Saddam to Settle Claims?

Will Iraq pay one trillion dollars to America?
As is well known, the White House is actively working on its anti-Iraq operation. The idea has not yet won support from America's allies. At the same time, there are more and more people in America who doubt whether it is necessary to launch a war against Iraq. It seems that another method to create more problems for Saddam Hussein has been recently found.

Relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy registered a claim against the Iraqi government in the Manhattan Circuit Court to the sum of $1 trillion. These are the same people who registered a claim against the Sudanese Government, several Saudi princes, and some Islamic charitable foundations and banks several weeks ago. The sum of the claim is the same as well: one trillion dollars. this must be a very popular figure.

The claimants blame the Iraqi leadership, claiming that it had known about bin Laden’s preparation of the terrorist attacks. “But, as Iraq couldn’t destroy the US army, it preferred terror against American citizens.”

Jim Kriendler, one of the lawyers from the claimants’ side says that the claim will be the first to present proof of Iraq’s participation in the 2001 terrorist attacks. Nothing was previously mentioned about a direct connection between Hussein’s regime and al-Qaeda.

The claimants present an article by Arab journalist Naim abd Muhalhal published five or six weeks before the terrorist attacks in 2001 as a piece of proof. The article cliams that that bin Laden “will deliver a blow against America with the hand that already hurts," which supposedly refers to the bombing of the WTC in 1993. The journalist also wrote that “bin Laden cursed Frank Sinatra each time he heard his songs”; the claimants are sure the song “New York, New York” is meant by that.

In addition to the article, the claimants state that they have information about a meeting between bin Laden’s accomplice Ayman al-Zawahiri and Iraqi special services.

This "proof" of Iraq’s guilt is not very convincing yet. It is not ruled out that the lawyers will present their trump cards right during the court hearings. The claim on the whole looks very much like another propaganda war waged by the White House against Iraq. Therefore, it is very likely that the claim will be allowed in the American courts.

However, if the claim is allowed, who will pay? There is little hope that Saddam Hussein will pay, as the claim makes no sense for him. Is it possible that finances allocated to Iraq within the network of the program “Oil in exchange for food” will be seized to pay for the claim? It will not be Hussein who will suffer; it will be the Iraqi children and elderly who will suffer.

It never makes much sense to launch legal proceedings against regimes similar to the one in Baghdad. Dictators have never settled the claims. A precedent is unlikely to be established this time.

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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