Lynch Captures Saddam
Ex-Dicatator Demands Back Pay From Baker
by Greg Palast, GregPalast.com,
December 14, 2003
Former 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
Ex-President 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."
The 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.
Mr. 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 with America."
Glaspie, 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.
While 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
1979: Seizes power with US approval; moves allegiance from Soviets
to USA in Cold War.
1980: Invades Iran, then the "Unicycle of Evil," with
US encouragement and arms.
1982: Reagan regime removes Saddam's regime from official US list
of state sponsors of terrorism.
1983: Saddam hosts Donald Rumsfeld in Baghdad. Agrees to "go
steady" with US corporate suppliers.
1984: US Commerce Department issues license for export of aflatoxin
to Iraq useable in biological weapons.
1988: Kurds in Halabja, Iraq, gassed.
1987-88: US warships destroy Iranian oil platforms in Gulf and
break Iranian blockade of Iraq shipping lanes, tipping war advantage
back to Saddam.
In 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."
In 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."
In 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.
Saddam 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 Bush."
While 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.
Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller,
"The Best Democracy Money Can Buy."
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