Skip to comments.Why did the United States choose to make war on Iraq? (GREELEY ALERT)
Posted on 01/08/2006 9:25:59 AM PST by Chi-townChief
Why did the administration pick Iraq as a target for the war it needed and wanted? Why risk death to more than 2,000 Americans and more than 30,000 Iraqis? As part of his current public relations campaign, President Bush admits that much of the intelligence on which the Iraq war was based had been faulty. He assumes responsibility but blames the intelligence services. However, he goes on to say that the removal of Saddam Hussein was the "right" thing to do. Saddam is a bad man. He has killed his own people. He caused instability in that part of the world. He hates America. He was always a threat. We had to get rid of him.
Many Americans are willing even now to swallow such obfuscation even though it is a cover-up for the phony rationale propounded two years ago.
The proper question is, of all the bad people in the world, why was Saddam Hussein targeted? The president's charges could be leveled against many of the sociopaths on the loose in Asia, Africa and South America.
Who but far-out liberals would object to an attack on Fidel Castro? Or, more recently, Hugo Chavez? What about Kim Jong Il, of Korea? Surely he is a greater threat to the United States than Saddam. Or the Muslim Arabs in Khartoum who have been practicing genocide against black Christians in southern Sudan and black Muslims in Darfur? Or the Shiite Grand Ayatollahs in Iran? Or the shifty Syrians who have been stirring up trouble for 30 years? Once we win "victory" in Iraq, who will be our next target? Not all these leaders, it might be said, are threats to the United States. But was Saddam a threat a couple of years ago? The president says he was, but where is the evidence that Iraqi terror was aimed at the United States? There is plenty of terror there now, but didn't our invasion and occupation create it?
With a wide selection of possible targets, why did the administration pick Iraq?
The first reason is that the administration needed a war as an excuse to enhance the wartime powers of the commander in chief. The United States had swept away the scruffy Taliban in short order. The "war" on terrorism needed another target. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was sure that Iraq would be a pushover. Shock and awe, some special forces and a compact expeditionary force would wipe out Saddam and all his troops in short order. Had we not driven them out of Kuwait as one would swat an annoying mosquito? It would doubtless be an easier job than even "taking out" Castro.
Moreover, the generally pro-Israel neo-conservative intellectuals assured the administration that a Democratic Iraq would "reconfigure" the situation in the Middle East. The way to Jerusalem, they insisted, was through Baghdad. So Iraq was the obvious target for another "war on terrorism" even though the evidence that Iraq had cooperated in terror against the United States or was even planning on it was thin and we know now nonexistent.
Behind the administration's assumptions were two huge and costly errors. The first was the notion that resistance in Iraq would collapse immediately. The president, the vice president and the secretary of defense were utterly unprepared for the "insurgency" and even now show no sign that they know what to do about it. The second was that Iraq was prepared for democracy. They assumed and still do that if you can organize a fair election and the majority wins, you have, ipso facto, a democracy. What you are more likely to have is Shiite theocracy and a Sunni caliphate in civil war. There is no tradition in Iraq of a civil society in which the various factions would share power and abandon their historical propensity to kill one another a propensity that was recorded in all the history books about Mesopotamia that the neo-cons and the president had not read.
So the president's argument that America must "stay the course" in Iraq till "victory" is as worthless as his previous argument that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. "Victory" will come only when Sunni and the Shia stop killing one another, and that will not happen in the lifetime of any of us, a hopeless task as ought to be evident by now.
And, by the way, might one ask when the American bishops are going to follow the pope's good example and condemn torture, even when the victims are not American citizens?
Andrew M. Greeley is a Roman Catholic priest, author and sociologist. He teaches at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona. His column on political, church and social issues appears each Friday in the Daily Southtown. Father Greeley's e-mail address is Agreel@aol.com, and his home page, which includes homilies for every Sunday, is www. agreeley.com.
You just gotta love it when these so-called anti-war peaceniks like this bozo Greeley (forgetful of their UN commitments) start telling us who we should have attacked.
The fact that Iraq was shooting at our airplanes on a regular basis is enough for me. The cease fire from the 91 war was broken, and we finished what we started then.
All the other issues Bush brought up were valid, but the above was enough to go back to war all on it's own.
What an idiot, I don't even know where to begin, or why I should bother.
Out of all those bad people, who among them was routinely firing missiles at our pilots. Figure that one out Mr. Greeley and you will have your answer as to why we responded to Hussein's acts of war against us by going to war against him.
Although I don't understand what a blurb about altar boy molestation is doing in an anti-war prop piece...
Greeley is a scumbag, a blight on the Roman Catholic Church.
This guy's reasoning is like a Michael Moore movie. Sprinkle a fact or two amongst a slew of lies and misrepresentations and you've got yourself a "documentary".
Fact is, Bush never went to war because Saddam killed his own people or because he hates America. Keeerist, if that were justification we should invade France.
It might be just me but shouldn't we finish one war before we start another? The gulf war had never finished. It wasn't over until Saddam followed through with the terms of his surrender.
Well, Bush still could have chosen any of those aforementioned. This reason fails to provide a reason for choosing Iraq.
Greeley evidently doesn't believe in the saving power of good works. Is he a closet Protestant , I wonder?
Why? Neo-cons convinced Bush [willingly?] that the road to peace went through Baghdad and it was a 'doable' cakewalk. Are we there yet?
I wonder how Randy Andy can find the time to crank out these columns considering his dedication to writing soft core porn, appearing on the Today Show, saying Mass, hearing confessions, visiting hospitals and nursing homes to administer the Sacraments, helping the homeless, teaching RCIA classes, et al.
THe Padre is dumb enough to be Al Franken.
The author does not know why Iraq was invaded. Good. Leave it that way. He has lost the clue he was assigned at birth and it is far too late now.
Let's begin with a map. To the east of Iraq is Iran. To the west of Afghanisan is Iran. Add that to Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Persian Gulf, and Iran is nearly completely surrounded by US allies and semi-allies. If Iran acts up we can have support bases pretty much where we want.
As for not finding WMD... I am in the camp that they are they and buried. It will take decades to find them. Just as the Chinese are still finding Japanese chemical weapons 60 years after WW2.
So is his point thatt we have a green light to go after these guys? Careful what you wish for, Padre.
Wishing thinking aside, his argument is as transparent as it is juvenile. If we had attacked Cuba, for instance, he'd have written the exact same article, but switched the placement of the words 'Iraq' and 'Cuba'.
Andrew Greely prefers embracing his own fanstasies to Googling 30 seconds for the answers.
Why did we invade Italy and North Africa in WWII?
It had to be for the oil (possibly olive oil.)
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