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upsidedownforklift

Iraq: A decade of hell

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I'm not going to lie, I am terrified by things likes this. Firstly because I remember watching the build up and beginning of this War and buying it all without question and not stopping to question the media spin on it. Now looking back on it, the statistics speak for themselves:

 



And secondly it terrifies me that despite the truth coming to the surface people still ferociously defend it. With people still able to defend these atrocities and fall blindly for the garbage the media sells, are we still ripe for more of these wars?

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I supported the war in the beginning, too. My realization was that our political leaders don't know the first thing about defining, fighting and winning a war... Which leads me to the uncertain and uncomfortable position that we may be better off not trying to fight some wars that would otherwise be in our interest to fight.

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Which leads me to the uncertain and uncomfortable position that we may be better off not trying to fight some wars that would otherwise be in our interest to fight.

Yes, good point. When U.S. elites propose war, some folk will say "it is not fair to those foreigners, for us to fight this war". Usually, though, it is not fair to U.S. soldiers (and, secondarily to its citizens) to fight the war the way the elites want it fought. It's the Korean war, fought again and again.

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  They don't have much of an incentive to stray away from undefined protracted wars. It makes a lot of money for some people. On a somewhat related note... 

 

  

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I supported the war in the beginning, too. My realization was that our political leaders don't know the first thing about defining, fighting and winning a war... Which leads me to the uncertain and uncomfortable position that we may be better off not trying to fight some wars that would otherwise be in our interest to fight.

 

I'm not sure I understand this. Do you mean it was a war worth fighting just the leaders were too incompetent?

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I'm not sure I understand this. Do you mean it was a war worth fighting just the leaders were too incompetent?

Well, in retrospect, it was not worth fighting because Iraq did not pose a threat to the U.S., nor even a very significant threat to its neighbors. The whole WMD thing turned out to be false. Even if true, Iraq was chosen mostly as a convenient Middle Eastern target against whom opinion could be rallied... otherwise, Iran would have be the logical target.

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Well, in retrospect, it was not worth fighting because Iraq did not pose a threat to the U.S., nor even a very significant threat to its neighbors. The whole WMD thing turned out to be false. Even if true, Iraq was chosen mostly as a convenient Middle Eastern target against whom opinion could be rallied... otherwise, Iran would have be the logical target.

All indications are that, in 2004, American intelligence believed that Iraq is closer to nuclear weapons than Iran, and that they are also more likely to produce and sell chemical weapons. The administration went after what they were told was the more urgent problem, not the easier target.

This was in part due to failures in the intelligence community, but in a large part due to the failures of outside entities, like the Iraqi government (which was sabotaging efforts to investigate its WMD programs, in spite of previous commitments to allow them) and the UN bureaucracy in charge of (which, through years of fraudulent behavior, has become unreliable and impossible to trust).

I have seen no evidence of willful evasion or deception on the part of US intelligence. They were forced to make wild assumptions, by the circumstances.

Once the decision to go to war was made (I assume fairly early on in the process), the politicians did of course start a propaganda campaign to gain popular support for it. Yes, propaganda and deception are wrong and harmful in the long run, but it makes no sense to write up the war, with all of its consequences, to that propaganda campaign. I think it was the decision to go to war that spurred the propaganda, not the other way around. By the time Colin Powell was making speeches at the UN about WMDs, the decision had long been made. I blame some of the subsequent lack of public trust and support for America's wars on that deceptive propaganda campaign (including plenty of lack of support yet to come), but not the Iraq war itself.

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Let me preface this remark by stating that some of the statistics given in the film in the original post are not credible and the source is questionable.

Now, the recent Iraq war was a consequence of the incompetent ending of the first gulf war by Schwarzkopf, Powell, and Bush Sr. Ending it with an inspections regime was foolish. The Clinton administration and United Nations went along with it so long as they got their no-bid contracts in the oil for food program. Let the kids die so long as we get wealthier than god. Bush Jr. was honorable--so honorable that he went to war on no real national interest, but on "principle".

We get the government we deserve.

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I'm not sure I understand this. Do you mean it was a war worth fighting just the leaders were too incompetent?

Sort of. Incompetence may not be the right word. Better words would be confused, morally uncertain, etc.

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Sort of. Incompetence may not be the right word. Better words would be confused, morally uncertain, etc.

The entire premise of hunting for weapons of mass destruction would never have been an issue if we had not ended the first gulf war without satisfying our curiosity in that regard first. Given that Bush 41 acted incompetently, Bush 43 acted rationally to the extent that he followed the logical consequences of the inspection regime. That does not excuse him though. Nor does it excuse Clinton for pursuing the same policy put in place by Bush 41 and allowing a corrupt UN to handle the sanctions and inspections.

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Right, Aleph. I wasn't writing about WMDs or the decision to go to war. I was writing about the whole process once the decision was made to go to war.

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Let me preface this remark by stating that some of the statistics given in the film in the original post are not credible and the source is questionable.

 

 

Of course, I am sure they are as many are estimates that range widely depending on who is reporting them. However, I don't want to squibble over how many 10000s really died, 10000s are unjustly dead.

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Of course, I am sure they are as many are estimates that range widely depending on who is reporting them. However, I don't want to squibble over how many 10000s really died, 10000s are unjustly dead.

Yes, but the people responsible for those deaths are also out of power, and mostly dead.

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