Thursday, August 05, 2004

They did lie and keep lying

AlterNet: War on Iraq: They Knew!

Why did the Bush administration like to us about the reasons for the Iraqi war? What were the real reasons behind the Iraqi war. This piece spells out the lies, but doesn't answer the key questions: What was the reason for invading Iraq? Why did we give up on Afghanistan and Al Qaeda? I keep repeating that in an era of lesser technical intelligence ability, we had proof that Russia was shipping missiles to Cuba. But we had no visual evidence presented to us by our leaders and when they told us that Iraq posed a serious threat to us, they provided no proof. We had proof at Pearl Harbor. We had proof at the 38th Parallel. We even had proof at Dien Ben Phu in Vietnam. Our allies were in trouble. We had proof when Hussein invaded Kuwait. But we were never presented any proof that he had weapons of mass destruction or ties to Bin Laden. And how anyone who had paid any attention to the politics of the Middle East could believe that Iraq under Hussein and Bin Laden or their representatives could have met in the same room without an explosion I don't know. Anyway, read this link. And then vote, if you want to, for a liar.


Blogger David Summerlin said...

When I watched Colin Powell giving his presentation to the U.N. with his blown up photos, pointers and charts, I thought: "This is a lie."
It still amazes me that this administration's utter transparency isn't evident to more people. But I suppose a well-functioning propaganda machine will keep the populations apathetic, amused, diverted, vapidly patriotic, concerned with meaningless war slogans...
The scary thing is that the REST OF THE WORLD pretty much knows what a bunch of lying warmongers rule the most powerful nation on earth. We don't.
WHY, as you ask... why is probably the most telling question. Why did we invade South Vietnam? Nicaragua? Afghanistan? Iraq? Why do we keep supporting the terrorist acts of nations like Israel and Indonesia? Why can we get away with it when others can't?
I can only suspect the two oldest motives on the planet: power and wealth.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

Have you ever heard about the events of Sept. 11th, 2001?

8:41 AM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Yes, I have Eric, and that's why I wonder what the reason for attacking Iraq. Hussein had nothing to do with that and had no ties to Al Qaeda. The Taliban had aided and abetted (as they say) the terrorists who performed the attacks of 9/11. We did not finish that job and pulled troops out to attack Iraq which, I repeat, had nothing to do with 9/11 despite Cheney's lies. Did you read that linked story?

9:41 AM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

I'm glad you remember that day, as most liberals are trying to pretend it didn't happen.

After being attacked on that day, killing more people than the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, our foreign policy needed a drastic change. No longer can we sit back, fat, dumb, and happy and figure we're untouchable.

President Bush's policy of pre-emption is correct. Saddam Hussein was our sworn enemy, who did not fulfill his agreements that he agreed to after the Gulf War. He broke every promise, and banned UN inspectors for years.

The USA was justified in removing him from power, just as we would be justified in removing any other threat to us, or our allies.

12:15 PM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

"WHY, as you ask... why is probably the most telling question. Why did we invade South Vietnam? Nicaragua? Afghanistan? Iraq"

Different reasons, all justified as history has recorded-provided you search for facts.

South Vietnam: To stop a Red China supported invasion by the North Vietnamese. Maybe you remember concepts like Mutal Assured Destruction, the nuclear balance of terror, etc? We were very close to being surrounded and co-opted by the two largest land masses in the world. We drew the line in Viet Nam just as we did in North Korea. The only difference is that we didn't have people like John Kerry around during the Korean conflict and we were successful there. Otherwise,South Vietnam could today be a free Democracy with a standard of living some 8 times higher, as it is in South Korea. Because of people like Kerry and the other organized protest groups we let those people down and some 58,000 American lives were wasted. As Gen.Norman Schwarzkopf said "We won that war on every front but the home front".
Kerry was one of the successful commanders of the "home front" legions....

We didn't invade Nicaragua. We supported the Contras against the communist Sandanistas for the same reasons. Russia and China were exporting communism all over the world and central america was fertile ground. Like Cuba they were close enough to be able to threaten us there with medium range ballistic missles. Unlike Cuba, Nicaragua today has an elected government and free enterprise is flourishing.

Afghanistan: Remember Osa bin Laden? Iraq: To remove Saddam Hussein from power. And for the "Bush Lied" folks, please read the 9/11 report, the exposure of Joe "Frogwalk" Wilson as a yellowcake liar and other impartial reports that support the facts and expose
the anti wars' canard......

