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The Iraqi smoking gun?
March 27, 2003 7:15 AM   Subscribe

The Iraq-September 11th smoking gun? Finally, near proof that Iraq was involved in the September 11th attacks on America: a mural in the Iraqi military headquarters in Nasiriya depicts a plane crashing into a building complex similar to New York's twin towers! (Okay, seriously, are some folks so desperate to make the connection that this might become an actual story?)
posted by johnnydark (50 comments total)

 
While this is an interesting find (The airliners are supposed to be painted with Iraqi Airline colors and logos) this in no way connects Iraq & 9/11. All it says is that the government celebrated the attack. Big shock.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:19 AM on March 27, 2003


In that case, I blame the Beastie Boys.
posted by walrus at 7:26 AM on March 27, 2003


I don't think it's much evidence, or that it's surprising at all... it is worth noting, however, that Iraq is the only country to have celebrated 9/11, at a time when even the Taliban was expressing condolences (!).
posted by clevershark at 7:28 AM on March 27, 2003


The mural that Marines found Wednesday in Nasiriya depicts a plane crashing into a high-rise building.

Seeing two planes, sheesh...(right side you can see the nose of a second plane) Have a story run with it...
posted by thomcatspike at 7:28 AM on March 27, 2003


Agreed that it isn't a smoking gun, but it does suggest that the Iraqi regime is in fact an enemy of the US and likes it when terrorists hit us... as if they needed another nail in that coffin.

Motive and means. Just short some opportunity.
posted by askheaves at 7:30 AM on March 27, 2003


Maybe the mural is cropped in the photo... but it looks like a 10 story building to me.

Listen how the NY Post spins it:

"U.S. Marines searching an Iraqi military headquarters in the city of Nasiriyah found a mural celebrating the terror attacks on the World Trade Center."
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:34 AM on March 27, 2003


I, for one, always paint murals to publicly announce my forthcoming nefarious deeds.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:34 AM on March 27, 2003


OPf course a mural indicates nothing. It merely indicates where they place their hopes and trust. Besides: the US did not go into Iraq because of an imagine or real connection to this terror gourp, though they did suggtest a connection. Now some simple reasoning:
1. Saddam pays 25,000 to the families of suicide bombers who kill Israelies. This is a connection to Hamas, since it is Hamas funneling the money.
2. Hamas is listed officially by America as a terrorist organization.
3. Iraq supports terror group(s).
posted by Postroad at 7:34 AM on March 27, 2003


Postroad, is it the case that our ally Saudi Arabia has also funded suicide bombers' families?
posted by niceness at 7:37 AM on March 27, 2003


Listen how the NY Post spins it

In what way are they "spinning" it? What do you think the mural represents? I don't think it's any kind of smoking gun that ties Iraq to 9/11, but I think describing the painting as "a mural celebrating the terror attacks on the World Trade Center" is probably an accurate assumption, no?
posted by Karl at 7:42 AM on March 27, 2003


So does that mean that The Coup have been implicated as well?

Or are we just desparately grasping at straws here?
posted by Grimgrin at 7:43 AM on March 27, 2003


4. America supports terror groups too...
posted by twine42 at 7:45 AM on March 27, 2003


where'd that crap before the 4 in my post come from?
posted by twine42 at 7:46 AM on March 27, 2003


I love the smell moral equivalency in the morning.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:48 AM on March 27, 2003


Why is everybody jumping to the conclusion that the mural is an endorsement/celebration of the 9/11 attacks?

It might just have been a mural commemorating current events, we have no way of telling from that small, cropped photo. Anyone got a better photo/story?
posted by spazzm at 8:00 AM on March 27, 2003


All it says is that the government celebrated the attack.

And for that alone, to hell with 'em.

Not neccessarily go to war, but seriously...screw 'em.
posted by jonmc at 8:02 AM on March 27, 2003


This implicates Iraq about as much as this implicates Bert.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:06 AM on March 27, 2003


"Get Corporal Sanchez, the grafitti dude from NYC in here to paint us some linkage on this here wall. When it's dry, bring up the embedded journalist."

"Yes Sir!"
posted by quonsar at 8:08 AM on March 27, 2003


Does anyone feel they really know the full capabilities of Bert's evil, though?
posted by Karl at 8:13 AM on March 27, 2003


It might just have been a mural commemorating current events...

Huh?

I will, for my sanity and yours, assume you are joking.
posted by eas98 at 8:18 AM on March 27, 2003


Any evidence of Iraqi support for 9/11-Al Qaeda-chemical weapons-whatever will be denounced by those who do not support war in Iraq as an American frame-up.

