T Nation

Iraq War: Any Alternatives?

I’ve asked this question in many different ways and in many different forms.

I still haven’t heard a single alternative to our present actions that is both realistic and responsible.

Allow me to repost a recent comment:

Let me ask my liberal friends (aldurr, tme, moriarty, elk) a direct question.

If you think the Iraq War was a mistake, provide an alternative.

Please go A to B to C.

For example, “we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq.”

Ok, now how could we have stopped him from reconstituting the weapons? Training terrorists? Funding Terrorists? Firing on our planes (nearly daily)? Bribing UN officials? Throwing UN inspectors out at will/obstructing their inspections? Moving weapons/changing sites PRIOR to inspections? Not declaring weapon systems that we have subsequently found since the invasion?

The problem with the ABB crowd (among many things) is that they have offered EXACTLY ZERO in the way of a viable alternative.

The American people in their wisdom saw right through the rhetoric and entrusted W. with another four years.

Prove me wrong, PLEASE.

Good Luck!!!

If you cannot come up with some reasonable alternatives, think about supporting the war effort. The constant whining and agitating without an alternative makes many of you seem small, petty, and rather insignificant.

JeffR

JeffR: Almost everything you accuse Iraq of the U.S. is guilty of as well. But of course you only apply criticism to our “official enemies”.

Right and wrong apply to everyone including this country’s leaders.

[quote]Zeppelin795 wrote:
JeffR: Almost everything you accuse Iraq of the U.S. is guilty of as well. But of course you only apply criticism to our “official enemies”.

Right and wrong apply to everyone including this country’s leaders.[/quote]

Where are your sources to say we are guilty of these things? Saddam should of been taken out years ago. Clinton should of finished his ass. Saddam broke resolutions. He messed up on his “parole”, now he is in jail. Also, you can’t really compromise with someone who has torture chambers. We tried it once (after the Gulf War) and it won’t happen again.

JeffR, Atlas: Good posts. I’d like to answer for the anti-war folks.

“Uhhhhh…”

There. Does that clear things up for you Jeffy?

Thanks for responding, lothario and Zeppelin.

So far tme, lothario, and zeppelin have had nothing to offer.

Do any of the ABBer’s have ANYTHING productive to add?

Oh, for you three, since you can’t think of anything productive, may I suggest supporting the war effort?

Thanks,

JeffR

Lothario,

Sorry, read your post to quickly.

I’d like to remove your name from my previous post.

It should read: So far tme, and zeppelin have had nothing to offer.

I sincerely apologize for my error,

JeffR

JeffR,

Is it your goal to personally destroy the level of conversation in the political forums?

Your childish posts, ridiculous cheerleading antics and a total inability to actually bother to discuss anything, are downright drivel.

Single-handedly you are dragging the political forums into the abyss. Congratulations for having such a large impact with such little contribution.

I think you’ve got your answer there, Jeff.

You’ve asked the dissenters an honest question, and all they have to offer is sophmoric idiocy.

It’s so easy to look like the tough guy - the rebel - and go against everything that the U.S. does. It takes no balls to blame the U.S. for the state of the world.

But when asked to back up you claims, or offer up a better idea, we don’t hear a peep out of you chicken-shit cowards.

Merry Christmas.

[quote]vroom wrote:
JeffR,

Is it your goal to personally destroy the level of conversation in the political forums?

Your childish posts, ridiculous cheerleading antics and a total inability to actually bother to discuss anything, are downright drivel.

Single-handedly you are dragging the political forums into the abyss. Congratulations for having such a large impact with such little contribution.[/quote]

Asking for a realistic alternative is childish? Where is your, ahem, mature intelligent theoretical alternative? Instead YOU belittle Jeff and call names… Oh, and Merry Christmas! (Really! I appreciate everyone’s input, even if I don’t agree)

Alternative to attacking Iraq - almost too simple… :wink: How about not attacking Iraq? How about assessing the “threat” and concentrating on the real international issues - some of them even would have an effect on the war on terror (like supporting the middle-east peace process not pulling out of it for so long, bolstering and cleaning up the UN and making it a properly acting international body, joining the International Criminal Court, putting pressure on Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and not to forget Russia and China towards embracing human rights, trading less weapons, fighting hunger and poverty, giving the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay proper and fair trials, and … hm, and even going after Saddam with all of your allies’ support in the end).

