Skip to comments.Why are we fighting in Iraq?: a primer for the politically shallow
Posted on 04/06/2004 4:44:31 PM PDT by LexBaird
Why are we fighting in Iraq: a primer for the politically shallow
Cast your thoughts back to before our present campaign, and place yourself in the position of a Presidential administration with the need to protect the nation from radical Islamic terrorism. Your first blow has driven a bunch them from under their Afghanistani rocks and into the cracks of the earth, but there are plenty more around.
Now, before you is the choice: (A) declare victory over terrorism, saying crushing the Taliban and the Al Qaida in Afghanistan has solved the problem of radical islamofascists; or (B) decide to prosecute the war in a new campaign, while the political will of the population remains strong. Deciding on option B, you seek the best place to provide the leverage to do damage to radical Islam. Looking about, you see that the most active harborers of islamo-terrorists are Syria and Occupied Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Iran and Iraq. Let's look at these options.
Syria/Lebanon are the home bases for the Palistinian groups, such as Hamas and Hizbollah. Brutal and vicious, but focused against Israel. Sudan is rather focused on internal African problems, plus we would have severe logistical problems attacking there. Libya has been responding well to diplomatic pressure, so we may not need force there (as was proven out later), and Iran may well fall to internal pressures toward democracy or even revolution. So, how about Iraq?
First, find Iraq on a map. Look to the East, and notice the radical Islamic state there, controlled by people sworn to destroy us. Look to the West, and notice the radical Islamic state there, controlled by people sworn to destroy us. Now look South, and notice the fundimentalist Islamic state, teetering on becoming a radical Islamic state controlled by people sworn to destroy us. Right in the midst of this sits Iraq. Historically, Mesopotamia, the fertile Tigrus and Euphrates valley, has always been the key to the Middle East, and the geography ain't changed. Wouldn't it be nice if, in the middle of the Middle East, we controlled this keystone?
So now you look at Iraq, itself. Also an Islamic state, somewhat "secular" in that it is not wholly controlled by one Islamic sect, but still controlled by people sworn to destroy us. But this state is different. This state is ALREADY at war with us. We have aircraft patrolling Iraq's skies, being fired upon in violation of the 1991 cease fire. Saddam is, in fact, in violation of numerous clauses of the cease fire. He is also in violation of numerous UN resolutions, demanding that he either turn over his KNOWN and VERIFIED WMDs, or show proof of their destruction. He refuses to do either.
You know that Iraq has terrorist training camps. You know that Saddam personally subsidizes suicide bomber's families. You know he harbors known terrorists, such as Abu Nidal. You know he has the capability of producing nerve gas, because he has done it in the past. You know he has tried to develop nuclear and bio capabilities before and available evidence suggests he is trying still. You have information that various known terrorist organizations are trying to obtain said weapons from Saddam.
Also, perhaps immaterial to the immediate security of the US, but highly politically significant, you know Saddam's regime to be as murderous and brutal as Pol Pot. Millions of Iraqis have died on the altar of Saddam's personal lust for power.
Further, we already have a great deal of the logistics in place for military action. In fact, one of the reasons for Al Qaida's hatred of the US is the presence of our military troops in Saudi Arabia. Politically, the US already has a standing policy of regime change for Iraq.
Taken all together, your target is obvious. Now, you need to decide how to achieve Saddam's downfall. You can (A) unilaterally decide you have reason to resume the 1991 war and attack. (B) You can try to form a coalition of allies and attack. (C) You can try to force NATO action (knowing, of course, that NATO military really means US military). (D) You can try to force UN action on their umpteen million violated resolutions (knowing, of course, that UN military really means US military).
For stupid political reasons, you choose option D. Little do you realize that, while US is paying for fully mobilized troops to sit in the Saudi desert waiting to do their job and go home, France, Germany and Kofi Annan find it far more personally profitable to keep the butcher in power. Finally, you get fed up with the posturing and just do it.
And that, my children, is why we are in Iraq.
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So we don't have to fight in New Jersey?
Now, if we could just get those who really need to read this to do so, we could get the job done. Thank you for your brilliant insight. SVITW
You may be correct, but I was attempting to limit myself to publicly available knowledge in this essay. I am reasonably sure that there are whole levels of information that have been withheld from the general public, either in fear of panicking us or to protect methods and sources of gathering it. I also believe much has been held back because the info could ruin some powerful politicians. For example, the British MP who was on Saddam's kickback payroll.
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