John Nixon is a former CIA interrogator who questioned Iraq’s Saddam Hussein numerous times after U.S. troops captured Saddam. In his new book, Debriefing The President: The Interrogation Of Saddam Hussein, Nixon made some big revelations that again calls into question the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
In the publication, Nixon explains that Hussein was out of touch with the military reality of his own country in his final years. “When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: ‘You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.’”
When Nixon asked Saddam to explain why, the former dictator said Americans would soon learn they “are going to fail in Iraq because [Americans] do not know the language, the history, and do not understand the Arab mind.”
Nixon also said, “Saddam’s leadership style and penchant for brutality were among the many faults of his regime, but he could be ruthlessly decisive when he felt his power base was threatened, and it is far from certain that his regime would have been overthrown by a movement of popular discontent.”
Most surprisingly thought was what Saddam said about terrorism in Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, as noted by Nixon:
“Iraq is not a terrorist nation. We did not have a relationship with Osama bin Laden, and did not have weapons of mass destruction… and were not a threat to our neighbours. But the American President George W Bush said Iraq wanted to attack his daddy and said we had ‘weapons of mass destruction.’”
Saddam went on further to talk about WMDs:
“We never thought about using weapons of mass destruction. It was not discussed. Use chemical weapons against the world? Is there anyone with full faculties who would do this? Who would use these weapons when they had not been used against us?”
Nixon noted that this kind of answer to this question and other really took the CIA by surprise, as the narrative being put out by the Bush Administration and mainstream media was far different.
“I do not wish to imply that Saddam was innocent,” Nixon writes. “He was a ruthless dictator who plunged his region into chaos and bloodshed. But in hindsight, the thought of having an ageing and disengaged Saddam in power seems almost comforting in comparison with the wasted effort of our brave men and women in uniform and the rise of Islamic State, not to mention the £2.5 trillion spent to build a new Iraq.”
Nixon also said, “Saddam had actually believed 9/11 would bring Iraq and America closer because Washington would need his secular government to help fight fundamentalism. How woefully wrong he had been.”
If Nixon is right, this means it would have been very difficult for the Islamic State (ISIL) to come into power and have any influence in the middle east, especially though in Iraq.
Today, ISIL exists still in Mosul, Iraq and in various parts of Syria. A serious question then needs to be asked of the U.S., British and French influence in Syria by trying to help overthrow the Assad regime: Why are they doing it? Have we not learned from this past situation where overthrowing a regime will always bring even more devastation to the country and to it’s people?
It is certainly positive to see this former interrogator come out and talk about his experiences in Iraq. Perhaps it will help us learn how to deal with the Syria situation and other situations in the future.