Friday, January 14, 2005

Why the invasion of Iraq was justified

I previously explained why opposition to the invasion of Iraq is not based on on Libertarian principles. But with my last post being about Abu Ghraib, this is probably a good time to put in writing my additional thoughts on Iraq.

The way I see it, we didn't start a war in 2002. We were continuing a war that was started in 1991. Instead of finishing off Saddam back then (a bad decision), we agreed to a truce where Saddam Hussine would only be allowed limited sovereignty over his country. Between then and the beginning of the invasion in 2003, our military was patrolling the no-fly zone, and our planes were constantly attacked by Iraqi ground forces. So in response to people who say we "started" the war and that Hussein hadn't attacked us, that's a lie. He started the war when he invaded Kuwait back in 1990 and has been attacking us ever since.

Furthermore, Hussein also reneged on his agreement to allow weapons inspectors access to Iraq. A lot has been made of the fact that our troops didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. But I don't think that's the key issue. How were we supposed to know if he had them or not if inspectors were denied access to the country? I think that, even though Saddam didn't have any WMD, he wanted the world to think he had them so that he'd appear to be a bigshot.

How could we prevent other nations from aquiring WMD with Saddam thumbing his nose at us?

Furthermore, the coalition to contain Saddam Hussien would have crumbled in a few years if we didn't do anything. The status quo wasn't maintainable. From recent news stories, we know how big of a disaster the oil-for-food program was. And our European "allies" like the French were expressing greater interest in doing business with Saddam than containing him.

Bush has also been accused of invading Iraq in order to protect Israel, as if this were a bad thing. If our invasion helped our only true ally and the only Western oriented democracy in the region, then that's yet another benefit.

Clearly the Bush administration made a huge mistake in trumpeting actual possession of WMD as the only reason for the invasion of Iraq when there were a whole host of different reasons. But just because the Bush administration was incredibly stupid doesn't mean the invasion wasn't justified.

The invasion of Iraq was an amazing success. With only minimal U.S. casualties and in only a short amount of time, we ousted Saddam and took control of the country. The post-invasion occupation of Iraq hasn't been quite the success, but that I'll leave for a future post. This post is only about why the invasion of Iraq was justified.

22 comments:

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"He started the war when he invaded Kuwait back in 1990 and has been attacking us ever since."You mean when he tried to reclaim an original part of Iraq -- that had been arbitrarily carved off into a separate country by the British and then went on to steal Iraq's oil by drilling diagonally? An action that Saddam Hussein thought he had the US's implicit permission to take?

"How were we supposed to know if he had them or not if inspectors were denied access to the country?"UN Chief Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter said that Iraq was disarmed in 1997. The US didn't want to accept that, and demanded that Iraq account for every nut, bolt, document, etc. Considering that even the US loses track of some plutonium now and then, and we haven't even been bombed hundreds of times a year for several years (tends to make it hard to keep inventory when you're not sure what's been blown up, including some of your records), that was a ridiculous requirement.

I'm amazed that you can complain about Iraq's supposed noncompliance with UN resolutions in the same post you support Israel, the biggest violator of UN resolutions of any country.

What part of "I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals" do you not understand? Iraq did not attack us -- we initiated force against them. How can you call yourself a Libertarian and support this war?

R said...

"With only minimal U.S. casualties..."

The means to the end you're talking about had names, and faces, and photo albums. They had families and friends and co-workers. They went to movies and laughed and lit rooms up and kissed their lovers and hugged their children.

At least have the guts to confront the reality of "minimal U.S. casualties" about which you post with a disgusting cavalier attitude.

CRUEL KEV. said...

I believe that your blog is one of the best blogs at conveying your thoughts and views clearly. I agree with a lot of your views. I am a Republican (not to conservative), with Libertarian leanings. I do concur 100% with this post "why the invasion of Iraq was justified." It goes well beyond politics, It involves common sense. Keep up the good work! I have become a regular visitor to your blog.

Mexigogue said...

"So in response to people who say we "started" the war and that Hussein hadn't attacked us, that's a lie. He started the war when he invaded Kuwait back in 1990 and has been attacking us ever since."

I wasn't aware that Kuwait was one of the United States.

Charles said...

Pretty good post. Your commenters that complained about phrasing - hey, it's a blog post, not a researched, annotated essay. The charge to Baghdad is going to eventually go down in military history as a brilliant gamble of the longest and fastest attack ever. Likewise, Iraq's (and so most Islamic-conscript-dictator controlled) army will continue the arab tradition of military incompetence at the small to large unit size.

