amount of support among the population (Most polls show a majority of Iraqis approve of attacks against coalition forces). Sunni Arabs make up 20% of the population; not a majority but a sizable disaffected minority whose grievances haven?t been dealt with. “

    Yet, those grievances have peaceful political means by which they can and are addressed. This is like saying that since Gore lost in 00, his supporters had the right to take up arms and start blowing up grocery stores because they had a political agenda. Let’s also be clear, AQ is only a small percentage of the insurgency, but its actions are the major cause of death among civilians in the insurgency (almost all suicide bombers are AQ, and most deaths come from suicide bombers). Thus, the disgruntled Sunni are a fraction of the insurgency that doesn’t compile even ¼ of the casualties.

    6.) “You’re point was that they were “harbored”, harbored implies they were wanted for something by somebody. ANO was kicked out of Iraq prior to 1982. Between 1977 and 1981 (the time the group was based in Iraq) it did not engage in any terrorism that killed Americans. ANO ceased terrorist functions in the early 1990s (see the MIPT website for details http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=1) and its founder Sabri al-Bana (Abu Nidal) was dying of leukemia when he was allowed back into Iraq. “

    Mmmm, yeah, that’s why he committed suicide with 9 bullets to the head.

    “As for Abu Abbas, he actually renounced terrorism, and actively backed the Oslo Accords, his conviction (tried en absentia) was overturned in Italy due to lack of evidence. So neither man was wanted for terrorism by the US, the US never asked for their extradition, thus they weren’t really being “harbored” against US wishes.”

    They were international terrorists, and they settled in Iraq just as Carlos the Jackal had, as UBL had been offered, and as thousands of others did. I can’t believe you’re marginalizing and legitimatizing these terrorists.

    7.) “It depends on when these foreigners arrived, what their intent was, and their reasons for being there. None of them fought for Saddam while the regime was intact?.The Peoples Army that the Palestinians promised for Saddam failed to deliver. The only “terrorism” that Saddam engaged in to save his regime consisted of two IIS officers (one a pregnant woman) blowing themselves up near US Army checkpoints. If Saddam had these legions at his beck and call, and surely if they were trained in Iraq, and as you state living in Iraq, they would presumably owe some loyalty to Saddam, then why was the first suicide bombing by a foreigner six months after Saddam fled? Sure there were foreigners in Iraq prior to the war, but were they there at the behest of Saddam, or were they there in anticipation of an American invasion, and without the knowledge of the regime? If the regime knew they were there, why weren’t they used?”

    There were attempts to use them, but most were foiled. I can list several examples from around the world. Moreover, most of the terrorists in Iraq fought as terrorists IN Iraq. The first suicide bombing was not weeks after the US was there, but within hours of the US Marines heading up the E bank of the Euphrates. Why were they there? The docs captured with Saddam said that they were there at his behest, and that his loyalists should work on their own and in parallel to the jihadis. Btw, Marines were stationed at various terrorist training camps in Iraq after the fall of the regime. Nasariya, Khifl, Fallujah, and several more. Re Salman Pak, the jury was left out per the Sen Intel Com report, but the claims from UN observers who visited it as late as 98 all said it was obvious and blatant terrorist training-even Scott Ritter’s book, Endgame cites this. Duelfer, Eukeus, Butler, Kay, and others describe it as well. So too do detainee interrogations. Given the dual phenomenology of the reporting (documents aside), we can ask the simple question: when the US invaded Iraq…did Marines who went to Salman Pak face anti-terrorist commandos or foreign fighter terrorists as the intel, eyewitnesses, and detainees had forecast? Answer: 1500-2500 foreign fighter terrorists in the area. No Iraqi anti-terrorism team has ever been encountered, and no documents ever uncovered suggesting one ever existed.

    8.) “I did check; both the DOD website and several other sources. US troops are still in Saudi Arabia; several hundred, but several hundred too many.?A skeletal crew of a few hundred is to remain and U.S. military personnel will continue training with Saudi forces and holding joint exercises, officials said? http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-08-28-ustroops-saudiarabia_x.htm
    Like I said the US will keep troops in Saudi Arabia for a while.”

    Great find. Thanks for looking it up. By “a while”….does that mean 4 years? Are they still there today? And are there more embassy personnel and/or more American businessmen in the oil compounds or more troops? Nah, 300 people is nothin. Again, I don’t think they’re even there anymore.

    9.) From your link :

    FIRST “Americans’ continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post”

    i.e. the continued US bombing and war on Iraq from 91-98+

    SECOND “…despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million…”

    i.e. the US led sanctions, bombing, and no-fly-zones (that were seen as no threat?)

    THIRD “…the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq”

    i.e. the US effort to contain and weaken Iraq so that it couldn’t attack its neighbors again.

    10.) “Hey I was fine keeping him in power to balance Iran.”

    By 2003, he was not just a threat to Iran though. He was a threat to Kuwait, Saudi, and had become a rallying cry for Jihad on the US.

    11.) “Even psychotic dictators utilize realism in foreign policy decision-making.”

    Oxymoron. Only true on occasion and not in pattern.

    12.) “He didn’t take the threat seriously and his regime was not really threatened. What’s wrong with that argument; it isn’t a false dichotomy. He didn’t expect the US to overthrow him so he didn’t take the US threat seriously.”

    Then we agree, the no-fly-zones were irrelevant?

    13.) “Stop forcing me into a false dichotomy. I don’t have the data for all 12 years hence I used what I could find. I didn’t say the no-fly zones were an abhorrent act (I didn’t make a moral judgment on them) I stated they were not justified under UN Security Council Resolutions, nor were they a part of any cease-fire agreement, thus any Iraqi response to them was justified under international law; that the response was muted only confirms that the Iraqis saw the no-fly zones as both illegitimate and irrelevant. They would fire a missile or AAA every now and then as a show of force but no serious damage was ever done. Your basic premise is that because Iraq did all these things Saddam believed himself to be at war with the US. I am stating that despite all the things the US did to Iraq, Saddam didn’t see himself in a war with the US. “

    I strongly suggest that to claim Saddam didn’t believe he was at war with the US is to ignore all the information including his own statements to the contrary. Which intelligence report would you reference to this claim that he felt he was no longer at war with the US after 1991? I agree he didn’t think the US had the balls to invade, but I strongly believe he felt he was at war with the US.

    14.) “Again it is the only data I have. In the links provided to you (globalsecurity.org you?ve heard of this website?) it stated the reasons why the data was incomplete, as statistics were not kept PRIOR to 1999. You state Iraq shot at US planes daily and that there were a whole bunch of air campaigns; please provide the evidence.”

    I gave a link in an earlier thread, and you dismissed Pender out of hand.

    15.) ““Daniel Byman identified five types of support states can give to terrorist organizations (Deadly Connections by Daniel Byman http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Connections-States-Sponsor-Terrorism/dp/0521839734 ):

    A.) Providing training and operations

    B.) Weapons, money, and supplies

    C.) Diplomatic cover

    D.) Ideology

    E.) Sanctuary”

    A) Again, gonna have to ask the Marines why they claim they were stationed at terrorist training camps after the invasion.

    B) Weapons (RDX), money ($300k to Zawahiri among others), supplies (passports, travel, etc).

    C) Saddam’s embassies and his harboring of terrorists demonstrate the diplomatic cover aspect

    D) Ideology, see question #9

    E) Sanctuary, I listed the first hand accounts about thousands of terrorists being encountered in Iraq

    “We know that al Qaeda?s ideology was formed during the 1980s without any help from Iraq. “

    The Al Queda of the 1980’s was almost completely different from that of the Al Queda reformed in 1992, and extremely different from the AQ formed in 1996 when EIJ merged with it and took over 2/3 of the command structure.

    “We also know that al Qaeda did not have any sanctuary (headquarters or training facilities) in Iraq (one can dispute the existence of Salman Pak as a “terrorist” training camp, but no evidence that al Qaeda used it). “

    False

    “As for diplomatic cover the only evidence that any al Qaeda operative used an Iraqi passport was Yousef when he entered the US prior to the 1993 WTC bombing (Though he wasn’t an Al Qaeda operative at the time). He claims it was a fake passport and there is evidence that fake Iraqi passports had become commonplace in the aftermath of the 1991 Iraq war and could be easily bought in Pakistan. Laurie Mylroie thinks otherwise. No other serious commentators or terrorism experts make such a claim. “

    See also USS Cole and African Embassy Bombings

    ”So that leaves the first two options; providing training, operational direction, weapons, and money. Osama did request Chinese sea mines at one point but was rebuffed by Iraq (yes it is Saddam’s and Aziz’s and Hijaz’s and the other IIS guy?s word but if Iraq had given Al Qaeda sea mines they would have used them don?t you think?) Al Qaeda uses weapons it gets off the black market and its training camps have been well established in Afghanistan for several years. So if you can provide any evidence of money transfers or operational direction from Iraq (actual hands-on approach by IIS agents who had the power to choose and veto targets), that would be some evidence of state-sponsorship. Beyond that though I don’t think there would be anything to substantiate an operational link (state-sponsor) between the two.

    Who provided the RDX for the USS Cole bomb, and how did the guys who couldn’t successfully build a boat manage to design and build the largest shaped charge ever built?

    Again re money, Zawahiri $300k, and more.

    Operational direction? That’s not how state-sponsorship works in my mind. It works where a state says, “we’d really like it if someone hit nation X hard, and we’d like to donate to your cause.” Then the terrorists turn around and hit nation X. Deniability is the core purpose behind a state sponsoring a terror group. As an example of that, I think we can look at the now infamous Black Hawk Down event recently authenticated docs show not only was AQ deeply involved in the event (as the Clinton Admin claimed) but they were there at the direct request and support of the IIS (see also Ray Robison’s article at American Thinker re Saddam’s Ties, and my own here at FW re 1992).

    For me, there are two great links:

    1) the pattern of Oil For Food (OFF) confrontation, followed by high level AQ/IIS meeting followed by fresh fatwa or AQ attack being set in motion. This happened several times, and I don’t believe in a pattern of coincidences-not when pre-Bush Admin reports, msm reports, open source intel, detainee, and captured docs verify this pattern.

    2) the indirect and inexpensive using of each other. AQ used US war on Iraq as a good martyr like rally cry, Saddam’s regime tossed a little cash their way, maybe a few hundred pounds of RDX from time to time, and got a return on investment several fold larger than the initial effort down.

    ReplyReply
  20. James says: 20

    1.)” Great! Then please read the operative clause of (for example) 686 which says it’s conditional upon the terms of 678 being met first. Ie, if those terms are not met, then 678 is still in effect. I’m gonna cut to the chase here and reiterate the question that seems most important: were the no-fly-zones and bi-annual bombing campaigns important enough for Saddam to see them as a threat, or were they effectively irrelevant? You’ve argued well for both sides of this question without determining WHICH one it is…whether this constant 12yrs of bombing was important or not. All other denials that 678 was still in effect (as stated in almost all subsequent Iraq resolutions) is just denial and finger pointing at the US for apparently actions that were no big deal…action Saddam supposedly saw as no threat and actions that had no effect on UBL’s decision to reform AQ and start killing Americans.
    No-fly-zones: if they were threatening, the debate about legality is worthy, if they were no threat and irrelevant, then it’s just baseless finger pointing.”

    Obviously the no-fly zones were not threatening to Iraq. I am merely pointing out the rationale the Iraqis used to justify their actions against US planes. They had a legitimate concern over the legality of US and British warplanes flying overhead in sovereign Iraqi territory. That they chose to react violently doesn’t legitimize the no-fly zones, and doesn’t constitute a violation of any UN Resolution by Iraq.

    2.) “If Iraq launched a SCUD at Saudi a year after the cease-fire was in effect, and Saudi hadn’t done anything (except allow non-threatening no-fly-zones to launch from Saudi), then would the war be back on, or would it be time to debate and haggle, and negotiate the terms of re-opening 678 which was already left open until the cease-fire terms were met (as quoted in earlier post-note, I’m not just talking about that “recalling blah blah blah stuff either”). Or if Saddam started firing missiles at neighbors, does that mean the cease-fire is off? No way do troops in the field have to sit and take hits while the UN debates whether or not a temporary cease-fire has been broken”

    You would still need another resolution though Iraq’s intent would be clearer, since SCUDS were illegal under 687, also Saudi Arabia could invoke Article 52 the right of self-defense, etc. But the question was Iraq’s firing at US and UK planes a violation of the cease-fire; it wasn’t because the no-fly zones were not covered under any cease-fire agreement, and they were merely defensive actions, so Iraq could also invoke Article xxx.

    3.) “Some say pointed to 688 as the reason, but myself and others point to them as enforcement tools for 678. Under that resolution they were legal (though irrelevant if they were no threat to Saddam and meant nothing to AQ).”

    Well you can point to what you want, the US government stated they based the no-fly zones on 688 (Operation Provide Comfort), and they started in August 1991, not April when they would be expected to if they were a part of the cease-fire.

    4.) “Not one American has been killed in Iraq since 5/1/03 in a legitimate attack from a legitimate enemy. The enemy has political motivations-sure, but if they’re political motivations are a return to tyranny (as is the case with Saddam loyalists, Iranian and Syrian intel, AQ, AQ affiliates, etc) then they are not legitimate enemies, and since they are using terrorist tactics, they are terrorists. For debate sake, let’s agree to call them the enemy and close #4 ?”

    SAF isn’t legitimate? Grenades aren’t legitimate? RPGs aren’t legitimate? Or is it because they don’t wear uniforms? We can get into a debate about partisan warfare, and Geneva Conventions some other time. In any event I agree to close #4 and call them the enemy.

    5.) “Yet, those grievances have peaceful political means by which they can and are addressed. This is like saying that since Gore lost in 00, his supporters had the right to take up arms and start blowing up grocery stores because they had a political agenda. Let’s also be clear, AQ is only a small percentage of the insurgency, but its actions are the major cause of death among civilians in the insurgency (almost all suicide bombers are AQ, and most deaths come from suicide bombers). Thus, the disgruntled Sunni are a fraction of the insurgency that doesn’t compile even ¼ of the casualties.”

    Apparently those peaceful means don’t work though, or the Sunnis (or a minority thereof) don’t believe they will work, or don’t trust the system. There were legitimate elections, and peaceful political means in Northern Ireland as well throughout the “troubles”, yet the IRA still bombed and attacked the British. Dismiss them as terrorists if you will, but their grievances and means to address them have nominal support in the Sunni community.

    5.A.) “Mmmm, yeah, that’s why he committed suicide with 9 bullets to the head”

    I thought it was four, and where does this story come from anyway? The Iraqis had control of the morgues and would have never presented evidence he shot himself with four bullets. The ANO organization is a bunch of terrorists so their word can never be trusted (unless it proves a Saddam link somewhere). Who else had intimate knowledge of Abu Nidal’s death?

    6.) “They were international terrorists, and they settled in Iraq just as Carlos the Jackal had, as UBL had been offered, and as thousands of others did. I can’t believe you’re marginalizing and legitimatizing these terrorists.”

    Well Carlos the Jackal actually never went to Iraq, he was refused entry by Saddam in 1985 and went to Syria instead. UBL was never offered sanctuary in Iraq; this story was put out by the Glasgow Herald in 1999 but never substantiated.

    7.) “ There were attempts to use them, but most were foiled. I can list several examples from around the world. Moreover, most of the terrorists in Iraq fought as terrorists IN Iraq. The first suicide bombing was not weeks after the US was there, but within hours of the US Marines heading up the E bank of the Euphrates. Why were they there? The docs captured with Saddam said that they were there at his behest, and that his loyalists should work on their own and in parallel to the jihadis. Btw, Marines were stationed at various terrorist training camps in Iraq after the fall of the regime. Nasariya, Khifl, Fallujah, and several more. Re Salman Pak, the jury was left out per the Sen Intel Com report, but the claims from UN observers who visited it as late as 98 all said it was obvious and blatant terrorist training-even Scott Ritter’s book, Endgame cites this. Duelfer, Eukeus, Butler, Kay, and others describe it as well. So too do detainee interrogations. Given the dual phenomenology of the reporting (documents aside), we can ask the simple question: when the US invaded Iraq…did Marines who went to Salman Pak face anti-terrorist commandos or foreign fighter terrorists as the intel, eyewitnesses, and detainees had forecast? Answer: 1500-2500 foreign fighter terrorists in the area. No Iraqi anti-terrorism team has ever been encountered, and no documents ever uncovered suggesting one ever existed.”

    Not around the world (pre-1991 yes) but in Iraq. Here is the first suicide bombing of the war:

    — Iraq’s vice president said an Iraqi military officer carried out Saturday’s deadly suicide bomb attack and promised more to come, warning Iraq could send a single “martyr” to kill thousands of Americans.
    Four U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division were killed Saturday morning when a suicide bomber in a taxi attacked a military checkpoint in the central Iraqi town of Najaf, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said.
    The suicide bombing was the first against U.S. and British forces since the invasion of Iraq began.

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/29/sprj.irq.car.bomb/index.html

    This was one of two suicide bombings the regime carried out: by an Iraqi military officer and an IIS agent. Neither of them were foreigners. The Marines were stationed in Iraqi Army bases; whether they were used as terrorist training camps is an open question. Regarding Salman Pak the detainees were not considered credible, nor were the “eyewitnesses”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Pak_facility#Credibility_of_defectors

    8.) “Great find. Thanks for looking it up. By “a while”….does that mean 4 years? Are they still there today? And are there more embassy personnel and/or more American businessmen in the oil compounds or more troops? Nah, 300 people is nothin. Again, I don’t think they’re even there anymore.”

    They are still there, 261 Special Forces soldiers are still stationed there, a small contingent but not a complete withdrawal as I inferred.

    9.) “i.e. the US led sanctions, bombing, and no-fly-zones (that were seen as no threat?)”

    We are looking at bin Laden’s words in two different ways. I see him angry at the humiliation and mistreatment that Arabs (all Arabs) receive at the hands of “infidels”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a threat or not, it’s the principle of the matter.

    10.) “By 2003, he was not just a threat to Iran though. He was a threat to Kuwait, Saudi, and had become a rallying cry for Jihad on the US.”

    His main focus was Iran; he didn’t like Kuwait but there has always been an historical animosity between the two countries. Even before the Baathists took power Iraq threatened to invade Kuwait. In his absence former terrorist organizations sponsored by Iran have come to power making Iraq practically a proxy for the Iranians.

    11.) “Oxymoron. Only true on occasion and not in pattern.”

    All states are self-interested and this self-interest (survival) drives them; Read Waltz or Mearshimer for a clearer understanding.

    12.) “I strongly suggest that to claim Saddam didn’t believe he was at war with the US is to ignore all the information including his own statements to the contrary. Which intelligence report would you reference to this claim that he felt he was no longer at war with the US after 1991? I agree he didn’t think the US had the balls to invade, but I strongly believe he felt he was at war with the US.”

    The Dulefer Report stated he wanted to be an ally of the US; his entire security and military apparatus regarded Iran, and Israel as more pressing threats to Iraq than the US, along with domestic opponents. Even Kuwait and Syria were considered higher priorities for Saddam than the US. He didn’t like being sanctioned, and he used the US as the bully to rail against, but that doesn’t mean he invited or sought or wanted war or thought he was in one. If so then it was Saddam against the world, or the UN , and not the US specifically.

    13.) A) ‘Again, gonna have to ask the Marines why they claim they were stationed at terrorist training camps after the invasion.”

    They claimed they found one terrorist training camp, or what they assumed was a training camp outside of Baghdad:

    http://www.boston.com/news/daily/16/terrorist_camp.htm

    Initial reports are usually wrong though and nothing indicated that foreigners were trained there.

    B) “Saddam’s embassies and his harboring of terrorists demonstrate the diplomatic cover aspect.”

    It did in the 1980s. but both Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas were no longer engaged in terrorist activities when they returned to Baghdad, kind of like SCIRI and Dawa no longer engage in terrorist activities since the US started supporting them.

    C.) ”Sanctuary, I listed the first hand accounts about thousands of terrorists being encountered in Iraq”

    How did they know they were terrorists? Did they speak a different dialect than Iraqi Arabic? Did they wear different clothes? The Saddam Fedayeen were a paramilitary organization that utilized guerrilla tactics but they were not foreign terrorists

    D.) “The Al Queda of the 1980’s was almost completely different from that of the Al Queda reformed in 1992, and extremely different from the AQ formed in 1996 when EIJ merged with it and took over 2/3 of the command structure.”

