Skip

Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns
January 24, 2003 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
posted by Postroad (49 comments total)

 
I wish Pantload would stop shitting all over Metafilter.
posted by donkeyschlong at 6:41 AM on January 24, 2003


"Yeah, and I talked to this guy the other day, and he told me he was a general and he said ..."

Seriously, how do you even know it is really from an Italian paper?
posted by moonbiter at 6:43 AM on January 24, 2003


At least it's not from Debka.
posted by yhbc at 6:45 AM on January 24, 2003


Totally unnecessary, donkeyschlong. I might agree with your opinion of Postroad's choice of posts, but even if the thread were doomed, you just dumped another load. Two poops don't make a... well, an uncrappy thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:48 AM on January 24, 2003


The original (italian) article is here.
posted by cip at 6:54 AM on January 24, 2003


For what it's worth, that site's English translation of the Italian original text is pretty good
posted by matteo at 7:02 AM on January 24, 2003


The last line I read was...
Uday, the elder son, has a soft spot for women. Our secret service agents are often tasked with procuring young Ukrainian girls, his favorites, to satisfy his whims.

BTW, did anyone hear NPR's story about Debka last week? Can't find a link... grr...
posted by VulcanMike at 7:12 AM on January 24, 2003


"The problem with guns that are hidden is you can't see their smoke" -Ari Fleischer

You know you can't see the smoke from guns that don't exist either Ari! Unless of course maybe the administration knows there are hidden weapons because members of said administration gave the weapons to the bad guy, say, back in the Reagan/Bush years?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:18 AM on January 24, 2003


Mmmmm...propaganda.

Sad thing is, it's obvious propaganda as well:
"Gee, I wish the U.S. could cover this stuff in as much detail!"
"You mean Saddam is evil, right?"
"And you're procuring helpless young girls for his two evil sons to do with as they will?"
"You guys are using taxis to transport illegal materials? You mean like that huge lead cylinder of...well, nothing they found last year?"
"Wow, so we can imply a link to al-Qa'ida without actually having to prove one? He must be evil!"
"So your country has problems filling out ballot sheets as well? Y'know, the U.S. has a more subtle solution to that issue..."

Sheesh.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:22 AM on January 24, 2003


Taken with a grain of salt, I thought it was a pretty interesting read. pretty much full of stuff we already know, true or not.

thank god its friday!
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 7:23 AM on January 24, 2003


cip: Thank you for the reference. Primary sources are what it's all about.
posted by moonbiter at 7:24 AM on January 24, 2003


Lay off postroad. This is a good informative link. It sounds plausible at least and it conforms to what a lot of other sources both inside the administration and outside have been telling the press. Saddam adopted the same strategies in the Gulf War: constant movement in unmarked trucks.

Of course, if you are predisposed to think that the sleazy trust fund baby who runs our country is the worst head of state the world has ever known and that Iraq's fascist, genocidal dictator is really a misunderstood champion of the poor and downtrodden, you would probably be upset at seeing information like this posted.
posted by ednopantz at 7:27 AM on January 24, 2003


Good point Pollomacho.

"The problem with guns that are hidden is you can't see their smoke" -Ari Fleischer


Guns that haven't been fired don't smoke either Ari! If only Helen Thomas were an extremist militant....

[offtopic]
How to tell Duhbya's mouthpiece is lying?

His lips are moving.

1) Someone should ask Ari if he and his new bride remained virgins until marriage as his fearless leader espouses all good Americans should. And then there's Jenna and Barbie too, I wonder if they took their daddy's advice and are still virgins. And of course to be fair we must ask Little Georgie...I'm betting he didn't remain virginal until marriage, did he Laura?

2) Hello Ari, just one more question. Do you consider it desertion and unpatriotic for a soldier to abandon his post during a time of war or is it just an extended AWOL when your daddy is rich and influential?
[/offtopic]
posted by nofundy at 7:30 AM on January 24, 2003


Of course, if you are predisposed to think that the sleazy trust fund baby who runs our country is the worst head of state the world has ever known and that Iraq's fascist, genocidal dictator is really a misunderstood champion of the poor and downtrodden, you would probably be upset at seeing information like this posted.

