I have been hearing more about conservative radio talk show hosts coming out against the war in Iraq - either to increase their ratings or because they truly believe it. Many in Congress that were in support have withdrawn it. Much of America thinks that it would be best to just walk away.
They forget themselves.
Here are my thoughts on Iraq then and now.
First, there were many fine reasons for a ground invasion of Iraq. Mobile chemical munitions factories were not one of them. Ground invasion has been justified since 1998 when Saddam Hussein removed U.N. weapons inspectors from his country after years of blatantly misleading them.
Iraq had been in violation of nearly all of the conditions of its surrender in 1991. Twelve U.N. resolutions were passed since then threatening "severe consequences." Once the U.S. started building up forces for another invasion in the Middle East, the U.N. passed two more resolutions.
The United Nations would never have actually authorized a ground invasion because that would have required passage through the Security Council. The Security Council would never have authorized it because three of the five permanent members' governments were "doing dirty business" with Saddam's government. All of those countries have veto power. All of those countries were in violation of the various resolutions and sactions there were in place. In some instances, they were instrumental in creating them.
That is akin to making a law banning everyone from trading with a country, using your military to enforce it, and then trading with that very country.
Then the best reason to invade Iraq evolves: Al Qaeda is moving operatives into the country. They are setting up camps within the country. They are building their own types of "diplomatic ties" with Baath intelligence operatives. They are using lines of communication with other operatives in Iran and Syria.
Imagine being the President of the U.S. for a minute. The very countries that are instrumental in aiding us in our fight against Al Qaeda are in illicit trade with a country that is now allowing them to operate.
How would you approach this? The strain of 9/11 alone would have been terrible enough. Now, in order to effectively fight our enemy, you are faced with this political nightmare. Do we ostrasize these countries? Do we go to war against them too?
We could not repeatedly announce the program violations without damaging realations with French - and other - intelligence agencies. We could not divulge our own intelligence activies at the U.N. without endangering our own sources. That would have been a "lost cause" anyway.
Colin Powell gave a very well spoken oratory with extremely weak evidence of Saddam's weapons programs. Moreover, it was not even based on U.S. intelligence. This I believe served two purposes: It set up a straw man to be used as a grounds for arguements. It redirected the public focus from Al Qaeda to his alleged support of international terrorism and using his weapons programs. Secondly, on the face, it justified ground invasion without having to publicly discuss "other" reasons.
The first made it possible for countries in violation of the Oil for Food program (and other programs) not to be involved in these actions. The second protected our sources within the Baath Party and within Al Qaeda.
Thirty-eight countries did not join us in our invasion of Iraq because of mobile weapons labs. I believe that they were presented the same evidence that my President was presented and decided to support us based on that.
Al Qaeda is now operating in much the same manner as anarchists and Marxists (different ideologies but same MO). This is also very similar to how the werewolves operated in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich.*
They were fought with similarly over the course of years. I believe our military is capable of fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq today.
With regard to an Iraqi civil war, this too is something that can be quelled.
With regard to "pulling out", "troop reduction", "phased redeployments", etc., that is the surest way to make sure that the U.S. loses. I propose that we close our bases in German and reopen them in Iraq.
That is the surest way to win and the best way to support.
* In the movie Grindhouse there is a mock trailer of an upcoming movie Werewolf Women of the SS. While the real werewolves were intelligence and terror operatives, I found the irony of them being real monsters humorous.
A Dying Spider
8 years ago