    No it had the same ideology (radical Islamism, pure Islamic state, return of the Caliphate) that it was founded on. It is diametrically opposed to Baathism. EIJ and al Qaeda formally merged in 2001, though a large part of the domestic branch of EIJ still retains autonomous capabilities.

    http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/agd/www/nationalsecurity.nsf/AllDocs/49909081A2EE3715CA256FCD001B7D79?OpenDocument

    E.) “False”

    Prove it.

    F.) “Who provided the RDX for the USS Cole bomb, and how did the guys who couldn’t successfully build a boat manage to design and build the largest shaped charge ever built?”

    According to your own post a few days ago they used Russian RDX:

    http://www.floppingaces.net/2007/04/06/the-truth-on-the-iraqalqaeda-c/

    which is quite common:

    http://www.ordnance.org/rdx.htm

    G.) “Again re money, Zawahiri $300k, and more.”

    I’ve heard this claim repeated on blogs and message boards but where is the source for this claim? Do you have bank account information, wire transfer dates, or are you just re-hashing Stephen Hayes’s claim which is a re-hash of Doug Feith’s memo claim, which is unsubstantiated?

    H.) “Operational direction? That’s not how state-sponsorship works in my mind. It works where a state says, “we’d really like it if someone hit nation X hard, and we’d like to donate to your cause.” Then the terrorists turn around and hit nation X. Deniability is the core purpose behind a state sponsoring a terror group. As an example of that, I think we can look at the now infamous Black Hawk Down event recently authenticated docs show not only was AQ deeply involved in the event (as the Clinton Admin claimed) but they were there at the direct request and support of the IIS (see also Ray Robison’s article at American Thinker re Saddam’s Ties, and my own here at FW re 1992).”

    Interesting but how do you explain overt support of terrorism than? Clearly countries like Iran and Syria sponsor terrorism, and don’t hide that fact, so where is their deniability? States sponsor terrorism for specific reasons; to undermine neighboring states, to project power, etc. There was a state sponsor of al Qaeda: The Taliban, which allowed AQ to operate in its territory, provided security for AQ leadership and training camps. We also know that AQ was a self-financing entity, and the terrorists in 9/11 were trained in the US.

    Ray Robison talks about the CNS documents “discovered” in 2004, which do not delineate any plans by the IIS to engage in attacking Americans, only their stated “desire” to drive Americans from Arab lands. There is much dispute over the role Ai Qaeda played in “Black Hawk Down” in 1993; bin Laden claims an active hand though this may be mere boasting on his part. This link states that Al Qaeda only provided minimum weapons training; how to shoot down helicopters with RPGs something the Afghan Arabs were very good at. Nothing in the battle then or since indicates any Iraqi involvement.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/black_hawk_down.htm

    1.) “the pattern of Oil For Food (OFF) confrontation, followed by high level AQ/IIS meeting followed by fresh fatwa or AQ attack being set in motion. This happened several times, and I don’t believe in a pattern of coincidences-not when pre-Bush Admin reports, msm reports, open source intel, detainee, and captured docs verify this pattern.”

    2) “the indirect and inexpensive using of each other. AQ used US war on Iraq as a good martyr like rally cry, Saddam’s regime tossed a little cash their way, maybe a few hundred pounds of RDX from time to time, and got a return on investment several fold larger than the initial effort down.”

    Sam Pender, Scott Malensek, whatever you want to call yourself:

    http://www.baltimorereporter.com/?p=2915

    http://www.amazon.com/Iraqs-Smoking-Gun-Sam-Pender/dp/1589395379/ref=sr_1_3/105-8106062-1004404?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1179881802&sr=8-3

    At first glance your voluminous amount of writing is impressive until one realizes that it is nearly all self-published:

    http://www.virtualbookworm.com/

    Citing yourself as a definitive source isn’t recommended unless your books have been peer-reviewed, or published by a reputable publisher, or any publisher for that matter.

    Regardless of where your books were published I will still probablly read them, if only to understand your arguments better. .

    ReplyReply
  21. Scott Malensek says: 21

    1.) “Obviously the no-fly zones were not threatening to Iraq. I am merely pointing out the rationale the Iraqis used to justify their actions against US planes. They had a legitimate concern over the legality of US and British warplanes flying overhead in sovereign Iraqi territory. That they chose to react violently doesn?t legitimize the no-fly zones, and doesn’t constitute a violation of any UN Resolution by Iraq.”

    This “legitimate concern” seems to benign to me. I believe that if nations were shooting down my planes and conducting major bombing campaigns (btw, those campaigns were outside the no-fly-zone’s pretext), then it seems a lot more than “legitimate concern.” It would seem like acts of war-the same acts of war Saddam repeatedly reiterated and claimed. Again, the idea of Saddam the forgiving, or Saddam the peaceful, or Saddam the nonchalant just is out of character in every sense. The man believed he was at war with the US, stated so almost daily, and just didn’t think the US was actually gonna have the balls to invade until the last minute.

    2.) “You would still need another resolution though Iraq?s intent would be clearer, since SCUDS were illegal under 687, also Saudi Arabia could invoke Article 52 the right of self-defense, etc. But the question was Iraq’s firing at US and UK planes a violation of the cease-fire; it wasn’t because the no-fly zones were not covered under any cease-fire agreement, and they were merely defensive actions, so Iraq could also invoke Article xxx.”

    And yet, in January 1993…Iraq fired an illegal SCUD at Saudi Arabia. Perfectly legal to fire illegal weapons and to break the cease-fire agreement?

    No. There is a difference between a cease-fire and a peace agreement. A cease-fire is temporary and conditional. Once those conditions are met, it’s a peace agreement, if the cease-fire is broken (as it was just 16 days after it was agreed to) it can be moot.

    3.) “Well you can point to what you want, the US government stated they based the no-fly zones on 688 (Operation Provide Comfort), and they started in August 1991, not April when they would be expected to if they were a part of the cease-fire.

    I disagree as to when the no-fly-zones were declared. I have OSW as August 92 per the US State Dept website, and ONW as April 6-again US State Dept. Now, what of the cease-fire violations from March to April? Those are ok? Legal? No consequence?

    Is there a difference between cease-fire agreements and peace agreements?

    5.A.) “I thought it was four, and where does this story come from anyway? The Iraqis had control of the morgues and would have never presented evidence
    he shot himself with four bullets. The ANO organization is a bunch of terrorists so their word can never be trusted (unless it proves a Saddam link somewhere). Who else had intimate knowledge of Abu Nidal’sdeath?”

    The Iraqis held a press conference, and showed pics of his body. First reports were suicide, then it was claimed he was shot 4 times trying to escape, but pics of the body showed far more than 4 wounds.

    6.) “Well Carlos the Jackal actually never went to Iraq, he was refused entry by Saddam in 1985 and went to Syria instead. UBL was never offered sanctuary in Iraq; this story was put out by the Glasgow Herald in 1999 but never substantiated.”

    Really? I had Sanchez aka “Carlos” down as having been allowed there until his wife was released, then they went to Syria. After which he bounced around until he was turned over to the French by Sudan in Sudan (Iraq’s ally).

    The UBL offer was in a LOT of papers-not just the Glasgo Herald. Hijazi’s post-war debriefings have been a classic case of a man professing his innocence in the face of involvement in the greatest of crimes. There’s flaws in his testimony to the FBI, inconsistencies, and contradictions to authenticated intel docs. Two things are certain: he was at the center of the storm, and he’s lying (even intel officials admit that much-though…not the FBI) . In any event, this is another case of not having any possible way of knowing that before the invasion, and even the CIA (forget Feith) reported in their Iraqi Support for Terrorism reports that the offer had been made, but that it was of typically poor reliability due to the absolute and inexcusable complete lack of intelligence gathering on Iraq from 98-02 (almost 03) and very little on AQ from 98-01.

    7.) “Not around the world (pre-1991 yes) but in Iraq. Here is the first suicide bombing of the war:

    — Iraq’s vice president said an Iraqi military officer carried out Saturday’s deadly suicide bomb attack and promised more to come, warning Iraq could send a single “martyr” to kill thousands of Americans. Four U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division were killed Saturday morning when a suicide bomber in a taxi attacked a military checkpoint in
    the central Iraqi town of Najaf, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said.

    The suicide bombing was the first against U.S. and British forces since the invasion of Iraq began.

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/29/sprj.irq.car.bomb/index.html

    This was one of two suicide bombings the regime carried out: by an Iraqi military officer and an IIS agent. Neither of them were foreigners. The Marines were stationed in Iraqi Army bases; whether they were used as terrorist training camps is an open question. Regarding Salman Pak the
    detainees were not considered credible, nor were the “eyewitnesses”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Pak_facility#Credibility_of_defectors”

    ok, later on you comment on my sourcing myself (which I only sourced the matl and made no suggestion that I was someone special, just the sourced matl), and yet here you’re sourcing wikipedia? C’mon man. Not goin’ to buy wiki. Not when there’s so many other examples of IIS working with AQ affiliates and/or prepping for attacks themselves pre-war and during the ignored war period (see also FA post on 1992)

    8.) “They are still there, 261 Special Forces soldiers are still stationed there, a small contingent but not a complete withdrawal as I inferred.”

    Again, my bet is there’s thousands of westerners there for business. Perhaps tens of thousands, and hundreds or thousands-maybe tens of thousands there as diplomats etc. 261 special forces is hardly worthy of a fatwa. I can’t possibly see anyone making a case that 261 special forces are more offensive than the tens of thousands of others in the kingdom for business and political reasons. A 261 person occupation?

    9.) “We are looking at bin Laden?s words in two different ways. I see him angry at the humiliation and mistreatment that Arabs (all Arabs) receive at the hands of “infidels”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a threat or not, it’s the principle of the matter.”

    And I see that too, but I also see him specifically (his words) listing 3 reasons to start killing Americans, and all three were the US war on Iraq in the 1990’s (I use the term war, or ignored war, others use containment, earlier you used the words “legitimate concern”)

    10.) “His main focus was Iran; he didn’t like Kuwait but there has always been an historical animosity between the two countries. Even before the Baathists took power Iraq threatened to invade Kuwait. In his absence
    former terrorist organizations sponsored by Iran have come to power making Iraq practically a proxy for the Iranians.”

    I agree, but he’d attacked Syria with Islamic extremist terrorists, he’d waged war with Iran, he’d bombed Jordan, invaded Kuwait, invaded Saudi, and threatened all the Gulf States during the Iran/Iraq War with naval and air attacks. He was a threat to the region.

    11.) “All states are self-interested and this self-interest (survival) drives them; Read Waltz or Mearshimer for a clearer understanding.”

    Yep. All states are self-interested. I agree. We can close 11

    12.) “The Dulefer Report stated he wanted to be an ally of the US; his entire security and military apparatus regarded Iran, and Israel as more pressing
    threats to Iraq than the US, along with domestic opponents. Even Kuwait and Syria were considered higher priorities for Saddam than the US. He didn’t like being sanctioned, and he used the US as the bully to rail against, but that doesn’t mean he invited or sought or wanted war or
    thought he was in one. If so then it was Saddam against the world, or the UN , and not the US specifically.”

    Where does it say in the Duelfer Report that Saddam was trying to be an ally of the US?

    13.) “A) “Again, gonna have to ask the Marines why they claim they were stationed at terrorist training camps after the invasion.” They claimed they found one terrorist training camp, or what they assumed
    was a training camp outside of Baghdad:

    http://www.boston.com/news/daily/16/terrorist_camp.htm

    Initial reports are usually wrong though and nothing indicated that foreigners were trained there. “

    Sorry man, but pre-war reporting was that there were foreigners training at camps in Nasariah, Falluja, Khifl, Salman Pak, and several other places, then the US Marines went there, were fought by foreigners, and got to the “army” training camps where foreigners were coming from and had been stationed (per docex). What’s vague about that? Seems the disinformation is counter to the (for once) accurate intel.

    “B) “It did in the 1980s. but both Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas were no longer engaged in terrorist activities when they returned to Baghdad, kind of like SCIRI and Dawa no longer engage in terrorist activities since the US
    started supporting them.”

    We’ll never know about Nidal, but Abbas supposedly was still coordinating from his safe haven/terrorist-legend-retirement-community.

    C.) “How did they know they were terrorists? Did they speak a different dialect than Iraqi Arabic? Did they wear different clothes? The Saddam Fedayeen
    were a paramilitary organization that utilized guerrilla tactics but they were not foreign terrorists”

    Often (in the first hand accounts I listed earlier) its from documents found on bodies, some who were captured, and more. I have direct information from intelligence professionals who were there and served several tours confirming that there were foreign terrorists all over the place. They confirm the accounts listed in the first hand books I listed earlier.

    D.) “No it had the same ideology (radical Islamism, pure Islamic state, return of the Caliphate) that it was founded on. It is diametrically opposed to Baathism. EIJ and al Qaeda formally merged in 2001, though a large part of the domestic branch of EIJ still retains autonomous capabilities.

    http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/agd/www/nationalsecurity.nsf/AllDocs/499
    09081A2EE3715CA256FCD001B7D79?OpenDocument

    Peter Bergen, the FBI, the CIA, and others disagree. They all point to 1996. Would you like a source list?

    E.) Prove it.

    F.) “According to your own post a few days ago they used Russian RDX:

    http://www.floppingaces.net/2007/04/06/the-truth-on-the-iraqalqaeda-c/

    which is quite common:

    http://www.ordnance.org/rdx.htm”

    Yep. It’s common, and it was Russian. Did these master engineers who couldn’t build a boat go to Moscow and buy Russian RDX and design and build the largest shaped charge ever? Or did the RDX come from a nation other than Russia? Recall if you will that it IS traceable.

    G.) “I’ve heard this claim repeated on blogs and message boards but where is the source for this claim? Do you have bank account information, wire
    transfer dates, or are you just re-hashing Stephen Hayes’s claim which is a re-hash of Doug Feith’s memo claim, which is unsubstantiated?”

    In this case I am referring to Hayes, but not his Feith information. No. He references a US News & World Report from the 90’s. I’d reference a Newsweek article that talks about high level visits and money transfers. Hayes also references a captured Iraqi official. This has nothing to do with the Feith memo.

    H.) “Interesting but how do you explain overt support of terrorism than? Clearly countries like Iran and Syria sponsor terrorism, and don’t hide that fact, so where is their deniability? States sponsor terrorism for specific reasons; to undermine neighboring states, to project power, etc. There was a state sponsor of al Qaeda: The Taliban, which allowed AQ to operate in its territory, provided security for AQ leadership and training camps. We also know that AQ was a self-financing entity, and the
    terrorists in 9/11 were trained in the US. “

    Ask Iran or Syria about their support for terrorist groups X, Y, and Z, and they are consistent in their responses. First they deny relationships (see also Ahmadinejad interview with Diane Sawyer where he denies supporting terrorists), then they sometimes claims a terrorist group is really a political group (albeit a political group where the uniform is a suicide vest, and the debates are final), and lastly they’ll change the subject. In general, they deny their support for terrorists even though it’s done in plain sight. What other purpose is there for state sponsorship of terrorism other than deniability first and foremost?

    “Ray Robison talks about the CNS documents “discovered” in 2004, which do not delineate any plans by the IIS to engage in attacking Americans, only their stated “desire” to drive Americans from Arab lands. There is much dispute over the role Ai Qaeda played in “Black Hawk Down” in 1993; bin Laden claims an active hand though this may be mere boasting on his part. This link states that Al Qaeda only provided minimum weapons training; how to shoot down helicopters with RPGs something the Afghan
    Arabs were very good at. Nothing in the battle then or since indicates any Iraqi involvement.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/black_hawk_down.htm”

    Your link is previous to Ray’s and doesn’t take into account the recently authenticated docs that Ray cites.

    “Sam Pender, Scott Malensek, whatever you want to call yourself:

    http://www.baltimorereporter.com/?p=2915

    http://www.amazon.com/Iraqs-Smoking-Gun-Sam-Pender/dp/1589395379/ref=sr_1_3
    /105-8106062-1004404?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1179881802&sr=8-3

    At first glance your voluminous amount of writing is impressive until one realizes that it is nearly all self-published:

    http://www.virtualbookworm.com/

    Citing yourself as a definitive source isn’t recommended unless your books have been peer-reviewed, or published by a reputable publisher, or any publisher for that matter.
    Regardless of where your books were published I will still probably read them, if only to understand your arguments better. .”

    As I said earlier, when I gave that link it was to the information that you said was ‘from 96 other sources.’ That seems like a lot of good sourcing to prove the point. I’d like to send even more information, but that pdf was the quickest, simplest, and shortest way of presenting it. My intent was not to present myself, Sam Pender, as the utmost authority, but rather to demonstrate that the information is backed by sources far more reputable than Sam Pender, myself. Sorry for the confusion. Btw, I use the pen name from time to time so people focus on the info-not on the name & pedigree. I don’t work for the State Department, and have not worked for the CIA etc. (though I admit many many many sources in the IC).

    This is getting long (though I think fun). Can we close out a few more items? For example, the UN stuff. I’d love to start discussing how UN resolutions mandate the current US presence in Iraq, but this gets us way OT from regime ties.

    ReplyReply
  22. Jamws says: 22

    1.) “This “legitimate concern” seems to benign to me. I believe that if nations were shooting down my planes and conducting major bombing campaigns (btw, those campaigns were outside the no-fly-zone’s pretext), then it seems a lot more than “legitimate concern.” It would seem like acts of war-the same acts of war Saddam repeatedly reiterated and claimed. Again, the idea of Saddam the forgiving, or Saddam the peaceful, or Saddam the nonchalant just is out of character in every sense. The man believed he was at war with the US, stated so almost daily, and just didn’t think the US was actually gonna have the balls to invade until the last minute.
    And yet, in January 1993…Iraq fired an illegal SCUD at Saudi Arabia. Perfectly legal to fire illegal weapons and to break the cease-fire agreement?
    No. There is a difference between a cease-fire and a peace agreement. A cease-fire is temporary and conditional. Once those conditions are met, it’s a peace agreement, if the cease-fire is broken (as it was just 16 days after it was agreed to) it can be moot.”

    I wasn’t aware of any Iraqi SCUDs fired at Saudi Arabia after the war. The US accused Saddam of moving missiles to the south of Iraq, but all SCUD missiles were accounted for by the ISG:

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/isg-final-report_vol2_delivery-anx-a.htm

    Saddam desired peace or at least the lifting of sanctions; if he believed he was at war with the US why did he destroy his SCUD missiles and WMD? His actions were far different from his words.

    2.) “I disagree as to when the no-fly-zones were declared. I have OSW as August 92 per the US State Dept website, and ONW as April 6-again US State Dept. Now, what of the cease-fire violations from March to April? Those are ok? Legal? No consequence?”

    ’92 or ‘91? The Iraq war ended in 1991. What cease-fire violations are you referring to in March and April? Remember Iraq had to accept the terms as well, and there may have been some delay in their acceptance.

    3.) “Is there a difference between cease-fire agreements and peace agreements?”

    Not anymore, a cease-fire is effectively a peace agreement. This is a cease-fire agreement but it is treated as a peace agreement:

    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Hornet/irin_72299c.html

    4.) “The Iraqis held a press conference, and showed pics of his body. First reports were suicide, then it was claimed he was shot 4 times trying to escape, but pics of the body showed far more than 4 wounds.”

    Fine and dandy they killed a terrorist. It doesn’t take away from the fact that he did have leukemia, and hadn’t committed a terrorist act in ten years.

    5.) “Really? I had Sanchez aka “Carlos” down as having been allowed there until his wife was released, then they went to Syria. After which he bounced around until he was turned over to the French by Sudan in Sudan (Iraq’s ally).”

    He was in nearly every country in the Middle East except for Iraq under Saddam Hussein:

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists_spies/terrorists/jackal/14.html

    He transited through Iraq in 1976 (for three weeks) but otherwise was denied entry to Iraq.

    6.) “The UBL offer was in a LOT of papers-not just the Glasgo Herald. Hijazi’s post-war debriefings have been a classic case of a man professing his innocence in the face of involvement in the greatest of crimes. There’s flaws in his testimony to the FBI, inconsistencies, and contradictions to authenticated intel docs. Two things are certain: he was at the center of the storm, and he’s lying (even intel officials admit that much-though…not the FBI) . In any event, this is another case of not having any possible way of knowing that before the invasion, and even the CIA (forget Feith) reported in their Iraqi Support for Terrorism reports that the offer had been made, but that it was of typically poor reliability due to the absolute and inexcusable complete lack of intelligence gathering on Iraq from 98-02 (almost 03) and very little on AQ from 98-01”

    Regardless of how many papers it was in it still isn’t substantiated. It was part of a disinformation campaign by Iraqi regime opposition figures:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,314700,00.html

    There are also inconsistencies in the story:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1229608/posts

    The story also happened about the same time as this bogus story planted by the Taliban:

    http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9902/13/afghan.binladen/

    7.) “ok, later on you comment on my sourcing myself (which I only sourced the matl and made no suggestion that I was someone special, just the sourced matl), and yet here you’re sourcing wikipedia? C’mon man. Not goin’ to buy wiki. Not when there’s so many other examples of IIS working with AQ affiliates and/or prepping for attacks themselves pre-war and during the ignored war period (see also FA post on 1992)”

    I have plenty of sources as my links show. All the defectors statements were sourced to their original source on wikipedia. It isn’t a perfect source I admit, and I can get more links for you if that satisfies you.