1:31 PM  
Blogger David Summerlin said...

Let's see, Eric, I suppose you're referring to the event in which a group of Saudis, angry about our long-time support of the brutal, totalitarian regime terrorizing thier homeland, hijacked planes and drove them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Those are the events you're referring to, right? Yes, I've heard of them. And I've heard about a lot of other events, too, of which you are apparently unaware.
Do you seriously pretend those events provided the motive for our own acts of aggression? Sure, they provided an excuse to peddle to a gullible public through the most efficient propaganda system in history. But the motive? I'm afraid not.
Do you seriously pretend that we are fighting a war against terrorism -- we, who are unquestionably the biggest contributors to terrorist atrocities on the planet? I say "unquestionably" because this is not a point of controversy in the rest of the world. In fact, the World Court condemned us for engaging in international terrorism in Nicaragua, the conflict bedrocktruth defends as justified, the conflict that resulted in a U.N. Security Council Resolution, which we rejected, asking us to please oberve international law. We didn't. And tens of thousands of people died because of our money, weapons, and yes, direct involvement.
Are you perhaps implying that those events of 9/11 justified our aggression in Afghanistan, where we went in under the pretense of "smoking bin Laden out of his cave?" We didn't accomplish that, did we? That didn't stop us from having a reasonably successful campaign there, from the standpoint of our actual motives of wealth and power.
Perhaps, like so many who are deluded by our government's propaganda, you believe that terrorism is something done by other people, by other countries. Surely we are only interested in spreading freedom and happiness to the oppressed peoples of the world?
Sadly, too many people believe this. If you do, I urge you to become a scholar of history in a larger context. Strip yourself of hypocritical pretense, and apply to the U.S. the same standards you apply to the rest of the world. You will see that we are not a force for good, or for freedom, or even for fairness. We, like everyone else, are still driven by the same base motives of greed and fear that have ruled the planet since the dawn of civilization.
Please stop kidding yourself. A war on terrorism is a war without end, escpecially when we pretend that certain players are on the side of "good" or "evil." What an infantile cosmic joke.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Bedrock: You are misquoting history. In the first paragraph of your why answers I believe you are talking about the Korean War and that is not the way that happened. In Korea, the North Koreans came across the 38th Parallel and attacked the South Koreans and the small body of troops we had in there. That was a defensive situation for us and we were perfectly right in responding. When we crossed the 38th parallel, with talk in this country of crossing into China, the Chinese then reacted and sent troops across the river and drove us back to the 38th parallel. That was again settled as the boundary and I suspect history will say neither of us won.

In Vietnam, we got suckered into the side of the French, I think by Harry S. Truman following WWII because the colonial French had been our allies and the communists were pressing the nationalists in China and we were worried about that. (see one of the most ignoble periods in our time: the McCarthy era of the 1950s which even had DDE nervous.) We chose the French over the Nationalists and when the nationalists whipped the French at Dien Ben Phu, DDE jumped in to take up their slack and help the south. Unfortunately, the leadership in the South had learned too much from their French rulers and were extremely corrupt. The communists (nationalists) under Ho Chi Minh also disliked the Chinese and were helped much more by the Russians, which made China nervous as well as us. The corruption in South Vietnam provided us with an impossible situation.

But we could still make an argument that in the long run, those who sacrificed their lives in Korea and Vietnam (death or interruption) actually helped win the cold war by keeping the two communist powers contained until they collapsed under their own impossible beliefs. The definition of war is often cited as the continuation of diplomacy by other means. We won our long-term war against the two powers.

I did not know we invaded Nicaragua. The CIA had a covert operation there to support a corrupt dictator in an effort to keep the "communists" from taking over. If you remember your history, the banana republics have had a long period of corrupt rulers and what with Chiquita Banana winking at very one of us from advertisements, we felt we had to keep those bananas coming at a decent price. So again we had to jump in to maintain "stability." The problem with the Nicaraguan situation should have led to the impeachment of Reagan as he helped support Ollie North and his syphoning of profits made in Iran to prop up the dictator.

If you meant Panama, that was a legitimate operation to bring a criminal to trial, one we probably created, who was selling drugs into our country. It was more like a police raid on a drug house.

