July 22, 2008

R. Stacy McCain on the Evil of War.

And why John McCain "gets it":

The possibility of defeat is among the reasons why war should be avoided if possible. I am reminded of Nicias, the Athenian general who argued against undertaking the fateful Sicilian expedition in the Pelopponesian War but who, once the decision was made to undertake the expedition, insisted that it be made with all available force. Athens could afford the expedition, but could not afford defeat.

John McCain has indicated his disdain of Bush's jocular "f--- Saddam, we're taking him out" attitude -- an attitude he says the president manifested a year before the invasion. But McCain has steadfastly insisted that, if we were going to fight in Iraq, we make the fight full-strength. Fight to win, or don't fight at all.

Obama considers defeat an acceptable outcome; McCain doesn't. This is the real difference.

Posted by Attila Girl at July 22, 2008 07:26 PM | TrackBack

Why is it "defeat" to pull out of a country we should never have invaded, which we went into in ignorance and without sufficient preparation, which wants us out, which hates our presence, in which our presence only foments further anti-American sentiment worldwide, and in which our continued presence is unlikely to produce any good results, for us or for them or for world stability.

If you're going in the wrong direction, a U turn is your wisest course of action.

You can say Hussein was a bad guy, and he was. He wasn't threatening the U.S., he wasn't threatening anyone (beyond some meaningless sabre-rattling at Israel), and while he was indeed oppressing the Iraqi people, he was also keeping the Sunnis and Shiites from erupting into civil war and keeping Al Qaeda from forming a base of operations in Iraq.

Did it really serve U.S. interests to depose him? So much so that it was worth the trillions we've spent and the thousands of troops we've lost? Was it worth losing focus on Afghanistan, as a site of rebuilding (hearts and minds) and as a hideout for Osama bin Laden (wherever he is, laughing and eating bonbons)?

How can you win a bad war?

Posted by: Rin at July 23, 2008 09:02 AM

Maybe someone should check where Al Qaeda sustained their biggest losses. And losses of key personnel that they couldn't afford to lose--operatives that had successfully been operating in the West. Those that knew enough not to draw attention to themselves. Those that made appearances in bars and strip clubs so no one would suspect that they were zealots. They were the ones brought into Iraq to conduct those hasty, ill-conceived IED bombings. Hasty because they were playing to the Western MSM by their own admission, following the Viet Nam blueprint of quick headlines before the Press lost interest. The ones where the vast majority of casualties were Iraqi civilians. The ones that finally turned Iraqi civilians against them. The ones that resulted in US troops killing the majority of these seasoned AQ operatives. The ones that left newly recruited zealots in their place in the West. Planning operations clumsily that quickly got them on the radar of local law enforcement officials.

Can Al Qaeda rebuild? Sure. All they need is time and Barack Obama. Or is that redundant?

On October 22nd 2007, Osama bin Laden (or someone channeling him from Hell)admitted that al Qaeda had lost its war in Iraq in an audiotape speech titled "Message to the People of Iraq," Maybe its time for their Democratic allies(axis?) to do the same.

Posted by: Darrell at July 23, 2008 01:10 PM

I understand your concern about Afghanistan; have you written to the U.N. about your feelings? That one is actually a U.N. operation, so I can see why it isn't going as well as Iraq is.

Posted by: Attila Girl at July 23, 2008 04:58 PM

I imagine one could say there was a non-zero number of Al Qaeda operatives sneaking into Iraq before 9/11... just as there were in Germany, England, Pakistan... and, um, the United States.

Bin Laden had openly expressed his contempt for Hussein, a secular Muslim, and Hussein was not laying out the welcome mat for Al Qaeda. Hence the sneaking.

If our chief concern in Iraq was a small, secretive infiltration by Al Qaeda operatives working against the interests of the Iraqi people and the wishes of their leadership, why didn't we instead HELP Hussein identify, isolate, or expel those operatives? As we've tried to do in Pakistan, for example.

How did invading Iraq and deposing Hussein REDUCE the Al Qaeda presence in Iraq, or weaken their resolve or ability to recruit?

How did destabilizing Iraq (not a perfect system under Hussein, but stable for our purposes) make Americans safer?

If the U.S. invasion of Iraq was intended to reduce the Al Qaeda scope of influence in Iraq ... or in the Middle East generally ... I don't think it's succeeded terribly well. Nor is it likely to in future: as long as the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues, Al Qaeda and similar groups will grow in strength, numbers, and resolve.

Had we instead "re"built Afghanistan, won hearts and minds, built hospitals and roads, and shown the Middle East our good side, we would have spent no more (probably a lot less), lost far fewer troops, and actually accomplished something worth doing.

If we help Al Qaeda recruit, then kill their recruits, what is the end game?

What will winning look like?

Posted by: Rin at July 24, 2008 08:48 AM

Note: Some dates are approximate. Fluffy won't allow the use of a Latin word meaning "around" that starts with a "c".

1/14/1991 Just before the outbreak of war [in 1991] Iraq sent hit squads around the world to attack diplomats and government officials of Coalition nations. Western intelligence agencies and their collaborators picked this up, and as ambassador I'd seen reports about this in Bangkok. …I went to my office, where I was handed urgent papers from a collectivity of intelligence organizations. They revealed that an Iraqi terrorist group had assembled in Bangkok with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and an array of other weapons, with which they planned to attack the U.S., Israeli, and Australian embassies. …Later there were some arrests of Iraqis in Thailand, and caches of arms were found. So the terrorist threat was real, not imaginary.-UNSCOM Chairman Dr. Richard Butler

1/17/91 * Two days after the start of the last war against Iraq in 1991, Iraqi agents tried to blow up a U.S. government cultural center in the Philippines. The bomb detonated prematurely, killing one Iraqi and severely injuring another. In the aftermath, the United States discovered more than two dozen Iraqi agents throughout the region.

1/30/91 "[America] will not be excluded from the operations and explosions of the Arab and Muslim mujahidin and all the honest strugglers in the world."-Saddam Hussein

2/15/1991 "Every Iraqi child, woman, and old man knows how to take revenge...They will avenge the pure blood that has been shed no matter how long it takes. Baghdad Domestic Service, February 15, 1991 (State-controlled)

1/1/1992 - Bin Laden established legal businesses in Sudan, farms, a tannery, and a construction firm, to increase his available funds, and as fronts for al Qaeda camps he was organizing there.

1/1/1992 - Osama bin Laden made a proposal to his rivals in the pro-Iran Shiite terrorist organization Hizballah that they set aside their differences, so that they can cooperate in a common objective of killing United States troops stationed in Asia and Africa.

12/1/1992 Yazdi, Turabi, and Bashir agree to begin planning and preparing various terrorist attacks to be conducted in close coordination. These attacks included an escalation of attacks against US and UN forces in Somalia and (later) against the World Trade Center in NYC.

12/29/92 Bin Laden's first attack against US-two hotels in Aden, Yemen

1/1/93 In 1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directed and pursued an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities thwarted the terrorist plot and arrested 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals.

2/1/1993 Yazdi, Turabi, and Bashir present their plans to Iranian terror experts in a meeting in Khartoum, Sudan. The Iranians approve, and the attacks are ordered to proceed.

2/26/93 World Trade Center bombed by Al Qaeda

3/1/1993 Mohammed Farah Aidid meets with Iraqi intelligence officials in the Iraqi embassy. Baghdad promises to aid him in his fight against the Americans with the explicit intent of turning Somalia into another Vietnam for the Americans.

3/1/1993 Saddam Hussein viewed the operations against the Americans in Somalia important enough to nominate his son Qusay to personally supervise them. The other elements of anti-American operations apparently didn't support this idea. Those other elements included Bin Laden and his Afghan Arabs, the Iranian-backed Al Quds forces, the Iranian Pasadran, and the Sudanese. Iraqi intelligence reported that Saddam wanted a "Mother-of-all Battles victory in Somalia." After these reports and after Qusay's nomination, the Iraqi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan was expanded by the addition of several different Iraqi special intelligence services branches and special security branches. Those new additions were under the control of Sudan's leader Hasan al-Turabi.

