Debate and Discussion

Iraq War Thread: Reasons for War
ozoneocean at 1:52PM, Jan. 4, 2007
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Ok, The Iraq war thing is still popular (for obvious reasons), and in an effort not to turn all the other discussions (like the one about Sadam), into “Reasons for War” threads I thought I'd start one dedicated to just that so people can get it out of their systems. :)

The US administration and the UK government have given us all sorts of silly arguments, from Sadam developing nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, having missiles ready to launch with 45 seconds that could hit the British Isles, running mobile chemical weapons labs etc… We had “proven” links to terror organisations… Then there was some later stuff about “removing a murderous dictator from power” and “spreading democracy in the Middle East”.

-Let's examine those three shall we?
1). The first has been proven so false, made up, manufactured and invented that it makes unicorns look genuine. Most of us “thinking” people could see that at the very beginning, but perhaps we were just more intelligent than the average person? Naaaaaawwwwwwwww, it must have just been coincidence, or perhaps the only people who believed at all were those who really, really wanted to?
2.) The second was proven false too: The only “terror” groups in that area actually wanted to topple Sadam more than anybody else!
3). What about the third: Well Sadam was indeed a dictator, but if people really ever cared about “murderous dictators”, why do they leave all the rest to govern and do what they like? How many African countries currently have real murderous groups in charge? The Sudan anybody? As for “democracy”, we'll have to dump that one in the “WTF?!” category. We can safety discard the third idea as a joke.


My take on it:
So then what genuine reasons do we have? What could possibly have been behind the invasion? Well, even before the war, even before “9/11”, before even the election of the younger president Bush I had a pretty good idea that the US still intended to invade Iraq. It was obvious; it was a strategically isolated country under blockade, language regarding it was always muscular and aggressive, they had vast oil potential, most in the US felt that things were left decidedly “unfinished” after the Gulf War, an invasion had the potential to gain the US a strategic foothold in the Middle East of simply enormous value: Much easier to apply pressure on Iran, Syria and Libya, no more need to rely on fickle and untrustworthy allies like Saudi Arabia, the task of protecting and aiding Israel would be made immeasurably easier, and so on…
-You have to admit, that makes a better reason for war than the 3 big fake ones. ;)

But it's damn hard to actually get momentum going so that you can start an invasion. You need people getting behind you! You need support from within your country as well as outside. With the election of the younger Bush I knew then invasion was almost inevitable… But it was “9/11” that was the godsend. With that one event, anything was possible! For that Osama Bin Laden and his bunch need to be buried… “9/11” for the Bush government was much like a terrible fire in the family home: even with the sadness and loss caused by death and destruction of property, the insurance means you can do the things you've been wanting to do for ages. It's like a macabre lottery win.

Your take?
So then, do you agree with my mainly strategy based idea? Or do you think it was simply all about oil? Maybe you actually believe in one of the big 3 lies? (as I call them anyway) Or perhaps you think there were secret reasons we just don't know about? Conspiracies? Withheld intelligence? Do tell! :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
Phantom Penguin at 2:14PM, Jan. 4, 2007
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I agree with you on a few points. There are some African leaders that killed more people then Saddam could hope to. Because people seem to turn a blind eye to africa *cough cough Sudan cough*

After the Halabja Attacks he should have been deposed. Not 20 some years later. But he was a terrible person regardless. Should we go around kicking out the worlds leaders who kill thousands and oppress millions more? I think we should. Will we? No.
So why start with Iraq? Now thats a question.
And for further debate No Oil has come out of the country. When i was there the second time i ended up on oil field guard duty many times. Guess how many people were going to work? About 30. All 30 were the guard force. The oil is there, but no one is pumping it.
It makes more since for it to be for a foothold in the region.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 2:35PM, Jan. 4, 2007
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There isn't much value in simply securing oil, pumping it out and selling it off (that can be dangerous, expensive and very difficult!). It's an energy reserve: just having it in the ground there with unreserved access to it is enough. It's like money in the bank. ;)
But yeah, by itself it's not enough of a reason for war. Add that to the strategic value of the region though and it makes a nice sweetener.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
mapaghimagsik at 2:51PM, Jan. 4, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
I agree with you on a few points. There are some African leaders that killed more people then Saddam could hope to. Because people seem to turn a blind eye to africa *cough cough Sudan cough*

