Did Saddam Hussein’s Iraq have weapons of mass destruction (WMD)? If so, what happened to them?
Was Saddam Hussein ever planning to attack his neighbors?
Was Saddam Hussein really a bad guy, or was he just misunderstood?
I know its difficult for most of us to believe, but since some time has passed, more than a few Americans have forgotten who Saddam Hussein was and what he did. They probably only vaguely remember the leftist mantra, Bush lied, people died. So a quick history lesson is in order.
Heres an extract from the CIA country study on Iraq:
In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwaits liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime.
Yes, I know.
They spelled Saddams last name wrong. I dont know if the spelling was changed when the page was updated on 6 November 2008 or some time earlier. After a little research I discovered that there are multiple acceptable spellings since it is merely a transliteration of the Arabic language. I dont think it was intended to disassociate the dead dictators last name from the middle name of our President-elect.
Did I say dead dictator?
Yes I did.
Iraqs High Tribunal found Saddam Hussein/Husayn guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to hang in 2006. The trial wasnt about WMD or any intent to invade his neighbors, instead it was about some of his murders in 1982. To have tried him for all his crimes, would have taken many yearsmaybe decades. As it was, it only took one conviction and one hanging to put an end to him.
But were stuck with those lingering questions. Was it all a sham? How will we ever really know?
Come to think of it, how do you know anything? Think about it.
Theres only two ways to know anything. You either have to experience the event or believe somebody elses account of what happened. Most of the stuff you know, you know because youve taken someone elses word for it. The challenge is to decide who to believe.
In legal proceedings and in historic research, the closer the witness is to actually experiencing the event, the more reliable they are as a source. For instance, the personal testimony of an eye-witness is considered more reliable that the testimony of a person who read about the event in a newspaper or saw it on an edited television news cast. Even somebody who talked with an eye-witness of an event is more creditable than someone who formed an opinion based on a collection of news reports and documentaries. And when the testimony is supported by circumstantial evidence, greater credence can be given to the witness.
So what about the Iraqi WMD?
Many blogs and news reports declare that there werent any. But how could they know? And who has disagreed with them?
Bill Clinton did in 1998 and still did as late as 2003. Maybe he was wrong. Do you think? Several other people disagreed also, such people as Nancy Pelosi, Sandy Berger, and Madeline Albright. Maybe they were wrong too. Certainly they werent all liars. No, they had to believe what they were saying, which had to be based on some reliable source they had access to. So much of that high-level stuff remains unavailable to the average American due to classification levels.
Wouldnt it be nice if we could talk to an eye-witness about what was going in Iraq. Or at least be able to read a book written by a witness. Maybe then we could have some certainly about whether there were WMD in Iraq.
Well, now there is.
A retired Iraqi Air Force Vice Air-Marshall (a.k.a. General) Georges Sada has written his testimony called Saddams Secrets. It answers the questions I asked at the beginning of this column. If youd prefer to read the book and find the answers yourself, you need to stop reading now. Otherwise, here goes:
Did Saddam Husseins Iraq have weapons of mass destruction (WMD)?
Yes (page 71).
Then what happened to them?
Some of them were found by occupying forces, but most of them were transported to Syria in the summer of 2002. Pretending to provide humanitarian support in response to a collapsed dam in Zeyzoun, fifty-six flights on modified commercial 747s and 727s transported hundreds of tons of WMD (pages 260-261). I found an article referencing an Agence France-Presse (AFP) story about 20 plane-loads of aid from Iraq to Syria on 9 June 2002. There are some people who say they know where the WMD in Syria are today.
Was Saddam Hussein planning to attack his neighbors?
Yes. As most people know he initiated an eight-year war with Iran and then in 1990 he invaded Kuwait. However, he also planned to attack Israel with a air-armada of 98 aircraft all using chemical WMD (pages 128-129, 135, 140). And he intended to attack Saudi Arabia with twelve combat divisions (pages 171, 172). The primary reason he canceled the attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia is because of the US-led attack which neutered his military power (page 173).
Was Saddam Hussein really a bad guy, or was he just misunderstood?
He was about as bad as a human can be. See pages 299 and 300 for a summary, but multiple accounts are scattered throughout the 315-page book.
Who is this General Sada and why should we care about him?
