Skip to comments.Al-Afari And Away: Ignoring the Saddam-ISIS link
Posted on 03/22/2016 6:59:28 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
Al-Afari And Away: Ignoring the Saddam-ISIS link
by Daniel Clark
During two Republican primary debates, presidential frontrunner Donald Trump claimed that Saddam Hussein had been an enemy of Islamic terrorism, and argued that he should have been left in power to kill terrorists, so that our soldiers didn't have to. Considering that, one might think a reminder of Saddam's moustache-deep involvement in terrorism, along with the fact that he'd retained an active chemical weapons program between wars, would be a major news story. One might even expect that a story about a former member of Saddams regime helping ISIS to produce chemical weapons, running contrary to the almost universally accepted version of "what we know now about Iraq," would lead the national news.
American commandos have reportedly captured Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, who is identified as the head of ISIS' chemical weapons program, and subsequently destroyed two of the terrorist group's chemical facilities thanks in part to information gathered from his interrogations. Al-Afari had previously been one of Saddam's chemical and biological weapons experts.
Al-Afari is now 50 years old. That means he was only 25 at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, when Saddam supposedly unilaterally destroyed all of his weapons of mass destruction. It defies credulity that al-Afari's chemical weapons experience ended at that point, especially since the "what we know now" narrative of Saddam's WMDs is already contradicted by his government's admission to producing ricin in the mid-90s, the VX discovery that instigated Operation Desert Fox in '98, the network of clandestine chemical laboratories that was revealed in the Duelfer Report, an extensive WMD paper trail including purchase orders and progress reports, and the damning admissions from Saddam's own secret recordings, among other evidence.
In June 2014, ISIS raided Saddams chemical weapons site at al-Multhanna, which UN inspectors had considered too hazardous to enter, and had therefore simply tagged "destroyed." ISIS knew that it had not in fact been destroyed, and likely also knew, with the help of at least one regime insider, what they might be able to salvage from it.
Its not as if al-Afari and other former Iraqi officials have simply latched onto ISIS, either. Since the terrorist group first declared itself, multiple sources have reported that its command structure is dominated by Saddam's officers, which is why it has often successfully conducted conventional military operations. Saddam's Fedayeen, a guerilla force under the command of his son Uday, served as a conduit between his government and foreign jihadists, many of whom were recruited to training camps in Iraq. We know from Saddam's "Blessed July" project that he deployed graduates of these camps to other countries, including England, to coordinate "martyrdom operations." It should come as no surprise, then, that his men are now working hand-in-glove with an organization that is a derivative of al-Qaeda.
ISIS is reputed to exhibit unprecedented levels of cruelty, but does it really? Saddam's officials, who now make up the terror group's operational leadership, were already known to have drilled holes in people with power tools, pulled out teeth with pliers, cut out tongues and nailed them to boards for the victims to see, conducted sadistic experiments on living human subjects, locked children in "stinging rooms" filled with bees and scorpions, thrown people off rooftops, dropped live men into industrial shredders, gang-raped women to death while forcing their husbands and brothers to watch, hijacked busloads of schoolchildren and machine-gunned them into a mass grave, and wantonly slaughtered thousands of innocent people with chemical weapons. The atrocities committed by ISIS are only consistent with these, and no wonder.
The news media have reported al-Afari's capture, but they've shown very little curiosity about its significance. "What we know now about Iraq" is that Saddam had "no weapons of mass destruction," and that religiously zealous terrorists would never collaborate with his infidel regime. Al-Afari's circumstance, which refutes both of those tales, ought to be the biggest story of the decade. Never mind man bites dog. This is more like dog walks man on leash, man has accident on rug in doghouse, man initiates amorous relationship with dog's leg, and dog posts cloying video of man on YouTube.
This story should have generated profuse mea culpas on editorial pages all across the country by now. Instead, the mainstream news media have only mentioned it in passing, treating it as something barely more interesting or consequential than yesterday's baseball scores. Tomorrow, they'll revert to their "what we know now" lie, just as if the story had never happened -- which it hasn't, al-Afari as theyre concerned.
-- Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.
