Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Toppling "reasons" for invading Iraq

Bush and Cheney have both finally admitted publicly that they were wrong in saying that Saddam Hussein had ties either to 9/11 or to Ossama bin Laden. They have also admitted that they were wrong about Iraq having stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (wmd).

Those were among the reasons we were given daily during the run-up to the first-ever American pre-emptive war -- against Iraq, more than three years ago. Bush and Cheney now hide behind the statement by adding that "everyone" believed it. Everyone did not. But many did, because, back then, many believed the President! I won't argue about their "errors" being lies. History may do that.

Let's address one of the other reasons for that invasion still being used. Both Cheney and Bush have recently repeated their charge that Saddam once had wmd and "even used them against his own people."

Bush slid that statement into his recent interview with TODAY show's Brian Williams, and it went unchallenged, again. Williams should have asked the following: "Mr. President, when did that horrible killing of thousands of Iraqi Kurds take place?"

The Bush statement has imbedded itself in the consciousness of Americans who probably imagine nuclear weapons used by Saddam against any who disagreed with him right up to our invasion of the country and deposing of the regime. But not so.

The Saddam war against his own people, horrible as it was, took place in 1988. That is fifteen years before our invasion of the country. That was two presidential administrations ago. It took place when Bush's father was President, and was before the first Gulf War, the first Bush's "desert storm" war to free Kuwait from the invading Iraqis.

Don't misunderstand. I am all for holding leaders accountable, no matter how long it takes. But I think using Saddam's actions against the Kurds in 1988 as a reason for invading Iraq in 2003 is a bogus reason.

The trial of Saddam now going on is hearing testimony about that 1988 massacre. So our actions have brought the tyrant to court. That is good. But is that reason enough to invade, destroy Iraqi infrastructure, kill thousands of Iraqi military and civilians, and fight a war that is killing our own military personal daily and costing American taxpayers billions of dollars?

If Bush can continually make that statement, without anyone questioning it, then how far back may our country go in punishing leaders for transgressions against their populations? Is it too late to invade Cuba and depose Castro for his mistreatment of his opponents right after his succesful revolutionary coup?

How about China? May we invade and topple the government there for the horrible slaughter of intellectuals and political opponents, begun decades ago, and still going on?

How about North Korea? Iran? Ethnic cleansing is going on today in African countries. How long after it ends shall we wait before invading because of it? Tibetan leaders have a record of killing members of their population, as well. Years ago.

I know. I am being ridiculous. But it is also ridiculous for us to let Bush and Cheney continue to repeat, unchallenged, the notion that our invasion of Iraq three years ago was in part because Saddam once had wmd "and even used them against his own people," back in 1988.

~ ~


Blogger Van said...

I came across your blog through your comment in One Cosmos, and I am equally baffled by your use of (un)weighted words.

I thought focusing on WMD was a mistake from the start, focusing on particulars instead of your principles for acting, risks disaster if any of the particulars change, as we're finding out. Apparently it was done to help Blair - but whatever the reason it's proved costly.

Here are a couple of other reasons for our invading Iraq - and for not stopping there.

Aside from the fact that Iraq repeatedly attacked neighboring Govt.'s, some of which, American Citizens and Corporations had real interests in (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia), it openly and loudly declared its hatred for, and the desire to destroy, both America (even attempting to assassinate Bush 41), and it's friends, one of which is Israel - the only Govt. in the region with any semblance of support for the individual rights of it's citizens, and so the interests of American citizens as well.

Iraq also daily shot at our planes patrolling the no fly zone, in violation of the Gulf War treaty.

Iraq publicly, as a matter of policy, supported terrorism, especially terrorism towards Israel, bestowing rewards on the families of suicide bombers, and exhorting others to follow in kind.

That alone was more than enough to legitimize our overthrowing the Iraqi regime, but prior to 9/11, the short sighted could still legitimately argue over whether the cost would justify the expense of doing it.

But what the short sighted missed was that Terrorists had been striking at American interests and American citizens overseas deliberately, since the 70's. They got bolder as time past and we (Dem or Rep) had done nothing substantial to stop them.

They kidnapped and murdered our citizens, they bombed our troops housing, our embassies, our airplanes, our warships.