    8.) “Again, my bet is there’s thousands of westerners there for business. Perhaps tens of thousands, and hundreds or thousands-maybe tens of thousands there as diplomats etc. 261 special forces is hardly worthy of a fatwa. I can’t possibly see anyone making a case that 261 special forces are more offensive than the tens of thousands of others in the kingdom for business and political reasons. A 261 person occupation?”

    Like I said before it’s perception. Those 261 military personnel wear uniforms and stand on sacred ground, and that’s what makes bin Laden mad. 5,000 troops isn’t an occupation either, but it was enough to kickstart Osama, among other issues he had. I don’t think it’s relevant but I’m not the one angry about it.

    9.) “And I see that too, but I also see him specifically (his words) listing 3 reasons to start killing Americans, and all three were the US war on Iraq in the 1990’s (I use the term war, or ignored war, others use containment, earlier you used the words “legitimate concern”)”

    So are you saying we had to get rid of Saddam Hussein in order to pacify Osama bin Laden? Al Qaeda fought insurgencies elsewhere; Chechnya, and Kashmir, places that had nothing to do with Iraq, and would have fought the US based on its support for Israel and the Saudi regime alone.

    10.) “I agree, but he’d attacked Syria with Islamic extremist terrorists, he’d waged war with Iran, he’d bombed Jordan, invaded Kuwait, invaded Saudi, and threatened all the Gulf States during the Iran/Iraq War with naval and air attacks. He was a threat to the region.”

    I don’t recall when he ever bombed Jordan (his only ally in the first Gulf War) or attacked Syria, nor did he really “invade” Saudi Arabia (unless you are referring to that feint during Desert Storm, which was meant to attack coalition troops in Saudi Arabia), also he received money from the Gulf States during the Iran/Iraq war.

    11.) “Where does it say in the Duelfer Report that Saddam was trying to be an ally of the US”

    Saddam did not consider the United States a natural adversary, as he did Iran and Israel, and he hoped that Iraq might again enjoy improved relations with the United States, according to Tariq ‘Aziz and the presidential secretary.
     In a custodial debriefing, Saddam said he wanted to develop better relations with the US over the latter part of the 1990s. He said, however, that he was not given a chance because the US refused to listen to anything Iraq had to say.
     In 2004, Charles Duelfer of ISG said that between 1994 and 1998, both he and UNSCOM Executive Chairman Rolf Ekeus were approached multiple times by senior Iraqis with the message that Baghdad wanted a dialogue with the United States, and that Iraq was in a position to be Washington’s “best friend in the region bar none.”
     Saddam speculated that the United States would instead seek to avoid casualties and, if Iraq was attacked at all, the campaign would resemble Desert Fox.
     Some Iraqi leaders did not consider the United States to be a long-term enemy, but many knew little about the United States and less about its foreign policy formulation. Former advisors have also suggested that Saddam never concluded that the United States would attempt to overthrow him with an invasion.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/isg-final-report_vol1_rsi-05.htm

    12.) “Often (in the first hand accounts I listed earlier) its from documents found on bodies, some who were captured, and more. I have direct information from intelligence professionals who were there and served several tours confirming that there were foreign terrorists all over the place. They confirm the accounts listed in the first hand books I listed earlier.”

    You assert that “thousands” of foreign terrorists were in Iraq. But considering that the observed and reported casualty rate of Iraqi combatants (as foreign terrorists would also be classified under) is 4,895-6,370, your claim that thousands of reported foreign terrorists were fighting Americans is specious since the only way to know if thousands of those fighting Americans were foreigners is either identifying bodies with foreign paperwork, or prisoner confessions. I don’t know that any prisoners were taken during the run to Baghdad as most Iraqis returned home, certainly not thousands were captured, thus it would have to be documents on bodies, etc. But as I have stated all Iraqi combatants were identified as Iraqi combatants:

    http://www.comw.org/pda/0310rm8.html

    So the claim of “thousands of foreign terrorists” in Iraq is spurious.

    Furthermore I still stand by the number of suicide bombings in Iraq between the beginning of the war and August 2003:

    http://www.e-prism.org/images/memo78.pdf

    Ansar al Islam may have also had a suicide bombing during this time but it wasn’t at the direction or behest of the regime.

    13.) “Peter Bergen, the FBI, the CIA, and others disagree. They all point to 1996. Would you like a source list?”

    What do they disagree with, that AQ isn’t a radical Islamic organization? It issued its fatwa in 1996 but Azzam (founder of Al Qaeda) gave it its spiritual direction. Salafi-jihadism has at its core the removal of foreigners from Moslem lands. The Afghan Arabs fought non-Moslem foreign invaders in Afghanistan, and supported Moslem insurgencies in Chechnya, Tajikistan, and Kashmir, so there is nothing inconsistent with their ideology of driving foreigner “invaders” from Saudi Arabia.

    14.)”Yep. It’s common, and it was Russian. Did these master engineers who couldn’t build a boat go to Moscow and buy Russian RDX and design and build the largest shaped charge ever? Or did the RDX come from a nation other than Russia? Recall if you will that it IS traceable”

    How is RDX traceable it’s a powder?

    http://www.howstuffworks.com/c-42.htm

    How do you know its Russian made?

    5.) “In this case I am referring to Hayes, but not his Feith information. No. He references a US News & World Report from the 90’s. I’d reference a Newsweek article that talks about high level visits and money transfers. Hayes also references a captured Iraqi official. This has nothing to do with the Feith memo.”

    Well information from the 1990s needs to be updated; Hayes’s book is without footnotes or a works cited page so I wasn’t sure where he got the info from.

    16.) “Ask Iran or Syria about their support for terrorist groups X, Y, and Z, and they are consistent in their responses. First they deny relationships (see also Ahmadinejad interview with Diane Sawyer where he denies supporting terrorists), then they sometimes claims a terrorist group is really a political group (albeit a political group where the uniform is a suicide vest, and the debates are final), and lastly they’ll change the subject. In general, they deny their support for terrorists even though it’s done in plain sight. What other purpose is there for state sponsorship of terrorism other than deniability first and foremost?”

    Tell that to Turkey when they forced Ocalan from Syria in 1998. Turkey knew Syria sponsored the PKK and Syria knew that Turkey knew; so any “deniability” is just polite diplomatic speak. Most state sponsors make no secret of their sponsorship including Iraq via MEK; states sponsor terrorism because it is cheap and easy.

    17.) “Your link is previous to Ray’s and doesn’t take into account the recently authenticated docs that Ray cites”

    Yeah but those “authenticated” docs don’t specify anything; no names, dates, plans, money transfers, weapons transfers, training etc.

    Ray Robison is far from an expert on Iraqi documents. He doesn’t speak Arabic, and he only worked as a sub-contractor for ISG (his company SAIC, contracted with DIA, which gave him access to the Iraq documents in Qatar), and his work for them was little more than a filing clerk.

    18.) “As I said earlier, when I gave that link it was to the information that you said was ‘from 96 other sources.’ That seems like a lot of good sourcing to prove the point. I’d like to send even more information, but that pdf was the quickest, simplest, and shortest way of presenting it. My intent was not to present myself, Sam Pender, as the utmost authority, but rather to demonstrate that the information is backed by sources far more reputable than Sam Pender, myself. Sorry for the confusion. Btw, I use the pen name from time to time so people focus on the info-not on the name & pedigree. I don’t work for the State Department, and have not worked for the CIA etc. (though I admit many many many sources in the IC).”

    You claim to have many, many sources in the IC, but if so why can’t you get published?

    Regarding closing out debates we can close out as many points as you wish.

    ReplyReply
  23. Scott Malensek says: 23

    1.) Yeah, Saddam fired a SCUD after the US bombed Iraq in the Jan 93 bombings “legitimate concerns”. Later, Iraq was found in “material breach” of UN resolutions at least 4 times, and clearly many more that were never addressed. He also fired illegal missiles into Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi before the US invaded in 03. FYI, not all the SCUDs were ever accounted for. 24 remain missing to this day, and the ISG (as well as UNMOVIC) still have not been able to answer why Iraq was making fuel that could only be used in SCUDs right up into 2003, and why they were making airframe components, engines (which UNMOVIC turned up in Europe in 2004 or 2005), and more. In fact, I think if you search Global Security hard enough, you might find an interesting pic of a SCUD facility that had airframes around the outside before Powell’s UN address, and then no airframes the next day. The remain unaccounted for. The ISG report lists MOST issues as unresolved.

    2.)

    “’92 or ‘91? The Iraq war ended in 1991. What cease-fire violations are you referring to in March and April? Remember Iraq had to accept the terms as well, and there may have been some delay in their acceptance.”

    Tell ya what, got MS Excel? If so, lemme know in reply to this item, and I’ll post a timeline online where you can see things with a little more clarity 

    3.)

    Scott: “Is there a difference between cease-fire agreements and peace agreements?”

    James:Not anymore, a cease-fire is effectively a peace agreement. This is a cease-fire agreement but it is treated as a peace agreement:
    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Hornet/irin_72299c.html

    I disagree. Now earlier you cited Wikipedia. Let’s check what they say:

    “A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war or any armed conflict, where each side of the conflict agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions.”

    Dictionary.com is a lot more vague as it says it can be a temporary or a permanent thing.

    I maintain, that a cease-fire is a temporary agreement upon which permanence depends on conditions being met and maintained. In contrast, a peace agreement is just that, peace. Once a CFV or Cease Fire Violation occurs, the cease fire is broken, null, and void. Besides, as I said earlier subsequent UN resolutions re Iraq constantly reiterated that the resolution which authorized force was still in effect, and the resolution that stipulated the terms of the cease-fire specifically said it was conditions based. Iraq had several CFVs, never met all or even half of the terms of the cease fire agreement, and thus that agreement was null (ie, the use of force still authorized). Further, Saddam clearly believed he was still at war. He said so, and he acted as such.

    4.)

    “Fine and dandy they killed a terrorist. It doesn’t take away from the fact that he did have leukemia, and hadn’t committed a terrorist act in ten years.”

    Never heard the leukemia thing, and it’s completely irrelevant. The point here is that Saddam harbored a terrorists. And as to him being a retired terrorist, that’s not true at all as he still lead terrorists, and detainee as well as authenticated captured docs from the IIS say that he and his group were ready and willing to participate in continuing the Mother of all Battles (dated a decade past when you’ve claimed Saddam no longer believed he was at war with the US).

    5.)

    He was in nearly every country in the Middle East except for Iraq under Saddam Hussein:

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists_spies/terrorists/jackal/14.html

    He transited through Iraq in 1976 (for three weeks) but otherwise was denied entry to Iraq.

    6.)

    Regardless of how many papers it was in it still isn’t substantiated. It was part of a disinformation campaign by Iraqi regime opposition figures:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,314700,00.html

    There are also inconsistencies in the story:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1229608/posts

    The story also happened about the same time as this bogus story planted by the Taliban:

    http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9902/13/afghan.binladen/

    The Guardian stories only adds the INC as one of the many sources confirming the story-others included the Clinton Admin. Richard Clarke, Madelline Albright, Tenet, the 911 Commission, and the House/Senate 911 Investigation all cite the meeting as having come from multiple sources, and all put credibility to it. The Free Republic post is great. I’ve got the video if you’d like to see it. I love to point to it when people suggest that the idea of Regime Ties is a Bush lie or a Feith fantasy. It too cites US (Clinton Admin) intel officials as well as other sources. So too do Newsweek, Time, US News, and the NYT in their reporting of the meeting. Clarke is perhaps the most specific because he’s the one who blew it in Feb 99. The US had an Afghan group with eyes on target in Feb 99 at UBL’s falcon hunting lodge. The ships and subs were in position to strike, and sat imagery showed a UAE C-130 transport there. Clarke (who was negotiating a multi-billion dollar scheme to sell special F-16 fighters to his friends in the UAE) called his friends, told them that they were looking at the C-130, and the next day, both the plane and UBL were gone. Did UBL go into hiding in Afghanistan, Pakistan or the tribal areas? Probably the tribal areas as it’s where he likes to hide the most (Tora Bora, NW of Wana, etc., Kunar Province in general, Milawa, you name it.).

    7.)

    “I have plenty of sources as my links show. All the defectors statements were sourced to their original source on wikipedia. It isn’t a perfect source I admit, and I can get more links for you if that satisfies you.”

    Yeah, please if you don’t mind 

    8.)

    “Like I said before it’s perception. Those 261 military personnel wear uniforms and stand on sacred ground, and that’s what makes bin Laden mad. 5,000 troops isn’t an occupation either, but it was enough to kickstart Osama, among other issues he had. I don’t think it’s relevant but I’m not the one angry about it.”

    And when was the last time UBL raved about the US occupying Saudi? Before or after the US left with all its personnel (I’m sorry, but let’s be clear and agree that 261 people is not a significant military presence, barely mentionable since the embassy staff is probably double that)

    9.)

    “So are you saying we had to get rid of Saddam Hussein in order to pacify Osama bin Laden? Al Qaeda fought insurgencies elsewhere; Chechnya, and Kashmir, places that had nothing to do with Iraq, and would have fought the US based on its support for Israel and the Saudi regime alone.”

    In a way, yeah, I think that’s part of the reason. And I agree that UBL and AQ fought insurgencies all over, but it was the US war on Iraq (“containment” “legitimate concerns” Ignored War, etc) that started him killing Americans. Seems like AQ’s got a lotta enemies, with a lotta agendas, but the reason he-and Zawahiri-focused and justified killing Americans was because of the US war on Iraq and its effects.

    10.)

    “I don’t recall when he ever bombed Jordan (his only ally in the first Gulf War) or attacked Syria, nor did he really “invade” Saudi Arabia (unless you are referring to that feint during Desert Storm, which was meant to attack coalition troops in Saudi Arabia), also he received money from the Gulf States during the Iran/Iraq war.”

    Yeah, he attacked Jordan with IIS attacks before during and after 91, and backed terror attacks there. Jordan was not his ally in 91 either. Only Turabi and Arafat were. Jordan voted for all the UN resolutions and supported them, and aided the US via logistics, intel, etc. Not major contributions, but they didn’t want to be major contributors. Yes, I do refer to Khafji in 91 btw, and 3-5 brigades isn’t a feint. It was an attempt. In later years (not long before Pres Bush took office) the DoD did studies on the matter as they prepared to make a computer sim of the various battles in 91 as a means for training tank crews. They hired a group to go around, get detailed info from every single person involved, and compile it into a scenario (later did the same thing with the battle of 73 Easting and others). In the process, they discovered that the Khafji bit was an attempt to get to the water de-salinization plants and force Saudi to negotiate. They had no idea the power of the US, and grossly overestimated their own forces’ abilities.

    11.)

    Saddam did not consider the United States a natural adversary, as he did Iran and Israel, and he hoped that Iraq might again enjoy improved relations with the United States, according to Tariq ‘Aziz and the presidential secretary.

     In a custodial debriefing, Saddam said he wanted to develop better relations with the US over the latter part of the 1990s. He said, however, that he was not given a chance because the US refused to listen to anything Iraq had to say.

     In 2004, Charles Duelfer of ISG said that between 1994 and 1998, both he and UNSCOM Executive Chairman Rolf Ekeus were approached multiple times by senior Iraqis with the message that Baghdad wanted a dialogue with the United States, and that Iraq was in a position to be Washington’s “best friend in the region bar none.”

     Saddam speculated that the United States would instead seek to avoid casualties and, if Iraq was attacked at all, the campaign would resemble Desert Fox.

     Some Iraqi leaders did not consider the United States to be a long-term enemy, but many knew little about the United States and less about its foreign policy formulation. Former advisors have also suggested that Saddam never concluded that the United States would attempt to overthrow him with an invasion.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/isg-final-report_vol1_rsi-05.htm

    First, great job taking the time and effort to look that up. I’m very familiar with it, but thank you.

    Again, I refuse to take Saddam’s claims of innocence as he sat on death row. The same (perhaps more) holds true for Aziz mainly because after reading the accounts of his dealing with UNSCOM Richard Butler, I am disgusted by the man, and convinced he’s an animal-certainly not a good source. Now, the third point is an interesting one. I’d seen a LOT on that before where there were claims of “this last minute offer” and “that”, but (again, multi-sourcing…in this case multi govt sourcing) shows that all of those last minute attempts were done by lower regime members seeking to stall for time. If Saddam wanted peace, he could have left Iraq and taken the offers of amnesty in other countries. If he wanted to work with the US and get in the good graces, he’d have stopped the rhetoric that was counter to that, and worked to build “confidence” during the inspection process instead of deliberately hiding things that removed or degraded confidence in his disarmament claims. To the last two points, I FULLY agree

    12.)

    “You assert that “thousands” of foreign terrorists were in Iraq. But considering that the observed and reported casualty rate of Iraqi combatants (as foreign terrorists would also be classified under) is 4,895-6,370, your claim that thousands of reported foreign terrorists were fighting Americans is specious since the only way to know if thousands of those fighting Americans were foreigners is either identifying bodies with foreign paperwork, or prisoner confessions. I don’t know that any prisoners were taken during the run to Baghdad as most Iraqis returned home, certainly not thousands were captured, thus it would have to be documents on bodies, etc. But as I have stated all Iraqi combatants were identified as Iraqi combatants:

    http://www.comw.org/pda/0310rm8.html

    So the claim of “thousands of foreign terrorists” in Iraq is spurious.

    Furthermore I still stand by the number of suicide bombings in Iraq between the beginning of the war and August 2003:

    http://www.e-prism.org/images/memo78.pdf

    Ansar al Islam may have also had a suicide bombing during this time but it wasn’t at the direction or behest of the regime.”

    So you’re saying that because you cite a report that is PACKED with vagueness and freely admits its assumptions based (and Baghdad focused), you’ll discount all the first hand accounts from soldiers and embedded media (even those who opposed the war and claim they were attacked by foreign suicide bombers)? Wow. Yes, LOTS of prisoners were taken too btw, and many were foreigners.

    I’m stunned. Choosing to believe a single, vague, source that admits it’s almost entirely speculation rather than believe the words of a dozen first hand accounts. Man, History Channel, and Discovery Channels have documentary shows on every single day showing the assault on Iraq, and in every one you see troops talking about fighting suicide bombers, VBIEDs, and more. What about the suicide mosque bombings, or the Baghdad University bomb vest factory? None of that-even the pics-none of that is believed in lieu of a single, vague, source? In all sincerity, are you interested in facts or in debating because the facts, witnesses, video, prisoners, and more showing that thousands of terrorists (foreign fighters, etc) were in Iraq when the US invaded is grossly overwhelming to your single, vague, unreliable source.

    13.)

    Scott: “Peter Bergen, the FBI, the CIA, and others disagree. They all point to 1996. Would you like a source list?”

    James: What do they disagree with, that AQ isn’t a radical Islamic organization? It issued its fatwa in 1996 but Azzam (founder of Al Qaeda) gave it its spiritual direction. Salafi-jihadism has at its core the removal of foreigners from Moslem lands. The Afghan Arabs fought non-Moslem foreign invaders in Afghanistan, and supported Moslem insurgencies in Chechnya, Tajikistan, and Kashmir, so there is nothing inconsistent with their ideology of driving foreigner “invaders” from Saudi Arabia.

    They disagree that EIJ took over 2/3 of AQ leadership roles in 2001, and point to 1996. Azzam and all the rhetoric about driving invaders from foreign lands is irrelevant to the discussion about AQ’s war on the US because the US had far more than 261 people in Saudi in 1990, and I’m interested in AQ’s war with the US-not their war in Chechnya or against other non-US enemies. Their war against the US started in 12/92, and the 3 reasons for their war on the US were all based in the US war on Iraq at the time. They surely didn’t fly planes into the world trade center because the Haliburton invaded Iraq 2 years later. Specifically, they said that they would retaliate for the US Desert Fox strikes, and immediately after that statement, the only plot that was set in motion was the 911 attacks they had been campfire fantasies until then, but authorized and set in motion after the vow to retaliate for the US attack on Iraq in 1998.

