Amatzia Baram is chairman and senior lecturer of the Department of the Modern History of the Middle East at the University of Haifa, Israel.
In early December 1994, Staff Major General Wafiq as-Samarra'i, a Sunni Arab from Samarra, appeared in Iraqi Kurdistan and declared his support for the opposition to the Ba`th regime in Baghdad. He was the most senior Iraqi army general to have defected from Saddam Husayn's military since the Kuwait war in 1991.
The information he supplied and his calls for ending Saddam Husayn's rule reverberated throughout the region. What is the significance of his information and of his defection? Even more important than the explicit information Samarra'i provides may be what he implies, namely, the depth of Sunni Arab concerns with the regime, grievances among the top military echelon, and a growing rift among army officers along regional lines.
Little is known about the general. Prior to his escape, Samarra'i was one of the most senior officers in Iraq's Military Intelligence (al-Istikhbarat al-`Askariya) but not, as some think, its chief. Military Intelligence's main duty is to supply the Iraqi army with information about enemy armed forces, and General Samarra'i is said to have been a specialist on the Iranian army.
While intelligence compartmentalization would make Samarra'i less well informed about other matters, the army these days has responsibility within Iraq for internal security, intelligence-gathering, and interrogations pertaining to the loyalty of the Iraqi armed forces.1 This makes his information about such matters as Iraq's military industry and nonconventional weapons,2 internal security issues,3 and the morale of Iraqi troops more accurate than what most senior officers in the Iraqi army would know.
Very soon after his arrival in Kurdistan, the general gave interviews in which he touched upon a number of key historical and political issues: Operation Anfal (the elimination of thousands of Kurdish villages, mainly in 1988); the Shi`i uprising (intifada) of March 1991; Iraq's military industry and nonconventional weapons; the domestic situation in Iraq; and the impact of U.N. sanctions. Each of these issues is of great importance and deserves careful scrutiny.
The interviews were in the form of broadcasts mostly by the Kurdish station in the autonomous region of northern Iraq, as well as an article in the Arabic-language London-based newspaper al-Hayat. General Samarra'i also sent an open letter to Arab leaders and called upon his colleagues in the army in particular, and the Sunni-Arab population in general, to revolt against Saddam Husayn.
OPERATION ANFAL AND THE SHI`I INTIFADA
Operation Anfal. While admitting that neither he nor most other officers know how many Kurds the Iraqi army and security forces murdered during Operation Anfal, General Samarra'i mentions the figure of 200,000 fatalities.4 This number is high, twice as high as assessed by Middle East Watch,5 but it is certainly not beyond reason. For so central a military figure of the Ba`th regime to offer such a high figure does much to confirm the Kurds' claims with regard to the real proportions of Operation Anfal,6 and thus enhances their moral and political position vis-à-vis the ruling regime in Baghdad. While denouncing, in no unclear terms, the murder of the Kurds, the general refrains from blaming the Iraqi army for these crimes and satisfies himself with strong denunciations of Saddam Husayn and `Ali Hasan al-Majid, Saddam Husayn's paternal cousin and the operation's commander. Because Samarra'i spoke from a location in Kurdistan, this implies a flexible approach to the army's moral responsibility not only on his part but also on that of the Kurds. It makes an all-Iraqi reconciliation more attainable once Saddam Husayn and his close associates have been removed from power.
The Shi`i intifada. Samarra'i counts over 100,000 Shi`i dead at the hands of Saddam Husayn's troops. Although again a very high figure -- and over three times as high as had been assessed by the Shi`i opposition at the time7 -- it is not an unreasonable one. When Samarra'i denounces Saddam Kamil, another of Saddam Husayn's cousins, for executing 10,000 Shi`is in Radwaniya in the course of suppressing the Shi`i revolt in March 1991, he is again keeping options open; it wasn't the Sunna or the army that engaged in atrocities, but a handful of Saddam Husayn's henchmen. The same applies to Samarra'i's ascribing responsibility only to General Tali` ad-Duri for executing 1,713 people in Hilla. With General Duri being already out of favor, singling him out hardly put Samarra'i at risk of antagonizing the army's top brass.
