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This is a bit of a long read, but IMO it provides excellent details and analysis of the entire Iraq situation.
Just why did the US need to invade a militarily powerless Third World country on the other side of the globe? What could convince Americans to part with hundreds of billions of dollars and to send their sons and daughters to be killed, blinded, and mutilated? Obviously, just one reason wasn't going to do it. Neither would two or three. So the government, primarily members of the Bush Administration itself, trotted out around 30 reasons to invade and occupy an undeveloped country, kill and injure tens of thousands of civilians, and throw gasoline on the fire of jihadists, while sacrificing lives, limbs, and money.
We know the big three:
Because Iraq possessed biological and chemical weapons, which the US had sold to Saddam in the 1980s and which Saddam destroyed in the late 1990s. Well in advance of the invasion, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix plainly stated that the WMD were gone. After the war, chief US weapons inspector David Kay - a Republic hand-picked by the Bushies to find the WMD - also declared that the stockpiles don't exist. He said that anyone who clings to the notion of their existence is "really delusional," also telling reporters: "I think it's most important that the president of the United States recognizes that in fact the weapons are not there."
Because Iraq supported al Queda, even though no evidence of this connection has ever been found and, in a virtually ignored press conference, Bush flat-out admitted that Iraq was not involved in 9/11. (Tony Blair, at the conference with Bush, immediately backed him up on this point. Powell admitted the same thing in February 2002.) In summer 2004, the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence put what should be the final nails in the coffin, each body issuing a report bluntly declaring that there has never been a working relationship between Saddam and al Queda. Meanwhile, terrorist-supporting states such as Pakistan are considered America's great friends.
Because Saddam was a dictator who oppressed the Iraqi people. This is true, but let's not forget that the Administration expresses no interest in "liberating" oppressed people in dozens of other tyrannies, such as Cuba, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Swaziland, and Sudan. Now that the WMD have proven to be vaporware, and the Iraq/Qaeda connection has been shot down, this "for the Iraqi people" excuse has retroactively become the dominant one. But even megahawk Pail Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has stated that this "by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it."
Aside from the big three, all inoperative, over two dozen other justifications popped up. The list below contains many - but not all - of the justifications that University of Illinois student Devon M. Largio scrupulously documented in her headline-making political science thesis on this topic:
Whether or not Saddam had WMD, he wanted them.
Iraq may have been involved in the anthrax mailings right after 9/11.
The US should've deposed Saddam during the 1991 Gulf War.
Iraq is weak and could be easily trounced.
Iraq is a danger to the entire world and everyone in the world.
Iraq is a threat specifically to the US.
Iraq is a danger mainly to its neighbors.
Iraq hasn't upheld UN resolutions.
Saddam Hussein is an evil man.
Attacking Iraq would spread democracy and capitalism throughout the Middle East.
We don't know what Iraq's intentions are.
It would send a message to other countries about aiding terrorists.
For the sake of children in the US and the world.
Invading Iraq would lead to world peace.
Iraq was trying to get or develop nuclear weapons.
Iraq must be invaded in order to defend freedom.
Saddam Hussein was violating international law (by developing WMD).
Because of the way history will judge us.
Because Saddam hates the US.
As hard as it is to believe, the well of reasons hasn't yet run dry. When drumming up support for the Iraq attack, Bush twice mentioned that Hussein had allegedly tried to assassinate the first President Bush in April 1993. At a political fundraiser in Houston, late in September 2002, Bush said: "After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad." This has struck some observers as the most honest statement explaining Bush's burning desire to smack down Hussein.
Then we have the obvious reason for the war: to gain control of oil. No Cabinet-level member of the Administration said this in public, but President Bush's top economic adviser did. In September 2002, Lawrenec Lindsay enthused to the pro-war Wall Street Journal:
"When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [of oil per day] of production to world supply. The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy.
Undersecretary of Commerce Grant Aldonas said much the same thing, that invading Iraq "would open up this spigot on Iraqi oil which certainly would have a profound effect in terms of the performance of the world economy for those countries that are manufacturers and oil consumers."
While debating an energy bill on June 15, 2004, the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin, said:
"we are in dire need of a policy that tells the energy future traders on Wall Street to quit running the prices up and to being thinking about a future where we are producing more energy at home for our own people instead of constantly fighting over battlefields to defend other people's energy supplies that we depend upon."
We mustn't overlook the much-circulated admission by Brigadier General William Looney, head of the US Central Command's Airborne Expeditionary Force. While talking to Defense Week about the no-fly zones over Iraq, he said: "It's a good thing, especially when there is a lot of oil out there we need."