Baathism was dead after the Gulf War and Saddam knew it. He sowed the seeds for ISIS by falling back on jihadi Islam to prop up his regime.
if Iraq had involvement with terrorists, then Saudi Arabia was MARRIED to them. Seems Bush went right past them on the way to Iraq.
He also forgot to seal the borders of a country he invaded, that had American enemies all around it.
quite a plan.
The problem with Iran is that essentially Washington has tried to avoid dealing with them.
Trying to get the rest of the Middle East to oppose Iran lead to even further coddling of the Saudis and their ilk.
Containment has a bad track record.
Everyone is quick to blame the victims and not the perp. Islam is the perp. But the PC crowd doesn’t want to offend those who want to kill us
our men deserved better than to suffer hundreds of thousands of head injuries at the hands of IEDs, without being able to inflict WHOLESALE slaughter.
but you can’t go all Roman when you go in under the guise of freeing a country.
You wouldn’t even have needed to in Iran after the mid 1980s, the mullahs lost support long ago after the reign of terror and war with Iraq.
Then the newly reverted Pro-Western Iran could go back to being the neighborhood’s cop, and the Saudis could have been told to go shove their Korans up somewhere unpleasant and stop spreading Wahabbism across the world.
Actually, al Qaeda, from its inception, sought the overthrow of the Saudi royal family.
It was closely associated with the London-based opposition group al Mujahiroun... as was Saddam Hussein.
His second in command is the spiritual leader of an Egyptian terrorist group that spend its time fighting in the Balkans. That’s right, on the side of the guys who received the arms smuggled from Iran to the Balkans with the approval of Al Gore.
As I recall, Obama did NOTHING to help an uprising about four years ago or so.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that.
Yet again, another wasted opportunity.
stuff I didn’t know. thanks.
but boy do those white muslims look silly with those beards.
they don’t grow in as well against light skin
I should say leader of the Egyptian terror group [Zawahiri, whose brother helped overthrow Mubarak in Egypt]- the spiritual leader is a different guy, the Blind Sheikh [Omar Abdul Rahman]. Zawahiri has inlaws among the mullahs of Iran.
If either of them were to be captured by the Saudis they’d be dead already, but instead we get to provide them three square meals a day for life plus give them free medicl care.
so what’s the story over there?
the under 40 crowd want this fanaticism or no?
No, if the 1979 revolution were to happen with today’s numbers, Khomeini would have failed. It’s not hard to imagine a theocratic dictatorship has turned the youth away from religion. Surprisingly, a lot if those who aren’t irreligious are interested in Zoroastrianism of their ancestors, and even Christianity.
Of course, there’s still enough zealots willing to kill people and that’s all that really matters until the masses decide they’re going to as well.
I blame Americans who voted for obummer at least partially.
Imagine what Reagan would have done during that uprising four years ago.
I consider one, 1, terrorist with a bomb to be a weapon of mass destruction. Bet some of those hurt in Belgium today do as well.
It was Bush -- SENIOR's - fault. Why did we get mixed up in Gulf War one? Saddam was a useful tool against the Ayatollahs, the jihadis and the Gulf monarchies -- the former two hated him and he killed them continually and the latter feared him and their money spending on jihadis was kept in check as he constantly blackmailed them for money to fight the former two.
If Saddam was not removed we wouldn't have had 9/11 nor the Ayatollahs still around
The Baathists in Iraq became more infused with Islamicism from the late 90s when it seemed like that was the only way to stay in power. This was a consequence of Gulf war one
Correct. Saddam was a good bulwark against Iran, against the Saudis and also against Sunni jihadis. The jihadis and Saudis (two sides of the same coin) hated Saddam as he was secular, while the Iranis saw him as a block against their expansion
If we had not gotten involved in 1990, then Saddam would have used Kuwaiti money to fund another war against Iran, probably destroying the Ayatollah's regime. he would have also threatened Saudia and sucked in jihadis to fight him
Al Qaeda wouldn't have attacked the US in 9/11 and we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.
and the more the “Arab street” reacts against Iran, the more the Iranis will turn away from the Arab religion - Islam and look back at their golden age under Zoroastrianism
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