3/5/1993 [1993 World Trade Center bomber ] Abdul Rahman Yasin flees the United States for Iraq where he lives peacefully until his CBS interview years later.

4/1/1993 Kuwaiti Intelligence discovers an Iraqi IIS plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April visit. [Author's note: in keeping with the tactic of a state-sponsor of terrorism, the attack was to have been carried out by terrorists not IIS operatives.]

6/4/1993 24 Pakistani Peacekeepers in Somalia are ambushed, shot to death, skinned, and their remains paraded through the streets by a mob. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that an Al Qaeda operative based in The Sudan, and several other Al Qaeda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

6/11/1993 Mohammed Farah Aidid and his advisers left Mogadishu for an Islamic Conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Publicly he and others denounced the US. In private, he met with Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri, Iranian intelligence, Iraqi intelligence, and other surrogate terrorist groups' representatives. The followup attacks to the World Trade Center bombing were initiated at this meeting, planned for July 4th, and, later, narrowly averted by the FBI. This June conference in Khartoum also created the first joint or parallel Iraqi-Sudan-Iranian operational plans to turn Somalia (specifically) into another Vietnam for the United States.

6/24/1993 A wave of arrests in NYC prevents a followup attack to the 1993 WTC attack. The relationships of the conspirators in both attacks are completely intertwined. The second attack was to focus on the UN headquarters, tunnels, and bridges in NYC.

6/27/1993 U.S. missile strike is launched against Baghdad on basis of "compelling evidence" that Iraq was involved in the April 1993 assassination attempt on former President Bush in Kuwait.

6/27/93 US launches cruise missile at Iraqi intelligence headquarters in retaliation for assassination plot against former President Bush [a plot that had been discovered 3-4 months earlier] [Author's note: while Clinton Administration officials deny that the retaliation strike was tied to the 6/24 wave of arrests in NYC or the 1993 WTC attack, the retaliation strike was the only US attack ever conducted against Iraq with so little warning and military preparation. It was also the only attack to be conducted completely unilaterally (without even the support of the UK), and it was the first attack to draw massive international condemnation despite the claim that it was in retaliation for a terrorist attack that would often be deemed an act of war.]

6/30/1993 Late June 1993 About 900 Iranian Pasadran/Iranian-Hezzbollah fighters established a logistics, training, and operations base in Somalia under the guise of the Somali SRG faction. About 1200 Al-saiqah Commandos (Iraqi intelligence and Special Security Forces) were also deployed to Somalia and together these forces trained and equipped over 15,000 Somalis for guerrilla operations against the US/UN forces based on the Vietnam and Afghanistan models.

8/22/1993 A bomb explodes near a U.S. Army HUMMV destroying the vehicle and seriously wounding 6 American soldiers. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that Al Qaeda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

9/1/1993 Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri is in Somalia acting as field commander of the "Afghan Arabs" and coordinator between those fighters, Iraqi fighters, Iranian intelligence, and the various Somali warlords….all against the US/UN forces.

9/1/1993 "The Iraqis organized the heavy weapons, mainly the dual-use 23mm guns and RPG-7s, which were used primarily against the U.S. helicopters. The Iraqis were also instrumental in running the external perimeter, blocking repeated U.S.-U.N. attempts to relieve the besieged force in the defensive perimeter. The Arab "Afghans" were in command of some of the Somali blocking forces as well. Reports conflict as to the extent of Iraqi participation in the actual fighting. A few [Iraqi] Saiqah Commando troops were definitely present, giving instructions to [Somali] SIUP fighters."

9/25/1993 An American UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter is shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia. The crew is rescued. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that Al Qaeda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

10/1/1993 After the 8/22 bombing of a U.S. Army HUMMV, U.S. Army Task Force Ranger and Delta Force commandos make 6 raids trying to kill/capture Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. All fail publicly. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that Al Qaeda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

10/1/1993 Sudan is added to the U.S. State Department's list of nations that support terrorism. [Author's note: this occurs at the same time as Sudanese intelligence officials were notifying the US of Al Qaeda terrorists based in Sudan and operating freely in Somalia against US forces. While there is no direct and/or public response toward Al Qaeda, the Sudan suffers publicly and economically as a supporter of international terrorism]

10/3/1993 U.S. Task Force Ranger makes another daring daylight raid using the same tactics as the 6 earlier raids. This raid captures 22 leaders in Adidas organization. During the raid, a U.S. Army ranger falls from a hovering helicopter-halting the operation. While the operation is halted, two Black hawk helicopters are shot down by Somalis with RP G's. 18 Americans are killed. Eighty-four Americans are wounded. Two American Delta Force snipers volunteered to protect one of the downed helicopter crews until reinforcements could arrive. They were eventually overwhelmed by thousands of Somalis and killed. Their bodies mutilated and dragged through the streets. Shocking video from a French camera crew is shown around the world within hours of the debacle. One of the pilots protected by the Delta Force snipers is captured. Both Delta snipers received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Somali casualties will never be determined as the nation was in a complete state of anarchy. However, Red Crescent reports state that as many as 3000 were killed and somewhere between 5000 and 10,000 were wounded.

10/20/1993 President Clinton announces the withdrawal of all US troops from Somalia by 3/31/94

1/1/94 Sudanese intelligence officials told me that their agents had observed meetings between Iraqi intelligence agents and bin Laden starting in 1994, when bin Laden lived in Khartoum.

1/1/1994 -- Osama bin Laden stripped of Saudi citizenship. [Author's note: Osama Bin Laden begins to make his home in Sudan and Afghanistan, and his rhetoric against American and western forces in the Persian Gulf/Saudi Arabia area increases substantially.]

1/17/1994 An American cruise missile hits the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq and almost kills Saddam Hussein. The missile attack was launched in retaliation for the Iraqi IIS assassination attempt on former President George Bush Sr.

3/1/1994 Jordanian-based ABC affiliate spots [1993 WTC bomber] Abdul Rahman outside his father's house in Baghdad.

6/1/1994 Bin Laden meets with Iraqi Director of Intelligence Services Farouq Hijazi in Khartoum. Sudanese leader Hassan Al-Turabi mediated the meeting. The intent of the meeting was to try and get Bin Laden to work more closely with Iraq, but Baghdad is still hesitant of Bin Laden's closer ties to Tehran.

9/29/1994 "Does [America] realize the meaning of every Iraqi becoming a missile that can cross to countries and cities?" Saddam Hussein, September 29, 1994

9/29/94 "Does [America] realize the meaning of every Iraqi becoming a missile that can cross to countries and cities?" -Saddam Hussein

10/4/1994 "[W]hen peoples reach the verge of collective death, they will be able to spread death to all..." Al-Jumhuriyah, October 4, 1994 (State-controlled newspaper)

10/4/94 "[W]hen peoples reach the verge of collective death, they will be able to spread death to all..." -Saddam Hussein

10/6/1994 "[O]ur striking arm will reach [America, Britain and Saudi Arabia] before they know what hit them." Al-Qadisiyah, October 6, 1994 (State-controlled newspaper)

10/6/94 "[O]ur striking arm will reach [America, Britain and Saudi Arabia] before they know what hit them."-Saddam Hussein

10/12/1994 "One chemical weapon fired in a moment of despair could cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands." Al-Quds al-Arabi, October 12, 1994 (State-controlled newspaper)

10/12/1994 The Taliban militia conquered the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan. [Author's note: this occurs after Osama Bin Laden returns to Afghanistan and supports the Taliban instead of the other Afghan warlords, militias, and rebelling Afghan Army units. Soon after, Osama Bin Laden's son will marry Taliban leader Mullah Omar's daughter effectively binding the two men in a family tie.]

