So who thinks the U.S. will bomb the crap out of Iraq in the relatively near future?

The thread title is pretty self-explanatory, but I’d love to hear your thoughts, as the current U.S. administration’s rhetoric has certainly been ratcheted up over the past few weeks/months. Oddly enough, the level of rhetoric seems to correlate roughly with a) things not going well in Israel, and b) things not going well in Afghanistan. Or does it correlate with something else which just hasn’t manifested itself to me yet?

(Mods: if you feel this should be in IMHO, so be it. I thought that since it’s a deep and important question, and one which hopefully won’t have a specific answer anytime soon, if ever, that it should at least start off here.)

So who thinks:
a) threats to take down Saddam Hussein are a ploy to distract attention from Israel?
b) threats to take down Saddam Hussein are a ploy to distract attention from Afghanistan?
c) threats to take down Saddam Hussein are a ploy to help the Republicans do better in midterm elections?
d) threats to take down Saddam Hussein are a ploy to help the Republicans do better in the next Presidential election?
e) some other variation?

Please explain your reasoning, and indicate when (or whether) you think the bombing will commence. (Example: my best guy buddy thinks we won’t start until a year or so from now, because now or even a few months from now would be too soon to boost Dubya’s popularity for the Presidential election.)

Is that a moon around Planet Cynical? Geez, cynical-o-rama. Paging Machiavelli, your cynicism and captious* manner was found by Eva Luna. Sheesh, did your check to the DNC clear yet? Anyway, you may have a point. But…

Of course, (e), the attack will be out of geo-political, security, and military necessity. Or not. I await better refutations. Sorry, december, I could not resist that one.

:Rubbing temples: I need the Magic 8 Ball for the dates and times.

*You can’t fool me, I’m good at standardized tests. Hiding the ‘right’ answer in a dismissive fashion, the oldest trick of all.

Beagle, you’ve found me out, except for the DNC thing; they’re faaaar too conservative for me! (Besides, I prefer to make political donations in small, unmarked bills.)

Eva, you think that things are not going well in Afghanistan? Of course, Afghanistan is not a place with a history of things going correctly, but still, what do you feel is going wrong over there?
As to the OP:

D) We will soon ‘bomb the crap out of Iraq’ (select areas of it, at least), to remove a extremely dangerous and ruthless dictator & friends from power. No conspiracy involved.

Eva, you think that things are not going well in Afghanistan? Of course, Afghanistan is not a place with a history of things going correctly, but still, what do you feel is going wrong over there?
As to the OP:

E) We will soon ‘bomb the crap out of Iraq’ (select areas of it, at least), to remove a extremely dangerous and ruthless dictator & friends from power. No conspiracy involved.

Sigh…I thought I caught that D/E thing soon enough in the mystic submission process…

If the U.S. attacks Iraq, it will be for one reason only: Because the administration thinks that Saddam is too dangerous to stay in power, and that the risks of going to war are outweighed by the risks of not going to war.

You can debate whether they are correct or not, and valid arguments can be made on both sides. But the belief that they would do it for partisan gain or to ‘distract’ someone from something is treading dangerously into tinfoil-hat territory.

Believe me, Saddam Hussein is NOT one of my favorite people; I read human rights reports on a fairly regular basis. However, I think the timing of the ratcheted-up rhetoric is more than a little bizarre.

Why is the U.S. now courting the Kurds once again, the very ones we completely screwed in 1990-91? Was Saddam behaving himself for ten years, and now all of the sudden he decided to misbehave once again?

Do you guys really believe that all that is wrong with the world is somehow linked to Al-Qaeda, or do you think it’s possible that linking all nasty people to Al-Qaeda is an “easy” way to link what might be otherwise unpopular battles to something the American people/electorate is likely to support? Al-Qaeda may have many, many tentacles, but somehow I think it’s unlikely that they are behind every human rights violation on six continents…and since when does Dubya really care about human rights violations, anyway, as long as they don’t involve U.S. citizens?

