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.)
Greeley is actually making some sense here -- if he wants us to think out regime change in some of these countries, I'm with him. I vote for going after North Korea, or maybe Iran, or maybe Syria. Cuba would be fine with me also.
I don't know if he's really advocating an attack on one of these countries, but if he is that sounds good to me.
22 September 1980 - Iraq invades invades Iran. Objective: control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway through which both countries transported oil. Iraq claimed a historical right to the waterway and (oil rich) adjacent land.
2 August 1990 - Iraq invades Kuwait. Objective: reclaim sovereignty over Iraq's (oil rich) 19th Provence.
The proper question is, why did Saudi Arabia permit the infidel army on sacred Muslim soil to deal with Saddam? My answer: they were next. With Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in his pocket or under his thumb, Saddam would control two-thirds of the world's future energy in the form of oil. World conquest need not be by the sword. Saddam may well have pulled it off at the well head.
The man was a first rank threat to the world.
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?
May be here:
As reliable as anything Greeley pontificates.
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.
But were they nonexistent?
Don't worry your mushy little head about it, Mr. Greely. We'll get rid of the rest of them at a time of OUR choosing, or through the spread of Democracy...whichever happens to come first. :)
I will simply remark that Bush is pro-life.
I supported the war because I felt it was entirely justified--not because I thought it would be a "cakewalk". If America is only willing to fight "cakewalks", we should save time and treasure and surrender to the IslamoFascists now.
What only 30,000? The libs have been spouting 150,000+ and counting. Where do the libs get their disinformation? Must be right out of their a$$.
The writer of the article is too stupid to understand why and far be it from me to spend my time trying to educate the irresposible twit.
It is doable and we are on our way.
HA.....I'd put MY preacher up any day against this loser....today he quoted.....ta da....MARK STEYN!!!
They have been saying hundreds of thousands died since 2003. Obviously keeping consistent isn't a big priority.
read my 9/11 web log for the answer...rto
Indeed, the lefties seem anxious to go to war, it seems, but "any country but Iraq", of course!
How about this .. because there was only a "cease fire" in Desert Storm .. and Saddam's people were continuing to shoot at us.
How about this .. Saddam was training terrorists on Iraqi soil to attack WESTERN TARGETS - innocent civilians.
How about this .. Saddam had amassed a large knowledge of the making of biological and chemical weaponry - and had practiced with it on his own people.
And .. 11 million Iraqi's got to vote.
Someone needs to tell this fool about the captured records of 30,000 terrorists who trained at Salman Pak base in Iraq from 1998 to 2003.
Greeley is still alive?
I lost track of him about 27.5 crummy novels ago.
Somehow missed him during the April conclave coverage: he got the last one (1978) so wrong, yet managed to turn it into several books, you would have thought someone would have tapped him this time around.
Imagine how distraught he must be now with Bush (or any Republican) in the White House and Ratzinger (or any real Roman Catholic) in the Vatican!
And no one giving a damn what he thinks!
Can anyone say Father Robert Drinan Syndrome?
Counter Insurgency is a strange bastard style of war. It is not total war but it is also more then the Leftist" Police matter". The other thing Hate America First types forget is the political aspect. Iraq was doable. We had the political consensus to do it. So since we needed a kill zone we could suck the terrorists into and we needed to get the American people to support the cost, there was no other choice BUT Iraq.
Want to really blow the Leftists minds? Tell them this. Even if Al Gore won in 2000 and 9-11 happened the USA would STILL be doing the same thing now in Iraq. Iraq was doable militarily and politically. There was no other place for the US to go. Iraq is basically the same deal as the invasion.
Here in a nutshell, is the MILTIARY reason for Iraq. The War on Terrorism is different sort of war. In the war on Terrorism, we have a hidden foe, spread out across a geographically diverse area, with covert sources of supply. Since we cannot go everywhere they hide out, in fact often cannot even locate them until the engage us, we need to draw them out of hiding into a kill zone. Iraq is that kill zone. That is the true brilliance of the Iraq strategy. We draw the terrorists out of their world wide hiding places onto a battlefield they have to fight on for political reasons (The "Holy" soil of the Arabian peninsula) where they have to pit their weakest ability (Conventional Military combat power) against our greatest strength (ability to call down unbelievable amounts of firepower) where they will primarily have to fight other forces (the Iraqi Security forces) in a battlefield that is hostile to guerrilla warfare. (Iraqi-mostly open terrain as opposed to guerrilla friendly areas like the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of SE Asia).
There are other reasons to do Iraq but that is the MILITARY reason we are in Iraq. We have taken, an maintain the initiative from the Terrorists. They are playing OUR game on ground of OUR choosing.
Problem is Counter Insurgency is SLOW and painful. Often a case of 3 steps forward, two steps back. I often worry that the American people have neither the maturity, nor the intellect" to understand. It's so much easier to spew made for TV slogans like "No Blood for Oil" or "We support the Troops, bring them home" then to actually THINK. Problem is these people have NO desire to co-exist with us. They see all this PC posturing by the Hysteric Left as a sign that we are weak. Since they want us dead, weakness encourages them. They think their "god" will bless them for killing Westerners.
So we can covert to Islam, die or kill them. Iraq is about killing enough of them to make the rest realize we are serious. See in the Arab world the USA is considered a big wimp. We have run away so many times. Lebanon, the Kurds, the Iraqis in 1991, the Iranians, Somalia, Clinton all thru the 1990s etc etc etc. The Jihadists think we will run again. In fact they are counting on it. That way they can run around screaming "We beat the American just like the Russians, come join us in Jihad" and recruit the next round of "holy warriors". Iraq is also a show place where we show the Muslim world that there are a lines they cannot cross. On 9-11 they crossed that line and we can, and will, destroy them for it.
I would say yes. Something had to be done about Saddam. Even Clinton knew it.
You can not allow someone to sign a cease fire and then break the terms with impudence. If you do not force them to live up to their end then the cease fires are worthless.
I didn't say anything about Fr. Greeley.
We know that President Tyler provoked a war with Mexico.
We know that William Randolph Hearst and Teddy Roosevelt pressured a reluctant President McKinley into asking for a declaration of war against Spain on the flimsiest of evidence.
We know (it's on the Johnson White House tapes) that LBJ sent the US military into a war he didn't believe he could win because he was afraid that Barry Goldwater would label him as "the Man who lost Vietnam" in the upcoming '64 Presidential campaign.
But it takes a jerk like father Larry Flynt Greeley to overlook Saddam Hussein's universally acknowledged threats, attacks and provocations against Americans and American interests, and manufacture a "Bush needed to expand his power" rationale for the War in Iraq.
Maybe some of those places the guy mentioned will be next. Like it or not, a military power like the US needs a war every ten years, or twenty at the most. The military is about the only institution where the people in charge wear their resumes on their chests, and a Pentagon full of birds and generals with no purple hearts or other combat ribbons in their salad would look pretty lame. It goes to reason that officers who have seen real combat are going to be better equipped to wage war whenever it is necessary.
That being said, Iraq was the perfect, deserving target - - a sadistic, murderous regime, a strategic location, and a bona fide threat to acquire more WMDs (which they had already used against the Kurds), as well as a history of attempting to assassinate a former US President, shooting at American planes, supporting and harboring terrorists (Abu Nidal, for example), and SCUD missle launches against our strongest Middle Eastern ally, Israel. Oil, which is of vital importance to our economy and therefore to our national security, is also certainly a factor, and nobody should be bashful about admitting it.