January 6, 2003 - Posting #137
I am writing you now as family.
As you might imagine, I am deeply saddened by this march to war with Iraq. I have worked so hard to secure cooperation with the weapons inspections, precisely so that a confrontation could be avoided. I am deeply proud of the success of my contributions. I have behaved with the utmost respect for the security of the international community and the best interest of disarmament in the Middle East.
Andy, I can still influence this situation.
Therefore, I need to ask you, one last time, what specific actions can be taken by Baghdad, so the President Bush can declare victory without going to War. What do you need? Cooperation on terrorism, including interviewing authority for the FBI? Does the U.S. want the Lukoil Contract? What else? I can get it. Just tell me.
If you call me at 301-891-0954, or send the Secret Service, I will come to you at any hour of the day or night. I will fly to Baghdad with 24 hours notice to deliver any message directly to that leadership, regarding any of the above suggestions or anything else you seek.
Even at this late hour, Andy, I can get the kind of results that will enable President Bush to declare a proud victory without endangering the lives of U.S. soldiers or inciting further terrorist actions against American interest.
I ask you, Andy, what matters more? Trying to depose Saddam Hussein? Or the security of New York City and San Antonia? Which is the priority for America? Because surely you know that the security of New York and Los Angeles and Boston will be forfeited - for years to come - if the U.S. becomes an outright aggressor against Iraq or any other Middle Eastern nation.
My dearest cousin, I want President Bush to succeed. American needs his Presidency to succeed. But this War with Iraq will hurt us, too. In six weeks or six months, it won't matter. Because when it hits, it will hit so hard it will not matter that there was ever a delay - The Iraq people hate Americans, no matter what they think of Saddam. When I was in Baghdad last March, more than one Imam swore to me their people would tear off the arms and the legs of American soldiers, and decapitate them, and drag their bodies through the streets. They swore the women would fight, too.
Once the U.S. bombing starts, the Iraqi exiles will have no credibility as leaders. None whatsoever. They will be hated as pawns of the United States, and my God, let met tell you, Arabs can hate. A U.S. victory will never be sweet for long.
That hatred has kindled deeply because of the sanctions, Andy. Sanctions have killed 1.7 million human beings, including almost one million little children. Stop and think. what would an American father do the the man who killed three of his children, once that father could finally lay hands on his aggressor? Would he throw candy in the streets? No, he'd beat him to death and stab him 100 times until his arms were sore. And then he'd look for the next man, stalking until the right moment. In Baghdad, I met a man who lost 8 members of his immediate family in one year. that's right: Eight dead in ONE year. Multiply that by 20 million.
And so I am coming back to you again. Anytime, day or night, I will meet you anywhere. I will deliver any message. Or I will escort anyone you designate - I will keep our meeting and the substance of our communications strictly confidential. Anything to resolve this crisis. Unlike Ambassador Negroponte, I can do this without drawing media attention.
Above all, you must realize that if you go ahead with this invasion, Osama bin Laden will triumph, rising from his grave of seclusion. His network will be be swollen with fresh recruits, and other charismatic individuals will seek to build on his model, multiplying those networks. And the United States will have delivered the death blow to itself. Using your own act of war, Osama and his cohorts will irrevocably divide the hears and mind of the Arab Street from moderate governments in Islamic countries that have been holding back that tide. Power to the people, what we call "democracy," will secure the rise of the fundamentalists.
And before the next Presidential election, Andy, it will become a disaster.
You are in my prayers. let me help you. Please.
To Colin Powell, then the United States Secretary of States:
Mr. Secretary -
I expect this would be a "short" discussion, and the U.S. would come away with full democratic reforms - free elections w/intel, monitors, free opposition parties, free opposition newspapers, and free student organizations at Universities. Given the military build up, you could declare a great victory from a formidable position of strength. You could keep U.S. troops in place for 6 months to monitor compliance, and you could do it all without War.
"And Ye Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Set You Free"
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