Iraq

Playing in the background Marvin Gaye singingWhat’s Going On”

“Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – Ya

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today”


It is a nice sentiment, I truly like it. The problem is that I don’t believe that love conquers all. I wish that I could. I wish that I believed that people really could beat their swords into plowshares, but I don’t. Some will lay down their weapons. Some will gladly reach across the lines and shake hands. But the problem is that there are people standing on the other side of the divide who will smile as they cut off your head. And that leads me into Iraq.

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. I supported going in and even when we didn’t find the WMDs I supported the war. But now I am not sure what to think. There is no doubt that things are bad there. I read enough alternative sources of news to know that there are success stories and that in some ways it is not as bad as it sounds.

That is not the issue. The question I ask myself is whether there are people there who are truly interested in what we have to offer. Are the huddled masses yearning to breathe free or are we just placing American soldiers in harms way for a limited return.

I have no doubt that countries like Iran are doing all that they can to foment discord and chaos. I am sure that they are working hard to create an untenable situation. But I wonder what we are doing to combat that.

In short, I am wondering what we are doing. I am not saying that we should cut and run. But I’d like to hear a coherent explanation of what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve. Right now it feels a bit like the ship is sailing according to the current and not per the captain’s wishes and that is an uncomfortable feeling.

I just don’t know.

(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)

16 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack January 30, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Were the findings of the inspection teams de facto accurate? Yes, there is no other possible conclusion.

    No, No, No. Just because we did not find them now does not mean that they were not there. The question is not answered because they are not there now. We still need to know what happened to those that were there.

    Saddam could have changed this by playing ball. He did not.

    The U.S. soldiers that died atleast had a choice to participate in this war, unlike the 100.000 Iraqis.

    You know, there is some truth to that. OTOH, under Saddam you could have just as easily been tortured or murdered for reasons not of your own choosing too.

    All in all I think that the US could have done better here.

  2. Anonymous January 29, 2007 at 11:46 am

    No, no, you’re being suggestive again here. I do not ‘miss’ Saddam, as i fully recognized him for having been a murderous tyrant. But that is not the issue here. What is the issue is the legitimacy of the invasion, the purpose of the ongoing occupation and the deceptions that led to all that.

    I am not ‘kidding myself’ when i conclude that the Unmovic and IAEA inspections were accurate, as they were.

    Could the U.S. substantiate their allegations, their reson for war, that Saddam had WMD? No, they found nothing. Were the findings of the inspection teams de facto accurate? Yes, there is no other possible conclusion.

    What happened now is that Pandoras Box has opened and Iraq regressed into a civil war with the U.S. in the middle. Sure, Iraq under Saddam wasn’t perfect, but the situation now can hardly be called an improvement.

    There were other tools available to (more) effectively deal with the regime and the possible dangers eminating from that country without hurting too much of the civilian population. Through a various array of political, diplomatic and economic approaches Iraq under Saddam could be effectively contained. Infact, although it had its flaw, this was already the situation leading to Saddam not having WMD, a corrupt government suystem and a demotivated army.

    The regime was already fractured to the core. And now the country has disintegrated with such severe sectarian feuds that the country self-destructs.

    Yeah, real improvement. And by lives lost i also mean all the Iraqis that died because of the invasion. The U.S. soldiers that died atleast had a choice to participate in this war, unlike the 100.000 Iraqis.

    -Zeruel

  3. Jack's Shack January 29, 2007 at 5:14 am

    These inspections were not ‘bankrupt’ but entirely accurate.
    You are kidding yourself.

    And the attempt to dismiss them and deny their value is fairly presumptious at best, and pathetic at worst.

    If they were meaningful then there wouldn’t have been a need for the resolutions would there.


    And it’s nice to support this crazy endeavour in Iraq, when it isn’t your life that is on the line.

    Actually I know more than one person who was KIA in Iraq and a number who are still there.

    But let’s refresh our memories here regarding the dictator that you are trying to protect.