Yawn. It would have been much quicker for you to just say "why do you all hate America so much?" and just as easy for me to laugh at.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:31 AM on January 24, 2003


Altavista translates the first question in the article:

Up to now the inspectors of the UN have not found many tests on the crews of mass destruction. A lot that the only objections to the government iracheno ago regard gaps of the enciclopedico relationship introduced two months. What is succeeding in truth in this nth game to the cat and the rat?

"nth game to the cat and the rat" is my new slogan.
posted by moonbiter at 7:33 AM on January 24, 2003


This could easily be CIA propoganda. The Debka post Postroad tried to post (ppppht) was also an insider telling all and that also could be propoganda. Seriously, this kind of stuff is not made public because no one really knows.
posted by stbalbach at 7:34 AM on January 24, 2003


ednopantz, does that have have to be an "and"? I agree with the first part but not with the second part - they're both scum, just of a different flavor.

-----

I say hate Saddam for what he is, a scumbag destroying the future of his people, and not for what Bush and his chickenhawk cronies are drumming up. That way, we can take their oil and "liberate" the Iraqi citizenry without guilt (after all, look at all the good we did "freeing" Afghanistan.) Never forget - we aided this chucklehead when we thought it suited our needs. Just as in Afghanistan, we aided an otherwise evil regime because we thought we could get something out of it.

You remember Afghanistan, right? Osama bin Laden, Taliban, big badda boom? The country that now has just as much oppression as it did before, but without the economic standing, social support, or infrastructure that existed before we showed up? We did that all to catch one guy that, after two years, we now admit we may have let escape and have no solid idea as to his whereabouts? It's like watching "The Fugitive", except Barney Fife is now chasing the one-armed man.

Bush needs this war to distract from the dismal failure of the last war. And, yes, it was a failure - remember, we weren't at war with Afghanistan until the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden. In fact, we were fairly happy with the Taliban until they got in our way - look at all the money and support we gave them. When they got in our way, we did our best to bomb them back into the Stone Age, all the while promising the international community we'd help them rebuild the country into a better place. What crap.

Anyway, enough rant. The point is, they're both chuckleheads - Bush for pillaging the economic future of his people so he can go to war on two (possibly three, depending on North Korea) fronts, Saddam for his complete and sadistic stranglehold on the Iraqi populace. We need to get rid of Saddam, then we need to fix the damage in 2004 that Bush's cronies have done to the economy in two+ short years. I love America - I just don't think the Bush administration should be running it.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:45 AM on January 24, 2003


I don't understand what the problem is with this post. Does anyone here really believe Saddam isn't hiding something? I'm no fan of this war or GW, but just because this war might be a smokescreen to cover the failed war on terrorism doesn't mean Saddam Hussein isn't really a threat.
posted by PigAlien at 7:46 AM on January 24, 2003


why would this be CIA propaganda?

the interview mentions:
a) the iraqi people are starving because of the US-led embargo
b) saddam and his family are crazy bastards
c) the US is mysteriously not coming forth with its evidence of iraqi weapons

i think a war is a fucking dumb idea, but i'll agree with those facts
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 7:48 AM on January 24, 2003


Yawn. It would have been much quicker for you to just say "why do you all hate America so much?" and just as easy for me to laugh at.

Except that isn't my argument and you know it. You are being as sloppy in your argumentation as you accuse me of being.
posted by ednopantz at 7:50 AM on January 24, 2003


So, I think we have established a few things from this thread already:

1. Sadam is bad
2. War might be bad, or good, depending who you talk to
3. Political Iraq posts really don't work on MeFi

So, any news yet?
posted by sebas at 8:02 AM on January 24, 2003


PigAlien, I agree - other than the obvious propaganda effect of the article, I don't really have much of a problem with the post, either. It's the simple fact that Bush favors misinformation over the truth.

sebas - LOL - I had a much longer, political post. I deleted it.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:05 AM on January 24, 2003


This could easily be CIA propoganda

It might also not be CIA propoganda. It could be true. But I emphasize "could", because we don't really know either way. It's information to note, taken with a grain of salt, to be proven one way or the other later on.

Once the bombs start falling, though, it becomes awfully hard to sort out or prove anything. By then, it's too late.

