A Service of The Seattle Times Company
Home delivery Contact us Search archives
Site index

« Nation & world

Conflict with Iraq

Battle Lines
Tom Brown
Tom Brown
Battle Lines is an ongoing Web log (blog) dedicated to providing a broad perspective on the latest news and developments from the war in Iraq. Response and suggestions are welcomed.

Tom Brown has been an editor, reporter and software analyst for The Seattle Times for 20 years.

April 17, 2003

Conspiracy theories

(posted by Katherine Long)

Was the fall of Baghdad part of a secret deal between the United States and the Baath regime? It sounds preposterous to American ears, but it's a popular theory in the Arab media.

"Why did Iraq fall so easily?" the Lebanon Daily Star asks. "And, where did all the Iraqi soldiers and elite units go?"

(Of course, the U.S. was trying to get Iraqi generals to surrender in the days leading up to the war -- remember those reports that Special Ops were calling members of the Republican Guard on their cell phones, trying to arrange deals?)

In Basra, there are claims that coaliton forces are protecting Baath party members until the dust settles.

The head of the Republican Guard cut a deal with the U.S. to surrender, al-Jazeera reports, citing a story in the French newspaper Le Monde.

Why is the U.S. so interested in Saddam's "black files?" According to a report by the Middle East Research and Information Project, Saddam's files could provide evidence of Iraq's ties to terrorist groups, but they might also contain embarrassing evidence of ties between U.S. companies and Iraq.

The pro-government Arab News of Saudi Arabia thinks it’s spotted a suspicious pattern -- that President George Bush has stopped mentioning both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

And then there are legions of theories on Saddam's whereabouts, including the ever-popular belief that he was spirited out of Baghdad and flown to Russia.

Profiting from reconstruction

Europeans are alarmed that American companies with strong ties to the Bush administration are being rewarded with reconstruction contracts.

Is the Bush administration going to create an Enron in Babylon? Asia Times argues that European companies should get considered for some of the contracts -- they have have expertise in rebuilding war-torn countries, and some have even done work in Iraq under the oil-for-food program.

In a possible indication of things to come, Poland -- a U.S. ally in the Iraq war -- said it wanted preferential treatment when the contracts are doled out to rebuild the country.

Meanwhile, some Democrats have called for an investigation into the decision to sidestep open bidding on the contracts.

Posted by Katherine Long at April 17, 2003 06:57 AM

Tom Brown Katherine Long, research editor at the Seattle Times and 18-year editor and reporter, substituted for Tom Brown the week of April 14.

April 2003
March 2003

Signing off
The Saddam Files
Demonstrations in Karbala
Building a government from scratch
Smoking gun?
The irony of freedom
Where are the weapons?
Cultural advisors quit over antiquities issue
Baghdad reality check


Powered by
Movable Type 2.51 home
Home delivery | Contact us | Search archive | Site index
NWclassifieds | NWsource | Advertising info | The Seattle Times Company


Back to topBack to top