Seriously, why the war in Iraq?

This is what I remember- Weapons of Mass Destruction; Saddam is a clear and present danger and we’re not going to wait for him to strike first. This never rang true to me. I don’t know everything the US government is privy to, but I couldn’t convince myself to feel threatened by Saddam. Was this really all it was about?

Of course not. Those were excuses to give the US a fig leaf of legitimacy for its invasion. Why Iraq? Because the circumstances were there for the US to invade, fueled by SH’s own rhetoric and the distrust he and Iraq had inspired in the region.

Ok, that’s why we COULD invade Iraq…but why did we? 2 reasons I think. One was strategic access to the region. Obvious the ME region is vital to not only the US but to any other nation that uses oil on a large scale. If you followed along in the first and second Gulf War you got a good incite into how the US fights large scale wars these days. Months of logistics build up in a ‘friendly’ nation followed by a lightning series of attacks that quickly crush whatever conventional forces an opposing nation puts in the field. The key’s there though are the months of logistical build up and the ‘friendly’ nation. I think part of the plan in the invasion of Iraq was to install a government that would be friendly to the US and that would give us basing rights so that we could pre-position logistics supplies and equipment in case they were needed in this strategically vital region.

The second reason why we invaded Iraq I think is ideological. I think that Bush et al believed that they could install a true democracy into the region…and that once a true and successful democracy (that wasn’t Israel) began to flourish in the Middle East, the peoples in the region would see it and want what the Iraqi’s had…and that this would begin to erode both the other governments in the regions grasp on totalitarian power and erode the heavy hold of the fundamentalist Islamic terrorists.

I’m sure any number of posters will be along shortly to tell you why everything above is wrong. :slight_smile:


Maybe you didn’t feel threatened by Iraq, but that didn’t make the situation there less threatening.

We had been in a conflict, if not all out war, with the Hussein regime since 1990. Ever since the Gulf War, Hussein has played fast and loose with cease-fire requirements imposed upon him. He fired on our forces, refused to submit to an inspection system without corrupting it, cheated economic sanctions and sponsored terrorism and harbored terrorists in the Mideast.

Given all of that, it was clear that some resolution of this problem had to be arrived at. Bill Clinton certainly felt this way, in numerous actions taken against Hussein in the 1990’s.

Bush pressed Hussein to live up to his obligations with us, and with the international community. When he failed yet again, he faced military action.

I think we had a case for war stretching back years, so I regarded the conflict as inevitable, unless Hussein radically reformed. He didn’t, and so brought down a war.

My best guess is that the events of 9/11 made the rightwing strategy planners decide we could not have all our eggs in the Saudi Arabian basket. However much they may publicly act as if they believe the terrorists of 9/11 had a little to do with Afghanistan and a lot to do with Saddam Hussein, I’m pretty sure they know that they really came from Saudi Arabia. But unless we wanted to invade SA we couldn’t do much about that, and

a) we’re kinda friendly with the ruling folks in Saudi Arabia, and/or
b) the prospect of invading Saudi Arabia (Mecca, Medina) might have put the fear of holywar into them

But at the same time it became apparent that an increasingly powerful Islamic fundie force virulently opposed to us was operating out of SA and that the ruling folks either couldn’t or wouldn’t rein them in. So they figured no one would cry over Iraq so much — they were a despotic yet secular state and I guess they figured the Chimp-in-Chief could make it look like we had a legitimate and compelling reason to invade. And so with all the great subtlety and calculated misdirection performance at his disposal —

[Vizzini] Ooohh, lookie, what in the world can that be?[/Vizzini]
— he, uh, failed to do that leaving the entire world staring in perplexity and outrage. But I think that was the goal, to get a world-nod of consensus and domestic support on a trumped-up reason that would allow the US to invade Iraq so as to have a MidEast alternative to Saudi Arabia both oil-supplywise and (as xtisme says) strategic-military-locationwise.

