News just in from our man in Bagdhad …
Those who recall the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) nonsense from the build-up to the 2003 Iraq war in 2003 may remember the Al-Samoud missiles. These were the long range missiles that were supposed to launch at 45 minutes notice to lay waste the cities of Cyprus, or whatever.
There are stories coming out of Iraq that can’t be verified. It’s too dangerous for people like us on limited resources to go and check. Here’s one: a surprising anecdote on the WMDs, heard from an expatriate Iraqi who used to go on regular business trips to Baghdad.
A potential German buyer was eyeing the postwar ruins of Baghdad’s Al-Samoud Strategic factory, which had made guns for armoured cars, and components of the feared Al-Samoud missiles. Here’s the intriguing part: according to the source, “Saddam wasn’t stupid,” and in the years leading up to the war, realised the sanctions were biting and that he’d need to buy the loyalty of some key people. The factory was converted for the production of fridges, air conditioning units and other consumer white goods with which to reward or buy off the Ba’ath party faithful. Never mind swords into ploughshares, Iraq’s WMD infrastructure was switched to turning out fridges.
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