Skip to comments.Saddam Hussein - the terrorists' banker
Posted on 10/15/2004 12:32:49 AM PDT by MadIvan
DESPITE his imprisonment, Saddam Hussein is still showing himself capable of macabre surprises.
The remains of infants have only now been found in his mass graves, and an elaborate bribery network was exposed last week. Now, a link to terrorism has finally been unearthed.
While the world remains fixated on the absence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the other evils of his regime are being systematically exposed - for the few who are still interested in them.
But the documents revealing he passed £40 million of oil vouchers to Palestinian terrorists show that, in the war on terror, Saddam was a legitimate target. His was one of the few regimes that gave insurgents the financial oxygen needed to survive.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has used many names, but is still little heard-of. Its most infamous atrocity was the "black September" attacks in 1970, when members hijacked four aircraft bound for New York.
It is committed to extinguishing Israel, and its commitment to violence has meant it standing defiantly aside from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) - whom it believes sold out to the cause by agreeing to the Middle East peace process.
Officially listed as a terrorist organisation by British and American governments, it is exactly the kind of organisation which Saddam Hussein was long accused of supporting. But no-one was able to prove it until the documents of his dictatorship started to be unearthed.
The 2,300-member Iraq Survey Group has produced a report which confirms many of the worst fears of pre-war Iraq. While it did not find any WMD, it says insurgency left its search even more restricted than that of the United Nations inspectors who operated under Saddam.
So it has instead built a paper-chase - piecing together fragments of the dictatorship which show how Saddam worked out that the United Nations system was easily corrupted and would allow him to issue oil vouchers, in secret, to bribe his new friends.
The UNs oil-for-food programme was protecting him from the United States threat while helping him to bribe aides of Jacques Chirac, the French president, and the office of Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister.
But to extend this to the PFLP was extraordinarily brazen. He was daring to bankroll international terrorists - with sums of money which could keep the cells financed for years.
Although this is the firmest proof of Saddams links with terrorists, it is by no means the only one. The bipartisan US Commission into the Iraq war found that "Osama bin Laden himself met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Sudan in late 1994 or early 1995". Another such meeting took place in Afghanistan, it said.
The absence of WMD seems to have eclipsed the fact that Saddam was hell-bent on acquiring them, and had the budget and the scientists to resume WMD programmes as soon as sanctions were lifted.
The absence of an al-Qaeda link to Saddam has obscured the examples of interaction.
And these are crucial. At the time of the 11 September attacks, Islamic terrorism took on a new lease of life because it was becoming fused together with rogue states which provided funds and shelter.
The six main hosts were: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Syria.
Of these countries, the Iraqi and Afghan dictatorships have been overthrown by US-British military action. Afghanistan is now a democracy, albeit a rudimentary one, and Iraq soon will be.
Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya saw the tide turning and agreed to hand in his WMD material in December - his mission now is trying to negotiate associate membership of the European Union.
Iran and Syria now have the eyes of the world on them - and can no longer feel confident about being protected by the United Nations. And Saddam is in jail, the tyranny of his regime being exposed.
The mass graves alone show Saddam is guilty of a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pots Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s and Hitlers Holocaust.
The £40 million gift to the PFLP could have been the seeds of something even more murderous than 11 September.
While the fate of Iraq is still perilously unclear, it is safe to say terrorism lost a generous ally when Saddam was finally captured.
Very important article. Thanks for posting it.
One begins to wonder if we would have this level of international terrorism at all, if Sod'em hadn't been able to rip off the Oil for food scam.