Does Bush really want Sadaam to disarm?

Does anybody take seriously the notion that the Bush Adminstration does not want a war?? It is becoming obvious to me (maybe I’m late in this realization) that the last thing Bush wants is for Sadaam to disarm voluntarily and perhaps this plays a major role in their refusal to engage in further diplomacy.

What if the U.S. received unanmous approval from the Security Council to disarm Sadaam by force unless he turns over all WMD’s by a given date. For argument’s sake what if Sadaam proceeded to turn over massive amounds of chemical, biological and other prohibited weapons. It seems to me that is the last thing that the Administration wants.

The most dishonest thing I have heard Bush say through all this is that the Adminstration does not want war and hopes Sadaam will disarm peacefully. If that happens, he remains in power and can rebuild his arsenal. He continues to reside over one of the world’s largest oil supplies. We are then forced to quantify exactly how much WMD he actually has and how much he has turned over (has he turnded over all, 50%, 78%, 92%)?? The UN will still be debating the issue of his disarmament for the next 5 years (it is not an easy question of fact to resolve)

My point is perhaps they don’t want diplomacy to work, and as unlikely as it is that Sadaam would voluntarily disarm, it is more likely he would to a greater degree were the whole world standing behind the U.S. Sadaam is not stupid…If the U.S. had unanimous world wide support…he may begin to disarm because he knows that is the last thing Bush wants.

Bush wants a regime change no matter what…Somebody make a serious argument that Bush would be happy with Sadaam’s voluntary disarmament with no regime change.

First of all, I do not believe Saddam will ever voluntarily disarm. He’s refusing to do so now, even though war may only be a week away. I cannot imagine the more severe circumstances that would compel his disarmament.

However, in the unlikely event that Saddam did comply with his obligations and disarm, I would be disappointed. I imagine Bush would be too. The US would be unable to justify regime change. Yet, the likelihood is that after a year or two, Saddam would go back to acquiring WMDs. Then, it would be necessary for the world to moblize an entire new effort like the one that took place over the last 6 months, with all its diplomatic, political, legislative, military, and economic aspects. Frankly, I doubt that it could be done again.

In short, if we do not force regime change now, I think the world will have to cope with a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein in a few years.

The ultimate goal is to get a democracy installed in Iraq and Bush would accept anything that will lead to that end. Basically this means that Saddam has to either step down or be taken down. The war IS about the fight against terrorism but not because of Saddam’s alleged ties or his supplies of WMD’s. We need a model democracy in the Middle East and a stepping stone to Iran and other Arab nations for intelligence, propaganda, and military operations.

Yes, he does. But the administration also wants him out of power.

And has done since at least 1998.

Yet again I point people to this document, signed by many currently in the administration, written in January of that year:

(Wondering how many times I have to post this before someone acknowledges its existence). These boys have just hitched their pre-existing wagon to the post-9-11 “War on Terror”.

Of course the mistake that KidCharlemagne is making is thinking that the military action will diminish terrorism. It won’t. There may be a “model democracy”, though it’s unlikely to be such, but there will also be a firestorm of recruitment to Islamist terror groups all over the world, and there’s a great big WMD market out there, even without Iraq.

Well, Kid, if that’s really true and what we need is a model democracy, why have a war to get one? Why not encourage Saudi Arabia to be become more democratic? Why not help Afghanistan’s democracy to succeed by making a serious effort to build its infrastructure and economy? Better still, why not work towards establishing a Palestinian state, and it turn it into a model democracy.

I’m sorry, but I see no evidence that the Bush admnistration has the credentials, the will, the diplomacy skills, or even the economic ability to turn post-war Iraq into a model democracy. If it did it would be much more concerned about dealing with serious obstacles such as the one described in this article.

Democraticizing the Middle East is a long-term strategy. I know of one blogger who believes that the US would welcome any increased terrorist activity(well, planning, not executing) because it makes them easier to find. Funny how Sheikh Mohammed was nailed in the 11th hour of a war with Iraq.

I hope the blogger is joking. As for the 11th hour thing, well, not really - Sheikh Mohammed was nailed as a result of ongoing international police and intelligence work in the wake of 9-11 and the war on Afghanistan; he was also nailed following a London Sunday Times interview with him, that resulted in the capture of his accomplice, who, presumably led the Pakistani police to him too. I don’t really see the connection.

Anyway, in my observation, military action tends to increase terrorism and recruitment thereto; police action tends to net the terrorists.