Not at all. It was a combination of ideological motives and hard-nosed realism. Simply put, we needed to do the following:

(a) Reduce to potential future threat of pan-Arab fascism (though it admiteedly wasn’t lookig so hot)
(b) Diminish the power of Al Qaeda
© Establish an alternative for the people of the Arab world, an alternative to dictatorship or theocracy.
(d) Show that American power was not affected by 9/11, and do so in a way that displayed this fact to the center of the Arab world.
(e) Remove support and dependance on Saudi Arabia and remove the troops from there, but also to have some in the region and to make it clear that they had not retreated, but simply moved.

These goals feed into a number of more advanced goals, which in turn become out final goal of making the entire region relatively safe and prosperous. Ironically, Bush *does * accept to a limited degree the root causes argument. He, however, feels the root causes are islamic fundamentalism, tyranny, and the lack of a credible alternative till now in that world.

As for WMD’s, they are a worry now and were hardly a small casus belli before, but their importance was not that they woudl be used against the US specifically, but that they might eventually tear the entire region apart, making progress impossible.

Let’s see what you’ve got:

Please define this “pan-Arab fascism” you speak of and place it in the context of the Iraq invasion.

Great. And this had what, exactly, to do with I-R-A-Q? Of course, you’ll be ecstatic to know that it does now.

Truly a masterful move.

And this is because:

A-Some sort of Manifest Destiny/White Man’s Burden

B-Someone died and made the US the Kings of the world.


C-Simply a lame excuse for your own (d) and (e) below

So you pick a country to Shock and Awe and presto! Arabs are duly impressed and cowered?

How’s that been working out for you?

IOW, your friendly Imperialists move next door.

Geez, think it would have been a lot less messy if you’d called U-Haul?

Please. What self-serving dribble. Same as it’s always been in that region BTW.

There’s only the small matter that they were the SOLE reason that could have given the invasion a shred of legitimacy in the eye’s of the world.

So, now what? “Ooooopsie!”?

RedFury, I think you are confusing the question in this thread.

I believe the question is “What was this really all about?”, as in “From the perspective of this administration, what were they trying to accomplish with this move?”

You answered the question “Were any of the reasons legitimate?”

The first Iraq war ended in over a decade ago, when Kuwait was freed. The international alliance set a target and achieved it. What does your use of a subsequent ‘conflict’ mean?
Is the US in ‘conflict’ with Cuba? North Korea? Iran?

Since that war ended the UN had imposed economic sanctions on Iraq and there were both weapons inspectors in Iraq, plus regular flybys over Iraqi airspace.

Your use of the phrase ‘sponsored terrorism’ is presumably an attempt to link 9/11 and Iraq, despite there being no connection.
Americans have donated money to the IRA - they were certainly sponsoring terrorism? Why weren’t those US citizens arrested?

Bush failed to get a suitable UN resolution and went in anyway.
As an example of the ludicrous nature of the need for military action, the UK Parliament were told by Blair that Saddam had WMD’s ready to fire on UK bases in 45 minutes. Despite the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, stating that the case for war was not proven (and he’d seen all the ‘intelligence’), we duly followed Bush in.

Finally, when you say Saddam ‘failed to reform’, what do you mean? He certainly had no WMD’s and no ability to invade anywhere.
Of course he still had all that lovely oil…

How did invading Iraq diminish the power of Al Qaeda?

How was this not accomplished by the invasion of Afghanistan?

How does this differ from “nation building,” which the administration is quite publicly on the record as being opposed to?

From whom?

You are mistaken.

'nati, 10/7/02

I understood the OP quite well. And I also know the poster I was responding to was/is an avowed backer of this Administration in the Iraq matter.

Thus I responded to the royal “we” used in his very first sentence:

Beyond that, this is GD. So even if someone is making the case “from the perspective of” the Administration, it’s not really a green light for posting nonsense.

The reason for the Iraq war - circa 1998.

