Updated: 5/16/2006; 10:44:58 AM.

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daily link  Thursday, April 10, 2003

Where is Saddam?: Associated Press reports on rumors of a Russian connection.  On Charlie Rose, Khidhir Hamza said he thought the Russian ambassador stayed too long in Baghdad, much longer than other ambassadors, and repeated many ideas from the story.  Like many conspiracy theories, it's also getting play in the Arab press (eg, as reported by CNN Damascus correspondent tonight).   "Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri hinted Wednesday that Saddam might have taken shelter at the Russian Embassy in Baghdad as part of a U.S.-Russian deal.   ''Why did the Russian ambassador return to Baghdad? What did (National Security Adviser) Condoleezza Rice do in Moscow?'' Berri asked reporters. ''Is Saddam Hussein in the Russian Embassy in Baghdad?''

Russian Ambassador Vladimir Titorenko left Iraq on Sunday, but his convoy came under fire on the way to Syria. He returned Tuesday to fetch a wounded embassy driver who had been treated in an Iraqi-controlled hospital. Rice said she met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to reassure him that Washington valued its partnership with Russia. ..

Officials in Washington and at the Russian Foreign Ministry denied Saddam had taken refuge at the embassy. It's still unclear who fired on the convoy.  But the Moscow correspondent of Arab news channel al-Jazeera quoted a Russian source as saying a U.S.-Iraqi deal for a cease-fire was in the works, and that Saddam's safe exit from Baghdad had been assured in return for a halt to Iraqi resistance. The source, a ranking military intelligence officer, said CIA elements who were in Baghdad before the start of the war were trying to arrange the deal, al-Jazeera reported. "

  3:19:23 AM  permalink  

Khidhir Hamza headed Saddam's nuclear development program before defecting in 1995.  In July 2002 testimony before the Senate, he provides many details of how the programs are designed to avoid detection, and the importance of the weapons to Saddam's plans.  On Charlie Rose tonight, he mentioned that Saddam's biggest regret is that he invaded Kuwait before completing a nuclear weapon.  (UN inspectors estimated he was less than 1 year from completion; at the time, the IAEA had visited Iraq and certified it had NO weapons program.)  His testimony claims Saddam believe he deterred a second Israeli attack in 1990 by threatening chemical attacks on Israel.

He is pessimistic about limiting trade in nuclear technology: "Lawyer Michael Rietz who represented three of the main German exporters of technology and know-how to Iraq tell a sobering tale. One of his clients, Karl Schaab sold the blue prints for the uranium enrichment centrifuge to Iraq for a mere forty thousand dollars. He also provided more than a hundred classified reports in the deal. He provided 36 high tech carbon fiber rotors for the centrifuges for a million dollars. Iraq’s investment to buy technology this way was much cheaper than developing it themselves. Dietrich Hinze provided flow forming machinery to make missile shells and gave away half ownership of his company to Iraq all for less than 20 million dollars. He also taught the Iraqis how to use the equipment. Locally he was so much admired for bringing business to his small town in Germany that he was honored with a statue in a main location in town. All those represented by Rietz were more or less sentenced for time served and released though they all pleaded guilty. Actually according to Rietz, one of the men working for the German Federal export Agency, Dr Welzien, opened a consulting business charging very high rates to German companies for advising them on how to use loopholes in the German export laws to expedite making some questionable exports, and it is legal.

With Europe no longer in accommodating mood Iraq shifted its purchasing bases to India and Malaysia among others. Thus technology transfer restrictions, which failed in the past to limit advances in the Soviet Union’s weapons programs are failing again in limiting access to weapons technology as was demonstrated by India, Pakistan and now Iraq and possibly Iran. Another failure for the policy of containment."

  3:05:46 AM  permalink  

The fiction of the peaceniks is overdue for pulping: "But the guilty men are not the Americans and the British, but the French, Russians and Chinese. According to figures compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, between 1973 and 2002 Russia supplied 57 per cent of Saddamâ019s arms imports, France 13 per cent and China 12 per cent. The US supplied at most just 1 per cent and Britain significantly less than that. Brazil supplied more weaponry to Saddam than the US and Britain combined. No wonder France, Russia and China declined to support action to disarm one of their best customers. And no wonder they are so keen to have their pet UN run the country now. We cannot have any inconvenient invoices falling into the wrong hands now, can we? "  12:00:38 AM  permalink  


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Last update: 5/16/2006; 10:44:58 AM.