Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the events of the last few months with interest. I’ve tried to be really careful not to fall into either the kneejerk pro-war camp or the kneejerk anti-war camp but there’s been something niggling at me for a while now. Something that seems not quite right with this whole Iraq thing and I think I’ve finally figured out what it is.
A couple of things have been puzzling me right from the start of this whole Iraq business:
We have long known that the US wanted regime change in Iraq but why the sudden urgency?
The arguments used by the government in favour of invasion (WMD, Iraqi links to terrorism) have always seemed unconvincing, almost as if they aren’t the real reason for war, just the pretext.
The decision to switch the focus of events from the war on terror to Iraq has puzzled a lot of people (me included).
I think I may have finally come up with a theory which answers all three of these questions. I was musing on this subject a couple of days ago when it hit me like a bolt of lightning and I thought “oh is that what they’re up to”.
There’s no “new” information in this theory, I’ve just jiggled around with information we already know and come up with a plausible explanation of why we’re invading Iraq. If this theory is true then it could be that a lot of people are missing the wood for the trees.
Forget about WMD (they probably don’t have any), forget about Iraqi links to terrorism (there are probably no such links). All this is just one big red herring.
Forget, also, all the conspiracy theory ideas - “it’s all about oil”, “it’s a grudge match - Junior wants to avenge his father”, “America wants to take over the middle east”. Some (or all) of these ideas may have a grain of truth to them but they aren’t what’s really going on.
So what’s really going on?
The aims of America and Britain in pursuing this war are threefold, and somewhat jaw-dropping in their sheer scope which is why no politician will ever come out publicly and admit any of this. The first aim is nothing less than:
The democratisation of the middle east
There have been rumblings in recent years about the youth of Iran demanding more democracy and even in Saudi, they have recently made noises about introducing democratic reforms once the US soldiers have left. The Kurds in Northern Iraq have already set up their own mini-secular democratic state.
The major obstacle to change in the middle east is Iraq. As long as Iran has Saddam next door, they are unlikely to countenance the idea of making any major changes but if Iraq were to become a stable democracy then the pressure for change in other countries in the region may become unstoppable.
We would see a domino effect similar to that which occurred in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union as one middle eastern country after another democratised.
The second aim is equally as awesome:
The destruction of al Qaida
How will removing Saddam destroy al Qaida? When OBL made his fatwa against the US he cited three “statements on which everyone can agree”. These three statements were:
That the US is hurting muslims by enforcing the sanctions on Iraq
That the US is defiling muslims by stationing troops in the Gulf area
That the US is hurting muslims by supporting Israel against the Palestinians
Once Saddam is removed the sanctions will be lifted - strike one
With Saddam gone the need for troops in the area will be much less urgent and Saudi has already said that it will soon ask the troops to leave it’s territory - strike two
With Iraq being a stable democracy, that will leave only one issue outstanding in the middle east, Israel. With less lunatics in power in the region the chances of movement on the Israel problem becomes much more likely - strike three
Once there is movement on these three issues then al Qaida will have nothing left apart from bullshit religious guff about restoring the Caliphate which most muslims take no notice of. Al Qaida will have been marginalised and their constituency will become much smaller.
The mere fact of democratisation in the area will give arabs a peaceful outlet for disaffection and will reduce the number of people who are attracted to these type of groups.
The third aim of the war is:
The resolution of the Palestinian situation
Saddam prolongs the conflict by giving money to the families of suicide bombers. As I mentioned above, once Saddam is gone the Israel situation will be thrown into sharp relief being the last major problem in the region. The domino effect of countries in the area democratising can only have a moderating influence on the conflict. Britain will be pushing the US to help find a solution “Hey, we backed you over Iraq, now you back us over Israel”.
The above three aims are all well and good but the day Saddam gets his hands on a nuke is the day it will all become a pipe-dream. Once Saddam gets a nuke, we will never get rid of him. He’ll be there threatening Israel for the rest of our lives. He’ll be there until the day he dies, and then his mad sons will take over. He’ll order the inspectors out of the country and possibly rebuild the nuclear reactor (who’s gonna stop him?).
And it doesn’t end there. Once Saddam has a nuke then Iran will have to have one too and maybe other countries will feel they have to have them as well. The domino effect will work the other way and we’ll be left with a huge nuclear standoff across the whole middle east. The whole house of cards that is nuclear non-proliferation will come tumbling down.
This nuclear standoff will never go away because no country will voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons unless all the other countries do too. This is the kind of scenario that could lead to WW3.
But it doesn’t have to be this way and it can all be avoided by the simple expedient of removing Saddam before it’s too late.
- the democratisation of the middle east
- the elimination of al Qaida
- the resolution of the Palestinian problem
And it all starts right here, right now with the liberation of Iraq.
So, the above is my theory. It may not pan out quite the way I have described but my contention is that those are the aims. Not all this baloney about WMD or links to terrorism, that no one seriously believes.
This theory would explain my unanswered questions above:
- it would explain the urgency
- it would explain why politicians can’t come right out and tell us what they’re really trying to do but instead they come up with this stuff about WMD
- it would explain the apparent shift of focus from the war on terror to the war on Iraq. There is no shift in focus, it’s all part of the same deal
I could be completely wrong with all this of course but hey, it sounds good to me.