Saddam to settle claims

As is well known, the White House is actively working on an anti-Iraq operation. The idea has not yet won any support from US allies. At the same time, there are more and more people in America who doubt whether it is necessary to launch any operations against Iraq. It seems that another method to add more problems to Saddam Hussein has been recently found.

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

The claimants blame the Iraqi leadership for the fact that it had known about bin Laden’s preparation of the terrorism 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, the claim will be the first to present proofs of Iraq’s participation in the 2001 terrorism attacks. Nothing was previously mentioned about a direct connection between Hussein’s regime and al-Qaeda.

The claimants present an article by an Arab journalist Naim abd Muhalhal published five or six weeks before the terrorist attacks in 2001 as one of the proofs. The article says, that bin Laden “will deliver a blow against America with the hand that already hurts”, that refers to an explosion at the WTC in 1993. The journalist also wrote, “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 have information about a meeting between bin Laden’s accomplice Ayman al-Zawahiri with Iraqi special services.

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

But if the claims are allowed, who is to pay? There is little hope for Saddam Hussein, as the claims make no sense for him. Is it possible that finance allocated to Iraq within the network of the program “Oil in exchange for food” will be arrested to pay the claims? It makes no difference for Hussein as well. Iraqi children and aged people will be the first to suffer from it.

It never had much sense to launch legal proceedings against regimes similar to that of Baghdad. Dictators never settled the claims. A precedent is unlikely to be established this time.

Vasily Bubnov

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Author`s name Michael Simpson