In the case of Iraq, we were just plain wrong and as per the post I listed to start this discussion, we were lied to. It's not just hindsight to me. It was obvious from the very beginning from the language—"trust me, I know what I'm talking about"—without any proof, that we had no basis for invading Iraq. Many of the U.N. resolutions supporters of the war cite had to do with weapons of mass destruction which Hussein kept saying he didn't have and which the weapons inspectors couldn't find. There were no links to Al Qaeda or to 9/11. Iran had such ties as well as a wmd program so why didn't we attack them instead for the same reasons? Saudi Arabia (our good friends) had stronger ties to Al Qaeda than Saddam had. So I continue to post the question: Why did we focus on Iraq?

2:21 PM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

Chuck you're a much better historian t han I am but if you reread my comments on South Vietnam I believe you'll see that they are more or less correct. We had been supporting South Vietnam during the period you talked about but it was in 1964, after the North Vietnamese crossed over and attacked hamlets in South Viet Nam that we kicked up our support and the battle lines were defined. It was an invasion by the North Vietnamese, albeit a small one, and they were supported by Red China as was the situation in Korea.

By the way, it was David Summerlin that posed all the WHY questions. I was just responding. And in my response I also pointed out that we never invaded Nicaragua.

Honestly your comments about bananas being the cause of the conflict is uncharacteristically off target. Iraq wasn't about oil and Nicaragua wasn't about bananas. The Samosa regime was chased from power by a revolution in that country. And although I never cared for Samosa, the revolution was funded and supported by the Russians. Why the "parentheses" around communist incidentally?

Like Castro, Daniel Ortega's Sandanistas were supported by Russia out of aspirations to have another Cuba within missile striking distance of this country. The Cubans, in fact, sent advisors, troops and heavy equipment into Nicaragua preaching the gospel of sugar cane to the extent that they practically "caned" the country over. Where am I going wrong here?

We supported the Contras for the simple reason that they were the only force formidable enough to turn back the Sandanistas without the U.S. having to commit our own troops. I totally disagree with you, by the way, about our circumventing the ridiculous Bolan Amendment that was sneakily tacked on by the Democrats to a otherwise innocuous appropriations bill.

We did what we had to do to prevent another communist takeover and another Russian missle base in our own back yard. The supporters of that Amendment, not Oliver North, are the ones that should have been put on trial-for delection of duty and aiding and abetting the enemy among other things........

3:33 PM  
Blogger David Summerlin said...

As an addendum, I will grant you, Chuck, that among my citations of U.S. agression, Nicaragua may qualify as a slightly loose application of the term "invasion," but I defend my use of the term.
American tax dollars backed the terrorist Contras, Reagan's "Freedom Fighters." The CIA ran the terrorist contras. Nicaraguan civilians were tortured, family members skinned alive for public viewing, women hung upside-down and their breasts lopped off, and numerous almost unthinkable atrocities occurred as a direct result of our leadership efforts there. One who draws lines of distinction between American troops doing our dirty work and hired thugs doing our dirty work would not understand my use of the term "invasion." But I stand by it. We are directly responsible.
I honestly expected more resistance to my use of the term "invasion" in reference to South Vietnam.
Also, Chuck, I just want to mention briefly that I would respectfully disagree with you about Panama being a just effort, but I'm not interested enough to pick a fight with you. You have an impressive array of historical data readily available at the tip of your mind, much more so than I -- but I suspect we have a fundamental disagreement when it comes to the motives behind U.S. aggression. I suspect you know more than I about our checkered love/hate relationship with Noriega, so I won't bother trying to match wits on the details.
I remain thankful for the points we have in common.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Actually, Bedrock, I think their was a mixup in posts originally. Somehow the two comments were one. I was surprised when I came in this time and saw they were different. However, I disagree on Vietnam: the Chinese did not give the North Vietnamese much except moral support. The advisors and the weapons came from the Soviet Union, and as I said earlier they also made the Chinese nervous.

Nicaragua, like the beginnings of the Vietnamese conflict, is an ambiguous effort. You can say what you want about the Bolan amendment, about how it got passed, etc., but it was the law and in this country that is supposed to be the determining factor. Ask any lawyer. I have a friend who, when pushed on why we should be enforcing U.N. resolutions, says it's because the Iraqis bought off the French and the Germans. That's not a logical response (and he's a lawyer). It's still the way things are supposed to work. If we can't sell our case to our supposed allies, then maybe we have no case.

