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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 28, 2003

You can fool some of the people some of the time...

It seems the war on Iraq has uncovered many more skeletons then what the troops are presently unearthing.

If someone tells you that Dale Carnegie wrote the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, don’t you believe it. It was Saddam Hussein.

Stephen Hayes writing in The Weekly Standard about “Saddam’s Cash” reveals many of the skeletons and suggests many more are to be revealed.

He goes into great detail about the allegations against George Galloway and the evidence to support them. According to Hayes, “Bottom line, George Galloway was paid more than $10 million to propagandize for the Iraq regime.”

Hayes then reports that Hussein has been making great efforts since the beginning of the Iraq/Iran war to win friends and influence people. There is a long history of buying off journalists , both Arab and western, to shill for Hussein and Iraq.

On April 1, 2003 Reuters media reporter Merissa Marr reported “Iraq is winning the battles in the propaganda war with a modest media strategy…”.

According to Hayes,
Marr either did not know or chose to ignore a crucial fact: Scores of journalists throughout the Arab world and Europe were on Saddam Hussein’s payroll”.

[…]For years, the Iraqi leader has been waging an intensive, sometimes clandestine, and by most accounts highly effective image war in the Arab world," wrote Wall Street Journal reporters Jane Mayer and Geraldine Brooks in an exposé published February 15, 1991. "His strategy has ranged from financing friendly publications and columnists as far away as Paris to doling out gifts as big as new Mercedes-Benzes."

[…]That campaign continued until days before the regime was deposed. "If they're not bought and paid for, they're at least rented," says a top national security official, who adds that the administration has intelligence implicating big-name journalists throughout the Arab world and Europe.

In a series of interviews conducted in Kuwait City and Washington in recent weeks, Arab journalists and media experts said the same thing. Several of those interviewed, with assurances of confidentiality, provided names, lots of them. If their reports are accurate, the Iraqi regime's "modest media strategy" so appealing to Reuters' Marr was actually an elaborate scheme to buy victory in the propaganda war with the United States.

[…]It's been going on for almost a quarter century," says Nimat. "In the newspapers in Jordan, you wouldn't have seen anything negative about Saddam Hussein. I don't want to generalize too much, but many of the editors were bought by the regime."

"What Saddam did in Jordan, he did in other poor countries in the region like Egypt and Yemen and Mauritania," says Nimat.

One "top Egyptian editor" told the Wall Street Journal back in 1991 about a conversation he had with Saddam. "I remember his saying, 'Compared to tanks, journalists are cheap--and you get more for your money.'

SALAMA NIMAT, the Jordanian journalist, says it's not just Arab journalists who took money. "The Western media has been playing the game, too, including Americans."

Ismail Mansour, a Pentagon-trained Iraqi American working with coalition forces in Iraq, says the regime's money reached well inside the United States, going to journalists and others. "In America, Saddam friends give money and they make protest," he says. "In the Arab world, it's the same thing. They pay money to do that."

[…]Al-Khafaji first came to public notice after revelations that he gave former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter $400,000 to produce a film that criticized the United States for its role in the inspection process. Al-Khafaji, who is listed as a "senior executive producer" of the film, arranged meetings for Ritter with high-level officials in Saddam's government, a feat New York Times magazine writer Barry Bearak found "impressive."

Ritter had previously been an outspoken critic of Saddam Hussein, and issued dire warnings about the status of the Iraqi dictator's weapons of mass destruction. His sudden flip--he is now a leading apologist for Saddam's regime--and revelations about Ritter's 2001 arrest for soliciting sex with minors have fueled speculation about the nature of his relationship with al-Khafaji.
In addition to these revelations and more to come, we already have the confession of CNN’s Jordan Easson and others, to greatly put into question the integrity of journalists and representatives and government officials who seemed too eager to support Hussein and Iraq in the past.

Similarly countries such as France, Germany and Russia, were bought off with super profits in various deals at the expense of Iraqis. Its easy to see why they risked so much to thwart the US and protect Hussein. Syria too was favoured with below market oil prices to violate the sanctions and to support Hussein.

Finally, even the allegedly pro peace organizers, if not all the demonstrators, were also financed by Hussein and other terror masters. For that matter Saudi Arabia and Arafat both, have bought or intimidated the press and government officials to be advocates for their causes. This too has been well documented.

So Iraq is not the only loser in this war. All those who rose to the defence of Hussein have been exposed and will continue to be exposed.

As for the winners, John Q. Public has to be among them. We are much smarter and wiser in the ways of the world and will be much more difficult to take in. What is it they say, “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”