The general blames the revolt's failure mainly on the Shi`a themselves. "Certain slogans" raised by the revolutionaries in the south, he says, "did not appear here [in Kurdistan]," and these greatly alarmed "the people of the Central Region," meaning the Sunni Arab population of Iraq. As a result, Sunnis had "to undertake an operation they believed was a legitimate defense of their area." They did so out of fear of the Shi`i intifada, not to support Saddam Husayn and his regime.8 Samarra'i does not specify the "certain slogans" of the Shi`a but his allusion is clear; Iranian-style statements like "No to the East, No to the West, We want an Islamic Republic" were very conspicuous in many places in the south. In addition, walls and demonstrators held pictures of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq, the Tehran-based opposition group.9 Samarra'i warned the Shi`a that come the next revolt, they should change their tactics radically and make common cause with the Sunnis against Saddam Husayn; otherwise, both will fail.
To convince the Sunni Arab population of Iraq that they should welcome an autonomous Kurdish region and not be alarmed by another Shi`i uprising, Samarra'i assures his listeners that neither Kurds nor the Shi`a wish to secede from Iraq after Saddam Husayn's departure. In particular, the latter understand that all harm done them was Saddam Husayn's sole responsibility. Samarra'i goes out of his way to convince the Sunna that the Shi`a harbor no desire for revenge once Saddam Husayn is removed. This implies awareness (or suspicion) on his part that many Sunnis are wary of Shi`i reprisals.
IRAQ'S MILITARY INDUSTRY AND ARSENAL
Samarra'i made a number of statements about Saddam Husayn's military industry and his arsenal. His record for accuracy on this topic is uneven.
Ammunition. Toward the end of the 1991 uprising, Samarra'i says, the Iraqi army had only a few more days' worth of light ammunition; but the military industry is today capable of producing light ammunition again. It has not, however, returned to the prewar level, and Samarra'i calls on sanctions to be maintained to make sure things stay that way.10 Samarra'i is correct to point out that this industry cannot return to its pre-1991 level of production so long as the U.N. oil and arms embargoes are in place. But if he thinks the Iraqi military industry produces only light ammunition, he much underestimates its capabilities. More than a year prior to the general's disclosures, American intelligence sources reported that Iraq had resumed assembly of T-72 tanks, limited production of artillery and short-range missiles, small arms, and some spare parts (for vehicles and weapons).11 In early 1995, the American delegation to the United Nations provided evidence, including satellite photographs, that Baghdad in 1994 attempted to import ammonium perchlorate for solid propellants in missiles, and gyroscopes for missile guidance systems; and also that it had rebuilt the largest chemical weapons factory and two major ballistic missiles factories, near Mosul and in southern Iraq, respectively.12
Missiles and launchers. Samarra'i discloses that more than ten long-range mobile missile launchers "emerged intact from the war,"13 implying that Saddam Husayn still has launchers at his disposal. He also claims that Saddam Husayn has "scores of Scuds and al-Husayn missiles."14 Rolf Ekeus (chairman of the U.N. Special Commission supervising Iraq's disarmament) believes, based on Russian information as to how many missiles were sold to Iraq, that his teams have found and dismantled all missiles and launchers. Remembering the proven Iraqi talent for hiding military-related equipment and installations, Samarra'i's information should not be discounted. However, he has not supplied specific details about the missiles and launchers (origin, locations, quantities, and the like), perhaps because he does not know these specifics. If that is the case, then his knowledge is of no operational use; the Special Commission cannot deem Saddam Husayn in violation of Resolution 687 based on hearsay.
