For the Iraqis, a Missile Deal That Went Sour

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by jimnyc, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 — It was Saddam Hussein's last weapons deal — and it did not go exactly as he and his generals had imagined.

    For two years before the American invasion of Iraq, Mr. Hussein's sons, generals and front companies were engaged in lengthy negotiations with North Korea, according to computer files discovered by international inspectors and the accounts of Bush administration officials.

    The officials now say they believe that those negotiations — mostly conducted in neighboring Syria, apparently with the knowledge of the Syrian government — were not merely to buy a few North Korean missiles.

    Instead, the goal was to obtain a full production line to manufacture, under an Iraqi flag, the North Korean missile system, which would be capable of hitting American allies and bases around the region, according to the Bush administration officials.

    As war with the United States approached, though, the Iraqi files show that Mr. Hussein discovered what American officials say they have known for nearly a decade now: that Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, is less than a fully reliable negotiating partner.

    In return for a $10 million down payment, Mr. Hussein appears to have gotten nothing.

    The trail that investigators have uncovered, partly from reading computer hard drives found in Baghdad and partly from interviews with captured members of Mr. Hussein's inner circle, shows that a month before the American invasion, Iraqi officials traveled to Syria to demand that North Korea refund $1.9 million because it had failed to meet deadlines for delivering its first shipment of goods.

    North Korea deflected the request, telling Mr. Hussein's representatives, in the words of one investigator, that "things were too hot" to begin delivering missile technology through Syria.

    The transaction provides an interesting glimpse into the last days of the Hussein government, and what administration officials say were Iraq's desires for a long-term business deal for missiles and a missile production plant.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/01/i...00&en=cf6c578ab69d1f8b&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
     
  2. green lantern
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    green lantern Member

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    might change a few minds about the whole iraq situation. maybe the bush administration was not as far off as some people think.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    From one creep to another. :eek:

    But of course, Saddam was just getting rid of all those WMD's at this time, yeah right.
     
  4. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    wasn't this story run about a month ago? maybe a little less?
     
  5. Sevendogs
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    Sevendogs Guest

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    :) It would be better to keep Iraq at gun point, bombing some spots as needed, continue surveilance, etc. There were need to invade it. All this is history now. We are there and it is difficult to find way out and impossible to win peace as they say. It ties our forces, which otehrwise would be used against terrorism outside Iraq. It is Vietnam-like situation there.
     
  6. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    Originally posted by Sevendogs
    It would be better to keep Iraq at gun point, bombing some
    spots as needed, continue surveilance, etc. There were[no] need to invade it.
    _____________________ _______________________

    If we never bothered to invade Iraq, NK would still be dealing with Saddam because the situation for arms dealing would not have been hot.

    Originally posted by DKSuddeth
    wasn't this story run about a month ago? maybe a little less?
    _____________________ _______________________

    The story ran about two days before your post. Check the date on the article. If a story is older than two weeks on the NYT site you get an awful synopsis and are required to pay to see the real article.
     
  7. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    Nay, I say. I thought that this story sounded familiar. check the link I provide and the date of the article.

    http://washingtontimes.com/national/20031004-123026-1690r.htm
     
  8. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    Thanks for the link DK.


    Unfortunately this wtimes doesn't seem to provide a date. I'll take your word for it.

    What makes it new:

    1.The NYT is anything but probush and their stamp of approval on it makes it all the more legitimate to the average moderate. While from the ad banners on the wtimes, I'll guess they get about as much of an applause as 'Faux'.

    2.The NYT article talks about the issue exclusively and goes into more detail about Syria's involvement and why NK ducked out.
     
  9. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    wasn't this trio mentioned a long while ago? is that too old?

    regardless the article is news to me, thanks to the way our press tends to cover things.
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    DKSuddeth
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    wasn't this story run about a month ago? maybe a little less?

    Actually try May: http://www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraq/0,,2-10-1460_1369794,00.html

    Pretoria - The man who headed South Africa's chemical and biological warfare programme in apartheid days declared on Thursday that Saddam Hussein was "hoodwinked by criminals" who delivered containers filled with sand when he tried to rebuild Iraq's arsenal.

    Wouter Basson told the Pretoria Press Club that Saddam's "reasonable arsenal" was destroyed in the first Gulf War in 1991, the SAPA news agency reported.

    "Afterwards he tried to rebuild that," Basson said. "We picked up orders and requests he was sending out all over the world for raw materials, but the sanctions were so tight on him that he was really hoodwinked by a lot of criminals.