But back to Nicaragua, I agree that the Soviets were attempting to gain strength in South America and in that sense we were defending the Monroe Doctrine. The problem is that we put ourselves into defending a dirty situation. It is not just the sandanistas whose victims are being uncovered (literally) in Nicaragua. The reason that communist is lower case and put in quotation marks is that the ambiguity of so much of our responses to governmental crises in third world countries during the Cold War were a reaction to fear rather than thought. Many of those "communists" started out as nationalists or as freedom fighters who wanted to turn over a corrupt dictatorial power. It struck me years ago, long before Nicaragua and other issues, that we had forgotten our own revolution and what we had to do to become what we are. It seemed like we were constantly supporting the "tories" against the rebels.

David, I'm sorry, I actually support the action against Afghanistan. And we had the support of much of the world, including the Islamic world. The Taliban supported Al Qaeda and provided refuge and funding for terrorists. And I think we hit the terrorists hard and took away a large part of their base when we went into that country. The Taliban had attacked us by proxy. By pulling out our troops, however, to fight a "preemptive" war in Iraq, we have given the terrorists a chance to regroup and make new plans. If you feel safer since the fall of Saddam, I still suggest you stay away from large crowds and events.

The destruction of Iraq and the downfall of Saddam has had nothing to do with the easing of the terrorist threat. It may have exacerbated it. I understand that Al Qaeda now has 18,000 members around the world. It only takes one, as at Sarajevo, to set a world on fire.

Whoops, senior moment: Have I responded to all the questions?

4:06 PM  
Blogger David Summerlin said...

One more question directed to Chuck. Will you at least grant me that we (the U.S.) were mostly responsible for the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and in the development of its terrorist training camps? If not, what do you think we intended as the logical outcome of our support of the Mujahadin against the Soviets?
I'm not trying to point the finger and run. I'm just trying to keep "aggression" in a larger context. We cannot continue to sponsor, incite, fund, whatever, the various conflicts that we have incited, funded, participated in, organized around the world, time and time again, creating the very conditions that give rise to barbaric regimes, then support those barbaric regimes, and then go in and incite more violence when they fall out of favor with our selfish interests of wealth, privilege and power. This does nothing whatsoever to reduce the amount of terror in the word. It increases it. I speak the truth plainly: we are doing nothing to combat terrorism. We are doing everything to foster more terrorism. The "war on terror" is a lie. A lie. Is that loud enough? A lie.

4:53 PM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

"However, I disagree on Vietnam: the Chinese did not give the North Vietnamese much except moral support. The advisors and the weapons came from the Soviet Union, and as I said earlier they also made the Chinese nervous."

Sorry to digress Chuck but this comment reminded me of the making of the movie Green Berets in Columbus(Fort Benning) Ga. circa whenever-mid 60's I believe. Since my wife was one the extras hired for the movie, I got to attend the scene where Aldo Ray kept tossing weapons on the table in front of the visitor's gallery, exclaiming "Chicom", or "Russian", on each of them as he slammed them to the table. Point is that this is hair splitting, I believe. It's all the same; this country vs the communist bloc. If anybody's interested in pursuing this line I have some personal contacts and reminiscences about John Wayne worth sharing, I think.

Bottom line, however, it was all about a democracy
vs communism and we all know which system prevailed......

4:56 PM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

The "war on terror" is a lie. A lie. Is that loud enough? A lie.

It's loud enough David. But volume doesn't make up for a false premise.Have you made any kind of case for your
theory? If so I confess that I missed it.......

5:14 PM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

Chuck said...

"You can say what you want about the Bolan amendment, about how it got passed, etc., but it was the law and in this country that is supposed to be the determining factor."

Fair enough, Chuck. Will you now please stop railing against the laws on drug possession, the mistermed "racial profiling", gay marriage, homeland security,treason,commiting forces in Iraq,and tax cuts?

Not to be a smart ass...........

5:28 PM  
Blogger David Summerlin said...

bedrocktruth: I confess I'm not surprised that you missed it. I understand that my premise makes no sense to you, the premise being that any resonable definition of "terrorism" will include the atrocities of the U.S. as well as the atrocities of those who attack us. It's a simple idea, really, and one that requires no fabrication or revision of history. An examination of historical events, stripped of the hypocrisy that torture and murder is terrorism when done by "them," but not when done by "us," makes the case plain. It is only by virtue of hypocrisy that we are able to view history as a battle for democracy, in which we are the good guys and the victors.
Unfortunately, deluding ourselves in this way does nothing to reduce the amount of terrorism in the world, and in fact increases the hostility and aggression.
I'd hate to have to make the case again, so if you missed it that time, I'd just call it a day.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

We all seem to be posting in a way that gets the thread a little disjointed, but I think we can keep at it. And part of my last post that started out "I'm sorry David" was aimed at BRT although it didn't seem to be that way.