After the Halabja Attacks he should have been deposed. Not 20 some years later. But he was a terrible person regardless. Should we go around kicking out the worlds leaders who kill thousands and oppress millions more? I think we should. Will we? No.
So why start with Iraq? Now thats a question.
And for further debate No Oil has come out of the country. When i was there the second time i ended up on oil field guard duty many times. Guess how many people were going to work? About 30. All 30 were the guard force. The oil is there, but no one is pumping it.
It makes more since for it to be for a foothold in the region.

There are reports that oil production is currently less than levels when Saddam was da Man.

But, my data disagree with yours about *no* oil coming out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Phantom Penguin at 7:28PM, Jan. 4, 2007
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I wasn't speaking for all oil plants. Just the one i was at. I can't even remember what it was called.

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Ronson at 6:39AM, Jan. 5, 2007
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According to Greg Palast, it is in OPEC's interest to make sure the Iraqi oil fields are not opened up and flooding the market until they have control of them in one form or another. Take that as you wish, since Palast can be a polarizing figure. I have yet to see anyone debate him on the facts though.

Why do I think the Iraq War was started?

Well it was a confluence of a few different ideologies.

The neocons want to take control of the Middle East in order to ensure control of the oil supply for the United States (see PNAC if you don't believe me). They were waiting for something like 9-11 to happen so that the American people would be behind them.

The friends of OPEC wanted Saddam out because his oil reserves had the potential to make Iraq a big power in the oil world. His corrupted oil for food system (though run by the UN, it was fully monitored by Britain and the US, by the way) was gaining him allies that might allow him to circumvent the OPEC monopoly.

The Bush Administration had to hit someone hard and fairly quickly after 9/11. Osama was just some guy in a cave and finding him was not easy because he had allies everywhere in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Choosing to change the focus to Saddam made an easy target. One that wouldn't be able to stand up to a US onslaught. And they didn't. When we go toe to toe with governments, we win. When we have to face pockets of independently run “insurgents”, then things get hard.

Setting himself up as a war president silenced critics for a while and ensured his reelection {Those conspiracy minded of us may think he stole the 2004 election. I admit to the possibility.), it also allowed him to vastly extend executive powers. Not to mention the boon this has been to his friends and campaign contributors. War is good business if your business is war.

The neocons don't want out of Iraq because they still think a takeover is possible. Though the privitization of infrastructure isn't what they had hoped, they feel the concession of an airfield to launch future attacks is enough.

The OPEC sympathizers don't want us out until all the paperwork is signed that allows OPEC to completely regulate Iraq's oil production.

The Bush administration doesn't want out because private industry has never been able to run so unchecked and accomplish such war profiteering.

_________

As to the three big lies, you'll still find people who buy it. I remember Scott Ritter saying there were no WMDs prior to the war. Hans Blix as well…but they're liberal pansy-butts, I suppose.

The Downing Street Memos prove that the Brits knew the evidence wasn't there, but that they'd support the US distortions because Bush had already made up his mind.

The three lies prevail because those that believe them WANT or NEED to.

__________

What's next?

Well, there's going to be a minor troop surge if Bush has his way. I think ultimately he'll get it. The Democrats aren't unified enough to stop it.

But the funny thing is that the new plan Bush is presenting might work. No, not with a troop surge, but with a huge financial push towards reconstruction and employment of Iraqi citizens…you know, Marshall Plan type stuff.

