Aiming for hegemony costs the USA too much

Removing Saddam would have been very easy after Kuwait was freed, as the US government knew well: ground Iraqi aircraft, prevent the army from entering Kurdish-liberated land. No need to go to Bagdad. The Iraqi army, not needed any more for occupying a neighbouring people, would have crumbled, and with it the dictatorship. Still now: if the area with oil around Kirkuk, stolen from the Kurds, were restored to them, Saddam would go.
But this is the last thing the US will do. If there were an attack on Iraq, would the US occupy Kurdish land, prevent autonomy, even stop people from returning? There will be no attack at all; the threat of war serves to expand military forces in Saudi-Arabia and other countries, to further establish a global military structure, to make other initiatives and alliances less likely, to divide Europe. The US needs Saddam to keep the Saudis scared.

In ’91 it had been planned beforehand that the Kurds would rise, then to be let down, gambling that Europe would not act. I first thought this when I heard mr. Bush sr. say ‘territorial integrity’ and ‘civil war going on for ages’ as arguments for not protecting the Kurds. Make Saddam think he can take Kuwait (‘no opinion on your conflict with Kuwait’), throw him out (and lead a military operation, paid by others), destroy connections to the north, incite ‘the Iraqi people’ to revolt.

Europe would have been united by an initiative to recognize and protect the Kurds, just when Russia had given up occupying neighbours. Instead, it became accomplice to murder, thereby divided between and within states. Old-fashioned territorial imperialism was rehabilitated ‘within existing borders’, so China could go on considering it normal to occupy Tibet and east-Turkestan, and remain a relatively backward dictatorship. Secretary of state Baker said in Belgrade: ‘keep Yugoslavia whole’ (=Serbian domination), which started the shooting there, shifting attention from the Middle East. Then: ‘territorial integrity of former Yugoslav republics’, Croats and Bosniaks want Serb-majority areas, etc. Support the Taliban who want to conquer Afghanistan.

Very smart of American policymakers, this long-term geopsychology, except it gives only a relative advantage. Or maybe they don’t mind having unfriendly relations with the rest of the world, murder, refugees, environmental destruction, fewer holiday destinations, unnecessary military spending, terrorism from people mad about American bases in Saudi-Arabia, homeland controls.
So, USA: convince Turkey to recognize the Kurds, free Kirkuk, withdraw from Arabia. That simple. Could mr. Gore or mr. Clinton say something about it?

While you have presented some interesting scenarios, the fact that they have required the coherent maintenance of a single plan across multiple administrations with varying levels of support and opposition over a fractious Congress, adhering to a single principle, throuhout, tends to push this into the realm of boogeyman conspiracies.
I’ll clue you: the U.S. can’t keep its foreign policy act together that well for that long so as to carry out your Grand Plan.

I am confused about what the benefits of this plan are to the US. Could you restate what the US has gained from this strategy while we wait for Gore and Clinton to respond?

tomndebb pretty much stuck a fork in this one. Theories seem to alternate between total moronic incompetence from GWB to a grand scheme to conquer the world.

benefits are none, only the idea to be no. 1, dividing Europe and keeping China backward. it does not matter much who is president: Clinton said nothing to the Turks about the Kurds; an attack was launched on iraq in '98 just when the euro was started, Gore saying “we don’t want to do it in the holy islamic month of ramadan”.

valdivostok- all of which proves pretty much nothing. What would the point of disrupting the introduction of the Euro do? Nothing. It was pretty fiercly debated about without our help, thanks.

As for the Kurds, well… it sort of depends on what you’re talking about. Did the Turkish army march into Kurdish towns and just start shooting? I would bet not. However, it is an established fact that the PPK has sometimes used terrorist-like tactics, and the Turkish government, like any other government the world over, will fight against that sort of thing within it’s borders.

As for Ramadan… yeah, I think that the Clinton administration made a mistake by trying to “honor” that particular holiday.

And vlad, buddy old pal… every country wants to be no. 1. Every country does things that only benefit themselves. It’s the nature of any political animal, be it a chess club or a nation.

Problem: I think some Kurds are with al-Qaeda. They are prime for recruitment by Osama; they are oppressed by secular Iraq, and the West helped indirectly to their oppression. Also, the massive influx of troops to Turkey specifically implemented to suppress Kurdish revolt would not be encouraging to them. The al-Qaeda bases in Kurdish areas may not be there with Hussein’s consent; the no-fly zone remember? Note how the US shut up after one day of talking about the bases.