12/12/94 In January 1995, a Philippine National Police raid turned up material in a Manila apartment suggesting that Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Murad, and Khalid Shaykh Mohammad planned, among other things, to crash an airplane into CIA Headquarters. The police said that the same group was responsible for the bombing of a Philippine airliner on December 12, 1994. Information on the threat was passed to the FAA, which briefed U.S. and major foreign carriers.

1/1/1995 - Foiled plot to bomb 12 U.S. airliners. FBI named Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as suspect.

1/6/1995 A fire at Ramsi Yousef's Manila apartment reveals a plan called operation Bijoinka. The plan was to attack several American passenger planes using bombs assembled on the planes and set to go off while the planes were over the Pacific. The attacks were specifically planned to span the two week period surrounding the anniversary of the start of the 1991 Gulf War, Jan, 17....11 days from the time the apartment caught fire and the plot was foiled.

2/7/95 Ramsi Yousef-planner of the 1993 WTC bombing and alleged Iraqi IIS Agent-is arrested in Pakistan

4/11/1995 An explicit threat to US forces in Saudi Arabia is published in al-Quds al-Arabi, a London-based newspaper that was sypmathetic to Saddam. The message was, "An extremist group in Saudi Arabia has threatened to carry out military operations against the 'crusader forces' in the Arabian Peninsula, especially U.S. and British."

4/12/1995 Iraqi radio broadcasts the same message as the London newspaper, "An extremist group in Saudi Arabia has threatened to carry out military operations against the 'crusader forces' in the Arabian Peninsula, especially U.S. and British."

6/9/1995 "Although Iraq's options are limited, they exist...Iraq's present state is that of a wounded tiger. Its blow could be painful, even if it is the last blow..." Al-Quds Al-'Arabi, June 9, 1995 (State-controlled newspaper)

9/1/1995 Brig. Salim al-Ahmed, an IIS bomb maker, traveled to bin Laden's farm in Sudan and gave instructions on how to build sophisticated explosives. He was observed at the farm in the fall of 1995 and again in July 1996, the year bin Laden left Sudan and established a new base in Afghanistan. "Mani abd-al-Rashid, IIS director, went to the farm to meet bin Laden during the same time period. 'The Iraqi intelligence chief and two other IIS officers met at bin Laden's farm and discussed bin Laden's request for IIS technical assistance in: a) making letter and parcel bombs; b) making bombs which could be placed on aircraft and detonated by changes in barometric pressure; and c) making false passport. Bin Laden asked that al-Ahmed, who is skilled in making car bombs, stay at the farm after al-Rashid departed.'" [Excerpted from the Hudson Institute Report: " Saddam's Hussein's Philanthropy of Terror" Saddam Hussein's al Qaeda Connections]

11/13/1995 American barracks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is bombed by Al Qaeda [Saudis claim that the bomb was of a military grade and had all the marks of an Iraqi IIS attack, but US intelligence operatives are lead to believe that Iran supported the attack. Given that the bombing takes place immediately after Iraq is forced to submit to new UN measures, there is also strong suspicion that Iraq might have ordered the attack. Openly, the US blames Al Qaeda for the attack. In an effort to deal justice swiftly, harshly, and possibly to hide a Saudi/Al Qaeda funding connection, the Saudis immediately round up suspects and execute them before allowing the US to interrogate them.]

11/13/1995 National Security Agency intercepts an ominous phone call to Bin Laden. When Bin Laden was on the line, the caller makes a pre-arranged coded reference to the forthcoming attack on the US barracks in Riyadh. Bin Laden became emotional and implored God to bless the caller. The he declared, "This is not the first or the last, The rain starts but with one drop, and it soon becomes a steady downpour. Things will be ready."

1/1/1996 - Taliban closed Kabul University; male students permitted only high school education. Female students over the age of 12 banned from all schools, and ordered to stay at home most of the time to perform housework. Many other repressive laws enacted.

1/1/1996 - After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam political party in Pakistan assisted organization of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

1/1/1996 Rolf Ekeus, first chairman of UNSCOM-the UN WMD inspection group-tells the US Congress that, "The Iraqi government does not consider the Gulf War was a war with an ending; the struggle is still going on. It was a battle for Kuwait, not a war of Kuwait."

5/18/1996 Osama Bin Laden is tipped off that he is about to be expelled from Sudan. In response, he gathers all of his belongings, family, and followers and flees to Jalalabad, Afghanstan by way of Pakistan.

5/18/96 Sudan expels bin Laden at the request of the US and Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda then move to Afghanistan,

6/1/1996 Iran reorganizes its intelligence services, directs Iranian Hezzbollah to begin attacking targets worldwide, initiates the Committee of Three. This committee acts as liason between Iranian Intelligence and multiple terrorist groups. The committee reviews plans for attacks, coordinates, and arranges sponsoring of attacks, and is made up of Osama Bin Laden, Imad Mughaniyah, and Ahmad Salah (Salim) (the first and last being Sunni Muslims). The umbrella of terrorist groups working with the Committee essentially formed almost half of Al Qaeda's peak attack units/forces/groups. The committee will be implicated in the Khobar Towers attack, the stabbing of a US diplomat, and in the mysterious explosion of TWA800-ruled an accident by the Clinton Administration.

6/1/1996 A UN WMD inspection team lead by Scott Ritter seeks to inspect a building. It turns out to be a school for terrorist activities run by the Directorate M-21 of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. The building is deemed a Presidential site. The press later labels such sites as Presidential palaces. Scott Ritter describes, "Document after document outlined an international program of terror. These were state-sanctioned assassins, who did not shrink from shedding the blood of innocent civilians, including women and children. It was all justifiable to them in the name of defending the regime."

6/25/1996 Khobar -- Truck containing about 5000 pounds of explosives targeted against US military dormitory results in 19 dead and about 500 wounded. Perpetrators escaped, later indicted by U.S. [Author's note: according to the indictment, press reports, and US intelligence reports that are later declassified, the attack appears to have been just as the Riyadh attack years earlier-conducted by Al Qaeda at the request of either Iran or Iraq. Like the Riyadh attack and other Al Qaeda attacks, it comes immediately on the heels of Iraq being forced to bow to UN inspections and/or sanctions-often specifically stated by Bin Laden as a reason for Jihad against the US.]

6/27/1996 "[The U.S.] should send more coffins to Saudi Arabia, because no one can guess what the future has in store." Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Radio, June 27, 1996

7/1/96 The Director of Iraqi Intelligence, Mani abd-al-Rashid al-Tikriti, met privately with bin Laden at his farm in Sudan in July 1996. Tikriti used an Iraqi delegation traveling to Khartoum to discuss bilateral cooperation as his "cover" for his own entry into Sudan to meet with bin Laden and Hassan al-Turabi. The Iraqi intelligence chief and two other IIS officers met at bin Laden's farm and discussed bin Laden's request for IIS technical assistance in: a) making letter and parcel bombs; b) making bombs which could be placed on aircraft and detonated by changes in barometric pressure; and c) making false passport [sic]. Bin Laden specifically requested that [Brigadier Salim al-Ahmed], Iraqi intelligence's premier explosives maker--especially skilled in making car bombs--remain with him in Sudan. The Iraqi intelligence chief instructed Salim to remain in Sudan with bin Laden as long as required.

9/11/1996 The Taliban militia conquered the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan

9/26/1996 Mujihadeen military commander Ahmed Shah Masood fled from the Afghan city of Kabul, due to the imminant invasion by the Taliban […backed by Osama Bin Laden's Afghan Arabs/Al Qaeda.].

