"What is more worrying is that politicians themselves are adapting to the situation rather than trying to change it. The new regime seems to have slipped in to the shoes of the former. Officials squat in the opulent residences of their predecessors, whose era they claimed they were ending. Almost no infrastructure has been built in Baghdad over the past 10 years, except the local government headquarters, the road to the airport and a few flyovers. Traffic police shelters at crossroads are stamped “gift from the town hall”, recalling the “donations” (makarim) of Saddam: a personalised substitute for what should be provided anonymously by the state. Public service salaries remain insufficient, driving employees to find supplementary sources of income, legal or not. High-level corruption is tolerated, documented and used as leverage when necessary. Pervasive social climbing, nepotism and incompetence are poisoning institutions." -- Almost ten years after the start of the War on Iraq, Le Monde Diplomatique looks at what has really changed
posted by MartinWisse
on Mar 3, 2013 -
In his new book, 'The Way of the World
' "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind claims that, after the Iraq war began, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein, in an attempt to tie Hussein to the 9/11 attacks."*
: "'It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq' and that Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger with the help of al Qaeda. Suskind also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official "that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion." After the fake letter was released in late 2003, press outlets reported it as evidence of a Saddam/al Qaeda link. "Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam," said Bill O’Reilly at the time. [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Aug 5, 2008 -
two teenagers. Their crime? Making love. Homosexuality is a crime under Sharia
law. Meanwhile, newly "liberated" Iraq moves closer to embedding traditional Islamic laws in its new constitution, reducing rights for women
. Will Iraqi gays
be the next to suffer the wrath of "Allah's law" after years of secular oppression under Saddam Hussein?
posted by digaman
on Jul 21, 2005 -
"I Punched Saddam in the Mouth"
• A man known only as "Samir" worked as an Arabic interpreter for United States Special Forces in late 2003 when Saddam Hussein was captured in Tikrit: "I was so angry. I began cussing at him, calling him a motherfucker, a son-of-a-bitch -- you name it. I told him I was Shiite from the south and was part of the revolution against him in 1991. I said he murdered my uncles and cousins. He imprisoned my father.
In Arabic, Saddam told Samir to shut up. And when Saddam called him a traitor, an enraged Samir silenced his prisoner with a flurry of quick jabs to the face. I punched Saddam in the mouth
posted by dhoyt
on Apr 30, 2005 -
Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction
A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated.
Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.
"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 9, 2005 -
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
posted by Postroad
on Feb 3, 2005 -
The world's ten worst dictators
-- this year anyway. Saddam, who was No. 3 Worst last year, has dropped off the list. Charles Taylor of Liberia (No. 4), also out of power and gone. Moammar Gadhafi (previously No. 8) and Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko (No. 10) also miss the new A list not because, according to the compilers, "they have improved but because other dictators have gotten worse."
posted by jfuller
on Sep 1, 2004 -
Scott Ritter on Iraq.
Some interesting reading here from the man who stood up to the President, the pundits, the media, etc and told the world that chances are Iraq had few to no WMD. Now he's warning us that Saddam's people are really in charge and how Allawi's government is doomed to fail. Man, I hate the IHT interface.
posted by skallas
on Jul 26, 2004 -
After his defiant appearance in court, is it impossible for him to face a fair trial? Does anyone feel he deserves one after his actions?
posted by emc
on Jul 2, 2004 -
Bush Insists on Iraq-Al Qaeda Links Despite Report
Not knowing when to give up and admit that he was wrong, Mr. Bush is digging in his heels and insisting, in spite of the 9/11 commision's findings to the contrary, that Saddam Hussein and Al-Queda are linked.
Said Mr. Bush, "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."
I guess that'll be good enough for just under half the population.
posted by fenriq
on Jun 17, 2004 -
Saddam's daughter: I want to go to Iraq
"...My life is a series of collapses," Raghad Saddam Hussein said in an interview in Friday's edition of Sayidaty magazine. "If age is measured by anguish and sadness, I would have been 80 today."...
posted by Postroad
on Jun 13, 2004 -
UNSCAM: The scandal surrounding the UN
and their oil-for-food program with Iraq hasn't received a whole lot of media attention and hasn't, surprisingly, even been brought up on MeFi. It boils down to Saddam Hussein taking the money from oil sales and using it to give kickbacks to France, Russia, and the UN itself, while Saddam built palaces and such, rather than buying food and medicine. It's complicated, but could be the biggest public financial scandal in history. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that Russia is trying to block any investigation
into the matter.
posted by MrAnonymous
on Apr 19, 2004 -
PAIR UP FOR PEACE PRIZE
It is possible to see the war against Iraq as a good thing,finally, but this Orwellian War is Peace seems a bit strange: :Tony Blair and George Bush have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for waging war on Saddam Hussein.
