How are US soldiers in Iraq defending your freedom

I’ve seen it lots of time on this site and hundreds of time on TV.

An American saying that the soldiers in Iraq are fighting for or defending their freedom.

How so?

I’m not asking was the war right or wrong
I’m not asking if Bush is a git or not
I’m not asking should the soldiers pull out or not

I believe the logic is:

If Iraq were still under the control of Saddam or another strongarm, anti-American, dictator, the enemies of America would be stronger, and America would be more vulnerable to attack, which would necessitate a reduction in our freedoms to keep us safer from attack.

Yes you are.

To go along with what Xavier said, two of the reasons for going into Iraq were 1.) that Iraq was seeking WMD, which could potentially be used against the US or its allies. 2.) that Iraq was an imminent threat, that if left unchecked would work to hurt the US.

If you believe that either of those might have been true 2 years ago then the soldiers in Iraq are in fact defending your freedom.

That was 2 years ago though, and since then we’ve learned that neither were fully true.

At the very least, Iraq was a hostile country that previously sought to anex Kuwait and control the majority of the world’s oil. Part of the war was about oil, and giving Iraq that much control would have definately hurt your freedom.

The problem now is that the US has kicked the beehive and as such is required to stick around to make sure no one else gets stung. Leaving Iraq in its current condition would definitely be a bad thing for American freedom. This may sounds dreamy, but in a few years life will be better in Iraq than it was before the war(s), and Iraq can join the list of happy countries that the US has destroyed (e.g Germany and Japan).

Unfortunately, this too is incorrect.

To recap: in 1989, Saddam Hussein was having a crisis in Iraq – after fighting a long war with Iran that ended in a draw, Iraq was short on finances. Part of this, he believed, was because neighboring Kuwait was stealing Iraqi oil by using slant-drilling techniques that entered Iraqi oil fields. Saddam was also upset because he believed the Kuwait was helping to hold down the price of oil, which prevented Iraq from getting more for its oil on the market.

So Saddam calls up his longtime friend and patron, the United States (hey, we sold him those WMDs, remember?). He meets with US Ambassador April Gillespie, outlines his grievances, and says he’s thinking of reclaiming Kuwait as part of Iraq (which it was in the past). Gillespie told him that the [URLhttp://]US felt the matter was an intra-Arab “border dispute,” and would not raise a stink over the matter.

Saddam invades Kuwait.

The US acts outraged and indignant. President George H. W. Bush begins spreading false stories about Iraqi soldiers pulling babies out of Kuwaiti incubators, and uses falsified intelligence photos to scare Saudi Arabia into believing there was a massive Iraq troop buildup on their border. Sufficiently spooked, the Saudi Royal Family allows the US to build bases in the country… which pisses off a nutjob named Osama Bin Laden.

So, yeah, Saddam invaded Kuwait, but it was less about “control[ling] the majority of the world’s oil” and more about getting back the oil revenue he felt was rightly his. Unfortunately, he got sucker-punched by President Bush, who played him like a cheap violin…

One part you left out was that the US was getting annoyed with Kuwait for screwing with world currency levels. Oil is bought and sold in US currency and Kuwait had so much of it that they were able to actually swing dollar values at their whim. The US didn’t like that.

All this aside, had Iraq succeeded in annexing Kuwait (a sovereign nation?), they would have controlled the largest supply of D grade (the good stuff) oil in the world. Not good for the US, not good for anyone.

The soldiers are protecting my freedom to buy gasoline at $2.25 a gallon.

They’re protecting my freedom to get 90% of the population of the planet wanting to kill us.

./SO moving to Canada

US soldiers fighting in Iraq are fighting for the freedom of US soldiers to fight in Iraq.

The USA should have the right, the freedom, to fight wherever and whenever it pleases. The struggle for dominance in Iraq is a means of achieving this freedom.

If the USA always did what it was told by international bodies such as the UN and Amnesty International this would be a infingement on USA’s god-given right to fight.

Are you being sarcastic, or are you serious? I can’t tell.

If Colin Powell went to the UN and said “Look, I don’t care whether or not Sadaam has weapons of mass destruction. We are going after his ass because he direspected us”, then UN council, would said, “Right on, brother!” I would too.

Goody, international politics is degrading into street gang wars.

I used to want to move to Canada… then Germany… now I just want off this IPU-forsaken planet.

The oil revenue thing is only part of it. Saddam had a few other motivations for invading Kuwait, amongst them:

  • Iraq had long-standing claims on Kuwait, which they asserted from time to time.
  • In a way, it was populist politics for the domestic audience, fighting against ‘colonialism’, ‘imperialism’ etc, like Morocco ‘invading’ Isla Perejil.
  • the need to show off his military to the rest of the world / region
  • He had a big army standing around after the first Gulf War (Iran-Iraq) with nothing to do. Big armies with nothing to do = big danger to heads of state.
  • Saddam owed a colossal debt to Kuwait after the first Gulf War. Something in the order of $80 billion, off the top of my head. Kuwait were not acceding to Saddam’s demands for the debt to be reduced / cancelled or the terms to be changed (a very silly thing to do with Saddam next door). By invading Kuwait, he cancelled that debt and intimidated the other gulf states into reducing / cancelling their debts.
  • Iraq lacked much access to the Gulf, and Kuwait would have given them this.
  • And of course, Iraq would get a lot of booty and a lot of oil reserves.
  • The “oil revenue that he thought was rightfully his” was, in large part, a saving-of-face thing. He couldn’t let a little place like Kuwait push him around.

Hope this is coherent, haven’t had my coffee yet.