Who the heck still quotes Scott Ritter, who was very anti-Saddam, then found out to be a kiddie porn pedophile, then suddenly pro-Saddam apologist (after the big cash transfer to his bank account)? Talk about a democrat/liberal/nut case prime source for truth!

Jazz said...

Oh, great. Another whacko. This is a canned response, because it applies ever time somebody tries this.

Every time someone is saying that "the weapons weren't the main reason we invaded" or "we're there to spread democracy", be sure to ask them one question in a loud, clear voice.

"If, in the spring of 2003, the President had told Congress that Saddam had no WMD's and was not an imminent threat to the United States and her allies, but asked for permission to invade Iraq to liberate its people and establish a democracy, how many congressmen would have voted to authorize the war?"

I think we all know the answer to that one.

guy in the UNLV jacket said...

"Bush has also been accused of invading Iraq in order to protect Israel, as if this were a bad thing. If our invasion helped our only true ally and the only Western oriented democracy in the region, then that's yet another benefit."

How the hell is Israel a Democracy? They don't allow a whole class of people to vote, own property or live in their cities. They operate more of an Apartheid oriented system..You are not very bright are you?

mikeca said...

There was an argument that Iraq never fully lived up to the agreement that ended the 1991 Gulf war, and therefore it was time to finish the 1991 Gulf war, but had Bush made this his main argument, as others have pointed out, Congress would never have given him the authority to invade Iraq.

Iraq was not a threat to the US. Iraq has invaded both Iran and Kuwait. The invasion of Iran was probably approved by the US, but the invasion of Kuwait was clearly a threat to US strategic interest in large amounts of cheap oil from the Gulf region. You point out that Iraq fired missiles at US planes enforcing the no fly zone, but the no fly zone was not part of the cease-fire agreement that ended the 1991 Gulf war and the UN never approved the no fly zone. The no fly zone was simply declared by the United States and Britain. I believe that the US claimed it had the authority to do this as an enforcement action of some UN resolutions, but some other members of the UN with economic ties to Iraq, like France and Russia, questioned this. Iraq claimed that the US had no right to enforce the no fly zone and was violating Iraqi air space. Iraq claimed they were simply defending their national rights. It is a very weak argument to claim that the missiles fired at US planes enforcing the questionable no fly zone justified the invasion.

Finally there is the question of 9/11. Was the invasion of Iraq a reasonable response to 9/11? I think the answer is definitely NO. Radical Islamic Fundamentalist attacked us on 9/11. The main goal of Al Qaeda and similar groups is to overthrow the secular, pro-western governments in the Arab world, particularly in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria, and replace them with Islamic Fundamentalist governments. In the mid 1990’s the Islamic Fundamentalist had not made much progress in this goal. Egypt, Iraq and Syria had all brutally put down the Islamic Fundamentalist movements and Saudi Arabia was buying them off with oil money. Osama Bin Laden’s contribution to the movement was to refocus anger at the United States and Israel, rather than the real targets, in order to gain popularity in the Arab world. Bin Ladens’s idea was once Al Qaeda and the Islamic Fundamentalist had won some small victories against the US, this would make them so popular in the Arab world that countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to put down the Islamic Fundamentalist movements.

Iraq and the Ba’thest government of Saddam Hussein had brutally repressed Islamic Fundamentalist movements in Iraq. By invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein we have given the Islamic Fundamentalist a real chance to win control of Iraq, something they never could have accomplished on their own. We are now fighting and losing the battle for the control of Iraq. There is a significant chance that 5 to 10 years from now, Islamic Fundamentalist will control all or part of Iraq. Having foolishly decided to overthrow one of the strongly anti-Islamic Fundamentalist governments in the Arab world as a response to 9/11, George Bush has been unwilling to commit the troops necessary to make sure that Iraq does not in the end fall into the hands of the very people who attacked us on 9/11.

Steph said...

The crappy post-invasion situation in Iraq is the perfect reason why we should have *sincerely* gone to the UN. Once Bush got his WMD reasoning shot down, we would have started to make *real* progress getting allies and such. Granted, we may not have won over France/Germany/Russia or whatever, but at least we wouldn't have ruined our respectability in the global community in the process. (yeah, so some of those may not be words... :) )

And if we didn't, then maybe we shouldn't have gone there in the first place.

