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Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns

01/19/2003

In this interview with a Milan journal, an Iraqi general reveals how Saddam Hussein is hiding both the smoke and the guns from UN inspectors.

I, at Saddam's Side
Milan Panorama 23 Jan 03 pp 36-40

by Pino Buongiorno in Amman


"Call me Colonel Qassem. For the time being at least."

The officer, who holds an important post in the Iraqi Army, kept looking around. He seemed nervous. He had a stern look on his face, and he kept sneaking a look at his watch every two minutes. The meeting, set up and postponed more than once through the mediation of a leading Jordanian businessman who conducts business both in Europe and in Baghdad, took place in the cafeteria of a mall
hotel in Amman.


"When it is all over," he promised, "you will be able to reveal my true name and rank to your readers. You will appreciate that I am taking a risk just by being here. What I want is simply abetter future for my children."

"Colonel Qassem," whose face is as lined as that of a 60-year-old, but who probably is not much older than 45, was in Jordan. The day after the interview, which he granted to Panorama without asking for any compensation, he was due to return to his regiment in Baghdad, to the secrets of a regime that has been on a permanent war footing for 15 years.

The tale that he had to tell is precious because it comes from the very heart of the Armed Forces. The dissident officer is not an opponent in exile, safe and sound and enjoying the protection of some
foreign power. He has daily first-hand experience of the tragedy of a dictatorship that is all the more
merciless because it is about to collapse; a place where you can wake up in the morning and end up in
front of an execution squad on the basis of mere suspicion. He said that he too has paid the price of
Saddam's demented cruelty through a number of his relatives. The tale that he told is dramatic, but it
is dry, devoid of all rhetoric, and it is based above all on things of which he has first-hand experience.

[Buongiorno] The UN inspectors have not discovered much evidence of weapons of mass destruction to date. This, to the point where the only objections against the Iraqi Government are over gaps in the encyclopedic report submitted two months ago. What is really happening in this umpteenth game of cat and mouse?

[Qassem] The inspectors have been working non-stop in Iraq with the aid of sophisticated instrumentation ever since they arrived. They have been visiting military sites, research laboratories, and palaces of the government and even of the president himself. They have also attempted to question a number of Iraqi scientists, but to little avail. In all of this major work there is a basic flaw due to a lack of imagination or of information: namely the presumption that chemical and biological weapons or the substances used for making them are necessarily hidden in very well protected bunkers. As is well known, on the contrary, these are materials that are easy to transport and that are not even excessively cumbersome. That is exactly where the military apparatuses' and intelligence services' trick lies: namely, in making these devices invisible by constantly moving them around on tanker trucks that travel either under escort or being trailed at a distance. Saddam Hussein is very proud of this simple expedient: In one of the most recent government meetings, simultaneous with the umpteenth inspection of a site in Baghdad, he burst out laughing and said: "While those guys (the inspectors -- Panorama editor's note) are going about underground, our trucks are driving over their heads."

[Buongiorno] Where do these trucks go?

[Qassem] They go wherever there is a road that can be driven on, including in the northern regions under the control of the Kurdish clans. They are trailed at a distance by Mukhabarat (Baghdad's intelligence service -- Panorama ed) support vehicles that can interfere at any time or else simply indicate sudden changes of route. Some vehicles move also on the roads of Syria, with Damascus' tacit consent. Syria is gaining quite an advantage from this crisis and it can buy our crude oil for practically no cost. The thing that surprises me the most is why the CIA has not provided the UN inspectors with indications regarding the existence of these trucks, whose movements cannot possibly have escaped notice. After all, it is not so difficult to intercept them. All that one has to do is to stop one of them in order to cause the entire wall of lies built up by Saddam Hussein to collapse.
[Buongiorno] The US authorities' official excuse is that they do not wish to place their network of local informants in jeopardy.

[Qassem] I do not think that the CIA chiefs harbor such scruples. We are talking about an international crisis that is in danger of plunging the whole world into chaos. And they could always say that they got their information from spy satellites. It is politics that is holding everything back: It is the economic risks linked to the possibility of a conflict; it is doubts regarding the future setup in Iraq and in the Middle East as a whole. US troops were at the gates of Baghdad back in 1991 when they received the order to cease operations. That is why not even we Iraqi officers can ever truly make out the United States' intentions. And many of us do not trust it and do not want to cooperate with it either now or afterward. In any war the risk involved must be known and assessed, but it cannot be completely eliminated as the United States would like.