The mural is moot. *shrugs*
posted by UncleFes at 8:18 AM on March 27, 2003


RJ: Yes, the mural depicts a ten story building, but picture yourself as an Iraqi. You've been told that some of the tallest buildings in America have been attacked by planes. You've never been outside of Iraq. I think that you'd just assume the buildings were about the same size as the tallest buildings in Iraq. After all, Iraq is your glorious nation.

Or alternately, maybe Iraqi murals, like most American murals, are painted by children.
posted by mosch at 8:19 AM on March 27, 2003


As far as the linked article shows the photo, there is no celebration of the event. It shows an artists interpretation of the event but nothing more.

The interesting thing is that the towers look more like your average block of flats (apartment block) and the plane is sporting livery similar to Iraqi airlines so I'm getting the feeling that the artist might have painted the mural without having seen the event in any way.

There is no evidence that this celebrates the attack in any way altho' many will draw that conclusion because, hey, its in an Iraqi military building so it must do, right?

Pah, where's Susan Sontag when ya need her?

Lots of murals & spontaneous works of public art appeared after 9/11 to comemorate the event. A friend of mine came accross a similar mural in India on 10/11 & was initially shocked until she realised that it was in memory of the victims, not a celebration of the attack.

Thumbnail of the whole pic is at the bottom of this page.
posted by i_cola at 8:22 AM on March 27, 2003


Interesting post: "Finally, near proof that Iraq was involved in the September 11th attacks on America: a mural in the Iraqi military headquarters in Nasiriya".....

johnnydark, if this Iraqi poster depicting the 9-11 attack charactorizes your standard of proof in determining complicity in the 9-11 plot -- well, you'd better include FEMA in that plot too.

The front cover of the FEMA publication, "Response to Terror", June 1999


Notice that the FEMA picture accurately predicts the relative floor level at which the hijacked plane hit that WTC tower!...sinister, huh? [For more incontrovertible evidence linking FEMA to 9-11, see the quote at the bottom of this post].....And I guess you'll have to include this author too:

"Editorial Reviews Book Description: Written by an internationally recognized expert on terrorism, antigovernment violence, and extremism, this outstanding text will be a handy reference for criminal justice and security administration professionals in the public and private sector."


"During the interview, Mr. Kennedy ["Tom Kennedy, a member of the Federal Emergency Management  
Agency (FEMA) 'National Urban Search and Rescue Team' "] let slip a frightening truth.  FEMA sent the Urban Search and Rescue Team to New York City the night before the attacks occurred!  Mr. Kennedy tells Dan Rather (during an interview on national TV, no less),
" We're currently one of the first teams that was deployed to support the City of New York in this disaster.  We arrived on late Monday night."
  
[Editors note: September 10] and went right into action on Tuesday morning" [Editors note: September 11]

Indeed, the more scrupulous of the "9-11 plot" researchers would not take it for granted that these bits of evidence "prove" anything. They're a little suspicious, yes, and FEMA's a shady organization, true, but it's easy to explain both pieces of evidence, really: 1) Tom Kennedy, like everyone else, was really rattled by the 9-11 attacks - he probably mispoke: a simple, honest error. 2) The WTC was attacked once before (nearly succesfully, too) - If I were a FEMA graphic designer, I probably would have put the WTC towers, crosshaired and all, on the cover of that FEMA publication....although I might have opted for 'crosshairing' the Statue of Liberty instead........because of this, would I be a "9-11 plot fellow-traveller"?

This does not mean that I'm discounting the "9-11 plot" material. There's a huge body of painstakingly researched material which you can study until you head spins, (the complete 9-11 timeline) over at over at UnansweredQuestions.org

I'm merely noting that the Iraqi wall murals would not hold up as evidence -proving Iraqi 9-11 complicity- in any US criminal trial. As evidence, the murals might well be laughed out of court before they were actually thrown out, as admissable evidence, by the presiding judge. Things might be different in a "Bush Court" though............
posted by troutfishing at 8:27 AM on March 27, 2003


Er, troutfishing, wasn't johnnydark being (pretty obviously?) facetious in saying that the mural implicates Iraq?
posted by Karl at 8:31 AM on March 27, 2003


/me puts on tin foil hat
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:31 AM on March 27, 2003


I don't think it's much of a leap to to conclude that this is definitely a mural celebrating the WTC disaster. That means the artist was a real dick, but that certainly doesn't implicate Iraq in any way, other than to indicate that some of their artists are dicks.
posted by Samsonov14 at 8:34 AM on March 27, 2003


Johnnydark - Silly me. I charged into the thread discussion without even noticing your /sarcasm tag line at the end there. But if the Bush Adm. tries to spin the Iraqi wall posters as some sort of "proof"...well, then they'll get smacked with the "FEMA complicity 'proof' " (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, hint, hint).
posted by troutfishing at 8:35 AM on March 27, 2003


Any evidence of Iraqi support for 9/11-Al Qaeda-chemical weapons-whatever will be denounced by those who do not support war in Iraq as an American frame-up.