    He murdered hundreds of thousands of his people.

    Engaged in multiple wars, such as his invasion of Kuwait.

    Used chemical weapons on the Kurds.

    Launched scuds against a sovereign nation (Israel) that hadn’t attacked him.

    Provided financial support to the families of suicide bombers and actively encouraged additional acts of terrorism.

    Good to see that you miss him so much.

  4. Anonymous January 28, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    It was for the accusations that Saddam had WMD that preceding the invasion Unmovic and the IAEA were sent to investigate wheter these accusations were correct or not.

    Extensive searches provided the evidence that Saddam did not have these weapons and neither had the capabilities to manufacture them. The U.S. accusations were as such false, and soon before the deck of cards collapsed they invaded Iraq.

    These inspections were not ‘bankrupt’ but entirely accurate. And the attempt to dismiss them and deny their value is fairly presumptious at best, and pathetic at worst.

    And it’s nice to support this crazy endeavour in Iraq, when it isn’t your life that is on the line.

    -Zeruel

  5. RR January 28, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I think the WMDs were there- and Saddam moved them. Probably to Syria.

    I support what Bush is trying to do in Iraq- I just wish he was getting better results.

  6. Jack's Shack January 27, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    The other reports you mention are from ’98 and ’99 and are as such outdated.

    No, they are part of the proof of prior existence of the weapons and a fundamental part of this problem.

    The problem being that we do not know what happened to the weapons, just that they did exist.

    The whole inspection process was bankrupt and set up to fail.

  7. Anonymous January 27, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    So David Kay confirm’s Bush’ accusations that Iraq had WMD yet he never found any. It’s nice that mr. Kay tries to protect his political career by pleasing Bush, yet his ‘conclusion’ in his fact finding mission is fundamentally incongruent with the facts as they were before the war: both Unmovic and the IAEA never found ANY evidence of WMD, and reported that to the security council before the actual invasion took place.(meaning that the U.S. formally knew Iraq did not have WMD.)

    Also, do you know the Downing Street memos? In these memos a case for war is made and no matter what, Iraq will be invaded. I’m sure you can find a print somewhere through Google

    The other reports you mention are from ’98 and ’99 and are as such outdated.

    -Zeruel

  8. Jack's Shack January 27, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    The presence of WMD was never proven by either the Unmovic inspection teams or the IAEA, and was entirely concocted by the Bush administration to wage war on a falese premise.

    Look at this

    David Kay, the man Bush put in charge of preparing the report on Iraq’s weapons program. Kay recently briefed congressional intelligence committees about his — so far — three-month-long search and examination. What he disclosed clearly demonstrates the validity of the war and confirms the president’s arguments.

    David Kay also explains the difficulty in determining the existence or removal of Iraq’s WMDs: “All of Iraq’s WMD activities were highly compartmentalized . . . with deception and denial built into each program. Deliberate dispersal and destruction of material and documentation . . . began pre-conflict and ran trans- to post-conflict. Post-war looting destroyed or dispersed important and easily collectible material and evidence. . . . Significant elements of this looting were carried out in a systematic and deliberate manner, with the clear aim of concealing pre-war activities of Saddam’s regime. Some WMD personnel crossed borders in the pre/trans-conflict period, and may have taken evidence and even weapons-related materials with them. Any actual WMD weapons or material is likely to be small . . . and difficult to identify with normal search procedures. Even the bulkiest materials we are searching for . . . can be concealed in spaces not much larger than a two-car garage.”

    and

    Sandy Berger, Clinton national security adviser, Feb. 18, 1998: “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983.” David Kay: “We have found people, technical information and illicit-procurement networks that, if allowed to flow to other countries and regions, could accelerate global proliferation.”

