Iraq: June 1, 2003

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Saddam Hussein is believed to be using cash and terror to stay hidden in Sunni Arab areas. Cash and terror is what Saddam has used for decades. He moves from home to home with a small staff. Before he arrives, some of the children of the family are taken away as hostages. If anyone in the family informs on Saddam, the kids will be killed. After Saddam and his crew have left, the hostages are returned and a cash payment (up to $50,000) is made. Thus Saddams hosts are simultaneously terrorized and rewarded. This is a winning combination in Iraq.

Much of the looting in Baghdad, and elsewhere, is, upon closer examination, sabotage by Baath party activists. It is thought that the Sunni Arabs, via the Baath party they have dominated since the 1960s, are trying to keep Iraq unstable enough so they can take over again and re-impose their police state. The Shia Arabs and Kurds, who comprise 80 percent of the population, as well as the coalition, can be expected to oppose this sort of thing.

The free food distribution Saddam had used for over a decade to control the population, has been resumed. 

This Summer, recruiting and training for a new Iraqi army will begin. The new force will have about 50,000 troops. Until this year, the Iraqi army had a strength of about 400,000, about a third of which were long term professionals and the rest conscripts serving up to two years. Because of poor living conditions and abuse from some of the professional NCOs and officers, there was a lot of desertion. The new Iraqi army will probably be all volunteer, with higher pay and better living and working conditions than the previous army.

 

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