If Saddam disarms, totally, and transparently the Bush administration is totally screwed. They have been supporting Kurdish resistance, Shiite resistance, and just plain old discontent resistance in every part of Iraq that they could reach for years. Bush’s daddy already sold these folks out when he was president, and making it a habit would pretty much guarantee that whatever else happened, we would find fewer friends in the region in the future. I doubt that we will find them all that eager to be our friends now, after we turned tail and ran last time.

The point of the thing is that Saddam is insane, to think that his weapons of mass destruction are more useful to him as weapons than as tools of political maneuver. He looses almost nothing if he disarms completely, and leaves the US in a position from which there is no retreat without political losses of huge magnitude. But then, the Bush administration would never be satisfied with a simple and complete disarmament. They would make up more stuff about how large the program used to be, and demand proof of dismantling stuff that never existed. They have to. Bush has allowed himself to be backed into a corner, and has to have a war, no matter how badly it will turn out.

Nothing can stop the war now, other than the American voters, and, unfortunately, they don’t care. A disarmed Saddam is just easier to beat. The fact that it will take a very expensive decade, at the very least for us to admit our complete failure to create a democracy in Iraq doesn’t matter either. The fact that we will be creating the exact case of Iraqi collaboration with other terrorist groups that Bush claims to have evidence of doesn’t matter either. George’s manhood rests on this issue. We can’t let our president look like a pussy. We have to blow some shit up. Big stuff, and lots of it.

Tris

“We have met the enemy and it is us.” ~ Walt Kelly, Pogo ~

hmmm

Since you seem to be happy to let Saddam stay in power, exactly what steps do you think will diminish terrorism?

Hey Tris,

I’m curious. Why do you believe it is impossible for Iraq to function as a democracy? John McCain thinks they can. Is it because they are Muslim? Or is there another reason?

Thanks.

Btw, I’m not exactly sure myself. It’s something I’ve been thinking about over the past few days.

GOM, perhaps you would be interested in the analysis of some folks in the State Department, discussed here.

It may not be impossible, just not in our interests.

What do you think the US’ position would be if a democratically elected fundamentalist muslim administration in Iraq renewed the WoMD program?

Yes. Thanks.

Quote:

Bush has responded to such assessments by assailing the **“soft bigotry of low expectations.”
**
hmmm

There’s almost always at least two sides to every story. Do you have a personal opinion about this?

Sure, I am just a bit suspicious since Bush’s response fits his agenda, as well as plays to the public. Haven’t seen him applying any pressure on our “friends” in the region for democracy.

Disregarding the opinion of others appears to be his style.

Originally posted by: GOM

I don’ think that Iraq cannot function as a democracy. I just doubt the probability that the United States Government is going to be able to impose a government upon the many factions of Iraq that will be in any sense a functional democratic government. Senator McCain has his view of history, I have mine. In mine we have a very well established tendency to install rapacious exploiters into highly regimented autocratic governments, based on their promises to be “Our sons of bitches.”

We are not nation builders. Our history does not give me a strong belief that we are likely to become such. The rest of the world will be hip deep into it as well, and I strongly doubt that concern for the well being of the Iraqi people will be the most common motive. We have already made autocratic despots strong in other countries in the region, and we will certainly not be effective in promoting resistance to the influence of these very active allies. The minor matter of what right we have to attempt it isn’t even going to come up. If it benefits us, then we are exploiting them, plain and simple. Now, do you think our current administration is going to make sure that there is no benefit to the United States in the installation of a new government?

Only a very strong central authority can possibly survive in Iraq, as it exists now. The disparate particularism already in place beneath the soon to be eliminated government will be very unlikely to cooperate in creating a unified government over the area now the nation of Iraq. It is a most unrealistic expectation Kuwait, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Armenia, and the five factions of Kurds and two factions of Arabs are all going to support a single government for Iraq. The perception will be that all the problems of Iraq will be America’s fault, for the next century. And the very strong central authority we will have to create will be very likely to impose highly anti democratic policies. Do we overturn the acts of the very government we have created? Do we stand by and watch the autocracy of the next generation take hold? Do we let internal discord rip the country into five new countries? Bad choices abound.

As an entirely separate point, I have to ask something. What in my posting history on this board has created the idea in your mind that I find Muslims to be inferior in some way to other people? That is as smelly a red herring as it has ever been my displeasure to have dragged across my view. My reservations are about the United States imposing a government on another people. We have done it in the past, and our record stinks. (Not that anyone else has a much better record, by the way.)