    14.)

    Scott: ”Yep. It’s common, and it was Russian. Did these master engineers who couldn’t build a boat go to Moscow and buy Russian RDX and design and build the largest shaped charge ever? Or did the RDX come from a nation other than Russia? Recall if you will that it IS traceable”

    James: How is RDX traceable it’s a powder?

    http://www.howstuffworks.com/c-42.htm

    How do you know its Russian made?

    Well, aside from the fact that the head of the FBI says he called his counterpart in Russia who admitted it was Russian made (Louis Freeh’s book, MY FBI pg 282), you can trace any and all plastic explosives by a number of means. The one I’m directly familiar with is gas chromatography. Basically, most chemicals have a unique molecular structure by which impurities can be found. This is particularly true with compounds that include complex hydrocarbons (gasoline is the most commonly known, but there are millions of others). Now, anything with a “butane” or an “ethyl” or similar ending will tell you that it can be inserted into a GAC (gas chromatography machine) and the structure of the compounds can be viewed in a variety of different ways (in the movies you see this as a line with spikes, but it’s a lot more detailed and complex nowadays). So, you get a sample of something that came in contact with the bomb, something with residue on it, you put it in the GAC machine, and it tells you the composition of the residue. In RDX, the chemical compounds are usually very similar, but they do vary-even a percent here and there makes them unique. Then you can take the specific compounds out of the spectrum and see not only the percentage that each chemical component made up in the bomb, but you can also see the purity and the associated impurities to each chemical components molecular structure. In no time at all, you’ve got a GREAT fingerprint by which you can compare to a database of other bombs, etc. This is old technology. I first started using it as part of some environmental work I was doing back in 1990, and today, it’s just incredible. It’s like friggin Star Trek!

    SO, Louis Freeh gets the bomb analysis from his FBI guys who investigated the bombing. They tell him it’s Russian RDX. He calls his counterpart, tells him, the analysis is correct. Now, the question remains…did these hack job moron engineers who couldn’t build a boat (ie, their attack on the USS Sullivans) manage to make the largest shaped charge ever, AND did Walid Bin Attassh buy the Russian RDX from Russia, or someone else?

    Clue, it’s not a pc thing to discuss, but the USS Cole is DEFINITELY my hotbutton issue.

    15.)

    Well information from the 1990s needs to be updated; Hayes’s book is without footnotes or a works cited page so I wasn’t sure where he got the info from.

    Cool, let’s close 15 then?

    16.)

    “Tell that to Turkey when they forced Ocalan from Syria in 1998. Turkey knew Syria sponsored the PKK and Syria knew that Turkey knew; so any “deniability” is just polite diplomatic speak. Most state sponsors make no secret of their sponsorship including Iraq via MEK; states sponsor terrorism because it is cheap and easy.”

    YES!!!! (big grin!) States sponsor terrorism:

    As polite diplomatic speak (faux deniability prefaced by real deniability)

    Because it’s CHEAP
    Because it’s EASY

    I’d only add that there’s a HUGE return on investment. Give a nutjob $300 grand or a few million, maybe some bombs, passports, some bomb-making training, and you get a LOT LOT more in return all without the risk of consequences since, “It wasn’t us. It was those other guys.”

    (cool, close 16?)

    17.)

    “Yeah but those “authenticated” docs don’t specify anything; no names, dates, plans, money transfers, weapons transfers, training etc. Ray Robison is far from an expert on Iraqi documents. He doesn’t speak Arabic, and he only worked as a sub-contractor for ISG (his company SAIC, contracted with DIA, which gave him access to the Iraq documents in Qatar), and his work for them was little more than a filing clerk.”

    Ray’s expertise is not really all that important since he specifically references a US translator and Westpoint’s counter-terrorism docex translation dept. Btw, the docs DO include dates, and strategies. Plans would not be the kind of thing a state-sponsor would normally include, and money transfers are only proven by detainees and sometimes docs (which, as we’ve seen have been made and authenticated). Anything Ray does, he does with a guy named Sammi who does speak Arabic, does the translations, and has helped authenticate docs. Let’s avoid the character attack when multi sourcing is there and not single sourcing?

    18.)

    “You claim to have many, many sources in the IC, but if so why can’t you get published?”

    19.) Back in the 90’s I did my senior portfolio as a fictional novel. The intent was to demonstrate a sort of Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising meets All Quiet on the Western Front. I wanted to show that war-particularly conventional war-was not gone, and even more mechanized, industrialized, and horrific than ever. In the late 1990’s I re-wrote it into a series, and tried to get it published. Traditional publishing is a bear unless you know someone or live in NYC. I got tired of trying to get an agent (cost too much money to send out all those queries), and decided to do the print on demand route just to get closure. Besides, this was 2000. Who wanted to read about war? Even Clancy’s books weren’t selling like they once had. In June 01, it was published, picked up by Amazon, I sold a lotta copies, made some money, and published the rest myself.

    I’ve never tried traditional publishing since. I also don’t market my books. I mean, I’m proud of em, but I HATE being a salesman. It makes me feel like a pimp or something. So, I mention em in conversation, include em in bylines, and that’s about it. They just sell out of word of mouth, and I get beer money checks every month. Re the Sam Pender books, I used a pen name for a variety of reasons. I got some not-so non-violent comments from so-called non-violence advocates (one in particular who lived in Egypt). I notified the FBI, and the trouble ended, but when it came time to publish, I chose a pen name (my favorite character from my fiction books). I also wanted a pen name because those books are almost all chronologies from a huge list of other sources, and I wanted people to focus on the information-not me as a source. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. At least I know I compiled the info, put it out there, and did what I could to point fingers at both the left and the right for this war. To my knowledge, I was the first to publish a book in 2003 that specifically pointed blame at President Bush re WMD etc in Iraq. I didn’t say he lied, I said he was responsible for the inexcusable intelligence failures that lead to the Chinese seizure of a US spy plane, the 911 attacks, the spies at the FBI and CIA, and the failure to accurately determine the WMD capacity/threat from Saddam.

    21.) Others share that blame, but my core point is that we have a polarized political football in the Iraq War. One side too often aims to cry, “BUSH LIED BUSH LIED” and the other can’t bear the truth that: that the vaunted American intelligence community screwed up royal in the 90’s and early 21st Cent. It’s getting better, but the more people scream Bush Lied, the less they look at the real cause: intelligence failures. What’s that cause? Bush’s failure to enter office and completely overhaul things, AND the lack of oversight in the 1990’s (not to mention that the oversight which was done was COUNTER productive).

    Neither side can admit their failures. I seek to point them out so that they can be fixed. That’s it

    ReplyReply
  24. James says: 24

    Didn’t like my comments huh? Good thing I saved the debate, let me know if Scott wants to continue.

    ReplyReply
  25. scrapiron says: 25

    Democrats and media types play word games with your life. When someone calls them on it they have one advantage, the lying media and a population made up of 50% dummies.

    I read that in the past couple of weeks the media has committed treason, twice, by printing highly classified national security data.

    Today I read that the Iranian’s are capturing/kidnapping, American citizens.

    How smart do you have to be to see that the democrats/media have released information on Iran that caused the kidnappings? Telling them that the U.S. has an on going black ops going on was really stupid (much less treason) even if they already ‘think’ it’s going on. Confirm the operation to the enemy and who is the enemy going after? American citizens, because American citizens are involved in the operation.

    I think we’re up to 99% of the democrats in congress that have committed treason and 100% of the antique MSM. Firing squad or hanging in their future? I thinks so, as soon as a member or members of ‘your’ family are slaughteed. Someone else’s family means nothing to a democrat, but maybe even the dumbest of the dumb will wake up when it’s their own family.

    ReplyReply
  26. Scott Malensek says: 26

    James, I replied. Doesn’t it show up on your screen? It’s the post right before yours.

    ????

    ReplyReply
  27. Scott Malensek says: 27

    James,
    I replied to your comments, the “quotes” you just cited, in my
    May 25, 2007 7:01 AM post.
    -Scott

    ReplyReply
  28. Curt says: 28

    Yeah, don’t get what he did here, he pretty much reposted his May 21st response.

    ReplyReply
  29. repsac3 says: 29

    Fascinating debate, on both sides. I hope it continues. (I could–& just might–spend the rest of the day following all the links in support of Scott & James’ arguments…)

    Dignified & respectful for the most part, too… That’s too rare on partisan political blogs, where personal attack seems to be the rule.

    I don’t know what happened with James in his last two posts, but I will say this; once I signed in to comment myself, the commentary page that came up ends back at May 15th, with no obvious link to go further. (I figured I’d add my comment before exploring to figure out how to get back to the rest…)

    For the record, I’m currently on James’ side, and was directed here by Wordsmith, who posted this and a few other links over at Mike’s America. (& by the by… I recognized Mike’s comment as being his from the first sentence… Long form commentary containing evidentiary links isn’t his cup of tea… He’s more of a “You’re with us or with the turarists” kinda guy… 8>)

    I’m far less well informed than either of these debaters (though I’m workin’ at it), and thus could never argue my case as thoroughly as either of ‘em has, up to now. I’m here to see the evidence, and I hope that the debate continues…

    ReplyReply
  30. Curt says: 30

    Ok, just signed in and saw this now also. After signing in I see the last comment as being from the 15th….let me look into this.

    ReplyReply
  31. Curt says: 31

    And now that I left a comment the comments all reappear.

    ReplyReply
  32. Shamus says: 32

    Sorry for some reason I could not see any new posts on my computer, I only saw the initial posts, so I thought my comments were deleted. Here are new comments.

    1.) “Yeah, Saddam fired a SCUD after the US bombed Iraq in the Jan 93 bombings “legitimate concerns”. Later, Iraq was found in “material breach” of UN resolutions at least 4 times, and clearly many more that were never addressed. He also fired illegal missiles into Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi before the US invaded in 03. FYI, not all the SCUDs were ever accounted for. 24 remain missing to this day, and the ISG (as well as UNMOVIC) still have not been able to answer why Iraq was making fuel that could only be used in SCUDs right up into 2003, and why they were making airframe components, engines (which UNMOVIC turned up in Europe in 2004 or 2005), and more. In fact, I think if you search Global Security hard enough, you might find an interesting pic of a SCUD facility that had airframes around the outside before Powell’s UN address, and then no airframes the next day. The remain unaccounted for. The ISG report lists MOST issues as unresolved.”

    Interesting theory, I could not bring anything up about a SCUD missile attack in 1993 on Google or lexisnexis. Certainly Saudi Arabia would have raised a stink about it, and Bush I would have reacted strongly to any SCUD missile attack. If you have a source I would like to see it.

    2.) Send what you have

    3.) “I disagree. Now earlier you cited Wikipedia. Let’s check what they say:

    “A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war or any armed conflict, where each side of the conflict agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions.”
    Dictionary.com is a lot more vague as it says it can be a temporary or a permanent thing.
    I maintain, that a cease-fire is a temporary agreement upon which permanence depends on conditions being met and maintained. In contrast, a peace agreement is just that, peace. Once a CFV or Cease Fire Violation occurs, the cease fire is broken, null, and void. Besides, as I said earlier subsequent UN resolutions re Iraq constantly reiterated that the resolution which authorized force was still in effect, and the resolution that stipulated the terms of the cease-fire specifically said it was conditions based. Iraq had several CFVs, never met all or even half of the terms of the cease fire agreement, and thus that agreement was null (ie, the use of force still authorized). Further, Saddam clearly believed he was still at war. He said so, and he acted as such. “

    At various times the condition between the US and Iraq post-1991 have been called a cease-fire, a permanent cease-fire, and a peace. Whatever you call it it was still under the auspices of the UN Security Council. Like any permanent cease-fire under international law the victim of any violations would have to present them to the Security Council and the Security Council would have to vote on if it did or did not constitute a violation, and what action would be appropriate. The no-fly zones were a separate matter that Iraq at first complied with and then “defied”. Compliance wasn’t required of Iraq under any SC resolution. I maintain that Saddam did not act as if he were at war with the US as there was minimal “aggression” on the part of Iraq to defend against the no-fly zones. If Saddam truly believed himself at war he wouldn’t have done away with the SCUDs, and WMD, and would have maintained a more aggressive posture toward the US. Anyway we can close this point as well as neither of us will agree with the other.

    4.) “Never heard the leukemia thing, and it’s completely irrelevant. The point here is that Saddam harbored a terrorists. And as to him being a retired terrorist, that’s not true at all as he still lead terrorists, and detainee as well as authenticated captured docs from the IIS say that he and his group were ready and willing to participate in continuing the Mother of all Battles (dated a decade past when you’ve claimed Saddam no longer believed he was at war with the US).”

    Again you’ll have to show me those “authenticated” docs regarding Abu NIdal. One document that turned out to be fraudulent stated that Atta was trained by Nidal in the summer of 2002 before his “death”. The ANO group was dysfunctional after 1991 and had not hit a Western target since the mid-1980s, so I hardly think that Saddam was “harboring” al-Bana in the hopes that he would lead a vanguard of terrorists against his enemies.

    5.) “The Guardian stories only adds the INC as one of the many sources confirming the story-others included the Clinton Admin. Richard Clarke, Madelline Albright, Tenet, the 911 Commission, and the House/Senate 911 Investigation all cite the meeting as having come from multiple sources, and all put credibility to it. The Free Republic post is great. I’ve got the video if you’d like to see it. I love to point to it when people suggest that the idea of Regime Ties is a Bush lie or a Feith fantasy. It too cites US (Clinton Admin) intel officials as well as other sources. So too do Newsweek, Time, US News, and the NYT in their reporting of the meeting. Clarke is perhaps the most specific because he’s the one who blew it in Feb 99. The US had an Afghan group with eyes on target in Feb 99 at UBL’s falcon hunting lodge. The ships and subs were in position to strike, and sat imagery showed a UAE C-130 transport there. Clarke (who was negotiating a multi-billion dollar scheme to sell special F-16 fighters to his friends in the UAE) called his friends, told them that they were looking at the C-130, and the next day, both the plane and UBL were gone. Did UBL go into hiding in Afghanistan, Pakistan or the tribal areas? Probably the tribal areas as it’s where he likes to hide the most (Tora Bora, NW of Wana, etc., Kunar Province in general, Milawa, you name it.).”

    Your Richard Clarke story is a nice anecdote but irrelevant as UBL wasn’t falcon hunting with Iraqis, and didn’t go to Iraq when the US had eyes on him. The alleged meeting happened in 1999 when the Clinton Administration thought other things about Iraq that proved to be wrong like WMD. So all that really means is both Clinton and Bush got bad intelligence, or didn’t believe the good intelligence that was given to them.

    6.)”Yeah, please if you don’t mind”

    Reporting about Activity at Salman Pak

    [-----] The Salman Pak facility outside Baghdad was an unconventional warfare training facility used by the IIS and Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen troops to train its officers for counterterrorism operations against regime opponents. The facility contained a village mockup for urban combat training and a derelict commercial aircraft.

    [...]

    [-----] In Iraqi Support for Terrorism, the CIA provided additional explanation of the sources of the information, noting that, “press and sensitive reporting about al-Qa’ida activity at Salman Pak — ultimately sourced to three Iraqi defectors — surged after 11 September.” The CIA determined, “that at least one of these defectors, whose story appeared in Vanity Fair magazine, had embellished and exaggerated his access.” Additionally, two other sources only repeated information provided by the [----] defector, and also lacked first-hand access to the information. Committee staff asked both CIA and DIA analysts whether any al-Qaida operatives or other sources have confirmed Salman Pak training allegations, and the unanimous response was that none have reported knowledge of any training. A DIA analyst told Committee staff, “The Iraqi National Congress (INC) has been pushing information for a long time about Salman Pak and training of al-Qa’ida

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

    http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/03/heroes_in_error.html?welcome=true

    7.)”And when was the last time UBL raved about the US occupying Saudi? Before or after the US left with all its personnel (I’m sorry, but let’s be clear and agree that 261 people is not a significant military presence, barely mentionable since the embassy staff is probably double that)”

    From December, 2004:

    “As for its interference in the foreign policy, the ruling families have obeyed America and are carrying out their role with their treacheries. Abdallah Bin-al-Sharif Husayn and his father began against Palestine. Here is his son Abdallah II who comes after him on the same path. Here is Muhammad VI in Morocco, walking on the same path of treachery, which his father and grandfather previously treaded.

    Their implementation of Crusader colonies continues. There is no room to explore them in this message, but we will remind of some due to their importance.
    The government of Riyadh has entered into an international alliance with the infidel Crusaders lead by Bush against Islam and its people. This also took place in Afghanistan. Moreover, these conspiracies in Iraq have begun and not ended yet. They have opened their bases for the US forces so that they can invade Iraq, which assisted them and made it easier for them to occupy it.
    On that day, the Saudi foreign minister went out disparaging the religion, blood, and minds of Muslims, admitting that his country has opened its airports for the Americans for humanitarian purposes, as he alleged. Here they are today showing us a new link in the chain of conspiracies with America, which they called the initiative to send Arab and Muslim forces to safeguard security in Iraq. This is a great betrayal.
    They were not content with supporting the infidels in their occupation of the lands of Islam, so they came with this initiative to give legitimacy to the US occupation …”

    http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/006101.php#dec16ultimatum

    And lest we forget about Paul Johnson and Robert Jacobs among others:

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-06/09/content_337892.htm

    8.) See above

    9.) “Yeah, he attacked Jordan with IIS attacks before during and after 91, and backed terror attacks there. Jordan was not his ally in 91 either. Only Turabi and Arafat were. Jordan voted for all the UN resolutions and supported them, and aided the US via logistics, intel, etc. Not major contributions, but they didn’t want to be major contributors. Yes, I do refer to Khafji in 91 btw, and 3-5 brigades isn’t a feint. It was an attempt. In later years (not long before Pres Bush took office) the DoD did studies on the matter as they prepared to make a computer sim of the various battles in 91 as a means for training tank crews. They hired a group to go around, get detailed info from every single person involved, and compile it into a scenario (later did the same thing with the battle of 73 Easting and others). In the process, they discovered that the Khafji bit was an attempt to get to the water de-salinization plants and force Saudi to negotiate. They had no idea the power of the US, and grossly overestimated their own forces’ abilities. “

    The only IIS attack that I was aware of around the 1991 Gulf War was one in the Philippines that was fairly inept. According to this report Iraq dispatched 30 terror teams though none reached their targets (and none consisted of foreign terrorists).

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/980302/archive_003360.htm

    What agency in DOD did the study on Khafji? Was it CAA (Vandiver’s outfit), Office of Net Assessment (Andy Marshall)? I had always heard it was a feint to test coalition strength or draw ground forces into battle, and considering they used 2-3 battalions, and not brigades I still tend to believe that.

    http://www.afa.org/magazine/feb1998/0298epic.asp

    10.) “Again, I refuse to take Saddam’s claims of innocence as he sat on death row. The same (perhaps more) holds true for Aziz mainly because after reading the accounts of his dealing with UNSCOM Richard Butler, I am disgusted by the man, and convinced he’s an animal-certainly not a good source. Now, the third point is an interesting one. I’d seen a LOT on that before where there were claims of “this last minute offer” and “that”, but (again, multi-sourcing…in this case multi govt sourcing) shows that all of those last minute attempts were done by lower regime members seeking to stall for time. If Saddam wanted peace, he could have left Iraq and taken the offers of amnesty in other countries. If he wanted to work with the US and get in the good graces, he’d have stopped the rhetoric that was counter to that, and worked to build “confidence” during the inspection process instead of deliberately hiding things that removed or degraded confidence in his disarmament claims.”

    You don’t believe Saddam’s words when he says he wanted to be an ally, yet believe his words when he claims to be an enemy of the US. It isn’t that easy for two countries to come together after a shared past animosity, both sides have to make accommodations. Saddam says he was willing to but didn’t trust the US. Lack of trust does not mean a state of war existed. I don’t trust the French but don’t think the US should go to war with them. Misunderstanding lead to the renewal of hostilities since Saddam didn’t think that the US would attack, or go all the way to Baghdad. Instead he thought the US would use him to make a point to the international community; it doesn’t mean they were enemies, otherwise Saddam may have believed he was truly in danger

    11.) “So you’re saying that because you cite a report that is PACKED with vagueness and freely admits its assumptions based (and Baghdad focused), you’ll discount all the first hand accounts from soldiers and embedded media (even those who opposed the war and claim they were attacked by foreign suicide bombers)? Wow. Yes, LOTS of prisoners were taken too btw, and many were foreigners.
    I’m stunned. Choosing to believe a single, vague, source that admits it’s almost entirely speculation rather than believe the words of a dozen first hand accounts. Man, History Channel, and Discovery Channels have documentary shows on every single day showing the assault on Iraq, and in every one you see troops talking about fighting suicide bombers, VBIEDs, and more. What about the suicide mosque bombings, or the Baghdad University bomb vest factory? None of that-even the pics-none of that is believed in lieu of a single, vague, source? In all sincerity, are you interested in facts or in debating because the facts, witnesses, video, prisoners, and more showing that thousands of terrorists (foreign fighters, etc) were in Iraq when the US invaded is grossly overwhelming to your single, vague, unreliable source.”

