Comments: Saddam Was Bluffing! We Know This Because "Saddam Never Talked Openly About Bluffing"

apropo of what Mike above says, when Bush,jr started his presidency in January 2001 with an airstrike on Iraq I found myself thinking he was signaling Saddam, to whit:

"hey,don't worry about me invading, I'm going to play this just like Clinton did, keeping the sanctions on and periodically engaging in a small bombing run on you guys when my polls don't look so hot."

but I wuz wrong.

Posted by Jonathan Versen at April 20, 2007 09:14 PM

Interesting. They appear to claim that Saddam really used the wrist-slap metaphor. But knowing that a guy could kill your family with a word might prevent you from asking for clarification when he makes vague metaphorical statements like that one. If he did say it -- and as you rightly point out, they don't claim to give us a direct quote -- who knows what he meant?

It sort of reminds me of American pundits telling funny stories about Al Gore with no regard for precision or accuracy. I don't know if what they say this time fits the facts. I do get the impression they don't care if it does or not.

Posted by hf at April 21, 2007 12:28 AM

I remember watching Saddam on Brit Channel 4 TV and thinking he seemed way more credible than bush. In February 2003, Saddam said he had no WMDs. He also said he had no relationship with bin Laden, but if he (or Iraq) did - he would be proud to announce it.

Posted by Susan at April 21, 2007 01:17 AM

Yeah, George Tenet, a guy you can really trust to give you an honest appraisal. First that son-of-a-bitch helps Bush and the Bushies cook the evidence that Iraq had WMD in just about every way possible after which Bush throws Tenet to the wolves after being such a good little yapping lap-dog and makes him a scapegoat.

So now Tenet is going to cash in on the death and destruction that he so willingly facilitated by regaling us with his book. As far as I am concerned he can place his book in an anatomically interesting place. I suspect it will be mixtures of truth and fiction that will make him look better. I doubt it would be worth reading.

The relationship between Bush and Tenet is a beautiful and heart rending story of love and betrayal exhibiting the higher qualities of human nature

Posted by rob payne at April 21, 2007 03:13 AM

at that point, those who had no gain from lying were telling one story, and those who had no loss from lying were telling another. i say, it's dangerous times when the press's reputation is secure regardless of the outcome of the story. and it's weird, too, because, in the great culture war, the side that frames everything as black and white turns the whole process to muck gray, where the whole picture people get the story right.

Posted by hibiscus at April 21, 2007 06:44 PM

SADDAM'S SIN was selling oil for euros, all those people he murdered, just business as usual for one of our puppet dictators. His SIN is what bought him the rope, good riddance.

Posted by Mike Meyer at April 22, 2007 01:00 PM

Again, another instance where the USSR should've said fuck Washington and saved the world one big fucking headache. I hope Chavez grows some balls and invades that putrid dictatorships Columbia and Mexico(all of their PEOPLE really want it anyway) before too long and saves the DEA a CENTURY of headaches. Not that the DEA deserves it, being as they were and still are complicit in most oraganized smuggling scemes anyway.

Posted by at April 23, 2007 10:23 AM

I had this very argument with my (shuddering chagrin) Republican brother in July 2003. We took away Saddam's weapons. Saddam has a longstanding Hatfield/McCoy thing going with Iran. Saddam must project strength to avoid invasion by Iran. Hence, he does not dispute U.S. continued claims of his possession of/desire for WMDs, until it becomes clear that we really are going to come kick the shit out of him.

It's basically the same MO as leaving the Brinks Security sign on your lawn long after the contract has expired. Or putting up a Beware of Dog sign when all you've got is a Mexican Hairless.

Posted by slim at April 23, 2007 06:57 PM

To clarify, I should add that anyone with half a brain should have seen through any perceived projection of "strength" by Saddam. If an undergrad history major like me could see that just by learning a little about the Iran, Iraq, the Gulf War, and all of the players' respective motivations, there can be no other explanation for the intelligence "failure" than that Tenet & Cheney & Rumsfeld were feeding Bush exactly what he wanted to justify their long-planned Anschluss.


Posted by slim at April 23, 2007 07:08 PM