This Fellow says that he’s outlined twebty-seven different rationales provided for the war.
Uncovering the Rationales for the War on Iraq:
The Words of the Bush Administration, Congress, and the Media
from September 12, 2001 to October 11, 2002”

Executive Summary.pdf

As I understood it at the time, the port access one is one of the most vital. Iraq only has one real port (Umm Qasar?) through which much of its oil had to be piped, since the northern pipelines to Turkey went through Kurdistan and were unreliable. Also, the oil needs to be pumped through Turkey, which shaves some of the profit.

The problem is very similar to the age old warm-water port issue for Russia, which led to centuries of near constant regional warfare. An almost mirror situation is happening in Central Asia, where the -stans are trying to develop oil output (and water management), but are suffering because they are landlocked, and are fighting over whose pipelines (and water sources) go to who.

Try to imagine a situation where Louisiana was another semi-hostile country. Trade routes all along the Mississippi would be crippled, and we would have probably invaded it long ago. :wink:

Funnily enough, the CPA is having the exact same problems Saddam did- Umm Qasar in the south is bottlenecked and the pipelines in the north are under constant downtime for repairs from attacks.

  1. war on terror,
  2. prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
  3. lack of inspections,
  4. removal of the Hussein regime,
  5. Saddam Hussein is evil.
  6. liberation of the Iraqi people.
  7. the broken promises
  8. the imminent threat
  9. because we can,
  10. unfinished business,
  11. disarmament,
  12. connection to al Qaeda,
  13. safety of the world.
  14. revenge,
  15. war for oil,
  16. threat to the region,
  17. for the sake of history,
  18. preservation of peace,
  19. threat to freedom,
  20. the uniqueness of Iraq,
  21. the relevance of the U.N.,
  22. commitment to the children,
  23. gaining favor with the Middle East,
  24. stimulation of the economy,
  25. setting Iraq as an example,
  26. because Saddam Hussein hates the U.S.,
  27. and Iraq’s violation of international law.

I basically agree except I think most people underestimate Saddam and that is still a dangerous mistake.
He attacked Iraq in a bloody war where he used mustard gas. He attacked Kuwait. He attacked Israel.
He attempted to kill a former US President. He paid terrorists to bomb Israel. He crushed multiple internal uprisings.
He targeted US aircraft in the no fly zone (which were created because he crushed multiple uprisings).
He bought a nuclear power plant from France (thanks Israel) to make weapons grade material.
He was caught making fissionable material (using calutrons mounted on trucks) after the first Gulf war when he said he wasn’t doing so (he lied).
He buried stockpiles of banned weapons instead of destroying them (he lied).
He threatened to use the same chemical weapons in the second war that he claimed didn’t exist. (he lied).

While he wasn’t doing the above he was having his own citizens raped, dismembered and killed. He even had them video taped.

Saddam posed a threat to a region that controls a substantial supply of the World’s available energy. It is also a region where countries like Libya and Iran had a nuclear weapons program that was probably helped by Pakistan.

It is a given that Saddam is a brutal whack job. He lied about every weapons program he had. He made his weapons programs mobile. IMO, it wasn’t much of a mental effort to make them portable (it was the first thing I thought of when Israel bombed his power plant). Calutrons and centrifuges aren’t high tech machines and can be built and moved easily. He could process uranium (or hire someone to process uranium) on site. Not only does it not have to be in Iraq, It most likely wasn’t. He has a history of building large facilities underground. The same applies to nerve gas, mustard gas, and bio weapons. All the facilities needed to make these can be easily be transported.

I don’t know what Saddam was working on or how far he progressed. I am positive he wanted to possess a nuclear weapon. History has shown he was capable of doing something really stupid. It might have been Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or the United States. It’s just a function of time and money. Saddam had plenty of both.

Saddam posed a threat, and Iraqi’s pose a solution. By removing him you remove a near term nuclear threat. Bringing self-rule to the region creates a platform for other nations to follow. There is already great unrest in Iran with the current religious government. Since they share a religious heritage with Iraq it is logical to assume a bond will be reunited. This is why there is so much infighting in Iraq now. Religious groups do not want a democracy to form. If Iran follows Iraq in democratizing the region it will make a HUGE difference in how Muslims perceive themselves and their relationship with others.

[QUOTE=MagiverBy removing him you remove a near term nuclear threat.[/quote]

Despite no evidence of any attempts at producing nuclear capabilities in the past decade

Yea, maybe those Turks and Egyptians will final- what? Oh. Damn.

You mean the pissed off students? There is more great unrest in California than Iran.

What? They hate Iraq. Their entire goal in the region is to convert Iraq to a subservient religious state.

Sure they do. They have majority. The Sunni really don’t want a democracy, though. The infighting is about who will control Iraq after we leave. The fact that we are still there is an annoyance.

If Iran democratizes, I’ll convert to Catholicism and spend all day blowing priests. I’m a little old for them, but I have practice.

OK by me.


Going back to the OP, there certainly can be justified wars that don’t defend our freedom. Look at Bosnia (well, I think it was justified.) If we act to stop genocide, it would be justified without defending our freedom.

But the Iraq war does neither. As for them being a threat, after ten years of sanctions the Iraqi army would have had a hard time taking on the Sopranos.

I think you are wrong. The entire scenario was a huge mess, and we were played like harps. I’m still trying to verify (for myself) what really happened, but I think it is safe to say that the KLA is hardly the type of organization we would want to support. The conflict we stepped into there is WAY more complex than the Israel-Palestine mess, and we didn’t treat it with enough respect… I won’t discount the abuses by the Serbs, but after the dust has cleared, it looks a lot different than it did.

I agree.