Biological warfare. Samarra'i maintains that Baghdad is still "in possession of hundreds of germ bombs designed to be dropped by aircraft."15 The general's report that the means of delivery are aerial bombs fits well into the existing information about Iraq's missile technology: they never could arm missiles with bacteriological warheads. Indeed, even the twenty-eight chemical warheads, which were far simpler to produce, have never been tested. The danger of an Iraqi bacteriological warfare program far exceeds that of a chemical program. Not only is germ warfare far more lethal, but it can be spread in a great variety of ways (including packages on a subway). The general's information on biological agents is likely to create difficulties for Saddam Husayn. As disclosed by Ekeus in reply to Samarra'i's claims, Baghdad still keeps secret the scope of its past biological arms program.16 Ekeus also confirmed that Baghdad has concealed evidence of a biological weapons program that sought to develop tuberculosis, cholera, and plague germs.17 Indeed, throughout its searches and supervision activities, the Special Commission has been completely frustrated in its attempts to procure information on Iraq's biological program; against all evidence, Baghdad denied that it ever engaged in such activity.
Because Samarra'i raises questions in an area where the Special Commission has its own doubts about Saddam Husayn's compliance, this may be the only area where he can inflict political damage on the Iraqi leader. At the same time, the general has provided no details about the biological program, so the value of his testimony in this realm is, at this point, very limited.
THE DOMESTIC SCENE
Islamic practices. Samarra'i reports a hitherto unknown development: in October 1994, Saddam Husayn arrested thousands of "men of religion and pious people" from the Sunni Arab area north of Baghdad (and not, as many times before, from the Shi`i area in the south). He arrested them for "Wahhabism" and "Salafiya,"18 and support for Saudi Arabia and the United States through a Jordanian connection. These people then vanished; two months later, there was still no sign of them.19 If Samarra'i's information is accurate, those arrested showed signs of Islamic religiosity beyond what the regime considers appropriate. By publicizing and denouncing these purges, Samarra'i probably expects not only to spur the Sunna in Iraq to action but also to win Sunni support abroad.
This points to a situation in flux. Since June 1994, Saddam Husayn has issued a large number of quasi-Islamic decrees. These forbid the public consumption of alcohol and gambling, and call for the severing of hands, feet, and ears, as well as tattooing, for economic crimes such as theft, unauthorized money changing, and desertion.20 On the one hand, alcoholic spirits still may be legally obtained in Iraq; on the other, punishments like the severing of ears and tattooing of body parts are strange and frightening brutalities, not Islamic punishments. If Samarra'i's information is correct, it means that in some parts of the Sunni-Arab area, there is growing religiosity. However, the Iraqi people today must walk a tightrope, avoiding flagrant non-Islamic behavior and excessive Islamic piety alike, with severe reprisals against all those who fail the test.
The situation seems to be even more complex, and tied in with ruling family politics. In July 1994, Saddam Husayn's elder son `Udayy published in his daily newspaper Babil a series of articles that on the one hand supported his father's draconian punishments and demanded even more, but on the other hand denounced his father's banning of public drinking. `Udayy stated that Iraq is not Saudi Arabia and warned against fundamentalist Islam.21 To reinforce this point, he published an important article in the form of a letter to the editor that complained of "Wahhabi" and "Salafi" activity in Iraq, fanned by Saudi and American money and helped by a Jordanian connection. Furthermore, the letter accused the "security apparatuses" of tolerating these activities out of "routine, favoritism, personal, and tribal influences."22 A few days later a leading columnist in Babil launched a vicious attack against anonymous politicians in high places in Iraq who give support to people who hatch "conspiracy." These conspirators, it said, are "wearing the garb of godliness and [religious] piety," and those politicians who support them "embellish the bad and dirty and denigrate the devout and competent ones." Worse still, these politicians "conceal the problems facing the citizens and, in fact, portray them as as gains. They lie to God, to the Leadership, the people and themselves." `Abd al-Jabbar Muhsin, 'Lies and Hypocricy", Babil, July 6, 1994, FBIS-SERIAL JN1307102694. It is not clear who are these "Wahhabis", or those who hatch "conspiracy", disguised as pious Muslims. The letter indicates that a Sunni revivalist movement in Iraq is taking place and that someone at the regime's apex allowed it to spread. `Udayy's uncle and nemesis, Minister of the Interior Watban Ibrahim Hasan, is the person directly responsible for preventing such trends from spreading; assuming Samarra'i's report about those who disappeared in October 1994 is correct, it appears that they fell victims to a feud within Saddam Husayn's own family.
