By now most everyone knew we
Well, those papers wouldn’t be the first forgery, would they?
from Europundits, 1st p from the al-Guardian, 2nd from John Chappell:
So great is the political imperative to find such weapons, it seems hard to believe they won’t turn up in some form. This is after all the coalition which used forged documents to implicate Iraq in the purchase of uranium for nuclear weapons from Niger. But, short of a last-ditch deployment in Tikrit or Mosul, the main pre-emptive pretext for war has already been exposed as a fraud.
All I can say is that if things are actually what they seem to be, whoever did this has been preparing to confront the US for a much longer time than I myself suspected.
Some froggy’s been a busy little bee? The Saudis? In tandem??? After Pollard, would Israel be so stupid as to join?
Could it be evidence that Putin just doesn’t have his ship in order? I’m no expert on Russian politics, but are we sure that everything done by every part of the Russian overnment is done on his say-so? Or knowledge? Just a thought.
The first hit on “russia iraq” on Google News reveals that Iraq owes Russia around $8 billion from Soviet era debt, that Russia and Iraq were working on a 5-year, $40 billion “economic cooperation” program, and a 10-year, civilian nuclear reactor program. Possible motivation?
Oops, that nuclear thing was with Iran. Sorry, it’s past my bedtime.
Perhaps the Russians planted this to discredit the legit documents showing how the Russians genuinely helped the Iraqis?
Don’t forget Putin is an old KGB man. He now has an excuse to purge the hard line generals and aparatchiks who supported Saddam, thereby consolidating his power. The purge can be quiet, or quite noisy depending on how deep it goes.
The reports might be genuine, but maybe the Russians were helping us by steering Saddam wrong. After all, the Iraqis didn’t mount a very effective defense.
Then there’s that story (reported by Anne Applebaum) about the Iraqi medal ceremony for the ex-Soviet generals who served as consultants. Would Putin have allowed such a public display, unless it was intended to mislead? (If that was his intention, it was probably overkill.)
When I first heard this report, the story was that a fire had been set, but since the storage area was underground it didn’t burn.
Could it be the Russians trusted Saddam to destroy any evidence before he got out of town?
Think of Russia as a failing state and these actions as one of the factions Putin could not control trying to protect it’s interests.
Then everything becomes clear.
The danger of Russia as a failed state isn’t its nukes. Russian nukes are built with improperly “cooked” (by American standards) fissile material that has a shelf life of less than 10 years. They traded short weapon shelf life to save on the number of skilled technicians to maintain their nukes.
All the nuclear weapons they built before the Soviet Union imploded are now unreliable weapons, more likely to leave a really radioactive subcritical puddle than go “Boom.”
The danger from Russia is its bioweapons labs.
That is why America is eliminating the Russian’s customers. Iraq is gone. Iran, North Korea, Sryia and Libya are on the list.
The Saudis we save for last because we are going to use them and the Iraqis to lower the price of oil and kill the Russian oil industry.
No oil money means no Russian nukes nor biowar labs.
From what I understand most of this information was from Sept 2002 or so. I don’t think the Russians ever believed we’d go into Iraq. They, just like France, Germany and many other nations, thought we were blustering and would come to some kind of agreement with Hussian. We didn’t and now they’re feeling really stupid. Putin can in turn blame this on rogue elements in his nation and like Leech said remove these people from power.
Let’s also not forget that some of Russia’s main exports are guns and enegry. Iraq was one of their major buyers of guns and the price of oil is going to drop. The US is going to buy oil from Iraq now rather than the Saudis and Russians so they’re going to lose that income too.
Anything they could have done to keep the status quo was worth it in their mind. This may have just backfired on them though.
the generals in question also got turfed (retired generals tend to be persnickety, especially when they get RIFd… especially after to losing – or winning – a cold war)
give the russians some credit.. they aren’t a police stae, various mafias control a crazy amount of stuff, and you’re never sure what the hell is going on and who controls what (tax inspector swat teams and helos mean anything?)
My wife is russian, and she reads me the russian newspapers sometimes. The russians really belived Hussien was going to cause at least a vietnam, with a slim chance at outright victory, field marshal somebody or other was talking stalingrad,(completely seriously) adding up the casualties and claiming most of the Americans in iraq were going to die. Now there is something of a backlash along the lines of “how could you be so wrong”