Anyone today trying to explain their view of political and social philosophy needs to talk about Iraq. My view may not differ much from a very few pundits out there but as said etc. I am not a fan of beating a dead horses but this is worth the read for some points that are important beyond Iraq even if they aren't new.
First 1991, yes i know been there done that. Two, three points. There were good reasons and more to the point it was sold well and fairly easily accepted world wide. There shouldn't need to be a sales job for these sort of things, it should be pretty apparent. Now yes i except that oil in this region does probable play a role. However Rwanda and Bosnia are not exact parallels to Iraq and its not all oil all the time. The thing that loomed large and are at the root of most of the problems with the use of military in foreign policy then and now, Southeast Asia. The mentality of no civilian or military causalities at, not all costs but at high costs. The push to get it done and get out lead to two failures. We didn't go to Baghdad and put a bullet in Hussein's head, i can under stand the reasons, i just do not agree.
Even with that there was a chance. The Kurds, with the Iraq's army out of the picture i think could have taken over. Now there would have been problems, the reprisals against those in the regime, well not pretty. The other probable fall out would have been with Turkey. The Kurd take over didn't happen. From what i know after the war the short time we were there the Iraqi's asked to use their helicopters to move wounded. We let them and they dropped gas on the Kurds. I at the point the decision was made not to help them with our military i agree, but maybe we shouldn't have encouraged them.
From this it seems that the US has gotten a little gun shy and is under monumental pressure not to hurt civilian and get troops home. I don't want to hurt civilians and want the troops home don't get me wrong. It however leads to mistakes and stupid ones at that. Now may be if Bush 41 has told the generals to do all they to help the Kurd but not to actively engage in the fighting someone would have thought what could helicopter be used for. Not some sort of evil plan pressure and stupidity.
In the interim the Iraqis were playing games. personally after the first weapons lock on our planes, one warning then a bombing campaign then a re-invasion. no games.
The current little war. I had high hopes that it would be a restoration of American power. We had good reasons to use our military, it seemed we were going to be bold about it and do what we thought needed to be done. My thinking is that you take Iraq take over quickly, crush the military and that day tell countries like Iran, Syria and North Korea we will talk but if your going to play game, support terrorist and not allow basic human rights we have a problem and now will do something about it. I know China and others we didn't want to rattle to much would need a little calming for the time but very worth it. Show some teeth and use them when necessary. I had high hopes.
I think there was a push to get things done and create some uber reason to go into Iraq. I didn't think we needed that. They were playing game with the US plane, UN weapons inspectors and there were a couple of UN resolutions. End of Story. So the administration some how let it degenerate into "he lied". How many years will it be before it stops, please someone make it stop, the rabbits the rabbits i can't get away...please .. Sorry couldn't help it. So they couldn't find someone that might have some PR experience or may be Bush should have just stood up and said we were wrong, it happens, there are still good reasons and moved the story forward and back on point. An unbelievable opportunity post cold war to set some order, gone just gone.
In the beginning of the war it seemed that what the administration was telling us made a certain amount of sense. i was very obviously fooled. the screaming of Liar in my ears didn't help and i didn't want to listen to anything else those screaming were saying. It was a useless and misguided charge. If I close my eyes, ask someone to hold up some fingers and tell me how many then my best information is what I'm told if i repeat what they said are you going to scream liar at me forever, sorry rabbits. I Don't know why the administration was saying what they were.
Moving on i hate to say stupidity should be criminal but I am very tempted. The larger point, and it applies to the absolutely disguising, in the I'm going to be sick and in the intellectual sense, 911 truthers. if you are one take a deep breath and think. I had herd this form someone at Reason or Popular Science say something to this effect: NEVER attribute to conspiracy what you can explained by incompetence. I would also say by stupidity, apathy, target fixation and a lesser extent ignorance. think. Like I said I don't think there was some sort of evil plan, call it what you like, but stupidity, criminal, tempting
This is from PBS. I don't trust them much but Nova and Frontline seem to do a good job. I have some very small problems with this, good on the whole.
I could embed it from another source but i would like to do it from the original. Its not as glamorous but here it is.
To be continued in the next post.