Oil income. The general maintains that Saddam Husayn's income from oil sales is sufficient to provide all Iraqis with the food they need free of charge; instead, Saddam Husayn chooses to pressure the United Nations to remove the oil embargo by starving his people and using the money to build extravagant palaces for himself.23 (Two months later, the U.S. government fully confirmed this assertion, arguing that since the Kuwait war, Saddam Husayn had spent between $1.5 billion and $2 billion on two main projects: forty-eight luxury residences for himself and his entourage, as well as other extravagant buildings; and the revitalization of his military industry.24 The Iraqi press itself lavishly publicizes the building extravaganza, for example portraying the completion of the ultra-expensive "Baghdad Clock Tower" as Saddam Husayn's latest achievement.)25
In 1993, an official Iraqi report claimed that the rations system had cost over $1 billion annually.26 This figure seems somewhat high, but let us assume it correct. Then, in September 1994, the government cut subsidized food rations by some 35-40 percent, so the program would have cost about $700 million a year. With Iraq's oil revenues believed to be between $500 and $800 million a year,27 these receipts would cover most of the cost of food purchases.
"The situation is explosive." The general hopes to convince his audience that the situation in Iraq is close to a popular eruption: "The Iraqi people and army are now almost totally arrayed against Saddam," he claims, and "the situation is explosive."28 His reference to the army may have to do with its very high rates of desertion (probably around 30 percent), but he does not say this explicitly and, anyway, mass desertion does not necessarily mean the army is in a revolutionary mood. In fact, the general's escape from Baghdad evidences his not believing a revolt against Saddam Husayn to be close at hand.
Other statements by Samarra'i indicate that he feels more time is necessary, that the Iraqi public and, more specifically, the officer corps are not yet ready to act: he insists that the United Nations keep the embargo in force because this is the only way to assure that Saddam Husayn would not be able to rebuild his army;29 he calls on Arab leaders to intervene in Iraq; and he admits that there is still "weakness in coordination and stances" among Saddam Husayn's opponents.30 Furthermore, if the embargo stays in place, he warns that Saddam Husayn is likely to spread "undercover terrorism," apparently against Western targets. If this happens, the general urges the allied forces to react forcefully, perhaps hoping that such a reaction would help bring Saddam Husayn down. In brief, Samarra'i's statements imply a belief that the allies must engage in more military action to trigger a successful military coup d'etat.
Samarra'i's statements imply a belief that the Allies must engage in more military action to trigger a military coup d'etat.
AN APPEAL TO THE ARMY GENERALS
Samarra'i makes very clear that the next meaningful intifada will occur not in southern Iraq but in the Sunni Arab area of the center. Indeed, he directs most of his appeal to arms to his own community, the Sunni Arabs,31 and particularly to those he knows best, the army leadership.
To inspire proud, nationalist army officers to revolt, he reminds them of Saddam Husayn's evils. He points out, correctly, that while senior army officers lost their lives for making military mistakes,32 or corruption,33 Saddam Husayn made far worse mistakes (such as sending 150 Iraqi war planes to Iran, never to see them again) and of course has never paid for these errors.34 Worse, as Samarra'i puts it, Saddam Husayn placed accomplished army generals under the control of his miserable relatives: Minister of Defense `Ali Hasan al-Majid (Saddam Husayn's cousin), Head of Military Industry Husayn Kamil (another cousin), and Minister of the Interior Watban Ibrahim Hasan (a half-brother).35 Saddam Husayn's relatives never served in the regular army but only, in Samarra'i's words, as "they are only sergeants and non-commissioned police officers," and so lack real military experience. His intent clearly is to call on the professional pride of the Iraqi officers' corp to inspire a revolt. Why should the officers continue to tolerate such behavior?