Hey, Eva, you forgot “aa) threats to take down Saddam Hussein are a ploy to distract attention from Halliburton and other corporate scandals.” I’ve heard that one a lot too. :slight_smile:

At any rate, there will always be those who doubt the motivations of politicians. Hey, many conservatives were really sure that Clinton was bombing various Middle Eastern locations solely to distract from the burgeoning impeachment, so why is it such a big surprise when Bush is faced with the same doubt? Hopefully, those preaching that Bush will attack for only the right reasons showed the same kind of outlook with Clinton back then.

Not that they’re necessarily wrong. Bush would have to conspire with a great many relatively diverse people to go to war for completely the wrong reasons. I don’t think we’ll ever know how much thought goes into political implications, though, considering that I’m sure everyone in the administration knows that the Democrats, and the public, are watching like a hawk for any whiff of political expediency, and that alone might quash that.

Frankly, though, in the end it really comes down to one question: is it or is it not the right thing to do? If it is, no harm no matter what Bush’s reason is. If it’s not, I think it’ll be evident enough so he’ll be raked over the coals no matter why he did it.

Leaper, how bad do you think Bush would get raked over the coals if Iraq pulled an osama before we could get to him? Maybe the powers know something we don’t; not likely but possible!

Of course if Bush backs down after raising such a ruckus about “regime change”, he’ll leave himself open to charges of being even wimpier than his father.

I don’t think it’s politically motivated in such a short sighted way as everyone is looking at it.

I do think it is politically motivated. Bush comes from a line of Hegemonists who feel that Hegemony is the best thing for America, and you can look at America’s place in the world, and arguably they are correct if you look at America being the top dog as being what’s best for this country. Oil is a huge part of our economy, to such an extent that it can hurt our economy. We need to keep the middle east weak and we need people who will play ball. We are too dependent upon Saudi oil, so I feel that removing Saddam is probably done, not so much with the interests of Iraq in mind but the interests of the US in mind. We need to get rid of a powerful dictator who is opposed to us, when our footing with the Saudis is not so great. It’s all about power in the middle east, or more importantly, power over the oil that’s in the middle east.

There is also the threat aspect. Saddam is a major threat to us. I don’t think that benevelonce is involved, however I don’t think it’s pure selfishness either. I think it’s tribal (national) pragmatism. Our tribe is threatened by Saddam’s tribe, so we are trying to use the strife among his tribe against him while we go to war.

I personally am against this. However if we do it, I think we should commit majorly to nation building, as I hope we will continue to do in Afghanistan. I tend to feel that we should be isolationist up to a certain threshold. Not get involved in conflicts unless it DOES impact us. However, when it does impact us we need to strike fast, and hard enough that the enemy never recovers, then occupy for a while and get the country back on it’s footing so that it’s in conceivably better shape than it was prior to our entry. Kind of a mini-colonialism. However, do it in such a way that there IS an end, and avoid micro-management. No more humanitarian efforts in my opinion.

So in the end I don’t think we should go to Iraq, but if we do we need to unequivocably crush the current regime.

Erek

When I say we should stay there to help the country recover, I mean at least a decade with a reasonable amount of resources, as opposed to the half-assed way we do it now that leaves room for regimes to take power that will hate us 15 years down the road.

Erek

To summarize from a dozen or so previous threads: There are at least ten tricky problems (some of which are prerequisites) to overcome before anything happens (I listed the somewhere…) and a few reasons to continue with the not overly convincing rhetoric… Distinction: Talking a war and fighting a war – right now, Bush gets benefits by talking. War is highly speculative and extremely fanciful.

What he gets now from talking war includes:

  • Distraction from the corporate greed mess
  • He’s able to present himself as a war leader in the making for the purposes of the midterms
  • The barrel price and oil futures market continues upward (until this week when the war talk began to be perceived as fake by the markets. Finally). I believe the barrel price of West Texas whatsit and Brent Crude were at a 30 month high.
  • He is able to paint his self-serving agenda in patriotic terms.

That, this week, Bush again reminded us that he is a “patient man” is indicative of zero international support for military action against Iraq, but also the success (for him) of talking a good war.

The best judges on the likelihood of war (especially in the MidEast) include, IMHO, the oil analysts and a crucial indicator, oil market prices.
Inspectors back in by January if, if, in the view of Saddam, Bush can continue to maintain some degree of credibility – we may need to get closer to the brink first. Unfortunately for Bush, the international community isn’t playing ball.
Chances of US ground forces in Iraq ? errrr, anyone offering odds ?

