what if bush said "I'm Wrong"?

alright, hypothetical situation for the anti-war fokes…

what if tommarow morning you woke up to a news report of bush saying “I was wrong, we were wrong, sorry saddam!” and over the next week or so each and every sanction was lifted off iraq and all troops stood down. we would all clap and cheer, but what then? write the future of iraq for me.

start with this assumption: without sanctions iraq could sell its oil freely, and due to the volume of oil in that country we could safely assume that saddam would become one of the richest men in the world. this is a fairly safe assumption, right? if he could sell oil with no restrictions, he would be makeing trillions per year.

my request for anti-war people: write a speculitive fiction on how iraq would be in 10,20,50 years, what would happen when saddam died? what would he do with his money? give it to his people? what would his relations be with the world, with USA, with iran?

Well, I’m not gonna do that…

But I feel free to predict that in two years time GWB would be looking for work with Halliburton or some such. If he backs down to that extent he’s finished in politics.

I’m half-way convinced that if a politician ever said "I’m wrong, it would be the seventh sign of the Apocalypse.

If they’re caught in a dead lie, or cheating on their wife, or their taxes, or if they’ve run over a small child when drunk, you’ll hear all sorts of apologies. But for making a poor policy decision? Never! The DECISION was always right: circumstances were wrong. They may make excuses (assuming they admit something went wrong on their watch) but never apologies. They think that to say, “Hey, sorry about what happened,” is the kiss of death to re-election.

This is so hard to say. Saddam’s son, and heir apparent, Uday, is by all accounts worse than his father, and (according to one book I have read) vowed to be a harsher ruler when he gets his turn. The idea of Saddam giving his money to his people is downright comical.

As to what Iraq’s relations with the USA will be in 10,000 years’ time . . . well, who’s to say that there will be a USA? Considering that no country has yet gone through three hundred years without a major change in government style, you never know. If history teaches us anything, it’s that major changes can happen in a generation or two, completely unsuspected by the previous, and there is no such thing as eternal stability, even in nations which see themselves as everlasting.

Perhaps Canada will rise up, and annex us into their nation. Perhaps the Middle East will meld into one nation. Perhaps none of us will be here due to a nuclear exchange. Perhaps we will fulfil the whacko UN-phobics’ predictions and truly become a one-world government. Perhaps Iraq will become a Catholic nation.

The possibilities are endless. Only wish I had a time machine so I could see how things turn out.

Hypothetically speaking, Bush would be finished. The Republican Party would lose big in 2004.

Hypothetically speaking, until Bush resigns, is impeached or voted out of office in 2004, the country will turns its back on Bush and the Republicans. The blame game will ensue on a massive scale and unless there is some leadership in such a vacuum, we run the risk of economic and political breakdown.

Hypothetically speaking, the Axis of Evil countries may be embolden to exact some sort of revenge upon America for taking them to the edge. We may find ourselves in a war of our own making but floating aboard a rudderless ship.

Hypothetically speaking, Saddam could rebuild his oil infrastructure but I doubt go on to world economic glory. If he is cahoots with terrorists, they will exact revenge upon America. America will in turn respond with WMDs and all bets are off.

Hypothetically speaking, Bush would never live a comfortable after presidency.

Well, in 12 years, President Jeb Bush finds himself mired in economic recession despite 8 years of a booming economy under the leadership of President Kerry. President Bush decides that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is the most evil man on the planet. He supplies Hussein with weapons to engage Saudi Arabia in war.

Also, the U.S. would lose the ability to pose a credible threat to other rogue states, which may embolden lots of them and inflame radicals throughout the world.

Fareed Zakaria, who is by no means a Neo-con (or even a Republican), has an article on just this subject today: Don’t Open a Credibility Gap.

Michael Jackson has surgery to make himself black again, Former presidaent Clinton joins a monastary with a vow of celebacy and yes, Kerry is elected president.

In 2199 the peoples republic of Antartica use billions in oil money to build a giant thrust rocket to change the now north - south axis of Earth to an east = west axis. Both Iraq and the US plunge into an artic freeze.

Not quite the scenario envisioned by the OP, but apropos the question, is the first “News In Brief” article here.

