Mr Arief told The Times that his client has been interrogated 312 times by the CIA and UN investigators since his arrest in April 2003, but this was the first British approachCaptain Ed opined:
Aziz, for his part, is not likely to cooperate. He has steadfastly refused to testify to Saddam's crimes, rejecting all arrangements for immunity for his cooperation. .That shouldn't be surprising, since dead men do very little talking. But in all honesty, maybe he's close enough to death's door that it behooves him to metaphorically throw down those thirty pieces of silver offered to him if he'll only betray Saddam and Iraq.
Or perhaps he might have concluded that Saddam's ability to avoid the hangman these past three years since his Baghdad statue was pulled down represents a signal that bargaining might not be necessary right now. For example, surely they anticipated scenarios like this from day one. And surely the old regime was not short on operatives:
Thirty-plus years of controlling nearly every inch of the country -- with the concomitant true-believers, spies and complicit criminals -- did not evaporate, overnight.Hey, ya suppose those Ba'athists planning the insurgency were counting on support from this guy, the arch enemy to secular regimes worldwide? Tariq knows the answer to that, which should make us wonder if there are a few "cards" left to play.
TALIBANI PULLS OUT THE PEACE PIPE 4/30/06
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani recently met with seven insurgent group leaders and came away feeling pretty good:
"I believe that a deal can be reached with the seven armed groups that visited me," Talabani was quoted as saying.So it's a breakthrough, he met with al-Zarqawi, right? Not quite.
According to the statement, Talabani said al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had declared a "genocide against the Iraqi people."Yes indeed, they are the so-called 'liberal Sunnis' Z-man recently spoke of in his looney toons video production.
"But there are groups other than the Saddamists and Zarqawists who joined armed operations to fight the occupation, and we are trying to establish a dialogue with them so they will join the political process," he said.
But this is old news. That same strategy has been in play for awhile--to drive a wedge between the nationalistic, religious Sunnis and the terrorists like Zarqawi and his Ba'athist cohorts led by al-Douri. Talibani didn't speak with the latter groups, as evidenced by this comment:
The spokesman of the Islamic Army in Iraq, Ibrahim al-Shammari, said his organization did not take part in a meeting but he did not say whether others did.
Talibani is a Kurd. There is no doubt some Coalition pressure on him to come up with a unity approach to the government, since neither Turkey nor Iran desire an independent Kurdistan and may be willing to spill blood to stop it. Both nations have already ventured across the border chasing Kurd "freedom fighters".
If Iraqis can't get themselves together and the nation splits in three, it's likely Iran would maintain significant influence over the Shia third, but more importantly, that's where most of the oil now exists. That fact coupled with Iran's 'blow em off the map' foreign policy suggests a strong likelihood something will be done about Ahmadinejad's nuclear toys before too long.
THE LETTER 5/1/06
Nearly three years ago today a letter purported to be from Saddam Hussein arrived at the London offices of al-Quds al-Arabia. The Butcher was still in hiding at that point. Interestingly, the letter iterated what Saddam would later reiterate--Iraqis should not become embroiled in sectarian battles but rather should fight the infi, well here:
Forget everything and resist the occupation, because error begins when there are priorities other than the occupier and his expulsion. Remember that they are aiming to bring in those who will fight one another so that your Iraq will remain weak and they can plunder it as they have been doing..Saddam also went on the laughingly suggest he had long since moved to a small bungalow and left his palaces to the Iraqi people, which gave the letter an air of propaganda at the time it was received. But looking back his concern was the same then as now--beware the divide and conquer.
There could be several reasons why he thinks we're actually trying to fan the flames of sectarian chaos. An obvious one would be concern for the greater Arab middle east. A more plausible reason might be Saddam's personal interest in not seeing Iran symbolically win the Iran-Iraq war.
Everyone knows that due to their minority status, the only way for the Saddamists to regain control of the country is through a unified Iraq, which keeps the Shia from absolute power and keeps Iran out. It's questionable whether a Sunni state would even be allowed to remain after a full blown civil war--to the victor go the spoils. But if so, it would be the geopolicially weaker of three territories and with less oil reserves. Strangely then, Saddam's goal seems the same as America's public position advocating a unified government.
It's impossbile to determine whether our military and political stategists considered the current problems at the outset. Conventional wisdom from MSM pundits, retired generals, ex CIA spooks and former State Department officials would seem to suggest otherwise, yet at the same time Saddam is adament it was our goal all along. If he's correct that would render all the incompetence stories as wartime disinformation.
Meanwhile, the Mullahs were very quiet during the first two years of the war, only to later uncork Ahmadinejad on the west as a scarecrow. Perhaps they bought into the unified Iraq theory early on, which lured them into meddling with the Shia factions only to suddenly realize that the destabilized Iraq they were helping to create would one day become a casus belli for interdiction further east. Hard to say, isn't it?
Joe Biden thinks he's got the solution to the Iraq problem. Funny, it's exactly what Saddam has been warning against. Speaking of the Butcher, he certainly is an enigma, even to his next door neighbors.