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"Your commenters that complained about phrasing - hey, it's a blog post, not a researched, annotated essay."Slopping writting reflects sloppy thinking.

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"Who the heck still quotes Scott Ritter, who was very anti-Saddam, then found out to be a kiddie porn pedophileScott Ritter was charged with arranging to meet a 16-year-old girl he met online. The case was dismissed, so according to our legal system he is not guilty of anything. Even if he did indeed do what the original charges said he did, given that 16 is the age of consent in some states, that is hardly the equivalent of being a "kiddie porn pedophile."

"then suddenly pro-Saddam apologist (after the big cash transfer to his bank account)?"Please be providing references for the bank account transfer.

"Talk about a democrat/liberal/nut case prime source for truth!"Well, he was right, wasn't he? Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, just like Scott Ritter said.

Jondalar said...

So-called 'progressives' are so predictable regarding Israel. They love to state how Israel is an apartheid state. For the record, Arabs on the west bank and Gaza are not Israeli citizens, so they dont vote. Non-Jewish citizens inside Israel do vote, do have representation, can and do serve in the army, in govt., in the Knesset, have more legal and voting rights than any Arab country, can pray to whatever deity they want , without fear. Israel takes in Jews regardless of race or economics. The Ethiopian Jews are just one example. For the USA, in numbers, it's the equivalent of taking in 4 and a half million people. Israelis and Jews are not a race; they are a fully rounded culture. To infer that a Jew is part of a race is itself either ignorance or racism on the accuser's part. To microscopically examine every wart and flaw of Israel and not equally examine in kind other countries is truly suspect as to motives. I believe it is , at worst, Jew-hatred, or, it is the bullshit coming from Euro-trash world without borders people who mview Israel as an anachronism because they actually believe in patriotism , nationalism , uniqueness, etc. The world without borders people believe it's time to erase all differences in the name of one, unified planet Earth. I, as an American, well, I mean, a US citizen, not to be confused with other Americans, prefer to trust in my country's borders and laws, rather than accede to the smug holier than thou French, for example. I name them in particular because I believe them to be perhaps the whoriest of so many whore nations that the lefties and 'progressives' somehow ignore when they focus on attacking Israel and the USA.

Steph said...

>I, as an American, well, I mean, a US citizen, not to >be confused with other Americans, prefer to trust in >my country's borders and laws, rather than accede to >the smug holier than thou French

And just who has suggested that we "accede to the smug, holier-than-thou French" (punctuation is a great thing)? The closest argument I have heard to such is that no country, *including the US,* should be allowed to attack any other country without a good reason. In addition, the people of the world should not have to find out, after the fact, that the invasion of a country was either unjustified or justified with lies.

On another note, I try not to trust blindly in *any* government's laws, as most are created for unnecessary or corrupt reasons

Jondalar said...

My reference to the French is in regard to the developing European Union, which will require member countries to relinquish certain nation state laws in favor of the EU's laws. France is in the forefront of this movement and they are doing it, perhaps one part because they believe in it and five parts in order to lead a broader and larger movement that may have the power to weaken the USA, politically and economically. France has a disgusting political past, more recently being that 2/3 of the French collaborated with the Nazis. I don't want my country influenced by les francais degoutant.
As for my grammar, all you have succeeded in doing with that low blow is personalizing this discussion. I don't like you, either

Charles said...

Sorry I didn't get back sooner, but I finally got 10 minutes to look this up for you and reduce it down some. Hope this satisfies the request for sources.

From sources like Time, Fox News interview with Ritter, and a Slate magazine article from 2002 (2 left wing and 2 right wing sources so it is balanced):

6 months is plenty of time to divert civilian resources to the production of WMDs. We can skip over the 4 years of no inspections.

He believed that he only achieved maybe 90% disarmament of all WMDs across the board.

We know Iraq produced liquid bulk anthrax (deteriorates after 3 years in storage).

He was blocked from unfettered access, even though the accepted UN documents, including the cease fire, required it.

He apparently missed truckloads of components being brought in and moved around the country, including missile gyroscopes, the CIA, Russians, and Israel watched move around.

We can skip the accusations of Richard Butler as a CIA spy, and when Ritter married a "young Russian girl" he met while an inspector in the Soviet Union, groups of which had in the past been sent as translators to trap Americans with sex and blackmail them. He investigated her and figured out her talking against her KGB handlers in private meant she was definitely not a spy. OOoopsss, Ritter was denied a security clearance due to this, his second wife, on the basis of having been "sexually compromised."

