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Author Topic: Former Iraqi General: WMD moved to Syria
First of Two
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Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says

quote:
The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.

"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."

quote:
Short of discovering the weapons in Syria, those seeking to validate Mr. Sada's claim independently will face difficulty. His book contains a foreword by a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, David Eberly, who was a prisoner of war in Iraq during the first Gulf War and who vouches for Mr. Sada, who once held him captive, as "an honest and honorable man."

I'm gonna forego comment on this one for now, except to say that in an addendum to his ISG report, Duelfer said he could not rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion.

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pinqy
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General Sada obviously must own shares of Haliburton, bought before the war, and is all part of the conspiracy of lies of people who wanted to go to war not because Sadaam was in violation of the cease fire and all UN resolutions or because he had WMDS and financed terrorists but because...ummmm...I keep missing the reason. they're bad?

pinqy

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
I'm gonna forego comment on this one for now.
You've also forgone a few key parts of the story.

quote:
Mr. Sada, 65, told the Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.
He had nothing to do with the supposed transfer - some of his buddies told him.

quote:
"I know them very well. They are very good friends of mine. We trust each other. We are friends as pilots," Mr. Sada said of the two pilots. He declined to disclose their names, saying they are concerned for their safety.
Anonymous buddies, even. Wouldn't the DoD want a chat with them ?

quote:
The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including "yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel."
It gets better. These buddies saw "materials" being loaded, including "barrels with skulls and crossbones". Last time I checked, there are quite a few non-WMD materials that carry said sticker.

To recap, someone told a guy who's writing a book that something was put on a plane to Syria. And we should believe it, despite any physical evidence, because the author's former hostage says so.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Bug always disregards second-hand testimony. Good to know. This does not bode well for Europe once all the WWII survivors have died.

Bug knows that he cannot trust his friends to tell him the truth. Good to know, although it seems like a sad life to lead.

Actually, Bug, who says there isn't evidence? I'll bet the flights were observed, there's probably record of that. The convoy he speaks of WAS observed and reported by different sources, although the anti-war folks chose to ignore it.

Under other circumstances, that traffic would likely be "probable cause" enough to warrant a warrant. Let's get one, and clear Syria's good name! [Wink]

You might like this... it's Dutch.
Syrian journalist reports Iraq’s WMD located in three Syrian sites.

quote:
Najoef writes that the transfer of Iraqi WMD to Syria was organized by the commanders of Saddam Hussein’s Special Republican Guard, including General Shalish, with the help of Assif Shoakat , Bashar Assad’s cousin. Shoakat is the CEO of Bhaha, an import/export company owned by the Assad family.

Mmm... corroboration.

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I don't care much for spectacular, unsupported FOAF stories, especially when they happen to coincide with a book premiere.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
I don't care much for spectacular, unsupported FOAF stories, especially when they happen to coincide with a book premiere.

Check my edit. There's support.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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...you're kidding, right ? An dubious right-wing website says that a disgruntled Syrian revealed the location of the sites to a Dutch paper, and I'm supposed to be convinced ?

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Well, I can't read Dutch, so I can't find the original article to verify it. I suspect you'd have a better shot.

Mind you, my above suspicion is based on my not knowing whether or not you're devoted to finding out the truth more than you are to your deeply-held philosophical beliefs.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Well, I can't read Dutch, so I can't find the original article to verify it. I suspect you'd have a better shot.

Original article

quote:
Een hoge Syrische inlichtingenofficier heeft gedetailleerde gegevens hieromtrent doorgespeeld aan een landgenoot in ballingschap.
This states that, while the paper was contacted by Najoef, the information itself comes from an undisclosed "high-ranking Syrian intelligence officer"

quote:
Najoef is er wonderlijk genoeg vast van overtuigd dat de VS allang over de genoemde informatie beschikken, maar er om politieke redenen geen ruchtbaarheid aan willen geven.
Najoef is convinced that the Americans know about these caches, but that they're unwilling to act to avoid offending the Syrians.

quote:
Na bijna tien jaar in Syrische gevangenissen te hebben doorgebracht - vanwege de overheid onwelgevallige publicaties - ziet hij niets in het diplomatieke sparen van de kool en de geit, volgens de Powell-methode.
Red flag : he spent years in Syrian jails and openly states he hates the regime. While that doesn't make him unreliable per sé, it does show he has an agenda.

quote:
Mind you, my above suspicion is based on my not knowing whether or not you're devoted to finding out the truth more than you are to your deeply-held philosophical beliefs.
"Deeply-held"...no. Truth is truth, and if Saddam smuggled weapons out of the country - which doesn't seem at all unlikely - then I'm not going into denial about it.

