Posts Tagged ‘Saddam Hussein’

FÖRHANDLING | Bill Richardson, tidigare guvernör i New Mexico, berättade för Kent Black på Bloomberg Businessweek om sina erfarenheter.

Saddam Hussein

It’s important when you negotiate with a dictator that you connect personally. […] Often the key is to find out what they really need rather than what they say they want. You have to learn what their current moods are, who they’re having an affair with, who they are threatened by, and what you think they want out of the negotiation with you. Don’t get emotional.

When I was negotiating with Saddam Hussein, I let him vent about the injustices that he felt the U.S. had played on Iraq. And then, after listening, I said, “You know, Mr. President, I’m not here to discuss the U.S.-Iraqi relationship. I just want the two Americans who are imprisoned [William Barloon and David Daliberti, released into Richardson’s custody in July 1995]. You’re not going to get an improvement in the relationship with the U.S., but you’ll get praise for a humanitarian gesture.”

You have to let the other side save face. Humor is often very effective. With the Sudanese, I said, “So, Mr. President, this guy that I’m still trying to get out of jail, does he still have his fingernails?” A little levity is important.

Bild: Daily Mail.

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IRAK | I år är det tio år sedan invasionen av Irak som avsatte diktatorn Saddam Hussein. Beroende på hur man räknar var 49 länder involverade.

Foto av Charles Ommanney-Contact-Getty

Inför invasionen skrev David Frum 2002 de delar av president George W. Bushs State of the Union tal som handlade om Irak.

Som talskrivare var det hans uppgift att förklara rationaliteten bakom vad som skulle komma att bli presidentens beslut att invadera.

Frasen ”axis of evil” lyftes fram av alla som rapporterade om Bushs tal. Frum har i boken The Right Man (2003) skrivit att frasen i ett tidigt utkast hade formuleringen ”axis of hatred”.

I Newsweek skriver Frum om de omfattande ansträngningar som krävdes för att kommunicera presidentens budskap och lyckas övertyga kongressen och befolkningen. 

The order to begin work on the Iraq sections of the 2002 State of the Union address—what became known as the “axis of evil” speech—was delivered to me in the form of a conditional: what might the president say if he decided … etc. That speech provoked a furor with its claim that state sponsors of terror cooperated with terrorist groups, and its warning that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were arming to threaten the peace of the world. Critics insisted that it was impossible that Shiite Iran would support Sunni Hamas or that Islamic Iran could share technology with Stalinist North Korea. We now know all those things to be true, and many more besides. The founder of the Pakistani nuclear program did attempt to sell bomb-making technology to al Qaeda. The North Koreans did sell Syria materials for a nuclear facility destroyed by the Israelis in 2007.

Some critics claim that the speech blew up a promising U.S. diplomatic overture to Iran. That’s pretty hard to believe, especially after seeing what has happened to U.S. overtures to Iran since 2009. As a description of the strategic challenge facing the United States, the speech has been corroborated by events. No apologies on any of those points.

The speech did mark a point of no return on the road to war with Iraq, although debate continued inside the administration for many more months. The famous Downing Street memo makes clear that as late as July 2002, Tony Blair’s government remained uncertain of U.S. intentions.


Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz spoke eloquently about Saddam’s appalling crimes against the Iraqi people. But countries rarely fight big, expensive wars for the benefit of others. Everything depended on the evidence that Iraq was acquiring a dangerous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. How solid was that evidence? Those of us without high security clearances could never truly know. We had to rely on those we trusted—like National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who warned on January 10, 2003, “There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Such assurances by the leading figures in the Bush administration won the support of a broad array of Americans, not only conservatives but “liberal hawks” in Congress and the press, and not only in this country but around the world.


Brits sometimes question how crucial Blair was in the run-up to war. My own sense, for what it’s worth, is that it was Blair, not Bush, who swayed Democrats in Congress and liberal hawks in the media. Without Blair, the Iraq War would have been authorized with only the smallest handful of non-Republican votes.

Bild: Charles Ommanney/Contact/Getty.

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MAD MEN | Vem kan man riskfritt göra narr av i reklam? Diktatorer borde vara ok. Om man inte gör det i deras eget land vill säga.

The Economist skriver:

The list of people or groups an advertiser can be rude about is very short, reckons Bob Jeffrey, the boss of JWT, a big ad agency.


Nando’s, a South African restaurant chain, forgot that with an ad showing a Robert Mugabe lookalike glumly alone at dinner (after many of his fellow despots had been deposed). He reminisces about happy days shooting water pistols with Muammar Qaddafi, playing in the sand with Saddam Hussein and riding a tank, “Titanic”-style, with Idi Amin. The ad was broadcast in South Africa, where Nando’s middle-class target audience found it hilarious. But Nando’s also has restaurants in Zimbabwe. Threats ensued. Fearing violence against its staff there, the ad was pulled.

En av figurerna i reklamen föreställer Sydafrikas tidigare president Pik Botha. Inte så länge sedan var även det landet en diktatur. Idag kan man skämta om sin egen historia. Det kan man kalla en historielektion i miniatyr.

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PIRATER: Även i banditernas värld finns det tydligen ”kommunikationsexperter”.

Sugule Ali – talesperson för ett gäng pirater som bl.a. har kapat ett ukrainskt fartyg som man kräver en lösensumma på 20 miljoner dollar för – har i ett försök att skapa positiv spin på händelsen uttalat följande;

We are simply patrolling our sea. Think of us like a coast guard.

Herr Alis uttalande är onekligen värdigt Saddam Husseins gamla ”spin doctor” Bagdad Bob!

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