Murdoch’s good war

22 Mar

The Australian is celebrating five years since “SHOCK N AWE”: celebrating being the appropriate word. See Iraq Invasion – Special Report(s). Much is made of this story: Saddam had Aussie killed.

SADDAM Hussein’s Iraqi regime had an Australian aid worker killed as part of a state-sponsored terror program that also considered a plan to “eliminate” Australian-educated Martin Indyk, the former US ambassador to Israel.

Top-secret Iraqi documents confirm for the first time that Care Australia worker Stuart Cameron was shot in Iraq in 1993 as part of a government campaign against foreign aid workers helping Kurds in the country’s north.

On the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, which toppled Saddam’s regime, the sweep of his terrorist activities and plotting have been revealed in millions of documents gathered by allied forces from Baath party offices and Saddam’s palaces.

The documents, including correspondence between Baath party officials, paint a complex picture of Saddam’s sponsorship of national and international terrorism and portray a leader willing to do anything to advance Iraqi hegemony in the region and beyond.

The documents are contained in a US Institute for Defence Analyses report released by the Pentagon, which says they provide “strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism”.

“In the period after the 1991 Gulf War, the regime of Saddam Hussein supported a complex and increasingly disparate mix of pan-Arab revolutionary causes and emerging pan-Islamic radical movements,” the report says…

It is no surprise to learn that Saddam was a rank bastard, nor that he hated and plotted against Israel and Israeli interests. It is no surprise to learn that he had grandiose ambitions to lead pan-Arabic movements. It could be argued that he was trumped in those ambitions by others, including Al Qaeda — an Islamist rather than pan-Arabic movement, and by Iran, and by the Taliban, which are not Arabic at all, though the Taliban especially were aided and abetted by various Arabs, and indeed by the US government and/or the CIA, as was Saddam, when Cold War or other exigencies so demanded. 

Nowhere in all this celebration is an admission that Al Qaeda and Iraq were not really connected prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq, and nowhere is it admitted that the whole weapons of mass destruction fiasco was just that, a fiasco. Nowhere is it admitted that no links have ever been found between Saddam Hussein and the events of September 11. In fact less than a week ago we were reading No link between Saddam and Al Qaeda: Pentagon!

While I am glad conditions in Iraq do seem to have improved, comparatively, I still wonder at the trillions of dollars and the thousands of lives sacrificed, while in Afghanistan the poppies still grow, the Taliban regroup, and a long long way from September 11 Osama bin Laden still eludes capture.

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Posted by on March 22, 2008 in current affairs, Iraq, politics, USA


2 responses to “Murdoch’s good war

  1. kenj

    March 29, 2008 at 3:32 am

    I can’t make much sense out of these new documents. The Aussie press cites the “U.S. Institute for Defence Analyses” and google turns up only 76 hits. What gives? Are these new documents (referred to by Sheridan et al) the same 600,000 documents from the Pentagon study?

    How can one go from a highly detailed Pentagon study that found NO al Qaeda /Saddam links to another cache of extensive documents a few weeks later showing all kinds of Saddam links to key al Qaeda officials?

    None of this makes sense.

    These “damning” new findings are also at complete odds with those from the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s Phase II report (Sep 2006): “Saddam did not trust al-Qa’ida or any other radical Islamist group and did not want to cooperate with them…the Iraqi regime issued a decree aggressively outlawing Wahabism in Iraq and threatening offenders with execution … Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa’ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al Qa’ida to provide material or operational support… Debriefings [from key Iraqi officials] also indicate that Saddam issued a general order that Iraq should not deal with al Qa’ida. No postwar information suggests that the Iraqi regime attempted to facilitate a relationship with bin Ladin.”

    Clearly, the Oz is happy to engage in historical revisionism to justify its editorial stance, but otherwise….? Any answers?

  2. kenj

    March 29, 2008 at 4:02 am

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