    You’re talking to me about sourcing again? At least I post links, I have yet to see your verified source on thousands of foreign fighters, and multiple suicide bombers. I read all your little books you cited, and not one claimed that the “irregular” forces that the US faced were foreigners. Franks describes three types of irregular forces; Saddam Fedyaeen, Baathist Militias, and Saddam’s Cubs (young boys under the age of 16), they all had one thing in common; they were all Iraqis. Check that, they had two things in common; they were all Iraqis and didn’t use suicide bombers. Check the facts man, there were only two suicide bombings between March 19th and April 10th against US troops, and one in the Kurdish area. The next bombing wasn’t until August.

    12.) “They disagree that EIJ took over 2/3 of AQ leadership roles in 2001, and point to 1996. Azzam and all the rhetoric about driving invaders from foreign lands is irrelevant to the discussion about AQ’s war on the US because the US had far more than 261 people in Saudi in 1990, and I’m interested in AQ’s war with the US-not their war in Chechnya or against other non-US enemies. Their war against the US started in 12/92, and the 3 reasons for their war on the US were all based in the US war on Iraq at the time. They surely didn’t fly planes into the world trade center because the Haliburton invaded Iraq 2 years later. Specifically, they said that they would retaliate for the US Desert Fox strikes, and immediately after that statement, the only plot that was set in motion was the 911 attacks they had been campfire fantasies until then, but authorized and set in motion after the vow to retaliate for the US attack on Iraq in 1998.”

    Then how do you explain Al Qaeda support for other Moslem insurgencies against non-Moslems (irrelevant to you, yet you claim you are so “concerned” with the facts), or al Qaeda’s support for Islamic militants in SE Asia? Of course al Qaeda was angry about the sanctions on Iraq, and US troops in Iraq, but that doesn’t imply any sympathy or support for Saddam Hussein. You have yet to make that causal link.

    13.)”I was doing back in 1990, and today, it’s just incredible. It’s like friggin Star Trek!
    SO, Louis Freeh gets the bomb analysis from his FBI guys who investigated the bombing. They tell him it’s Russian RDX. He calls his counterpart, tells him, the analysis is correct. Now, the question remains…did these hack job moron engineers who couldn’t build a boat (ie, their attack on the USS Sullivans) manage to make the largest shaped charge ever, AND did Walid Bin Attassh buy the Russian RDX from Russia, or someone else?”

    Everyone portrays themselves in the best possible light in their autobiographies, so I would take it with a grain of salt. Even if that is all true there is no indication that Iraq sold or gave RDX to al Qaeda. The problem with the Sullivans attack was too many explosives (almost all were retrieved and used in the Cole attack), and not that they couldn’t build a boat.

    14.) “Ray’s expertise is not really all that important since he specifically references a US translator and Westpoint’s counter-terrorism docex translation dept. Btw, the docs DO include dates, and strategies. Plans would not be the kind of thing a state-sponsor would normally include, and money transfers are only proven by detainees and sometimes docs (which, as we’ve seen have been made and authenticated). Anything Ray does, he does with a guy named Sammi who does speak Arabic, does the translations, and has helped authenticate docs. Let’s avoid the character attack when multi sourcing is there and not single sourcing?”

    I’ve read the docs they include a date but no strategy as to how to drive invaders from Somalia. I am familiar with Ray Robison, and well let’s just say he isn’t as cordial as you are if someone criticizes his posts, but fine no more character attacks.

    15.) “Back in the 90’s I did my senior portfolio as a fictional novel. The intent was to demonstrate a sort of Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising meets All Quiet on the Western Front. I wanted to show that war-particularly conventional war-was not gone, and even more mechanized, industrialized, and horrific than ever. In the late 1990’s I re-wrote it into a series, and tried to get it published. Traditional publishing is a bear unless you know someone or live in NYC. I got tired of trying to get an agent (cost too much money to send out all those queries), and decided to do the print on demand route just to get closure. Besides, this was 2000. Who wanted to read about war? Even Clancy’s books weren’t selling like they once had. In June 01, it was published, picked up by Amazon, I sold a lotta copies, made some money, and published the rest myself.
    I’ve never tried traditional publishing since. I also don’t market my books. I mean, I’m proud of em, but I HATE being a salesman. It makes me feel like a pimp or something. So, I mention em in conversation, include em in bylines, and that’s about it. They just sell out of word of mouth, and I get beer money checks every month. Re the Sam Pender books, I used a pen name for a variety of reasons. I got some not-so non-violent comments from so-called non-violence advocates (one in particular who lived in Egypt). I notified the FBI, and the trouble ended, but when it came time to publish, I chose a pen name (my favorite character from my fiction books). I also wanted a pen name because those books are almost all chronologies from a huge list of other sources, and I wanted people to focus on the information-not me as a source. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. At least I know I compiled the info, put it out there, and did what I could to point fingers at both the left and the right for this war. To my knowledge, I was the first to publish a book in 2003 that specifically pointed blame at President Bush re WMD etc in Iraq. I didn’t say he lied, I said he was responsible for the inexcusable intelligence failures that lead to the Chinese seizure of a US spy plane, the 911 attacks, the spies at the FBI and CIA, and the failure to accurately determine the WMD capacity/threat from Saddam.”

    Interesting, I am not an author but I do work in the DC area in a related field. I’m not completely discounting your assertions just wondering why they haven’t been picked up in the MSM.

    ReplyReply
  33. Scott Malensek says: 33

    1.) “Interesting theory, I could not bring anything up about a SCUD missile attack in 1993 on Google or lexisnexis. Certainly Saudi Arabia would have raised a stink about it, and Bush I would have reacted strongly to any SCUD missile attack. If you have a source I would like to see it. “

    http://www.fas.org/man/crs/98-386.pdf
    “according to a report not confirmed by the Pentagon, fired a Scud missile at the city of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia (January 18)”

    I’ve seen other reports about this as well-not just the one. Never did follow up on it though. Scott Ritter’s book, Endgame mentions it as does UNSCOM Chairman Richard Butler’s, The Greatest Threat. It could be another case of multiple people reporting the same report, but it’s hard to see Ritter and Butler agreeing on much. Remember, the point here is that Iraq and the US were waging war upon each other between ODS and OIF. Whether that was justified via the UNSC is debatable, and semi-argumentative as: — if it were not authorized by the UNSC, then it makes it even more aggressive towards Iraq – if it were authorized by the UNSC, then it confirms that the official war remained.
    Again, I can list many many examples of no-fly-zone and/or non-no-fly-zone combat, bombings, cease-fire breaches, etc. Literally thousands.

    2.) “Send what you have”

    Sorry, got confused. Send what I have re:?

    3.) “At various times the condition between the US and Iraq post-1991 have been called a cease-fire, a permanent cease-fire, and a peace. Whatever you call it it was still under the auspices of the UN Security Council. Like any permanent cease-fire under international law the victim of any violations would have to present them to the Security Council and the Security Council would have to vote on if it did or did not constitute a violation, and what action would be appropriate. The no-fly zones were a separate matter that Iraq at first complied with and then ?defied?.
    Compliance wasn?t required of Iraq under any SC resolution. I maintain that Saddam did not act as if he were at war with the US as there was minimal ?aggression? on the part of Iraq to defend against the no-fly zones. If Saddam truly believed himself at war he wouldn?t have done away with the SCUDs, and WMD, and would have maintained a more aggressive posture toward the US. Anyway we can close this point as well as neither of us will agree with the other.”

    Your entire argument is dependent upon the unsubstantiated perception that the 1991 Cease fire was a “permanent cease-fire under international law” Can you show an example of that cease fire being described as permanent by the UNSC? As I can list at least 4 UNSC statements of material breach, and many more UNSC statements that 678 was still in effect.

    4.) “Again you?ll have to show me those ?authenticated? docs regarding Abu NIdal. One document that turned out to be fraudulent stated that Atta was trained by Nidal in the summer of 2002 before his ?death?. The ANO group was dysfunctional after 1991 and had not hit a Western target since the mid-1980s, so I hardly think that Saddam was ?harboring? al-Bana in the hopes that he would lead a vanguard of terrorists against his enemies.”

    I’m referring to the CNS docs again.
    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=%5CNation%5Carchive%5C200410%5CNAT20041011a.html
    I do agree that the doc re Atta was not reliable, but I think the other reports that Nidal was more than just sitting around watching TV for years in Iraq would be equally unreliable. A retired terrorist legend is an oxymoron imo.

    5.) “Your Richard Clarke story is a nice anecdote but irrelevant as UBL wasn?t falcon hunting with Iraqis, and didn?t go to Iraq when the US had eyes on him. The alleged meeting happened in 1999 when the Clinton Administration thought other things about Iraq that proved to be wrong like WMD. So all that really means is both Clinton and Bush got bad intelligence, or didn?t believe the good intelligence that was given to them.”

    I’m gonna show that one again….

    “both Clinton and Bush got bad intelligence, or didn’t believe the good intelligence that was given to them”

    This was exactly the point I was trying to make. Glad we can agree here.

    6.) “Reporting about Activity at Salman Pak
    [-----] The Salman Pak facility outside Baghdad was an unconventional warfare training facility used by the IIS and Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen troops to train its officers for counterterrorism operations against regime
    opponents. The facility contained a village mockup for urban combat training and a derelict commercial aircraft.
    [...]
    [-----] In Iraqi Support for Terrorism, the CIA provided additional
    explanation of the sources of the information, noting that, “press and sensitive reporting about al-Qa’ida activity at Salman Pak ? ultimately sourced to three Iraqi defectors ? surged after 11 September.” The CIA determined, “that at least one of these defectors, whose story appeared in Vanity Fair magazine, had embellished and exaggerated his access.” Additionally, two other sources only repeated information provided by the [----] defector, and also lacked first-hand access to the information. Committee staff asked both CIA and DIA analysts whether any al-Qaida operatives or other sources have confirmed Salman Pak training allegations, and the unanimous response was that none have reported knowledge of any training. A DIA analyst told Committee staff, “The Iraqi National Congress (INC) has been pushing information for a long time about Salman Pak and
    training of al-Qa’ida
    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html
    http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/03/heroes_in_error.html?welcom
    e=true”

    Yeah, the Sen Intel Com Phase II rpt. I don’t even have to look it up to recognize it. My take on the Sen Intel Com Phase II rpt:
    http://www.scottmalensek.com/PhaseIIrebuttalrpt.pdf

    re camps Tommy Franks, American Soldier, pg 519

    “And they [USMC] had encountered several hundred foreign fighters from Egypt, the Sudan, Syria, and Libya who were being trained in a camp south of Baghdad.”

    The only camp on the S side of Baghdad that I know of is Salman Pak (unless there’s others), and Franks says they encountered hundreds of foreign fighters who’d been trained there. Just this week we’ve had fresh reporting on it.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/05/the_missing_link.php

    How did Iraq help? “We helped them by building military camps in Salman Pak, in Khos, Khalis, Yusafiya. Iraq is expert in chemical weapons. We trained them in chemical weapons. We trained them about ground fighting, too.”

    7.)”>From December, 2004:
    “As for its interference in the foreign policy, the ruling families have obeyed America and are carrying out their role with their treacheries. Abdallah Bin-al-Sharif Husayn and his father began against Palestine. Here is his son Abdallah II who comes after him on the same path. Here is
    Muhammad VI in Morocco, walking on the same path of treachery, which his father and grandfather previously treaded. Their implementation of Crusader colonies continues. There is no room to explore them in this message, but we will remind of some due to their importance. The government of Riyadh has entered into an international alliance with the infidel Crusaders lead by Bush against Islam and its people. This also took place in Afghanistan. Moreover, these conspiracies in Iraq have begun and not ended yet. They have opened their bases for the US forces so that they can invade Iraq, which assisted them and made it easier for them to occupy it. On that day, the Saudi foreign minister went out disparaging the religion, blood, and minds of Muslims, admitting that his country has opened its airports for the Americans for humanitarian purposes, as he alleged. Here they are today showing us a new link in the chain of conspiracies with America, which they called the initiative to send Arab and Muslim forces to safeguard security in Iraq. This is a great betrayal. They were not content with supporting the infidels in their occupation of the lands of Islam, so they came with this initiative to give legitimacy to the US occupation …”
    http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/006101.php#dec16ultimatum

    And lest we forget about Paul Johnson and Robert Jacobs among others:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-06/09/content_337892.htm”

    Good quoting. It seems that after the US pulled out its forces (seriously, 261 is not mentionable as a military force), then UBL started raving about political affiliation with the US rather than direct military aid. Now, true enough he talks about Saudi letting the US use bases to attack Iraq (which I fully agree happened, and have been trying to make the case for since our first discussion), but in the 04 ranting he seems to have shifted his excuse to mere affiliation and conspiracy theories. Kinda ironic that so often we hear the left in this country complain that the Bush Admin is a puppet of the Sauds, and UBL’s complaining that the Sauds are puppets of the Bush Admin. Sorry, ot, but the irony is amazing. Again, my point is that UBL was po’d about US forces in Saudi that helped wage war on Saddam (a war which some have said was illegal and not sanctioned by the UN). In this rant, when he complains about military aid, I think he’s talking in past tense of that aid. That, or he didn’t get the memo that the US only had 261 people in Saudi. Maybe he thinks there’s some Saudi Area 51 where tens of thousands of US troops are controlling the Saudi govt?

    Re Paul Jones and other contractors, this seems to back the idea that UBL’s rant shifted from being against inter-operation military support to non-military support once US forces (all but 261) left Saudi…unless Jones and other contractors are military?

    9.) “The only IIS attack that I was aware of around the 1991 Gulf War was one in the Philippines that was fairly inept. According to this report Iraq dispatched 30 terror teams though none reached their targets (and none consisted of foreign terrorists).
    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/980302/archive_003360.htm
    What agency in DOD did the study on Khafji? Was it CAA (Vandiver?s outfit), Office of Net Assessment (Andy Marshall)? I had always heard it was a feint to test coalition strength or draw ground forces into battle, and considering they used 2-3 battalions, and not brigades I still tend to believe that.
    http://www.afa.org/magazine/feb1998/0298epic.asp”

    re the terror teams, there’s a lot on the 2003 IIS attacks out there (ironically from Dems like Sen Rockefeller and Levin), and while they were generally solely IIS, the ones in the PI were directly linked to Abu Sayef (sp?), and the PI even expelled the an Iraqi “diplomat” for having made repeated phone calls to AS’s leader on the eve of attacks. Iraqi embassy stuff is predominant in all kinds of ways.

    re Khafji, I’d seen Gen Horner’s assessment that it was a feint attack in prep for a real mechanized attack by RG mech forces in Kuwait, and I’ve seen others-none that you’ve mentioned (never one that said it was battalions), but I think the best public account I’ve read of the battle was here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Horizon-Khafji-Battle-Changed/dp/0345481534

    10.) “You don?t believe Saddam?s words when he says he wanted to be an ally, yet believe his words when he claims to be an enemy of the US. It isn?t that easy for two countries to come together after a shared past animosity, both sides have to make accommodations. Saddam says he was willing to but didn?t trust the US. Lack of trust does not mean a state of war existed. I don?t trust the French but don?t think the US should go to war with them. Misunderstanding lead to the renewal of hostilities since Saddam didn?t think that the US would attack, or go all the way to Baghdad. Instead he thought the US would use him to make a point to the international community; it doesn?t mean they were enemies, otherwise Saddam may have believed he was truly in danger “

    We’re so close to agreeing here James. My point is that Saddam did more than just “not trust” the US-that he expected to be attacked, and it was his miscalculation that the attack would come in the form of more impotent air strikes in Desert Fox style. Now, you bring up a great point that seems at odds, but your missing the different settings which make a huge difference. When you asked how I can believe Saddam when he said he was an enemy of the US, and not believe it when he said he wanted to be closer…you forgot that in the latter case, he was a captive, facing death, and not anywhere close to being as free to say what he wanted as he was prior to the invasion. I can easily envision how (for example) a policy maker in the Clinton Admin might rant and rave about the Bush Admin, the war, whatever, and then when jailed, claim that, “what I really meant to say was, I support the admin and wanted to help….” Nah, I just am not buying the words of yet another “innocent man on death row.” Had Saddam ranted and raved about being closer to the US when he was free, I’d be more inclined to believe him, but instead he constantly-almost daily-ranted about the Umm El-ma-arek, the mother of all fights. Here’s a better description. How often do police arrest a person who readily and consistently admits their malice once arrested? Me, I think most people claim innocence when arrested, and how often do we hear, “noooo, it wasn’t me. I was trying to break up the fight” etc.?

    11.) See Franks’ quote above re foreign fighters. Re the suicide bombings, you cannot possibly be suggesting that there were no VBIED’s in the invasion? Please tell me you’re not going to suggest that every single personal account of the invasion, and all the documentaries showing these suicide attacks are unreal? There are literally THOUSANDS of witnesses to the suicide attacks against US tanks and other vehicles during the invasion, and personal suicide attacks against infantry, checkpoints etc. I’ve even got pictures of one of the suicide vest bomb factories at Baghdad University as well as pics of the hundreds of suicide bomb vests found there.

    12.) “Then how do you explain Al Qaeda support for other Moslem insurgencies against non-Moslems (irrelevant to you, yet you claim you are so ?concerned? with the facts), or al Qaeda?s support for Islamic militants in SE Asia? Of course al Qaeda was angry about the sanctions on Iraq, and US troops in Iraq, but that doesn?t imply any sympathy or support for Saddam Hussein. You have yet to make that causal link. “

    AQ support for other insurgencies (ie, the AQ fight against other non-Moslems) is different because I’m talking about AQ’s fight against the US, and UBL’s excuse for that. One can hardly say that the reason AQ Spain is the same as the reason AQ fights the US. UBL is nice enough to come up with excuses for each nation, and so in discussing why he called for holy war on Americans, I prefer to discuss why he called for holy war on Americans. There are some across the board commonalities, but his war on this nation and that seems to have nation-specific reasons as well.

    13) “Everyone portrays themselves in the best possible light in their autobiographies, so I would take it with a grain of salt. Even if that is all true there is no indication that Iraq sold or gave RDX to al Qaeda. The problem with the Sullivans attack was too many explosives (almost all were retrieved and used in the Cole attack), and not that they couldn?t build a boat.”

    Are you saying that they were smart enough to make the largest shaped charge bomb ever, but not smart enough to make a boat big enough to carry the bomb? Perhaps you can tell us where the RDX came from, or who helped design the sophisticated bomb?

    14.) “I?ve read the docs they include a date but no strategy as to how to drive invaders from Somalia. I am familiar with Ray Robison, and well let?s just say he isn?t as cordial as you are if someone criticizes his posts, but fine no more character attacks.”

    I beg to differ re the strategy. We can eliminate some pretty simply. It seems clear that by using the IIS and terrorist groups, the strategy wasn’t a conventional attack with fighter bombers, and it wasn’t a conventional naval attack or any other conventional attack. Given the simple combination of any intelligence service interacting with a terrorist group with the intent of taking X action in order to drive the an opponent from an area, it seems far more likely than not that X action is unconventional warfare, and given that we’re talking about a state intelligence service interacting with terrorists…we’re talking about state-sponsorship of terror. Since the terror group here is Al Queda and its affiliates, we’re talking about Iraqi sponsorship of Al Queda in attacks against the US for the mutual and individual benefits of Iraq and of AQ.

    15.) “Interesting, I am not an author but I do work in the DC area in a related field. I?m not completely discounting your assertions just wondering why they haven?t been picked up in the MSM.”

    Well, I’m not big believer in the liberal media idea as I think each outlet has its own tone to secure its own demographic. So, my bet is that my books and other writings don’t get picked up because I don’t market em. I HATE selling anything. I’ll inform, but I just can’t stomach the idea of selling or marketing. Something about it just doesn’t mesh with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to make some money off my books and writings, but my interest is more in research, discussion, and sharing of open source information. I should market, and I’ve done enough to realize that sales directly parallel marketing efforts, but I’d rather read, discuss, and share than spend time, effort, and money marketing. I dunno. Sometimes I think I should try getting an agent again, and at least give the traditional publishing method another try. A common thought in the vacuum between my ears. Still, please feel free to alert the media (hehehehe).

