If Bush lied about the threat Iraq posed to American and the rest of the world, what were his reasons? If he didn’t feel Iraq was a threat why did he go to war? What was to be gained for the country and himself? Surely, he and members of his adminstration knew they would be caught if he lied. Why risk so much to take out Saddam if they didn’t feel he was a threat?
Can I buy a vowel?
Well do you see many people pushing him against the wall due to those overdone excuses for a war ? The media is feeding off his hand and the general public is happily waving flags… not many care about the evidence.
Check this thread out: Ignorance, War, Lies and Fox News
Reasons for it ? Major reconstruction contracts for his friends… military adventures are great for political reasons too. Iraq was Babylon… Babylon was the City of Sinners. Military expenditures are great pork barrel material. Control of Iraqi oil by itself could be a major gain. Strong posturing (muscle flexing) by using Iraq as an example.
If Bush Lied?
Is he a politician?
Was his mouth moving?
Were sounds coming out?
Yes? He lied.
Lying is only wrong if you are under oath. Didn’t you know that?
He must be as stoopid as most of the posters on this Board assume he is. Start a war based on a lie, knowing full well the lie will be uncovered as soon as the war is over.
Of course he didn’t lie.
Yes I’ll take propaganda for $1 please.
So… Mr. NSA, give us a clue. What happened to all those nasty WMDs? Hidden, destroyed or in the hands of terrorists? Or was it just a failure of the intelligence services?
With OBL uncaptured, he needed a victory to present as ‘closure’.
He knew that WMD aside, the Iraqi military was a pushover and hence his desired victory would be easily attainable.
For himself, the victory. For the country, oil and presence in the Middle East.
He was counting on finding WMD. Now that this has not occurred, he is counting on doublethink on the part of his supporters to pretend that regime change rather than WMD is and always was the casus belli.
The risk of defeat was always tiny. There was a risk of unnacceptable collateral damage from urban warfare, but this did not materialise. Oil, ME presence and, of course, the much needed victory were considered worth the risk, given that he felt certain that such blatant hegemonic aggression would be justified by WMD finds.
The real risk was that WMD would not be found, a protracted guerilla war would cost many times more US lives than the initial conflict, and popular Iraqi sentiment would eventually turn against the occupiers who were then faced with the choice of crushing dissent Soviet style or withdrawing to allow Iranian style theocracy and renationalisation of the oil infrastructure.
My take is that he lied but he thought he was right. Similar to what happens in certain traffic stop situations with police: I’m sure that there are drugs in that car, so I’ll stop it and check. If I don’t find drugs I’m sure that there is something else I can pin on them.
It helped that Saddam is fairly universally deemed evil, so even if you don’t find WMD then you’re a hero for overthrowing his evil regime, right? Bush and his advisors probably didn’t count on some folks holding him to task for his methods.
I suspect that the White House believed the INC, Chalabi et al. I also suspect that they wanted to believe what was coming out of the INC for various reasons. A brief look into the history of some of the advisors to our pres will be enlightening. Several have close ties to Israel, (most nototriuosly, Perle was caught giving Israel clasified info in the seventies), and it’s various apparati. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with having ties to a country, but when strategy papers authored by these advisors for that country call for the same things as strategy papers authored for the US it seems that there shoud be some fact checking, second guessing and second opinions.
Since the INC , through the OSP was providing the White House cabal with the kinds of things that they wanted to hear, the WH may’ve been over confident in their assessment of the risk/ reward ratio for the Iraq adventure.
I think that there were a series of cascading misjudgements that had serious ramifications. Certainly there were lies told. What they were and how demonstrable they are is a matter of much debate.
[li]Secure Iraq as a source of foreign oil for maintaining American economic strength (the PNRC/neocon angle)[/li][li]Revenge on Saddam for Gulf War I (the legacy angle)[/li][li]Revenge on Saddam for imagined ties to 9/11 attacks (the “War on terror” angle)[/li][li]Financial benefits to oil business croneys, and portfolios of self and Dick Cheney (the bling-bling angle)[/li][li]Generally clueless “the USA can kick any nation’s ass and not break a sweat” posturing (the dumb macho jock angle)[/li][li]Military victory as a catapult to re-election in 2004 (the politico angle)[/li][/ul]
All IMO, of course. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the collective decision to lie about war was made because of all or most of those factors.
I have yet to hear of an independent assessment of George W. Bush that truly claims the man to be a great intellect.
This is all academic anyway since with the release of the Kay report we know that Bush did not lie.
Since the end of the war we have found out that Iraq:
Had been supporting terrorists such as Al Queda.
Had an ongoing WMD program that was be concealed from UN inspectors
Had missiles that were against UN resolutions for them to have
Were trying to buy even bigger missiles
Was commiting systematic human rights violations of its citizens on a truly massive scale.
These along with Saddam proven willingness to use WMD and his willingness to start wars with his neighbors prove that Bush was right all along Iraq was a clear and gathering danger to the world and regime change was the only way eliminate that danger.
Bush took a huge gamble on Iraq and anyone who thinks he did it based on a lie is as dumb as they think Bush is.
Personally I feel that Bush and his administration didn’t ‘lie’ in the broad sense, though I’m sure lies were told…as Danalan said he’s a politician and his lips were definitely moving. In the broad sense though, I think that he/they really thought that Iraq had WMD.
However, I don’t believe that WMD were the primary reasons for the US to do what it did. Nor do I believe that oil contracts to his buddies was a PRIMARY concern either, though certainly securing the oil in the region is a goal of not only the US but of the industrialized world in general.