9/27/1996 The Taliban militia conquered the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban acquired power in Afghanistan by overthrowing the government of Mohammed Najibullah, the political leader who had acquired power after the departure of the Soviet invaders, was executed by hanging on a public street.

1/1/1997 The Cable News Network interviewed bin Laden. He said, in part, "We declared a jihad against the United States because it is unjust, criminal, and tyrannical." Without directly taking credit for the actions, he mentioned the 1995 killing of 7 US troops in Riyadh and the 1996 killing of 19 US troops in Dharan as examples of the jihad.

1/1/1997 An Iraqi defector to Turkey, known by his cover name as "Abu Mohammed," told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in Saddam's Fedayeen. He described an encounter at Salman Pak, the training facility southeast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives -- on a full-size Boeing 707. Col. Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed that a lot of people were queuing for food. (The major) said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK and Mojahedin-e Khalq.'"

1/1/97 Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was sent to Iraq by bin Laden to purchase poison gases several times between 1997 and 2000. He called his relationship with Saddam's regime "successful," Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

5/23/1997 Taliban militia [supported by Osama Bin Laden's Afghan Arabs/Al Qaeda] conquered the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. Eleven diplomats from Iran were executed. [Author's note: this marks the definitive shift from Iranian-backed acts of terrorism to Al Qaeda attacks that become more and more tied to Iraq.]

5/24/1997 Pakistan formally recognized the Taliban government.

1/1/1998 - Reporter John Miller of ABC News interviewed bin Laden, who said, in part, "Our battle against the Americans is far greater than our battle was against the Russians. We anticipate a black future for America. Instead of remaining United States, it shall end up separated states and shall have to carry the bodies of its sons back to America."

1/1/1998 In 1998, Abbas al-Janabi, a longtime aide to Saddam's son Uday, defected to the West. At the time, he repeatedly told reporters that there was a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

2/1/1998 February 1998 - Bin Laden published declaration which included the objective: "To kill Americans and their allies, civilians and military, is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it, in any country in which it is possible to do it."

2/1/1998 It was Al Qaeda's #2, Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahri, who traveled to Baghdad in February 1998 and met with one of Iraq's vice presidents. 'The goal of the visit was to arrange for coordination between Iraq and bin Laden and establish camps in an-Nasiriyah and Iraqi Kurdistan under the leadership of Abdul Aziz,'

2/3/98 According to a sensitive reporting [from] a "regular and reliable source," [Ayman al] Zawahiri, a senior al Qaeda operative, visited Baghdad and met with the Iraqi Vice President on 3 February 1998. The goal of the visit was to arrange for coordination between Iraq and bin Laden and establish camps in an-Nasiriyah and Iraqi Kurdistan under the leadership of Abdul Aziz. [Author's note: it is later alleged and well-supported that the Ansar Al Islam terrorist training camp in an area of Saddam-controlled Northern Iraq (run by Mohammed Al Zarqawi Al Queda's chemical and biological weapons specialist) is the result of this meeting.]

2/5/1998 Saddam Hussein sends his son Qusay (responsible for the Iraqi Intelligence Services and the Special Republican Guard Security units) to meet with senior Iranian intelligence officials. Qusay and Rafia Daham ak-Tikriti (chief of the General Iraqi Intelligence Service) travelled to al-Shalamja on the Iraqi side of the Iraq/Iran border. Iranian Intelligence Minister, Qorban Ali Dali Najafabadi, and others agreed with the Iraqis to sponsor and conduct joint terrorist operations around the world. Both parties referenced their ability to work together through the Sudan in Somalia and elsewhere back in the early 1990's, and as such gave priority for joint operations to be conducted through Sudan once more. It was also agreed that in the wake of another US attack on Iraq, both would work to characterize such an attack as a joint US/Israeli attack on the Arab World in order to make it impossible for Arab nations-primarily Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States-to work with the US.

2/18/1998 On February 18, 1998, after the Iraqis repeatedly refused to permit U.N. weapons inspectors into sensitive sites, President Clinton went to the Pentagon and delivered a hawkish speech about Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his links to 'an unholy axis of terrorists, drug traffickers, and organized international criminals.' Said Clinton: 'We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. . . . They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen. There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein.'

2/19/1998 The following day, February 19, 1998, according to documents unearthed in Baghdad after the recent war by journalists Mitch Potter and Inigo Gilmore, Hussein's intelligence service wrote a memo detailing upcoming meetings with a bin Laden representative traveling to Baghdad. Each reference to bin Laden had been covered with Liquid Paper. The memo laid out a plan to step up contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. The Mukhabarat, one of Saddam's security forces, agreed to pay for 'all the travel and hotel costs inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden.' The document set as the goal for the meeting a discussion of 'the future of our relationship with him, bin Laden, and to achieve a direct meeting with him.' The al Qaeda representative, the document went on to suggest, might be 'a way to maintain contacts with bin Laden.'

2/22/1998 On February 22, 1998 bin-Laden announced the formation of the 'World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and the Crusaders,' merging Egypt's Jihad Group, the Islamic Group the Ansar Movement of Pakistani and the Bangladeshi Jihad Movement under one umbrella. (NOTE: the "muscle men" who did the hijacking of Flight 93 that crashed in PA, and the hijackers who took over the plane that hit the Pentagon are all reported to have donned red bandannas or headbands prior to taking the plane. This is characteristic of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and in keeping with the idea that the different cells taking part in the attack were from different groups that had been pulled together by Al Qaeda.)

2/22/1998 Al Qaeda spokesman once again speak through Arab newspapers in London and threaten attacks against Americans and British forces in retaliation for their occupation of Arab lands and their oppression of the Iraqis.

2/23/1998 On February 23, 1998, bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a famous fatwa about the plight of Iraq. Published that day in al Quds al-Arabi, it reads in part: 'First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples. . . . The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, still they are helpless. Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, in excess of 1 million . . . despite all this, the Americans are once again trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.'

3/1/98 Al Qaeda envoy visits Baghdad from Sudan and extendes trip another week to further plan visit from Bin Laden. [Author's note: it is later alleged and well-supported that the Al Qaeda leader who visited Iraq was Al Qaeda's second in command, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri. It is important to note that such a high level meeting would have undoubtedly involved multiple Al Qaeda members for security and communication, a good deal of pre-planning communications, a substantial level of trust on the part of Al Qaeda's #2 man, and topics of a nature so important as to require direct communication rather than couriers.]

4/25/1998 , Sudanese leader Hassan Al-Turabi again acts as mediator between Baghdad and Al Qaeda. Iraqi Intelligence leaders meet with Al Qaeda's Mohammed Abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim (sometime between April 25, 1998 and May 1, 1998).

4/25/1998 Al Qaeda's Mohammed Abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim meet with Qusay Hussein-then responsible for all Iraqi Intelligence matters. Both sides are satisified with negotiations regarding cooperation and a possible shift of Al Qaeda operations from Afghanistan to Iraq.

4/25/1998 As a result of April-May discussions between Iraq and Al Qaeda, Iraq agrees to begin training Saudi Intelligence Operatives who are in league with Al Qaeda, inside Iraq.

4/25/1998 Between April 25 and May 1, 1998, two of bin-Laden's senior military commanders, Muhammad Abu-Islam and Abdallah Qassim visited Baghdad for discussions with Saddam Hussein's son - Qusay Hussein - the czar" of all Iraqi intelligence matters. Qusay Hussein's participation in the meetings highlights the importance of the talks in both symbolic and practical terms. Iraqi commitments for training, intelligence, clandestine Saudi border crossings, as well as weapons and explosives support to al-Qaeda were a direct result of the meetings."

5/1/1998 Bin Laden declares war on the United States for the 5th time [….again].

5/1/1998 Iraq's Revolutionary Council begins to repeatedly warn the US of "dire consequences" if the UN sanctions were not lifted and UN WMD inspection teams removed.

