Saddam saw Israel behind all his problems

October 26, 2011
(h/t Israel Matzav) The United States has released a small number of documents taken from an Iraqi archive during the 2003 invasion. The documents reveal that Saddam Hussein could not believe that Iran was as strong as it turned out to be, and thought that he was being attacked by Israel.

(NYTimes) Mr. Hussein so grievously underestimated Iran’s military that he wrongly assumed Iran’s initial airstrikes in the war had actually been carried out by Israeli warplanes. He personally selected the rockets to use on one attack against an Iranian city, and he boasted that Iraq had a chemical weapons arsenal that “exterminates by the thousands.” He felt threatened enough by the rise of fundamentalist Islamic groups that he discussed his desire to “trick” the public, into thinking that his government, too, endorsed Islamic values.
From a historical perspective, Mr. Hussein’s decision to take on Iran and his reaction to the Iran-contra affair are two of the most intriguing areas in the papers.
Mr. Hussein set the stage for war with Iran by repudiating a 1975 agreement that had settled a disputed over the Shatt al Arab, the strategic waterway along their border. According to Amatzia Baram, an Israeli expert on Iraq who has studied the archive, the pivotal decision appears have been made in a meeting on Sept. 16, 1980, when Mr. Hussein took the optimistic view that the Iranians, fearing the Iraqi forces massed near the border, would give in without much of a fight.
A top secret report from the Iraqi General Military Intelligence Directorate supported Mr. Hussein’s assessment. “It is clear that, at present, Iran has no power to launch wide offensive operations against Iraq or to defend on a large scale,” the report noted. It also predicted “more deterioration of the general situation of Iran’s fighting capability.”
But the war, which ultimately lasted eight years and resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties, turned out to be far more difficult than Mr. Hussein had expected. Soon after it began, Iranian aircraft bombed a series of targets, including Iraqi oil refineries and the Osirak nuclear plant south of Baghdad. The feat so surprised the Iraqis that they assumed the attack could not have emanated from Iran.
“This is Israel,” Mr. Hussein exclaimed in an Oct. 1, 1980, meeting. He then complained that Iraqi officials had not followed his suggestion to bury the nuclear facility under the Hamrin Mountains north of Baghdad, before approving a plan to fortify the complex with millions of sandbags. But those sandbags proved to be of little use when Israeli warplanes actually did strike the site, in June 1981.
Later, Mr. Hussein said he was not surprised that Israel felt threatened by Iraq, which he asserted would defeat Iran and emerge with a military that was stronger than ever. “Once Iraq walks out victorious, there will not be any Israel,” he said in a 1982 conversation. “Technically, they are right in all of their attempts to harm Iraq.”

The notion that Israel and the West had joined forces to undermine his government persisted well after the Iran-Iraq war ended. In 1990, Mr. Hussein himself intervened to ensure the execution of Farzad Bazoft, an Iranian-born journalist working for The Observer, a British newspaper. Mr. Bazoft was investigating a mysterious explosion at a military complex south of Baghdad when he was arrested and charged with spying for Israel. The Bazoft case drew worldwide attention, and the British government appealed for clemency. Mr. Hussein was unmoved. Told that it would take a month for the Iraqi legal process to be completed, he took charge of the matter.
“A whole month?” he exclaimed. “I say we execute him in Ramadan, and this will be the punishment for Margaret Thatcher.”
Mr. Bazoft was hanged on March 15, 1990, six months after his arrest and shortly before Ramadan began. In response, Britain recalled its ambassador. Less than five months later, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait.

I suspect that if we got the same types of documents from other Arab countries, we would find that they too suspect Israel as being the root of all their problems. The paranoia is a primary characteristic.
Read the whole thing


Cheney urged Bush to bomb Syria

August 25, 2011
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney writes that he urged former President George W. Bush to bomb Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007

“I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor,” Mr. Cheney wrote about a meeting on the issue. “But I was a lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, ‘Does anyone here agree with the vice president?’ Not a single hand went up around the room.”

Two of Cheney’s closest advisers were David and Meyrav Wormser. David resigned to protest the Annapolis process (if it can be called that) in November 2007.

For two decades, we have called on Israel to take risks for peace and make painful concessions so that it will be accepted more broadly and solidly by the international community. And yet, after two decades, the voices questioning Israel’s very right to exist even in Europe are louder than ever. Polls there show that even the populations of even our closest allies revile Israel and Israelis more than even Iran or North Korea.

The prospects that this time will be different and that we will see real progress follow Annapolis, and that all these trends will be reversed, are bleak for several reasons. First, the concept behind Annapolis was divorced from the President’s forward strategy of freedom. Second, the Fatah leadership is so irredeemably weak that it cannot deliver. Third, we are ignoring the danger of the situation in Gaza. Fourth, the Annapolis framework “regionalized” the Palestinian issue when the historical record of regionalization of conflicts is tragic and violent. Finally, the Palestinian issue is not our highest national priority in the current strategic environment. Yet, it disproportionately occupies our attention at the cost of displaying commitment to more important causes, such as Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea. In short, Annapolis failed to emerge from, and thus advance, our national interests.

David and Meyrav Wormser (they’re married to each other) were the people who told the World that the Bush administration had given Israel a green light to strike Syria during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. If Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert had the guts to attack Syria in 2006, there may not have been a need to take out its nuclear reactor in 2007.

Did the administration expect Israel to attack Syria?

“They hoped Israel would do it. You cannot come to another country and order it to launch a war, but there was hope, and more than hope, that Israel would do the right thing. It would have served both the American and Israeli interests.

“The neocons are responsible for the fact that Israel got a lot of time and space… They believed that Israel should be allowed to win. A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hizbullah. It was obvious that it is impossible to fight directly against Iran, but the thought was that its strategic and important ally should be hit.”

As Defense Secretary during the first Gulf War, Cheney presented David Ivry, the commander of Israel’s Air Force when the IAF took out Iraq’s nuclear reactor, with a satellite image of the former Osirak reactor site, and a note of thanks for making America’s job easier in the first Gulf War.