Reno on Iraq: "There's a threat, and it's real,"

News the media won’t bother to revisit.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against the Western powers. -cnn.com, 1999

Here we have that bastion of conservative news, CNN, telling us in 1999 that Saddam Hussein offered Osama Bin Laden asylum in Iraq. Just like he gave Abu Nadal asylum, and Abu Abbas, and apparently Abu Musab al-Zarqawi sanctuary as well. More than that it says that Osama backs Iraq against the west. Which isn't surprising actually, despite the claims that the religious Bin laden would never deal with the secular Saddam. Some cultural info: there's an arabic saying, "My brother and I against my cousin; My cousin and I against the stranger."

Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials. The key meeting took place in the Afghan mountains near Kandahar in late December. The Iraqi delegation was led by Farouk Hijazi, Baghdad's ambassador in Turkey and one of Saddam's most powerful secret policemen, who is thought to have offered Bin Laden asylum in Iraq. -guardian.co.uk

Is a Saddam Fedayeen (a guerrilla-type para-military force not unlike Al Qaeda) officer also a member of Al Qaeda? The links keep mounting.

"There is at least one officer of Saddam's Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al Qaeda," said September 11 commission member and former Navy Secretary John Lehman.

He stressed that the Bush administration "has never said that [Saddam] participated in the 9/11 attack."

"They've said, and our staff has confirmed, there have been numerous contacts between Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda over a period of 10 years," Mr. Lehman said. "Now there's new intelligence ... because, as you know, new intelligence is coming in steadily from the interrogations in Guantanamo and Iraq, and from captured documents." -washingtontimes.com

While the argument from the impeach Bush crowd is that there was no actual collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda, doesn't this prove that Saddam was willing and ready to collaborate with Al Qaeda? Couple the intelligence the Russian's shared with us that Saddam was planning terrorist attacks against U.S. targets and this isn't something to be dismissed as just the Global-Hegemony-Propaganda of the Bush administration.

According to Michael Moore et al, the Clinton Administration also lied about the threat-nexus between Iraq, Al Qaeda, and WMD.

News of the negotiations emerged in a week when the US attorney general, Janet Reno, warned the Senate that a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction was a growing concern. "There's a threat, and it's real," Ms Reno said, adding that such weapons "are being considered for use." -guardian.co.uk

Nor is it completely out of the question that Osama would accept such asylum or collaboration with Iraq.

Mr Fandy said senior members of the Saudi royal family told him in recent weeks that they had received assurances from the Taleban leader, Mullah Mohamed Omar, that once the radical Islamist movement secured control over Afghan territory, Bin Laden would be forced to leave. "It's a matter of time now for Osama." He said Bin Laden would have a strong ideological aversion to accepting Iraqi hospitality, but might have little choice. -guardian.co.uk

For purely political reasons the left and their sympathetic media dismiss the abundant evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda had contacts, were willing to cooperate with each other, did so at least in material support ways, and were likely to do so in the future. This is a nexus which cannot be ignored and after 9/11 had to be dealt with. The hypocrisy is readily apparent when you recall the liberal furor over the vague Presidential Daily Briefing warning that Al Qaeda was determined to attack U.S. targets.

The war against Iraq was the right thing to do. Maybe there were mistakes made along the way, but there are mistakes in every enterprise and we cannot expect there won't be any mistakes made in war. The sad thing is that if the left is successful in their concerted effort to persuade the public that the Iraq war was illigitimate, flawed, and not worth the effort then Iraq will likely be abandoned and the results of such an action would be worse than if we had left Saddam in power.

Americans still clearly support keeping the troops in Iraq until the situation is stabilized, which has been the Bush policy all along, but support for whether the whole enterprise has been worth it is slipping. With that slipping, support for carrying through on our promises will slip as well. We cannot count on Kerry not to cave in to his left wing if that happens.

ABC News Poll, June 17-20, 2004
Iraq not worth fighting: 52%
Keep forces in Iraq: 57%
Did Iraq support Al Qaeda? Did: 62%

Posted by Eric Simonson at June 25, 2004 5:05 PM