al Qaqaa Depot ‘Looted’ — by the Russians!
Vol: 37 Issue: 28 Thursday, October 28, 2004
In March, 2003, President Bush made a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express U.S. concerns “involving prohibited hardware that has been transferred from Russian companies to Iraq,” White House Press Spokesman Ari Fleischer told journalists during the March 24 White House press briefing.
“We are very concerned that there are reports of ongoing cooperation and support to Iraqi military forces being provided by a Russian company that produces GPS [global positioning system] jamming equipment,” Fleischer said in response to a journalist’s question. “There are other causes of concern, as well, involving night-vision goggles and anti-tank guided missiles.”
At the time, President Putin assured President Bush that he had his facts wrong. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov gave a statement that day saying Russia had observed all UN sanctions against Iraq and had not supplied any military equipment to Saddam Hussein.
Of course, it was nonsense. Prior to the regime change in Baghdad in April 2003, French and Russian oil companies possessed oil contracts with Saddam Hussein s regime that covered roughly 40 percent of the Iraq s oil wealth.
Political and military ties between Moscow and Baghdad were extensive. Documents found in the bombed-out headquarters of the former Iraqi intelligence service (Mukhabarat) in Baghdad reveal the full extent of intelligence cooperation between the Russian and Iraqi governments.
According to reports in the London Sunday Telegraph, Russia provided Saddam Hussein s regime with wide-ranging assistance in the months leading up to the war, including intelligence on private conversations between Tony Blair and other Western leaders.
The Russians are also believed to have illegally sold arms to Iraq right up until the outbreak of war with the United States in March 2003. The Bush Administration accused Russian arms dealers of selling thousands of night-vision goggles, as well as anti-tank guided missiles and electronic jamming equipment, to the Iraqis in open violation of UN sanctions.
During the course of Saddam Hussein s dictatorship, Russia reportedly provided him with $14 billion worth of arms shipments.
Senator Kerry continues to hammer away at the Bush administration for allegedly ‘losing’ 350 tons of high explosives from the al Qaqaa weapons depot.
Mohammed el Baradei, head of the IAEA, told reporters on Monday that the IAEA had 350 tons of high explosives — some suitable for nuclear weapons — under IAEA seal and that looters made off with them because the US failed to secure them properly after the fall of Baghdad.
Kerry continues to repeat the story even after both ABC and Fox have reported that IAEA documents indicate there were less than three tons of explosives under IAEA seal at the facility in the first place.
NBC reporters embedded with the 101st Airborne reported that when they arrived at al-Qaqaa the day after Baghdad fell, the allegedly ‘looted’ high explosives were already gone.
And Bill Gertz reported today in the Washington Times that they were removed by the Russians in the days leading up to the war.
The Russians sent special forces into Iraq in the weeks leading up to the war to shred evidence of Moscow’s collusion with Saddam Hussein, including removing some high tech weaponry before invading US forces could discover them.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said it would have been impossible for the facility to have been looted after the war. The al-Qaqaa site was closely monitored before, during and after the war, since it was known to contain huge stockpiles.
A Pentagon statement pointed out; “The movement of 377 tons of heavy ordnance would have required dozens of heavy trucks and equipment moving along the same roadways as U.S. combat divisions occupied continually for weeks prior to and subsequent to the 3rd Infantry Division’s arrival at the facility.”
Shaw said foreign intelligence officials believe the Russians worked with Saddam’s Mukhabarat intelligence service to separate out special weapons, including high explosives and other arms and related technology, from standard conventional arms spread out in some 200 arms depots.
The Russian weapons were then sent out of the country to Syria, and possibly Lebanon in Russian trucks, according to Shaw.
Shaw said he believes that the withdrawal of Russian-made weapons and explosives from Iraq was part of plan by Saddam to set up a “redoubt” in Syria that could be used as a base for launching pro-Saddam insurgency operations in Iraq.
The Russian units were dispatched beginning in January 2003 and by March had destroyed hundreds of pages of documents on Russian arms supplies to Iraq while dispersing arms to Syria, according to Gertz’ report.
A 26-page Iraqi document was discovered by US intelligence that detailed the extent of Russia’s involvement with Saddam’s military. It was written by Abdul Tawab Mullah al Huwaysh, Saddam’s minister of military industrialization, who was captured by U.S. forces May 2, 2003.
It says Russian Special Forces organized large commercial convoys of weapons that were then trucked out of the country to Syria.
The document included itineraries of military units involved in the truck shipments to Syria. The materials outlined in the documents included missile components, MiG jet parts, tank parts and chemicals used to make chemical weapons.
John Kerry was hoping that the ‘looter’ story would be the much-prized ‘October Surprise’ that would turn the election in his favor. And if the story, as he tells it, were true, it would be the October Surprise presidential challengers dream of.
It appears to be backfiring. But the information that is emerging continues to dovetail with events prophesied by Scripture for the last days. Despite its pretense that there is a ‘new’ Russia, the old Russian bear is still very much alive and well.
It is almost as if Russia can’t help it. There was a brief period of hope, a period when it looked as if Russia and the US might truly bury the hatchet and work together for peace.
Working together, Russia and the United States could easily settle the Arab-Israeli conflict. Had the Russians worked with the US, instead of re-arming the Arab world, the North Koreans wouldn’t be nuclear, the Iranians wouldn’t be a nuclear threat, Pakistan and India wouldn’t be nuclear powers, A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation network wouldn’t have existed and Yasser Arafat wouldn’t have been able to sabotage the Oslo Accords.
But Ezekiel said of Russia that, after a brief period of ‘visitation’, (I vividly recall the day the newly-freed Russian Duma suspended a session because lawmakers were rushing out to the hall to get one of the free Bibles being handed out in the hallway), the Russian bear would ‘think an evil thought’.