Tris

“Sic transit gloria mundi. And Tuesday’s usually worse.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein ~

Bush wants what all republicans want: to make the world safe for Big Business. (If Bush had ever believed in Democracy, he would have let the Florida recount finish).

From what I’ve been able to gather, the mood in the city of Washington ever since September 11th, 2001 has been one of absolute paranoia. Since Bush has no plan for the economy other than to line Big Business’ pockets with as much of it as he can, and his War on Terrorism had no definitive results, he knows that he needs a decisive victory to get those poll numbers back up in time for next year’s election. Solution? Attack someone we’re pretty sure we can beat. Enter Saddam Hussein.

It all seemed so perfect. The world was outraged by 9-11, the UN already had sanctions against Iraq that Hussein had circumvented, and we kicked his ass twelve years ago. Just make up some crap about illegal weapons development, Al Qaeda connections, and wanting to free the Iraqi people, and go to town on the guy. The American people would eat it up. Makes for great television. Plus, we’d get the Iraqi oil fields, and maybe put them A-rabs on notice not to cross us.
Keep in mind, this makes the second time Bush has resorted to drastic, unprecedented measures to get out of a conundrum (his election was the first). He’s not done by a long shot.

Of course, Bush didn’t realize a few things:

  1. Seeing our own cities under attack by an outside force made a lot of rethink how wonderful air strikes are.

  2. It also made us take a good look at our own foreign policy, which turns out to be horrible. The only reason the rest of the world ever put up with it through the Cold War was that Russia’s was worse. And the reason it hasn’t been an issue for a long time is that Clinton had no foreign policy.

  3. Since Arab countries generally aren’t democracies, the people are not guaranteed any benefit from the buckets of oil money we spend there. The money helps keep the often oppressive rulers in place, causing many of the citizens to hate the States, which is why Al-Qaeda was able to develop a strong following the first place.

  4. We all know that attacking an Islamic country will anger Muslims, and that it didn’t take Weapons of Mass Destruction to bring about the worst day in modern American history. All it took was twenty angry men and a plan, and we haven’t fixed our security problems since it happened.

  5. One of the few things the rest of the world has always liked about our foreign policy is our oft-repeated pledge that we would never use our superior military force unprovoked or unrequested, and that we would never try to assassinate foreign leaders.

  6. The rest of the world has had their major cities under attack many times over, and were not in the same frame of mind as paranoid Washington. (New York was a special case, because many have sentimental feelings toward it as the unofficial capital of the world.)

  7. The UN was under the impression that their resolutions were theirs to handle collectively. They also had watched for twelve years as Hussein fired on Allied No-Fly-Zone patrols without hitting the side of a barn, much less a plane, and did not consider him a threat.

  8. No one at the UN bought the Iraq/Al-Qaeda connection theory. They all know that Hussein belongs to a differect sect of Islam than Al-Qaeda, and they’d love to simply watch each other die. In fact, attacking Iraq might simply generate more angry terrorist recruits, making the entire world situation worse.

I could go on, but you get the picture. So the US is not unanimously in favor of this war, and the UN wouldn’t vote for it. So? Bush removes his proposal from the UN table, and tells them he’s going to enforce their resolutions whether they like it or not. (That’s three drastic measures and counting, by the way. What’s next? Nuke Baghdad? Cancel the elections?).

So now…

We’re three days into the war. Hussein may be dead already, but Iraq is not exactly welcoming the troops with open arms. The “coalition of the willing” is running into higher than expected resistance faster than you can say “Viet Nam-style quagmire”. The world terrorist threat has gotten immediately worse. North Korea, with whom we have been, shall we say, not at peace for the last half century, who actually HAS WMD, some of which can reach the States, is getting awfully nervous, despite our reassurances. The reast of the looney nations are realizing that we’ll go after Iraq but not North Korea, so they know they better get themselves some nukes FAST so they too will be immune to the US. The UN is in jeopardy, and if Turkey decides to take advantage of the situation to try and destroy Kurdish northern Iraq, we’ll be treated to the spectacle of two NATO allies going toe-to-toe, with the rest of the alliance falling on who-knows what side of the fence.

But it DOES make for great, televison, don’t it?

Nothing at all Tris. I only remember seeing one post of yours on this board (actually two counting the one I am responding to now). Why do you leap to that conclusion? You will not find the word “inferior” anywhere in my post. I am only wondering if Muslims and democracy can actually mix and function effectively. For example: Iraq. The Sunnis and Shias hate each other. I don’t see how a democracy can function in Iraq with those two groups in the same government, not to mention the Kurds.