If there was any legitimate argument over whether the cost outweighed the expense, it should have been put to rest when the USS Cole was bombed. It should have been blindingly clear that terrorists had declared war on the people of the United States of America; it was then high time that we recognized it and returned the war to them.

Terrorists can not survive without a State sponsor. After the Cole bombing, ANY Gov't that publicly supported Terrorism was not only a legitimate target for destruction, but necessary targets as well. Any nation with terrorist training camps such as Iraq, Iran, Syria... were immediately legitimate targets themselves.

Not taking action against them, which we didn't, was unforgivable and insured that something like 9/11 would occur.

But 9/11 did occur and from that moment on, the only legitimate reason for not declaring war on them all (Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, maybe even China), was logistics - so we'll just have to go on down the line from Iraq, to Iran, to Syria, to North Korea & even China if it doesn't change its back room dealings, one by one.

The only legitimate function of the Govt. of the USA, protecting the lives, Rights & property of its Citizens, had been struck at when the USS Cole was bombed, and we did nothing in return, which was unforgivable, an act of irresponsibility and cowardice, which insured 9/11 would occur.

Any nation which offers support for any Terrorists organization Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Queada... support for one of them is support for all of them, and that IS attacking us and our allies, and how anyone can refuse to understand that is baffling.

9/13/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Thanks for your comments. I hardly know where to begin in answering issues you present. Your comment that Iraq "repeatedly" attacked other countries puzzles me. Bush the First stopped that with the first Gulf War, didn't he? Had Iraq invaded any country after 1990? Repeatedly?

Killing tens of thousnds of Iraqi citizens seems a little over the top as payback for their shooting at our planes, especially since our planes, for the most part, were not hit and could have retaliated against the missile batteries, not the infrastructure and civilian population of the country.

Iraq's public hatred of Israel seems little different from that of other nations of the Middle East. Are we, indeed, as you suggest, lining up to invade them all?

Will we invade all the countries that both hate other nations and support those who attack those they hate?

I agree that the "terrorists" have become bolder since the 70s as we did little to stop them. Reagan pulled troops from Lebanon after losing hundreds of marines in the barracks bombing, for example. Those who bombed the Cole were caught and chased down, but the attack occurred near the end of one administration and little has been said about the efforts begun immediately that did lead to the capture of at least some of the bombers in the next administration. But 9/11 did wake us up.

The nation seems still to ask "Why do they hate us?" Perhaps the answers to that would help us understand what their motives are and why we are at war with terrorists. Don't you wish we would call them by a name that defines their motives better than "terrorists"?

Bush says we are at war. Really? Our troops are. The citizenry is sacrificing almost nothing. Increased security measures in airports for the small percentage who fly, maybe. Do we need taxes to pay for the war? Rationing of gas? A draft to fight a (third world) war? The nation is not at war. Only the troops are.

You repeat the old Bush statement about any nation that supports the terrorists,etc. Do you include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Or are they still allies with you as well as with the Bush League?

Your list of grievances against Iraq are real, but history will need to convince me that destroying so much of the population and nation is a just retaliation. I hope you are right.

9/13/2006 3:50 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah yes, where to start. I suppose the beginning is always the best place to begin with:

“Your comment that Iraq "repeatedly" attacked other countries puzzles me. Bush the First stopped that with the first Gulf War, didn't he? Had Iraq invaded any country after 1990?” Repeatedly means more than once, is there something magic and confining about 1990? Did Iran not count? Did firing rockets into Israel not count? Did firing rockets into Saudi Arabia not count? Did the Kurds not count because they were technically within the recognized borders of Iraq? I would also say that soliciting and paying suicide bombers to murder Israeli’s in their country counts as well. So, yes, I say repeatedly.