[Buongiorno] Do you think that there will be a war in the end?

[Qassem] I hope only that our country can emerge from this unending crisis situation soon. Because of sanctions, our people are reduced to starvation, salaries are not being paid, inflation is rocketing, and disease and malnutrition are decimating our children. Only the president's clique, the military, and the intelligence service men have gained benefits from the conflict. Their salaries have all been doubled and in some cases even trebled in order to avert the danger of their defecting. But the rest of the people are suffering. It is an intolerable situation. There is a desire for rebirth in the country. War is never a thing to be hoped for, but sometimes it is the lesser evil for a better future.

[Buongiorno] How is Saddam coping with this countdown?

[Qassem] He lives by constantly moving around, protected by his Pretorian guard. Like all dictators, he has his food tasted before each meal. And no one ever knows in advance where he is going to be eating or sleeping. He is an ambitious, brutal, and arrogant man just like the picture you people have of him in the West. He has ordered the cold-blooded execution of friends and relatives. He has caused dissidents to be tortured, to disappear, and to be eliminated.

[Buongiorno] How about his sons Uday and Qusay? What role do they really play?

[Qassem] They believe themselves to be omnipotent. Uday, the elder son, has a soft spot for women. Our secret service agents are often tasked with procuring young Ukrainian girls, his favorites, to satisfy his whims. Within the regime the two sons play an important role in the handling of domestic security, of information, and of both legal and clandestine trade. Uday controls a network of trading companies that are used to cover trafficking of all kinds with complex triangulations. A number of them are located even here in Jordan.

[Buongiorno] What are the most well-trodden routes?

[Qassem] After the 1991 war and the almost total destruction of our defense system, Iraq had to buy war material and spare parts on the international market. Syria played an important role. The border is permeable and some people turn not one blind eye but both. The road between Damascus and Baghdad is groaning with traffic. Even the railroad is fully functioning. Engines for airplanes and helicopters and even mechanical parts for missiles have come into Iraq via Syria. Chinese- or Russian-manufactured air defense systems have entered Iraq the same way. Our secret services handle this traffic. Also taxi drivers traveling between Syria and Baghdad help to transport some of this material that is under embargo.

[Buongiorno] How do your agents operate in Europe?

[Qassem] The trading companies that act as facades also make it their business to get hold of visas for Mukhabarat functionaries. The nerve center for all this is in Denmark. But also other embassies abroad serve to coordinate undercover arms trafficking, such as that involving the Orao factory in Serbia which exported MiG 21 and 29 engines to Iraq. Recently President Saddam Hussein has ordered all nonessential diplomats -- in other words, those that are career diplomats and that do not belong to the secret services -- to be recalled to Baghdad.

[Buongiorno] Has the regime entertained relations with al-Qa'ida or not?

[Qassem] Any country's intelligence services are in touch with numerous organizations, including terrorist organizations. It is part of the job. There have undoubtedly been a number of contacts, including in Europe, but it is not an institutionalized link.

[Buongiorno] What type of devices and missiles do you still have available to you?

[Qassem] Naturally not all the chemical and biological weapons have been dismantled as ordered by the United Nations. You in the West often talk about scientists involved in research for the manufacture of these weapons. Well, research is useful but it is not essential. Some materials can be found on the black market. Others are easy to manufacture without any need for sophisticated studies. As far as our missiles are concerned, we still have several Ukrainian-manufactured Scud missiles.

[Buongiorno] Where are they concealed? In this case trucks would be of little use.

[Qassem] The woods in the north of Iraq, close to Mosul, provide excellent cover for the launch pads, which that way cannot be easily identified either by reconnaissance aircraft or by satellites. The missiles have to be stored close to their launch pads. Good cover is offered by inhabited settlements.

[Buongiorno] In the event of a US attack, what do you predict that Saddam Hussein will do?

[Qassem] Wars are planned in advance but they are decided on on a minute-by-minute basis in accordance with the military and political requirements of the moment. I would divide the potential targets of Iraqi missile attacks into two categories: on the one hand, those linked to the United States' military presence in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar; on the other, those targets which, if hit, could cause the conflict to degenerate into a regional affair, and I am referring to Israel, but also to Jordan. The government in Jerusalem certainly will not stand idly by with its arms folded.

