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News ::
This is the way Saddam Hussein sees it (english)
26 Jan 2003
Modified: 04:15:01 PM
Of all the propositions that have recently been advanced for removing Saddam Hussein from power, perhaps the most fanciful emerged during an Irish radio discussion.
This is the way Saddam Hussein sees it
by Con Coughlin ē Sunday January 26, 2003 at 12:29 AM


The Telegraph - London - Jan. 24/2003

Of all the propositions that have recently been advanced for removing Saddam Hussein from power, perhaps the most fanciful emerged during an Irish radio discussion in which I participated one morning last week.

If persuading Saddam to step down would save the West from the inconvenience of going to war, then, to be sure, said the presenter, wasn't it up to the people of Ireland to make use of their nation's neutrality and offer the Iraqi dictator sanctuary in Ireland?

The idea certainly appeals to the Irish. Their only problem is that none of the politicians seems prepared to have the Iraqi tyrant living in their constituency. The Dubliners are happy to offer Saddam sanctuary in Cork, and the men of Cork think Galway would be a more suitable location.

Had this little gem featured among the daily intelligence reports delivered to the presidential bunker, it would no doubt have appealed enormously to Saddam, who announced to a meeting of his senior military officers last week that he is "all smiles and happiness".

Indeed Saddam's happiness will, if anything, have increased immeasurably this weekend as he contemplates the deepening rift between the English-speaking world and the Europeans over how the UN should proceed with its attempts to deal with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The chances of the US and Britain securing a second Security Council resolution that sanctions military action against Baghdad - if the UN inspectors report that Iraq is in material breach of resolution 1441 - look increasingly remote with China, Russia, Germany and France all publicly stating their opposition to war.

Saddam will also have noted that the latest US opinion polls show that only 26 per cent of Americans support the notion of Washington taking unilateral action to oust Saddam. The majority of Americans (65 per cent) would support an American offensive only if President Bush were able to rally a few allies to join him in the campaign. And as things currently stand the only country likely to commit ground troops is Britain. It is unlikely, then, that Saddam is devoting much of his spare time to browsing through the prospectuses of possible exile retreats for unwanted dictators, the generous Irish offer notwithstanding.

From Saddam's point of view, he has won virtually every round in his contest with Washington since last spring, when Mr Bush and Mr Blair declared their intention to force Iraq to comply with its international obligations. Not even the recent discovery of a number of fully-operational Iraqi chemical weapons warheads, and the seizure of 3,000 pages of documents that prove categorically that Iraq is continuing with its effort to build an atom bomb, has affected the disinclination of the majority of the Western powers to sanction military action against Baghdad.

This distinct lack of political will, furthermore, to confront the Iraqi leader will simply confirm one of Saddam's most sincerely held beliefs, namely that the liberal democracies of the West, even after the appalling events of September 11, do not have the stomach for a fight.

One of the most revealing comments Saddam made during his now infamous meeting with April Glaspie, the US ambassador to Baghdad, in the summer of 1990, shortly before he invaded Kuwait, was his claim that the main weakness of the United States military was its unwillingness to take casualties. Referring to the hundreds of thousands of casualties Iraq had suffered during its eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s, Saddam told Glaspie: "Yours is a society which cannot accept 10,000 dead in one battle."

This outlook conditioned Saddam's conduct throughout the Gulf War. At the outset of hostilities he gave orders to his generals that any captured American soldiers should be tied to Iraqi tanks, on the grounds that "the Americans would never fire on their own soldiers", whereas Saddam himself, clearly, suffered no such qualms.

Saddam was also immensely frustrated at his inability to engage US troops on the ground while some of his Republican Guard battalions remained intact. He believed that if he could inflict just a few casualties, Washington would cease hostilities. There is no reason to believe that Saddam's view of the US is any different today than it was then. It is a mindset that provides Saddam with the confidence not to be intimidated by the Americans, even though they have overwhelming firepower. In this context he will have taken Donald Rumsfeld's suggestion last week - that war could be averted if Saddam slipped quietly into exile - as yet further evidence that Washington's arch hawk has lost his bottle.

The truth is, Saddam does not think like us. This, after all, is a man who still believes that the last Gulf war was a triumphant victory for Iraq and himself personally, as he made clear in his speech a fortnight ago commemorating the conflict.

In contrast to the Gulf war where the American mission was only to liberate Kuwait, this time the Americans will have to come and get him in Baghdad, deep in the heart of his Baathist homeland.

If they do so Saddam has issued the Iraqi armed forces with chemical weapons suits - so that they can deploy the arsenal of chemical weapons that, according to Saddam's 12,000 page dossier to the UN, Iraq no longer possesses.

It does not matter to Saddam how many Iraqis get killed in any future war with the West: that only concerns American and British military planners, who know that if they are held responsible for large numbers of Iraqi casualties, then Western public opinion will become even more entrenched in its opposition to military action.

All that will concern Saddam now is whether, in the event of war, he can succeed in his ambition of inflicting significant casualties on the Americans. If he can do that, then Saddam will continue to believe that this is a war he can win.


www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;$sessionid$J2CQGGCX2IL1DQFIQMFSFFOAVCB...
See also:
www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;$sessionid$J2CQGGCX2IL1DQFIQMFSFFOAVCB...
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Con wants war (english)
26 Jan 2003
Con in trying to con us. “Not even the recent discovery of a number of fully-operational Iraqi chemical weapons warheads, and the seizure of 3,000 pages of documents that prove categorically that Iraq is continuing with its effort to build an atom bomb, has affected the disinclination of the majority of the Western powers to sanction military action against Baghdad.’

Of course it just might be that most Western powers are not so naive as to believe that either the discovery of a few old and empty warheads with no sign of ever having chemicals, or that 3,000 pages of documents with routine scientific information is anything to get nervous about. Polls througout the world have clearly indicated that Bush and Blair are a bigger danger to world peace than Saddam.

Of course the warmongers and the war-profiteering politicians who can boost their poll ratings by wrapping themselves around their countries and going to war (as Hitler did) against a properly demonized enemy, can propagate war safely a long distance from the battle field. Albert Einstein had a good explanation when he said that “Nationalism was the measles of the human race.”

Peace