Oh this gives me hope about Iraq!! see what you thinkPosted by Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/03 at 12:46 (112763)
It looks like we have made progress in negotiations for Iraq's surrender. I think it would be outstanding if we could get the desired outcome without having to go to war.
Re: Oh this gives me hope about Iraq!! see what you thinkEd Davis, DPM on 3/13/03 at 13:16 (112766)
There are definitely enough individuals in Iraq who would go for this. The question is whether Saddam and his inner circle will -- that does not look promising. There is an assumption that we will still have to go forward with military action but that action may be limited if large blocs of the Iraqi military surrenders. One dilemna is that access to weapons of mass destruction lies with Saddam and his cronies and he is likely to use those weapons on his own people including those who surrender, then blame their deaths on the US. There will be those in the media who will readily accept his assignment of blame -- we have seen that happen recently in Jenin.
Re: "help" from our alliesEd Davis, DPM on 3/13/03 at 13:32 (112768)
Thursday, March 13, 2003 11:30 a.m. EST
Safire: France Building Saddam's Missiles
Saddam Hussein went to France, by way of China and Syria, and got the parts for his long-range ballistic missiles.
No, not the ridiculous 'Al Samoud' missiles, whose name sounds like a bad Americanization of a Muslim one ('Do you know Al? Al Samoud?').
We're talking about the missiles to which Saddam himself alluded when he said that destruction of the Al Samoud 2s was not of consequence. He said that Iraq had other ways to protect itself.
Indeed it does.
William Safire, writing in today's NY Times, tells us that Qilu Chemicals, a leading manufacturer of a clear liquid rubber named hydroxy terminated polybutadiene, known in the advanced-rocket industry as HTPB, sold the substance to a French middleman, CIS Paris, which Safire describes as 'a Parisian broker that is active in dealings of many kinds with Baghdad.'
Safire writes that the CIS director 'is familiar with the order but denies being the agent,' so we know the order took place.
But the U.N., which France is trying to use as a leash on the U.S., has to specifically approve such a transaction with Iraq.
Well, France and Iraq can't be bothered with that, so they had the shipment sent from China to Syria, which has been said to be hiding Saddam's weapons, to be received by yet another company that acts for the Iraqi missile industry.
The rocket fuel was then simply trucked across the very long border Syria shares with Iraq, and no one was the wiser.
I'm also told that a contract was signed last April in Paris for five tons of 99% unsymmetric dimethylhydrazine, another advanced missile fuel, which is produced by France's Société Nationale des Poudre et Explosifs.
'In addition, Iraqi attempts to buy an oxidizer for solid propellant missiles, ammonium perchlorate, were successful, at least on paper. Both chemicals, like HTPB, require explicit approval by the U.N. Sanctions Committee before they can be sold to Iraq.
Which they were not.
Safire suggests that perhaps the U.N. inspectors, under whose 'watchful eyes' all this has occurred, look at Iraq's El Sirat trading company and its affiliate, the Gudia Bureau, with respect to these dealings.
But they won't.
Hans Blix was put into power by the very nations that now oppose the U.S. at the U.N., and he is not about to bite the hand that feeds him.
Meanwhile, France is actively arming Saddam and apparently trying to create a situation where Saddam will have the ability to pile up U.S. and British bodybags should we invade.
Just why is France on the Security Council? The only country to which it provides security is apparently Iraq.
Urgent: Support America - Boycott Cowardly France! Click Here now.
Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:
Re: "help" from our alliesEd Davis, DPM on 3/13/03 at 13:39 (112770)
Chicken à la Iraq
What you now see unfolding before your eyes is the last few minutes of a game of geopolitical chicken between George Bush and Saddam Hussein. It's called: Whose Coalition Will Break First?
Let's start with Saddam. Surely the funniest line of the week was his spokesman's explanation of why Iraqi TV was not showing Saddam's men destroying his Al Samoud missiles, as the U.N. had demanded. The Iraqi spokesman said it was because if the Iraqi people saw this, they would be so angry at the U.N. there's just no telling what they might do. Right, and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bus.
The reason Saddam is not showing this to his people is because it makes him look weak, and his whole regime depends on his maintaining a facade of invincibility. Giving into the demands of the bespectacled Hans Blix is not a healthy thing for Saddam. It's like the Godfather taking up knitting. It evinces weakness, and Saddam rules by fear. The minute he looks less ferocious, he is in danger from those around him. This is not Norway.