[Buongiorno] Whose side are the Iraqi people really on? Why do they not rebel? Why did they unanimously reelect Saddam Hussein?

[Qassem] Propaganda and terror paralyze anyone. The Iraqi people have a long tradition of struggles behind them and they have also suffered the consequences of that. It is difficult to speak and to move about with a noose around your neck. The apparatuses of repression know no mercy. Who has the courage to commit suicide and to condemn also his own near and dear ones to death in order to stage a rebellion that is bound to fail? Finally, you should be aware also that Qusay Hussein's agents personally handed out preprinted ballot sheets with a check against Saddam Hussein's name to every family.

[Buongiorno] One last question. Could dissent among the Army officers and even among the Republican Guard lead to a coup d'etat?

[Qassem] I would not be here talking to you if there were no dissent.

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Replies: 48 comments

It is a shame that the mass media in the US does not publish such revealing information as this which is contained in the interview between Panorama and Pino Buongiorno.

Posted by Mark Grimes @ 01/22/2003 05:42 PM CST

It is a shame that the mass media in the US does not publish such revealing information as this which is contained in the interview between Panorama and Pino Buongiorno.

Posted by Mark Grimes @ 01/22/2003 05:42 PM CST

Not bad - it's inflammatory and, other than a few facts, implies more than it explains. Ideal propaganda.

Posted by Formless One @ 01/24/2003 05:22 PM CST

Hmm, entertaining. Just a little hard to believe. I feel like the author has a little too much mood setting sentances, it gives the piece a sense of drama but also reveals that this interview has been spun. Not saying that it didnt really happen but embellishment is what sells.

Posted by TraceMeAnyways @ 01/24/2003 06:03 PM CST

....riiiight.

Posted by an American @ 01/25/2003 05:02 AM CST

My son is in the US Army has been there for only 6 months. He has been told he will be deployed to the Middle East in Febuary. I hope that his going to this war is not in vain.

Posted by MARTHA GONZALEZ @ 01/29/2003 05:12 PM CST

I can not believe what you people will do for alittle publicity...good idea though

Posted by Observer @ 01/31/2003 06:26 AM CST

i cant begin to tell you how you yanks discust me

Posted by mick sefton @ 02/04/2003 02:07 PM CST

another viet-nam unwinable and non-ending

Posted by larry @ 02/05/2003 06:12 PM CST

This it the biggest pile of bs, you know the author of this is crazy, but you people who believe this are even more insane

best wishes!!

Posted by Anarchy_101 @ 02/07/2003 01:57 AM CST

By the time one weaves through the spy-story type subterfuges, the only smoking guns are in this guy's mind. All of his "revelations" are already known by most relatively intelligent people.

Posted by RByland @ 02/10/2003 04:22 AM CST

I don't see what is so hard to believe in this. If Saddam had a gun to you unbelievers heads, you would probably say, ah that's not a real gun! Wake up people

Posted by PG @ 02/11/2003 09:47 PM CST

My son is also on his way to the middle east. I'm praying this potential war is legit and not designed to repay campain contribution,s to the rich oil baron,s.

Posted by Bill @ 02/12/2003 10:55 PM CST

I have 2 sons being deployed there (67% of my family). How many sons does Rumfield and Bush have going there? I hope this is not clear his father's name<

Posted by Dave Wilson @ 02/13/2003 09:34 PM CST

As in anything the answers fall somewhere in the middle and are not so clear cut I have no doubt that some of this information is correct, Saddam has already shown what he is capable of by invading Kuwait and what he has done to the Kurds, we should have finished what we started then, on the other hand I'm sure the U.S. has some interest in oil and also fear of weapons of mass destruction as well after sept 11 how can you blame us I highly doubt all the information the U.S. has is made up on the other hand there is there legitimate fears by the Iraqi gov't that we have self intentions...come on would we go in there if there wasn't something to gain everyone is drivin by some kind of gain do some Iraqies and middle easterners gain by Saddam staying in power of course they do, is there thousands of refugees that may gain by the U.S. taking over...of course...they are starving now because of saddams poor choices and are there factions of his Military that are against him or would turn at the first chance...how can we not believe that.....should we really be involved ..No....but should we sit back as the french has often done and do nothing put are heads in the sand....this has been the american struggle through out the years be involved or not...the world either loves us or hates us I think a lot of us have great intentions and others the worst but I think that it is better to act than sit back and hope for the best right wrong or in the middle

Posted by JW @ 02/13/2003 10:24 PM CST

It is a shame that some sections of the west don't realise how murderous the Arabs are...