I think that the primary reasons for the war were, in order of importance to the decision process (IMO anyway):
Assertion of US power in the region, or ‘sending a message’. By showing a massive display of US force and military prowess, I think that Bush and his buddies felt they could cow the other powers in the region and throughout the world…the message being don’t fuck with the US. Basically they were saying to them “THIS could happen to you, so wise up and don’t piss us off”. Personally I think Bush and Co. miscalculated here, though I suppose that the POWERS (as opposed to the people) in the region have certainly sat up and taken notice…and not just in the region either. Only time will tell how damaging this all has been…we are still much to close to the events to judge how bad (or good?) it might turn out.
The creation of a true democracy in the region/regime change. I think that Bush and Co. really thought that if they destroyed Saddams regime they would be able to create a democratic state in our own image (snort) that would have close ties to the US in the region. My guess is they felt that such a state would set an example to the other states/peoples and act in such a way to spread democracy and good will towards the US to the other countries in the area. In addition, it would put vast oil reserves in the hands of a ‘friendly power’. Again, I think that Bush and Co. miscalculated both the feelings in the region and in Iraq, as well as what it would truely take to create such a state in a region without any tradition of democracy at all. I think that they TRIED to do all this, but to also do it on the cheap without spending a lot of money, and I think that it was a major miscalculation on their part. Again, only time will tell how things work out (and how much its all going to cost us), and I conceed that it COULD come out something like they envisioned at least in Iraq. I don’t think its likely, but it IS possible I suppose.
Special circumstances. Basically I think Bush and Co. went after Iraq because we COULD. Saddam had a history of being a pain in the ass in the region. He was flaunting the UN resolutions he signed after the first gulf war, being beligerant, and generally making himself not well loved in the US. He was thumbing his nose at the US every chance he got. There was a window of oppertunity with the American people post 9/11, and real antipathy toward Iraq and Saddam that allowed Bush and Co. to do what they did. There were also some quasi-legal fig leaves they could hide behind from previous UN resolutions and such. Again (god I’m getting repetative here) I think Bush and Co. miscalculated on the backlash against America by taking essentially unilateral action against Iraq would be with the world community. I think that they expected innitially that there would be SOME backlash, but that the various countries would eventually come back into the fold. Hasn’t really happened, and I don’t see much indication that it will any time soon.
Cynical pandering to the American people. Post 9/11 the people of the US basically wanted the administration to do SOMETHING…anything. They wanted blood basically, and weren’t going to be placated until someone died…preferably lots of someones. Sorry, but there it is in black and white. You saw it everywhere, with citizens in shock and angry AND afraid. Not a good combination. I think Bush and Co. pandered to those feelings (and even stoked them for their own gain) and used them to launch their war in Iraq for the above reasons, but also because I think they knew instinctively that a majority of people wanted something tangable…some revenge, getting some back, kicking ass and taking names, etc etc.
Those are, I think, the major reasons Bush did what he did. I think that the rest of the ‘reasons’ given such as fat contracts for his friends or ‘revenge’ for the first gulf war are either secondary consequences that weren’t major factors, or plain bullshit.
People on this board tend to demonize Bush and his administration I’ve noticed. He’s just a man, and he makes mistakes and fucks up same as anyone else. If the majority of the US citizens think he’s fucked up enough, he will be gone next year…that its my hope that he doesn’t get re-elected. However, demonizing him is just stupid.
You’re such a card puddleglum.
I don’t think you understand the media or the public of this country…
What the Kay Report proves, Puddleglum, is that Saddam wanted WMD programs, and kept trying to start them, and kept failing because the inspections, the sanctions, the embargos, etc., were effective at preventing even trivial progress towards WMDs.
I think the OP has it backwards, as it implies that there were motives first, and an idea afterwards. I think invading Iraq was one of those big ideas that caught on, and found whatever justification it needed along the way. None of the reasons posited so far seem convincing to me as the first step; they all seem convincing as post hoc justifications for an idea that caught on, like this:
“Why don’t we invade Iraq?” [laughter from all].
“Hey, we could throw a bunch of contracts Haliburton’s way! That’d bring in the campaign contributions in 2004.” [less laughter]
“Wouldn’t that make a great Christmas present for Poppy?” [snickers]
“C’mon… we’d never get away with it! How could we justify that?” [incredulous disbelief].
“We could say they’ve got WMDs. Sure, left over from Gulf War I”
“It’s a crazy idea, but boy, it would sure make Syria and Iran pay attention.”
“Nothing like a good foreign war to distract the electorate from economic troubles.”
That’s a facetious take on it. I actually think that something similar to that took place over a year or so, when good news from Afghanistan tapered off and the Bush administration was looking for a way to keep the momentum in the war on terror.
Profit - Much like the massive tax cut, this war and the control of Iraq’s natural resources has, and will continue to be, a financial windfall for many of the Bush administrations largest campaign contributors (particularly from the energy sector).
Perhaps they did. However, once American boots were on the ground in Iraq it became impossible to simply turn around and leave. The lie need not have been bullet proof, it only needed to be convincing long enough for the public to pressure local congressional representatives to give Bush the authorization to use military force, which happened in October 2002. Once that was achieved, cooking up the reason to invade Iraq was a simple matter of producing a barrage of unprovable lies (yellowcake uranium from Niger, high-strength aluminum canisters, mobile bio-weapons factories, etc, etc ad nauseam) until the invasion began. Then the jingoistic media talking heads combined with “on the scene” embedded reporting took the lead in shaping public opinion.
Please refer to section labeled Reason