To responses: David, we are not as far apart as you may think. As I said in an earlier post, I have thought for years that we have forgotten, except for lip service, what our revolution was about. I don't think you can Nicaragua an invasion, but it was certainly supporting a dictator and is another example of propping up a corrupt dictator against a popular front, although BRT will be fair if he wants to deny the popular part. I think that was an ambiguous circumstance. I also think that deep down I think the Noriega affair was not something we should have done. I'm not sure a lot of police raids are. And yes, we share a lot of the responsibility for the Taliban. It is one of our bad habits, because we do (did?) fear becoming an empire to walk away when the fighting's over rather than staying around to pick up the pieces, with the exception of the Phillippines and that took 60(?) years and earned us curses. The Soviets also share some of that blame. The present status of Afghanistan is a different proposition. We should have stayed in there with enough force to attempt to help something that has never been a nation except under a dictator or a king to become a nation.

Bedrock: It did make a difference that it was the Soviet Union and not the Chinese that support North Vietnam. Because Ho Chi Minh distrusted the Chinese, he didn't want them on his turf, as it were. Had the Chinese been there with shorter supply lines and willing to put in people as they did in Korea, we would have been in a much worse world of hurt. Kennedy was much more careful than his successor and particularly the Secretary of Defense Robert Macnamara in keeping a lower profile. When the north came in to help its southern allies, that did bring the escalation you mention and the long period of time under two president, Johnson and Nixon, when we were lied to. At the same time, the relationships of the Vietnamese, the Chinese and the Soviets during that war helped to heighten certain tensions that eventually led to the end of the Communist powers. I find myself with extremely ambiguous feelings about some of what we did in the Cold War. As a sometime student of geopolitics, I understand why we did many of the things we did. I didn't understand Grenada (Reagan's "war") but for many of the others I understood why we propped up the corrupt and didn't follow our own faith in those who founded this country. I didn't like it, but I understood it.

Descending from the Progressive era of Teddy Roosevelt until our entry into the First World War (about 16 years) we had a strong what would now be called liberal movement in this country. TR was a liberal in every sense of the word. The muckrakers were in full bloom: Tarbell, Sinclair and several others. Big business was brought under some controls and workers were gaining some rights they had not had. But we still had the effort to control the Wobblies, the radicals, the reds, the communists. However, Eugene Debs and the socialists held a respected place in our political world. But the fears of the WWI leaders of criticism and denounciation of the war, Woodrow Wilson and others of the time closed magazines and newspapers of the left that did not support the war effort. Then in 1921, we had the first red scare, something like the McCarthy thing, but more in a criminal way. In the 1930s, with the Depression, the Communists made gains in this country as thousands of people lived lives of desperation.

So, when WWII ended, we had to do something to stop the Russians (communists) in Europe, the Communists. George Marshall, Secretary of State under Truman, came up with the idea of helping reconstruct Europe as a bulwark against the Russians. And for the next almost 50 years that was our plan. It was sort of like Carthage and Rome around the Mediterranean. But our plan was sort of like the way we'd fight a forest fire. Contain it and let it burn itself out. Russia we have found out was more like a paper tiger held together by the glue of repression rather than an actual power, but our intelligence didn't know that. So we did things to keep the Russians contained that were in a larger, long-term sense not in our best interests. But then Rome maintained its government of the known (western) world mostly by strength of arms.

David, I have been reading the Report of the 9/11 Commission and the second chapter is an account of the history of Bin Ladin and his actions against the U.S. According to this account, which has the ring of care and accuracy in its assessment, Bin Ladin's case against us is not for us as terrorists, but rather that we have propped up Israel and what he sees as corrupt regimes in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. I don't think we can make a big case for direct U.S. terror but we have let the regimes we support terrorize our people and have given up in Somalia and probably in the Sudan against just this sort of terror.

