Is this Saddam's work?
September 18, 2001 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Is this Saddam's work? CBS News: "United States has received an intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the hijacker who is named as the pilot of the first plane to strike the World Trade Centers, met early this year somewhere in Europe with the head of the Iraqi intelligence service." CNN is reporting it too.
posted by owillis (30 comments total)
I was wondering how long it would take to get an Iraqi connection.
posted by revbrian at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2001


BBC was reporting that US was already planning a strike on Taleban for mid-october, even before 9.11 happened.

I am very suspecious of this investigation now. Americans didnt know any thing before the attack. And within hours after it, they named Bin Laden and his network. Now they may be thinking, hey the iron is red, include Iraq.

Where is the Proof. PRIME SUSPECT does not mean HE DID IT BEYOND ANY DOUBT.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2001

I think it would be great just to take care of the whole mess at once. We should have nailed Soddam when we had the chance during the Persian Gulf war. ..
posted by Uncle Joe's Brother at 12:09 PM on September 18, 2001

Maybe GWB has to clean up after his father now?
posted by owillis at 12:13 PM on September 18, 2001

Well, THIS will certainly make military action a lot simpler. We've got tons of experience ass-kicking on Iraqi soil! And hopefully it'll mean finally taking out Saddam, and installing a new US military government there to be transformed into a democracy just like we did in Japan. That alone would be a MAJOR step towards eliminating not just Islamic terrorism in general, but also putting a final end to the regional instability Iraq has caused constantly for the last twenty years.
posted by aaron at 12:15 PM on September 18, 2001

Adnan - Just to add to the building finger-pointing at Osama bin Laden, Britain's intelligence services have independently concluded the same thing as the US (see article). I honestly doubt you'd ever find conclusive positive evidence that anyone was behind it. Even very solid evidence can be brought into doubt.
posted by kokogiak at 12:19 PM on September 18, 2001

Maybe the US should not have supported and Armed Saddam Hussain the first time during his war against IRAN. The whole thing seems very clear to me. The US has been supporting and Arming people and militants all around for three basic national interests:

1) Anti-Communism, also Iran
2) Cheaper Oil and some say over its price.
3) Protect the state of Israel

I think what has been sown is now ready to reap. I think from now on US should either clean up "execute" its agents right after the mission is complete (not really) or take extra precaution about who they are supporting and arming.

God Bless All
posted by adnanbwp at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2001

Please to be noting that the UN coalition agreement on the Gulf War did not allow us to take out Saddam. We had authority to take back Kuwait and annihilate most of his military. Nothing more. Sure, we could have gone on in and done it anyway, but if we did we'd still be hearing the carping to this day about how we'd violated that sacred agreement, probably from many of the same people now saying we have to "clean up Daddy Bush's mess." To say nothing of immense amount of anger every single government in the entire Middle East would have had for us instantaneously for violating our promises to them. To say nothing of the fact that we could have ended up offing Saddam and having him replaced by one of his sons, who are even worse than he is. (There's no way we would ever have been allowed to actually take out the whole Iraqi government back then and replace it with an American occupation, like I just suggested above that we do now.)
posted by aaron at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2001

aaron I'm not clear -- installing a new government -- do you have to set dip switches or update drivers? Othewise, sounds pretty plug and play. Looking forward to it, hope they can do it over a weekend because, you know, everybody loves raymond etc. etc.
posted by luser at 12:24 PM on September 18, 2001

I just hope someone wrote a manual on it. . .
posted by Uncle Joe's Brother at 12:26 PM on September 18, 2001


no offense, but for most terrorist actions in the US, we'd name bin laden. he's got the biggest grudge on us, and he's attacked us before. you can't possibly be upset that we "jumped to that conclusion."

what bothers me is that whenever any connection is indicated, whether it be to bin laden or to iraq, people are claiming that the investigation is somehow tainted. the odds always were in favor of bin laden committing this act, so why should we be surprised when we find evidence that, in fact, he was? why should we be surprised that iraq might have a connection? you say it's convenient, but we both know not just that bin laden has a grudge, but hussein does as well.

that romance novel thing was clearly a decoy.
posted by moz at 12:26 PM on September 18, 2001

The Sacred Agreement did not including making military bases in Saudi Arabia. The UN mandate was to protect Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from Iraqi danger.

The beacon of freedom (USA) has its bases in Bahrain and Kuwait too and its naval ships are always present in The Arabian Gulf, therefore the mission's objectives can be achieved. There is no reason to have bases in Saudi Arabia. The beacon of freedom and democracy, has its bases in Saudi Arabia ONLY to protect the TYRANT, OPRESSIVE MONARCHY against any movement for democracy by the people of Saudi Arabia.

US would be wise to do away with those bases in Saudi Arabia, the Prime reason of Bin Laden's agressive behavior against the US. The US should support the people's cause against an Opressive Monarchy, if not facilitate the movement for democracy in Saudi Arabia.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:28 PM on September 18, 2001

aaron: just fyi, I was against the Gulf War but once we had committed to it I did think we should have deposed Saddam. At the very least he could be "tried" on war crimes (whatever!). I love the whole idea of the world putting restrictions on us, when we were doing most of the grunt work - but thats how it often seems to go.

Yes, we armed Saddam - probably Bin Laden too. Sadly, this may be GWB's chance to bring some finality to the whole sorry thing.
posted by owillis at 12:33 PM on September 18, 2001


first of all hi :) Hope u got the articles you asked for.

I am not saying that he didnt do it. Or dont blame him. I am just saying, that what actions the "coalition" is going to take are going to have a lot of casualities. On both sides if US sends land troops.