    ReplyReply
  34. James says: 34

    1. “Remember, the point here is that Iraq and the US were waging war upon each other between ODS and OIF. Whether that was justified via the UNSC is debatable, and semi-argumentative as: — if it were not authorized by the UNSC, then it makes it even more aggressive towards Iraq
    – if it were authorized by the UNSC, then it confirms that the official war remained.
    Again, I can list many many examples of no-fly-zone and/or non-no-fly-zone combat, bombings, cease-fire breaches, etc. Literally thousands.”

    The SCUD report is still an unconfirmed report. No doubt the SCUD failed to reach its target if it ever was fired, so either the SCUD was never fired or it disintegrated into the air. It cannot be proven either way, bur I would tend to stay away from “unconfirmed reports”.

    Also go ahead and list the cease-fire “breaches” so I have a clearer understanding of what you are talking about; Iraq was held in material breach seven times by the Security Council and none since 1993. None of these breaches were considered serious enough to warrant a second resolution authorizing force, and the no-fly zone infractions were immaterial to the UNSC, and not relevant to the cease-fire/peace.

    2. “Your entire argument is dependent upon the unsubstantiated perception that the 1991 Cease fire was a “permanent cease-fire under international law” Can you show an example of that cease fire being described as permanent by the UNSC? As I can list at least 4 UNSC statements of material breach, and many more UNSC statements that 678 was still in effect.”

    By its nature it was permanent codified into law by the very Resolutions you claim Iraq violated. There were 7 material breaches en total yet none of them were a justification for the resumption of hostilities as the Security Council as a whole has to vote on the correct response. The US cannot just say “a ha Iraq was/is in material breach, UNSCR 678 is still in effect bombs away” even though that is what the US did. 678 was specific to the situation between Iraq and Kuwait, i.e. Iraq invading Kuwait, the same way UNSCR 82 was specific to the situation between North and South Korea, i.e. North Korea invading South Korea…even though North Korea has violated the cease-fire multiple times, South Korea and/or the US are not justified under international law to attack North Korea under UNSCR 82 even though they are technically in a “cease-fire”.

    3. “I do agree that the doc re Atta was not reliable, but I think the other reports that Nidal was more than just sitting around watching TV for years in Iraq would be equally unreliable. A retired terrorist legend is an oxymoron imo.”

    Well the doc comes from 1992 when ANO was still kind of active, but a lot can change in 10 years as both Nidal and his organization suffered terribly in the 1990s. By 2002 he was no longer an active terrorist, you claim to not believe him, that’s your choice. But his actions, or rather inactions, speak louder than your words

    4. “Again, my point is that UBL was po’d about US forces in Saudi that helped wage war on Saddam (a war which some have said was illegal and not sanctioned by the UN). In this rant, when he complains about military aid, I think he’s talking in past tense of that aid. That, or he didn’t get the memo that the US only had 261 people in Saudi. Maybe he thinks there’s some Saudi Area 51 where tens of thousands of US troops are controlling the Saudi govt?”

    Well he was po’d about US forces in Saudi Arabia, he’s po’d about US forces in Iraq, po’d about US forces in Afghanistan, po’d about Russians in Chechnya, po’d about Indians in Kashmir, po’d about Serbs in Bosnia, po’d about Israelis in Palestine…. He gets po’d a lot, about one thing in particular; foreign troops in Moslem lands, which leads to perceived mistreatment of Moslems. He’s not doing it because he liked Saddam Hussein he did it because he hated Americans. If Saddam was overthrown in 1991 and there was still a troop presence in the Gulf (as there still is), he would have still called for jihad against the US.

    5. “re the terror teams, there’s a lot on the 2003 IIS attacks out there (ironically from Dems like Sen Rockefeller and Levin), and while they were generally solely IIS, the ones in the PI were directly linked to Abu Sayef (sp?), and the PI even expelled the an Iraqi “diplomat” for having made repeated phone calls to AS’s leader on the eve of attacks. Iraqi embassy stuff is predominant in all kinds of ways”

    I was referring to the 1991 Gulf war when I stated that Jordan was an ally of the US, I thought that was the war you were also referring to since we were talking about Khafji.

    6. “We’re so close to agreeing here James. My point is that Saddam did more than just “not trust” the US-that he expected to be attacked, and it was his miscalculation that the attack would come in the form of more impotent air strikes in Desert Fox style. Now, you bring up a great point that seems at odds, but your missing the different settings which make a huge difference. When you asked how I can believe Saddam when he said he was an enemy of the US, and not believe it when he said he wanted to be closer…you forgot that in the latter case, he was a captive, facing death, and not anywhere close to being as free to say what he wanted as he was prior to the invasion.”

    It’s also what other regime officials say, especially those not charged with crimes. I’m sure the FBI interrogators can figure out if someone is lying. Saddam was never up for charges while he was being interrogated, the US just held him as a POW, so he may have held out hope that he could be released or at least not killed. Finally, it was always to Saddam’s benefit to become a friend of the US; he had lots of oil and the US needs lots of oil, but believe what you will.

    7. “See Franks’ quote above re foreign fighters. Re the suicide bombings, you cannot possibly be suggesting that there were no VBIED’s in the invasion? Please tell me you’re not going to suggest that every single personal account of the invasion, and all the documentaries showing these suicide attacks are unreal? There are literally THOUSANDS of witnesses to the suicide attacks against US tanks and other vehicles during the invasion, and personal suicide attacks against infantry, checkpoints etc. I’ve even got pictures of one of the suicide vest bomb factories at Baghdad University as well as pics of the hundreds of suicide bomb vests found there.”

    I missed that quote by Franks though he could be engaging in propaganda. In the link I provided which you instantly discounted, it cited references from field commanders and embedded reporters (foreign as well as American) and came away with fairly accurate conclusions regarding the level of Iraqi casualties during the invasion; there were almost no foreign fighters in Iraq during that time. Even the Iraqi Perspectives Project, though it claims that Iraq trained non-Iraqi Arab volunteers in Fedayeen “training camps”, starting in 1998, it does not claim that these fighters were involved in the regime fight in early 2003. Brookings only lists 300-400 foreign fighters in Jan. 2004, which also includes Ansar al-Islam, and its 200-300 members. Ansar al-Islam was in Iraq, in the area of Kurdistan, but not at the invitation of the regime, nor did Ansar fight for the regime’s survival.

    As for suicide attacks, perhaps we are talking past each other. There have been only two suicide bombings by Iraqi security personnel dressed as civilians, directed by the regime, which took out US troops at checkpoints. A suicide attack on a tank, if that person is a legitimate combatant (Iraqi Army, or irregular) would not constitute terrorism; it would be a military attack on a military target; the Japanese did this sort of thing in WWII as well:

    http://www.ww2pacific.com/suicide.html

    8. “AQ support for other insurgencies (ie, the AQ fight against other non-Moslems) is different because I’m talking about AQ’s fight against the US, and UBL’s excuse for that. One can hardly say that the reason AQ Spain is the same as the reason AQ fights the US. UBL is nice enough to come up with excuses for each nation, and so in discussing why he called for holy war on Americans, I prefer to discuss why he called for holy war on Americans. There are some across the board commonalities, but his war on this nation and that seems to have nation-specific reasons as well.”

    It’s all intertwined and part of al Qaeda’s ideology; drive foreigners from Moslem lands. The US is just the most egregious violator of this policy, due to its backing of Israel and stationing of troops in other places. So I don’t think you can play up Osama’s words about US troops in Saudi Arabia and support for UN sanctions against Iraq, and downplay al Qaeda’s support for the Chechens struggle for independence against Russia.

    9.”Are you saying that they were smart enough to make the largest shaped charge bomb ever, but not smart enough to make a boat big enough to carry the bomb? Perhaps you can tell us where the RDX came from, or who helped design the sophisticated bomb?

    They’re certainly smart enough to build truck bombs without help, smart enough to learn how to fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers, so why not? RDX comes from lots of different places; Pakistan has it, Iran has it, Libya has it, Egypt has it, and all these countries got weapons from Russia or China (who got their weapons from Russia). It seems circumspect to me that they would ask Iraq for RDX and bomb-making capabilities and then sink their boat (Sullivans), and then go back to Iraq and state that they needed help in building a boat. It’s more logical to assume that they bought the RDX on the black market (easily available for the right price), utilized the expertise of some of the multiple ex-military jihadists in their employ (including US Army) and ta da you have yourself a shaped charge. Here is an article on the attacks in India last year that also utilized RDX, and talks about how easy it is to get the material and to make a bomb.

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2319/stories/20061006004101900.htm

    10. “I beg to differ re the strategy. We can eliminate some pretty simply. It seems clear that by using the IIS and terrorist groups, the strategy wasn’t a conventional attack with fighter bombers, and it wasn’t a conventional naval attack or any other conventional attack. Given the simple combination of any intelligence service interacting with a terrorist group with the intent of taking X action in order to drive the an opponent from an area, it seems far more likely than not that X action is unconventional warfare, and given that we’re talking about a state intelligence service interacting with terrorists…we’re talking about state-sponsorship of terror. Since the terror group here is Al Queda and its affiliates, we’re talking about Iraqi sponsorship of Al Queda in attacks against the US for the mutual and individual benefits of Iraq and of AQ.”

    But I think Iraq has to give something to AQ; direction, financing, weapons, training, etc. They cannot just say we would like the Americans to be driven from Somalia, and AQ says we also would like the Americans driven from Somalia; ok we have an agreement then. It doesn’t work that way. If AQ is going to drive Americans out anyway and has the means to do it and a strategy, what do they need Iraq for? A terrorist organization that is sponsored by a state cannot live without that state support; like Hezbollah or Hamas. AQ can live without state support, so it didn’t really need Iraq. Also there would be much more of a paper trail if Iraq was helping al Qaeda. Iraq has a bureaucracy; bureaucracies have to account for things, weapons cost money, training costs money, requisition orders have to be filled, approvals have to be gotten, follow-ups have to be done, etc. So far in the several million documents, we have the one document you mentioned about Somalia from CNS news and this new revelation that I just got to read, actually weakens the case of Iraqi support for al Qaeda.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/05/more_evidence_of_saddamal_qaed.html

    The Al Qaeda operative mentions how he trained the Somalis in learning how to use RPG-7 (a very common and fairly easy weapon to use), and in basic tactics. Everyone knew that the US had forces in Somalia, certainly al Qaeda knew, and needed no prodding from Iraq to attack America.

    ReplyReply
  35. Scott Malensek says: 35

    Sorry for the delay in posting. BUSY ’round here. Wife’s outta town & I’m flyin solo with the kids. Also had to get a new car all of a sudden. Craziness.

    This is all I could do in a short period of spare time. Apologies.
    :)

    1.

    “The SCUD report is still an unconfirmed report. No doubt the SCUD failed to reach its target if it ever was fired, so either the SCUD was never fired or it disintegrated into the air. It cannot be proven either way, bur I would tend to stay away from “unconfirmed reports “

    For me, if an unconfirmed report is corroborated (as I demonstrated), then it’s better to keep it in mind than dismiss it. The SCUD is but one of the many cease-fire violations (CFVs) listed in that pdf I linked to earlier.

    “Also go ahead and list the cease-fire “breaches” so I have a clearer understanding of what you are talking about; Iraq was held in material breach seven times by the Security Council and none since 1993. None of these breaches were considered serious enough to warrant a second resolution authorizing force, and the no-fly zone infractions were immaterial to the UNSC, and not relevant to the cease-fire/peace.”

    “warrant a second resolution authorizing force” The reason no second resolution was needed was because a second resolution wasn’t needed, and instead the subsequent resolutions in response to the CFVs/material breaches all reiterated the original authorization. Why reiterate instead of offer a new one…because the cease fire was not a peace treaty, but a temporary agreement that once broken becomes invalid. If a soldier walks across the line in the sand with a white flag, and no one shoots at him, it’s a cease fire…not the kinda thing that requires a UN affirmation. If enemy forces-paused by a cease-fire agreement-suddenly invade (be it Kuwait or South Korea or whatever) there is no time to go back to the UN, get everyone together, write up a second resolution to basically reiterate the legitimacy and reauthorize the first authorization of force, and then tell commanders on the other side of the globe it’s ok to respond. No. If there’s no need for a second resolution to re-say what the authorization said, then all that needs be done is to reaffirm that the first authorization is still valid, and that’s exactly what the UN did-reaffirmed that 678 was still valid….again, and again, and again, and again. It’s easy to take a dozen resolution post 678 and cite sections of resolutions that reaffirm 678 was still active, but it’s impossible to find a single UN resolution ending the 1991 Gulf War that is not conditional. If it’s conditional, then when those conditions aren’t met, the resolution is not met/not in effect.

    2.

    “By its nature it was permanent codified into law by the very Resolutions you claim Iraq violated. There were 7 material breaches en total yet none
    of them were a justification for the resumption of hostilities as the Security Council as a whole has to vote on the correct response. The US cannot just say “a ha Iraq was/is in material breach, UNSCR 678 is still in effect bombs away” even though that is what the US did. 678 was specific to the situation between Iraq and Kuwait, i.e. Iraq invading Kuwait, the same way UNSCR 82 was specific to the situation between North and South Korea, i.e. North Korea invading South Korea even though North
    Korea has violated the cease-fire multiple times, South Korea and/or the US are not justified under international law to attack North Korea under UNSCR 82 even though they are technically in a “cease-fire”

    Again, please show me something that says the 1991 war was over, and that Iraq was free to break the cease fire agreement as long as it wanted, as many times as it wanted, as grievously as it wanted until someone decided to get a second resolution?

    It’s like this, you say a cease-fire is permanent. The minute a soldier walks across with a white flag, and the shooting stops, then there’s peace (until the UNSC decides to pass a new resolution).

    I say that a cease-fire is temporary, that its permanence is dependent upon the conditions it contains, and that the reason it is temporary is to get one side or the other to comply with those conditions as fast as possible (12yrs?). Thus, if a cease-fire is temporary, and conditions based, if those conditions are not met, or if it is broken, then the fighting can resume at any time, and there is no need for a second resolution of authorization to just reaffirm the first. Reaffirming that the first authorization was in effect happens several times in the subsequent resolutions, and there is nothing in any of them that says a new resolution must be given to authorize force again.

    Re North Korea, I’d say that if DPRK invaded S Korea (via their invasion tunnels for example), they could be in Seoul in an hour or two. They could kill a million or two in Seoul with arty alone within a few days. Should the UN assemble, right up a new resolution, debate it, vote, and THEN respond? Nah. I don’t think so. I think the right and depth to respond to cease-fire violations is in the hands of those who have been violated. If they want the war to restart, they can do it after being violated.

    I went back and actually re-read the resolutions, and the State Dept claim that 678 was still active. I think where the confusion rests (as with almost all the debate on pre-war intelligence does) with the fact that no one stance, no conclusive point is made. There is no specific claim in any of the resolutions that a second resolution authorizing force would be needed as opposed to a reiteration of the first.

    3.

    “Well the doc comes from 1992 when ANO was still kind of active, but a lot can change in 10 years as both Nidal and his organization suffered terribly in the 1990s. By 2002 he was no longer an active terrorist, you claim to not believe him, that’s your choice. But his actions, or rather inactions, speak louder than your words”

    Retirement is a good punishment for terrorists?

    4.

    “Well he was po’d about US forces in Saudi Arabia, he’s po’d about US forces in Iraq, po’d about US forces in Afghanistan, po’d about Russians in Chechnya, po’d about Indians in Kashmir, po’d about Serbs in Bosnia, po’d about Israelis in Palestine. He gets po’d a lot, about one thing in particular; foreign troops in Moslem lands, which leads to perceived mistreatment of Moslems. He’s not doing it because he liked Saddam Hussein he did it because he hated Americans. If Saddam was overthrown in 1991 and there was still a troop presence in the Gulf (as there still is), he would have still called for jihad against the US.”

    http://www.floppingaces.net/2007/06/01/in-lawrence-wrights-book-the/

    5.

    “I was referring to the 1991 Gulf war when I stated that Jordan was an ally of the US, I thought that was the war you were also referring to since we were talking about Khafji.”

    Jordan was a HUGE covert ally in the second invasion of Iraq in 2003. They allowed US fighters, bombers, etc to operate out of their bases. They did the same for US special forces, they even rescued US special forces on the eve of the invasion. Gen Franks and others now tell us that the King of Jordan even offered to allow the 4th ID to transit Jordan when it was refused in Turkey.

    6.

    It’s also what other regime officials say, especially those not charged with crimes. I’m sure the FBI interrogators can figure out if someone is lying. Saddam was never up for charges while he was being interrogated, the US just held him as a POW, so he may have held out hope that he could be released or at least not killed. Finally, it was always to Saddam’s benefit to become a friend of the US; he had lots of oil and the US needs lots of oil, but believe what you will.

    I don’t have a lot of faith in the FBI’s interrogations, and prefer CIA ones. As to the FBI determining if one is lying? Hansen is but one of many many many examples. Better question would be why cite an FBI interrogation instead of a CIA one of Saddam? As to Saddam only being a POW when interrogated by the FBI, then why did the FBI interrogate him instead of the DIA? The idea that Saddam wanted to be a friend of the US and that this comes from non-prisoners….hmmm, like whom?

    Oil….ahhhh, oil. The classic focal point. Sorry man, but if you’re gonna use the “he had oil/U.S. needs oil” theory as a substantive basis for being friends with the US, then please explain Iran and Venezuela to me for both have oil, and clearly don’t want to be friends with the US. The one thing about oil…it’s not just the US that wants it. There are bigger, better, customers (EU, India, China, etc).

    7.

    I missed that quote by Franks though he could be engaging in propaganda. In the link I provided which you instantly discounted, it cited references from field commanders and embedded reporters (foreign as well as American) and came away with fairly accurate conclusions regarding the level of Iraqi casualties during the invasion; there were almost no foreign fighters in
    Iraq during that time. Even the Iraqi Perspectives Project, though it claims that Iraq trained non-Iraqi Arab volunteers in Fedayeen “training camps”, starting in 1998, it does not claim that these fighters were involved in the regime fight in early 2003. Brookings only lists 300-400 foreign fighters in Jan. 2004, which also includes Ansar al-Islam, and its
    200-300 members. Ansar al-Islam was in Iraq, in the area of Kurdistan, but not at the invitation of the regime, nor did Ansar fight for the regime’s survival.

    Why would Franks, retired, need to form propaganda in collusion with embedded reporters, other Marine generals on the scene, other Marine officers, and Marine enlisted personnel on the scene in 2003? That seems like a lotta people on the scene allegedly forming near identical propaganda with no reason to do so. Your comments re the IPP rpt claiming non-Iraqis in Martyrs of Saddam training camps seems at odds with your claim that there were no foreign fighters in Iraq during or before the invasion. Citing the Brookings rpt of what the situation was like in 1/04 is not representative of what the situation was like in 3/03. The claims of Ansar being a tool of Saddam’s are backed by several credible detainees, and the actions of Ansar against Kurdish forces in late 2002 and early 2003 were done in direct support of Saddam’s regime (assassinating generals etc).

    As for suicide attacks, perhaps we are talking past each other. There have been only two suicide bombings by Iraqi security personnel dressed as civilians, directed by the regime, which took out US troops at checkpoints. A suicide attack on a tank, if that person is a legitimate combatant (Iraqi Army, or irregular) would not constitute terrorism; it would be a military attack on a military target; the Japanese did this sort of thing in WWII as well:

    http://www.ww2pacific.com/suicide.html

    Spin. I’ve been saying that the suicide attacks were done largely by Fedeyeen and foreign fighters making them terrorists. Did Japanese forces wage suicide attacks in WWII? Sure. Were they doing so in direct support for their ally Italy? Notachance. Were they wearing uniforms? Yep. Were they hiding behind women and children and deliberately targeting civilians (non-uniformed Fedeyeen and foreign fighters did in fact hide behind women and children and target anyone who worked with the Coalition forces-they never ever limited their attacks to just military forces).

    I’m getting real REAL curious to hear your definition of terrorism or terrorist as it seems you’re too eager to dismiss any and all aspects of a terrorist. It almost sounds like you’re trying to say a few thousand Iraqis had a right to protect their dictatorial regime against the will of tens of millions of Iraqis.

    Me, call me old fashioned, but I think people who never wear uniforms, routinely hide behind their own civilians, wear suicide vests, and drive VBIEDs are terrorists.

