Saturday, April 09, 2005
Iraq made peace offers to US before invasion
From the archives of the Guardian Unlimited: Saddam's desperate offers to stave off war
Friday November 7, 2003
In the few weeks before its fall, Iraq's Ba'athist regime made a series of increasingly desperate peace offers to Washington, promising to hold elections and even to allow US troops to search for banned weapons. But the advances were all rejected by the Bush administration, according to intermediaries involved in the talks...
From the archives of the New York Times, via CommonDreams: Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War
November 6, 2003
...an influential adviser to the Pentagon received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman: Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal.
Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search. The businessman said in an interview that the Iraqis also offered to hand over a man accused of being involved in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 who was being held in Baghdad. At one point, he said, the Iraqis pledged to hold elections.
[General Habbush's chief of foreign intelligence operations] Mr Obeidi...urged [Lebanese-American businessman] Mr Hage to tell his Washington contacts Iraq was ready to talk about anything, including oil concessions, the Middle East peace process, and banned weapons. The Iraqi official said the "Americans could send 2,000 FBI agents to look wherever they wanted", according to Mr Hage.
A week later Mr Hage travelled to Baghdad and talked to Gen Habbush himself. The general repeated the invitation to allow Americans to search for weapons and added an offer to hand over a suspected terrorist, Abdul Rahman Yasin, who had been convicted in the US for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre. The regime would hold elections within two years
Meanwhile, I don't the Iraqis are all together happy we did invade.
From the AP: Thousands Protest on Baghdad Anniversary
Tens of thousands of Shiites marked the anniversary of the fall of Baghdad with a protest against the American military presence at the square where Iraqis and U.S. troops toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein two years ago.
"This huge gathering shows that the Iraqi people have the strength and faith to protect their country and liberate it from the occupiers," said Ahmed Abed, a 26-year-old who sells spare car parts.