What continues to breathe life into Saddam's camp is not the Arab street (which already smells his weakness and mostly wants him gone) but the French street, which is so obsessed with countering U.S. power that it can't acknowledge what is happening right before its eyes: Saddam is finally doing some real disarming, not because the U.N. sent more inspectors to Baghdad, as France demands, but because Mr. Bush sent the 101st Airborne to Kuwait.
But Mr. Bush also has some dangerous blind spots. Every day he asks us to ignore more and more troubling facts, and every day it seems more and more that Mr. Bush has mustered not a coalition of the willing, but rather, as one wag put it, 'a coalition of the billing.' It is very disturbing that so many of our 'allies' have to be bribed or bludgeoned into joining this war.
The Turkish Parliament's vote against allowing U.S. troops to use Turkish bases is stunning when you consider that the Bush team had offered the Turks a dream package - $6 billion in aid and new weapons, and veto power over the future of Iraq's Kurds. But there is something admirable about the Turkish democracy's refusing to be bribed into a war its people don't want. It would be shameful for us to force the Turks to vote again - considering that their Parliament gave this war more thought than the U.S. Congress.
Indeed, our own Congress is being asked to suspend belief yet again and accept Mr. Bush's promises that this war, soaring oil prices and a weakening dollar won't bust the budget even more than his tax cuts already have. And when the respected U.S. Army chief of staff wisely cautioned that stabilizing Iraq could require some 200,000 troops, the Bush team told us to ignore him, too. Troubling.
But it's also probably too late. For Mr. Bush and for the U.S., the costs of leaving Saddam in place - having made Washington blink and abandon its allies in the region - would be enormous. I suspect that when the small group of war hawks persuaded Mr. Bush to begin a huge troop buildup in the gulf back in July - without consulting Congress or the country - they knew that it would create a situation where the U.S. could never back down without huge costs.
This reminds me of the joke about the man who gets lost and asks a cop for directions, and the first thing the cop says is, 'Well, you wouldn't start from here.' No, I wouldn't have - but here is where we've been put. So those who argue against the war have to admit that doing nothing now would mean perpetuating Saddam's tyranny and giving succor to all dictators. And those, like myself, who have argued that removing Saddam is the right thing to do have to admit that the risks of doing so are rising so high, and the number of allies we have for the long haul becoming so few, that it may be impossible to do it right.
We could still get lucky and find that Mr. Bush's decision to begin this game of chicken by throwing away his steering wheel leads Saddam to cave or quit. The only other way out is a last attempt to forge a new U.N. resolution that would set specific disarmament targets for Saddam that, if not met by a specific date, would trigger U.N. approval for the use of force. France, Russia and China could say they bought time, and the U.S. could present Saddam with a united front - which is the only threat that might get him to comply without a war. Otherwise, brace yourself for the crash and hope for the best - because we're all in the back seat.
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
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Re: Oh this gives me hope about Iraq!! see what you thinkCarole C in NOLA on 3/13/03 at 14:04 (112774)
The more of his key military leaders we win over, the fewer he has on his side and he could be virtually undefended, abandoned by his own army.
So, I am thinking of a hypothetical best case situation in which Saddam and a handful of supporters are holed up in a castle somewhere, for the most part undefended by the Iraqi military. Maybe at that point he could be taken out by a covert SWAT team, if he did not run from Iraq. If we don't need to invade, it would be difficult for him to blame us for much.
The best case scenario may not be the most likely one, but we are making at least some progress in that direction and it is something to hope for.
Re: Oh this gives me hope about Iraq!! see what you thinkmarie on 3/13/03 at 14:06 (112775)
Thank you for sharing the article. There is some hope. I think that it is the hope of the world that Saddam and/or his top officals will seek a surrender. It is my greatest wish that the pressure that our country and the U.K. have put on Iraq will result in a peaceful solution with little or no blood shed. I hope that Iraq can come together as a country and enjoy the freedom that we have here.
Re: Oh this gives me hope about Iraq!! see what you thinkCarole C in NOLA on 3/13/03 at 14:11 (112776)
Iraqis, especially Iraqi women, are a long way from enjoying the freedom that we have here. Still, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. :)
Re: Oh this gives me hope about Iraq!! see what you thinkmarie on 3/13/03 at 15:01 (112789)
How right you are!