Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Relationships can be so complicated

Get ready, we're about to get a stroll back down "Saddam and bin Laden had no operational links" lane:
An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.
Funny, a mere cursory review of some of those DOCEX documents by bloggers over a year ago turned up several contacts, to pretty much zero fanfare. Then the New York Times took interest and helped to shut it down. Apparently since Mr. "100 years in Iraq" is running for president it's now time to publish a report on them, which the Times will no doubt trumpet as soon as the Spitzer story blows over.

But our latest rehash of the neverending story uses the same trickery of language the 9/11 Commissioners used, keying on the word "operational". In other words, there is no evidence Saddam was directing the bearded boys because he never bothered to document it, but all the other stuff about him is still true.

But let's assume for a moment the report is correct and Saddam had nothing to do with pulling al Qaeda's strings whatsoever. Evidently it was only a coincidence he shared their many goals, including the destruction of Israel, the ridding of America and Britain from the Middle East, the downfall of Shiite Islam along with the Saudi royals and Iranian Mullahs, and harbored dreams of becoming the most revered Arab since Nebuchadnezzar and the only one to have used WMDs. Despite all those coincidences, there are still some things that don't add up, such as:
The Senate report, citing an FBI debriefing of a senior Iraqi spy, Faruq Hijazi, said that Saddam turned down a request for assistance by bin Laden which he made at a 1995 meeting in Sudan with an Iraqi operative.
Why, Saddam was practically a hero, he rebuffed bin Laden! But wait, we've also been told by captured AQ terrorists that bin Laden would never, ever have worked with an apostate dog like Saddam.

So, which is it? Did Saddam send Hijazi to Sudan in 1994 just to insult bin Laden if he so feared Muslim terrorists? Did AQ send Zawahiri to Baghdad in 1995 to insult Saddam in return? Are we to believe their relationship wasn't operational, it was a pissing contest? And if so, was that better than operational, or worse?

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