Sitting US Senators visiting Iraq a few months before the invasion ~ NanoThoughts 1.0

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sitting US Senators visiting Iraq a few months before the invasion

I was reading an old issue of GQ on the can the other day, and a passge in this article,
JOE BIDEN CAN’T SHUT UP…, caught my eye.

This is Joe Biden’s sixth trip to Iraq. The first time, three months before the war began, he and Chuck Hagel were smuggled across the Turkish border to take the pulse of Saddam Hussein’s greatest victims, the Kurds. Biden was already convinced that the dictator should be ousted. He had called Saddam “a certifiable maniac” in a speech the day before September 11. A month later, he called for a White House-led coalition to “tighten the noose around Saddam Hussein’s neck so that when he does genuinely step out of line next time, we will have the ability to move in with or without others, but with the support of the rest of the world, like we’re doing in Afghanistan.” But while feasting on kebabs and pomegranates with Kurdish leaders, Biden learned “that left to their own devices, they were doing pretty damn well. And they were worried that things might spin apart [after an invasion] and wanted to know, Are you guys gonna stay, or are you gonna do what the other Bush did to us?”

Maybe others already knew about this, but the thought of sitting US Senators clandestinely visiting Iraq a few months before the war kinda blows my mind. I'm not naive and realize that we've had covert military ops there for the better part of two decades at least, but sitting US Congressmen? That surprised me.

1 comment:

heatkernel said...

If they only went to Kurdistan it was no big deal. That wasn't really going to Iraq, because Iraqi Kurdistan was functioning as a separate country in those days. It even had its own currency, IIRC.

The irony is that this situation (nominal rule by an impotent Saddam in Baghdad) was in many ways much better for Biden's hosts, the Kurds, compared with the current uncertain situation, when Turkish and/or resurgent Iraqi Nationalist invasion is always feared just over the horizon.