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Saddam and terror

Posted by Richard on December 30, 2006

According to LGF, Saddam will be hanged at dawn, which is rapidly approaching in Baghdad. I’m eager to toast his demise. The world will be a better place when this truly evil man assumes room temperature. [It’s done! See update at bottom.]

Sadly, although most people know he was a mass murderer and torturer, they still believe that the "secular" Saddam never had anything to do with terrorism, Islamists, or al Qaeda. Nothing could be further from the truth. For a good, brief overview of just a little of the evidence to the contrary, read "Saddam’s Iraq and Islamic Terrorism: What We Know Now" by Stephen F. Hayes in the December issue of Hillsdale College’s Imprimis (if you prefer, it’s also available as a PDF). Here’s one example (emphasis added):

On October 2, 2002, a young Filipino man rode his Honda motorcycle up a dusty road to a shanty strip mall just outside Camp Enrile Malagutay in Zamboanga City, Philippines. The camp was host to American troops stationed in the south of the country to train with Filipino soldiers fighting terrorists. The man parked his bike and began to examine its gas tank. Seconds later, the tank exploded, sending nails in all directions and killing the rider almost instantly.

The blast damaged six nearby stores and ripped the front off of a café that doubled as a karaoke bar. The café was popular with American soldiers. And on this day, SFC Mark Wayne Jackson was killed there and a fellow soldier was severely wounded. Eyewitnesses immediately identified the bomber as a known Abu Sayyaf terrorist.

One week before the attack, Abu Sayyaf leaders had promised a campaign of terror directed at the “enemies of Islam”—Westerners and the non-Muslim Filipino majority. And one week after the attack, Abu Sayyaf attempted to strike again, this time with a bomb placed on the playground of the San Roque Elementary School. It did not detonate. Authorities recovered the cell phone that was to have set it off and analyzed incoming and outgoing calls.

As they might have expected, they discovered several calls to and from Abu Sayyaf leaders. But another call got their attention. Seventeen hours after the attack that took the life of SFC Jackson, the cell phone was used to place a call to a top official in the Iraqi embassy in Manila, Hisham Hussein. It was not Hussein’s only contact with Abu Sayyaf.

One Philippine government source told me: “He was surveilled, and we found out he was in contact with Abu Sayyaf and also pro-Iraqi demonstrators. [Philippine Intelligence] was able to monitor their cell phone calls. [Abu Sayyaf leaders] called him right after the bombing. They were always talking.”

A subsequent analysis of Iraqi embassy phone records by Philippine authorities showed that Hussein had been in regular contact with Abu Sayyaf leaders both before and after the attack that killed SFC Jackson. Andrea Domingo, immigration commissioner for the Philippines, said Hussein ran an “established network” of terrorists in the country. Hisham Hussein and two other Iraqi embassy employees were ordered out of the Philippines on February 14, 2003.

Interestingly, if the Iraqi regime had wanted to keep its support for Abu Sayyaf secret, the al Qaeda-linked group did not. Twice in two years, Abu Sayyaf leaders boasted about receiving funding from Iraq—the second time just two weeks after Hisham Hussein was expelled. The U.S. intelligence community discounted the claims.

This is one of hundreds of things we knew before the war connecting Saddam’s regime with Islamist terrorists. Since the war, we’ve learned even more from the small percentage of records found in Baghdad that have been translated. But the intelligence community has fought tooth and nail to prevent even that small glimpse into the regime’s records:

As of March, three years after the war began, the U.S. intelligence community had fully translated and analyzed less than five percent of the documents captured in postwar Iraq. In some cases, they actually fought efforts to increase their budgets—something that is unheard of in the intelligence bureaucracies. At one point, a little more than a year into the document exploitation project, senior intelligence officials tried to have the project shut down altogether.

Hayes seems to think our snoops didn’t want it to become known how utterly they’d botched the job before the war. I guess that could be part of it. But I’m also convinced that large portions of the career foreign service and intelligence staffs are adamently opposed to the "neo-con agenda" and despise the "cowboy" in the White House — and they’ve done everything in their power to undermine and discredit the Bush policies.

Read Hayes’ brief examples of things we’ve learned from those translated documents. And then read his astonishing story of the Iraqi Intelligence Director’s "blueprint for insurgency" dated a month before the war began, which was discovered and turned over to the CIA immediately after the invasion — where it promptly disappeared. Read about the lists of jihadists from Saudi Arabia and other countries who came to Iraq before the war to fight that insurgency. Read the whole thing. Then read Hayes’ book, too.

UPDATE: Arab news sources report Saddam has been hanged. Good riddance. Now, please excuse me, I have to go pour a toast.

Bottoms up! And now, with a bow to John Cleese: ‘E’s passed on! The Butcher of Baghdad is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-DICTATOR!!

Or, on a more serious note, Mark Humphrys’ The end of tyrants, commenting on the capture of Saddam, seems highly appropriate:

For me, the worst thing on earth is the existence of dictators. The existence of dictators and unfree regimes is the cause of all war, all genocide, all famine, and almost all poverty on earth.

For me, the best thing on earth is the toppling of dictators. Those rare, glorious moments when good triumphs, and evil is humiliated, just like in the movies.

In real life, evil normally wins. Evil normally stays in power for years, sits at the UN, is never punished, grows fat and rich, and retires to the South of France. But sometimes – all too rarely – evil loses, and is forced to face justice on earth. The killing of Ceausescu in 1989 was one such moment.

The capture of Saddam in 2003 is another. This is the greatest moment on earth since 1989.

And the swinging of Saddam from a rope is yet another.

UPDATE 2: Saddam died clutching a Koran, and his last words were "Allahu akbar! (God is great) [Following translated by media] The nation will be victorious. Palestine is Arab." So much for the "secularist" meme.

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One Response to “Saddam and terror”

  1. Dana said

    I don’t care what anyone says, I had enough of that man after working with the Kurdish community here where I live. What that man was responsible for…it defies all human decency. I don’t care if it was for Islam, secularism or anything else…it was pure evil. The entire community appears to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. I remember trying to explain to one parent how their child needed some help. What this child was doing was not normal and was symptomatic of some serious psychological distress. The parents did not understand. That was normal. Everyone had those experiences. And then to look around…the scars on the men. Lost body parts. All in Saddam’s prisons.

    I was in one of their homes when Saddam’s brother was reported dead and massive cheering broke out.

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