Aw, come on, Fes, that's a pretty broad brush you're using. I don't happen to be a big fan of the war, but I don't necessarily see a big "frame-up" either; that's a fairly loaded term. I see spin and I see bullshit, but that's politics for you. And I don't even necessarily deny Iraqi "support" for 9/11 or Al Qaeda ; what I don't see is evidence of involvement.

(I hope I wasn't misunderstanding what you were saying.)
posted by Skot at 8:37 AM on March 27, 2003


Karl, no kidding. I think everyone needs to adjust their irony meters... just a little bit. This one flew over the heads, if you'll pardon the pun, of just about everyone who posted follow-ups this topic.
posted by psmealey at 8:37 AM on March 27, 2003


No, it looks pretty awful, I'll certainly say that. And good point on the potential local misunderstandings on the idea of "very tall buildings." (Heh, and I like Samsonov14's conclusions, too.) But when was it made? And by whom? Was it commissioned by the Baathists? Or simply made in celebration by some overjoyed anti-American? Intent matters, as well as timing: three years ago or two years ago makes a big difference in this case. It's obviously not by someone working from a photograph, and weren't photographs and video of the WTC attacks widely broadcast in the Arab world?

There's a fundamental difference between supporting and doing (though I don't approve either of supporting or doing in this case). And now, instead of going down the road of anti-American hatred compared to hatred by Americans, I'll just say: God, people are wicked, and I guess we'll just see what we learn about this particular depiction, if anything.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:38 AM on March 27, 2003


i think everyone is skirting the TRUTH.
posted by brock at 8:47 AM on March 27, 2003


We had artists here in the states that made some pretty tasteless 'tributes' to the 9/11 attacks, and they were consequently given the public smackdown.

The idea that this mural is still there means that either it was sponsered by the baathists and people feared taking it down, or made by some artist and nobody cared to take it down. Wide range there, and I don't like the implications.
posted by askheaves at 8:49 AM on March 27, 2003


Skot: No, you weren't misunderstanding. But it's not a blanket indctment of anti-war Mefites, either - anyone who holds certain beliefs will react negatively when those beliefs are challenged. Me too. But even despite that fact that this mural obviously is not evidence of complicity, the sheer ludicrous vigor of the defense in this thread prompted me to come out fo my current wartime exile.

Yes, it may be a broad brush - but how likely do you feel is the prospect of having a single formerly anti-war Mefi come out here, in light of even the most damning evidence of Iraqi wrongdoing, and say "OK, I was wrong, this was a just war..."? Nah. When the chemical plant was found, there was a rush to the defense. With this, another. Tomorrow we may have truly solid evidence of Iraqi complicity (or far more likely, evidence of production of WMD) and, similarly, there will be a rush to the defense, including name-calling, calls for "cites" and ridiculing the cites provided (often justifiably), and wild conspiracy theorizing. Real change of opinion, which might otherwise be the product of civil, educated debate, is not on today's menu. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.

In any event, the point is still moot. The time for gathering evidence was long ago. I'm of the opinion that Iraq is simply a stepping stone to a greater American presence in the middle east - a campaign in a larger, longer-term solution to radical anti-western Islam. Got that at Stratfor (forget their site, it's all pay, but if you have a palm you can get their daily briefings through AvantGo for free), and they are smart cookies. First thing I've read about this whole shindig that makes any sense.
posted by UncleFes at 9:04 AM on March 27, 2003


There is no need to fabricate evidence that Saddam's regime celebrated the 9/11 incident. It was all over Iraqi TV, and was a constant subject of gloating in Uday Hussein's newspaper.