Besides which, it begs the question of whether America should be concentrating it's resources on Iraq at all. This is the real issue here: Al Qaeda is the organization that attacked the US, not Iraq.
posted by moonbiter at 8:06 AM on January 24, 2003


Except that isn't my argument and you know it. You are being as sloppy in your argumentation as you accuse me of being.

Ummm.... except I wasn't making an argument, I was mocking yours. The full extent of our exchange was you defending Postroad's FPP for "sounding plausible," followed by a suggestion that some librul like me who hates Bush obviously thinks Saddam is a poor persecuted man, followed my implication that you should blow that suggestion out a significant orifice. Forgive me for being too sloppy as to have avoided spelling it out for you the first time.

If my sloppiness led to such a misinterpretation, please. Elucidate as to what this argument of yours was.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:11 AM on January 24, 2003


so let me get this straight: a lone official decides to blow the whistle and solidify bush's case for war and expose saddam for the conniving and thoroughly evil liar and demi-hitler that we've all known he is since the middle of last august...and he delivers this sizable booty not to the UN inspectors, but to Panorama?

I dunno, guys. fool me once, shame on you.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:29 AM on January 24, 2003


maybe the administration knows there are hidden weapons because members of said administration gave the weapons to the bad guy, say, back in the Reagan/Bush years?

I love how people keep repeating this as if it were profound. Okay, the U.S. provided Iraq with some weapons and support fifteen years ago, and while it's important to acknowledge past mistakes, it has little to do with whether removing Saddam is the right thing to do now.

then there's Jenna and Barbie too, I wonder if they took their daddy's advice and are still virgins.

YES! Brilliant! We must oppose Bush's war because...because...his daughters probably aren't even virgins!
posted by Ty Webb at 8:41 AM on January 24, 2003


Ty, I think that's toning down the magnitude a lot. The U.S. didn't just provide equipment to the Middle East in the 80's, we actively supported both sides killing each other for the sake of fighting communism. Hell, we knew Saddam was using chemicals on his own people and what did we do? Blamed Iran. The hypocrisy of this, and for that matter the way something as profund as this is being sidelined, is important.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:01 AM on January 24, 2003


I don't understand what the problem is with this post.

I'm sure you don't. But I'm also just as certain that Postroad does. All you need to know about posting "Iraqi War" articles is contained in the posting guide by our host.

Ty Webb,
I posted offtopic on the thread without guilt because this was another "why do you hate America so much" and "let's invade Iraq" thread. You know I'm pointing out the extreme hypocrisy and double standards posited by this Cabal when I mock the "sexual purity" standards espoused by Duhbya so let's not attempt to link the two together mmkay (note the [offtopic] serves a purpose)?
posted by nofundy at 9:06 AM on January 24, 2003


maybe it's just a simple matter of looking up some merchant copy receipts from 1983...
posted by myopicman at 9:13 AM on January 24, 2003


I have taen my kicks bezfore this and so to add a dash of salt to the stew: here is Scott Ritter before whatever came about that turned him...see what he says about Iraq, Saddam, and weapons of mass destruction.
http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/toptease_1.html

andnow some more name calling?
posted by Postroad at 9:19 AM on January 24, 2003


XQUZYPHYR- I appreciate attempts to bring some historical context to our conflict with Saddam, but I think it's overly simplistic to assert that we were moving countries against each other like so many chess pieces. We were Iran's patron until the 1979 revolution, after which we began to work with Iraq, which had been a client of the USSR.

I recognize the absurdity of the situation (the U.S. backing Iraq, which was using Soviet made tanks, planes, etc., against Iran, which was using U.S. made tanks, planes, etc.) and I think the diplomatic cover provided by the U.S. for Saddam's chemical warfare against both Iran and the Kurds was a heinous and shameful episode in our history. But, again, while it is important to understand our own (U.S.'s) culpability in the current situation, I think that has little to do with whether removing Saddam is the right thing now, which I think it is.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:40 AM on January 24, 2003


here is Scott Ritter before whatever came about that turned him

Now that's interesting. Here is the original New Republic article.
posted by moonbiter at 9:41 AM on January 24, 2003


Oh, by the way, read the conclusions at the bottom of the New Republic article. The World Tribune is very selective with it's quoting.
posted by moonbiter at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2003


I saw this thread before leaving for work this morning, and thought about leaving a comment about there likely only being a few more posts before someone would start implying that this is a CIA fake. I decided it wasn't worth the time.

