By Geoffrey Cook, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
Monterey–August 21st –Ibrahim Al-Marashi from the IE University of Spain currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Monterey Institute of International Studies here in Central California talked about his research from the so-far retrievable Iraqi archives on what was accurate and inaccurate about their accused WMDs. Many myths were exposed and some truths were confirmed by his study on these papers on why we and Britain went to war against Baghdad in 2003.
What he found in the Arabic documents was ambiguous language to disguise any possible WMDs. The first documents were captured in 1991 by the Kurdish opposition in the North. They were handed over to Human Rights Watch, an organization close to the US government, for propaganda purposes. Others were seized in Kuwait during the 1991 War. Most of the previous documents were produced in the 1990s by the Iraqi governments. One of the primary causes of this were that Hussein held back his best troops, the elite Republican Guard on the Iraqi side of the border, and the lesser trained troops were thrust toward Kuwait City.
During the Second Iraq War, the various international forces were under joint command, and retrieval of documents was done by several various armies. The secondary-primary source was the interrogation of Saddam Hussein himself after his capture.
During the blockade before the second war, there was a lack of paper to record the archives. Yet they were documented in detail on alternative materials. Ibrahim went into the history of Iraq, starting with the first king installed by the British after World War I.
Between the World War periods, the Army stayed out of politics, but after the second war, began to intervene in the body politic. Coups and counter-coups ruled the period. The Leftist Baath Party finally took power in â€˜68, and ideologized the Army. The Baath Party led, and their Military Establishment followed.
Saddam Hussein came to command in an internal coup in â€˜79.
In the 1970s the Iraqis began their WMD program. The Weapons were never named directly but in a disguised manner. Chemical weapons became special armaments. Their Chemical â€œMaceâ€ became a special resource that led to the 1987 attacks against their Iraqi Kurdish citizens. Many of the assailed residents of Kurdistan suffered excruciating blinding.
Although Baghdad utilized chemicals in their eight year War with their eastern neighbors, Iraq urged their former enemy, Iran, to join them to exploit their mutual chemical capabilities against Israel, but there were no documents that specially alluded to the scud attacks upon Israel.
In 1991 the Iraqi forces did not use Weapons of Mass Destruction against the Coalition. Saddam was not willing to use his WMDs (basically chemical) against the US Army for fear that the Americans would retaliate with their own overwhelming gas and / or nuclear capacity. Curiously, though, the Iraqi Army was not even issued gas masks, but the Baathists felt the United States was deterred by their (potential) Weapons of Mass Destruction during 1991, but, on the other hand, during the 2003 assault, the Allies were prepared for WMDs to be applied against them.
The American military objective in Iraq was to achieve (Iraqi) State security. The rumor of Weapons of Mass Destruction impacted Civilian-(U.S) Military relations. The ethnic conflicts made political communications difficult, too.
Dr. Al-Marashsi studied docs that were written between 1990 through 2003. He started on his project in 2002. It took him seven years to go through 100,000 transcripts so far. Yet his team has not had a chance to index the papers!
High ranking Baghdadi Generals forged manuscripts for personal gain selling them to Western scandal tabloids. Ibrahim Alâ€™Marashi was able to debunk most of them, but an academic paper of his was plagiarized, and was used as â€œproofâ€ for the British Government to attack Baghdad in 2003. A discussion of the relation between academia â€“ honestly and dishonestlyâ€”and security policy is a tight one. Ibrahim ended his presentation with his conclusion that the U.S. and the U.K. should have done more research before they attacked the Middle East!