Posted by Phil Taylor @ 02/13/2003 11:54 PM CST

I would like to voice my enthusiastic approval of Phil Taylor's opinions. It is time sadam felt the opression that our people have been living under.

Posted by chaim @ 02/14/2003 12:18 AM CST

1) Attach satellite-detectable SerialNumber and DoorUnlocked Indicator on all Iraqi trucks.Let CIA/NSA satellite and computers track same. So ending the "Mobile ChemBio Lab" Problem.
2) Cut-Off All Aid to Israel without Quick Boundry/Peace Agreement with Palestinians.

Posted by derPoodle @ 02/15/2003 03:51 AM CST

I too have an only Son and daughter-in-law who have been deployed. I've read and tried to keep up on some of what is being said from several sources. I am discussed by the fact that it is 2003 and our world is still waging war as it has for thousands of years. Our administration is still the knight and we the people are still pawns in the game of chess. Our military intelligence knows more that we, yet it is us, being left in the dark, who suffer the insecurity of the unknown and the consequences of their decisions. How is that different than any other nation on this earth? The country's whose people are free to live their lives with dignity are the keepers of their brothers who cannot. The most important issue here is not whether they have WMD or not, it is rather, are the dictators of the world ruling in a way that their people have diginity and freedom. If they do not, the nations who do, should require of themselves to ban together to restore it at what ever cost. Because until the disparity is abated, we are all at risk, for it is that which drives men to evil.

Posted by MOM @ 02/15/2003 03:37 PM CST

Why dosnt Bush just have Saddam taken out. That would solve everyones problems - or would it!
Think about it!!!!

Posted by Ann jones @ 02/15/2003 04:00 PM CST

I wonder if this General would care to tell us who supplied Iraq with these WMD. I believe it was the USA when they armed Saddam against Iran. Rummy shook hands with the man. It was Ok to have weapons of Mass destruction then. Why not now.

Posted by Tika Chino @ 02/15/2003 04:16 PM CST

DO NOT BE AFRAID - THERE WILL BE NO WAR. THE MAJORITY HAS SPOKEN.
WAR HAS BEEN CANCELLED. BELIEVE IN THE MIRACLE.

Posted by jamahl @ 02/15/2003 04:30 PM CST

Saddam has had 12 years to declare his weapons according to the United Nations resolution 1441, It is now time to act! Even this length of time is far to long, the united nations are to weak to act!

Posted by john drisco @ 02/16/2003 07:14 PM CST

There will be a war. America and the coalition of other willing and courageous nations will rid the world of Sadaam's tyranny and free the oppressed Iraqi people... and once again protect the world from tyrannical dictators who would harm us and anyone else who gets in the way of their evil ambitions. Wherever there is a threat to our national security and to the future of our grandchildren, we will be there. GO USA!!!

Posted by Suz @ 02/17/2003 02:28 AM CST

i think the united nation's will be irrelivent in the very near future because of its inaction.let the unitedstates of america show nato it does not need it's permission to protect the american people from terrorist states

Posted by L F McARDLE @ 02/17/2003 11:28 AM CST

The worst thing that the US could do now is cave in to all you wimps who are out there at the "peace" marches. We SHOULD just pull back and do NOTHING. Screw you all! (peace marching hippies). Anything we have ever done to promote freedom and liberty in the world has been perverted into evil intentions by an imperialist regime. FINE, we should just cut off ALL foreign aid - let you jerks fend for yourselves. The us would have a difficult transition when we cut off all trade, but we certainly could be self sufficient very quickly.

You peaceniks should read a little history. If you have your way, your children will inherit the same yolk of oppression that the Iraqis currently bear.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and occasionally courageous sacrifice by those who are willing to stand up for freedom.