Guess we can skip the Ritter accusations that the U.S. dictated terms to the U.N. about the inspections.

He accepted money from a Detroit based, anti-American, Iraqi businessman to go to Iraq. The businessman has good connections in Iraq with Saddam's regime, connected to the foreign ministry.

He did accuse the U.S. and U.N. of not having the stomach to disarm Iraq, and that was when he finally resigned in 1998 - oh wait, sorry, Clinton administration.

Hmmm, $400,000 from that businessman in Detroit, named Shakir al-Khafaji by the way, could change your mind. Let's see, that was in about 2000. He is probably low on cash now. The cover purpose of the money was to film a documentary about the sinister corrupt Americans blocking the weapons inspection teams... like the one Ritter led... okay, too confusing for me now. He does claim to only have kept $42,000 though, for a 2 person, 1 camera, 90 minute film. The film is so anti-American it must be in the U.N. film archives with anything done by Michael Moore.

"Perhaps the most telling parts of Scott Ritter lie in the deepest, darkest recesses of his mind. In 1990, Scott Ritter divorced his wife to marry 19 year old Marina Khatiashvili, a Russian Model recruited and used by the KGB to sexually compromise US Intelligence Sources in the 1980's during the Nuclear Disarmament Period. Remember that Ritter acknowledged himself that the KGB used young women in this fashion, but not his "Marina". Then there are his two arrests for soliciting under-age girls for sex via the Internet. Scott does seem to like 'em young. One girl solicited in April of 2001 was 15 years old. The second girl, allegedly 17 years old (but really a Colonie NY policie officer posing as an under-age girl) was solicited for sex two months later in June of 2001. Are all these indications of Scott Ritter being sexually compromised and blackmailed by the Russians or the Iraqi's who preyed on his penchant for liking young women?" www.ropma.net/ritter.htm

Steph said...

>France has a disgusting political past, more recently being that 2/3 of the French collaborated with the Nazis. I don't want my country influenced by les francais degoutant.

Was this before or after they were invaded by the Nazis? I admit I'm not a WWII scholar, though I know someone who may as well be, but last time I checked, France and Germany were on *opposite* sides of the war. In fact, IIRC, the French have/had a great animosity towards the Germans, so it seems unlikely that they'd support a German party voluntarily. But I may be wrong.

>As for my grammar, all you have succeeded in doing with that low blow is personalizing this discussion. I don't like you, either

...because the thing I worry most about is whether some anonymous person on the internet likes me or not. But the main reason I think I inserted that in is because I was having issues reading it, in which case punctuation *is* a good thing.

Jondalar said...

OK, Steph, as regards grammar, don't use asterisks to highlight words. It's wrong.
Regarding France , France was attacked by Germany. However, the French passively and agreeably permitted the Germans to occupy 1/3 of France and the other 2/3 became the Vichy govt., where the French had a govt., subject to the directives of the Germans. They carried out whatever demands were made by the Germans. Just as an example, the Vichy govt. turned over thousands of French Jews to the Germans for deportation and eventual genocide. The area of France known as Alsace-Lorraine has for centuries been greatly influenced by Germany, to this very day. The French nobility is very intermarried with the Germans; these folks, the "nobility," have alot of money and power in both countries. They are interlocking partners in trade, commerce, heavy industry, etc. Bottom line? The past tensions between these countries were really about imperialistic, colonial issues. The rest? They like each other ! :) There is currently a powerful anti-democratic, fascist movement in France, a la the Germans.

Jondalar said...

OK, Steph, as regards grammar, don't use asterisks to highlight words. It's wrong.
Regarding France , France was attacked by Germany. However, the French passively and agreeably permitted the Germans to occupy 1/3 of France and the other 2/3 became the Vichy govt., where the French had a govt., subject to the directives of the Germans. They carried out whatever demands were made by the Germans. Just as an example, the Vichy govt. turned over thousands of French Jews to the Germans for deportation and eventual genocide. The area of France known as Alsace-Lorraine has for centuries been greatly influenced by Germany, to this very day. The French nobility is very intermarried with the Germans; these folks, the "nobility," have alot of money and power in both countries. They are interlocking partners in trade, commerce, heavy industry, etc. Bottom line? The past tensions between these countries were really about imperialistic, colonial issues. The rest? They like each other ! :) There is currently a powerful anti-democratic, fascist movement in France, a la the Germans.

Steph said...

