"Irresponsibility in Iraq's Ba'athist Leadership": An Insider's Perspective

"Irresponsibility in Iraq's Ba'athist Leadership": An Insider's Perspective

Shafaq News / Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein narrowly escaped death during the Gulf War, according to a recent account by Sabbah Nahi, a witness to the events.

Nahi recounted how Saddam and his close associates fled Baghdad as war broke out, with the president frantically searching for a hiding place. "I saw him by chance in Mansour neighborhood in the early hours of that fateful morning," Nahi told Independent Arabia." "He was looking for a smuggler to take him away in two white Peugeot cars that were racing to enter a garage of a restaurant in 14 Ramadan Street in Mansour. That was the moment he disappeared."

Nahi went on to describe the chaos and destruction that followed, including the bombing of the restaurant just minutes after Saddam's escape. "The missile dug deep into the ground and killed families who were living around it," he said. "Some people even inspected the remains of the dead to see if Saddam was among them."

Nahi also shed light on the unexpected nature of Saddam's escape, with many stories and rumors still circulating about how he managed to evade the missile strike. "My sources, who include a former intelligence official, revealed that when I was holding an important position to secure the capital in central Baghdad, I received a secret letter signed by the president himself, ordering the appointment of a new director for the intelligence agency," Nahi explained. "The new director was Khaled Sultan Al-Tikriti, one of Saddam's close aides and officials in the agency. The letter included a paragraph urging the arrest of the current director as a traitor and killing him if necessary wherever he was found."

A high-ranking security official has provided a detailed account of the power struggle and escape attempts that followed the outbreak of war in Iraq in 2003. Speaking to "Independent Arabia," the official recalled how the director of the intelligence agency, Taher Al-Habbush, failed to attend a crucial meeting with President Saddam Hussein just moments before the restaurant where they were supposed to meet was bombed. "This was the first shakeup of power and governance in my view, in a system that only entrusted responsibility for the intelligence agency to those who were trusted by the authorities and by Saddam," the official said.

The official also suggested that Al-Habbush may have collaborated with American forces in exchange for his safety and personal security. "He took 50 million dollars to secure his escape and to arrange for the charges against him to be dismissed, as stated in a document circulated by the security agencies," the official claimed.

According to the witness, the escape attempts of other high-ranking officials also provide a fertile ground for historical research into the complex dynamics of power and loyalty in post-Saddam Iraq. "The stories of the escape attempts of Azza Al-Douri, Abdul Baqi Al-Saadoun, Mohammad Younis Al-Ahmed, Abu Zaki Al-Aboudi, and others who were among the 55 most wanted Iraqis, open up new avenues for exploring the ability to hide and operate within circles that talk about their dead hearts and continue to reject the occupation," the witness said.

Nahi went on to suggest that these stories have yet to be fully revealed, but will provide crucial insights into the inner workings of the Ba'ath party and the fate of its leaders following the execution of Saddam Hussein. "These are stories that have yet to be disclosed, except in the case of Abdul Baqi Al-Saadoun, a member of the Qatari leadership, and the curtain has been lifted on the secrets of the disappearance of Azza Al-Douri, who took over the leadership of the Ba'ath party after the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein," Nahi concluded.

Nahi reflected on the leadership of Iraq and its handling of past wars and the devastating sanctions that crippled the country. He argued that the Ba'athist leadership's reliance on family rather than professionally trained and experienced leaders within the government has led to a culture of irresponsibility towards political and security decisions in the country. This culture has been ingrained over 35 years of Ba'athist rule and has led to a belief that they are merely receivers of decisions rather than makers of them. According to a general officer in the General Security Service, Muayad Al-Wandawi, who warned them of the dangers of ignoring the competent leaders within the party and government, their advice was not heeded. As a result, wrong choices have been made, and the country's competence and stability have suffered as a result.

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