November 11, 2002
Saddam In Switzerland?

In the second-to-last paragraph of a long post, Cato the Youngest writes:

If Saddam were smart, he'd try to negotiate a deal where he would voluntarily surrender and take his Swiss bank accounts into exile. If such a deal included an occupation force for Iraq, to prevent Saddam being replaced by another thug, it might be worth taking. It would certainly save lives on both sides (more Iraqi than allied, to be sure). It would also save a lot of American tax dollars. It would also avoid the possibility of Saddam launching a biological attack on the US.

I would be very surprised if this happened. Saddam would have to be not only smart but trustful. I'm sure he knows what happened to Trotsky and Somoza and plenty of smaller fry. Of course, enemies of democracy can live long and comfortable lives in exile, as long as their enemies are all democrats: recent examples are 'Baby Doc' Duvalier and Idi Amin. But does Saddam know that? And would he believe it? I just can't see him being that trusting, even if such a trust were well-supported. I'm sure Steven Den Beste is right to say (in Cato's comments) that Saddam's generals may be offered such a deal if they turn on him.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at November 11, 2002 11:23 AM

I said I doubted Saddam would take that deal. I would agree that Steven's scenario is more likely, as well. The reason I raised the possibility, was that if Saddam took the deal, it would save lives, property damage, and tax dollars, while accomplishing our basic objectives.

As enjoyable as it would be to put Saddam's head on a pike, our basic objectives in Iraq are: destruction of Iraqi WMDs, establishment of a friendly, democratic, government, establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq, and resumption of full Iraqi oil production.

Accomplish those objectives, and sponsorship of terrorism by Middle Eastern states will soon end. A permanent American presence on their borders will discourage Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia from sponsoring terrorists, and the drop in oil prices resulting from Iraqi oil production will reduce their ability to sponsor terrorism.

As evil as Saddam is, and as much as we'd like to see him dead, we need to keep our eyes on the prize. Occupation and control of Iraq is, and should be, our true objective.

Riyadh delenda est!

Posted by: Cato the Youngest on November 11, 2002 02:14 PM

I guess the difference is that you say 'unlikely' and I say so extremely unlikely that chances are infinitesimal. I agree that it would be a good thing, on the whole. (Not to sound like a bloodthirsty 'warblogger', but it might even be a totally good thing if some Iraqi exile were then to do to him what was done to Somoza in Paraguay: blow his head off with a bazooka.)

One more reason he won't agree: Pinochet made a deal to retire in return for immunity from prosecution, and that deal has since been broken by a Spanish judge, with British complicity. After that precedent, Saddam couldn't trust any agreement, no matter how ironclad, since he still could be hauled in front of a war crimes tribunal if some judge decides to ignore it.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on November 11, 2002 04:40 PM

In politics, you sometimes make offers that you don't expect to be taken. You make them for the sake of the historical record. After we dig Saddam and his idiot sons' dead asses out of the rubble of their bunker, it would be nice to be able to tell the world that they chose their fate, that they could have chosen exile, that they are dead because they were too stubborn, stupid, and/or paranoid to choose exile.

Riyadh delenda est!

Posted by: Cato the Youngest on November 12, 2002 02:07 AM

Dear Sir:

I would like to say that I support the American troops in the war in Iraq, but I wonder if the president has other motives besides weapons of mass destruction. The reason being is that Sr. Bush was over the CIA when Saddam was put there as a puppet government in 1979, same year as the Iran conflict with the hostages. We gave him American technology and weapons, after he received all he could he went his own way and turned his back on America.

Bush SR. wanted to go in and take Saddam out in 1990 but I feel that the other Arab nations that were involved in the Coalition kept America from doing that. We only went over there to liberate Kuwait: once that liberation was accomplished we had no reason to topple Saddam.
Now, Bush Jr. comes up with human rights issues. Why, for the last 25 years of Saddam's rule have we been blind to this issue up till now? Look at the Somoza regime in Nicaragua, it was an American installed and backed regime that was there to support our South American interest. When the Nicaraguan public got enough of his killing and impoverishment of the nation, the FSLN mounted a overthrow in 1979. Then the Iran-Contra affair started.
Now the US government is losing a lot of Points of Presence (South American bases). i.e. Panama, Philippines, Venezuela, anyway we need to establish another base so back to Nicaragua. The Somoza son Somoza-Portecarro is running in the Nicaragua elections again. The Somoza family have mostly become Naturalized American citizens, and American courts are trying to help the Somoza's get back their properties (352 of them), since they are now American citizens. The Nicaraguan Constitution was amended so that any properties seized in the 1979 FSLN uprising can have claims issued against them and the Somoza's can buy them back at 1/3 of the price the present owner paid for them from the FSLN government, and that includes any improvements made to the land including the building of houses, or structures on the property. The Somoza's will get back the property for nothing except paying the 1/3 price to the current owners, who have owned the property for 20-odd years.

Now, we have Saddam who has done the same as Somoza and basically used the wealth of a nation as his own private checkbook and exploited his country, set up his private police forces and killed and tortured private citizens who say anything. America has backed governments in South America, Africa, and the Middle East who have done this for years. Now all of a sudden it becomes an issue. WHY?

Did the Democrats want the president to seek UN approval so this would not be seen as a private war for American interest and we can say Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and we want to remove the weapons? If the Arabs think this is a private war they will see it as a religious war and declare a jihad. President Bush would not negotiate with the UN and set a deadline on his own accord to start the war with or without UN approval. So, did he really seek UN approval or just make a gesticular attempt at UN backing and then say the UN failed as a reason to start the war?

In 1974 President Ford signed an Executive order saying we could not assassinate leaders of foreign nations, the first strike of this war tried to assassinate Saddam. Can we violate our country's own laws now? Are we going to try to capture Saddam and have a trial or are we going to just outright kill him ?

Something else that looks funny is that 44 states in America has budget shortfalls for 2004. How is it that the programs being cut are not all state funded programs but some are federal funded or subsidized programs that are being cut for veterans, women and children, and the poor?

To sum it up I support the troops and wish to say I hope everyone comes out of this conflict ok. I just don't like the thought the public may be being deceived because there is another agenda behind the war other than the weapons of mass destruction and the so-called UN failure. The UN did ask for more time to complete inspections, no weapons have been found yet, and the American forces have been all over Iraq for the last few weeks and only found some suits. That's not to say there aren't weapons but are they in such a quantity "the world" was in danger? There could be some from the Iran war left over in small quantities, from experimentation, or some other unknown reason. Does the cause really exist for us to have bombed cities, dead American, and British soldiers and Iraqi citizens to eliminate Saddam and his regime?

Posted by: john on April 3, 2003 04:20 PM

Saddam is already in Switzerland. Escaped in first few days of the war. And Condoleeza Rice is on her way to Russia to broker an Iraqi/US peace deal!

Posted by: Bill Honeycutt on April 6, 2003 10:56 PM