I wasn’t really talking about what would happen to bush… sorta… ignore that… I want to know what would happen to iraq… if it was decided everything was hunkie dokie…

just imagin bush has a heart attack and dies, or something… ignore that part…

and I mean 10 or 20 or 50 years not 102,050 years…

what if bush said “I’m Wrong”?
Who’d believe him? :smiley:

I know that this is only a hypothetical, and that my response is going to seem something of a hijack, but here goes anyway…

The quoted paragraph implies, especially since you’ve addressed your question to “anti-war fokes” [sic], that all those who oppose the war plans against Iraq are also calling for all other sanctions, oversight, etc. to be discontinued. This is far from the case.

I consider myself “anti-war fokes,” and i also oppose the way that economic sanctions have been implemented to the detriment of much of the Iraqi population. However, i do not advocate simply getting out and leaving Saddam to his own devices. I support continued, even strengthened UN monitoring of Iraq, with the US playing a role. I also support denying Saddam Hussein the ability to manufacture weapons of mass destruction, although i urge that this be done in such a way that the Iraqi people are not denied the supplies that they need to survive (e.g. water-purification equipment).

In an ideal world, i’m also all for having SH booted as Iraqi leader. I just don’t believe that the current US war plan is the way to do this.

I’m not trying to start a whole new debate here. I’m just pointing out that your OP implies (or at least, i infer from it) that all “anti-war fokes” hold a particular set of attitudes; the reality is considerably more complex.

sigh… I’m not going to get anything but hijacks… am I?

the phrase ‘anti-war’ was chosen because there is a similar thread asking a similar question of ‘pro-war’ folks.

can no one answer the question? ignore what would happen to bush, ignore what would happen to america, what would happen to saddam and iraq if …aliens went in time machines and brainwashed this war and all hostilitys towards saddam away…

somehow I really imagin no matter what I come up with for a hypothetical… no one will answer the question… anyone that is against war, what is your plausable time line for the next 50 years? what becomes of iraq?

The idea in the OP that Saddam will become a very rich man is not important. For one thing he already has 7 palaces in Baghdad and I have no idea how many more in the rest of the country. I heard lately that he has only been out of Iraq once in his life and that was a hurried trip to Egypt. My point is that there is only one thing the man is interested in and that is power. He will not decide to start taking holidays to gamble in Monaco. Within just a short time, we would have to go back, but that time we would have to face a much stronger Iraq.

Also the idea that there is some magical way of getting Saddam out of power is wishful thinking. Does anyone remember the old commerical “You can pay me now or you can pay me later”? We can pay the price now and a much larger one later.

Dude, i understand your frustration, but the truth is i really wouldn’t even hazard a guess. As a historian, it takes me enough effort to make sense of the past, let alone predict the future with any certainty, especially regarding a country about which i am not as fully informed as i would like to be.

Although i am against going to war right now, i make no claim that avoiding war will necessarily result in a future of harmony and light for the Iraqi people.

In the short term, not much would change, i don’t think. Saddam would remain in power and would continue in much the same vein as in the past. If he managed to retain power until his death (i.e. in the absence of a coup, revolution, etc.), the period after he died would be extremely important.

If history shows something about authoritarian rulers and dictators (not always exactly the same thing), it is that it can be very difficult to predict a country’s path after the leader’s demise. For example, many in Spain expected little to change after the death of Franco in 1975, but the transition to democracy was actually quite rapid.

And, while Kruschev’s speech denouncing Stalin’s excesses didn’t herald a major change for many Russians, it was still a sign of a break with some of the ideas and practices of the past.

Already there is considerable conjecture over what might happen in Cuba when Castro kicks the bucket. His strong personality and his importance as the leader of the revolution means that things may not be able to go on as they are without him. Of course, some see this as a good thing, others as a bad thing.

Sorry i can’t do any better than that, but the future is too fraught with uncertainty for anything but short-term predictions.

its just… so many people are anti-war… and it seems like NO one can give an answer to “what would happen if there wasn’t a war” which to me seems like one of the most important things in an anti-war point of view.

