Friday, September 09, 2005

Iraq Conclusions

From the below articles, I think we can all see several things.

1) The reasons given for starting a war with Iraq were later proven to be false.
2) This war has been one of the costliest wars in America's history, adjusted for inflation.
3) America not only maintained diplomatic ties with Iraq during its genocidal attacks against its own people, but our government actually provided support. This should defeat any claims of our "moral authority" and our concern for the Iraqi people.
4) America was instrumental in Saddam's rise to power in Iraq.

Note that none of these articles is new. I believe the newest one is over a year old. None of these articles come from the "fringe liberal left wing". The sources are the Washington Post, United Press International, CBS, and the United States Senate.


Gib said...

Regarding #3 & 4 - does our role in supporting Saddam during that time obligate us in anyway to do something on behalf of the Iraqis who suffered and died under his rule, because we felt that while he was an asshole, he was our asshole?

Sandcastle said...

I think we have an obligation not to support these kinds of people. However, I don't buy into the current line that we went to Iraq to help people. Our past actions show a pattern of unconcern for these people. I think the humanitarian mission is a thin cover story.

transientforeigner said...

Thanks for the articles sandcastle. However, hoping that war supporters are persuaded by such information fails to address the logic they (at least some of them)use to justify their belief. I am tempted to label these people the extreme right wing but that is probably a generalization, we can just refer to them as Nietzcheian.

I have found that most of those who are at least somewhat informed but who still support the war care little for the original justifications for the war. The fact is, Saddam was a bad man. The U.S. may have helped him to his position but it matters little to people if they believe the end justifies the means. Just like it matters little to people of this mentality that the accusations of WMDs and a chemical weapons program turned out to be incorrect. None of that changes the fact that Saddam did indeed kill many many people, that he did indeed use chemical weapons in the past, and that he was a dictator. They believe that our being there now is a good thing and that it does not matter what reasons or alterior motives some politicians or leaders have.

Other people, do not really appreciate a bait and switch tactic. Many people supported (or acquiesced) to the war on the basis of the claims of terrorism and WMDs. Any moral claims on the grounds of humanitarianism are falling apart as the numbers of innocents and Americans dying continues to rise, and as additional declassified information continues to show that leading American politicans were complicit in the mass murders now widely cited and attributed to Saddam.

I believe that those who continually support Bush and the war on terror, have to believe in an "ends justifies the means" morality. I find that many anti-war, anti-Bush people believe that means matter. I'm not sure any amount of evidence or logic is going to pursuade one mentality to switch to espouse the other. No matter how anyone looks at it, Saddam was a terrible person who did really bad things and Bush sold the war on what turned out to be incorrect information.

Sandcastle said...

Nice insights. My next topic is going to be looking into the legality of the War on Terror. Congress is the only branch of government that can declare war, but Bush seemed to make this up on tv to grant himself martial powers normally reserved for war while ignoring any rules that restrict them. Example, POW (or EPWs) don't have to be charged with a crime, but they do have to be released at the end of the war. Bush declared the end of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq years ago.

transientforeigner said...

Bush has refused to give the POW tag to anyone who works for or with a terrorist organization. The United States has resorted to a blatant attempt to circumvent the rights afforded to POWs by giving referring to them as "enemy combatants". The conflicts of this process with conceptions of legality, human rights or simple civil liberties are manifold and I hope apparant enough to others that I need not enumerate them. Unfortunately the lower courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether or not an "enemy combatant's" rights can be denied, thus sending it to higher courts. The higher courts are siding with the Bush administration for the most part(now people can see why all those judicial appointments by the president are so important). It will probably go to the Supreme Court. I fear the outcome if it does, especially if Roberts gets nominated. He spent a lot of time in damage control before becoming a judge and most of his early writings and memos are concerned with the Justice Department presenting a unified front, regardless of being right or wrong.

The unfortunate thing about situations such as this is that wrongs typically are not identified as illegal, apologized for or recompensed (if that is even possible) until after the war is over. Take the Japanese iternment camps for instance. I fear this may never happen for enemy combatants for two reasons. First, I do not know if the war on terror will ever be over. And second, one of the most dominant characteristics of Bush is his appointment of loyalists and his strict loyalty to them. I do not know if Robert's will have the integrity to admonish the man who will have put him in power.