This, however, doesn't meet anuthing resembling a standard of credibility. It's hearsay. He might be right - but until I se evidence it's just another story.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Mind you, my above suspicion is based on my not knowing whether or not you're devoted to finding out the truth more than you are to your deeply-held philosophical beliefs.
Someone help me here. Isn't this "irony"?

P&LL, Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
quote:
Mind you, my above suspicion is based on my not knowing whether or not you're devoted to finding out the truth more than you are to your deeply-held philosophical beliefs.
Someone help me here. Isn't this "irony"?

P&LL, Syl

Titaniumy.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
quote:
Mind you, my above suspicion is based on my not knowing whether or not you're devoted to finding out the truth more than you are to your deeply-held philosophical beliefs.
Someone help me here. Isn't this "irony"?

P&LL, Syl

I've been argued out of philosophical beliefs here before. I was eventually compelled to reverse my opinion in the Schaivo matter, for example. Not to mention the McDonalds' coffee issue that brought me here in the first place. It happens.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Sylvanz
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I stand corrected.

Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
I stand corrected.

Syl

It's funny. Despite knowing all about the phenomenon of confirmation bias, we still fall for it over and over...

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Honey Bunching Oats
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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First of all "WMD": That was a phrase coined by the W administration to lump together biological, chemical and nuclear. The army used to use "NBC" for Nuclear, Biological, Chemical. Before that they used "ABC" for Atomic, Bio... It is a well known fact that Sadam's regieme had chemical weapons. The US supplied him with them in the 80's to fight Iran.

The phrase "WMDs" was used instead of "chemical weapons" in 2002-2003 because it include biological and nuclear. Different W admin officals used the image of the smoking gun (for definite verification of WMDs) being a mushroom - building up fear of nuclear attacks.

The story in the original piece seems to imply that chemiocal weapons or at least toxic chemicals which may have been part of a chemical weapon production were shipped in barrels to Syria. Mr. Sada (why not Gen. Sada) said that he was told of "yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel." So the poison symbol means that there was poison inside not something else like money?

The hatred of Gen. Sada for the Assad regeme and the fact that he's writting a book means that we can't take this account alone. This is why we (USA) need better human intelligence. If we can get corroborating testimony from the pilots.

If Sadam had operational chemical or biological weapons, then how come he still hasn't used them now at least after the 2004 election.

"Democrats have made the absence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq a theme in their criticism of the Bush administration's decision to go to war in 2003." It didn't do any good. W still won reelection.

What is the world supposed to do with this information? It is a lot like the Iraqis who gave intel before the war like the one codenamed "curveball". Is the US to invade Syria or should we attack Iran? If we would have gone into Iraq with enough troops we could have more effectively sealed the borders. We could have intercepted this flight and see what was in those yellow barrels with skull and crossbones.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Honeybunching Oats:
First of all "WMD": That was a phrase coined by the W administration to lump together biological, chemical and nuclear. The army used to use "NBC" for Nuclear, Biological, Chemical. Before that they used "ABC" for Atomic, Bio... It is a well known fact that Sadam's regieme had chemical weapons. The US supplied him with them in the 80's to fight Iran.

You were doing so well until that last sentence, which, I fear, indicates you have been taking biased non-mainstream media at face value. Isn't it enough ammo for your case that the US continued to give non-WMD aid to Saddam even after we found he had been using gas? Why sully your case with these anti-American lies?

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Publius
Happy Holly Days


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Well, shit: when a no-name too-big-for-his-boots Arab spins me some wild cock-and-bull story contradicting all other information I have in an effort to sell me something, I know I believe him. Especially when he's telling me precisely what he thinks I want to hear. If there's one place I can go to escape wildly unfounded rumor, straight-faced accounts of pure fantasy, and blatantly self-interested lying, it's the Middle East.

Hey, have you heard the one about Ouze Merham?