5/4/1998 Embassy bomber Khalfan Khamis gets a passport for Tanzania. [Author's note: this happens immediately after Osama Bin Laden and Iraq issue threats of force at the same time.]

5/7/1998 Al Qaeda spokesman once again speak through Arab newspapers in London and threaten attacks against Americans and British forces in retaliation for their occupation of Arab lands and their oppression of the Iraqis.

5/29/1998 Bin Laden issues a statement he titles "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam"

6/15/1998 In mid June of 1998, the first of the Saudi Intelligence operatives associated with Al Qaeda move from Saudi Arabia to Iraq. They begin a 4 week course at the Nasariah training camp in Iraq. Most are trained in intelligence gathering techniques, recon of possible targets, attack planning, etc. Other Saudi Intelligence operatives associated with Al Qaeda smuggle explosives and weapons into Iraq (with complete Iraqi compliance) for use in training and conducting terror attacks.

6/15/1998 An outcome of the April meetings was Iraq's commitment to train a network of bin-Laden's operatives within Saudi Arabia. By mid-June, 1998, bin-Laden' s operatives were at the al-Nasiriyah training camp, receiving a four week course of instruction from the Iraqi intelligence and military on reconnaissance and targeting American facilities and installations for terrorist attacks. Another group was organized and trained for smuggling weapons and explosives into Saudi Arabia - and used their entrance into the kingdom as the first (successful) operation. A third group of bin-Laden's Saudi operatives received a month of sophisticated guerrilla operations training later in the Summer of 1998.

6/23/1998 Iraqi media reiterates its 5/1/98 declaration to the UN-effectively repeating the declaration of war.

7/1/98 In June 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information from several sources that Bin Ladin was considering attacks in the United States, including Washington, D.C., and New York. This information was provided to [ ] senior government officials in July 1998.

7/15/1998 In Mid July Al Qaeda's #2 man, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri, secretly travelled to Baghdad to meet with various officials-including VP Taha Yassin Ramadan. The purpose of this secret meeting was to discuss the "modalities" of Bin Laden's new base of operations in Iraq, the expansion of Islamist/Al Qaeda/Mujahedeen training (as expected by the Iraqis), and to help further develop a joint strategy for an anti-US jihad in the Middle East and North Africa.

7/15/1998 During his Mid July visit to Iraq, Al Qaeda's #2 man, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri was taken to visit the various training camps that had been setup in Iraq and were already operating. He visited camps near Nasariah, Fallujah, one south of Baghdad (likely Salman Pak), and one that had been built out in the middle of the Iraqi desert back in 1997 specifically for training Islamists provided by Al Qaeda. They also took Zawahiri to at least one potential headquarters site for Bin Laden's hoped/expected move from Afghanistan to Iraq.

7/15/1998 Bin-Laden quickly sought to strengthen and reinforce Iraqi support. In mid-July 1998, bin-Laden sent Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian co-founder of al-Qaeda to Iraq to meet with senior Iraqi officials, including Iraqi vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan, to discuss and plan a joint strategy for an anti-US jihad. Baghdad pledged their full support and cooperation, on the condition that bin-Laden not incite the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood against Saddam Hussein's reign. Zawahiri was taken to tour a potential site for bin-Laden's new headquarters near al-Fallujah, and to observe training at terrorist camps run by Iraqi intelligence, to include the training conducted at al-Nasiriyah to bin-Laden's Saudi operatives. Zawahiri assumed responsibility for the al-Nasiriyah training camp in the name of Osama bin-Laden, as part of Iraq's recognition of bin-Laden as the local authority" in the jihad against the United States."

7/21/1998 Iraqi media once again reiterates its 5/1/98 declaration and warns of "dire consequences" if sanctions were not lifted immediately.

8/1/98 In August 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center. The information was passed to the FBI and the FAA. The latter found the plot to be highly unlikely, given the state of the foreign country's aviation program. Moreover, the agencies believed that a flight originating outside the United States would be detected before it reached its intended target inside the United States. The FBI's New York office took no action on the information, filing the communication in the office's bombing file. The Intelligence Community acquired additional information since then suggesting links between this group and other terrorist groups, including al-Qa'ida. [Author's note: these reports of Al Qaeda activity take place as the African embassy bombers are gathering, in the wake of serious threats from Iraq and Bin Laden that come repeatedly and in consistent order, as Iraq forges new economic alliances with its neighbors, and as UN inspections are again meeting resistance.]

8/1/98 In August 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that a group, since linked to al-Qaeda, planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center. As explained earlier, the FAA found the plot to be highly unlikely given the state of the foreign country's aviation program. Moreover, the agencies concluded that a flight originating outside the United States would be detected before it reached its target. The FBI's New York office took no action on the information. [Author's note: these reports of Al Qaeda activity take place as the African embassy bombers are gathering, in the wake of serious threats from Iraq and Bin Laden that come repeatedly and in consistent order, as Iraq forges new economic alliances with its neighbors, and as UN inspections are again meeting resistance.]

8/5/1998 Iraq announces "Suspension Day," and issues a statement that declaring that it has fulfilled all of its obligations needed to lift the economic blockade. It also allows UNSCOM inspectors to remain in Iraq, but suspends all inspections until the economic sanctions are lifted.

8/6/1998 Embassy bombers Muhammed Odeh, Fahd Muhammed Ali Msalem, and Ahmed Khalfan Gailani all leave for Tanzania from Karachi and Nairobi respectively.

8/7/1998 A car bomb exploded outside US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. A few hours later, explosion at US embassy in Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania. In both attacks, 224 people were killed and almost 5,000 were injured. (Later, a suspect was arrested and he said he was a member of al Qaeda. The US Justice Department indicted 17 member of al Qaeda, including bin Laden, for the two embassy bombings. 4 of the 17 were later arrested and convicted; 13 remained at large.)

8/7/1998 Prior to the embassy bombings in Africa, faxes claiming responsibility are sent to Arab newspapers in London that were sypmathetic to Iraq, Bin Laden and/or both. The group claiming responsibility calls itself "Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Places" in reference to Bin Laden's "Nuclear Bomb of Islam" statement of 5/29/98, and in reference to the Western forces stationed in the Persian Gulf.

8/7/1998 August 7, 1998: Terrorists bomb the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The bomb in Nairobi, Kenya kills 213 people, including 12 US nationals, and injures more than 4,500. The bomb in Dar es Salaam kills 11 and injures 85. The attack is blamed on al-Qaeda. [PBS Frontline, 2001]

8/20/98 The US fires 66 missiles at six training camps in Afghanistan and 13 missiles at a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan in retaliation for the US embassy bombings. [Author's note: the targets in The Sudan were chosen because American intelligence officials had what they considered to be solid, "Actionable" intelligence that a certain factory was housing and possibly preparing VX nerve gas using equipment smuggled out of Iraq and operated by Al Qaeda. It turned out to be an aspirin factory, but illustrates very clearly 1) the American presumption that Iraq's VX program was capable (either in Iraq or shipped elsewhere to run), 2) that Iraq was willing to work with Al Qaeda, and 3) that the Clinton Administration and those who supported the raid believed that Saddam was capable and/or likely to pass on WMD and/or WMD capacity to Al Qaeda.]

8/20/98 In an address to the nation on military action against terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, President Clinton declared: "A few months ago, and again this week, Bin Ladin publicly vowed to wage a terrorist war against America."

8/22/98 In a radio address to the nation, President Clinton declared: "Our efforts against terrorism cannot and will not end with this strike. We should have realistic expectations about what a single action can achieve, and we must be prepared for a long battle."