They should not. Samarra'i calls on a host of generals to revolt (see box 1 for names). This list holds considerable interest. Among those named, one finds many of the commanders most loyal to Saddam Husayn, even Tikritis (that is, officers hailing from Saddam Husayn's hometown). Without naming names, he calls on the governors of the eighteen Iraqi governorates to revolt. While some of the eighteen governors are senior Ba`th party officials, eight of them are retired army officers; presumably, they are the individuals he is addressing. By implication, Samarra'i sees not all senior officials as lost causes. In post-Saddam Iraq, some of them may expect clemency and an important role to play.
Will this implied promise induce them to revolt and invite the opposition to return to Baghdad? This is clearly the general's hope. But even if they do not revolt, his intention is at least to dissuade them from supporting Saddam Husayn to their last breath: they have to know that there is life (and a career) for them after Saddam Husayn. Lastly, the disproportionately high representation of Mosul-born generals in the list suggests that Samarra'i hopes to drive a wedge of suspicion between Saddam Husayn and his tribe on the one hand, and the officers from Mosul in northern Iraq, his second most important regional base of support, on the other. To a lesser extent, this is the case with generals from Baghdad.
Interestingly, when Samarra'i calls upon his colleagues to revolt,36 he mentions some of the most important army officers by name, but leaves out others (see box 2 for names). The pattern is clear: he omits those leading officers belonging to Saddam Husayn's own tribe, Al-Bu Nasir. This pattern implies that Samarra'i sees not just Saddam Husayn's extended family but many others from his tribe as beyond repentance. Likewise, the general does not call upon the most senior Ba`this (i
Samarra'i's more important information falls into two categories: specific information on topics such as Iraq's nonconventional arsenal and military industry; and impressionist accounts of the mood in Iraq, in particular that of the armed forces.
On the former, Samarra'i's evidence makes general sense but strangely refrains from providing operational details. Further, he plays down the capability of the state's legitimate and conventional military industry. Is the general ignorant of these details or unwilling to divulge them? There is no telling.
On the latter point, there is no reason to doubt his account, for it confirms the obvious. The public's unhappiness is heard in the regime's press, which is full of letters to the editor complaining about ridiculously low salaries and exorbitant prices, official corruption, and rising crime rates. As for the military, in addition to many news reports of purges (some of them fully corroborated), Saddam Husayn himself has provided evidence that the loyalty of the officers' corps has been in question since the end of the Iraq-Iran War.
That General Samarra'i felt compelled to change sides provides evidence that something is indeed rotten in the state of Iraq. Officers can no longer be sure that loyalty guarantees their safety. Having purged Jubburi, `Ubaydi, Duri, and even Tikriti army officers, Saddam Husayn has created a state of insecurity within his own internal security organizations. Under such circumstances, while the vast majority of officers will duck and wait for the storm to pass, some will cross the border and others will hatch plots. Samarra'i's appeal seems to be aimed in the right direction: those in the best position to change the regime are people at the heart of its power structure. Indeed, since fall 1993, a few reliable reports have come out of Iraq telling of near-successful assassination attempts, all hatched at the heart of Saddam Husayn's security apparatus. And while it is difficult to imagine that the chief of staff or the commander of the Republican Guard would betray Saddam Husayn, lesser figures, people whose names were not mentioned, may try to topple him.
Samarra'i's appeal seems to be aimed in the right direction: those in the best position to change the regime are people at the heart of its power structure.
In one very interesting disclosure, General Samarra'i told that he has since 1970-71 been a member of an anti-Bakr and anti-Saddam opposition group "within the establishment," apparently the officers' corps.37 Even if this group no longer exists, officer discontent hangs over the Iraqi president's head like a sword of Damocles. The more certain that the embargo will last so long as Saddam Husayn is in power, the greater the danger to the president: otherwise, why risk one's own life and the life of one's family with a coup d'etat if renewed oil sales and prosperity are just months away?
The more certain that the embargo will last so long as Saddam is in power, the greater the danger to the president.
