The Party's Over

Deportees, uncharged but suspected of some sort of complicity with terrorists, are being sent home in small groups aboard scheduled commercial flights, with U.S. planes getting first crack at carrying them out. The Immigration and Naturalization Service pays top dollar. (The one-way fee from New York City to Karachi, for example, is more than $3,200—U.S. airlines don't fly direct to Pakistan.) The INS has also chartered special flights. Air Luxor, a Portuguese airline, and World Airways, a U.S. airline, were both awarded private contracts from the U.S. government to carry deportees home to Pakistan. Air Luxor got $342,000; World Airways won't say what its contract is worth, but the airline's website claims that World has a contract with the Air Force for $120 million.

From "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" by George Bush (Sr.) and Brent Scowcroft in the March 2, 1998, issue of Time:

"While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in 'mission creep,' and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. . . . Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different—and perhaps barren—outcome."

Research by Gabrielle Jackson, Rebecca Winsor, Josh Saltzman and Waris Banks.
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