But if things calm down as a result of the increased spending on infrastructure, you can be sure that the Bush administration will credit the troop surge…because that's the best way to look tough and pretend that your policies work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Roguehill at 6:48AM, Jan. 5, 2007
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Ah, guessing at the reasons behind actions is always tricky. We can rationalize all we want, but without hard data, we might as well be playing poker.)

Yes. Saddam was a bad man. Maybe we hit the country because the American folks were screaming at the government to take some action against Islamic millitants due to 9/11. Maybe it was to gain a foothold in an oil-rich area (bad idea, since it guarantees that the money we spend on the military would way exceed the benefits of the oil we could withdraw). Maybe it was to shake up one of the major players in the region like Iran (possible, since it smacks of a “look what I can do” move, but typically the U.S. uses covert teams to do the same thing. Our actions have indeed affected Iran, as they have become very openly hostile in their posture). Or, it could have been that the President and his aides just got some really bad info to make their decisions on. Yeah, it happens all the time.

The real question is, how long do we plan on staying? If we leave during a civil war, Iran will probably step in to “help” and annex the country “for their own protection”. If we occupy the place for the long term….ugh…that makes us a target for the forseeable future. The ONLY good option here is to establish a strong government that can handle things with our assistance…and our record at doing those things is awful (i.e. Cuba, Iran).

-Roguehill

GHOST ZERO
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:04AM, Jan. 5, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
I wasn't speaking for all oil plants. Just the one i was at. I can't even remember what it was called.



My bad. I misunderstood.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:17AM, Jan. 5, 2007
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Ronson

Well, there's going to be a minor troop surge if Bush has his way. I think ultimately he'll get it. The Democrats aren't unified enough to stop it.

But the funny thing is that the new plan Bush is presenting might work. No, not with a troop surge, but with a huge financial push towards reconstruction and employment of Iraqi citizens…you know, Marshall Plan type stuff.

But if things calm down as a result of the increased spending on infrastructure, you can be sure that the Bush administration will credit the troop surge…because that's the best way to look tough and pretend that your policies work.

You know, for someone who's only discussing, you're darn up on your stuff.

I would like to posit this slightly doom and gloom scenario, though it appears with the latest actions by Jack Murtha, that they are unlikely.

But, here's my scenario anyway, because my mind sometimes really dark corners.

The scenario is this.
1) The Democrats and the Republicans know a surge won't work. The only people who want it are neo cons, who still very much know how to stroke presidential ego, who wants to be at war, because not being at war means having to deal with the daughters, who are *totally* out of control ;)
1a) McCain wants to appear tough, and said he wanted a surge. He thought it would get voted down, and it still might. Then he gets to look ‘tough’.
1b) Bush, not to be out McCained made the surge ‘his idea’, leaving McCain without an idea and a bit confused. McCain shouldn't be surprised, since this was the second backstab from Bush. But, fool me once….
2) The Democrats want the surge. Why? Because when the surge fails, McCain is discredited as *anything* and his presidential hopes go up in smoke. Bush's popularity will drop *even more*. They will paint bush with a failure brush the size of Texas. Why? Because Republicans go down by association, and the Democratic agenda is easeier to pass.
3) The Democrats, even if they don't want the surge, will get tarred by the Republicans as being weak on terror even if they know the surge is a bad idea. Why? Because that's what Republicans (and to a lessor extent, Democrats) do: place party politics above the truth.

So the surge will go on. It will have little or no impact on the overall course of the war. More people will die – and this surge will be what it really is: an escalation.

Again, I'd like to point out that early indications – with Jack Murtha leading the charge on cutting funding for the war – well, that's the only lever congress can pull at this point. Then it becomes a battle of wills, and you can bet dollars to doughnuts the Republicans will screetch about how much the Dems hate the troops for cutting funding, when its the only way within congress' power to deal with a president run amok.