Posted by Zim @ 02/18/2003 02:06 PM CST

I beleive that evil in the world must be stopped..i dont care where the weapons came from or who did what to who. This is fruitless arguments..How dare we as americans allow murder to occur when it is in our power to stop this. What would you do if iraq was the only country that could save us. and all they did was watch and the people of iraq just stood idly by and marched against saving us and the whole world just try to stop them? I would send my child to this cause along with myself because i believe that freedom is not just good for americans but for all persons of the world..korea is just in a war of words. and during this time people are being tortured. how dare you the selfish person you are try to march for peace. For who's peace? Yours? let the selfish go where they belong. The rest is your imagination..god bless the fact that GOD gave us freedom..not man..we are gods tools to help people who need us..free the innocent..your children are free..for a price..and the arabs are our brothers lets free them and embrace them with love and kindness. I am not outstanding christian. but i believe somethings in life are worth fighting for. so someone quiet the mouths of the selfish..hold our hearts and pray for everyone and go into iraq and do what we have to do..and a blessing to all our brothers and sisters.
signed a white male american from texas..

Posted by James Hulgan @ 02/18/2003 03:29 PM CST

Just like anything else on the internet, there is no way to determine if any of this is factual or true. No way to know if this is an Iraqi general or just the CIA feeding misinformation. Not that I think Saddam is a nice guy and want to see him hang around, I just hate to see a war for the wrong reasons for so many on both sides will die for naught!

Posted by Skeptic @ 02/18/2003 11:21 PM CST

Everyone has the right to their opinion so this is mine!
Anybody who advocates this impending war with Iraq- is so selfish and ignorant.
Call us hippies if you will, but we have already stopped this war from occuring.AND theres nothing you can do about it!!

Posted by jamahl @ 02/19/2003 03:48 PM CST

Wanna bet Jamahl?

Do you have any family in Iraq bud?
Turn on the History channel once in a while - they aired and episode "Why can't we kill Sadaam?" which went in to a great deal of detail about what kind of man this is, and what life is like for the average person in Iraq. It ain't pretty. Rape camps, maiming and torture for dissidents, a famous photo of Sadaam personally congratulating a man for killing his own son when he refused to enlist in Sadaam's army.... on and on...

America's stake in this is to prevent terrorism on a horrific scale that is sure to come if we all cower in our little corners of the world and leave him alone. And we are going to take care of it. Get used to it. Live with it.
Deal with it.

I'll pray with you that innocents are spared needless suffering, but I sincerely endorse my President and his courageous motives.

Posted by Zim @ 02/19/2003 10:48 PM CST

I,ll bet we do go to war, jamahl. It is people like you that love saddam. you sicken me and shame me at the same time to be a american. My family has died on the soils of foreign lands to bring freedom to alot of people especially the FRENCH. who are spoiled by the very arrogance that saddam wont use these weapons on his OWN people..now come on...think for a minute....This is not about oil or anything other than his saddams own people are so repressed and beaten down..i feel sorry for you jamahl and your self gratifying ways. I hope that when we go in there you will see this a way to look for yourself that the people of iraq are going to jump for joy.I hope that the people of iraq and america can come together after this war and help each other through friendship. god bless you iraq.. and i hope george bush hurries to help you..It is because all you so called peace marchers out there are holding back a really god cause.....sickening...
signed one disheartened american soldier who was in kuwait in 1991 4th expeditionary brigade. so i know what these people need i have seen there tears of pain and the questions of why we dont help them. and this is not about bush. I am a democrat.

Posted by james hulgan @ 02/20/2003 01:36 AM CST

Many of my collegues are already on standby in the Persian Gulf and they are there for a reason, this guys GOT TO GO

Posted by Mike @ 02/20/2003 06:12 AM CST

i don't want to fight this type of problems this year because me head is swimming.....

Posted by puza @ 02/20/2003 09:32 AM CST

Hey Jamahl !
You are clueless,,,,your problem is that GWB is President and there isn't anything that YOU can do about it. You and your "beautiful" friends are anti-Bush, and his success is eating you alive.
Keep worshipping Sheen and Stiesand.
Cheers!

Posted by RL @ 02/20/2003 11:53 PM CST

Iraq breaks it ties with Britain, sound familiar? We pay for Iraq to go to war with Iran, but at the same time give weapons to Iran so they can fight Iraq. When Kuwait steals oil from Iraq and Iraq starts a war with them, we start a war with Iraq. Maybe it's just an oil thing. By switching sides of the fence constantly you have to wonder why the middle east countries wouldn't be a little annoyed with the US. The next time you hear Standard Oil, Texas Oil, Gulf oil, think of Iraq. Because thats how those companies came about.

