AP Discovers Saddam’s embrace of radical Wahhabiism

I wonder if Paul Wolfowitz feels any better (or Douglas Feith, for that matter), after being bashed non-stop for all of 2004 over the constant drumbeat from the MSM, CIA leaks, and vario0us talking heads that there have never been any ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. The most careful critics (the 9-11 Commission) admitted to “links”, but disavowed “cooperation”. The most blatant anti-Bush politicos (er, CBS, the NYT, the LAT, PBS, BBC, Reuters, Kos, Daschle’s caucus, Michael Moore, you get the idea) were a lot less cautious, and simply printed the Kerry campaign and 527 talking points about the Iraq war having been entered into based on lies.

Chief among those politicos was Associated Press. Now that the election is over and they lost, they can afford to cover the story a bit more fully, even as they hype every daily car bomb and urge delay i n the elections (AKA “defeat”, or “Dean’s Dream”).

Schereherezade Faramarzi writes that Hussein invited the Sunni Islamists, including Zarqawi, into Iraq after Operaiton Desert Storm in 1991 because he feared that he would need allies to hold on in the face of rising Shi’a discontent:

Internationally isolated and fearful of losing power, Saddam Hussein (news – web sites) made an astonishing move in the last years of his secular rule: He invited into Iraq (news – web sites) clerics who preached an austere form of Islam that’s prevalent in Saudi Arabia.He also let extremely religious Iraqis join his ruling Baath Socialist Party. Saddam’s bid to win over devout Muslims planted the seeds of the insurgency behind some of the deadliest attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces today, say Saudi dissidents and U.S. officials.

Read the entire story; it is a model of how the issue should have been covered for the last year, incorporating verified quotes from all sides, including radical Sunnis, but keeping those statements in context.

Better late than never, I guess.

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