Posted by anon Assyrian (184.108.40.206) on January 01, 2002 at 10:48:49:
December 18, 2001 Tuesday
Hussein Ibish from the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee discusses how the US should deal with Saddam Hussein
CHRIS MATTHEWS, host: Hussein Ibish is with the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee.
Thank you for coming back, Hussein. It's great to have you here. Make your case. What do you think about--stick to one topic here, if you can please. You only have three minutes. Hussein--Saddam Hussein? How do we
deal with him as Americans?
Mr. HUSSEIN IBISH (American-Arab Anti-discriminatory Committee): I mean, I think what Michael just said is--is all very reasonable. Let me add something else. I mean, the whole discourse you've been having today is
completely contradictory. You're hearing that the army is going to rise up against Saddam. At the same time, the opposition forces are going to lead the charge. Those two things can't happen together, and there's no
reason to believe that the opposition really wants to join this. In fact, all three major opposition groups have said in the early part of this month, 'Please don't do this. We don't want you to.' Now we're
twisting their arms, and unnamed sources in the New York Times are saying one of them might be kind of changing their minds. But in the public, and as far as we can tell, they're all against it, and as far as the military goes...
MATTHEWS: But we're giving lots to the--Hussein, we're giving lots of money to a group called the Iraqi National Congress that's based somewhere here.
Mr. IBISH: Well, they have no presence in Iraq. I mean, they're not there. They're here. They have no presence. There are three armed Iraqi opposition groups: the supreme council of the Islamic revolution, a Shiite group, and two Kurdish groups. And all three of them said, 'Please don't do this,' and if one of them changes their mind, you know, there's no--there's no evidence that they can succeed in overthrowing
Saddam Hussein. As far as the military goes, we tried that, and it hasn't worked before. There's no evidence that they would particularly want to join up with us, and would they not also want to have weapons of mass destruction as a deterrent, like everyone else?
MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask you a question--two questions. Speaking of which--speaking of which, I'm going to ask you two scenarios. They are very simple speculative questions, but they're not hard to imagine. One: Israel gets hit by a scud missile attack by Saddam Hussein dumping biological weapons right into Tel Aviv. What would you say at that moment? Would you say you were wrong in not taking this guy out before?
Mr. IBISH: Well, of course. I mean, if there were some kind of mad, unprovoked attack, obviously. But that's not going to happen because MAD works--mutually assured destruction, works. We know that. Iraq did have
MATTHEWS: What about the other scenario?
Mr. IBISH: Iraq did have a chemical weapons capability in '91. They didn't use it. Why? Because they knew they'd be blown away. So of course...
MATTHEWS: Well, what about the other scenario, Hussein? Suppose he does this sneakily through a third party, gives it to a bunch of crazies like al-Qaeda and says, 'Here's the weaponry; go use it in New York.' How do we get him then if we can't prove it?
Mr. IBISH: Look, Iraq has no history of doing that. If you look at the annual state department terrorism reports, the only thing Iraq is accused of in the past eight years is supporting an Iranian opposition group that shot Iranian military officials. They don't do that -- that's not their style.
MATTHEWS: So much to talk about. Thank you very much. Have a happy holiday, Hussein.
Mr. IBISH: Thanks, Chris. You too. Merry Christmas.
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