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Well, shit: when a no-name too-big-for-his-boots Arab spins me some wild cock-and-bull story contradicting all other information I have in an effort to sell me something, I know I believe him.
Well, it depends on wether his crackpot story supports this week's GOP POV.

quote:
I fear, indicates you have been taking biased non-mainstream media at face value.
quote:
The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague.
It's getting old, Steve. Please don't waste several good sentences of expensive English on links to obscure blogs that may prove your point that everything west of Fox is biased; at some point people just stop bothering to care.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
It's getting old, Steve. Please don't waste several good sentences of expensive English on links to obscure blogs that may prove your point that everything west of Fox is biased; at some point people just stop bothering to care.

Care, don't care. The Washington Post is my favorite newspaper. Chemical weapons are not a dual use civilian-military item. The Washington Post story does not support the contention that we supplied Saddam with chemical weapons.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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an Em Dash of sugar
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Publius:
If there's one place I can go to escape wildly unfounded rumor, straight-faced accounts of pure fantasy, and blatantly self-interested lying, it's the Middle East.

Don't waste money on the airfare when you can get the same thing on this very website. (In fact, last time I checked, that's what it's devoted to debunking.)

Are crazy rumors, tinfoil-hat-wearing and dishonesty really something special to the Middle East?

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Greg of Winter
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Mr. Sada (why not Gen. Sada) said that he was told of "yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel." So the poison symbol means that there was poison inside not something else like money?
Interesting is that it is a poison symbol, and not a radiological or biohazard symbol.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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The poison symbol is found on many common chemicals, you probably find it on most of the bottles used in the garden or when cleaning the bathroom. Look at any tanker truck going to a chemical industry, look at insecticides (which they probably had a lot leftovers as US forces between the wars shot down many civilian agricultural aircraft), look at drain cleaners.

As Greg of Winter said, if it was a weapon, it would be the biohazard symbol. Also, it it was a weapon, the barrels would not be yellow. Do you have any idea of from how far away you can spot even a single yellow barrel from the air?

Besides, Syria did not sign an immasculating peace treaty, they are perfectly within their rights to own such weapons.

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/Troberg

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Well, if we assume that it's true, then doesn't that just prove that Saddam had no intention of using WMDs and that the ill-conceived war simply moved them from somewhere where they were contained into dangerous hands? I don't see where this is a positive for the pro-war side.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
I don't see where this is a positive for the pro-war side.

It looks good when you condense a few parts of the story into a snappy title. "Former Iraqi General: WMD moved to Syria" - anyone who just reads the title and skips the thread might think there actually something substantial about the claim.

Don't you just love the sweet scent of neocon despair in the morning [lol]

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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Archangel
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It's all over. The pro-war side won the 2004 election, which was the use-by date of the President's WMD fictions.

I'm only surprised they didn't hold a giant post-election party under a hanging banner painted "Fooled You!"

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Well, if we assume that it's true, then doesn't that just prove that Saddam had no intention of using WMDs and that the ill-conceived war simply moved them from somewhere where they were contained into dangerous hands? I don't see where this is a positive for the pro-war side.

After the Iraqi WMD were shown to be imaginary, some Bushites and their fellow travelers tried to shore up the myth. When confronted with a profound lack of WMD, they replied: "Saddam did what every right-thinking, murderous dictator does when faced with invasion and overthrow, he shipped a major part of his weaponry to another country."

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Cowboy Joe
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Does it strike anyone else as odd that this guy is "uncovered" this long after the fact, and conveniently when support for the war is dropping like a runaway elevator?

Here is something else that has always bothered me. Since when do we prosecute war based upon foreign intelligence? How is that an acceptable excuse?

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Well, if we assume that it's true, then doesn't that just prove that Saddam had no intention of using WMDs and that the ill-conceived war simply moved them from somewhere where they were contained into dangerous hands? I don't see where this is a positive for the pro-war side.

I was thinking of posting something to this effect, but you beat me to it.

We know that Saddam gassed people, as well as having a nuclear weapons program. And we know it wasn't there when we invaded. What happenned to it, beyond that some was destroyed in old bombings, we don't much know -- but whatever happenned, it wasn't where Bush and Blair's people thought it would be. Since Saddam had been the largest user of poison gas in decades, maybe since WWI, something happenned that was missed.

Now, I say this as a war supporter who believes that the Baathist regime itself was the real weapon of mass destruction.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
but whatever happenned, it wasn't where Bush and Blair's people thought it would be
That assumes there was something to be found - something that the various inspections up to 2003 as well as the post-invasion searches managed to, somehow, miss.

quote:
Now, I say this as a war supporter who believes that the Baathist regime itself was the real weapon of mass destruction.
It must be Sunday, then.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Senior:
. . . they replied: "Saddam did what every right-thinking, murderous dictator does when faced with invasion and overthrow, he shipped a major part of his weaponry to another country."