This topic came up in a debate with some friends a few weeks ago and an interesting thought emerged. What if the war in Iraq was more about establishing a battleground against militant extremists? At first read that should sound like a lot of political rhetoric, but consider what has happened since Bush declared victory:

Iraq has become a theatre for daily insurgent attacks, followed by daily military operations against said insurgents. These are the sort of operations that the US would like to undertake in places like Pakistan, S.A., Iran, and Syria, but can’t. The types of people the US are now fighting are the most extreme of those that hate the US and would seek to wage war. The war in Iraq has brought all of them out of the woodwork (of other countries) and into the open. And more importantly, this war has brought them face to face with the US military.

Up until now the US has struggled to use the CIA and other black-ops to gather intel on groups operating in hostile countries. The war in Afghanistan was a wakeup call to what was going on and how free these groups were to train, and how impossible it is for the US to curtail their activities.

So after major combat ended in Afghanistan, the US was able to sit back and look at the rest of the world and consider what was the next most logical step. The obvious answer seemed to be Iran and North Korea; but then there was Iraq. A country crippled by decades of war, a decade of sanctions, and a massive military presence already available. What is going on in Iraq, and a limited extent in Afganistan, is exactly what the US wants—an open war on militants.

PS-For anyone so inclined, reading through this ancient thread might help illustrate further why I replied to smilingbandit’s post the way I did.

War is stupid and insane

Warning: not for the faint of heart. :wink:

I figure it’s about oil. And, uh, more oil. Did I mention the desire to secure free-flowing oil? You might recall Iraq sits on top of the second-largest pool of ME oil. That’s a lot of oil. You know what Darfur ain’t got much of? Oil. Plenty of murderous Arabs, but not a whole lotta oil. Notice how we’re sort of low-balling the thing in Afghanistan? They’re flush with heroin, but not all that much oil. Did I mention the thing about oil? Oh, good. Let me say it again: The Iraq war was about OIL. Thanks.

Pssst. A bunch of idiots are going to tell you it was about national security. Ask the Londoners how successful TWAT has been. Or if anyone in Washington gives a shit about London.

The cynic in me supposes that the real purpose of the war is the same purpose that politicians always have: increasing their power. How this war might be accomplishing that end would, I suppose, be a topic for another thread.

Yeah, those idiots…they actually believe that securing the oil is in our national interest and part of our national security! Can you believe such idiocy? What a bunch of complete morons, ehe? :rolleyes:
Oil was certainly a key reason for the war…I doubt many folks are denying that. I doubt it was necessarily about Iraqi’s oil per se, as the US didn’t (and doesn’t afaik) get a lot of oil from Iraq. At least not as you seem to be implying that its about stealing the oil (or enriching Bush’s buds or whatever other, er, loopy, theories are floating around).

Look on a map sometime. Iraq is strategically vital ground right smack in the middle of a region full of oil…a vital national/international resource. I has some very, um, interesting borders with some notorious countries…countries who also have oil. The pile Saddam was on is and was certainly important…but so is the pile in and around the rest of the region. Check out where Afghanistan and look at a topographical map of the country some time before you start spouting off about no oil but lots of heroin. Was it a factor? Sure. Was it the ONLY factor as you imply? Um, no.


Yeah, the same idiots who couldn’t tell the fucking truth about it.

This is fairly spot on - the real estate of Iraq gives the US a strategic advantage in the region. Easier for us to protect our interests and project power, if need be.

Well…here’s where I think your wrong :slight_smile: I’m sure there were those in the administration would looked at it from this perspective, but I don’t think it mattered (from a strategic perspective) whether Iraq was democratic or not - just so long as it was compliant. If we could induce some sort of democratization, it caught hold and spread, then so much the better.

Because if one of the reasons WAS truly to install a (legitimate) democracy, then the administration couldn’t have a worse job.

I will issue my standard link to this as a damned-near mirror of my opinion.

Sorry, can’t summon the energy to be original.

Gee that’s frightening. Tie it in with the Downing Street memo and it is clear that 9/11 was just a pretext for the Iraq war.

The Clinton administration, in contrast, saw Al Queda as the biggest threat to national security.