He graduated from Iraqs Air Academy in 1959, received training in Great Britain, Russia, and the United States, trained many Iraqi pilots, and was the second ranking officer in Saddam Husseins air force. He was forced into retirement in 1986 because he was a member of the Baathist party, but was recalled during the First Gulf War to interrogate coalition pilots. He placed his life on the line by refusing to execute the coalition pilots as Qusay (the son of Saddam) ordered him to do (pages 181-187).
Without General Sadas actions, no coalition pilots POWs would have survived to tell their tales.
When was this book, Saddams Secrets, published?
2006. 2006! Why havent I heard about this book before now?
He was briefly interviewed on Fox News Hannity and Combs, and then again on the comedic Daily Show. He has talked to a few churches around the country. But otherwise, hes mostly ignored. I suggest there are at least six reasons why Saddams Secrets hasnt been given much press coverage.
First of all, it is filled with little stories about Georges Sadas life. For the reader who is searching for information about WMD, these stories can be annoying. Initially, I found them to be so, but the more of them I read, the more I grew to like the author. His account of his first flight in the MiG-21 on pages 54 to 62 was the turning point for me. As an Air Force pilot I understood what he went through as a 28-year-old aviator trying to do a mission without being fully trained for it. From there on, he was a friend telling me about his life. A life which had a connection to an evil dictator.
Saddams Secrets in not complimentary of the United Nations (UN). From high-level leadership down to the lowly blue-helmeted UN peace-keeper, they are all portrayed as bride-seeking individuals supporting nothing that relates to peace or justice. Some people might think it could bolster the traditional anti-UN sentiment of many Americans, whose tax-dollars pay 22% of the UN operating costs.
Georges Sada also talks about a Chinese connection in a deal to supply nuclear weapons to Iraq. Saddam offered them $100 million, but the deal was squashed when coalition-efforts prevented the transfer of funds. This information might set back the progress of elected officials working to convince Americans to accept China as a strategic partner and friend.
Probably the second worst offense in the book is that he warns us about a cultural invasion by the followers of Islam. Ever since shortly after 9/11, President Bush has repeatedly insisted that Islam is a religion of peace. Sadas discussion on pages 285 to 291 suggests America and Europe are under going an assimilation that if ignored will soon transform our customs, history, and languages. This type of talk is not popular in an age where tolerance is culturally demanded, even written into our laws.
He criticizes the American handling of Iraq after the defeat of Saddams military. Not only were their major mistakes made after the 1991 war it was worse after the 2003 war. Disbanding the military the way it was, depleted the resources that could have been used to expedite stability and even worse encourage thousands of former officers to join the violent opposition. Shortly after the war, General Sada offered to establish security for Baghdad if he could have 40,000 UNARMED former Iraqi air force personnel assigned as police to him. The plan was rejected by the Americans in charge.
But Georges Sadas greatest offense to the popular media might be that he is an Assyrian Christian. As an Assyrian, his ancestral claims to live where he does predate those of Arabs. Its like a 2000-year trump card on the evil-Crusading-invaders argument used by many non-Christians. Greater than being Assyrian, the Christian descriptor is an obvious offense to non-Christians in the 21st century.
General Sada does more than just say hes a Christian, throughout his book, he often gives thanks to Jesus for things that went right in his life. He also suggests that others should seek the truth of Christianity in several places throughout his book. He even has a small lecture for young people concerning their dress and sexual behaviorhow dare he.
Personal testimonies of Christians often make non-Christians feel uncomfortable. I discovered through other sources that while Georges Sada was raised in the old-style Christianity of the middle-east, he actually became a born-again Christian in 1989. That was after an American preacher from California visited his church and taught about the individual relationship a person can have with Jesus. That explains a lot to those who understand what it means.
So Georges Sada has at least six reasons for people not to promote his book. Nevertheless the book is published and you might want to read it. If you dont have a friend to lend one to you, it might be in your local library, or you can order a copy on-line at Amazon.com for about $17, it retails for about $25.
Another subplot in the book dealt with Saddams leadership style. Specifically, he placed very incompetent people below him in positions of great authority. While this tactic resulted in national leaders who were terrible at their jobs, they were totally loyal to Saddam. Without the power of Saddam to support and protect them, they would never be followed by the people they supervised. Thus revolution was impossible.
Doesnt that make you wonder?
If you ever worked for an incompetent boss, did you ever wonder how he got there? Was it just a fluke, or was it a parallel of the Saddam principle of leadership?
Kinda makes you think about what your bosss boss is thinking.
It just makes sense.