But at least my judgement of the usual MeFi political debate tactics wasn't wrong.

That amuses me for some reason.
posted by jammer at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2003


Fine, Postroad, I'll bite.

You have one rumor about Iraqi WMD that's finally made it out into the western press. Is this "something interesting on the web," and are we at MetaFilter obligated to provide space for fact-checking by amateurs? What specific, actionable facts could we even check here? "More rumors on the net!! Public figure has a sex life!!!" is the modern "man bites dog." Readers would love this post at sites like Pravda.ru or Centrex News, but my instinct for MeFi is "out of scope." If every unsubstantiated Internet lead about Iraqi weapons! where's Osama! where's Elvis! ends up posted on this site, even newshounds like me will be bored.

If you'd gathered a collection of rumors and allegations, like your post, the Italian newspaper, and the Ritter link together, then this discussion would have been a lot more interesting, because it would invite a comparison of the different ways to present this sort of material using the Internet. If you found some webpages about the life of cabbies and truckdrivers in Syria, and put them through translation, or an earnest interview at some technical site with some local Syrian engineer or official who has to worry about potential hazmat problems coming in from Iraq, why, that would be educational too.

There are any number of angles that could have added value to that initial talk with an Iraqi officer, but we haven't really taken any of them.

Does this make it a little clearer why some feel this single-item, "I heard an unsubstantiated rumor in wartime" sort of post isn't quite right?
posted by sheauga at 9:48 AM on January 24, 2003


Happy Valentines Day.
posted by JohnR at 1:27 PM on January 24, 2003


say... speaking of saddam ...


it looks like the UN is giving him a "B" on his efforts so far... is the UN report on monday - the reason for the sudden flurry of war talk from the Bush junta?.... seems like US public opinion (not to mention the worlds) is with the UN as well. time for someone to cough up the smoking gun?

should we be asking ourselves if the bush administrations "belligerent, myopic, unilateralism" is missing the real dangers to the US and the World?
posted by specialk420 at 1:28 PM on January 24, 2003


JohnR, that link was perfect
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:38 PM on January 24, 2003


"if you are predisposed to think that the sleazy trust fund baby who runs our country is the worst head of state the world has ever known and that Iraq's fascist, genocidal dictator is...."- a fascist genocidal dictator? Sounds good to me.

Anybody here hear about the kid sleeping out overnight in a box in a little town in Minnesota ('Bluearth') to protest a war in Iraq? - does this mean I can protest the war by, like, going ice fishing on a really cold day? i think I'll do a 'sit on a park bench and suck on a couple of 40 ouncers protest'. Then I can do a "fall alseep and freeze to death protest' too....

Meanwhile, Don, 'the Don' Rumsfeld calls France, Germany "An axis of weasels", while french environment minister calls Rumself *unprintable epithet*....
posted by troutfishing at 3:17 PM on January 24, 2003


Couldn't we just convince a large number of the french to emmigrate to Iraq, apply for citizenship, and then once they're sworn in, let them do what comes naturally and surrender? It would save so much bother. And then if we wanted we could still bomb them... with baguettes!
posted by blue_beetle at 4:11 PM on January 24, 2003


Interesting link, Postroad. No doubt there are many in Iraq and North Korea who share the sentiments of this anonymous interviewee.

Thanks for the link.
posted by hama7 at 4:17 PM on January 24, 2003


"I woke up about 5 a.m. thinking, 'Oh my God, it's coming again. What's going to happen,'" remarked a Western diplomat.
posted by specialk420 at 4:30 PM on January 24, 2003


Oh fer cryin out loud. So an interview in an obscure Italian paper from an "anonymous" Iraqi Military officer proves what?

Come on people please don't tell me that we are going to war based on evidence like this! Real people are going to get really killed and we better have a really damn good reason for it.

If they were simply driving their chemicals around in trucks and the US knew this was what they were doing don't you think out satellites or other reconnaissance would suss out these chemical convoys in fairly short order?