8/30/1998 In the late summer of 1998, eleven Saudis enter Iraq for training in Iraq's most sophisticated guerrilla techniques. By this time, Iraq expected to increase its training of Saudi and other Islamist guerrilla/terrorist forces, and so two of the camps previously used for Mujahedeen-ul-Khalq are turned over for these new Islamists associated with Al Qaeda and sometimes various intelligence operatives from other nations.

8/31/1998 8/31/98 Sudanese leader Hassan al-Turabi tries to get Bin Laden out of Afghanistan. Turabi asks Iraqis if Bin Laden can move his operations to Iraq, and Iraqis-through VP Taha Yassin Ramadan who was visiting Khartoum at the time-are eager to assist. Bin Laden is notified within hours.

9/1/1998 September 1998 Crisis between Taliban and Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Iranian troops moved to border after fighting in Northern Afghanistan claims as many as 4000 Shiites and as 9 Iranian diplomats are killed by Taliban. Bin Laden attempted to mediate to no avail.

9/1/98 In the fall of 1998, the Community received information concerning a Bin Ladin plot involving aircraft in the New York and Washington, D.C. areas.

9/1/98 In September 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Bin Ladin's next operation might involve flying an explosives-laden aircraft into a U.S. airport and detonating it. This information was provided to senior government officials in late 1998.

9/2/1998 Having captured two of the African Embassy bombers, Abbas and Suliman, Sudan finally decides it can no longer wait for the CIA to decide how to handle them. Given that Sudan had no charges it could file on the two men, they turned them over to the Pakistani ISI as the bombers were also wanted in Pakistan. Pakistan let the men escape-either through ineptitude or a deal made with Bin Laden to quel Islamic extremists in Pakistan. The African Embassy bombers had escaped due primarily to CIA bureaucratic bungling.

9/20/1998 "September 20, 1998: Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, an al-Qaeda terrorist from the United Arab Emirates connected to the 1998 US embassy bombings, is arrested near Munich, Germany. [PBS Newshour, 9/30/98] In retrospect, it appears he was making one of many visits to the al-Qaeda cells in Germany. [The Base, Jane Corbin, 8/02, p. 147] US investigators later call him bin Laden's "right hand man." [New York Times, 9/29/01] Wadih El-Hage, a former personal secretary to bin Laden, is also arrested in the wake of the embassy bombings. El-Hage had created a number of shell companies as fronts for al-Qaeda terrorist activities"

10/31/1998 President Clinton signs the Iraqi Liberation Act authorizing the support of insurgent action against Saddam Hussein, and creating a unique and Congressionally-mandated American policy of Regime Change in Iraq.

11/14/1998 The US threatened to attack Iraq, but an agreement was reached with the UN, and the bombers were literally turned around in while already in the air. The threat of air strikes further secured Saddam's willingness to use Islamist fighters to deniably strike back at the US in the hopes of driving the US from the region-the same objective that the Islamists (like Bin Laden and Al Qaeda) pursued. This decision was conveyed by Saddam to his sons as soon as the US called off its attack.

11/15/1998 "Saddam Hussein became convinced for the first time that Washingtonwas seriously seeking to topple him and had decided to bring him down by any means possible. He chose to confront the threat by all means possible, too, particularly extremism and terrorism since he had nothing to lose." (unnamed Arab govt leader)

11/16/1998 Saddam's son Qusay argues to Saddam that the US should be confronted through terrorist activities, using Islamists like those provided by Al Qaeda. Saddam agreed that there was "no way an emaciated Iraq could deflect a determined US attack." Faced with the Clinton Administration's policy of "Regime Change," and convinced by the 11/14/98 aborted air campaign that the threat of Regime Change was very real....the lure of conducting a deniable terrorist campaign against the US was irresistible.

11/17/1998 Iraq sends al-Jubburi and al-Shihabi (two of Qusay Hussein's most trusted Intelligence operatives) to Afghanistan to meet with Bin Laden in Kabul.

11/18/1998 Al Qaeda and Iraqi Intelligence officials meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan prepare the details for a protracted series of terrorist attacks against the US aimed at their common goal-driving the US from the Persian Gulf. They planned on committing "spectacular martyrdom operations" all around the world. Bin Laden assured the Iraqis that Al Qaeda would assassinate Iraqi opposition members and could "reach areas that Iraqi Intelligence could not." They also agreed to meet again and work out the final details in an opening series of attacks.

12/1/1998 In late 1998, Pakistani ISI Intelligence reported that Islamist [Al Qaeda] training camps had been reactivated in eastern Afghanistan. Specifically mentioned were two new camps: one in the Tora Boora area, and another near Galrez to the south.

12/1/1998 In early December 1998, the US threatens the Taliban with force if they do not turn over 18 Taliban/Arab Afghans/Al Qaeda members….including Osama Bin Laden. This leads to a meeting in Khandahar with Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Iranian intel officials, Iraqi intel officials, and Sudan's leader Turabi. When the US only attacks Iraq with 70hrs of weak air strikes, the Taliban and those at the meeting decide that the US threat of force against Afghanistan is either a bluff or at the most bearable. The deadline for this handover is 1/15/99.

12/1/1998 In December 1998, the Clinton Administration engaged in a bombing campaign against Iraq that was viewed by many, particularly Islamist leaders, as a political distraction or Wag The Dog" side-show to diminish or reduce President Clinton's scandals and domestic political trouble. The launching of anti-American Islamist terrorism in retaliation for the bombing campaign was certain. Iraqi trade minister Muhammad Mahdi Salah stated that he expected "terrorist activities" against the United States to increase as a result of the bombing of Iraq." -Youssef Bodansky, "Bin Laden; The Man Who Declared War on America"

12/1/1998 In December 1998, the Clinton Administration engaged in a bombing campaign against Iraq that was viewed by many, particularly Islamist leaders, as a political distraction or Wag The Dog" side-show to diminish or reduce President Clinton's scandals and domestic political trouble. The launching of anti-American Islamist terrorism in retaliation for the bombing campaign was certain. Iraqi trade minister Muhammad Mahdi Salah stated that he expected "terrorist activities" against the United States to increase as a result of the bombing of Iraq." -Youssef Bodansky, "Bin Laden; The Man Who Declared War on America"

12/4/98 CIA Director Tenet issues a "declaration of war" on al-Qaeda, in a memorandum circulated in the intelligence community. [Author's note: it is either incredibly coincidental, or definatively connected that CIA Director Tenet would make such a declaration while his future counterpart in the Iraqi intelligence service was traveling to distant and dangerous Sudan to meet with Bin Laden, and/or through Pakistan to Afghanistan to do so again. One might wonder what was so important that such a powerful and dangerous Iraqi might have to say or do directly with Osama Bin Laden. One must also remember that for Osama to trust the Iraqis with his location and a meeting, and for the Iraqis to personally send one of their most secret and powerful men to such a meeting, there would have undoubtedly had to have been previous lower level communication to develop that trust on the parts of both Iraq and AQ, and to create/facilitate the various meetings.]

12/13/1998 Since the Clinton administration was aware of the arrangements made between Sudan's Turabi, Bin Laden, Iraq, and other Arab nations, the expectation of terrorist response to the American attacks on Iraq was no surprise. US embassies in the Mid East and elsewhere are issued the following warning, "The embassy has information indicating a strong possibility that terrorist elements are planning an attack against U.S. targets in the Gulf, possibly in the next 30 days,"

12/16/98 The United States begins a four-day air strike campaign ("Operation Desert Fox") against Iraq after United Nations military inspectors declare that their work in Iraq has been blocked. President Clinton says he ordered the attacked after a "stark, sobering, and profoundly disturbing report" from UNSCOM Chief Richard Butler that described Iraq's actions to thwart weapons inspections. The U.N. inspection team is withdrawn.