What we had going on through the Cold War was like two sumo wrestlers bouncing their bellies off each other without daring to bring the match to a close while they had midgets squaring off in the corners of the ring (difficult to do since Sumo takes place in a round ring). Both wrestlers encouraged their side to use dirty tactics. It has left a nasty taste in the world. Now we are in a new world. We are the only major power until China gains enough in 10 years to become the other elephant in the living room. New nations, new beliefs and new tests face us. (sorry if this sounds like a political speech.) We have to adapt. But Bedrock, throughout the cold war, whenever we were tempted to take a pre-emptive strike we held back. I don't think in that way, anything has changed.

And for my part, having been lied to during one adventure (in Vietnam) I don't like being lied to again. Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, the Sudan, Libya until recently were actively pressuring us and I think could have made justifiable pre-emptive strike targets, if we had to do a pre-emptive strike. Iran, for a fact, helped Al Qaeda. The 9/11 commission found no ties between Iraq and the terrorists; some discussions between diplomats, possibly, but no agreements. Iraq had backed off after the Gulf War and its attempt after that on Daddy Bush.

So, I keep asking: What was the justification for targeting Iraq?

8:59 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Dammit, Bedrock, I knew there was something else you said that I wanted to comment on: I may not like the tax cuts and the other laws you mention, but I obey them. And because I vote, I have a perfect right to do so just as you have a perfect right to complain about the Bolan amendment. But your right to complain or his, didn't give Oliver North the right to break that law.

9:02 PM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

Picky, Picky.........

3:43 AM  
Blogger bedrocktruth said...

Actually I do see your point, David, about continuing the cycle of violence in our choice of alliances.

I didn't like our support of Samosa in Nicaragua, the Shah in Iran, Marcos in The Phillipines and at one time I believed we could have partnered up with Castro when he was seeking support to overthrow the Batista regime. If we had done that, Cuba might have become a true democracy and an ally today.

So,like you and Chuck, I have problems with all of it.

But I have to remind you that all these alliances and the resulting leadership position we hold in the world, came through decades of both Democrat and Republican administrations. So I hope your guns were
trained on Clinton, Carter,Johnson and Kennedy during their administrations.

Sloppy, yes, ham handed even--but how was it all for distance?

We have problems, complaints, coherent and justified
disagreements with most everything that has taken place in that arena.

But do we have solutions? Alternatives? And what are they...?

4:07 AM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

The discussion here has gotten waaaay off track, hasn't it?

The choice is very simple, no matter how you try to twist it, in that do you want fighting with terrorists on US soil, or should we take the fight to their doorstep as President Bush has done?

In this post-9/11 era, the USA is justified in dealing with any threat, at any time, by whatever means necessary. And since we're the only superpower on the planet, it's not likely anybody is going to complain too loudly about us defending ourselves.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Eric, the thing is, my crap detector flicked on too soon in this debate over the Iraq invasion. Maybe I got spoiled by the proof Kennedy gave us on the Cuban missiles, but I kept thinking that if our satellite intelligence was supposed to enable us to do more than what we used to do, where were the pictures. I don't buy the idea that showing photos would have told them too much about our intelligence network. It wasn't, as we've seen since, people on the ground who were in danger. So I could see no proof. It was evident that Iran and North Korea were a danger to us. Reading the reports out of those countries indicated this. And prior to 9/11, the Taliban indicated they had the Khomeini eyes of real fanatics and could be a danger. But Iraq was not in the loop. And there are plenty of people out there who are unhappy with us and could be a danger to us now and they are not all called Al Qaida.

Bedrock: I buy what you say on the Presidents of 40 years past and all of them keeping pretty much in lock step. The real danger points came, I believe, under Johnson and Reagan. Johnson because he was being lied to and was lying to us and Reagan because he was a true believer who really thought he was coming near to Armageddon.

And Eric, I don't think we've strayed too far. The issue is one of being lied to and the reasons for it. I keep repeating: why Iraq when others were far more dangerous to us and we knew it?

12:09 PM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

Why not Iraq?

Do you perhaps buy into the Michael Moore arguement that Saddam was just an innocent bystander or something?

9:07 PM  
Blogger David Summerlin said...

