Sunday, October 27, 2002

With friends like this...

Glenn Reynolds posts this about reasons why the French and the Russians might be opposing us re Iraq. It's about oil all right - for our opponents.

Dr. Khidhir Hamza's book, "Saddam's Bombmaker", has a number of examples of how Europeans and others cozied up to Saddam for big money. My favorites were the French, in conjunction with the Osirak reactor that the Israelis took out in 1981. Here's a passage from page 130 of the paperback edition:
[Saddam] well knew, however, that we'd fought hard to put the reactor underground, where it would have been safer from attack. But the French would not agree. They were prepared to go along with our bomb deception only to the extend that they could plausibly deny it. And the only reason to put a nuclear reactor underground, considering the huge costs required, was to manufacture plutonium in secret and protect it from a military attack. The French weren't going to take the fall for that.
Another passage from page 129:
...the antiaircraft unit had been taking a dinner break at six every evening, shutting down its radar. Surely it wasn't a coincidence that the strike came at 6:25....The day before the strike, in fact, I'd been walking by the facility with a colleague and noticed a closed van parked next to the tunnel. When I asked what it was, he said it contained radiation detection equipment the French had just delivered. In the aftermath of the bombing, investigators reportedly found a guidance transmitter inside.
And you thought planned obsolescence was bad - these guys are the world's champion cynics.

Hamza doesn't have much good to say about the Russians either - from page 120:
To us, with a few exceptions, the Russians were a joke - badly trained, often drunk, sluggish at work, more interested in buying clothes and electronic goods unavailable in Moscow and sending them home than doing their assignments.
Gosh, do you suppose Susan Sarandon knows about this?

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