>OK, Steph, as regards grammar, don't use asterisks to highlight words. It's wrong.

Bah, it's not being used for anything else, so I've co-opted it for my own use. It also helps to get my point across, IMO. If you would point me to the correct way to highlight words (besides bold/italic, of course, I'm a tad too lazy to exercise my HTML skills)...

/France spiel/

Well, of course they like each other today... I guess... And might I remind you that Britain appeased the Germans for years, and we're allies with Britain, does this make us a fascist nation?

Anyway, I haven't found any information relating to your claims yet, so would you mind posting some links or something (as I'm always willing to learn something new)?

Jondalar said...

Appeasement is not the same as cooperation.
Regarding other aspects of what I wrote, it is so basic that if you simply do a Google search I believe you will find valid material regarding the German occupation, Vichy France, their cooperation with Germany, their betrayal of French Jews and French partisans and the history of Alsace-Lorraine. As an example, read the following:

The Legacy of Vichy

A series of high-profile trials also helped to raise public awareness of the French role in the Holocaust. Indeed the decade of the 1990s saw the first and perhaps last "crimes against humanity" trials for the persecution of Jews under Vichy. Klaus Barbie, former head of the Gestapo in Lyon, was put on trial in 1992. The prosecution showed that he was responsible for the arrest of Jewish children sheltered in a safe house in Izieux. All forty-four children were deported to Auschwitz. Paul Touvier, one of the leaders of the French Militia, was tried in Versailles in 1994 for organizing the killing of Jewish men in Rieux-la-Pape, near Lyon. Maurice Papon, the former Prefect of Bordeaux under Vichy, was tried in 1997-1998 for the deportation of 2,000 Jews.

While all of these cases were widely discussed, none received more attention than that of René Bousquet. Assasinated in 1993, before he could go to trial, Bousquet was accused of coordinating with the Gestapo to organize the largest round-up of Jews in Paris. In July 1942, 13,000 Jews were gathered at the Vel' d'Hiv' bicycle stadium in the 15th Arrondisement, from which they were shipped to French transit camps, and from there to Auschwitz. Part of the public's attention focused on the French justice system. The French press had reported Bousquet's role in the Vel' d'Hiv' round-up as early as 1978, but it took twelve years for French courts to take up the case filed by French Jewish organizations.

The French debate over wartime collaboration and resistance was embodied in the scandal that arose around François Mitterrand, French President from 1981 to 1995. In a 1994 biography of Mitterrand, A French Youth, author Pierre Péan described the president's support for Vichy and Marshall Pétain during the German occupation.3

The book revealed that Mitterrand had been both a civil servant in the Vichy regime and a leader of the French Resistance. Indeed he had held both positions at the same time for several months in 1943. (By 1944 he had become the head of RNPG, a Resistance group that helped to organize the prisoners' resistance networks.) As a politician, Mitterrand had always denied his participation in the Vichy regime. He was not insensitive to the Jewish suffering under Vichy. In 1993, he established a national day of commemoration for the persecution of Jews–it would be held on July 16, the day of the Vel' d'Hiv roundup. But he did not harshly condemn Vichy. He ordered, for example, that flowers be placed on Marshall Pétain's grave on Armistice Day, commemorating his service in World War I. His response to A French Youth embodied this ambivalence. On September 12, 1994, he gave a prime-time televised interview in which he tried to justify his past while also refusing to recognize his own personal responsibility.

Steph said...

I had a nice comment written out for this, but I managed to close the window before I posted it...

Anyway, the main drift was that France did not willingly cooperate with Germany for any other reason than to save their own butts.

>French passively and agreeably permitted the Germans to occupy 1/3 of France and the other 2/3 became the Vichy govt., where the French had a govt., subject to the directives of the Germans.

Actually, Germany occupied 3/5, and the Vichy gov't 2/5... and only by necessity, because obviously, if an enemy nation controls over half your nation, you're going to do what you can to save your part.

>Appeasement is not the same as cooperation.

What do you do when you appease? You cooperate with another party to let them do something or get something to keep them satisfied, so that they won't do anything bad to you. Britain tried it pre-WWII, didn't work.

Anyhow, got my info thus far from the Wikipedia entry on "Vichy France"; in this entry, it paints the picture that while the Vichy gov't did bad things, it was the combination of the power-hunger of a few and the need to preserve what was left of their country, not because they're a bunch of secular, Jew-hating liberals bent on taking over the world or whatever.

But I could be wrong.

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