12/18/1998 Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri (Al Qaeda's #2 man and strategic planner) issues the following statement in response to the US attacks on Iraq: (signed by Abdullah al-Mansur leader of the AQ affiliate Vanguards of Conquest) [the Arab world] "not be content with the empty words of denunciation and condemnation that we are accustomed to hearing from the [Arab] regimes." ..."In the name of all the sons of the Islamic movement in Egypt, and with the participation of our brothers throughout the great Islamic world, we openly and loudly declare that we will retaliate for what is happening to the sons of our nations in Iraq, since the crimes committed by the United States against our Islamic nation will not go unpunished."

12/20/1998 Bin Laden and Zawahiri issue a condemnation of the US attack on Iraq and call for the Arab world to unite against the US for its actions against Iraq.

12/21/98 December 21, 1998: In a Time magazine cover story entitled "The Hunt for Osama," it is reported intelligence sources "have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet - a strike on Washington or possibly New York City in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. 'We've hit his headquarters, now he hits ours,' says a State Department aide."

12/21/1998 December 21, 1998: In a Time magazine cover story entitled "The Hunt for Osama," it is reported intelligence sources "have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet - a strike on Washington or possibly

12/21/1998 New York City in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. 'We've hit his headquarters, now he hits ours,' says a State Department aide." [Time, 12/21/98]

12/22/98 "Bin Laden interviewed by ABC News Producer Rahimullah Yousafsai ; "To seek to possess the weapons that could counter those of the infidels is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then this is an obligation I carried out and I thank God for enabling us to do that. And if I seek to acquire these weapons I am carrying out a duty. It would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent the infidels from inflicting harm on Muslims. But how we could use these weapons if we possess them is up to us." -Osama Bin Laden interview 12/22/98 "

12/31/1998 The Arabic daily newspaper, Al-Quds al-Arabi, first raised the issue of cooperation between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Osama bin-Laden's al-Qaeda in a late December 1998 editorial that predicted, President Saddam Hussein , whose country was subjected to a four day air strike , will look for support in taking revenge on the United States and Britain by cooperating with Saudi oppositionist Osama bin-Laden, whom the United States considers to be the most wanted person in the world." The editorial noted that this type of cooperation was very likely considering that "bin-Laden was planning moving to Iraq before the recent strike.""

1/1/1999 Just weeks after Clinton bombed the daylights out of suspected hideaways for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, he used his January 1999 State of the Union Address to warn America about both bin Laden and Saddam, mentioning the two terror kingpins almost in the same breath. 'We will defend our security wherever we are threatened - as we did this summer when we struck at Osama bin Laden's network of terror,' Clinton told Congress and the nation. 'The bombing our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania reminds us again of the risks faced every day by those who represent America to the world.' Moments later Clinton segued into the threat posed by Saddam: 'For nearly a decade, Iraq has defied its obligations to destroy its weapons of terror and the missiles to deliver them. America will continue to contain Saddam, and we will work for the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people.'

1/1/99 In 1999, the FBI received reports that another terrorist organization was planning to send students to the United States for aviation training. The purpose of this training was unknown, but organization leaders viewed the plan as "particularly important" and reportedly approved open ended funding for it. An operational unit in the Counter-terrorism Section at Headquarters instructed 24 field offices to pay close attention to Islamic students from the target country engaged in aviation training. This communication was sent to the Phoenix Office's International Terrorism squad, but the agent who wrote the Phoenix EC does not recall it. The communication requested that field offices "task sources, coordinate with the INS, and conduct other logical inquiries, in an effort to develop an intelligence baseline" regarding the terrorist group's involvement with students. There is no indication that field offices conducted any investigation after receiving the communication. The analyst who drafted it explained that he received several calls from the field for guidance since it raised concerns about the Buckley Amendment, which bars post-secondary educational institutions that receive federal funding from releasing personal information without written student consent.

1/1/1999 An Arab intelligence officer who knows Saddam Hussein personally predicts in Newsweek Magazine: "Very soon you will be witnessing large-scale terrorist activity run by the Iraqis." He describes these operations as "false-flag" operations; incidents where the actual bombers are not directly attributable to the primary source, and where those who commit the actual acts are deliberately chosen and manipulated in a way so as to lead subsequent investigations toward incorrect determination of the incidents' primary source. Many claim the 1993 WTC attack was a classic false-flag operation, and that the Iraqis were really the primary source of that attack.

1/1/1999 Kuwaiti intelligence reports that hundreds of Arab "Afghans" are training in Iraq at the Nasariah camp and elsewhere. The training is being conducted by Iraqi Intelligence. The report also identifies those being trained as members of six different organizations including The World Front for Against the Crusade of Jews and Christians. It is clear that Al Qaeda's primary groups are being trained in Iraq by Iraqi Intelligence-specifically mentioned is a group of Iraqi Intelligence called Unit 999. The training is described as the final advanced preparation training for "the battle against the US and its allies."

1/1/1999 In January 1999, Iraq began reorganizing and mobilizing intelligence front operations throughout Europe in support of al-Qaeda. 20 Iraq's intelligence service has operated a network of outwardly legitimate businesses across Western Europe, using them as bases for espionage, terrorism and weapons procurement. Hans Josef Horchem, former chief of West Germany's Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (domestic intelligence service) stated that most of the Iraqi intelligence front companies are import-export firms and used-car dealerships. In the Fall of 1990, at least three firms were operating in Hamburg and the German state of Hesse - with roughly seven additional Iraqi front operations in the rest of Europe. 21 Iraq's Unit 999 now increased the intensity of its operations - moving funds and people around Europe and activating previously dormant intelligence contacts and operatives. Together with intelligence officers assigned under diplomatic cover, these activated operatives began scouting safe houses, vehicles, letter drops, communications, arms caches and other logistical requirements for operations. Concurrent with this activation of Iraqi's European intelligence assets, appeared the previously unheard of Armed Islamic Front," who it turned out, were made up of bin-Laden's "Afghans" and "Bosniaks," that would now conduct terror strikes against both bin-Laden's and Hussein's enemies."

1/1/1999 Saddam Hussein dispatched Faruq al-Hijazi to Kandahar, Afghanistan in order to meet with bin-Laden. Hijazi was the former deputy chief of Iraqi intelligence and had first met bin-Laden in 1994. 16 Hijazi offered expanded cooperation and assistance to bin-Laden, as well as a re-extension of the offer of shelter and hospitality in Iraq for al-Qaeda. Bin-Laden agreed in principle to give Iraq assistance in a revenge campaign against the United States, but suggested further study and coordination before committing to a specific course of action or agreeing to a particular terrorist strike. To demonstrate Baghdad's commitment to al Qaeda, Hijazi presented bin-Laden with a pack of blank, genuine Yemeni passports, supplied to Iraqi intelligence from their Yemeni contacts. Hijazi's visit was followed by a contingent of Iraqi military intelligence officials who provided additional training and preparation to the al- Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan. These Iraqi officials included members of Unit 999 of Iraqi intelligence, who conducted advanced sabotage and infiltration training for seasoned, veteran, al-Qaeda fighters. By January 1999, al-Qaeda terrorists were being trained by Iraqi intelligence and military officers at camps on the outskirts of Baghdad.

1/5/1999 "If [other Arab nations] persist on pursuing their wrongful path, then we should — or rather we must — place the swords of jihad on their necks..." Saddam Hussein, January 5, 1999

1/5/1999 "Oh sons of Arabs and the Arab Gulf, rebel against the foreigner...Take revenge for your dignity, holy places, security, interests and exalted values." Saddam Hussein, January 5, 1999

1/8/1999 Three days after Saddam Hussein's speech in which he appealed to Islamists to rise up in Jihad, Osama Bin Laden issues (another) call for Jihad against the Americans and their allies-specifically citing the attacks on Iraq as a reason for the Jihad.

