Tuesday, August 23

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
- George Santayana

Very fitting advise.

It sems that just a few years out from 9/11 people are starting to forget. There are claims that 9/11 was a fluke. claiming that 9/11 was engineered by the Bush administration. That the Pentagon was not hit by a plane. That Iraq is not a just war. That Muslims were not the hijackers. All bull.

National Geographic just aired this week a two part documentary on 9/11. It is a must-see. You can see a preview and some excerpts here.

There are those calling for the US to pull out of Iraq. Once again we should look to history. Al Queda has. They know that if the US Military is hit hard, that we will give up? Just look at:

  • Vietnam
  • Lebanon
  • Somalia

US withdrawls from each of the above-mentioned countries gave strength to those who were fighting against us.

So they say the reason that we went to Iraq (WMD) was 'false.' Should we give Saddam his country back then? Should we give the radicals another victory, just because some will do most anything to make the current President look bad including damaging the country itself in order that the President wears the country's black-eye.

"Bush=Hitler." That correlation drive me nuts. So many bad people on this planet are ignored by the global community, yet they have no problem lecturing the US. Perhaps it is partly Bush's fault that he is on the receiving end of all this criticism. It's not like he is going to punch Chirac in the face the next time they meet. But some of these other 'leaders' might take an interest in funding terrorist activity in their country if they speak out against North Korea, for example.

then we have Saddam. Well, he was no upstanding member of a modern global society. He was nothing short of a madman, who also happened to be a head of state, with one of the worlds most powerful armies, which happened to possess tons of WMDs. Disagree if you want, but be sure that you have reviewed Saddam's rap-sheet:

Saddam Hussein's Philanthropy of Terror

So, the US went to war without UN approval. Now we have the Oil-For Food scandal that most likely tainted the UN Security Council from acting without undue influence from Saddam.

Was Iraq Clean? Hardly. Those aluminum tubes nobody could agree on were probably for rockets, and not nuclear enrichment. What nobody bothers to mention was that Saddam was not allowed to build missiles of those types either. So no matter the purpose of the aluminum tubes, Saddam was in violation for trying to import them. Thanks to the weak inspecting by the sanctions firms, who knows what else they tried to import. Also, one can legitimately question the behavior of our 'partners' on the UN Security Council.

The US WMD Report states:

"One aspect of Saddam’s strategy of unhinging the UN’s sanctions against Iraq, centered on Saddam’s efforts to influence certain UN SC permanent members, such as Russia, France, and China and some nonpermanent(Syria, Ukraine) members to end UN sanctions. Under Saddam’s orders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MFA) formulated and implemented a strategy aimed at these UNSC members and international public opinion with the purpose of ending UN sanctions and undermining its subsequent OFF program by diplomatic and economic means. At a minimum, Saddam wanted to divide the five permanent members and foment international public support of Iraq at the UN and throughout the world by a savvy public relations campaign and an extensive diplomatic effort." - Page 138

"Saddam directed the Regime’s key ministries and governmental agencies to devise and implement strategies, policies, and techniques to discredit the UN sanctions, harass UN personnel in Iraq, and discredit the US. At the same time, according to reporting, he also wanted to obfuscate Iraq’s refusal to reveal the nature of its WMD and WMD-related programs, their capabilities, and his intentions." - Page 139

"The former Iraqi Regime sought a relationship with France to gain support in the UNSC for lifting the sanctions. Saddam’s Regime, in order to induce France to aid in getting sanctions lifted, targeted friendly companies and foreign political parties that possessed either extensive business ties to Iraq or held pro-Iraqi positions. In addition, Iraq sought out individuals whom they believed were in a position to
influence French policy. Saddam authorized lucrative oil contracts be granted to such parties, businesses, and individuals." - Page 69

"The Regime sought a favorable relationship with France because France was influential as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and was in a good position to help Iraq with lifting sanctions." - Page 90

"Asked by a US interviewer in 2004, why he had not used WMD against the Coalition during Desert Storm, Saddam replied, “Do you think we are mad? What would the world have thought of us? We would have completely discredited those who had supported us.” Iraqi use of WMD would deeply embarrass France and Russia, whom has cultivated Iraq. Use of WMD during Operation Iraqi Freedom would serve to justify US and UK prewar claims about Iraq’s illegal weapons capabilities. Such a justification would also serve to add resolve to those managing the occupation." - Page 97

"Figure 16 reflects the general proportion of the nationalities targeted to receive Iraq’s oil allocations by volume of oil allocated, according to a former government official with direct access to the information. The top three countries with companies or entities receiving vouchers were Russia (30%), France (15%), and China (10%)—three of the five permanent members of the UNSC, other than the US and UK."

"Moreover, the IIS paper targeted a number of French individuals that the Iraqi’s thought had close relations to French President Chirac, including, according to the Iraqi assessment, the offi cial spokesperson of President Chirac’s re-election campaign, two reported “counselors” of President Chirac, and two well-known French businessmen. In May 2002, IIS correspondence addressed to Saddam stated that a MFA (quite possibly an IIS offi cer under diplomatic cover) met with French parliamentarian to discuss Iraq-Franco relations. The French politician assured the Iraqi that France would use its veto in the UNSC against any American decision to attack Iraq, according to the IIS memo." - Page 200

And my favorite:

Senior military officers and former Regime officials were uncertain about the existence of WMD during the sanctions period and the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom because Saddam sent mixed messages. Early on, Saddam sought to foster the impression with his generals that Iraq could resist a Coalition ground attack using WMD. Then, in a series of meetings in late 2002, Saddam appears to have reversed course and advised various groups of senior officers and officials that Iraq in fact did not have WMD. His admissions persuaded top commanders that they really would have to fight the United States without recourse to WMD. In March 2003, Saddam created further confusion when he implied to his ministers and senior officers that he had some kind of secret weapon.” If Saddam's Military was not sure if Iraq had WMD, then how could we. Not to mention the French, Germans, Russians and British who all also believed that Iraq was hiding WMD.- Page 94

Now why does any of this matter?

Could it be that we are all traveling down a similar road with Iran? Some of the similarities can be haunting, like Sean Penn visits Iraq just before the US Military. Now he just got back from visiting Iran.

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