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Saddamist Thug, CIA Terrorist, US Puppet
13 October 2004

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13 October 2004


On 19 Sept., Tony Blair argued that 'whatever the disagreements about the first conflict in Iraq to remove Saddam', in the new 'conflict' in Iraq, there was only one side to be on. The Prime Minister knows that he has lost the debate about the invasion of Iraq; he hopes to win the argument about the continuing occupation of Iraq.

He hopes to win by framing the conflict as a struggle of 'terrorism' against 'democracy'. Democracy is personified, according to Blair, by the man standing next to him when he made his statement: 'this man here is somebody who is actually every single day braving the possibility of an assassination threat, or death, himself, as his colleagues are doing, because he believes in a different future for his country.'

'And what I am trying to say to people in the western world is, whatever you thought about getting rid of Saddam, leave that to one side for a moment, people are going to have their different views on that, but today there is only one side to be on, and that is the side of democracy and liberty.' (Number 10 website) The side of Bush and Blair, and the side of Iyad Allawi, the unelected interim Prime Minister of Iraq. On the other side are the 'terrorists', who everyone rejects, says Blair.

There's a problem here, even leaving aside the records of Bush and Blair themselves. Iyad Allawi is himself a former terrorist.

The last time car bombs went off in Baghdad (before the US/UK invasion) was in 1994 and 1995. These bombings, which, if they were carried out today, would be denounced by Allawi as vile terrorism, were carried out by the Iraqi exile opposition group known as the Iraqi National Accord (INA), headed then (as now) by... Iyad Allawi.

Backed by the CIA and preparing for a 1996 coup attempt, the INA bombed a cinema, a mosque, and the street outside an official newspaper, killing a total of perhaps 100 civilians. The INA role was revealed by the bomber, Abu Amneh al-Khadami, in Jan. 1996. (Andrew and Patrick Cockburn, Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession)

The CIA role was confirmed in the New York Times by a 'former intelligence officials' who 'while confirming C.I.A. involvement in the bombing campaign, would not say how, exactly, the agency had supported it.' 'The bombing and sabotage campaign, the former senior intelligence official said, "was a test more than anything else, to demonstrate capability." ' (NYT, 9 June 2004, p. A1)

"Send a thief to catch a thief," said Kenneth Pollack, an Iran-Iraq military analyst for the CIA during the early 1990s. (NYT, 9 June, p. A1)

INA bomber Abu Amneh Al-Khadami also revealed in his video confession that he had been asked to assassinate Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, another Iraqi opposition group. Al-Khadami refused. However, someone else did blow up the INC HQ in Iraqi Kurdistan in October 1995, killing 28 Iraqi oppositionists.

Under interrogation by Kurdish police, three men confessed that they planted the bombs on the orders of the INA. The CIA carried out its own investigation, taking away fragments from the scene: the results were never released. (Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession)

No action has ever been taken against Allawi, or the INA, by the US authorities for either the INC bombing or the 1994-5 bombings.

SADDAM'S THUG, 1960s-1975
Dr. Haifa al-Azawi, who attended medical school with Allawi, describes him as a 'big husky man... who carried a gun on his belt and frequently brandished it, terrorizing the medical students,' and whose medical degree 'was conferred upon him by the Ba'ath party.' (Al Arab, 12 Feb. 2004)

Seymour Hersh, the veteran US investigative journalist, found US intelligence officials familiar with Allawi's background as a supporter of Saddam Hussein in the decades when the Iraqi strongman was working his way to the top (becoming president in 1979).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA case officer who served in the Middle East, told Hersh, "Allawi helped Saddam get to power. He was a very effective operator and a true believer." For Gerecht, "Two facts stand out about Allawi. One, he likes to think of himself as a man of ideas; and, two, his strongest virtue is that he's a thug."

After obtaining his degree, Allawi moved to London in 1971, ostensibly to continue his medical education. Allawi actually ran the European operations of the Ba'ath Party organization, and commanded the local activities of the party's intelligence arm, the Mukhabarat, until 1975, according to US intelligence officials consulted by Hersh.

"If you're asking me if Allawi has blood on his hands from his days in London, the answer is yes, he does," Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA officer told Hersh. "He was a paid Mukhabarat agent for the Iraqis, and he was involved in dirty stuff." Hersh confirmed this with a 'cabinet-level Middle East diplomat', who revealed that Allawi was involved with a Mukhabarat 'hit team' that sought out and killed Ba'ath Party dissenters throughout Europe. (Hersh, New Yorker, 28 June 2004)

In the mid-1970s, Allawi fell out with Baghdad, and was himself the target for assassination attempts. '[T]he idea that the break was about principle is tempered by suggestions of a row over a sizeable wad of cash.' (Sydney Morning Herald, 17 June 2004)

'British officials gave warning more than two years ago that Iyad Allawi, the interim Iraqi prime minister, was seen as "a western stooge" who "lacked domestic credibility", secret documents seen by The Telegraph reveal.' (Telegraph, 24 Sept. 2004)

According to opinion polls conducted by the independent Iraqi Centre for Research and Studies (ICRS) in April 2004 - less than two months before he became interim prime minister - Allawi was found to be the least popular of 17 prominent personalities monitored by the Centre. Nearly 40 per cent of those Iraqis polled strongly opposed Allawi. (Financial Times, 31 May 2004, p. 7)

When the US-selected Iraqi Governing Council tried to choose the interim prime minister, Washington imposed Allawi as by vetoing other leading candidates as 'too Islamist'. (Times, 31 May 2004, p. 27)

Award-winning Australian journalist Paul McGeogh, Chief Correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, found two eyewitnesses who claimed that in the third week of June, several weeks after Allawi had been imposed as prime-minister-to-be, the new Iraqi leader executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station.

McGeogh reports that, 'The rationale offered by some is that if the Prime Minister spilt blood before their eyes, then the police would know they could kill with impunity. He would become a man to be feared and all too quickly the force would impose that fear on the community.' He comments, 'It sounds like Saddam-Lite in the making; and in it all there's an odour of the Arab authoritarianism that the Bush men say they came to eradicate.'

On 7 July, Allawi's government passed an emergency law giving him the power to declare effective martial law. (Washington Post) Allawi has been muzzled until after the US presidential elections, but he has been allowed to ban al-Jazeera. (Guardian, 6 Sept. 2004)

In July, Allawi set up the General Security Directorate (GSD), Iraq's new security apparatus, which 'will include former members of Saddam Hussein's feared security services, collectively known as the Mukhabarat.' (Jane's Intelligence Digest)

Saddam's thug is home again, recruiting fellow thugs and terrorists. This is the man who symbolizes 'democracy'. This is the man who Blair believes can win him the argument over the occupation of Iraq.

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