Through Hussein’s Looking Glass, from the LA Times

Saddam Hussein was convinced he won the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

A delusion, to be sure.

And when he destroyed all his weapons of mass destruction after that war, Hussein was sure the CIA knew it.

Um, the CIA DID know it.

As a result, he saw 12 years of United Nations resolutions, trade sanctions and threats of war as a charade to humiliate him.

A reasonable enough assumption, given the circumstances.

The title of the article implies Saddam was delusionary, yet given the above, it’s clear he was not. And, if you read on, the article admits that.

“It would be easier to understand if he really was loony,” said a former senior intelligence official who has read many of the debriefings and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There’s nothing that’s come through in the interviews that would lead you to believe the guy’s got a screw loose.”

Further, the article states the US had delusions too.

If Hussein misunderstood the West, it’s clear that successive administrations in Washington since 1991 projected their own misconceptions and misjudgments onto Hussein. They also had a looking-glass view.

They saw evidence of banned weapons when none existed. They missed signs that now seem obvious. President Bush, for example, insisted before the war that the failure by U.N. teams to find any evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons despite 731 inspections in the four months before the invasion simply proved that Hussein was hiding them — not that they didn’t exist.

“I sometimes wonder, what part of the word ‘no’ didn’t we understand?”

This is hardly accurate. The Bushies knew full well that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s. They knowingly lied about the reasons for war. They assumed the public would never find out and that the war would be a quick win.

Those were the real delusions.

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