Posted by History Notes @ 03/07/2003 08:40 PM CST

I believe there was once a man named Osam Bin Laden who was considered a major threat to the world a few years ago. Instead of seaking him out and detaining him, the US let him go about his business.
That led to Sep 11th.
Now we have a man named Sadam Huessan. He is considered a major threat, with the same ties as Osama. Are we supposed to just sit around and wait for the next Sep 11th? Come on people.
Now honestly, yes this is about oil, yes George Bush has a grudge because of Sadams relationship with W's father, but all in all Sadam is a very bad man. One that is a threat to the security of the world.
The USA is proud to rid the world of these horrible people.
In the end the middle east will still feel the same about the US (they don't like us) and the US will feel safer. So why not get rid of Sadam. Do you think the Iraqi's will miss him?

Posted by Oliver @ 03/08/2003 01:25 AM CST

Saddam needs to be removed regardless. After all the politics and diplomacy the final solution will be a horrific bombing campaign on iraq which will leave the country utterly helpless. Then the execution of Sadam before the people he abused, tortured and killed. After the smoke clears hopefully the citizens of iraq will be willing to pull together as a country and start a dignified existence.

Posted by USA 1 @ 03/08/2003 04:12 AM CST

I taught college in Dubai in the late 90's. It was all I could do to get students to turn off their computers and "chat" in order to teach. I never felt anything but appreciation from my students, and respect. Contrary to some reports of those who have never lived and worked there, Middle Easterners do not hate Americans. Quite the contrary is the case, except for their element of hateful, evil men. Remember the "Black Panthers" of the 60's. Not even 500 men in a country of 200 million who supposedly spoke for African American civil rights.

Posted by Middle East College Instructor @ 03/08/2003 08:58 AM CST

While the validity of that story is in question in mind, I still think one thing. Forget going to war with Saddam, we have thousands of little Saddams in this country. I read the crap responses some of you posted and can't even begin to understand you. You cry peace on the basis that this is an economic war. I want to see you hold your peace rallies after he kills you and your families.

Posted by war is peace @ 03/10/2003 02:21 AM CST

Ok, first off, screw all Christian rhetoric towards the war and political affiliation: religios beliefs of any kind have no place in political forums. Seccond, this interview, if not bunk, is about as informative as a scripted Bush press conference. All I have to say, is that peace has not come to the middle east in a hell of a long time, and the "western world," perpatrator or not, has no place there. My official stance, let em all be nuked and die. The leaders of the nations of the middle east should act like grown men and just quit fighting and killing their own. This, however is pure ideology, and probably won't happen anytime soon, so let's just let the complete opposite of dissarmament occur. Let the middle eastern nations destroy the hell out of each other so they can eventually figure out that what they are currently up to is no good. I'm sick of talk of sanctions or support for certain countries, cause I want nothing to do with any of them. If war is what's gonna happen then war it is. It took Germany two wars of utter destruction to finally become the staunch "peaceful ressolution only" country that it is. Perhaps what the middle east needs is utter and absolute anihilation. Hell, our nation gets most of our oil from Canada and Venezuela, so if Bagdhad goes down, so be it. Iraqi missiles can reach us, and terrorists will attack when they want despite any war. So, let's just give up the war talk and just sell all middle eastern countries our old technology like we have been for the past century so they can have a field day in their own turf. First target Jerusalem, seccond, the whole lousy region.

Posted by The Mighty Spidermatt Capt. Pirates of Oxnard @ 03/12/2003 02:16 AM CST

nice story if true nice story if not true! dont belive anything u read about Iraq un less u been there. Sadam is a loose cannon no matter what.he stands on balcony shooting rifle at angle! wonder how many people got hit on ground???. the only people who worry about sadam are those who buy oil from Iraq.makes u wonder if Iraq would sell oil to france. an germany n all countrys after the war. if not they are the biggest dummies in world. lets face realalty git sadam out an let Iraq do its thing with the oil. elimanate the loose cannon an the rest of those butt kissers an let Iraq show the world it can do bussiness in a proper way. the good folks of Iraq are scared to death of Sadam. get him out an u will make the home folks of Iraq very happy an get all this UN phony balony out of the way enough said.

