Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein was taken into
custody yesterday at 8:30p.m. Baghdad time. Various
television executives, White House spin doctors
and propaganda experts at the Pentagon are at
this time wrestling with the question of whether
to claim PFC Jessica Lynch seized the ex-potentate
or that Saddam surrendered after close hand-to-hand
combat with current Iraqi strongman Paul Bremer
Hussein himself told US military interrogators
that he had surfaced after hearing of the appointment
of his long-time associate James Baker III to
settle Iraq's debts. "Hey, my homeboy Jim owes
me big time," Mr. Hussein stated. He asserted
that Baker and the prior Bush regime, "owe me
my back pay. After all I did for these guys you'd
think they'd have the decency to pay up."
Iraqi dictator then went on to list the "hits"
he conducted on behalf of the Baker-Bush administrations,
ending with the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, authorized
by the former US secretary of state Baker.
Hussein cited the transcript of his meeting on
July 25, 1990 in Baghdad with US Ambassador April
Glaspie. When Saddam asked Glaspie if the US would
object to an attack on Kuwait over the small emirate's
theft of Iraqi oil, America's Ambassador told
him, "We have no opinion.... Secretary [of State
James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the
instruction ... that Kuwait is not associated
in Congressional testimony in 1991, did not deny
the authenticity of the recording of her meeting
with Saddam which world diplomats took as US acquiescence
to an Iraqi invasion.
having his hair styled by US military makeover
artists, Saddam listed jobs completed at the request
of his allies in the Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations
for which he claims back wages:
Seizes power with US approval; moves allegiance
from Soviets to USA in Cold War.
Invades Iran, then the "Unicycle of Evil," with
US encouragement and arms.
Reagan regime removes Saddam's regime from official
US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Saddam hosts Donald Rumsfeld in Baghdad. Agrees
to "go steady" with US corporate suppliers.
US Commerce Department issues license for export
of aflatoxin to Iraq useable in biological weapons.
Kurds in Halabja, Iraq, gassed.
US warships destroy Iranian oil platforms in Gulf
and break Iranian blockade of Iraq shipping lanes,
tipping war advantage back to Saddam.
Baghdad today, the US-installed replacement for
Saddam, Paul Bremer, appeared to acknowledge his
predecessor Saddam's prior work for the US State
Department when he told Iraqis, "For decades,
you suffered at the hands of this cruel man. For
decades, Saddam Hussein divided you and threatened
an attack on your neighbors."
reaction to the Bremer speech, Mr. Hussein said,
"Do you think those decades of causing suffering,
division and fear come cheap?" Noting that for
half of that period, the suffering, division and
threats were supported by Washington, Saddam added,
"So where's the thanks? You'd think I'd at least
get a gold watch or something for all those years
on US payroll."
a televised address from the Oval Office, George
W. Bush raised Saddam's hopes of compensation
when he cited Iraq's "dark and painful history"
under the US-sponsored Hussein dictatorship.
was also heartened by Mr. Bush's promise that,
"The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the
end of violence in Iraq." With new attacks by
and on US and other foreign occupation forces,
the former strongman stated, "It's reassuring
to know my legacy of darkness and pain for Iraqis
will continue under the leadership of President
lauding the capture of Mr. Hussein, experts caution
that the War on Terror is far from over, noting
that Osama bin Laden, James Baker and George W.
Bush remain at large.
Posted: December 14, 2003