Humanitarian Motivation for Invasion of Iraq

[Nitpick] xtisme, Clinton did not send troops to Somalia, Bush Sr. did. The troops were already in Somalia when Clinton took office. [/Nitpick]

The OP is quite right and justified in his chastising those who supported and support the ar in Iraq. The question is about motives. The motives or justifications manifest for the war in Iraq were 1. WMD 2. Terrorist links and so perceived terrorist threat 3. Getting rid of Saddam so as to liberate the people of Iraq from an oppressive regime.
All three reasons exist in equal measure, if not more, for several other countries, including Sudan. How come then the US does not exhibit the same motives and justification for these places?
This difference makes the motives suspect and thus those who perpetrate are thus liars.

Yes, I knew that. Good point…I mis-spoke there. I was talking of other things and wasn’t paying attention to exactly what I was writing there, conflating Bush sending the troops in and Clinton bringing them out as Clinton doing it all. Thanks for the clarification/correction DtC. :slight_smile:


1)The items you list as reasons for war are not exhaustive. Look up HJ Res. 114, the authorization for the use of force in Iraq resolution passed by congress. It includes many other issues which clearly do not apply to Sudan.

2)The US does, “exhibit the same motives” for places like Sudan. We simply don’t invade each and every one. The reason for this may be found in the many other reasons for the war in Iraq.

3)the differences between Sudan and Iraq do not make the motives for actions in either place suspect.

4)Even if they did, suspect motives does not make anyone “thus liars”.

5)Thank you for restating the OP without the odd musical analogy.

Didn’t we have pretty much this exact same problem in Afghanistan?

And that’s just the rub. Some of us supported it in part because it was presented as a repudiation of the last 50 years of “He’s our son-of-a-bitch” realpolitik where we supported dictators because they were “stable.” But whenever this is spoken out loud there are cries of “arrogant moralism”

Good for you. Surfing from forum to forum last winter, I witnessed the pro-war crowd defending dubious evidence of WMDs. On televison WH officials were pointing fingers and screaming about WMDs. Only when put under pressure did these people say: “Oh, you know, Saddam is a bad man also”.

Bush declared a Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes, not a Doctrine of Human Rights. Even in the link you provided is the word “human rights” mentioned only once. Maybe it’s not what you say that’s important, it’s what you repeat.

As for the realpolitik of governing by proxy, by supporting stable regimes who are friendly to America and the West while suppressing their own people, nothing has really changed: The US (and parts of Europe) still supports suppressive regimes worldwide. In some instances the US has foreign military bases with more men than the host has soldiers in his entire country. Looking at Iran, I don’t think WH officials are very much concerned about the people there, their primary concern is the weapons Iran might get their hands on. Hell, the US even cooperated with Iran while taking down the Taliban. Today’s Iran is a very centralized, stable country, which could be good for the US because the Iran-India axis helps keep Pakistan on a leash. The leader of Pakistan is good for the US because he keeps the country stable and strongly centralized. But he’s also a military dictator who took power in a coup, there are no more free elections in Pakistan.

All in all, not one single tie has been broken, has it? But you bring a good point, which is that as long as the US continue to support friendly but suppressive regimes, world opinion will continue to be suspicious about american foreign policies. Did European nations do any better in their own “glorious” past? Not at all, sometimes far worse actually.

The problem with international affairs is that it needs two separate avenues, one for weapon proliferation and the threat this constitutes for fellow nations, and one for extensive abuse of human rights. We have the first but not the second. And as long as we don’t have the second there is never going to be majority support outside America to engage regimes such as NK and their likes.

Which is sad because I understand the need for taking down regimes such as those I mentioned previously.