Posted by ---- @ 03/14/2003 03:58 PM CST

You described a brutal government in the Islamic world, typical in present-day Muslim Culture.

There are hundreds of brutal dictatorships extant in our world today...getting rid of Saddam isn't likely to change Iraq, exept to make it worse.

The UN sanctions probably kill many more innocents than Saddam...

America like the many foreign invaders will not suceed in changing Arab Culture, they have to do that on their-own!

Posted by pbel281198 @ 03/16/2003 04:48 AM CST

This is a BIG thing. If you think of the people saddam has killed and tortured and such, and how many more will be killed etc. does not the casualties of war seem.... well... better than the pain and loss and suffering that suddam could bring about if left alone? and someone wrote in this colunm about a man named osama bin laden and how he was left alone.. now look OVER 3000 dead in a single act of sheer terrifying briliance.
these middleeastern people who have been in war after war with each other have learned so much that they know more about long, medium and block to block war than even the US. Who rewally wants to see suddam stay where he is?

Posted by a concerned Kiwi @ 03/17/2003 02:21 AM CST

Chambelain and England placated Hitler in the 30's, giving up (what was then) Czechoslvakia because the US and the League of Nations would not risk war to stop a dictator who would steal an entire continent if he could. The US finally got into the act, freeing France along the way. Now France does not have the backbone to stand up to a dictator/thief who has broken his agreements for twelve years. You would think Russia would be concerned about a man trying to establish a nuclear superpower near their southern border. Saddam has been killing with his own hands since the age of 16, He will continue to kill tens of thousands untill he is stopped. I don't see the people of Kuwait calling us Crusaders and accusing us of destroying their lives. They know we only want to get the job done and go home. The Kurds are not begging us to leave Saddam in power, they are to busy trying not to get killed by his secret police. Remember, he killed over 5000 Kurdish villagers with chemical weapons in the 90's.
This man will kill and invade untill he is stopped. Lafayette, WHERE ARE YOU!

Posted by LM @ 03/18/2003 05:22 PM CST

Well - I've enjoyed reading the entries here. I have a few replys for some of the comments - first for Mr. Sefton - I understand we yanks discust you. It's DISGUST - and at least we yanks have the courage to stand up to butchers like Sad Man and his thug sons. Plus we can spell english correctly. And as for Jamahl- I suggest you put down the joint and join the adult world. Are you really going to vote to keep a man in power who on his first day in office sent over 100 government officials to their immediate deaths? You like that this madman made the families of his son-in-laws who returned from Jordan - kill them both themselves in fear of being killed if they did not? You like a man who kills the fathers of his own grandchildren? Who is more sick - Saddam or you?

Posted by Mike Roberts @ 03/18/2003 08:11 PM CST

A letter to the editor I read made a comment that God is on everyone's side in most of the conflicts we read about and that it seems that religion is more of the problem and not the solution.

Posted by Nick @ 03/19/2003 02:41 PM CST

Reading through these posts, I am amazed at how my fellow americans can be so ignorant as to what our government true intentions are. You speek of freedom, this has nothing to do with freedom...this has everything to do with money and big business. Look at what we have done and not done in the past. Think back to Operation Condor in south america, bringing Pinochet to power in Chili. Think back to Panama, Nicaragua. Remember our role during the Iran-Iraq war. The coup d'etat in various countries, including Iraq, where the US has had a hand in placing a dictatorship regime. In these insistances big US business has profited. Our own CIA has trained Osama and supplied him with arms to fight russia during the Afghanistan Russian conflict. This again was to protect an oil pipeline. The tragic 9/11 bombing is rumoured to have been in retaliation of failed talks between the US and taliban over a new pipeline running through Afghanistan...Don't be fooled by patriotic talk and defenders of freedom, follow the money and what is to be gained. At the moment, I believe that ousting Saddam is a must, but without UN support may be dangerous. Will the US have a hand in replacing the Iraqi government, will they gain a controlling interest of Iraqi oil fields. Think of what we haven't done in Ruwanda and Somalia... Believe in what you will, but don't believe blindly. God bless us all.

Posted by MPS @ 03/19/2003 06:03 PM CST

We can't even find (get)Bin Laden how are we going to free a whole country? I want to see Bush do what he said he would do first.

Posted by Dave Jenkins @ 03/19/2003 06:36 PM CST


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