General Samarra'i's confidence that the Sunni Arabs of Iraq no longer support Saddam Husayn may be justified, but he also admitted that "weakness in coordination and stances" prevented an uprising. Actually, "stances" is more of a problem than "coordination." Indeed, the general himself hinted at the reason why the anti-Saddam effort is so weak: a fear of Shi`i and Kurdish secession in the ensuing chaos. This leads, even more ominously, to fears of intercommunal feuds, socioeconomic riots, and Iranian intervention. Saddam Husayn harps on these fears when he predicts that the demise of Ba`th rule would mean, "God forbid," the "Lebanonization" of Iraq.38 Considering the alternative, then, it seems that most Sunni Arabs, and possibly many well-to-do Shi`is and Kurds in Baghdad, are paralyzed. The great physical danger to anyone who would dare come out in demonstration against Saddam Husayn adds to this paralysis. This does not mean that the political climate is, in any way, a stable one. Indeed, never since it came to power in 1968 has the Ba`th regime experienced such a level of deep popular frustration and elite discontent as it does now (and has, in fact, since the Kuwait war of 1991). However, so far, this sweeping exasperation has found more expression in crime, official corruption, and social disintegration39 than in popular anti-regime demonstrations.
Box 1: Iraqi Generals Samarra'i Calls on to Revolt
Staff Lt. Gen. Salah `Abbud [Mahmud]: a Sunni Arab from Baghdad, the second senior officer who negotiated with Gen. Schwartzkopf, ex-commander of army corps no. 3, today governor of Dhi Qar, in the Shi`i south.
Staff Lt. Gen. Muhammad `Abd al-Qadir: a Sunni Arab from Baghdad, deputy chief of staff for training and an ex-commander of army corps no. 4.
Staff Lt. Gen. Sultan Hashim Ahmad: a Sunni Arab from Mosul, chief of staff since late-March 1995. He was the most senior negotiator with Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf in March 1991, and was commended by Saddam Husayn for his handling of the negotiations. In the first place, he refused to take off his sidearm unless the Americans did the same. In Saddam's words, in this way he "saved Iraq's honour" for posterity. Secondly, he wrenched from the American commanders permission to use the Army Aviation helicopter gunships, which the regime later used against the Shi`i and Kurdish revolutionaries.
Staff Lt. Gen. Sawkat Ahmad `Ata': a Sunni Arab from Baghdad or Mosul. It is not clear why his name appears in the list: he is not regarded an outstanding officer. He has, though, good reasons to be disgruntled, as he was among those held responsible for the loss of the peninsula of Faw to the Iranians in February 1986, and he has no job.
Staff Gen. `Abd al-Jawad Dhannun: Sunni Arab from Mosul, first deputy minister of the interior.
Staff Lt. Gen. Hisham al-Fakhri: a Sunni Arab from Mosul, illustrious field commander from the Iraq-Iran War, still in the army but with no apparent job. He has a good reason to be disgruntled.
Staff Lt. Gen. Ahmad Hammash: a Sunni Arab from Tikrit, but apparently not from Saddam Husayn's tribe. Deputy chief of staff for administration, ex-division commander in the Republican Guard.
Staff Gen. Nizar `Abd al-Karim al-Khazraji: a Sunni Arab from Mosul, ex-chief of staff, possibly adviser to Saddam Husayn, but still in regular service. He has a good reason to be disgruntled.
Gen. Husayn Rashid: a Sunni Kurd from Tikrit (but not a member of Saddam Husayn's tribe), ex-chief of staff. His presence on the list is to demonstrate that Samarra'i does not appeal only to Sunni Arabs, and that some Tikritis can be wooed.
Staff Gen. Iyad [Khalifa] Futayyih ar-Rawi: a Sunni Arab from Rawa, west of Baghdad, ex-chief of staff (dismissed in March 1995), commander of the Republican Guard during the Kuwait episode.
Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim `Abd as-Sattar: a Sunni Arab from Tikrit but apparently not from Saddam Husayn's tribe. Commander of the Republican Guard.