"Killing tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens seems a little over the top as payback for their shooting at our planes" - That's what I mean about focusing on particulars, the principle is shoved aside. It's not a big stretch to conclude that breaking a peace treaty will lead to a resumption of the War the peace treaty failed to conclude. If the leader of a country says he'll pay somebody to bomb people in another country, the only difference between that and using his own military is cowardice and a shrewd understanding of eager-to-confess-to-guilt elites that influence its opponents popular opinion and legal systems. Sadam bombed Israel with hired mercenaries; he intended the same for us but couldn't find the right traveling nutjobs to do it. Not a big defense for him, and it was unwise for us to think he never would. Was killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese & Germans over the top for their declaring war on us in WWII? War is over the top. It is horrible. Unbelievably destructive and sure to create unforeseen horrors, especially if it is allowed to be thought of as something that can be dabbled in and survived. It should be avoided - but not at all costs. The attempt to avoid War at all costs can be seen in what may have been a bloody regional war if England & France had stopped Hitler in the Sudetenland as opposed to the incredible world wide carnage of what their reticence wrought.

"Iraq's public hatred of Israel seems little different from that of other nations of the Middle East. Are we, indeed, as you suggest, lining up to invade them all?" Iraq didn't stop with public hatred; it encouraged and paid suicide bombers to slaughter Israeli civilians in their streets and cafe's. As mentioned above, Sadam used cheap body bombers to bomb Israel in order to save a nickel and to hide behind foolish enough to think that shielded him from responsibility. That was no less an act of War than Pearl Harbor - just shabbier.

“"Why do they hate us?" Perhaps the answers to that would help us understand what their motives are and why we are at war with terrorists.” Nope, don’t think it would help or change a single thing. Coleridge had a phrase for Iago in Shakespeare's Othello to describe the ever varying reasons for justifying his evil deeds, he called it 'the motive hunting of motiveless malignancy.', which I think sums them up perfectly. You don’t try to understand such malignancy, you just stamp it out.

"Don't you wish we would call them by a name that defines their motives better than "terrorists"?" Yep.

“Bush says we are at war. Really? Our troops are. The citizenry is sacrificing almost nothing.” Is it something to be desired that our nation dress in rags in order to provide uniforms & such to the troops? Isn’t it enough that those we dearly love are away, maimed or killed? Strength and ability are not to be apologized for. If there are fools who discount the nature of War and their comfort bought at its price, they deserve to be looked down upon & even pitied, but no more misery needs to be spread around than what war will do of its own.

"You repeat the old Bush statement about any nation that supports the terrorists,etc. Do you include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Or are they still allies with you as well as with the Bush League?" Yes I do include Pakistan & Saudi Arabia as enemies. At best, if it is convenient for us to avoid open war with them at the moment, I don't object to allowing them a kind of Mob Informer's States Evidence status as long as they tow the line. Bush is most definitely not my ideal - Churchill would be just dandy, but Bush is the best our culture can do at the moment. But no, he is not fool and the lightweight some of your earlier postings paint. I doubt very seriously that Rice, Cheney or anyone else tells him what to do (with the possible and limited exception of his Mom).

9/13/2006 7:33 PM  
Blogger Counter Mag said...

Give it up Van, Dana is obviously a complete moron.

9/14/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I love it. Your "complete moron" comment gave me my daily chuckle at the kind of defense you 30 percent Bush base people use. Name calling instead of argument and evidence. Van makes good points, though not totally convincing. You make no points, except as your comment defines you. But thanks for the visit.

9/14/2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger Counter Mag said...

I made the most obvious point here.

9/14/2006 11:13 PM  
Blogger Counter Mag said...

AND I voted for algore.

9/14/2006 11:14 PM  
Blogger Van said...

CounterMag said..."Give it up Van, Dana is obviously a complete moron."

Funny how the language people use, Marekin, English or otherwise, tends to identify themselves more clearly than what they say.

Dana, you've got to have a strong appreciation for really good comedy!

9/15/2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger Dayngr said...

Thought I'd jump in too... (Cause I'm a glutton for punishment - LOL)

Saddam's WMD have been found. New evidence unveils chemical, biological, nuclear, ballistic arms.

New evidence out of Iraq suggests the U.S. effort to track down Saddam Hussein's missing weapons of mass destruction is having better success than is being reported.

Key assertions by the intelligence community widely judged in the media and by critics of President Bush as having been false are turning out to have been true after all.

But this stunning news has received little attention from the major media, and the president's critics continue to insist that "no weapons" have been found.

I have the link to a more recent article too.. if you'd like me to share it as well.

(see: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38213)

9/20/2006 4:11 PM  
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