    "Ingredients, chemicals, constituents and electronics that he ordered and paid for never cropped up.

    "There were containers full of sand offloaded, and I think ultimately they just gave up and realised under their circumstances it is not going to work for them."

    Basson was acquitted by the Pretoria High Court last year on 46 charges ranging from fraud and theft to drug trafficking and murder.

    He said he had no doubt that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction.

    "It (weapons of mass destruction) is a term that was coined by politicians who wanted to attack Iraq, to get a stick to hit Iraq," he declared, adding that chemical and biological arms did not qualify as weapons of mass destruction - "they are not suited to that term."

    --------------------------
    Which doesn't change a thing.

    USS Clueless:

    ...Respond to Spam and buy "Genuine Viagra!" through the mail, or some other kind of miracle drug, and you'll get pills, alright; but it's extremely unlikely that they'll actually contain Viagra or anything else that's useful.

    That kind of thing's been going on in the international weapons trade, too. A lot of people want to buy, a lot of people want to sell, and a lot of people want to cheat. A lot of nations out there are eager to get their hands on weapons grade U-235, for instance, and willing to pay top dollar. Rumors are that some had escaped from the former-USSR, either via non-Russian republics or because security was lax at Russian atomic facilities. Those rumors have been circulating for a while, and they may have been sponsored deliberately by frauds and cheats. There was a case last year when there was a breathless report in the media that someone had been arrested while offering nearly 35 pounds of weapons-grade U-235 for sale, and the uranium was seized.

    It turned out that it wasn't even uranium, and there wasn't anything like 35 pounds of whatever it actually was.

    I just stumbled on a report that offers an interesting point which might help explain just what happened with the apparently-missing Iraqi WMDs: the ones they did have were actually mostly destroyed, and in their frantic attempts to acquire the materials necessary to produce new ones, they ended up tossing money around like a drunken sailor, and got ripped off.

    The man who headed South Africa's chemical and biological warfare programme in apartheid days declared on Thursday that Saddam Hussein was "hoodwinked by criminals" who delivered containers filled with sand when he tried to rebuild Iraq's arsenal.

    Wouter Basson told the Pretoria Press Club that Saddam's "reasonable arsenal" was destroyed in the first Gulf War in 1991, the SAPA news agency reported.

    "Afterwards he tried to rebuild that," Basson said. "We picked up orders and requests he was sending out all over the world for raw materials, but the sanctions were so tight on him that he was really hoodwinked by a lot of criminals.

    "Ingredients, chemicals, constituents and electronics that he ordered and paid for never cropped up.

    "There were containers full of sand offloaded, and I think ultimately they just gave up and realised under their circumstances it is not going to work for them."

    So why didn't they admit it? Well, they sort of did. Last fall they tried to claim that they didn't have anything, but we all wrote that off as them lying to conceal what they did have. But they didn't really try very hard to convince anyone that they truly didn't have anything, and I suspect the reason why was shame.

    Remember, this is a "face" culture. There had been no secret at all about Saddam's ambitions to rebuild his WMD programs which actually were seriously degraded (at the very least) by the original inspection process, and if it had been revealed that he'd spent hundreds of millions of dollars on sand, he'd have been the laughing stock of the Arab world. No one likes to admit they've been cheated. It's got to be a hundred times harder for a major leader in a face culture to do so.

    Moreover, part of Saddam's claim to power and formidability was the assumption that he still had WMDs. They were his "ace in the hole", a way of deterring aggressors. To admit that he didn't have them would have been humiliating. And it would have made him more vulnerable; it was part of his deterrent. (The possibility of Iraq using nerve gas against our troops certainly loomed large in most of the planning and anticipation and worry about the war there.)

    I still think that some WMDs may turn up, eventually, in small quantities. I have a suspicion that some of them got smuggled into Syria before the end, and we may discover that the hard way if they end up in the hands of terrorists. I suspect that there are probably stashes buried out in the desert somewhere. But I suspect there probably wasn't very much, which is why they've had such a hard time finding any at all.

    I think that it isn't that they voluntarily disarmed; it's that they tried to acquire the stuff they needed to rebuild their stockpiles and got rooked, again and again.

    Which is really not too surprising; people claiming to have phenarsazine to sell but don't really are going to be a lot easier to find than those who actually have the stuff in quantity. It's never hard to find someone who is willing to cheat you.

    Anybody want to buy a bridge?

    http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/06/GettingRooked.shtml
     

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