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Superb work. There's not much to add and it's hard to streamline. My first thoughts went to the general mindset of identifying Iraq with Saddam. States generally abide by international treaties or imposed sanctions to their best interest. Saddam as a representative of the Iraqi state formally sought to assert national sovereignty and what little rights the Iraqi state had on the international scene. It's elementary.

I'm reminded of the behaviour of Ambassador al-Zahawie during the Niger forgery caper. Here's a civil servant with no link to Saddam's party who promoted and defended Iraq's interest just as countless others did. What the Iraqis were unable to get across were the legitimate reasons behind their decisions. Perfectly understandable given the massive anti-Saddam propaganda in the West that ignored Iraq's reasons. But in hindsight Saddam and his government failed to recognize the menace looming over them by stubbornly sticking to their reasons for not letting inspectors back in. One might argue that whatever Saddam did it would have been twisted against him. After all by the time he had capitulated to US dictates it only hastened the US to strike. Being stubbornly in the right isn't all that efficacious.

As for Clinton, his government systematically denied medical supplies, ambulances, just basic health care to the Iraqi people. No further comment is needed.

In the end the mindset that equated Saddam to Iraq did far more damage to the invaders. By taking out Saddam they suddenly discovered they were in Iraq. There's a Chinese stratagem that describes situations like that. It's called "luring the tiger down from the mountain." Out west it comes off with a little more colour: you're up shit creek without a paddle.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 05:21:56 PM EST

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