My explanation for the Iraq War
Prologue: I have been corresponding with a couple of people's e-mails regarding my "It wasn't about the Oil stupid" post. One of the people e-mailing me, Dave, asked me this question: "If it is not about oil, then what, in a nutshell, do you think it is about?". And the following is my response to him. Make sure you read it till the end before making judgments, ok? Now, let’s start with the things we agree on: we were both against the iraq war when it started, and neither one of us bought the whole WMD excuse to begin with. I was one of the people who opposed it when it first started in 2003, cause like every other middle-easterner I knew that the WMD charge is more or less bullshit. And we all know how people who thought so got vindicated in the end. All that is swell, and i am sure all of you who thought so got your "NANYANYANANA" moment and all , but let’s ignore it for a second. Let’s assume that unlike what the left believes, the U.S. doesn’t like dealing with fascist dictators, but in order to preserve its strategic interests it finds itself dealing and even supporting them over the years out of fear for a worse alternative. Let’s assume it realized that the intelligence and security apparatuses belonging to the regimes of such countries are so strong that an inside revolution for democracy ( which it would favor) is almost impossible to happen by itself. Let’s assume a middle-east democracy domino effect was a goal from the beginning ( reports of such plans existed since the mid 90’s) as a means to achieve that end. Now, let me ask you this: how do you get your nation to go to war for another nation’s sake? Well, if one would use the American WWII model, one would in a way get that nation to attack you in order to have justification in front of your people ( who as a rule don’t like going to wars) to join the war. If you wanna follow the Egyptian Israeli war model you would incite feeling of arab nationalism and patriotism among your people and urge them to join the war for the sake of their brothers in ethnicity and religion. Neither method would work in this specific case: the Iraqis would never be able to attack the USA and you can never sell such a war and commitment to the American people who share no real common history or kinship with Iraq. Add to that the fact that the man you chose to start with happens to be the guy who tried to assassinate the current President father. How do you do it? Well, you lie and you mislead. You lie and mislead really really well. You use the fear that your people might have from the middle-east region since 911 as way to get your plan through. Fear is an effective sales tool; you know this as well as I do. So they used it to start the momentum to go to war and you have to admit that it really worked on a lot of American people. But you also cite all the other reasons for such action, but you put the WMD one at the forefront. Now, are there other reasons why Bush might have chosen Iraq, besides the stupid “Blood for Oil” argument? Sure. One of them is to eliminate the reason for Bin Laden Jihad on the US : the American military presence in Saudi. After the first Gulf war, the first Bush could’ve taken out Saddam but chose not to, because he didn’t wanna get himself in the shit-storm that the American troops are in now. However, Saudi and Kuwait were vulnerable for another Attack if the US left since they have virtually no army. Hell, Kuwait has virtually no people. So they asked the US to stay because next door was a crazy fucker who wanted to take over their countries for whatever reason. That caused the Fatwa by Bin Laden and started the Jihad that many muslims saw justified. The only way for the US to get out of that problem was to leave Saudi, but they couldn’t as long as Saddam was still next door. So they had to take him out. And now there isn't a single US soldier in Saudi. You would think Osama would now stop his Jihad, but nope, he is still an asshole about it! It was expected and wouldn’t have made a difference anyway, cause by plotting 9/11 he crossed that point of no return and the US was now fully after his ass. Anyway… Then there is the psychological warfare aspect of it all on the arab psyche. Iraq is one of the biggest arab countries with one of the biggest militaries with Saddam on top of it surviving and striving and killing his own people all throughout the Clinton years. You seriously couldn’t find an arab leader that is worse then Saddam in terms of his dictatorship and viciousness. No one even comes close. So, if you take the big boy out, all the other leaders will start shaking in their boots and wondering if they are next. You get the people of Iraq- who had it worst then even the egyptians in the days of Nasser- to have democratic elections, and get them to get past their sectarian differences and agree and the rest of the arab public will start demanding a piece of that action. Plus, by taking that country over, you apply pressure on the next big two countries with dictatorships that you previously didn’t have the ability to pressure politically and economically: Syria and Iran. With you right there with troop presence on both of their borders, they have more of an incentive to act right towards their people when they start asking for democratic reforms. Democratic reforms take place, despotic rule gets overthrown, people in the Middle-east will have a reason to not be hating the US that much any longer. Economically and in terms of casualties, it also makes sense. On 9/11 the US lost 700 Billion in the stock market and 3000 lives, and that’s in one day. The economic recession that followed cost the US even more money, with people getting laid off, asking for unemployment, not making as much money and consequently not paying as much taxes. I repeat, all of this happened in one day. In comparison The US war in Iraq has cost so far 175 Billion and lost 1500 soldiers over the course of more then 2 years now . Applying a pragmatist point of view, the comparative costs of the Iraq War (which whole purpose and plan is to prevent another 9/11) are worth it and are a hell of a lot cheaper then another 9/11 for the US government and People. Also, not fighting the terrorists on American Soil: Big Bonus, maybe a little selfish but a Bonus nonetheless! The Arab countries are rich countries Dave, but they are 3rd world countries because they have regimes that are more interested in stealing from their countries then building them up. Ignorance and poverty are everywhere in an area that has a lot of wealth and one hell of a cultural history. In a democracy this wouldn’t be the case,it wouldn’t happen. In a democracy people wouldn’t be as angry or hateful and wouldn’t accept blaming the “evil jooooze” for all of their problems, like they do now. You take the power of choice from a person and you take away his sense of responsibility; you give it to them back and you got more responsible people who are more concerned with their welfare and making it then in blowing themselves up. This would lead for better economic conditions and a more peaceful atmosphere in the region, which makes everyone happy. It also makes the US happy cause better economic conditions means bigger GDP per capita in those countries which means more consumers who will be able to buy American goods, instead of burning stores that carry them. It’s an ambitious plan, but it is working so far. You won’t see the effect of it now, but my guess, by the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (2011), you will be viewing a completely different and improved middle-east. One that has people who don’t want to see Americans dead as much. You will no longer have to say that you are canadian when you do visit those countries. Wouldn’t that be a nice change?