Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Iraq Documents, Again

The NY Times has a feature today about a trove of documents and recordings taken from Saddam Hussein's regime, featuring Saddam himself. They should not be confused with the last release of regime documents wherein the Times objected to their release online. But that was then.

This is a rather large stash and will require much reading, but it's interesting how they focus on Hussein's conspiratorial view of the region (and world) while linking to a purported Iraqi plan to trick Islamists into siding with Iraq. Since the conventional wisdom says Saddam and al Qaeda were harsh enemies and would never work together this evidence is in the Times' wheelhouse--ah ha, see they WERE enemies, Bush lied! The problem is that by admitting they were trying to trick the Islamists it leaves open the possibility they were actually working together in certain areas for mutual gain, something the Bush administration had warned.

This should not be news to those paying attention. Many were aware of Izzat al-Duri's task of reaching out to Islamists while Saddam had "Allahu Akbar" inscribed on the Iraqi flag after the Gulf War. The question is how far Iraq was willing to go in their cozying up, to include using jihadists as useful idiot proxies. Maybe the documents will confirm something (probably nothing supporting Bush or they wouldn't be publishing them). In reading several pages the transcripts have a weird scripted feel, as if the regime members were performing. Hopefully they know what they've got.

Speaking of the late Mr. Hussein (to use Times' parlance), where in the world is Ramsey Clark these days? One might think the former lawyer for Saddam would make an appearance during this whole Gaddafi mess. But wait, he did--in support of Gaddafi.

Let's see, Saddam identified himself as a "national socialist" while Gaddafi had his "little green book". Think Mr. Clark is conflicted by populist 'rebels' fighting for freedom then assassinating the courageous African leader Mr. Moammar?

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