The mural really has no information to say that 9/11 was orchestrated by Iraqis or not, but it does point to the regime's already-well-known public endorsement of the same actions.
posted by clevershark at 9:30 AM on March 27, 2003


the smoking gun for me, concerning saddam supporting terrorists was his harbouring Abu Nidal.
posted by clavdivs at 9:35 AM on March 27, 2003


Eh. The fact that somebody painted a mural of it is sick, but the connection is loosely based. I have a poster of Dave Matthews on my wall - it doesn't mean he's a buddy of mine.
posted by tomorama at 9:38 AM on March 27, 2003


I gotta agree that it'll be a fantastic task exposing actual evidence of 9/11 Iraqi involvement, if any surfaces at all. Those who are against the war are most likely to disbelieve any such evidence as "american fabrications", and most Arabs seem to believe that either 9/11 never happened, or it was organized by the Jews, or the US government. Many Frenchmen are out there in that same loony fringe, inspired by a book by some political journalist who purports to analyze forensic evidence despite evidently having no forensic analysis skills or experience. If such insane theories were already believed by a number of people before the war -- and there's evidence that they are -- then clearly we are in a situation where facts have become secondary to opinion.

Looks like the only way the regime can be truly indicted is if there IS a chem/bio attack on them by Saddam's troops. Fortunately the troops are well equipped to deal with this, but Iraqi civilians are not, and hence such a battle is not being provoked at this time. If the Iraqis end up killing a few thousand civvies you can bet Al-Jazeerah will be showing the pics as evidence of "american war crimes"... say what you want about AJ, they know what market they're selling to.
posted by clevershark at 9:41 AM on March 27, 2003


Yes, I just love how Abu Nidal died of "self-inflicted" multiple gunshot wounds, several of them to the head...

I think we'll encounter much bigger names when we get to the area held by anzar-al-islam (sp?). That's just a hunch. It certainly would explain why CENTCOM is being strangely quiet about the northern front.
posted by clevershark at 9:44 AM on March 27, 2003


I love the smell moral equivalency in the morning.

Of course, by contrast, dubious moral justification based upon slipping premises stinks of shit.

If there's any 'moral equivalency' on display here, it's on behalf of the hawks.
posted by riviera at 9:44 AM on March 27, 2003


Speaking of 9/11: "Questions arise concerning the administration's funding of the congressional investigation into the September 11th attacks."
posted by homunculus at 10:36 AM on March 27, 2003


(Okay, seriously, are some folks so desperate to make the connection that this might become an actual story?)

I hope not.

The article makes no claim that anyone is using the mural to connect Iraq to 9/11, nor does the mural prove or suggest anything.

Felber said this photo was "causing a bit of a stir."

It pisses me off a bit, but this mural not a reason we should be at war (as I see no reason for this war)
posted by Bag Man at 10:56 AM on March 27, 2003


this mural not a reason we should be at war

Well, it isn't, and I've yet to see anyone making this claim.
posted by clevershark at 12:23 PM on March 27, 2003


So this must mean that the FOX network was involved, too? [RealVideo Link]
posted by pzarquon at 12:42 PM on March 27, 2003


Now some simple reasoning:
1. Saddam pays 25,000 to the families of suicide bombers who kill Israelies. This is a connection to Hamas, since it is Hamas funneling the money.
2. Hamas is listed officially by America as a terrorist organization.
3. Iraq supports terror group(s).


So, what you're saying, Postroad, is that the US and Britain are fighting a proxy war on behalf of Israel?
posted by laz-e-boy at 1:17 PM on March 27, 2003


What a crazy thread.

Saddam Propaganda Minister: You must paint a mural showing the attack on the Great Satan.

Iraqi Artist: No! We love America! They are will be our liberators and our friends!

SPM: Yes, I love them too, but Saddam will kill us if we don't do his anti-American bidding.

IA: Oh, the pain of living under a dictator who has a completely different world-view than the rest of us.

SPM: Tell me about it. So how are things at home.

IA: The usual. Found another lump from the DU particles and the hospital is fresh out of.. whats that called.. everything!

SPM: Damn you Saddam!

IA: I must begin this before the curfew and get back into my bomb shelter.

SPM: Goodbye. Long live the US, Britian, and Israel!

IA: I love you.
posted by skallas at 1:20 PM on March 27, 2003


After listening to all the callers into C-Span who believe Iraq was behind the events of September 11th, I am afraid there will be many people who will see this as proof. This whole patriotism thing is making people really stupid.
posted by tami at 1:29 PM on March 27, 2003


skallas: quality ;-)
posted by i_cola at 1:32 PM on March 27, 2003


pzarkwon:

So this must mean that the FOX network was involved, too?

No, but they will no doubt go utterly apeshit in endorsing it.
posted by mark13 at 2:00 PM on March 27, 2003


The part of mural you can't see is a picture of Saddam with a single tear running down his cheek. Swear.
posted by Bonzai at 3:16 PM on March 27, 2003


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