Staff Gen. `Abd al-Jabbar Khalil Shanshal: a Sunni Arab from Mosul, ex-chief of staff and presently minister of state for military affairs.
Staff Gen. Sa`di Tu`ma [`Abbas al-Jubburi]: a Shi`i Arab from Hilla, party old-timer, minister of defense during the Kuwait episode, now adviser to the president. He is on the list due to his seniority, and to soften the impression that Samarra'i is appealing mainly to Sunni Arabs.
Staff Gen. Iyad Khalil Zaki: a Sunni Arab from Baghdad, deputy chief of staff for supplies and a well-known anti-Shi`i bigot.
Box 2: Iraqi Generals Not Called on to Revolt
All of the following four generals are from Tikrit and are members of Saddam Husayn's tribe.
Ret. Lt. Gen. Hamid Sha`ban an-Nasiri: ex-commander of the air force and Saddam Husayn's chief military adviser
Ret. Lt. Gen. Mahir `Abd ar-Rashid an-Nasiri: Saddam Husayn's brother-in-law, ex-commander of an army corp, and an illustrious armor commander dubbed by Iraqi soldiers "the Rommel of the Arabs"
Lt. Gen. Muzahin Sa`b Hasan an-Nasiri: commander of the air force
Lt. Gen. Nasir Sa`id Tawfiq `Abd al-Ghaffur an-Nasiri: commander of an army corps
1 Staff Colonel Ahmad al-Zaydi, Al-Bina' al-Ma`nawi li'l-Quwwat al-Musallaha al-`Iraqiya (The Spiritual Structure of the Iraqi Armed Forces) (Beirut: Dar ar-Rawda, 1990), pp. 275-76.
2 Produced and concealed by the Department of Military Industry, under the command of Saddam Husayn's cousin, Gen. Husayn Kamil.
3 The responsibility of Saddam's two half-brothers, Watban Ibrahim at the Ministry of Interior and Sib`awi Ibrahim at General Security (al-Amn al-`Amm).
4 (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 18, 1994, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report: Near East and South Asia (hereafter FBIS), Dec. 19, 1994, pp. 32-33.
5 Middle East Watch, Genocide in Iraq: the Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds (New York: 1993), p. xiv.
6 Ibid., p. xii, reports that the Kurdish estimate was 182,000.
7 Al-Jihad, the weekly magazine of the Da`wa Islamic Party, assessed the fatalities at 30,000 (Apr. 22, 1991).
8 Voice of Iraqi Kurdistan, Dec. 17, 1994; (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 18, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 19, 1994p. 34. This makes sense, for Saddam Husayn exploited these demonstrations of Shi`i identity and religiosity to present them as pro-Iranian sentiments. He told his soldiers that the revolt was an Iranian plot, and that many Iranians had been infiltrating the border, to join forces with Iraqi "traitors" and "evil-doers." This had profound influence not just on the Sunnis, but also on some Shi`is who feared Iranian intervention. See his speech "to our People and Nation and Armed Forces", ath-Thawra, Aug. 31, 1992. For Shi`i `ulama on the intifada, see Babil, May 16, 1991.
9 According to the author's interview with one Shi`i revolutionary, Saddam Husayn's own agents put up these posters as a means to dissuade the allied forces from supporting the revolt. But three other Shi`is who fought Saddam's troops in the intifada in another southern town deemed these slogans authentic; indeed, they themselves wrote such graffiti during the revolt. (All four interviews were conducted in the United States on May 6-7, 1994).
10 (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 18, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 19, 1994, p. 33.
11 Robert Gates, Director of CIA, Statement Before the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Defense Policy Panel, Mar. 27, 1992; General Joseph Hoar, Central Command 1993 Posture Statement, as reproduced in Michael Eisenstadt, Like Phoenix From the Ashes? The Future of Iraqi Military Power (Washington, D.C., The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1993), p. 63.