    8.

    It’s all intertwined and part of al Qaeda’s ideology; drive foreigners from Moslem lands. The US is just the most egregious violator of this policy, due to its backing of Israel and stationing of troops in other places. So I don’t think you can play up Osama’s words about US troops in Saudi Arabia and support for UN sanctions against Iraq, and downplay al Qaeda’s support for the Chechens struggle for independence against Russia.

    US backing of Israel is my favorite of these misled accusations. US support for Israel has surely not been $100billion a year for the last 4 years, it has always been about the same as US support for Egypt, and US support for Israel is a tiny fraction of the financial and military support given to the Arab World as a whole (let alone the Muslim world as a whole). No, US support for Israel is hardly unjust and/or imbalanced, and the presence of the US in Muslim lands is mere excuse making since there are more Muslims in the US than there are in most any Moslem nation save perhaps 3-5. Should the US then leave the US? If it’s US presence in Moslem holy lands, then why not be happy that the US has basically left Saudi, Somalia, and all other Moslem holy lands save Iraq (which the US would love to leave except AQ has chosen to keep us there). Is Chechnya a Moslem Holy land? Are US forces there? How does that work exactly-call for a Holy War on the US because of the US invasion of Chechnya? Pretty sure Chechnya has nada to do with the US.

    9.

    “They’re certainly smart enough to build truck bombs without help, smart enough to learn how to fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers, so why not? RDX comes from lots of different places; Pakistan has it, Iran has it, Libya
    has it, Egypt has it, and all these countries got weapons from Russia or China (who got their weapons from Russia). It seems circumspect to me that they would ask Iraq for RDX and bomb-making capabilities and then sink
    their boat (Sullivans), and then go back to Iraq and state that they needed help in building a boat. It’s more logical to assume that they bought the RDX on the black market (easily available for the right price), utilized the expertise of some of the multiple ex-military jihadists in their employ (including US Army) and ta da you have yourself a shaped
    charge. Here is an article on the attacks in India last year that also utilized RDX, and talks about how easy it is to get the material and to make a bomb.”

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2319/stories/20061006004101900.htm

    It’s not too hard to get RDX, but to get hundreds of pounds of it, and be a moron….that’s questionable, and the guys who couldn’t manage to build the boat were morons. They didn’t get x-military help etc as you suggest (no evidence at all to support your claim per this particular attack). You need an engineer to make a shaped charge that big. According to my sources (only 2 of em), according to a fmr CIA guy on one of The History Channel’s shows re UBL, Iraqi IIS ”tutored” the bomb makers and helped them make it. The explosives (per 1 of my sources, and per Russian media reports at the time) Russia sold the RDX to Iraq. Iraqi IIS flew it to UAE and drove it from there to Yemen. After the failed attack on The Sullivans, Iraq refused to help again, and the bomb makers had to go to AQ. They went out to where the boat sank, got some of the explosives, flew (again to UAE then..) to Afghanistan to try out the explosives and get help making a new bomb using some of the original explosives. Fyi, USN intel and CIA uncovered the plot first as part of the uncovering of the Millennium plot, and despite specific reporting that UBL planned to hit a US ship in the 5th or 6th fleet area of ops, despite being briefed on the plot while in port in Slovenia before heading to Malta then Yemen, the crew was not prepared for it. USN intel docs support this specifically. The problem was it was treated as a “criminal threat” and not a military threat (specifically, see the USS Cole JAGC investigation where the NCIS lists “Criminal threats”). A standard boat filled with explosives would have damaged the ship (but not put a nice hole in it), and a mere boat loaded with explosives was a threat, but not a dire threat. It was the training and bomb design that made the bomb dire.

    10.

    But I think Iraq has to give something to AQ; direction, financing, weapons, training, etc. They cannot just say we would like the Americans to be driven from Somalia, and AQ says we also would like the Americans driven from Somalia; ok we have an agreement then. It doesn’t work that way. If AQ is going to drive Americans out anyway and has the means to do it and a strategy, what do they need Iraq for? A terrorist organization that is sponsored by a state cannot live without that state support; like Hezbollah or Hamas. AQ can live without state support, so it didn’t really need Iraq. Also there would be much more of a paper trail if Iraq was helping al Qaeda. Iraq has a bureaucracy; bureaucracies have to account for things, weapons cost money, training costs money, requisition orders have to be filled, approvals have to be gotten, follow-ups have to be done, etc. So far in the several million documents, we have the one document you mentioned about Somalia from CNS news and this new revelation that I just got to read, actually weakens the case of Iraqi support for al Qaeda.”

    Several million documents captured (videos, audio tapes etc as well). Please, point me to a post-war intelligence investigation that has gone through all of those (or even more than 18% of them). The entire point of the article that started this thread was to point out that no intelligence agency has looked into this and formed a conclusion. Some have formed assessments, but those same assessments come with the caveats that the matter remain open, needs further examination, and at the time of the assessments there was incomplete collection and/or analysis. While opponents of the war would love to just carte blanche point to a political spin report and declare the matter closed, the intelligence community on the other hand admits that it was never adequately examined, and requests such an examination.

    What’s really odd about your statement is that earlier in this same post you’ve described Iraq has having provided training. Additionally, the high level meetings that AQ/Iraq were having clearly included all the direction needed. The biggest problem with your misperception of state sponsorship of terror is that you’ve said the terror group cannot survive without its sponsor, and that’s not true at all. That’s a proxy not a mere state-sponsored terror group or act. By your own standard you’ve made Al Queda completely autonomous, and it’s not at all. It needs the support of governments to survive, but not just one as you so well point out, and I do agree there.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/05/more_evidence_of_saddamal_qaed.html

    “The Al Qaeda operative mentions how he trained the Somalis in learning how to use RPG-7 (a very common and fairly easy weapon to use), and in basic
    tactics. Everyone knew that the US had forces in Somalia, certainly al Qaeda knew, and needed no prodding from Iraq to attack America. “

    It was more than just RPG-7s. There was also training in how to target an American helicopter, how to modify the warheads with proximity fuses taken out of 23mmAAA rounds, and lots lots more. I’m pretty confident that after a decade plus of war, most Somalis who had held an RPG-7 had learned the basics of how to use it, but at the request of the IIS, Al Queda went to Somalia and trained them in all kinds of ambush techniques, guerrilla warfare, and more. That’s pretty weak to just dismiss the IIS/AQ training as RPG 7 training that meant nothing (call it dismissive).

    ReplyReply
  36. James says: 36

    1.) “Re North Korea, I’d say that if DPRK invaded S Korea (via their invasion tunnels for example), they could be in Seoul in an hour or two. They could kill a million or two in Seoul with arty alone within a few days. Should the UN assemble, right up a new resolution, debate it, vote, and THEN respond? Nah. I don’t think so. I think the right and depth to respond to cease-fire violations is in the hands of those who have been violated. If they want the war to restart, they can do it after being violated.
    I went back and actually re-read the resolutions, and the State Dept claim that 678 was still active. I think where the confusion rests (as with almost all the debate on pre-war intelligence does) with the fact that no one stance, no conclusive point is made. There is no specific claim in any of the resolutions that a second resolution authorizing force would be needed as opposed to a reiteration of the first.”

    RE: Iraq SCUD. If UNSCOM had evidence that Iraq had fired a SCUD at Saudi Arabia, they had ample time to present that evidence to the Security Council, likewise for the US and Saudi Arabia. That they didn’t suggests that the “unconfirmed” report is unconfirmed for a reason. As for Ritter and Rolf, both proved to be wrong about WMD (though Ritter later corrected himself), so if they want to wax on eloquently in their books about evidence of an Iraqi SCUD that they never produced they can go right ahead

    RE: North Korea, It’s quite a different situation though as South Korea could invoke Article 51 if it were invaded by North Korea; if North Korea though say captures a US warship in international waters, and accuses the crew of spying and keeps the ship; then the US/South Korea would need additional authorization for the use of force.

    There is some confusion regarding the need for a second resolution, most every international law expert agrees that a second resolution was needed and 678 did not carry over past the 1990 mandate. This is my stance as well. The State Department sees things differently, mostly because they are advocating a particular policy, and are carrying out the wishes of policy-makers. In the first of these articles Richard Perle states that he think the Iraq war was probably illegal under international law but still morally justified, and in the second article the authors outline why 678 was not applicable to the current situation.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1089158,00.html

    http://www.globelaw.com/Iraq/Preventive_war_after_iraq.htm#_Toc41379597

    687 is completely different from 678, and no automatic trigger for war existed within its structure. The entire Security Council had to “remain seized” of the matter, meaning that only they could decide as a whole if a violation of 687 took place and if so what the punishment should be. 687 only referred to the sanctions regime, and Iraq’s compliance with 687 would mean sanctions would be lifted, Iraq’s non-compliance means that sanctions would stay in place. So my evidence that the 1991 “cease-fire” was permanent is as follows.

    1.) The United Nations deemed the matter of 1990/1991 settled as the Security Council did not pass any resolution that authorized force against Iraq, nor did the UN offer its good offices to mediate a peace between the US and Iraq.

    2.) The US was never put on a war footing with Iraq during the 1990s. President Clinton said some mean things about Saddam, and may not have liked him, but he never declared that we are still at war with Iraq, and never prepared the nation for any such war.

    3.) Iraq was also never really on a war footing with the US. Sure Saddam said some things and he had AAA fire away at a few US planes (that were far out of range), but his priority was still on lifting sanctions, and not war with the US.

    2.) “Retirement is a good punishment for terrorists?”

    Whatever fate befell Nidal (suicide, murder, cancer) he long ago became irrelevant. Some terrorists become politicians (Gerry Adams) others are still alive and were never brought to justice (Chin Peng), still others are very much relevant and active in terrorism (bin Laden), so Nidal’s fate is satisfactory to me.

    A Palestinian source in the West Bank city of Ramallah said Iraqi authorities had discovered Abu Nidal had opened channels to Iraqi guerrillas in Syria and Jordan opposed to President Saddam Hussein and wanted to put a stop to the activity before any US military operations against Iraq.
    Other sources in Ramallah said Abu Nidal shot himself because he had cancer and was addicted to painkillers.

    http://www.caroptionsonline.com/2002news/08222002/world/20426.htm

    3.) “I don’t have a lot of faith in the FBI’s interrogations, and prefer CIA ones. As to the FBI determining if one is lying? Hansen is but one of many many many examples. Better question would be why cite an FBI interrogation instead of a CIA one of Saddam? As to Saddam only being a POW when interrogated by the FBI, then why did the FBI interrogate him instead of the DIA? The idea that Saddam wanted to be a friend of the US and that this comes from non-prisoners….hmmm, like whom?”

    I’m not going to get into a debate with you over FBI/CIA interrogations. I cited the FBI interrogation because it was cited in the ISG report and the SSCI report. I don’t know why the FBI and not the DIA interrogated Saddam, I only know he was classified as a POW by the DOD. I never stated the comments cane from non-prisoners but by regime figures not charged with crimes, including military commanders; not all of them were lying unless you believe all POWs lie, or all Iraqis lie.

    4.) “Oil….ahhhh, oil. The classic focal point. Sorry man, but if you’re gonna use the “he had oil/U.S. needs oil” theory as a substantive basis for being friends with the US, then please explain Iran and Venezuela to me for both have oil, and clearly don’t want to be friends with the US. The one thing about oil…it’s not just the US that wants it. There are bigger, better, customers (EU, India, China, etc). “

    Each case is different; Saddam specifically told his staff he believed eventually the US would cut a deal with him because of his oil. Venezuela exports oil to the US despite its leader’s rhetoric (which makes you wonder how serious Chavez is).

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html

    Iran is a different case; a country with not as much oil to export and beholden to radical ideology.

    5.) “Why would Franks, retired, need to form propaganda in collusion with embedded reporters, other Marine generals on the scene, other Marine officers, and Marine enlisted personnel on the scene in 2003? That seems like a lotta people on the scene allegedly forming near identical propaganda with no reason to do so. Your comments re the IPP rpt claiming non-Iraqis in Martyrs of Saddam training camps seems at odds with your claim that there were no foreign fighters in Iraq during or before the invasion. Citing the Brookings rpt of what the situation was like in 1/04 is not representative of what the situation was like in 3/03. The claims of Ansar being a tool of Saddam’s are backed by several credible detainees, and the actions of Ansar against Kurdish forces in late 2002 and early 2003 were done in direct support of Saddam’s regime (assassinating generals etc).”

    I didn’t see any of those reports about foreign fighters during the invasion. Even if I had I would be dubious of any “initial” reports, seeing as we got burned regarding the WMD issue (barrels of uranium already marked and sealed by the IAEA were unsealed by the US Army and the Army then declared that Iraq had WMD). The IPP report didn’t specify what happened to the non-Iraqi “fighters”, there was no detail as to how many and where they came from and where they went in the IPP report. Indeed it doesn’t say if those fighters swore loyalty oaths to Saddam, given specific orders by Saddam, etc. so it’s mere speculation.

    Ansar al-Islam was an Islamist Kurdish group that wanted to overthrow the secular Kurdish leadership, so of course it’s going to assassinate secular Kurdish generals; but they weren’t very good at it, it took them three tries to kill one general. Once the war started they were scattered to the four winds. One detainee stated that Abu Wael was an IIS agent (amazing how you’ll believe detainees when it suits your agenda), but the SSCI states that Iraq was gathering information against Ansar.

    6.) “Spin. I’ve been saying that the suicide attacks were done largely by Fedeyeen and foreign fighters making them terrorists. Did Japanese forces wage suicide attacks in WWII? Sure. Were they doing so in direct support for their ally Italy? Notachance. Were they wearing uniforms? Yep. Were they hiding behind women and children and deliberately targeting civilians (non-uniformed Fedeyeen and foreign fighters did in fact hide behind women and children and target anyone who worked with the Coalition forces-they never ever limited their attacks to just military forces).
    I’m getting real REAL curious to hear your definition of terrorism or terrorist as it seems you’re too eager to dismiss any and all aspects of a terrorist. It almost sounds like you’re trying to say a few thousand Iraqis had a right to protect their dictatorial regime against the will of tens of millions of Iraqis.
    Me, call me old fashioned, but I think people who never wear uniforms, routinely hide behind their own civilians, wear suicide vests, and drive VBIEDs are terrorists.”

    It seems to me you have trouble distinguishing what a terrorist is. This all goes back to the semantic debate we had earlier regarding insurgents. Bruce Hoffman, perhaps the world’s pre-eminent authority on international terrorism defines it thusly:

    * ineluctably political in aims and motives;
    * violent — or, equally important, threatens violence;
    * designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target;
    * conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure (whose members wear no uniform or identifying insignia); and
    * perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity.

    However odious the tactics of Saddam Fedeyeen and like-minded militia, the tactics themselves were not borne from political motives but military, and the tactics were not perpetrated by a subnational or non-state entity; thus they cannot be terrorists. Like I said this goes back to the argument over what is or isn’t an insurgency. The MRLA was considered a terrorist group by the British Empire, but history remembers it as an insurgent group. Likewise were the PAGIC, MPLA, ZAPA, ANC terrorist groups or insurgencies? All these groups utilized what you would define as “terrorist” tactics yet all are now in power in Africa.

    7.) “US backing of Israel is my favorite of these misled accusations. US support for Israel has surely not been $100billion a year for the last 4 years, it has always been about the same as US support for Egypt, and US support for Israel is a tiny fraction of the financial and military support given to the Arab World as a whole (let alone the Muslim world as a whole). No, US support for Israel is hardly unjust and/or imbalanced, and the presence of the US in Muslim lands is mere excuse making since there are more Muslims in the US than there are in most any Moslem nation save perhaps 3-5. Should the US then leave the US? If it’s US presence in Moslem holy lands, then why not be happy that the US has basically left Saudi, Somalia, and all other Moslem holy lands save Iraq (which the US would love to leave except AQ has chosen to keep us there). Is Chechnya a Moslem Holy land? Are US forces there? How does that work exactly-call for a Holy War on the US because of the US invasion of Chechnya? Pretty sure Chechnya has nada to do with the US.”

    I’m not the one that needs to be convinced regarding US support for Israel. There is however a perception on the so-called Arab street that the US has leverage over Israel or that the US could apply pressure to Israel, but the fact that the US doesn’t do these things (regardless of the reasons behind it), only makes bin Laden and his ilk angrier.

    As to Muslim “Holy” Lands, I am merely trying to reinforce the point that Al Qaeda, and the jihadists before them fight for Moslems against non-Moslems in (perceived) Moslem lands. Why did Osama go to Afghanistan in the 1980s, was it at the behest of Saddam, to fight Americans, or to fight non-Moslems on Moslem land? It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why al Qaeda was formed, and what its’ ideology is all about, and thus why they hate America.

    8.) “It’s not too hard to get RDX, but to get hundreds of pounds of it, and be a moron….that’s questionable, and the guys who couldn’t manage to build the boat were morons. They didn’t get x-military help etc as you suggest (no evidence at all to support your claim per this particular attack). You need an engineer to make a shaped charge that big. According to my sources (only 2 of em), according to a fmr CIA guy on one of The History Channel’s shows re UBL, Iraqi IIS ”tutored” the bomb makers and helped them make it. The explosives (per 1 of my sources, and per Russian media reports at the time) Russia sold the RDX to Iraq. Iraqi IIS flew it to UAE and drove it from there to Yemen. After the failed attack on The Sullivans, Iraq refused to help again, and the bomb makers had to go to AQ. They went out to where the boat sank, got some of the explosives, flew (again to UAE then..) to Afghanistan to try out the explosives and get help making a new bomb using some of the original explosives. Fyi, USN intel and CIA uncovered the plot first as part of the uncovering of the Millennium plot, and despite specific reporting that UBL planned to hit a US ship in the 5th or 6th fleet area of ops, despite being briefed on the plot while in port in Slovenia before heading to Malta then Yemen, the crew was not prepared for it. USN intel docs support this specifically. The problem was it was treated as a “criminal threat” and not a military threat (specifically, see the USS Cole JAGC investigation where the NCIS lists “Criminal threats”). A standard boat filled with explosives would have damaged the ship (but not put a nice hole in it), and a mere boat loaded with explosives was a threat, but not a dire threat. It was the training and bomb design that made the bomb dire.”

    That’s all very interesting and informative; I had not heard any of this before. There are two slight problems I have with it though. If Iraq only helped with the Sullivans attack (which failed) and used local (Yemeni) bomb-makers unaffiliated with AQ, and then backed away once the attack failed, leaving the Yemeni terrorists with only Al Qaeda to turn to, doesn’t that still make the Cole attack an Al Qaeda operation, and doesn’t really prove ties between Iraq and AQ (Iraq and local dumb Yemenis sure, but not AQ)? The second problem I have is that I am assuming all this information was known prior to the 2003 invasion so why wasn’t it used to bolster the case for war?

    9.) “Several million documents captured (videos, audio tapes etc as well). Please, point me to a post-war intelligence investigation that has gone through all of those (or even more than 18% of them). The entire point of the article that started this thread was to point out that no intelligence agency has looked into this and formed a conclusion. Some have formed assessments, but those same assessments come with the caveats that the matter remain open, needs further examination, and at the time of the assessments there was incomplete collection and/or analysis. While opponents of the war would love to just carte blanche point to a political spin report and declare the matter closed, the intelligence community on the other hand admits that it was never adequately examined, and requests such an examination.
    What’s really odd about your statement is that earlier in this same post you’ve described Iraq has having provided training. Additionally, the high level meetings that AQ/Iraq were having clearly included all the direction needed. The biggest problem with your misperception of state sponsorship of terror is that you’ve said the terror group cannot survive without its sponsor, and that’s not true at all. That’s a proxy not a mere state-sponsored terror group or act. By your own standard you’ve made Al Queda completely autonomous, and it’s not at all. It needs the support of governments to survive, but not just one as you so well point out, and I do agree there.”

    RE: Iraq documents Well this is the reason I responded to your post because isn’t Iraq document exploitation addressed here:

    “The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is leading the exploitation of documents (DOCEX) uncovered in Iraq, told Committee staff that 120 million plus pages of documents that were recovered in Iraq have received an initial review for intelligence information. As of January 2006, 34 million pages have been translated and summarized to some extent and are available to analysts in an Intelligence Community database.”

    That was a year and a half ago, and yes I’ve read Stephen Hayes’s piece in the Weekly Standard about how an “initial review” only means they read the cover page, etc. but how much detail to you need to go into before you figure out their talking about WMD or terrorists. So if the DIA is confident that no new documents will surface indicating a relationship, what basis do you have to argue with them?