They have been put forward by a Norwegian politician who said ousting the dictator had reduced the threat of a war with weapons of mass destruction."
posted by Postroad
on Feb 1, 2004 -
The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270
(This is the first xlation I could find). The following report from MEMRI's Baghdad office is a translation of an article which appeared in the Iraqi daily Al-Mada, which obtained lists of 270 companies, organizations, and individuals awarded allocations (vouchers) of crude oil by Saddam Hussein's regime. The beneficiaries reside in 50 countries: 16 Arab, 17 European, 9 Asian, and the rest from sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Only a portion of the 270 recipients are listed and identified.
posted by kablam
on Jan 29, 2004 -
"They swept across Iraq and conquered it in 21 days. They stand guard on streets pot-holed with skepticism and rancor. They caught Saddam Hussein. They are the face of America, its might and good will, in a region unused to democracy. The U.S. G.I. is Time's Person of the Year.
" [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha
on Dec 21, 2003 -
Bruce Willis offers $1million dollar bounty
for Saddam. "Its awesome. Soldiers identify with action movies and action actors. He's a guy's guy
." said commander Col Michael Linnington.
"..being over here just a couple of days, seeing how well our troops and the allied troops are being received here, (I) think the Iraqi people are happy we're here," the Hollywood star said. (But later admitted he had not met many Iraqis because he had been travelling the country by helicopter.) [Via BBC
posted by MintSauce
on Sep 26, 2003 -
"This is not what Saddam attributes to himself." This?
What is This
? According to the BBC and Al Jazeera
is the assassination of Iraqi Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, the source of far more mourning amongst the Shiite community than, say, the death of Uday and Qusay Hussein. Apparently, Saddam pointed out how quickly the West rushed to judgment against him, then denied he had anything to do with the bombing. CNN
and the Associated Press
concur with that assessment, though they do not use the above (translated) passage in their report. And that would be it, save for the BBC providing a full text translation of the primary source for the story
. A slightly larger excerpt:
[The invaders say without evidence that some of my supporters were responsible.]
Saddam Hussein is not the leader of the minority or a group, with whom he is affiliated or who are affiliated. He is the leader of all the great Iraqi people - Arabs and Kurds; Shias and Sunnis, Muslims and non-Muslims. Saddam Hussein does not attribute this saying to himself. This[emphasis added] is what was decided by the great Iraqi people themselves in free, public elections.
Contextual shift between translations has always been a contentious issue, but precisely how does the message "I am not just the ruler of a few shattered remnants of Iraqi society" get warped into "I did not order the death of this man"? The two messages are, after all, mutually exclusive. The only thing that's clear is that it's unlikely this was a militarily-sourced obfuscation; Heatley's comments on CNN
clearly address the obvious interpretation. Thoughts?
posted by effugas
on Sep 1, 2003 -
John Dean's analysis of the administrations case for War.
"What I found, in critically examining Bush's evidence, is not pretty. The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein's weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony."
posted by thedailygrowl
on Jul 18, 2003 -
The Memory Hole: doctored photo?
'On 9 April 2003, the front page of the London Evening Standard (circulation: 400,000) contained a blurry image supposedly showing a throng of Iraqis in Baghdad celebrating the toppling of Saddam Hussein. What we are really looking at is an incredibly ham-fisted attempt at photo manipulation. ' Opinions?
posted by plep
on May 5, 2003 -
Dealing With Saddam
What's in the cards for the missing members of the Iraqi high command?
According to Reuters AlertNet
"The United States will soon deliver Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein and his inner circle into the hands of its own troops -- as a deck of playing cards...Brigadier General Vincent Brooks held up one of the first examples of the card packs at a Central Command briefing on Friday, explaining that each card depicted a character the United States wanted pursued, killed or captured."
Checking the deck
quite predictably we find that Saddam is portrayed as the Ace of Spades, and his strong-arm younger son Qusay
is tricked out as Ace of Clubs. Ironically, elder-psychopathic progeny Uday, who is said to favor the use of rape
as a weapon of torture
, is imaged as the Ace of Hearts.
An Adobe Acrobat PDF image of the full deck is available at Defense Link.
Is this the the new US military card game, Poke-Iman? "Hey, soldiers...gotta catch 'em all!"
posted by Dunvegan
on Apr 11, 2003 -