Thursday, September 08, 2005

Our own problem

The Iraqi Constitution post generated so many responses that I wanted to address it again. First, while I am not defending Saddam, you cannot hold him accountable for each death that occurred in his country while he was in office. Anyone that wants to attribute "4 million in mass graves" should provide some link to back that up. Also, let us not forget that the US helped put Saddam in power, and supported him throughout the 1980s, when all of these genocidal acts were occuring. America sold him most of his weapons. I also thought it was funny that Iraqis killed by American forces in Desert Storm were attributed to Saddam instead of the US. My main point is that we did not go to Iraq to "help people". No one talked about "moral authority" three years ago. We went to Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction (we found none) and shut down terrorist training camps (we found none of those either). We are now stuck in one of the most expensive wars in the history of our country, and have announced our intention to abandon any sense of international law. To blame any of this on the UN, the Iraqi people, or anyone but our own government is stupid.


funkysmell said...

Nice blog.

Dave Justus said...

The number in mass graves is conservatively estimated at 400,000. Here is a link. Google will reveal many other sources to confirm this.

I don't hold Saddam accountable for anyone that died in Iraq when he was in office. I do hold him accountable for people his Government massacred and put into mass Graves.

While the U.S. did play a part in supporting Iraq against Iran in the Iraq-Iran war (which Saddam started and killed another million Iraqis) we did not 'put him in power.' The Baath party was, during the cold war, condsider far more of a Soviet client than an American one. Indeed, a quick look at Saddam's weaponry and military will reveal that it was the Soviet Union, not the United States that supplied the vast majority of his arms.

Even if the allegation that the U.S. was responsible for Hussein was true, wouldnot that increase, rather than decrease our responsibility for removing him?

Saddam's brutal supressions were not confined to the 80s by any means. He launched a purge immediately after he gained power in the 70s, and was responsible for the brutal repression of the Shiites and the genocide against the Marsh Arabs after Desert Storm.

Of course there was in fact a lot of talk about the moral nature of Saddams regime as a justification for the war before it ever occured. The brutal repression of the Iraqi government of it's own people is even referrenced in the authorization to use force passed by the congress. Tony Blair was probably the most eloquent in promoting the invasion of Iraq party as a response to the brutality of that government.

As to what we found and didn't find in Iraq, I will leave that for another day. Suffice it to say that Saddam had clearly not abandoned his weapons programs or his desire for WMD, and that he cleary did provide support, medical care and training to various terrorist groups.

It is also hard to justify your comment that this is one of the most expensive wars in the history of the country.

Angel said...

Won't the next major war always be more expensive.......

Sandcastle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandcastle said...

This was from a previous post. It took me a few minutes to find it, so I deleted my previous comment and reposted it here in full.

With $166 billion spent or requested, Bush's war spending in 2003 and 2004 already exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined, according to a study by Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus. The Iraq war approaches the $191 billion inflation-adjusted cost of World War I."
by Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Sept. 9, 2003

Keep in mind that these figures are two years old.

Sandcastle said...

The article you linked to does indeed say up to 400,000 Iraqis were found in mass graves, but only attributes 290,000 as possibly being linked to Saddam's regime. And all of these either happened in the 1980s, when the US was actively supporting Iraq, or after the first Gulf War, when the US refused to support groups trying to remove him.

Gib said...

"only" 290,000?

Sandcastle said...

Right only. That is a ton of people, and it is a huge tragedy, but this happened with our support. It seems convenient to become outraged only when we need to secure resources. And much greater number than that have been killed in African countries, but we don't help people without oil reserves.