Sorry you got upset. It certainly was not intended.

Good morning Tris,

I’m still wondering if you, or anyone else has any thoughts on this. Personally I’m skeptical that we will be able to establish a functional democracy in Iraq. Of course I could be proven wrong.

GOM,

I am sort of nonplused. See, I was a bit angry because I thought you thought I believed that the fact that the citizens of Iraq were Muslims necessarily implied that they could not operate a democratic form of government. Now I have your assurance that I was mistaken. You are not imputing that opinion to me, but rather, you are asserting it yourself.

Imagine my confusion.

No, I do not believe that the United States will successfully install a democratic government in Iraq. They hate us. They very well may have a concurrent majority hatred of Saddam Hussein. The fact that they are Muslims doesn’t really affect my opinion. I think democracies are achieved by populations motivated to resist autocratic government. Replacing one autocratic government with a government approved by a foreign power doesn’t sound like it will work to me.

Add to that the very high degree of probability that external political considerations will become paramount. Convincing the US that the new government is “representative” in its policies in a manner that is acceptable to the US government may once again become the actual criterion of “democratic.” We have done it before, and we suck at it. Toadies that promise to kiss Uncle Sugar’s ass get priority over honest political voices of the people if the honest voice says America Sucks. The general opinion of the Iraqi population may well be that “Saddam sucks, and so do you. Get the hell out of my country.”

Now call me a democrat, but if that’s the majority opinion, I think it should prevail. We should get the hell out. Of course the particularism we have been mentioning would assure that without someone to keep people from killing each other, they certainly will kill each other. And there will be lots of other countries interested in making sure the folks who will sell them oil are more likely to kill than to be killed. All the folks we got to help us in the latest war are toast, unless we put them in charge, as they expect. Of course, that will insure another autocratic government. We have no good choices in this one.

We have already screwed over the Kurds four times in the last century. If they don’t tell us to get out, I will be vastly surprised. The Turks, our allies are going to do some fancy dancing, and end up taking over part of Iraq, out of concern for “regional stability.” Which means basically, not getting Turkish Kurds all in an uproar over being the largest ethnic group in the world without a country. It seems likely that Iran will do the same. Either way, the Kurds get dumped on again. And we won’t help them after the war, because we won’t need them anymore. Just like last time.

Tris

“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” ~ Sun-tzu ~

  1. I’m not asserting it, but I am wondering more and more about it, especially in connection with Iraq. I quess in some ways a parallel comparison could even be made to Ireland. In Iraq I don’t see the Sunnis and Shias ever being able to agree enough to form a democracy. Of course I could be wrong.

  2. Sorry. I thought I was pretty clear. I’ll try to improve the clarity of my questions.

  3. I agree it will be a difficult, if not impossible, task. Although it did work in Japan and Germany, so maybe we should not give up hope at this early stage. Also, do we have any example of a Muslim country with a democratic form of government?
    Btw, what do you see as the best way to solve the Kurdish situation? I think they should have their own country, but once again I am probably going against the majority opinion.

I find it unlikely that the “best solution for the Kurdish situation” is going to be found in American politics.

If it is going to be up to us to carve out a homeland for the Kurds, I propose that we give them southern Arizona. It probably won’t be all that good a solution, but the savings in transportation costs sending troops there twice a decade for the next century would be well worth it. Think how much better off we would be if we had made the new homeland for Israel in New Jersey. We could keep the whole US fleet stationed in the Long Island Sound, and whenever there was trouble, we could activate the Pennsylvania National Guard, and have them drive over! It would have been much cheaper.

Would the Palestinians now be attacking the Egyptians, Jordanians, and Syrians in order to gain their freedom? Or would the Delaware Peoples Liberation Front have grown up despising the interlopers in Jersey? Who knows?

What about the Druze? Do they get a homeland? How do you feel about the Powatan? Heck, they didn’t even get a reservation!

I don’t think the United States is going to be able to provide democratic governments for every ethnic group, even the ones who already have countries. So far this century, we don’t even seem to be doing all that well maintaining our own democratic government. We now keep prisoners in foreign jails without trials, or even charges, or representation. We have classes of people who are required to comply with new laws that don’t apply to other classes of people. We seem to be quite willing to trade freedom for safety, for the most part. I think that attitude will assure us that we shall keep neither.

Tris

“The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness…This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” ~ Plato ~