I would also like to point out a couple of things along the nature of the surge.
1) People from other branches are being put into support roles for the Army to help fill the gap
2) There aren't many new soldiers. The extra troops will come from those being rotated out of Iraq and just sent back in. These are not fresh troops, and while very possibly the best trained, best equipped military in the world, are *at best* a 12.5% increase in troop strength, and we're far less than 12.5% away from victory (whatever the hell that is)

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Ronson at 11:51AM, Jan. 5, 2007
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If Murtha succeeds in cutting funding and stopping the surge, the Democrats will be blamed for losing the war. This in spite of the fact that a surge would do nothing.

If the Democrats pass Bush's spending bill and troop surge, they are accepting part of the responsibility if it fails even though they won't be credited with “doing the right thing” if it succeeded.

The Democrats should probably negotiate whatever Bush's plan ends up being to the point where they get a lot more transparency and can monitor all the spending and troop movements closely. Push the idea that Bush can't be trusted with a lot of money. In that way, they can either condemn “Bush's plan” as an abject failure or take credit for “making sure Bush didn't mess it up” if it works.

When war becomes a political football - like the Republicans have been treating it for year now - everyone has to fight dirty.

I hate it, to tell you the truth.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mlai at 11:58AM, Jan. 5, 2007
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Only good thing regarding troop numbers is that Bush is now in absolutely no position to ask for a draft. His own party will assassinate him before allowing him to do that.

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FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Ronson at 12:07PM, Jan. 5, 2007
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mlai
Only good thing regarding troop numbers is that Bush is now in absolutely no position to ask for a draft. His own party will assassinate him before allowing him to do that.

When the draft comes, it won't be called a draft. It's probably going to be an “economic incentive package”, where civil service is required - in one form or another - to recieve government aid.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mapaghimagsik at 12:10PM, Jan. 5, 2007
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Ronson
If Murtha succeeds in cutting funding and stopping the surge, the Democrats will be blamed for losing the war. This in spite of the fact that a surge would do nothing.

If the Democrats pass Bush's spending bill and troop surge, they are accepting part of the responsibility if it fails even though they won't be credited with “doing the right thing” if it succeeded.

The Democrats should probably negotiate whatever Bush's plan ends up being to the point where they get a lot more transparency and can monitor all the spending and troop movements closely. Push the idea that Bush can't be trusted with a lot of money. In that way, they can either condemn “Bush's plan” as an abject failure or take credit for “making sure Bush didn't mess it up” if it works.

When war becomes a political football - like the Republicans have been treating it for year now - everyone has to fight dirty.

I hate it, to tell you the truth.

I'm inclined to agree with your assessment, but it is contingent on the realization that no matter what happens, the Republicans will blame liberals, hippies, well everyone but themselves for losing Iraq, when really the victory – in terms of a peaceful, democratic iraq with electricity and its own oil – was lost a long time ago.

If the Democrats realize that, then they'll go for it, and shut it down if they can. But I'm not sure. They also might just use oversight as a club, and expose every dirty little corner of how the GAO cannot track expenditures to contractors until someone in the whole profiteering bunch screams uncle.

Depending how fast that happens, it could result in a drawdown, if only because of threat of impeachment – not for declaring a stupid war on lies, but for squandering all that money without oversight.

From a purely political junkie standpoint, its gonna be a pure rush.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Phantom Penguin at 12:20PM, Jan. 5, 2007
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This ‘surge’ isn't going to do anything. It will probably make things worse, the Iraqis will see more soldiers. Think we have no intent to leave and the violence will go up even more.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Vindibudd at 1:46PM, Jan. 5, 2007
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I have had this discussion with a left-wing friend of mine. We have gone hours and hours into the night over it. But here is why I think the US invaded Iraq.

Unlike some people, I don't think that the US was predisposed to invading Iraq until after 9/11. I think the whole reason that Iraq was invaded was because of terrorism suddenly demanding to be dealt with as an issue. When planes are flown into buildings, well, that is going to get the attention of the president.

Before I go into exactly why the US invaded in my opinion, I need to address the causes of terrorism.