This all smacks of the grand US illusion that we somehow have proof of Iraqi WoMD yet when asked for it can't seem to produce it...
posted by aaronscool at 4:35 PM on January 24, 2003


Vulcanmike - the NPR link about Debka.
posted by hockeyman at 7:45 PM on January 24, 2003


Look: what's more likely: that the Bush Administration is inventing Saddam the Boogie Man, or that the Bush Administration doesn't want to help Saddam kill informants, and move around his WMDs; remember the Carter Administrations MX Missle system?!

We're going in, whether the fucking French want to or not. And while, before we do, there won't be a 1962 Cuba/UN-type demo, afterwards, you'll see, and the world will see: it will be like one of the police conference where the police display all the weapons and/or drugs found in a bust. But there's never been a 50 billion dollar bust, replete with chemical and biological weapons.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:22 PM on January 24, 2003


Paris, I'm sorry but your explanation is plain paranoia.

We can't TELL you about what we know because then they'd figure out how we found about about what we know and we won't find anything else out later.

I think the world wants a little proof hell even a shred of evidence before they'll support us and you know what? I do too.

For the record its Germany, France, China, and Russia who don't want us to go. In fact if it were up to the Security council at this point it'd probably be a 5 to 2 vote against. That's some coalition...
posted by aaronscool at 9:00 PM on January 24, 2003


ParisParamus - If you are right (that the US is soon going into Iraq), then I hope the CIA assesment - that a US invasion of Iraq raises to a high likelihood the posibility that Iraq will try to "gnaw off a leg" by unleasing chemical and/or biological weapons against US troops or on the US mainland - is wrong.
posted by troutfishing at 9:22 PM on January 24, 2003


As it happens, Nightline this very minute is discussing the Yugo-Iraq arms transfers, which despite the political convenience of focusing on the US laissez-faire period in the 1980s which permitted purchase of dual-use technologies, is much more serious and direct and clearly in violation of the embargo agreed to by the entire UN Security Council. The key allegation in the article, that the Hussein regime moves critical elements of its biological and chemical WMD capability around on truck convoys, is not an especially new revelation: CDI
Defectors reported in December 2001 and March 2002 the existence of mobile germ laboratories disguised as milk delivery trucks, and a network of underground bunkers for chemical and biological weapons production. U.S. officials released evidence on March 8, 2002, allegedly showing that Iraq has been converting dump trucks bought through a UN humanitarian program into military vehicles, in violation of UN sanctions. An Iraqi defector stated that he had converted Renault trucks into mobile laboratories with incubators for bacteria, microscopes and air conditioning.
LA Times
The suspected mobile weapons labs which rumble along Iraq's highways and crowded streets may look like ice cream trucks, motor homes or tractor trailer trucks... But their cargo is believed to be germ agents such as anthrax, botulinum toxin and aflatoxin that theoretically could kill hundreds of thousands in an attack.
-- see also ABCNews; and yes, even UN Inspectors under the UNSCOM inspection period
"Sensitive items may be stored upon trucks or other means of transport and they are kept on constant alert," Ekeus said. "Iraq has admitted that before August 1995 ... they had material stored on trucks and when our inspectors came into the airport the trucks started to move around the country.... When our team left, the trucks went back to safe houses, farms, and other installations for resting until the next team came in," he said. "These highly dynamic methods of storing things make it very difficult for us. That means we need quick action" when trying to verify Iraq's statements, Ekeus said.
... so this is not really news. A poorly researched standalone news link this may have been, and a lousy kick off to a thread, but it is not contrafactual, despite the attempt to bring in (for no apparent good reason) the Weasel himself, not to mention purported pro-virginity views of the administration that don't even seem to have foundation as far as I can tell (if they do, you have to actually dig to find out the position, which doesn't make it something worth the effort). All in all, though, another poor showing for Metafilter in the area of foreign policy, and a clear win for the ideologues in drowning out the possibility of actual discussion.
posted by dhartung at 9:25 PM on January 24, 2003


We're going in, whether the fucking French want to or not.

why? whats in Iraq?
posted by mcsweetie at 2:00 PM on January 25, 2003


« Older Stop-Motion Studies   |   The Worrier King Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post