I dont know, if I were in a position like this, and needed support from other countries, I would present proof. I would even take up Taleban on its offer to hand over Taleban to a neutral state if US can present some proof. I mean what difference would it make. If you bomb them today or tomorrow. Why not take up all offers that come ure way ???
posted by adnanbwp at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2001

oops, i meant hand over Bin Laden to a neutral state. sorry.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2001

If the US government had just admitted the Gulf War was a war to maintain our dependence on foreign oil, everyone would have been fine with that because it meant we could keep driving our individual SUVs around. But we had to wrap it in defense-of-democracy bullshit (how are things in Kuwait

I'm pretty sure the US forces in Saudi Arabia are there the request of the government. And I'm shocked--shocked--at the implication that we would prop up an oppressive, undemocratic government. We've never done that before.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:36 PM on September 18, 2001

hehe kirkaracha. I need some therapy too for thinking this way.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:40 PM on September 18, 2001

(Oops, I meant preview, not post.)

Anyway, during the Gulf War we made Hussein out to be as bad as Hitler and out to take over the whole Middle East, but then stopped when we got to the border. If we'd continued and won, there would be no justification for the no-fly zones and less need to maintain a military force in Saudi Arabia, both of which are major causes of discontent. (Although I've read that our forces are defending Saudi Arabia more from internal threats than external ones.)

Also, it's been 10 years since the end of the Gulf War and we're still maintaining sanctions. Nazi Germany had genocide as a state industry and we were allies and trading partners within five years after the end of World War II. I know there were strategic Cold War reasons for this, but if I were Iraqi I might feel picked on.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:43 PM on September 18, 2001

i was just reading this thing. before it's all done, they might have to root out the house of saud.

The support [for] bin Laden comes from all levels of society in Saudi Arabia. There are members of the House of Saud who belong to Islamic fundamentalist groups. And I don't want to mention any names for obvious reasons. But there are some of them who have been suspected of being involved with these groups to the extent of funding them. So this is not a movement that is the offspring of poverty or anything of this sort. This is a political program. A political attitude. And it does include members of the royal family. ...

secret wars...
posted by kliuless at 12:45 PM on September 18, 2001

aaron: hopefully it'll mean finally taking out Saddam, and installing a new US military government there to be transformed into a democracy just like we did in Japan.

Or, alternatively, installing a feeble monarchy which is then overthrown by a Ba'athist coup, just like we did in, um, Iraq.
posted by holgate at 12:45 PM on September 18, 2001

I think we need to follow the post-WW2 model of world fixer-uppin' (Marshall Plan) as opposed to Cold War style.
posted by owillis at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2001

owillis: The Marshall Plan was, in its origins, linked with containment of communism. So it was a Cold War program at its core. It was a humanitarian and economic program, yes,, but it worked to "contain" communism (as George Kennan first theorized it) in doing so. That was the whole idea.
posted by raysmj at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2001

raysmj: Yeah, I meant the "good" parts. :) I didn't specify though.
posted by owillis at 1:13 PM on September 18, 2001

from the link above:

Little is known about the fourth man, Albador Alhazmi, a radiologist in San Antonio.

Well, isn't that just dandy?
posted by Sinner at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2001

Way to go, Aaron, for pointing out facts that many people prefer to ignore.
Had we broken our promises to the Gulf War coalition:
a) Someone even worse than Saddam Hussein might be running Iraq now;
b) It would be impossible to put together another coalition, as Colin Powell is trying to do now.
Back in 1990-91, we promised that we would drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia and nothing more, and that's what we did. We kept our promises. The rulers in the region remember that.
posted by Holden at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2001

Holden is right. Daddy Bush gets the rap for not "going all the way," but in fact this promise to get Iraq out of Kuwait was what kept the allies together on this one.
As for the positing, at my site I had posted a few days back an israeli Intelligence report that said Bin Laden was funded by Iraq sources. Another itelligence source I have seen suggested that we were perparing to go after Iraq in order to finally topple the current regime.
posted by Postroad at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2001

By the way: adnanbwp, the story claims that Iraqi intelligence met with Mohammed Atta, who, it agrees, flew the first plane into the WTC. So a link to bin Laden is not needed to paint a strong link between Iraq and the attacks.
posted by argybarg at 3:28 PM on September 18, 2001

Sinner: a radiologist might be familiar with procedures for handling radioactive materials, but he's basically a technically trained nurse, not a nuclear expert.

Late news reports today say that two of the hijackers were the sons of a former Saudi diplomat based in Washington. That shit's gonna hit the fan in a very messy way.
posted by dhartung at 3:30 PM on September 18, 2001

because it meant we could keep driving our individual SUVs around

Can we quit picking on SUVs?! They're gonna come in REAL handy when China, who clearly is the mastermind behind all this, invades the U.S. with ground troops. A 4WD transport vehicle in every driveway...
posted by rushmc at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2001

For all you conspiracy theorists - if the original intent was to first pin this on bin Laden and then on Saddam with the intention of taking both out, why were Administration officials so strongly downplaying any connection to Iraq in the hours after the attacks? You'd think they'd have said something like, "We're going to look into that" if they had planned to make a switcheroo.

adnanbwp, I'm not sure there's much in the way of a widespread democratic movement in Saudi Arabia - I think that we did indeed strike a bargain with the Saudi government to protect them not from democracy but from Islamic fundamentalists.

And finally, I think the idea of a 21st century Marshall Plan is a possibility - and not just as a humanitarian gesture. Fundamentalism arises from desperation. I think that "containment" of fundamentalism will go hand in hand with the economic revitalization of the region.
posted by Chanther at 9:22 PM on September 18, 2001

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