Chuck, I will take you up on your question of "why Iraq?" if you will bear with me.
Our previous discussions in this thread are not in the least bit off topic, because in order to understand why we invaded Iraq, we have to admit some pretty ugly truths about our history in regard to brutal regimes, and what those truths say about our motives.
It is distrubing to think of the possibility that the U.S. is not motivated to stop the actions of regimes that support or commit terrorism. But if you want to understand our core motives, just please take an honest look at the record once again:
We knew Noriega was trafficking drugs as early as 1972, but he stayed on our payroll for more than a decade afterwards. He was our buddy during the times of his worst crimes (which we knew about), and he helped us in our Contra war (which was illegal). He fell out of favor when he stopped playing ball, when he became too independent.
America loves Suharto. Enough said.
Arguably the most repressive, fundamentalist Islamic regime in the Middle-East, Saudi Arabia, is our pal. They, too, will fall out of favor if they become too independent, or withdraw their money from American interests.
Saddam was our boy, even when he was using our chemical weapons against his neighbors and his own people. He didn't fall out of favor because he was a vicious criminal (which no one doubts). No, when did he fall out of favor? Pre-Kuwait Iraq was no less a criminal state than post-Kuwait Iraq. What changed our minds?
To understand our motives, you merely have to reflect honestly on this truth: we support corrupt, brutal dictators when they are willing to serve our interests -- primarily our financial interests. When they step outside those boundaries and defy our orders, we will use force, with or without international legal sanction.
The only thing powerful enough to stem the tide of our aggression in this regard is popular opinion, and even that often fails.
So what changed that allowed us to invade Iraq? Iraq fell out of U.S. favor in the early '90s, during Bush the elder's reign. Fast forward to a post-9/11 world where popular opinion is based on the fear generated by a well-functioning propaganda machine.
Why did we invade Iraq, Chuck? Because we could. Bush Jr. was in power, and the manipulation of the public fear stemmed the tide of popular opposition to the war just enough.
And that is one of the many reasons I maintain strongly that the "war on terror" is a lie. It's a smoke screen. Our own history proves that we are not particularly concerned about terrorists so long as they are willing to serve us. Only the terrorists who stop serving us bear the brand of "rogue state."
I admit that none of this is pleasant to contemplate, as it is much more palatable to believe that we are primarily concerned with spreading freedom and democracy to the oppressed peoples of the world. The record proves otherwise.
So if those are our motives, what does that say about the motives of terrorists who seek to destroy us? I've posted arguments about terrorist's motives on the City Lights blog and received the testosterone-laden rebuke: "you can look for their motives, I'd just look for their address." Oooh, big, strong words. But that kind of "hoo-ah" aggression won't reduce the amount of terrorism in the world.
If terrorism defies the rule of law, only the rule of law will reduce the amount of terrorism. International law. This means the World Court and the U.N. -- the organizations we are so fond of defying with all our might and power. Might and power will not win this war, though. It will only perpetuate it.
If we are to hold other nations accountable to the rule of international law, we must stop insisting that we ourselves can violate it at will. We can only combat terrorism in unity with reason and justice, in unity with all nations that abide by the same rule of law we so flagrantly violate. That is not what we have done, nor is it what we are doing.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

That's very well said David. I agree with your summation. In a nutshell, Iraq was vulnerable to a grandstand play that the other nations were not. Okay. Eric, you obviously listen to Fox. In this particular case, terrorism, Saddam was innocent. Read the report from the 9/11 Commission. He was not involved. As David says, Saudi Arabia is an extreme repressive government; so is Iran, so is North Korea. But they are either governments we support, as David says, or they are not vulnerable.

And David, I realize the truth of what you are saying about clutching vipers to our bosoms and eventually suffering the same results as Cleopatra. But terrorism under any name is despicable and needs to be addressed. I believe you are right by criticizing the "War on Terror." It is as false as the famous "War on Drugs" which we have lost. Oh, it keeps going on Eric, but we don't seem to be making much headway. Eventually, I believe that drug use will fade in popularity or move in other directions. We always seem to be able to come up with a new vice.

12:46 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

We invaded Iraq because of greed.

All of us who are taxpayers in the United States are indentured to Halliburton, The Carlyle Group, etc.

"We've got all this tax money whose collection is mandatory. How can we move as much of this money as quickly as possible into the coffers of the companies that are near and dear to us?"

"Let's have a war!"

Harvesting poor kids to fight the war to protect the interests of our corporate friends in government is part of the equation.

It's little different than fighting for the British in the colonial era to protect the interests of the British East India Company.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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9:06 AM  
Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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7:55 PM  

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