Well, don't forget that he sent elements of his air force to Iran in 1991. It was one of the odder moments in the history of war, but, I guess, he reasoned that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and that this way, the aircraft *might* some day be used to kill Americans, where if they were destroyed on the ground that would be impossible.

Silas

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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During the Gulf War, it was known that Saddam would remain in power. The Saudi government made that a requirement for basing foreign troops on their territory. So, after making arrangements with the Iranians, Saddam sent his vulnerable air force away. He knew that his Mirage F-1s and MiG-23 Floggers would not stand a chance against F-15s and Tornadoes.

The first week of the air war saw a few Iraqi sorties but these did little damage, and thirty-eight Iraqi planes were shot down. Eight of these shot down planes from his sole squadron of MiG-29 Fulcrums and five more were MiG-25 Foxbat interceptors. When it became obvious that the Iraqi air force was likely to be wiped slick by the Coalition, Saddam moved it to safety.

Iran retained the 15 Il-76, 40 Su-20/22, 24 Mirage F1, 7-12 MiG-23, seven MiG-25 and four MiG-29 combat aircraft that fled Iraq to escape the Coalition air campaign in 1991. As of early 2000 Iraq claimed it flew more than 100 military planes and 33 civilian airliners to Iran, though the Iranians said the numbers are lower.

Sources:
Dilip Hiro Desert Shield to Desert Storm: The Second Gulf War. New York: Routledge, 1992 (ISBN 0-415-90656-3)
Richard S. Lowry The Gulf War Chronicles: A Military History of the First War With Iraq. New York: iUniverse, 2003 (ISBN 0-595-29669-6)

ETA last paragraph and sources.

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Ad astra per asparagus.

Posts: 4806 | From: Groton, CT | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The claim about WMDs being moved to Syria has at least one thing over the claim that WMDs were moved to Cuba - a source.

That said, it's still a case of one man's word, with no corroboration (if you excluse Moshe Yaalon; we don't know his source).

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You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

Posts: 2480 | From: Australia | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Well, don't forget that he sent elements of his air force to Iran in 1991. It was one of the odder moments in the history of war, but, I guess, he reasoned that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and that this way, the aircraft *might* some day be used to kill Americans, where if they were destroyed on the ground that would be impossible.
I always thought that the aircraft left Iraq through desertion, not through the choice of Saddam Hussien. With the amount of money a modern fighter is worth, any pilot who can offer them to another nation will probably have enough money to never have to work again in his life, which is usually seen as preferable to not having to work again due to getting shot down and killed. I've always seen the explanation that it was to save them as a way for Saddam to save face.

Also, the Iraqi air force was severely outnumbered. Even though it had the most advanced fighters in the world available at the time (the Mig-29), numbers rule the sky. Even Vietnam era fighters are more or less equals to modern fighters on a 2:1 basis, and beat them in larger numbers. Pilots are not stupid and have the means to leave, once the odds go too bad, they take off (in both senses of the word).

Another issue was that pilots in the Iraqi airforce was often an honorary positions, awarded to sons of important people and so on, not by merits. This does not really increase the fighting spirit...

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/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Publius:
Well, shit: when a no-name too-big-for-his-boots Arab spins me some wild cock-and-bull story contradicting all other information I have in an effort to sell me something, I know I believe him. Especially when he's telling me precisely what he thinks I want to hear. If there's one place I can go to escape wildly unfounded rumor, straight-faced accounts of pure fantasy, and blatantly self-interested lying, it's the Middle East.

Hey, have you heard the one about Ouze Merham?

Well admittedly neither the general nor the journalist nor Israeli Intelligence officers have the instant and total left-fawning credibility of, say , an ex-gitmo detainee, but hey, in these days of truly insane levels of hypocrisy, you've got to go with what you can get.

Hey, didja hear the one about the flushed Koran?

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Hey, didja hear the one about the flushed Koran?

Hey, didja see the photographs of the naked men?

First, I'm sorry to have to say this, but you are being a bit of a jerk here. The Abu Ghraib incidents have been established "beyond a reasonable doubt," and resulted in the courts-martial and imprisonment of U.S. military personnel.

Nothing you've posted here on this issue of WMD and Syria comes even close.

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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