Today's interesting revelation comes from the men of Powerline, in which they had an interesting document translated by two translators to see what came up. This is one of the reasons an Army of Translators is needed: to help cross-check information. Translation is a less than perfect art and the vagaries of local idioms and dialect will often foil even someone who knows the general language well. In this case the document concerns an Iraqi Intelligence Service report on a Kurdish meeting about Salman Pak, al Qaeda and chemical weapons. The prime paragraph comes up with two similar, but not exactly the same translation:
1. On 8/21/2002, the undertaking of an American delegation visiting the district of Afshariyya to visit the HQ of the Iraqi Communist Party to (the district of) Shaqlawa. A representative of the Communist Party urged that the Iraqi Government be prepared to conceal elements (‘anasir) of the organization al-Qa’ida in the district of Salman Pak, in addition to elements of the Turkish Workers’ Party and the Mujahidin Khalq Iraniyya, and that they are studying the use of chemical weapons. Iraq will (use them?) in case a military strike is directed toward them.And from the second translator...
1. On 7/21/2002 an American delegation visited the _______ area headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party in Shaqlauah. A representative of the Communist Party accused the Iraqi government of hiding elements of the organization of Al-Qaeda in the region of Salman Pak, plus elements of the Turkish Workers Party and the Iranian Mujahideen Khalq and that they were studying the use of chemical weapons and whether Iraq will use them in case of __________________________________.The first translator obviously has a better handle on local regions and some of the usage of verbiage within the Iraqi scene. What both clearly implicate is the Kurds believed in July/August 2002 that al Qaeda, Turkish Worker's Party and the Iranian Mujahadeen Khalq were in Salman Pak and training with chemical weapons, that the Iraqi government would be trying to hide the weapons and terrorists, and that this was relayed to them by an unnamed American who had been in contact with the Iraqi Communist Party in Shaqlauah.
Now, as the Iraqi Communist Party was not one beloved of Saddam, one may look at the translations and ask if the person speaking to the American would indicate urging Iraq to hide the weapons or accusing them of preparing to do so. My guess would be the latter as that fits better with the politics within Iraq. And since this is going to an American, it would be more likely to assume that the suspicions of this individual are being passed on as to who is at Salman Pak, what they are hiding and that they may use chemical weapons if attacked. Since I am no expert at this, I would only peg that at a 40% probable. But the variations do not make much sense and disperse the remaining 60% into lots of 10% or less. So the 40% probable is a 'best guess' but probably not wholly accurate.
Ray Robison has an interesting interview with Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti a former General under Saddam and was a Commander of the Fedayeen Special Forces known as "The Butcher of Basra". The first very interesting part comes in talking about Saddam and al Qaeda:
Discussing Saddam's support of terrorism, al-Tikriti said the dictator's regime sponsored Palestinian groups with logistical and material support.So, the Leftist supposition that the secular and religious could not work together is only a supposition and not something that the General will countenance. Further, Saddam's Russian contacts could supply to him whatever he needed and then pass that along to al Qaeda. So a joining of convenience for as long as it would last, not a true alliance but far, far more than disdain and indifference to each other. This source not only substantiates the Kurdish document from Powerline, but previously translated documents showing that Saddam did work with al Qaeda and supplied al Qaeda elements.
For a time, support for al-Qaida was limited, the former general said, mainly because al-Qaida's aim was to create an Islamic empire while Saddam wanted a secular Arab nationalist empire.
"They only really came to terms in the mid '90s due to the fact that both knew they shared the same short-term enemy," the general said. "Once they came to terms on this, Saddam provided al-Qaida with intelligence support and whatever money or munitions they could provide."
Al-Tikriti said Saddam "had very long-standing contacts in the black market as well as with Moscow and would provide whatever munitions he could through these contacts."
The secular Baathists and radical Islamists certainly are able to put aside their differences to cooperate against the U.S., he insisted.
"If you look in Iraq today, you are witnessing Arab nationalist terrorist organizations and Islamist terrorist organizations working together to fight the United States."
