Sunday, October 26, 2008

The report by Robert Fisk on Abu Nidal is not as the headline of the article advertises. If you read it and re-read it: you can only learn of the allegations and claims of Saddam's intelligence service. And Fisk is correct to raise doubts about Abu Nidal's infiltration through Iran. And why would Abu Nidal who started his offshoot organization in Baghdad, under the auspices of Saddam's intelligence apparatus, need to infiltrate into Iraq? And the accusations regarding his links to Egyptian, Kuwaiti, and American intelligence services is typical of Saddam's intelligence service's accusation vis-a-vis whoever is in custody. Abu Nidal may have started as a man of principle who rebellled against Arafat's capitulationist policies and corruption. But that is also doubtful because he quickly emerged as a gun-for-hire and he followed the fluctuations of Iraqi foreign policy, or Libyan, or whatever master he selected. He also negotiated with Abu Iyad in later years which only casts doubts about his motives. Patrick Seale's biography of him is useful but it is based on the files of Abu Iyad. And Abu Nidal (regarding what was said in the article) always executed members of the organization. I have copies of his underground mouthpiece from the 1980s and every issue contains news of execution of members for being "traitors". And Fisk should have mentioned that Habbush (Saddam's chief of intelligence who handled the news of his "death") had been working for American intelligence as we recently learned from Ron Suskind's recent book. The one thing that we know for sure about Abu Nidal: is that he really really shot himself--as was claimed by Saddam's regime--thirteen times in the back from an AK-47 after subjecting himself to merciless torture and then dragging his own body from the bedroom to the living room.