1/15/1999 The diplomatic deadline given by the US to the Taliban has passed. None of the 18 Al Qaeda suspects (including Bin Laden) have been handed over. Bin Laden later claims that the short air campaign against Iraq has proven that the threat to the Taliban and Al Qaeda (ie himself) was minimal in Afghanistan. Though he will have been offered sanctuary in Iraq, he will not move operations there after the weakness of Operation Desert Fox.

1/15/1999 Mid Jan 1999; A joint operation involving Al Qaeda and Iraqi Intelligence (specifically a division called Unit 999) began.

1/16/1999 US Justice Department indicted bin Laden and 11 other members of al Qaeda for killing and conspiring to kill US citizens internationally. FBI placed bin Laden in its Most Wanted list, with a reward of $5 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction. (In 2001, the reward was increased to $25 million.)

1/25/1999 The joint Al Qaeda/Iraqi Unit 999 operation continued as Bin Laden dispatched abu-Ayub al Masri-one of his most trusted lieutenants to meetings in Dubai and Turkey. He travelled with a false Yemeni passport provided by Iraq's Farouq Hijazi and met with Hijazi in Turkey (while Hijazi was stationed there-note: Iraq rotated its embassy officials/operatives regularly to prevent defection and to enable better covert activities-often involving illegal funding, smuggling, payoffs, intel gathering, assassinations, and sometimes terrorist attacks.).

1/26/1999 "[Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti] blood will light torches, grow aromatic plants, and water the tree of freedom, resistance and victory." Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Radio, January 26, 1999

1/27/1999 Al Qaeda's abu-Ayub al Masri meets with Farouq Hijazi in Turkey.

1/27/1999 With the help of members of Iraq's Unit 999, Al Qaeda begins to secure safe houses and create false companies in Europe-particularly in Turkey, Germany and the Czech Republic.

2/1/99 In February 1999, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Iraq had formed a suicide pilot unit that it planned to use against British and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf. The CIA commented that this was highly unlikely and probably disinformation.

2/10/1999 Bin Laden and Zawahiri "disappear" from Afghanistan

2/13/1999 The Taliban insist to the US that Bin Laden and the other wanted Al Qaeda/Arab "Afghans" are not in Afghanistan. They are apparently in the disputed region between Afghanistan and Pakistan known as Waziristan-a lawless territory claimed by Pakistan, but ruled in a feudal manner by local tribes.

2/16/1999 "Whoever continues to be involved in a despicable aggressive war against the people of Iraq as a subservient party must realize that this aggressive act has a dear price." Saddam Hussein, February 16, 1999

2/27/1999 "What is required now is to deal strong blows to U.S. and British interests. These blows should be strong enough to make them feel that their interests are indeed threatened not only by words but also in deeds." Al-Qadisiyah, February 27, 1999 (State-controlled newspaper)

3/15/1999 Mid March 1999; Al Qaeda's Hamoud Abaid al-Anezi showed up in Melbourne, Australia with a Saudi passport. Qusay Hussein-at the direction of Saddam Hussein-had formed a new Iraqi Intelligence unit called the Al-Nida force. It consisted of thousands of Iraqis around the world who were to be called upon in Jihad. al-Anezi met up with 4 Iraqi nationals in Australia, and together they started trying to recruit others in the local Muslim community.

4/1/1999 In April of 1999, the joint Iraq/Al Qaeda effort to attack the Australian Olympics was exposed and those involved arrested.

The Herald Co. UK 12-28-1999
Iraq tempts bin Laden to attack West
The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, has been offered sanctuary in Iraq if his worldwide terrorist network succeeds in carrying out a campaign of high-profile attacks on the West over the next few weeks.

Intelligence sources say the Saudi dissident believed responsible for the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and a US military barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1998, is running out of options for a safe haven.

He is now thought to have overcome his initial rejection of Saddam Hussein, whom he regarded as an exploiter of the Islamic cause rather than a true believer, and is considering the offer of a bolt-hole from which he can continue to mastermind terrorism on a global scale.

A US counter-terrorist source said yesterday: "Our State Department issued a worldwide warning on December 11. We have solid information that many of the groups operating under bin Laden's patronage are planning 'spectaculars' to coincide with the period leading up to and through the millennium celebrations.

"They want to inflict maximum loss of life in return for publicity. Now we are also facing the prospect of an unholy alliance between bin Laden and Saddam. The implications are ter

Posted by: Darrell at July 24, 2008 02:14 PM

On the March 2, 2004 NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw introduced the report: "[Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] is widely believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda, and the Bush administration apparently passed up several opportunities to take him out well before the Iraq war began."

And on the January 27, 2003 NBC Nightly News, after revelations of a plot to attack targets in Europe with the poison ricin, which was believed to have been hatched by Zarqawi in Iraq, correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reported that "U.S. Special Forces had plans to launch a covert raid against the Kirmadara complex [in northern Iraq], but Pentagon officials say it was called off because the Bush administration feared it would interfere with upcoming UN weapon inspections."

Although some have tried to argue that Zarqawi did not declare allegiance to bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization until after the Iraq invasion, as far back as April 4 and May 16, 2001, AP's Jamal Halaby reported that Jordanian authorities suspected Zarqawi, also known as Ahmad Fadeel Al-Khalayleh, of plotting attacks in Jordan, and relayed that Zarqawi was "believed to be in Afghanistan."

On November 9, 2002, a London Times article by Roger Boyes and Daniel McGrory, citing Hans-Josef Beth of the German secret service BND, claimed that Zarqawi "used London as his base until Osama bin Laden ordered him to move to Afghanistan in 2000 to run one of al-Qaeda's training camps."

On December 18, 2002, after the arrests of several terror suspects in France amid fears of a chemical weapon attack, Sebastian Rotella of the Los Angeles Times reported that "A top Al Qaeda suspect said to be commanding a campaign targeting Europe is Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian reputedly knowledgeable about chemical warfare, according to German and Italian intelligence officials."

On December 19, 2002, Knight Ridder's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported, citing Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu al Ragheb, that Zarqawi was behind the murder of American diplomat Lawrence Foley, and was believed to be "an ally of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden." Ragheb further contended that Zarqawi "was probably in northern Iraq working with Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish Muslim extremist group." Jordanian officials were also cited as claiming that the men suspected of carrying out Foley's murder met Zarqawi "in Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan."

Months before the Iraq invasion, on January 7, 2003, after revelations of a ricin terror plot targeting London was uncovered, NBC's Miklaszewski contended that U.S. officials "report that Islamic extremists tied to al-Qaeda had produced ricin in a terrorist lab at Kirma in the Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq."

On the February 9, 2004, World News Tonight on ABC, correspondent Brian Ross relayed reports that Zarqawi "fled the U.S. bombing of Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and moved on to Iran and then into Iraq," and, referring to the same ricin terror plot, further contended that "intelligence officials in Britain and France say Zarqawi also had a hand in a thwarted plan to use the chemical poison ricin, produced by his followers in northern Iraq."

On the April 26, 2004 Nightline, in light of the revelation of a bomb plot targeting Amman, Jordan, ABC's Chris Bury described Zarqawi as "a long-time associate of Osama bin Laden," and correspondent Michel Martin contended that Zarqawi "ran a camp for Jordanian recruits in Afghanistan."

On the September 26, 2004 edition of CBS's 60 Minutes, Ben Bradley, citing Jordanian terror expert Oraib al-Rantawi, contended that, following his release from a Jordanian prison in 1999, Zarqawi left the country and "went to Pakistan and Afghanistan where he trained with al-Qaeda and then set up his own training camp."

And on the May 1, 2007 The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, a clip of which was replayed on the February 28, 2008 show, former CIA director George Tenet argued that after Zarqawi left Afghanistan, "he shows up in Baghdad in May of 2002" and "creates a safe haven for Al-Qaeda" in northern Iraq with the terror group Ansar al-Islam.


Posted by: Darrell at July 24, 2008 02:24 PM

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