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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE SADDAM CAPTURE There is as you might guess quite a lot of commentary about the capture of Mr Hussein, the vast majority of it rather superfluous. I mean, sorry, but it doesn't need huge amounts of column space to make the obvious point that this is not the end of the trouble in Iraq, but it's quite nice that we've got him anyway . . . . etc etc etc Point made. For an account of what the mood on the British street was like, Norman Geras has a heartwarming anecdote, and Michael Totten has a nice selection of photos of reactions on Iraq’s street. What this will yield in the long run we shall see in the new year, but we can say for sure that the era of Saddamism is over. And good riddance to that (includes graphic images). Here's a reminder of the bigger story.
On a completely different level you may easily have missed this news item in all the excitement over the capture, but if this turns out to be accurate . . .

Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.
. . .
In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta "displayed extraordinary effort" and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy".
The second part of the memo, which is headed "Niger Shipment", contains a report about an unspecified shipment - believed to be uranium - that it says has been transported to Iraq via Libya and Syria

This would actually vindicate all the misleading rhetoric about the connections between Saddam and 9/11, nevermind his contacts to Ossama bin Laden's networks. That would be very good news indeed, because it would actually provide a reason for toppling Saddam that I didn't endorse. What a nice turn of events that would be.

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