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Author Topic: Interesting Article On Hussein's Preparation For Guerilla War
Babbler # 3214

posted 25 August 2003 05:40 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

Saddam had been trying to establish a dialogue with Washington since the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. In 1993, the former Iraqi leader asked me to transmit a message to the Clinton administration. In Washington, I contacted official and unofficial persons linked to the White House, among them a Pentagon expert on Iraq, Phoebe Marr, and former Under Secretary of State Joseph Cisco.

The thrust of the message was Saddam's willingness to reach a comprehensive understanding with the US. It colorfully explained, "We cannot drink Iraqi oil," adding, "the United States has the world's best capacity to develop Iraq's massive natural resources." The response I received in Washington was: "We want the Iraqi body, but without the head." I conveyed the reply to Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan, then Iraq's ambassador to Switzerland.

From that time on, Saddam's strategy was to gain time in the hope that international developments would blunt Washington's aims. Simultaneously, he reorganized his military. Eight months before receiving the German intelligence evaluation on the certainty of war, Saddam issued a circular to senior Baath Party officials instructing them to be prepared for a US attack "at any moment." The July 2002 circular warned: "Iraq will be defeated militarily due to the imbalance in forces." The balance would be re-established by "dragging the US military into Iraqi cities, villages and the desert and resorting to resistance tactics."

Saddam Hussein had already been working for four years to adapt his military capacity to guerrilla warfare. In several private meetings he told me he thought Iraq's military leadership was antiquated and needed fresh blood. He personally recruited leaders for new guerrilla units mostly under the age of 35, with some as young as 18. They assumed their posts soon after America's "Desert Fox" bombing campaign in 1998. During my last visit to Baghdad in January 2003, I met with several officials, including Deputy Premier Tareq Aziz. He was certain war was imminent, adding a plan of resistance "was in the president's mind."

From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3214

posted 31 October 2003 04:07 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I mentioned an interesting connection between a new admission from Pentagon sources regarding leadership of the guerrilla insurgency in Iraq and a report from a Lebanese journalist published two months ago on (the topic of the starter post above) in the Merry Xmas War III thread.

Here's the relevant passage from that report:

Saddam also appointed the former deputy commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, overall commander of the Mujahideen. Duri, well connected with Islamist figures in the Arab and Muslim world, was responsible for Islamizing secular Iraqi society after 1992.

Today's New York Times (username: audrarules password: babblers) reports further on the guerrilla leadership question, suggesting that Saddam himself may be playing an important role:

Saddam Hussein may be playing a significant role in coordinating and directing attacks by his loyalists against American forces in Iraq, senior American officials said Thursday.

The officials cited recent intelligence reports indicating that Mr. Hussein is acting as a catalyst or even a leader in the armed opposition, probably from a base of operations near Tikrit, his hometown and stronghold. A leadership role by Mr. Hussein would go far beyond anything previously acknowledged by the Bush administration, which has sought in its public remarks to portray the former Iraqi leader as being on the run and irrelevant.

These new reports lend weight to the original article, making me wonder if other parts of it are accurate. If so, this guerrilla war will only get much, much worse, especially if it continues to be increasingly strategic and organized as it has been in the last few weeks.

From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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