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This story is being ignored. It is earth shattering. Saddam not for a minute ever imagined the US would enter Iraq,he thought in his mind that the UN was a "US vehicle",therefore without it's approval we wouldn't act.
Shows what a local hayseed he is,most Americans could care less about that organization,I wish we weren't even members.
Saddam's web: the network he used to fool a corrupt UN
FRASER NELSON POLITICAL EDITOR
SADDAM Hussein believed that the United Nations system was so corrupt that it would protect his dictatorship from American aggression and allow him to complete quickly his quest for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Detail from the full Iraq Survey Group report - compiled from scores of former Iraqi officials and captured intelligence documents - shows that Saddam was intending to resume his WMD programme as soon as UN sanctions were dropped.
His officials believed they could make WMD within two years - but the only flaw in their strategy was to think that Tony Blair and President George Bush would not invade Iraq without explicit UN permission.
Extraordinary detail from the report was reverberating around the world yesterday as the French government issued an angry denial that its ministers had privately assured Saddam they would use their UN veto to stop war in return for oil contracts.
The full text of the report shows that Saddam realised in 1995, after his son-in-law defected to Jordan, that he had no choice but to comply with UN weapons inspectors. He ordered the destruction of all documents - but told scientists to "preserve plans in their minds" and "keep the brains of Iraq?s scientists fresh".
His strategy was to use Iraq?s vast oil reserves as a lever to pull apart the international community, by bribing Russian and French officials. The report shows this policy carried out to a breathtaking degree.
Given that only 15 of Iraq?s 73 proven oilfields were being developed, Saddam?s officials started to offer lucrative deals to Russian and French oil companies, while personally targeting politicians considered corrupt.
Jacques Chirac, the president of France, was top of the list. Some 11 million oil-for-food vouchers were allocated to a businessmen named Patrick Maugein, who was "considered a conduit to Chirac", according to the report.
It also claims that Saddam?s officials paid the equivalent of ?600,000 to the ruling French Socialist Party - and that Baghdad?s then ambassador to Paris handed the money to Pierre Joxe, the then French defence minister.
Russia, another of the five countries with the power to veto war under the UN system, was heavily courted. Saddam?s officials dealt directly with the oil companies, who he deduced were quickly assuming political power.
"Iraqi attempts to use oil gifts to influence Russian policy-makers were on a lavish and almost indiscriminate scale," it says. He targeted a "new oligarch class" and also bribed Lukoil, the oil giant, with oil-for-food vouchers worth $10 million.
Peter Rodinov, Russia?s energy minister, went to Baghdad in 1997 to discuss a $12 billion oil deal. Two years later, Russian experts travelled to Iraq to provide advice on missile-guidance systems.
A third of all Iraqi contracts went to Russia in the end. Although Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, opposed the Iraq war, there is nothing to suggest that Saddam tried to bribe him or his aides.
Voucher recipients included the Russian foreign ministry and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Russian ultra-nationalist.
China, which also holds a UN veto, featured heavily in Iraqi contracts. Its companies supplied rocket guidance electronics to Iraq, "disguised as children?s computer software".
Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, said he would have been "two years away from building a nuclear bomb".
Saddam, the report says, considered that the Desert Fox bombings of February 1998 would be the "worst he could expect from Western military pressure", because the UN system would stop the US carrying out any other action.
Even after the 11 September terrorist attacks, Saddam failed to realise that the mood in the United States had changed fundamentally. The first sign of worry came when Mr Bush included Iraq in his "axis of evil" speech.
Saddam argued that WMD was the cornerstone of his national security policy - shoring up his own authority among would-be insurgents - and dissuading Iran from making common cause with the Shiites in southern Iraq.
Primarily, he "believed that possession and willingness to use WMD contributed substantially to deterring the United States from going to Baghdad" after the first Gulf War.
It was for this reason that Saddam considered it so important to have the world believe that he still owned the weapons, even if he did not. The ISG report says this was kept a secret from his own army.
Tariq Aziz told inspectors that "Saddam surprised his generals when he informed them that he had no WMD in December 2002 because his boasting had led many to believe Iraq had hidden capability".
Mr Aziz continued that "Saddam never even suggested to them that he did not have WMD". Even his minister for Scientific Research - a euphemism for weapons detail - told US interrogators that "Saddam never talked openly about bluffing in regard to WMD".
This explains why British and American intelligence did not pick up any doubt that WMD still existed - their absence was a secret known only to Saddam.
Last night in a surprise statement on the report, Mr Bush acknowledged that prewar US claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction were wrong, but insisted he had been right to invade Iraq.
He said the report offered "new information" showing Saddam was manipulating for his own gain the sanctions imposed on him.
The report says that more information is still to come. Before being published, it found 20,000 boxes of fresh information - equivalent to all the documents it gathered over the last two years.
It also pointed out that after last December, insurgents gripped Iraq, making it difficult for them to travel. It specifically does not rule out finding WMD stockpiles in the future.
While France denied doing any deal with Saddam, Switzerland has fined the owner of a Geneva-based oil-trading firm ?23,000 for making illegal payments to secure Iraqi oil contracts.
The head of Germany?s intelligence said yesterday that there is a risk rogue Iraqi scientists may now work with new terrorists.
Almost three years after the war, the full story of Saddam is still unfolding.
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