And who could forget the "flypaper" rationale? In this bizarre scenario, America went to Iraq in order to draw all terrorists into that one country, where they could be conveniently dispatched, hopefully before blowing up or shooting too many US troops. Apparently, every terrorist int he world booked passage to Iraq, leaving not a single one available to attack Western interests elsewhere. Vice President Cheney was the main proponent of this fantasy, saying things like this on Meet the Press:
"So what we do on the ground in Iraq, our capabilities here are being tested in no small measure, but this is the place where we want to take on the terrorists. This is the place where we want to take on those elements that have come against the United States, and it's far more appropriate for us to do it there and far better for us to do it there than it is here at home."
Another reason for the invasion - this one largely unspoken - is the religion aspect: Christians versus infidels. Bush, as most everyone knows, is a hardcore fundamentalist who believes that he is directly doing God's bidding. The war against terror - in which Iraq is supposedly the primary battleground - is actually a holy war, not just to Mullah Omar, but to Bush as well. One indication is his famous use of the loaded word "crusade" to describe the battle.
Another example comes from a Bush cousin. For the widely overlooked book The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty, a Reagan hagiographer and his wife conducted unprecedented, candid interviews with many members of the Bush clan, leading Doug Wead - a former aide to both Presidents Bush - to remark: "The Schweizers have penetrated to the heart of the Bush family. This is as close as anyone has ever been able to get." A cousin who didn't want to be named opened up about the war on terror:
"George sees this as a religious war. He doesn't have a p.c. view of this war. His view of this is that they are trying to kill the Christians. And we as the Christians will strike back with more force and more ferocity than they will ever know."
Also part of the new crusade is Lt. Gen. Willian G. "Jerry" Boykin, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for intelligence. When not leading the hunt for bin Laden and other top prizes in the war on terror, Boykin appears in full uniform in front of fundie gatherings and says things like: "We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this." When speaking of one of his Muslim adversaries, he thunders: "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."
Another reason that has received almost zero public attention was proffered by Philip Zelikow, who at the time was on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. This influential body monitors intelligence agencies - including the CIA, NSA, and Defense Intelligence Agency - and it reports directly to the President. Members have above top-secret security clearance, which allows them access to any classified information. As part of a panel at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002 - right when the Administration started hard-selling the upcoming invasion - Zelikow said:
"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990: It's the threat against Israel.
"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."
Three leading neoconservative architects of the invasion - Richard Perle, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Geith, and David Wurmser (now the Vice President's Middle East Adviser) - used to be part of the Study Group on a new Israeli Strategy Toward 2000. In 1996, they released a paper called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," which recommended that Hussein be removed as leader of Iraq, partly because this is "an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right" and partly because it would weaken Syria's ambitions.
Speaking of "selling" the war, a senior Administration figure openly admitted that this approach - attempting to convince Americans that it needed this invasion just like it needs detergent or Twinkies - was the operative one.
In early September 2002, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card was asked why the Administration was starting to push its Iraq agenda so hard. He replied: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduct new products in August."
(From "50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know 2" by Russ Kick)
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-------------------- "What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"
"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer
Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln
Quote: dblaney18 said: Because Saddam was a dictator who oppressed the Iraqi people. This is true, but let's not forget that the Administration expresses no interest in "liberating" oppressed people in dozens of other tyrannies, such as Cuba, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Swaziland, and Sudan. Now that the WMD have proven to be vaporware, and the Iraq/Qaeda connection has been shot down, this "for the Iraqi people" excuse has retroactively become the dominant one. But even megahawk Pail Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has stated that this "by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it."
That has to be my favorite one. Liberating the Iraqi people. The barons of freedom and democracy who want to murder Hugo Chavez and aided the destruction of Central America in the 80s and left it in ruins. Liberators.
Quote: At a political fundraiser in Houston, late in September 2002, Bush said: "After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad." This has struck some observers as the most honest statement explaining Bush's burning desire to smack down Hussein.
Quote: Another reason for the invasion - this one largely unspoken - is the religion aspect: Christians versus infidels. Bush, as most everyone knows, is a hardcore fundamentalist who believes that he is directly doing God's bidding. The war against terror - in which Iraq is supposedly the primary battleground - is actually a holy war, not just to Mullah Omar, but to Bush as well. One indication is his famous use of the loaded word "crusade" to describe the battle.
...are the PRIMARY reasons GWB started this war. All the other reasons, were nothing but a big old line of shit, to fool the public into going along with the war.
I have been skeptical of this "War on Terror" from the beginning. All the double talk GWB spews is OBVIOUSLY nothing but a
After 9-11... "Osama Bin-Ladin...wanted dead or alive"
Trying to morph Osama into Saddam... "Frankly, I'm not worried about Bin-Ladin"
Anyone who thinks that we are there for the Iraqi's "liberation" is blind.......
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