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Dec. 16, 1998: “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”

    Madeline Albright, Feb. 18, 1998: “Iraq is a long way from (here), but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”

  9. Anonymous January 27, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Jack,

    Saddam indeed was, to put it mildly, one vile bastard. However, that is not reason for war. There are many dictators doing many bad things, but none of their countries are invaded. In fact, many dictators are openly allied with the U.S. for economic or political motives, think of Saudi-Arabia.

    The presence of WMD was never proven by either the Unmovic inspection teams or the IAEA, and was entirely concocted by the Bush administration to wage war on a falese premise.

    -Zeruel

  10. Mark January 27, 2007 at 5:35 am

    I can echo your sentiments word for word, Jack. I’d like to know what we should do at this point as well.

  11. Jack's Shack January 26, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Well, the difference here being that the lives lost in the Iraq war didn’t serve any purpose. All the people that got killed or mutilated, both Americans and Iraqis; for what? For WMD that were never there?

    It remains to be seen if it was worth it. Saddam was not a good guy. No one is sorry that he is gone.

    Second, at one time he did have WMDs. The question is what happened to them.

    It certainly is possible that this could be something that has a lasting negative impact, but it could go the other direction too.

  12. Anonymous January 26, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Well, the difference here being that the lives lost in the Iraq war didn’t serve any purpose. All the people that got killed or mutilated, both Americans and Iraqis; for what? For WMD that were never there? For the former regimes accused links with AQ that were non-existent? For the interests of the principals in the Bush administration? For some vague democratization ideology? Or just for sheer incompetence?

    This whole war is just one complete waste of human life. And it’s specter will haunt both the region and the world for many, many decades to come.

    -Zeruel

  13. Jack's Shack January 26, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Zeruel,

    Define failure. If you look at the number of American lives lost here it pales in comparison to virtually every American war I can think of.

    If you look at the number of civilians killed it still pales in comparison to hundreds of wars.

    I am not saying that it is a roaring success, but it is not a stark failure either.

  14. Anonymous January 26, 2007 at 10:20 am

    “I do not believe that the war has been a complete failure either.”

    Man, if this war isn’t a failure the word ‘failure’ should be scrapped from the dictionary.

    -Zeruel

  15. Jack's Shack January 25, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Zeruel,

    I still don’t have a problem with our having gone in. No has ever satisfactorily answered the question of what happened to the WMDs.

    My issues here are with how the war has been conducted. I think that there have been a number of mistakes. We should have had more troops on the ground from the start.

    I do not believe that the war has been a complete failure either.

    But it sure could be better.

  16. Anonymous January 25, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Jack,

    So you are finally beginning to see the truth??

    We discussed this years ago, and if you recall i told you that the lies that preceded this war, the ideology that it was constituted on, the manipulated information and the general misheap of wrongly interpreted intelligence would eventually result in one bloody catastrophic affront, a grave loss of lives and the nemesis of the U.S.’s moral standing.

    The only thing that can be done now, that is not adding more soldiers to a failed strategy, but to intensify the process of bringing central authority to the Iraqi government by initiating a ‘make or break’ reconciliation procedure on this level(that is, shias and sunnies inside the Iraqi government must(!) cooperate willingly and immediately will the U.S. not leave.)

    Second, the premise of the U.S. presence is to train the Iraqi security forces more intensively and rapidly. U.S. forces should no longer have a visible military presence anymore in Iraq in order to avoid the (perception) of occupation.

    Third, tere need to be intensified border control. So available forces that are now on patrol in inner Iraq should be redirected to safeguard the borders from infiltrating terrorists, escpescially from Iran and Syria. U.N. resolutions should be passed that will sanction any country that admits terrorists from leaving their borders into Iraq.

    Fourth, Iraqi security forces(but only them) should disarm the Sadr brigades preferably in agreement with shiites, but otherwise by exerting their authority. This will also make clear where the loyalty of members of the security forces reside. Same goes for the sunnie insurgents.

    I think these things provide more basis for improvement than adding more U.S. troops to a failed strategy.

    Again, nice to talk to you.

    My best,

    Zeruel

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like