Thursday, October 07, 2004

Duelfer Report/French Perfidy

A comment by applesweet at LGF alerts me that while the enemy propaganda mills are blaring headlines to the effect "report finds no evidence of WMD" (i.e., Bush Lied! People Died!), the full official report of the Iraq Survey Group on Hussein's WMD programs is actually quite interesting.

Quite interesting indeed.

The Scotsman reports that Duelfer's Iraq Survey Group concluded that:

SADDAM HUSSEIN believed he could avoid the Iraq war with a bribery strategy targeting Jacques Chirac, the President of France, according to devastating documents released last night.

Memos from Iraqi intelligence officials, recovered by American and British inspectors, show the dictator was told as early as May 2002 that France - having been granted oil contracts - would veto any American plans for war.
Although they found no evidence that Saddam had made any WMD since 1992, they found documents which showed the "guiding theme" of his regime was to be able to start making them again with as short a lead time as possible."

Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions - which stopped him acquiring weapons - were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition. He personally approved every one.

To keep America at bay, he focusing on Russia, France and China - three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers.

Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the "primary motive for French co-operation" was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.

Iraqi intelligence officials then "targeted a number of French individuals that Iraq thought had a close relationship to French President Chirac," it said, including two of his "counsellors" and spokesman for his re-election campaign.

They even assessed the chances for "supporting one of the candidates in an upcoming French presidential election." Chirac is not mentioned by name.

A memo sent to Saddam dated in May last year from his intelligence corps said they met with a "French parliamentarian" who "assured Iraq that France would use its veto in the UN Security Council against any American decision to attack Iraq."

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, last night said again that he was wrong to suggest Saddam had WMD - but asked the British public to accept that Iraq would probably have acquired such weapons if he had not acted.

However, the ISG uncovered millions of pages of documents and, after interviewing scores of captured Iraqis - including Mr Aziz - the report lays out what it says is were plans to end the United Nations sanctions then start to acquire weapons.

Saddam, it says, even fooled his own military chiefs into believing that he had WMD. This was designed to deter uprising from rebel Iraqis, on whom he deployed mustard gas in 1988, and aggressors in the Middle East.
"Just as I have had to accept that the evidence now is that there were not stockpiles of actual weapons ready to be deployed, I hope others have the honesty to accept that the report also shows that sanctions weren’t working," he [Blair] said.
More names of bribed leaders and institutions are in this report, such as
Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his Liberal Democratic Party, the Russian presidential office, the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Ukraine Community Party, the Ukraine Socialist Party, the son of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and the Peoples Liberation Front of Palestine. There are also many others.
...Including at least one U.N. official.

PlacidPundit sums it up thusly quite well (in a comment at Captain's Quarters):
I never cease to be amazed at the spin from the Left on WMDs and the cause for war in Iraq. In their world, the President got up on stage at the State of the Union speech and told us we needed to go grab Saddam before he launched his 22309470923438270947 gajilliton warheads at New York. In fact, the President specifically stated that Saddam was NOT an immediate threat and that the war was necessary to:

1) Prevent Saddam from the pursuit of WMDs in the future (something that has been demonstrated to be accurate)

2) Remove a supporter of terror (again, it is absolutely indisputable that Saddam supported terrorists)

3) Free the Iraqi people

4) Put some real teeth into 11 years of U.N. resolutions.

5) Establish a beachhead in the cultural and social war against radical Islam.

It's all there in the speeches. People like truck can't read the speeches, of course. But it's there just the same.


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