LA Times Bombshell -- Documents Reveal Massive Arms Smuggling Between Iraq and Syria

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Martin_Frick, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Martin_Frick
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    Martin_Frick Guest

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    Report is hitting the web right now - the LA Times is breaking a huge story detailing vast amounts of illegal arms smuggling between Iraq and Syria. Other countries involved include North Korea and Russia, as well as scores of companies from all across the globe who allegedly broke the UN Iraqi weapons sancitons for profit. No illegal WMD's found or mentioned, but there are suspicious mentions of "nerve agent antidotes" as well as documented attempts by Iraq to attempt to build ballistic missiles with the help of North Korea (Korea kept Iraq's money, but then never sent them the illegal parts, saying it was "too hot right now").

    Go to www.LATimes.com -- it's the lead story right now. Drudge is working on getting more info, too.

    Apparently, there's a second report that the Times will publish on Wedenesday with even more disclosures.

    Can't wait to see what Howard "the Capture of Saddan has not made America safer" Dean has to say about THIS tomorrow. Liberman and Gephardt are going to have a field day with this one.
     
  2. eric
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    Hey Martin,

    Welcome to the board !:)
     
  3. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    and this comes as a big surprise??? nice post martin and welcome to the board
     
  4. nbdysfu
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  5. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    my link is Reuters DK, check it out.
     
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    that certainly paints some allies in a bad light as well, doesn't it?


    granted, these are all UN violations of the arms embargo but it doesn't indicate ties to terrorism nor does it indicate WMD's.

    no wonder poland didn't get anything from us. South korea shouldn't either.
     
  8. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    I think the one about the canadian connection is the funniest though:
    Qoute LATimes:
    ___________________
    "Massachusetts-based Cambridge Technology Inc. sold four optical scanners, which can be adapted to help divert laser-guided missiles, to a student in Canada. He had the equipment shipped to Amman, Jordan, and told the company he was donating it to a university whose name he now says he cannot remember. Without the U.S. company's knowledge, the real buyer was the Iraqi military."

    :laugh:



    The LA Times sensationalized the South Korean deal, which was already cancelled by SK government in '02:

    Qoute LATimes:
    ___________________
    On April 7, 2002, for example, Armitel's chairman inked a $1,859,862.18 contract with SES for "optical transmission, channel bank and auxiliary items."

    But records labeled "secret" in the Al Bashair files[in other words, Armitel didn't necessarily know it's stuff was going to Iraq] show the Armitel equipment was "connected with the supply of air defense" and that the real buyer was the Salahaddin Co., based in northern Iraq, which was trying to develop a radar system to detect U.S. stealth bombers.

    In an interview, Lee Dae Young, the 50-year-old chairman of Armitel, said he knew his equipment was headed to Iraq despite U.N. sanctions. But he said he thought he was helping Baghdad upgrade telephone and Internet service.

    "We sold Iraq an optical cable system," Lee said. "Actually, now that this is over, I can tell you. We sold it to Syrians and they took it to Iraq."

    Armitel had sent $8 million worth of equipment to Syria when U.S. intelligence got wind of the shipments in mid-2002. After the U.S. Embassy in Seoul complained, South Korea's Ministry of Commerce ordered Armitel to stop further shipments.[case closed]
    An investigation was begun but Armitel was not charged. The company recently submitted proposals to the U.S.-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad for contracts to build a telecommunications network from Baghdad to Basra.
    ___________________________
     
  9. nbdysfu
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    No WMDs, the purchase of nerve agent antidotes does make me wonder though.

    This LA Times story is quite sensational. Also note that these records were recovered by a German Journalist at the beginning of the invasion. What other countries are we not hearing about. I don't think it's a reason to go boycotting SK and Poland. Here's the entire LA Times account of the Polish companies dealings:

    "A Polish company, Evax, signed four contracts with Iraq and successfully shipped up to 380 surface-to-air Volga/SA-2 missile engines to Baghdad through Syria. The last batch was delivered in December 2002, a month after the U.N. Security Council warned Iraq that it faced "serious consequences" if it continued to violate U.N. resolutions."

    Fact number one that is curiously absent is when was this contract started.

    Absent fact number two is was the contract killed in December 02, or completed, and what was the Polish government's knowledge of this happening? For that matter did they know that it was going from Syria to Iraq? The SK account and the lack of details on the more important Polish deal suggests a bit of insubstantiality.

    At any rate, they had ceased their operations months before we went to Iraq.
     

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