Study says ousting Saddam was a good idea

With Operation Iraqi Freedom now 5 years old, a new study confirms that ousting Saddam Hussein was justified and vital to U.S. national security. Though war critics hate to admit it, the Baathist dictator was up to his mustache in aid for Islamofascist terrorism.

As an Institute for Defense Analyses report explains, “captured Iraqi documents uncovered strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism.” IDA’s review of some 600,000 documents discovered in Iraq since coalition forces liberated Baghdad indicates that “the Saddam regime regarded inspiring, sponsoring, directing and executing acts of terrorism as an element of state power.”

IDA presents chilling details:

— A July 2002 record found 12 Iraqi embassies far better armed than diplomatic security requires: “Vienna — Explosive charges, rifles with silencers, hand grenades … Explosive materials were transported to the embassies outside Iraq for special work …”

— Building car bombs became a bureaucratized task, as a summarized Sept. 4, 1999, document illustrates.

“An approval memorandum from IIS (Iraqi Intelligence Service) Directorate 4 to Section 27 to load a vehicle with 50 to 75 kilograms (110 to 165 pounds) of explosive material and provide to the At Ta’mim Intelligence Branch (M52) for a ‘special duty.’ ” Further, an “Inspection Certificate Form” should verify the car bomb’s compliance with chemical, electrical and mechanical standards. It also recommends using a Duracell battery given “the importance of the duty.”

— The Fedayeen Saddam forwarded Uday Hussein — its leader and the despot’s elder son — a letter from Nazah, a widow requesting assistance with her husband’s pension. She recalls that “he carried out a suicide mission on 19 July 2000, and exploded himself at the (apparently Kurdistani) Ibn Sina Hotel during the presence of US and UK citizens…” She also mentions that he “detonated a car (bomb) during the convoy of (former French first lady) Danielle Mitterrand in Halsabajah City, which killed forty enemies.”

— A March 18, 1993, IIS memo to Saddam Hussein identifies “the organizations that our agency cooperates with …” Among nine terrorist groups, it cites Egyptian Islamic Jihad (“It carried out numerous successful operations, including the assassination of Sadat”), Fatah, which killed at least 407 innocents including 10 Americans (“We have … provided financial and logistical support, such as vehicles”), and the Palestine Liberation Front, whose terrorists murdered wheelchair-bound American retiree Leon Klinghoffer aboard the hijacked Achille Lauro ocean liner in October 1985. The memo adds: “They were assigned and carried out commando operations for us against American interests in the (1991) war” including “Burning the American Airlines office in the Philippines” and “Placing an explosive device near an American base in Izmir (Turkey).”

— Especially revolting were Baathist attacks on Westerners providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqi Kurds. A May 16, 1993, IIS letter notes that, “Since the beginning of the current year until now there have been four workers from non-governmental organizations killed (two Kurds, one Belgian, one Australian), a hospital bombed and dynamite exploded in trailers bringing aid to the Kurds. The deteriorating conditions forced the Doctors Without Borders organization to leave the area at the end of April … The operations referred to in the news above were executed by our Directorate in fulfillment of your excellent direction …”

Uday Hussein writes his father in 2001 about “attacking the new Land Cruiser vehicle with the UN symbol … There were four American citizens including one female in the vehicle.” After that Feb. 19 Baathist bombing, Uday continues, “The results of the mission were the destruction of the above mentioned vehicle, the death of the head of the organization and the serious injury of the other three, including the woman.”

Iraq War critics dismiss all this and focus on one sentence in this 94-page paper:

“This study found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”

They also overlook this contradictory passage:

“Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by (Osama) bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) or that generally shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.”

While Saddam Hussein may not have been Islamic terrorism’s Meyer Lansky, he was its Al Capone — a resourceful, cunning and deadly gangster who America had every right, and indeed a vital obligation, to topple.

(New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a columnist and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.murdock(at)gmail.com.)