Saturday, December 31, 2005

No Case for War – unless you consider global empire, that is

On 28 December 2005, the Chicago Tribune published an article called “Judging the case for war”. The article summarises nine arguments that had been presented by the Bush administration in their case for war, and compares what was “known” then to what is “known” now. The Tribune concludes that invading Iraq had indeed been the right thing for the US to do. I am going to conclude differently.

1. Biological and chemical weapons

The Bush administration is guilty of telling total outright lies.

2. Iraq “rebuffs the world”

i.e. Saddam Hussein scoffed at UN resolutions and did not do as he was told. I say, So what? There are a lot of things I could say about the UN and probable corruption on that side, but let it suffice here to say that the UN had imposed sanctions on Iraq so Iraq had already been punished for its rebelliousness. But more to the point, if a sovereign nation does what it wants to do rather than what it is told to do, that is not a reason for other nations to invade its territory.

3. The quest for nuclear weapons

The Tribune admits that, “Claims that Iraq sought uranium and special tubes for processing nuclear material appear discredited,” yet the newspaper still concludes that real intelligence about Iraq possibly developing nuclear weapons was “menacing enough.” I question that. If the technology and materials for nuclear weapons are so within reach of a country like Iraq, why don’t more countries have them? There is something extremely suspect about these intelligence claims.

On the 29th of December, when discussing the Tribune article on Fox News, General Wesley Clark claimed that the nuclear threat was “hyped” by Bush and Condoleezza Rice, and he then further stated outright that the “nuclear argument was false.”

4. Hussein’s delaying tactics

The White House claimed that the longer we left Saddam Hussein alone, the more time he would have to share weapons with terrorists and to develop more and scarier weapons.

The Tribune states that, “the implications of this warning about Iraq’s intentions are treacherous to imagine.” I say “imagine” is an interesting word to use there. If “terrorists” refers to Al-Qaeda, we already know that there were no significant ties. I would also point out that big scary weapons are already in existence all over the place and “terrorists” would not have to wait specifically for Iraq to share them. This was a bullshit argument.

5. Waging war on terror

We already know there was no substance to the claim that invading Iraq was necessary to the “war on terror”. The Bush administration’s claims of Iraq “harbouring” or aiding terrorists were at best exaggerated, but more probably made up.

6. Reform in the Middle East

The Tribune claims that invading Iraq has “provoked political tremors in a region long ruled by despots,” and that US diplomacy “has advanced democracy and assisted freedom movements in the sclerotic Middle East.”

If for the sake of argument we accept these claims, I then ask, At what cost?

However, I still assert that democracy, by definition, cannot be imposed.

7. Iraq and Al-Qaeda

Another argument that everyone already knows was complete horseshit. General Wesley Clark confirmed on Fox News that there was no “causative link” between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, “only low level intelligence contacts, which most governments in the Middle East have.”

8. The Butcher of Baghdad

From the Tribune:

Human Rights Watch estimates that Hussein exterminated 300,000 people. Chemical weapons killed Iraqi Kurds and Iranians; Iraqi Shiites also were slaughtered. Tortures included amputation, rape, piercing hands with drills, burning some victims alive and lowering others into acid baths.

Indeed horrific stuff, and no one questions it. But why Iraq? There are atrocities going on all over the world. The Bush administration used this argument because it is the most compelling one, but I do not believe for a second that the Bush administration actually cares about the lives of those who were murdered or tortured by Saddam’s regime.

9. Iraqis liberated

From the Tribune:

Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.): “Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam Hussein was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them.”

…And while Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites have major differences to reconcile, a year's worth of predictions that Sunni disaffection could doom self-rule have, so far, proven wrong.

I personally do not think that the picture is really that rosy, but never mind. The question that again has to be asked is, At what cost? And then there is the question of whether it is fair to call an occupation ‘liberation’.

The Tribune’s conclusion

After reassessing the administration’s nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege. Example: The accusation that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs overlooks years of global intelligence warnings that, by February 2003, had convinced even French President Jacques Chirac of “the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq.” We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year.

Seventeen days before the war, this page reluctantly urged the president to launch it. We said that every earnest tool of diplomacy with Iraq had failed to improve the world's security, stop the butchery--or rationalize years of UN inaction. We contended that Saddam Hussein, not George W. Bush, had demanded this conflict.

Many people of patriotism and integrity disagreed with us and still do. But the totality of what we know now--what this matrix chronicles-- affirms for us our verdict of March 2, 2003.

Max’s response

We all know by now that most of the pre-war intelligence sucked and that Bush and his Neo-Con cronies made shit up. We also know that they never gave a rat’s arse what Jacques Chirac thought. The reasons to go to war that were presented to the American people and the world were just smoke and mirrors anyway, all in the interests of keeping us from figuring out the truth.

The real reason we invaded Iraq was to build up our global empire. It really is as simple as that. If you don’t believe me, please read about the Project for the New American Century at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm.

You might also be interested at what PNAC have to say for themselves:

The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

Resources

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0512280311dec28,1,3243.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Wesley Clark/Fox News clip: http://crooksandliars.com/

3 comments:

Anonymous A-Hole said...

"If 'terrorists' refers to Al-Qaeda, we already know that there were no significant ties."

I have to disagree. We don't know anything, for certain, in this regard. Just as people can't prove that there were ties, neither can anyone prove that there weren't ties. I would expect that the burden of proof for either claim would be the same.

Audie said...

"such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle."

One out of three ain't bad?

Anonymous A-Hole said...

This is interesting.

So isthis.

Looks like a connection to me.