12 Journal of Commerce, Mar. 1, 1995; Elaine Sciolini,The New York Times, Mar. 5, 1995.
13 Ash-Sharq al-Awsat (London), Dec. 23, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 23, 1994, p. 15.
16 International Herald Tribune, Feb. 24, 1995.
17 Journal of Commerce, Mar. 1, 1995.
18 By "Wahhabism," the regime means fundamentalist Islam Saudi-style, which also has strong anti-Shi`i undertones. Rejecting "Wahhabism" signals to the Sunna that unauthorized Islamic piety will be regarded as pro-Saudi sentiment and punished; and to the Shi`a that the Ba`th is their shield, under which no anti-Shi`i religious preaching will be allowed.
"Salafiya" in Ba`thi vernacular is a code-name for fundamentalist Islam drawing its inspiration from the Muslim Brethren (primarily Egyptian in origin, although also Jordanian) and from fundamentalist movements in North Africa. Though the Ba`th regime in Baghdad does cooperate with some of these "Salafi" movements, it does not trust them, as many of them had supported Iran during the Iran-Iraq War.
19 (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 19, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 20, 1994, p. 24.
20 See, for example, Republic of Iraq Radio Network, June 4, 1994, in FBIS-SERIAL JN0406194294; ath-Thawra, August 26, 1990, in FBIS-SERIAL JN 0109143394; Republic of Iraq Radio Network in Arabic, June 13, 1994, in FBIS-SERIAL JN1306125394; Republic of Iraq Radio Network, July 7, 1994, in FBIS Serial JN0807075394.
21 Babil, July 19, 1994, in FBIS-SERIAL JN1807195194.
22 Babil, June 12, 1994, p. 12.
23 London Iraqi Broadcasting Corporation Press Release, Dec. 16, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 20, 1994.
24 Journal of Commerce, Mar. 1, 1995 reproduces the report by the U.S. delegation to the United Nations.
25 Ath-Thawra, Mar. 16, 1994.
26 Babil, Nov. 3, 1993, claims $90 million per month.
27 The New York Times reported on Feb. 16, 1995, that Iraq exports 200,000 barrels per day, 75,000 of which the United Nations permits to be sold to Jordan, for which Iraq receives up to $800 million annually. The U.S. government deemed these figures "greatly exaggerated," and suggested the correct number to be about 100,000 barrels a day (The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 22, 1995).
28 (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 18, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 19, 1994, p. 33.
30 (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 19, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 20, 1994, pp. 24-25.
32 The Iraqi withdrawal from Khorrahmshahr in May 1982 prompted Saddam to execute at least three senior Iraqi officers for unauthorized retreat, the most senior of them being Diya' Tawfiq Ibrahim, a lieutenant general and corps commander. Saddam executed twelve generals for unspecified reasons, according to the best-informed book on the Iraq-Iran War, Anthony H. Cordesman and Abraham R. Wagner, The Lessons of Modern War, vol. 2: The Iraq-Iran War (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1991), p. 142.
33 The brilliant Kurdish commander of Iraqi artillery during most of the Iraq-Iran War, Fariq Nizar Yunis, was executed for "corruption" in 1987; the real reason appears to have been personal: Saddam did not trust him.
34 London Iraqi Broadcasting Corporation Press Release, Dec. 16, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 20, 1994, p. 23. Samarra'i may be mistaken about the quantity of airplanes, which other Iraqi sources say numbered only 139.
35 The latter oversees the many retired army generals who serve as provincial governors and senior officials in the ministry of the interior.
36 London Iraqi Broadcasting Corporation Press Release, Dec. 16, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 20, 1994, p. 23.
37 (Clandestine) Voice of the People of Kurdistan, Dec. 18, 1994, in FBIS, Dec. 19, 1994, p. 33.
38 He said this, for example, in his very important speech on the Shi`i intifada (ath-Thawra, Mar. 17, 1991).
39 The regime admits to an uncontrollable and rising rate of crime, the disappearance of the social stigma associated with theft, increasing murders, widespread bribery in the judicial system, and even corrupt officials' returning lands to their pre-1958 land owners, thereby dispossessing poor peasants (for example, Alif Ba', June 8, 1994; Babil, Mar. 28, 1994).