Step One: no war
Step Two: ???

and yeah, hes a rich man as it is right now, but heavens imagin how rich he would be if he wasn’t under sanctions? or is part of the anti-war idea to be in favor of sanctions untill the end of time? I somehow doubt that.

I suppose my main response to this is: don’t you think the burden of justification should be on the shoulders of those who want to drop the bombs, rather than on those who don’t? “Why shouldn’t we bomb the crap out of someone?” doesn’t seem like a very good starting point when discussing geopolitics.

And how many angels sit on the head of a pin?

Asking what-ifs, regardless of pro-war, anti-war attitudes of the folks here, let alone what if no war or what if a war, really has no definitive answer any way you look at it.

You may not like the responses in this thread but so what. At the end of the day, are any of the posts made by folks who really know what’s happening, have the capability to comprehend all the nuances to every scenario, and can predict with certainty what the outcome(s) will be? If anyone can, perhaps posting to the SDMB is better served with a 1-900 number, predicting the future and making some money at it.

No, wait. That’s been done before.

Asking for specifics when specifics aren’t available will just make your life miserable. Enjoy the opinions and debate for what it’s worth. You cannot ask for more than that.

owlofcreamcheese, you’re asking us to predict outcomes based on a course of action that is not pursued. Perhaps you’d have better luck asking which courses of action we think should be pursued, and what benefits we see deriving from those courses. -And it might also be helpful if you could explain your preferred course of action (which seems to be invasion) and the benefits you expect to see from that course.

After all, if us anti-war fokes have to be fortune tellers, so should the hawks.

well… how do we treat iraq? give me a plausable ‘no war’ senario. do we keep iraq under heavy sanctions till the end of time? do we lift the sanctions and trust sadam to use the trillions of dollars that would give him wisely? if we let him develop an army how can we trust him to use it correctly? if we don’t let him develop an army how can we be sure that someone WITH an army (terrorists) won’t take over the government and use the trillions of dollars for evil sort of things. what about in his old age when he has nothing to lose?

what could the world suggest that would have a favorable outcome? what treatment of iraq would in the long term have something resembleing a good outcome? imagin we listen to the world, what would they say?

Step One: No War
Step Two: ???

I’m not asking you to predict the future, thats not possible, I just know that after you have a step one, you can’t just freeze time and never have a step two. I just want a reasonable idea of what someone that is anti-war hopes WILL happen in regards to iraq. something has to happen, even ignoreing him is something (and do you define sanctions as ignoreing him, or acting aginst him?)

why do you want no war? beyond “war is bad”. what future of iraq could reasonably happen that won’t lead to a worse war 10 or 20 years in the future?

owl: Nitpick - Iraq has no need to “develop” an army; they’ve had one all this time. The question is one of prohibiting an Iraqi military capable of predatory adventuring against other countries.

Well, here’s the first part of a plan that might be accepted by a considerable portion of “the world.” Keep in mind, though that the intended outcome needs to be not only specific and verifiable, but also acceptable to world opinion. “Regime change” doesn’t quite cut it for specificity, and is even more iffy in terms of international diplomacy.

How about we assume the goals include at minimum the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions?

Step One: Toughen the inspection regime, backed up by sufficient military force to follow through with the destruction of prohibited weapons. Part of this would be a gradual reduction of US troops in the region to a lower (but by no means numerically ineffective) level, keeping the equipment and specialized units necessary to support an enforcement mission rather than an invasion. Benefits would be continued disarmament of Iraq without major loss of life and with greater international cooperation and approval.

Step Two: Gradual negotiated loosening of specific sanctions under international monitoring. (Be ready to reimpose sanctions if necessary.) The long term goal should be complete elimination of sanctions after disarmament has been “full and verified” and after a monitoring regime is established to replace the inspection regime. Benefits include better US-Arab relations and opening of trade in Iraq for US companies, plus even more outside control of Iraq’s ability to reestablish a war machine.

Step Three: Reevaluate the nature of regional politics. Reassess US mission. This is as far as one can reasonably plan. If disarmament can be verifiably achieved, and regional security established, then an expansion of the US mission to include diplomatic and economic sticks and carrots aimed at moving Iraq (and her neighbors) toward democratization.