Saddam Hussein was in violation of the 1991 Ceasefire. We had no need for a declaration of war. As for the rest, here are the reason we are in Iraq.
It is past time for the Dinocons, instead of arrogantly clinging to their Neo Isolationists dogmas, to finally admit to themselves they have been all wrong about Iraq from the start instead of insisting on refighting this argument they lost in 2002.
One of the really infuriating things in modern politics is the level of disinformation, misinformation, demagoguery and out right lying going on about the mission in Iraq. Democrats have spent the last 3+ years lying about Iraq out of a political calculation. The assumption is that the natural isolationist mindset of the average American voter, linked to the inherent Anti Americanism (what is misnamed the “Anti War movement”) of the more feverish Democrat activists (especially those running the US’s National “News” media) would restore them to national political dominance. The truth is the Democrat Party Leadership has simply lacked the courage to speak truth to whiners. The truth is that even if Al Gore won the 2000 election and 09-11 still happened we would be doing the EXACT same things in Iraq we are doing now.
Based on the political situation in the region left over from the 1991 Gulf War plus the domestic political consensus built up in BOTH parties since 1991 as well as fundamental military strategic laws, there was NO viable strategic choice for the US but to take out Iraq after finishing the initial operations in Afghanistan.
To start with Saddam’s Iraq was our most immediate threat. We could NOT commit significant military forces to another battle with Saddam hovering undefeated on our flank nor could we leave significant forces watching Saddam. The political containment of Iraq was breaking down. That what Oil for Food was all about. Oil for Food was an attempt by Iraq to break out of it’s diplomatic isolation and slip the shackles the UN Sanctions put on it’s military. There there was the US Strategic position to consider.
The War on Islamic Fascism is different sort of war. in facing this Asymmetrical threat, 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 mostly neutral in terms of guerrilla warfare. (Iraqi-mostly open terrain as opposed to guerrilla friendly areas like the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of SE Asia).
Did any of the critics of liberating Iraq ever look at a map? Iraq, for which we had the political, legal and moral justifications to attack, is the strategic high ground of the Middle East. A Geographic barrier that severs ground communication between Iran and Syria apart as well as providing another front of attack in either state or into Saudi Arabia if needed.
There were other reasons to do Iraq but here is the strategic 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. One has to wonder if the American people have either the emotional 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” or dumbest of all “We are creating terrorists” then to actually THINK.
Westerners in general, and the US citizens in particular seem to have trouble grasping the fundamental fact of this foe. These Islamic Fascists have NO desire to co-exist with them. The extremists see all this PC posturing by the Hysteric Left as a sign that we are weak. Since they want us dead, weakness encourages them. There is simply no way to coexist with people who completely believe their “god” will reward them for killing us.
So we can covert to Islam, die or kill them. Iraq is about killing enough of them to make the rest of the Jihadists realize we are serious. They same way killing enough Germans, Italians and Japanese eliminated the ideologies of Nazism, Fascism and Bushido.
Americans need to understand how Bin Laden and his ilk view us. 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 9-11-01 they crossed that line and we can, and will, destroy them for it -
If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Absolutely not MN, if the Congress can ignore the Constitution on things such as declaring war, why would they feel bound to anything the Constitution limits the Govt from doing?
I like that bit about “speak truth to whiners” and I think I will steal it.
I will, of course, attribute it to you a time or two, but after that, its mine.
"The U.S. Congress does hereby issue a formal Declaration Of War against the organzation known as "al Qaeda", and all who support, enable, house, finance, or supply it or any one of its individual members."
There is no rule or higher authority to prevent this, the Declaration is what it is.
Which brings an interesting point - the antiwar left, in a strange and curious way, may have actually helped the effort in that their squawking helped AQ believe that they could win in Iraq and ought send a lot of their leadership there - right into our jaws. Without the left, there is a real possibility that they might have stayed hidden and chosen some other battlefield better suited to their type of warfare ... or avoided open battle altogether staying strictly with covert terrorist operations.
Still, it has always bothered me that we made Iraq the bait - in a way, deliberately putting the Iraqi people in the crossfire. That was, for me, the troubling part of "fight them there or fight them here" - when "fighting them there" necessarily meant significant "collateral damage" to Iraqis who were not otherwise part of our fight with AQ.
It's something of a dilemma since their lives were at least as tortured under Saddam, and without hope of better future as long as he was in power. Does giving the people a path to a better future absolve our placing them in danger of as a path to that future? Perhaps the answer is that we merely replaced the danger while simultaneously providing a path out - likely the only path out and, fortuitously, one that was also to our benefit.
I think Bush's moral 'genius' was to add the path to a free Iraq as the critical element which made it all morally justifiable.
Which is why I doubt, had Gore won in 2000, we would be in the same place we are today. Probably Saddam would have had to be removed given that he would have reconstituted his WMD capabilities even if he didn't have them then. However, we would have done so without the simultaneously goal of truly rebuilding the nation into a free self governing people as Bush insisted upon from the start. And, without that, it would truly have turned into a quagmire and moral morass with all parties in armed opposition to us.