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Mark Eichenlaub

Nice find with the Yasser Arafat thing. Hadnt seen that

Scott Malensek

OUTSTANDING piece!

James

There are some problems with your analysis. First of all the “Blessed July” operations never mentions any specific targets; merely Kurdistan and the “traitor sites” in London, which could mean the INC (based in London in 1999), or other expatriate anti-regime groups. I don’t know why Iraq would consider non-Iraqis like the British “traitors”, and it was well known long before the war that the IIS employed assassinations against expatriate anti-regime Iraqis abroad. The other problem with “Blessed July” is that it was never carried out, even though the Iraqis had over four years to plan for the alleged attacks, which means that Iraq lacked either the resolve or the resources to follow through, in which case its external terrorist threat was minimal.

Secondly the al-Quds Army was not a terrorist organization but an extension of Saddam’s all-volunteer people’s army he created in the mid-1990s. He changed the name to al-Quds (Jerusalem) to share more solidarity with the Palestinian cause, but is generally regarded by analysts as a non-entity, mostly on paper that did not resort to terrorist attacks.

Thirdly the March 2001 document asks for volunteers for a suicide mission at an air base that was bombarded by coalition aircraft during patrol of the no-fly zones. Would it not be considered a suicide mission to man AA guns against American bombers? Would they not be striking at American interests? Why would Saddam ask for “volunteers” for terrorist missions in his police state (must be the “polite” Saddam) Instead of ordering his IIS to do it (as he did during the war) or asking one of his terrorist proxies (as you are alleging in this post).

Regarding Saddam and secularism; secularism does not mean the same thing in Islamic countries as it does in Western countries. There is no separation of church and state, Saddam was a devout Moslem, and there is certainly an Islamic influence on his former government. What is meant by that statement though is that he wouldn’t work with radical Islamic fundamentalists who desired to replace him with the Caliphate. Saddam was religious no doubt, but he also saw the danger of these radical Islamic groups (even warning his insurgents to be wary of working with these groups before he was captured), and wouldn’t trust them.

Lastly, when it comes to Saddam’s interviews with FBI agents (probably some of the best interrogators in the world) I doubt that he is that skilled a liar to fool them. He was surrounded by yes men his entire life and his words were never questioned; the FBI was satisfied with his answers, and I trust the FBI.

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