During the last week Israel :

  1. Deployed two missile batteries.
  2. Vaccinated all it’s emergency medical services from small-pox.
  3. Sharon cancelled his trip to the US.

Something should happen soon.

The title and the OP are two completely different questions

>> So who thinks the U.S. will bomb the crap out of Iraq in the relatively near future?

Anything can happen but I doubt the US will go at it alone in the face of international opposition as it would be very counterproductive. Before it happens I would expect to hear expressions of support from Europe and other developed and Arab and muslim countries.

As for the motivations I am not so cynical. I may disagree with President Bush and I may believe he makes mistakes but I have no reason to question his motives.

Ridiculous. To distract whose attention from Israel, and for what purpose?

Ridiculous. Again, to distract whose attention? If we are talking domestic opinion, I am not aware of any widespread domestic dissatisfaction with results of the Afghanistan campaign.

May be of limited usefulness in courting domestic hawks, but at some point they will have to back up the words with action to retain any credibility.

d) threats to take down Saddam Hussein are a ploy to help the Republicans do better in the next Presidential election?

See above.

e) some other variation?

How about GWB and Co. sincerely, and rightly or wrongly, believe that Saddam assisted Al-Queda and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction?

I personally believe (right now at least) that no invasion will take place this year, due to the apparent negative response by US allies requested to join the “crusade” (Saddam’s term).

How about the personal vendetta theory?

Saddamn tried to kill George W’s father. Now that George W is president, he has the ability to use an entire nation to exact a very personal revenge. The “face” of the Bush family cannot be symbolically maintained if Saddamn remains in power. There is no going back now.

Yes, Saddamn is a pretty nasty dictator. But at least he is some kind of governement. International politics needs governments in order to work. It isn’t good to go about toppling them (even hostile ones) according to one’s whims because the very stability of our world depends on having governments to trade with and negotiate with. You can negotiate with a hostile government. Alliances and hostilities shift constantly, and we are now allies with governments that we probably wanted to destroy twenty years ago. Recognizing hostile governments is the first step towards resolveing our problems with them.

You can’t do anything when there is no government. Without governments, we have chaos. And the things that have sprung up from that kind of chaos have been some of the worst things our world has ever seen. If we continue the new trend of destroying governments if they simply piss us off, we will soon be looking a much scarier world than one with Saddamn in it.

But then again, I think I’m the last person left that believes that they right to self-government doesn’t have a clause stating “as long as the United States approves.”

Ummmm…please ignore all the "n"s at the end of “Saddam”. Really I wasn’t trying to be cute by saying “Sad-damn”

Something to remember is that the adminstration has a LOT of information we don’t have access to.

For that reason, for us to talk about whether we should invade Iraq is a bit like us sitting around in 1942 talking about when the Allies should invade Europe. There are many, many critical factors both pro and con that none of us know about.

You may have noticed that the FBI is seriously cracking down on leaks in the Senate intelligence committee. To the point where you could actually see a Senator or one of his aides going to jail. The stakes are very high, and there are obviously some really crucial secrets out there that the administration is terrified of leaking.

But I will also note that the difference between those who support the attack on Saddam and those who don’t is in large part determined by who has been given security briefings. For instance, Tony Blair is obviously ‘in the loop’, and he is strongly on Bush’s side, even in the face of tremendous opposition at home. Most of the members of the Senate intelligence committee, both Democrat and Republican, are also fully on the side of the President.

Given this, I believe there are some very serious concerns with Saddam that isn’t public. Perhaps they have hard intelligence that he has acquired fissile material, or they have uncovered more connections to Sept 11 than we know about, and can’t release the info to protect informants in the Iraq government.

We just don’t know. At some point, you just have to believe that your government is acting in good faith and has your best interests at heart. I believe that they do. I believe Clinton did. You can disagree about tactics, but this nonsense about wagging the dog and distracting the people is just paranoid fantasy.

If there were absolutely no reason to attack Iraq, don’t you think people like Colin Powell would be speaking up? Is the entire government willing to engage in war because Bush wants to protect himself from Haliburton? Believing so is about on par with believing the government conspired to assassinate Kennedy.