The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Stratfor.com's Global Intelligence Update - 7 September 2000 _________________________________________ What in the world is going on? The Balkan Crime Problem http://www.stratfor.com/CIS/commentary/0009070233.htm Continued Border Tensions Between Thailand and Laos http://www.stratfor.com/asia/commentary/0009070140.htm Uzbekistan Profits from Sino-Russian Rivalry http://www.stratfor.com/asia/commentary/0009070102.htm _________________________________________ Unrest Expected Amid Rumors of Saddam's Ill Health Summary Saddam Hussein may have cancer. The Iraqi president's health is difficult to determine, but the effects on Iraqi domestic policy are straightforward. Rumors about Hussein's health are historically followed by internal unrest, and increased powers for his heir apparent Qusai Hussein. Analysis The Middle East is abuzz with rumors that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein suffers from lymphatic cancer. He isreportedly under the care of French, German and Swiss doctors in a villa-turned-hospital outside of Baghdad. Hussein's son Qusai is heading a family committee that would run the country if his father is unable. The state of Hussein's health is difficult to verify but the consequences of the rumor are much more simple. Hussein's physical state immediately affects activities of any potential opposition. If history is any guide, we can expect a purge and a power transfer to follow in the next few months. The Iraqi opposition broke the cancer story in July, and the London-based Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat revived it, along with additional information from an anonymous Iraqi doctor in a Sept. 3 report. This isn't the first time Hussein has been linked with the disease his health has been in question for the last five years. ________________________________________________________________ Would you like to see full text? http://www.stratfor.com/SERVICES/giu2000/090700.asp ___________________________________________________________________ The cancer rumors first emerged in January 1996, and Hussein himself denied their veracity. Again, the cancer was described as lymphatic. The story flared for a week or two, but Hussein continued to live, and the story died down. But events suggest that others consider Hussein weak. A month after the cancer announcement a top Iraqi defector returned to Baghdad. Hussein Kamal Hassan - the architect of the Iraqi arms program - returned from self-exile in Jordan, only to be executed within a week of his arrival. His death marked the start of a small purge of his family members by Hussein's forces. Hussein then increased preparations for his succession. In March 1996, he placed his son Qusai the head of a special security body charged with protecting the president. _____________________________________________________________ For more on the Iraq, see: http://www.stratfor.com/MEAF/countries/Iraq/default.htm _____________________________________________________________ Two years later, in October 1998, Israeli television reported new rumors that Hussein was ill. Again, the Iraqi president proclaimed his health, but moved quickly to stabilize the situation. This gave more power to his heir apparent Qusai, who then oversaw a massive crackdown against the Shia opposition in southern Iraq. Iraqi opposition reported hundreds of arrests in November and December 1998, and some 150 executions. In both cases, the political unrest that followed rumors of Hussein's poor health was suppressed and Qusai gained more power. It is possible that Hussein is using these rumors as a means to trick his opponents into revealing themselves. More likely, his opponents took advantage of a real concern about Hussein's health, but were beaten back. The recent rumors have some merit. Hussein lost his father and a sibling to cancer, according to the Toronto Star. And the president gave only a short speech on the July 17 anniversary of the Ba'ath party revolution, rather than the multi-hour orations of the past. Hussein's speech was rambling, almost mystical, as he compared the revolution to "the smile of a baby, the prayer of a hermit and rain falling on parched land," according to The Times. We expect to see another bout of political unrest, either from within Hussein's inner circle or from the opposition within Iraq. This too, will be suppressed, as will more power transfer to Qusai, the next leader of Iraq. _____________________________________________________________ For more on the Middle East & Africa, see: http://www.stratfor.com/MEAF/default.htm _____________________________________________________________ (c) 2000 Stratfor, Inc. _______________________________________________ SUBSCRIBE to the free, daily Global Intelligence Update. Click on http://www.stratfor.com/services/giu/subscribe.asp UNSUBSCRIBE by clicking on http://www.stratfor.com/services/giu/subscribe.asp _______________________________________________ Stratfor.com 504 Lavaca, Suite 1100 Austin, TX 78701 Phone: 512-583-5000 Fax: 512-583-5025 Internet: http://www.stratfor.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk