Iraq: The Shadow of a Nightmare
by Gad Nahshon
I have a dream: The Iraqi nightmare is over! The world was saved from the Iraqi threat of nuclear war and bio-chemical warfare. And then let the Iraqi people establish their own responsible regime. Democracy? Only Woodrow Wilson believed in a shortcut. But we must dismantle the nightmare.
Iraq has actively developed its arsenal of missiles: around 60. But the urgent issue is the Iraqi project of nuclear power.
Recently, the American anti-President Bush has tried to brainwash the American public opinion by a PR campaign. For example, a one page ad in the New York Times (Oct. 3, 2002): "Bush's Weapon of Mass Destruction: War With Iraq."
This anti-Republic camp argued: "There is no evidence that Hussein has weapons of mass destruction or is trying to build them." But the British government stated the opposite. And all the experts in the world argued that in two years Iraq will have nuclear bombs! Democrats are trying to put a stigma on President Bush, a stigma of "war monger." And one cannot believe the world is rushing to save Saddam Hussein's neck? Suddenly one can trace the revival of a "new appeasement policy" especially in the U.N. and the European community. There are also Jewish organizations and leaders who are against the war and to hell with the Israelis... (American Jewry has a unique historical "experience" of standing by while millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust).
Of course, I do believe the majority of the American Jewry do support the official policy of the White House. This introduction is important because it stresses the importance of a new documentary film: Stealing the Fire (a 95 minute non-fiction film). It is a superb production of Friedman-Nadler Productions, Cinema Nation ARD/Radio Bremen, SWR and Antidote Films.
It is a film which brings crystal clear evidence of the existence of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. This film is a must to anyone whose brain has been 'washed' by anti-Bush propaganda. It is an answer to the American national debate as to the goals of Iraq in the near future. This film is a great creation of John S. Friedman. The film exposing the truth about Iraq Satanic dreams dismantle illusions, dismantling doubts as the true war mongering nature of this Iraq regime.
Friedman researched his topic in many countries and he used, effectively, the art of oral history. The spectator travels in Stealing the Fire from Germany to Brazil and to Israel as well. Israelis must defend themselves getting gas masks, building special shelters. They remember the trauma of 1991's scuds.
The message of this film is clear: Iraq is a dangerous country who used German experts, some served the Nazis, and used the best of the German technology to build its mass destruction machine which cannot be exposed by U.N.'s experts. One is shocked by the fact that German Nazi corporations such as Degussa are in this nightmare picture. Also, it is not always clear as to the policy of the government as to the export to Iraq. This export for civilian use is being used by Iraq for military goals of mass destruction. It is also shocking to find that because of the Cold War (and for other reasons) the West did not destroy the Nazi corporations or conglomerates, did not destroy the Nazi industry. As we know, only Henry Morgenthau pressed F.D.R. to turn Germany into a pastoral-agricultural 'green' country.
This film is not about the Holocaust but Degussa, the German multinational corporation. It was built by stealing Jewish property and in the 1940s, it produced Zyklon-B for Auschwitz' gas chambers.
In the film, Friedman interviewed a lady who worked in Degussa and she told him how huge quantities of Jewish golden teeth were processed in Degussa and she said that only after the war she learned that the teeth came from murdered Jews. Can we believe her? But the more important goal of Degussa was in the 1940s to supply uranium to the Nazi atomic bomb project. And what the link is between this fact and the Iraqi nuclear plan is the main issue of Stealing the Fire. It should be noted that the Iraqi ex-chief nuclear expert defected a few years ago to the West. He is one of the stars of this film. He has kept saying the following for years: Iraq will have, around 2004 or 2005, few atomic bombs. Iraq will be a nuclear power in the Middle East. It is a nightmare to Israel, to the U.S., and of course to Iran and other neighborhoods as well. It will also be a nightmare to the world economy and to the oil industry as well.
The following is the synopsis of Stealing the Fire:
Stealing the Fire, newly-completed, reveals how the most closely guarded secrets of our time are now for sale in a dangerous atomic underground. The filmmakers obtained exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to Karl-Heinz Schaab, a German technician, and his defense team during his recent trial for treason in Munich. Schaab is the first person in the world convicted of atomic espionage in an open trial in the last fifty years. He sold top secret documents stolen from Germany to Saddam Hussein and traveled to Baghdad numerous times to help Iraq in its nuclear bomb quest.
Stealing the Fire links Schaab to Degussa, a German multi-national corporation and a main supplier of nuclear technology to developing nations. This film is one of the first to investigate the post-war activities of German corporations which directly profited from the Holocaust - such as Degussa. Not only did Degussa have an exclusive contract with the SS to smelt all the gold and silver from concentration camp victims but it also manufactured Zyklon-B, and supplied uranium for the Nazi atomic bomb project. In the last few decades, Degussa has become a leading atomic trader with Iraq and Pakistan. Schaab sold to Iraq classified blueprints for a real-life doomsday machine, the ultracentrifuge, which Degussa had developed. This is the same Degussa whose gleaming headquarters for its U.S. operations (mainly supplying dental products) rises today above the New Jersey marshlands.
Stealing the Fire follows an unbroken chain of events and personalities connecting Hitler's atomic bomb program, Nazi gold, and today's nuclear weapons black market. Combining interviews, location shots, and historical footage, the film, which took five years to complete and was shot on four continents and journeys from the boardrooms of Europe to the cafes of Brazil to the desert laboratories of the Middle East. Among the almost one hundred people interviewed are Dr. Carl von Weizsacker, the last living scientist who worked on the German atomic bomb project; A.Q. Khan, a suspected nuclear spy known as the "father of the Pakistani A-bomb"; Karl-Heinz Schaab and his cronies.
Stealing the Fire is a powerful statement and message to the world community, to the U.N. and to the West. The 'hero' is Karl Heinz Schaab who helped Iraq in developing its nuclear project. He was found guilty of atomic espionage in Germany. But his punishment was strange: $32,000 and five years probation: "I am just the little guy" he said in the film. The German government rushed to cover up the crime. Germany, and its corporations such as Degussa, was accused by many for its contributions to Saddam Hussein's militaristic madness. The film omitted the Israeli 1981 surprise attack on the Iraqi nuclear plant (Tamuz). Then many rushed to criticize Israel and its great legendary leader, Menachem Begin. Even Shimon Peres objected to the Israeli pre-emptive attack but today we understand that Begin delayed the Iraqi attempt to build atom bombs.
Begin was a great statesman because he predicted the future, a future of nuclear war in the Middle East. But today Iraq is on the way to achieve its nuclear dream, a nightmare for humanity. This reality is based on the second 'hero' of this film: the centrifuge which was developed by one of this film's stars, Gernot Zippe, who also worked for Degussa. We should explain that the centrifuge is an instrument which easily can manufacture fissionable material (Uranium):
It enables anyone, state or terrorist organization, to cheaply build many atom bombs! It is virtually undetected! Iraq has many centrifuges. Can the U.N.'s sophisticated inspectors expose it in Iraq?
Stealing the Fire's John S. Friedman and Eric Nadler's illuminating documentary is the story of hate of a person who loves money and a government which loves export, any export. It was and still is the moral obligation of this country to monitor its corporations. It is a country which should know about mad dictators who dream to control the globe, who are bloodthirsty. This country also has a moral obligation to do anything which can save the world from one more Holocaust, a new attempt to repeat the Holocaust.
There are 6 million Jews in Israel. It is the first moral duty of the German people: to defend or help to defend the existence and well-being of Israel. If the German people and the German corporations do not understand this moral imperative we must develop a new dialogue with Germany. It is much more important than to build one more Holocaust Museum in Germany or even in this country.
Germany directly, or indirectly, should never help states or organizations whose public dream is to dismantle Israel and murder its citizens. The German people and their government should cry out 'Never Again!"
As to the filmmakers:
John S. Friedman and Eric Nadler , co-directors and co-producers, have proven track records as documentary filmmakers with a unique capacity to handle complex moral and intellectual themes without sacrificing the dramatic values of theatrical filmmaking.
Friedman produced Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, directed by Marcel Ophuls, which won an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 1989 and the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for best film. Hotel Terminus has been shown on major TV stations around the world and was recently described by The New York Times as "a classic." Friedman, who has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University, has taught at the City University of New York and has lectured at a number of universities. He has been a war correspondent for the Baltimore Sun and his articles are reviews, mainly on culture and politics, have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Commentary, and other publications.
Nadler was correspondent and senior producer for a number of PBS Frontline programs, including Loose Nukes on nuclear smuggling, The Arming of Saudi Arabia, and The Bank of Crooks and Criminals, named the Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary of 1992 by the Writers Guild of America. He was an investigative editor for South Africa Now, a weekly newsmagazine focusing on South African culture and politics that aired on PBS. The programs won an Emmy Award. His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Nation, The New Republic, Harper's, and other productions.
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