Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News

Billionaire had a plan to prevent the Iraq war: Fly Mandela in to get Saddam to resign

Billionaire Richard Branson thought he could prevent the American invasion of Iraq.

In March 2003, he persuaded South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Nelson Mandela to fly to Baghdad and talk Saddam Hussein into leaving the country with them. Branson was was prepared to offer Saddam millions of dollars to go into exile, according to a documentary film currently in production.

Sir Richard Branson


In Amir Amirani’s We Are Many, Branson says he hoped to avert the second Iraq war by flying in with Mandela and spiriting Hussein out of the country.

“I kept thinking, you have to give somebody like Saddam a way out otherwise he’s like a cornered animal – they have to fight. I thought the only person who could persuade him to step down was Mandela,” says Branson. “Mandela wanted us to get Kofi Annan’s blessing, which we got. We were arranging for Mandela to go to Iraq to meet Saddam and had a plane standing by in Johannesburg from March 17.

“Two days later, as we were planning to fly in, the bombing started, so it didn’t come to anything.”

In the film, Branson reminesces with actors Danny Glover and Tim Robbins, author Arundhati Roy and composer Brian Eno about opposing the war.

Recently it was revealed that Branson tried the same tactic with Zimbabwean dictator Robert Muagbe to resign and leave the country in 2007.

Mugabe declined despite reportedly being offered millions of dollars.

  • allan

    It sure would not have worked. Mandela would have been kidnapped probably

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, ...

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought ...

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption ...

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.