    As for state-sponsorship my definition follows Daniel Byman’s: he worked for the CIA as a Middle East analyst, got his PHD from MIT, a 9/11 Commission adviser, and the head of Georgetown’s Security Studies program. Most if not all terrorist groups require strong or passive support from states in order to survive. Al Qaeda did have some passive support from the Taliban, but only in so far as allowing them safe haven. Operationally Al Qaeda was autonomous and remains so to this day, even more so since the collapse of the Taliban.

    10.) “It was more than just RPG-7s. There was also training in how to target an American helicopter, how to modify the warheads with proximity fuses taken out of 23mmAAA rounds, and lots lots more. I’m pretty confident that after a decade plus of war, most Somalis who had held an RPG-7 had learned the basics of how to use it, but at the request of the IIS, Al Queda went to Somalia and trained them in all kinds of ambush techniques, guerrilla warfare, and more. That’s pretty weak to just dismiss the IIS/AQ training as RPG 7 training that meant nothing (call it dismissive).”

    Well okay AQ knows how to use RPG-7, Somalis know how to use RPG-7, AQ knows guerrilla tactics, Somalis know some guerrilla tactics, AQ knows how to use RPGs to shoot down helicopters (Afghanistan), Somalis need to be trained thusly, also 23mm was old style Soviet AAA guns, quite common in the Middle East. So I can see the AQ/Somalia connection, I don’t quite see the IIS/AQ/Somalia connection. What you think one little sentence from Saddam’s secretary to the Arab Bureau to generically “hunt Americans’ makes a connection; it’s still dubious to me. Like I said before Iraq needs to give “something” to al Qaeda, for it to qualify as state support. Al Qaeda already hated Americans, had the equipment, personnel, training, money, and access to locals to carry out the attacks; so I don’t think they really needed tacit “approval” from Uncle Saddam to do so.

    ReplyReply
  37. Scott Malensek says: 37

    1.) “RE: Iraq SCUD. If UNSCOM had evidence that Iraq had fired a SCUD at Saudi Arabia, they had ample time to present that evidence to the Security Council, likewise for the US and Saudi Arabia. That they didn’t suggests that the “unconfirmed” report is unconfirmed for a reason. As for Ritter and Rolf, both proved to be wrong about WMD (though Ritter later corrected himself), so if they want to wax on eloquently in their books about evidence of an Iraqi SCUD that they never produced they can go right ahead”

    You can’t possibly be suggesting that Iraq accounted for all its SCUDs.

    “RE: North Korea, It’s quite a different situation though as South Korea could invoke Article 51 if it were invaded by North Korea; if North Korea though say captures a US warship in international waters, and accuses the crew of spying and keeps the ship; then the US/South Korea would need additional authorization for the use of force.”

    By the time South Korea could even invoke article 51, Seoul could have fallen, and the government seized. The point of a cease-fire is temporary. Everyone agrees that technically DPRK and ROK are still at war. Or are you trying to say that the Korean War was ended by a permanent cease-fire and the nations are not at war? This scenario is very much like the one between Iraq and the world though simpler. imo

    There is some confusion regarding the need for a second resolution, most every international law expert agrees that a second resolution was needed and 678 did not carry over past the 1990 mandate. This is my stance as well. The State Department sees things differently, mostly because they are advocating a particular policy, and are carrying out the wishes of policy-makers. In the first of these articles Richard Perle states that he think the Iraq war was probably illegal under international law but still morally justified, and in the second article the authors outline why 678 was not applicable to the current situation.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1089158,00.html
    http://www.globelaw.com/Iraq/Preventive_war_after_iraq.htm#_Toc41379597

    “most every international law expert agrees”

    ….oh come on. There are no international law experts at the State Department? This “most every” comment is pure speculation and distortion aimed to bolster an argument that is oxymoronic at its core. To suggest or say that removing a dictator is immoral isn’t just incorrect, it’s an oxymoron for leaving one in power is what’s immoral (to say nothing of boosting them or directly putting them in power). I’m sure you can find international law experts who will say it was immoral, but I am equally confident of three things. First, the State Department probably has international law experts too. Second, 678 DID carry over past the 1990 mandate (particularly since Desert Storm took place in 1991 not 1990, and because most of the 17 subsequent resolutions reiterate 678 the authorization to use force). To be specific, the authorization to use force (“paragraph 2 resolution 678 (1990)”) was reaffirmed (see also UN949 October 15, 1994 for just one example: “reaffirming resolutions 678 (1990) of 29 November 1990, … and in particular paragraph 2 of resolution 678 (1990)”, [ie. Again specifically reaffirming the authorization to use force]). To reaffirm is to say it is still in effect. Lastly, cease-fires are temporary, and while they can be permanent if both sides maintain them, they are not inherently permanent.

    “687 is completely different from 678, and no automatic trigger for war existed within its structure. The entire Security Council had to “remain seized” of the matter, meaning that only they could decide as a whole if a violation of 687 took place and if so what the punishment should be.”

    You’re speculating. As there is no stated trigger for resumption of hostilities, there is also no stated need for a re-authorization. Instead, reiteration of the original authorization is repeated in the subsequent resolutions.

    “687 only referred to the sanctions regime, and Iraq’s compliance with 687 would mean sanctions would be lifted, Iraq’s non-compliance means that sanctions would stay in place. So my evidence that the 1991 “cease-fire” was permanent is as follows.
    1) The United Nations deemed the matter of 1990/1991 settled as the Security Council did not pass any resolution that authorized force against Iraq, nor did the UN offer its good offices to mediate a peace between the US and Iraq.”

    Complete speculation as the war was between the UN and Iraq not the US and Iraq

    “2.) The US was never put on a war footing with Iraq during the 1990s. President Clinton said some mean things about Saddam, and may not have liked him, but he never declared that we are still at war with Iraq, and never prepared the nation for any such war.

    Sure it was. It was on a constant war footing. When Shia and Kurds rose up from 1991-1993, Iraq was certainly at a war footing as well as past that. There was never a peaceful stand down of Iraqi forces, and I’d love to see an example of a non-martial Saddam society. The conflict between the UN/US and Iraq was far from just “saying things” as I listed the hostile, combat actions and acts of war in the chronology link many posts earlier. Clinton certainly DID prepare the nation for war with Iraq on 4 different occasions. How exactly does that work…
    Clinton bombs Iraq in 1993, addresses nation, says he bombed Iraq for violation of cease fire, but bombing isn’t an act of war?

    Clinton sends brigades to Kuwait in 1994 because Iraq re-invaded Kuwait and ran away before UN could even pull a Monty Python, “Stop! Or I’ll say, ‘Stop!’ again”, tells press corps that Iraq isn’t complying with cease fire, gets nation ready to accept resumption of straight up open war, and it isn’t an act of war?

    Clinton bombs Iraq in 1995, addresses nation, says he bombed Iraq for violation of cease fire, but bombing isn’t an act of war?

    Clinton bombs Iraq in 1997, addresses nation, says he bombed Iraq for violation of cease fire, but bombing isn’t an act of war?

    Clinton bombs Iraq in Spring 1998, addresses nation, says he bombed Iraq for violation of cease fire, but bombing isn’t an act of war?

    Clinton threatens to bomb Iraq in November1998, addresses nation, recalled bombers while in flight, but somehow didn’t give the nation the impression to be ready for all out hostilities again?

    Clinton bombs Iraq in December 1998, addresses nation, says he bombed Iraq for violation of cease fire, but bombing isn’t an act of war? (recall that this is what set the 911 plot in motion specifically carrying it from campfire brainstorm and rant to active, authorized plot per 911 Commission)

    3.) Iraq was also never really on a war footing with the US. Sure Saddam said some things and he had AAA fire away at a few US planes (that were far out of range), but his priority was still on lifting sanctions, and not war with the US.

    I agree and have said that he had learned his lesson and was waging a conventional war with the US. To have done so would have been insane as defined by trying the same thing over and over and getting the same results while expecting different ones.

    2.) “Retirement is a good punishment for terrorists?”

    Whatever fate befell Nidal (suicide, murder, cancer) he long ago became irrelevant. Some terrorists become politicians (Gerry Adams) others are still alive and were never brought to justice (Chin Peng), still others are very much relevant and active in terrorism (bin Laden), so Nidal’s fate is satisfactory to me.

    “A Palestinian source in the West Bank city of Ramallah said Iraqi authorities had discovered Abu Nidal had opened channels to Iraqi guerrillas in Syria and Jordan opposed to President Saddam Hussein and wanted to put a stop to the activity before any US military operations against Iraq.
    Other sources in Ramallah said Abu Nidal shot himself because he had cancer and was addicted to painkillers.”
    http://www.caroptionsonline.com/2002news/08222002/world/20426.htm

    I’m certain I heard something about staying away from unconfirmed single source reports. You’re still sticking to the idea that he shot himself several times to commit suicide?

    3.) “I’m not going to get into a debate with you over FBI/CIA interrogations. I cited the FBI interrogation because it was cited in the ISG report and the SSCI report. I don’t know why the FBI and not the DIA interrogated Saddam, I only know he was classified as a POW by the DOD. I never stated the comments cane from non-prisoners but by regime figures not charged with crimes, including military commanders; not all of them were lying unless you believe all POWs lie, or all Iraqis lie.”

    I don’t believe all POWs lie or that all Iraqis lie, but I do believe a free man’s words are more reliable than those of men proclaiming their innocence on death row, and this litany of corroborating sources you’ve pointed to remains mia. Trusting claims of innocence and compliance from Saddam Hussein is folly.

    4.) “Each case is different; Saddam specifically told his staff he believed eventually the US would cut a deal with him because of his oil. Venezuela exports oil to the US despite its leader’s rhetoric (which makes you wonder how serious Chavez is).
    http

    Cool, we agree again. Each case IS different. Please show me where Saddam’s staff said he expected to cut a deal with the US because of oil. I’m interested.

    5.) “I didn’t see any of those reports about foreign fighters during the invasion. Even if I had I would be dubious of any “initial” reports, seeing as we got burned regarding the WMD issue (barrels of uranium already marked and sealed by the IAEA were unsealed by the US Army and the Army then declared that Iraq had WMD). The IPP report didn’t specify what happened to the non-Iraqi “fighters”, there was no detail as to how many and where they came from and where they went in the IPP report. Indeed it doesn’t say if those fighters swore loyalty oaths to Saddam, given specific orders by Saddam, etc. so it’s mere speculation.”

    If you didn’t see them, it might be because you didn’t want to and were looking for ways to dismiss pre-war claims rather than seeking confirmation of pre-war claims. The fact remains, very credible people who were there saw, fought, and many good men died fighting foreign fighters by the thousands in Saddam’s Iraq. I listed but a few of the sources earlier. Intelligence reporting, detainees, first hand accounts, even video documentaries on The History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, CNN, Fox, etc…all show people on the scene describing how they encountered and fought foreign fighters at terrorist training camps. This is not something hidden, secret, or speculative. Real people died fighting them. Too many people too often clamp their eyes shut rather than being willing to open them and see the reports. If it doesn’t fit an anti-war perspective, then move on and keep looking for something that does or something that can be spun to fit.

    “Ansar al-Islam was an Islamist Kurdish group that wanted to overthrow the secular Kurdish leadership, so of course it’s going to assassinate secular Kurdish generals; but they weren’t very good at it, it took them three tries to kill one general. Once the war started they were scattered to the four winds. One detainee stated that Abu Wael was an IIS agent (amazing how you’ll believe detainees when it suits your agenda), but the SSCI states that Iraq was gathering information against Ansar.”

    Equally amazing how you too believe detainees when it fits your agenda. The difference here is that Wael’s testimony is corroborated, and while you’ve said that others believed Saddam believed he could cut an oil deal with the US, you haven’t provided any examples. Wael’s testimony is corroborated by at least 2 other detainees (possibly 3), captured documents, and first hand accounts of what the US SOF found at the Ansar camps. That Ansar shared the same objective as Saddam-overthrow the Kurds, supports the claims that they would work together (as intelligence pre and post war claimed and as confirmed immediately after the fall of Saddam). It also weakens the argument that Saddam (who constantly called for jihad and worked hard to feign his faux revived Islamiacism) would never work with jihadis (unless one trusts the word of a captured dictator proclaiming his innocence on death row in the presence of his lawyers).

    6.) It seems to me you have trouble distinguishing what a terrorist is. This all goes back to the semantic debate we had earlier regarding insurgents. Bruce Hoffman, perhaps the world’s pre-eminent authority on international terrorism defines it thusly:

    * ineluctably political in aims and motives;
    * violent — or, equally important, threatens violence;
    * designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target;
    * conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure (whose members wear no uniform or identifying insignia); and
    * perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity.

    However odious the tactics of Saddam Fedeyeen and like-minded militia, the tactics themselves were not borne from political motives but military, and the tactics were not perpetrated by a subnational or non-state entity; thus they cannot be terrorists. Like I said this goes back to the argument over what is or isn’t an insurgency. The MRLA was considered a terrorist group by the British Empire, but history remembers it as an insurgent group. Likewise were the PAGIC, MPLA, ZAPA, ANC terrorist groups or insurgencies? All these groups utilized what you would define as “terrorist” tactics yet all are now in power in Africa.

    The Martyrs of Saddam used terrorist tactics and are by most accounts thus terrorists, but I’ll go further and ask if the definition of a terrorist is one who “ineluctably political in aims and motives” then what are the political motives of Al Queda or the thousands of foreign fighters encountered by the USMC and 3rd ID during the invasion of Iraq? If they had religious objectives instead of political (crying Allah Ahkbar instead of Long live Iraq), then they’re not terrorists? You’ve listed very clearly political terrorist groups to support the theory that all terrorists have political aims, but ignored completely any and all Islamic holy warriors. They’re HOLY warriors-not political warriors. They fight for the misperception of what their religion directs…not for politics.

    7.) “I’m not the one that needs to be convinced regarding US support for Israel. There is however a perception on the so-called Arab street that the US has leverage over Israel or that the US could apply pressure to Israel, but the fact that the US doesn’t do these things (regardless of the reasons behind it), only makes bin Laden and his ilk angrier.”

    An interesting argument. Seriously. By that same standard, one could say that since anti-war protesters protested against invading Iraq, they emboldened Saddam because they didn’t put pressure on Saddam. I’m of the mindset that the so-called Arab Street uses US support for Israel as an excuse, and even when the US does exert some pressure, it’s declared not enough. I would ask, where is the outcry against those who are terrorists and keep giving excuses for Israel to “defend itself” by attacking terrorists?

    “As to Muslim “Holy” Lands, I am merely trying to reinforce the point that Al Qaeda, and the jihadists before them fight for Moslems against non-Moslems in (perceived) Moslem lands. Why did Osama go to Afghanistan in the 1980s, was it at the behest of Saddam, to fight Americans, or to fight non-Moslems on Moslem land? It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why al Qaeda was formed, and what its’ ideology is all about, and thus why they hate America.”

    America occupied Chechnya? America invaded Afghanistan? I understand that they claim it’s about occupying Moslem lands, but does that mean the US and the West should abandon all lands with Moslems? The US should leave Detroit? Spain should give up the South of its country? Nah, I think these guys are killers who use Islam as a cover and an excuse for their killing. The US doesn’t is not an occupier in Saudi, and wasn’t occupying Afghanistan or Iraq until long after UBL reformed AQ and went on his tirade about occupying Moslem lands. That “occupation” thing is just another excuse. They’re just killers.

    8.) “That’s all very interesting and informative; I had not heard any of this before. There are two slight problems I have with it though. If Iraq only helped with the Sullivans attack (which failed) and used local (Yemeni) bomb-makers unaffiliated with AQ, and then backed away once the attack failed, leaving the Yemeni terrorists with only Al Qaeda to turn to, doesn’t that still make the Cole attack an Al Qaeda operation, and doesn’t really prove ties between Iraq and AQ (Iraq and local dumb Yemenis sure, but not AQ)? The second problem I have is that I am assuming all this information was known prior to the 2003 invasion so why wasn’t it used to bolster the case for war?”

    There’s a perception among many that the Administration went on some sort of cherry-picking hunt to for info that could make up a war. I say that what’s more consistent isnt’ that they’re warmongering liars, but screwups. If they wanted to make a case or “bolster” a case for war, they could have just pointed to the anthrax attacks and spun those, or the ricin attacks at the time. Nah. They were given conflicting intel re Iraq and AQ, and having been charged with the security of the nation chose to look at the threatening intel and saw it as threatening. Why not include the Cole? In addition to the misperception that a war mongering admin was searching high and low for ‘excuses’ or ways to “bolster” a case for war, I think the Cole was far too much of a reminder to people that the Admin was a dove until post 911. The Cole, failure to prevent and failure to respond was a disaster, a huge embarrassment. It’s why people don’t talk about it today. That comparatively tiny event had massive strategic impact on Al Queda’s war against the US. It confirmed their belief that the US is a paper tiger with no will for a real fight. Lastly, there is a pattern of Russian involvement with Iraq that makes things very hard to address without creating at the very least an awkward situation with the Russians, and at the most a serious crisis. So, the list of reasons to sweep the Cole attack under the rug is longer than the list of reasons to bring it out beyond merely mentioning it from time to time. It’s just that simple.

    9.) “RE: Iraq documents Well this is the reason I responded to your post because isn’t Iraq document exploitation addressed here:
    “The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is leading the exploitation of documents (DOCEX) uncovered in Iraq, told Committee staff that 120 million plus pages of documents that were recovered in Iraq have received an initial review for intelligence information. As of January 2006, 34 million pages have been translated and summarized to some extent and are available to analysts in an Intelligence Community database.”

    That was a year and a half ago, and yes I’ve read Stephen Hayes’s piece in the Weekly Standard about how an “initial review” only means they read the cover page, etc. but how much detail to you need to go into before you figure out their talking about WMD or terrorists. So if the DIA is confident that no new documents will surface indicating a relationship, what basis do you have to argue with them?”

    That quote says nothing at all about DIA claims that nothing new will be found in the remaining 90 million pages of docs. The Senate Intelligence Committee/agency makes that claim, and they’re no more an intelligence agency than Doug Feith’s OSP was.

    “As for state-sponsorship my definition follows Daniel Byman’s: he worked for the CIA as a Middle East analyst, got his PHD from MIT, a 9/11 Commission adviser, and the head of Georgetown’s Security Studies program. Most if not all terrorist groups require strong or passive support from states in order to survive. Al Qaeda did have some passive support from the Taliban, but only in so far as allowing them safe haven. Operationally Al Qaeda was autonomous and remains so to this day, even more so since the collapse of the Taliban.”

    Exactly. Earlier you said that, “A terrorist organization that is sponsored by a state cannot live without that state support.” And my point is that because AQ gets its support from multiple states and multiple other sources….it can survive without the active support of a single entity. You might want to re-read the part about passive support as well as I think that’s integral to the matter. Also, the part about AQ being operationally autonomous is incorrect as Iran and Syria help out Al Queda a great deal as do entities directly and indirectly in Saudi, Pakistan, and elsewhere; passively and actively. Terrorism is cheap, but it ain’t free.

    10.) “Well okay AQ knows how to use RPG-7, Somalis know how to use RPG-7, AQ knows guerrilla tactics, Somalis know some guerrilla tactics, AQ knows how to use RPGs to shoot down helicopters (Afghanistan), Somalis need to be trained thusly, also 23mm was old style Soviet AAA guns, quite common in the Middle East. So I can see the AQ/Somalia connection, I don’t quite see the IIS/AQ/Somalia connection. What you think one little sentence from Saddam’s secretary to the Arab Bureau to generically “hunt Americans’ makes a connection; it’s still dubious to me. Like I said before Iraq needs to give “something” to al Qaeda, for it to qualify as state support. Al Qaeda already hated Americans, had the equipment, personnel, training, money, and access to locals to carry out the attacks; so I don’t think they really needed tacit “approval” from Uncle Saddam to do so.”

    Something like:

    Training (in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere)

    Money ($300k at least)-multiple trips by AQ leaders to meet with Iraqi leaders…just to say, “Hi, hey, nice job with that soccer team Uday!”

    Documents-passports, etc

    Travel facilitation-Iraqi embassies were more IIS intel gathering stations than diplomatic stations

    Safe haven-we’ve already established that terrorists had safe haven in Iraq

    And most of all…public support (Iraq directly declares the greatness of AQ, and indirectly provides excuses to fight the US…like leaving Saudi, ending the US blockade of Iraq, and ending US war on Iraq-described to be a US war to protect Israel).

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  38. Pingback: Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » CIA Agents Confirm: Al Queda WAS In Iraq in Before Invasion

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