Al-Tikriti says he knows Saddam's weapons are in Syria because of contingency plans established as far back as the late 1980s, in the event either Damascus or Baghdad were taken over.Why, yes, Saddam is using Syria to hide WMDs to embarrass the West and give ammunition to President Bush's enemies. Saddam is playing with the Left for his own purposes even to this day. My guess is that Saddam thought that the crisis would pass and that he would never, ever, end up in the dock at court in his own country. But even so, he is *still* gaming the Left, France, Russia, Germany and China to his own ends. Like all dictatorships that need to account for everything, the voluminous paper-trail is catching up with Saddam and the Left and the MSM. We now have this cross-confirmed by General Sada, General Ibrihim al-Tikriti, a document indicating Russian Special Forces actually did the moving and sanitizing, and the Iraqi Communist Party. Destination: Syria.
"Not to mention, I have discussed this in-depth with various contacts of mine who have confirmed what I already knew," he said.
Saddam, after lying for so many years, knew the U.S. eventually would come for the weapons, he said, and wanted to maintain legitimacy with pan-Arab nationalists.
Also, he had "wanted since he took power to embarrass the West, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so," al-Tikriti said.
"After Saddam denied he had such weapons, why would he use them or leave them readily available to be found?" he said. "That would only legitimize President Bush, who he has a personal grudge against."
What we are witnessing now, he said, "is many who opposed the war to begin with are rallying around Saddam saying we overthrew a sovereign leader based on a lie about WMD. This is exactly what Saddam wanted and predicted."
Next up Ray sends us to the Free Republic and a document indicating the Germans learned from the Chinese that Iraq had WMDs. jveritas is doing the translation for this.
Assistant of the Iraqi Intelligence Director to his boss “The Director” dated January/23/2003 regarding the visit of one German and one Frenchman to Iraq and these two guys talk about their strong relation with the top government officials in both France and Germany. In this letter the German that German Chancellor Schroeder was totally opposed to the idea of the war in Iraq and it his opposition to the possible war that made him win the German elections held in 2002. Also there is an important part of the letter where it mention the visit of German Chancellor to meet with the Chinese Prime minister and that the Chinese PM told Schroeder “about the information that was obtained by the Chinese intelligence and it says that Iraq has moved his mass of destruction weapon to Syria and the German Chancellor told him that the German intelligence did not indicate this. And after two days the US state secretary went to Damascus to check on this with the Syrian government that in turn denied this news.” Also in the letter it show the fear of the French to join the war because of the heavy losses that will suffer.The French fearing losses they would suffer? Well, how did they know they would be that awful? Well, they suffered so badly under Napoleon... yup! The French talked to the Germans about how awful their losses were under NAPOLEON! German Chancellor Holzer spoke about:
He was shown a secret report prepared by the French Army Chief of Staff who presented to Jacques Chirac warning him of the losses that the French troops suffered in Spain and Germany during Napoleon campaigns because the participation of France in the possible war against Iraq will let her suffer huge human losses because it is impossible getting the Iraqi President by aerial bombing and that the entering in street fights will be a disaster for themMaybe they could have put in the losses in Gaul to Julius Caesar! And considering that their 'protesting' students are getting mugged for cel phones, yeah, streetfighting is something the French don't know...
Oh, and now we can add the Chinese to the list of those who knew WMD were headed to Syria. Whatever *did* happen to 'Investigative Journalism' in the MSM? Here we have a bona fide conspiracy to cover the location of actual Iraqi WMDs shipped to Syria and no one... absolutely NO ONE in the MSM is working on it! Maybe we could throw in a cute missing teenage cheerleader and get Fox interested... 'Cute missing Iowa cheerleader feared strapped to WMDs by Saddam as they were shipped to Syria: China, Russia, Germany and France implicated'. That would be a sure-fire hit for Greta and Bill! Send Geraldo over to traipse around the Bekaa Valley, maybe?
So there is how it stands today.
I am *less* than pleased with many people and organizations at the moment.