What causes terrorism? From what I can see and from what most of my professors seem to think, most of which are Marxists, terrorism has multiple origins. The way I see it, the primary reasons we have for terrorism deal with poverty and no education. The average person in the middle and near east has a really sucky life. They don't have much to live for which makes them susceptible to firebrand ideologues such as bin Laden. Some guy rolls up in a 4runner and tells you, hey, if you go kill the enemies of Allah, you will have 70 virgins in paradise and bring honor to your family. You being a deeply religious individual without much education, and someone who has never seen such spectacular things as a Toyota 4runner, might find it easy get caught all up. Your life is taken up all day long with watching sheep and hoping you don't get killed and your family starved to death. So you buy in.

This is how terrorism primarily gets its foot soldiers.

Where are the terrorists typically coming from? The middle and near east. In that region of the world, there are super rich and dirt poor. The super rich can finance the terrorist activities that they send the poor to do.

So the US policy makers are looking at this situation and they think about how they can stop it.

No democracy has attacked another democracy.

So the US looks into the middle east and goes, hey, what can we do to get a foothold here? Well there is Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Yes, the same Saddam who has consistently and flagrantly ignored the terms of the ceasefire of the first Gulf War. So the plan is to make him follow every single ceasefire term. Of course he won't do that. Public opinion is on the side of those wanting to invade because of all the talk in the media about WMD. So invade.

Set up democracy. Give people in the region a taste of living free and getting educated. Maybe blowing people up isn't the best thing to do when you have other things in your life that you can look forward to.

So the US wanted to set up a democratic ally that could serve as a buffer to the totalitarian shenanigans going on in the area. Why attack the US when you can roll into your back yard and attack Iraq for the great Allah?
Ultimately, it isn't about oil. It isn't about freedom. It isn't about democracy.

It is about security for the United States of America. If freedom and democracy in other countries helps that security, then that's what will be done. If not, then it won't.

This is over-simplified but is the general idea that I have about the topic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
mlai at 4:04PM, Jan. 5, 2007
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I think that is one of the motivations, albeit it was botched horrendously. Every single leader directly responsible for the botch should be shot.

But I think equally valid motivations include war profiteering and geopolitical and financial benefits for certain closed groups and special interests. In this war, it's so blatant it's pathetic.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
ccs1989 at 8:58AM, Jan. 6, 2007
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Vindibudd
It is about security for the United States of America. If freedom and democracy in other countries helps that security, then that's what will be done. If not, then it won't.

This is over-simplified but is the general idea that I have about the topic.


Freedom and Democracy in other countries where not seen as being conductive to the US twenty years ago. During the Cold War, more liberal government were overthrown and replaced with conservative dictator types. So the US must have really learned their lesson, right? Considering now they want to export democracy to every other country they can, starting with Iraq.

But look what a disaster it's been. It's going to be years before things calm down there, and when they do Iran will probably be allies with Iraq because Iraq already has leaders in charge who are sympathetic to Iran. So what we've done, instead of creating an ally, is create a country that is in chaos and is officially our “ally” but is really going to stab us in the back as soon as possible, because Iran is our enemy.

So if knocking down left wing governments and installing right wing dictators doesn't work, and neither does exporting democracy, what does? Maybe the US should stop being the world police, or at least make their argument clear to the rest of the world and the UN before they go knocking down leaders.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Charlox at 10:34PM, Jan. 10, 2007
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I almost completely disagree with Vindibudd except for the part about poverty and ignorance in terrorism. It's not that simple though. Our own gov't (current and previous)has a bad history of screwing over others and installing puppet gov'ts. It's not because they hate our “freedom” but because our policies have affected many countries in many bad ways. Fundamentalists have taken advantage of this and are using religion to justify their actions. Forcing “Democracy” on other countries won't end poverty or suffering there. It's like ccs1989 said, we should stop policing/harassing other countries and stop violating international laws.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM

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