That would be a start and a lot of fields to put effort into.

Makkun

PS: Merry Christmas, Happy Hannuka and for me and all the other drunken atheists: Look out…! :wink:

Ok, makkun. We turn back time. We don’t attack Iraq. Despite UN Resolution 1441 (was that the one?) that basically said “Saddam, you WILL allow our inspectors ANYWHERE they want to go, or else there WILL be serious military consequences.” He, of course, denies access and… no one attacks? Then what credibility does the UN then have? They will just shake there heads and write ANOTHER threatening resolution. Meantime…

Many within the UN, and many Companies and Government Officials in France, Germany, and Russia (among others) continue to STEAL and PROFIT from the “Oil for Food” program. And they continue to ILLEGALLY provide weapons, weapons parts and systems, and other contraband directly to Iraq.

Saddam continues his pursuit of WMD’s.

Saddam and his evil offspring continue rape, torture, murder… on a massive scale.

Saddam,the embodiment of Satan, continues to laugh at the world.

“Oh yeah? Why don’t we take on the nation of [insert any nation] instead of Iraq?”

Hmm, at the end of Gulf War I, the cease fire agreement, in part, was to allow the inspectors to inspect ANYWHERE in Iraq. It took about ONE month for Saddam to defy that one. HE broke the cease fire agreement, at which point the original coalition should have just said: “AHA! You broke the cease fire! You going down, Saddam!” with a continuation of the war.

But I digress. Saddam defied the ceasefire for decade, give or take. The UN and the world gave him 10 years worth of sanctions and resolutions. The UN spoke with UNANIMITY with that last resolution… enough was enough.

What other nation has the world exhausted a decade worth of rightfull diplomatic methods to resolve similar issues? War with Iraq WAS the last resort, we came that far. Let us not jump to war without exhausting all diplomatic possibilities.

Ursus,

[quote]Ursus wrote:
Ok, makkun. We turn back time. We don’t attack Iraq. Despite UN Resolution 1441 (was that the one?) that basically said “Saddam, you WILL allow our inspectors ANYWHERE they want to go, or else there WILL be serious military consequences.” He, of course, denies access and… no one attacks? Then what credibility does the UN then have? They will just shake there heads and write ANOTHER threatening resolution. Meantime…[/quote]

http://www.un.int/usa/sres-iraq.htm states “serious” but not “serious military” consequences. That is implied, yes, but I was asked for alternatives, and I provided - including going after Saddam united.

Not proven yet, but alleged. Yes, corruption was rife - can it be proven it affected policies? Not yet. Once it can be, I’ll be happy to address the issue.

When he has enough money to do so and the embargo falls - which it didn’t. As bad as it was handled, we are only talking about his intent, as noted in the final report.

[quote]Saddam and his evil offspring continue rape, torture, murder… on a massive scale.

Saddam,the embodiment of Satan, continues to laugh at the world.[/quote]

Yup. There are dozens of regimes doing that. The question was - was there an alternative to going to war with Iraq? And yes, there would have been. Was it in principle right to go after Saddam - absolutely. But was it prudent to do it now - with faulty evidence, with pissing of the US’s closest allies, with making the islamic world even angrier at the US? Nope.

[quote]“Oh yeah? Why don’t we take on the nation of [insert any nation] instead of Iraq?”

Hmm, at the end of Gulf War I, the cease fire agreement, in part, was to allow the inspectors to inspect ANYWHERE in Iraq. It took about ONE month for Saddam to defy that one. HE broke the cease fire agreement, at which point the original coalition should have just said: “AHA! You broke the cease fire! You going down, Saddam!” with a continuation of the war.

But I digress. Saddam defied the ceasefire for decade, give or take. The UN and the world gave him 10 years worth of sanctions and resolutions. The UN spoke with UNANIMITY with that last resolution… enough was enough.

What other nation has the world exhausted a decade worth of rightfull diplomatic methods to resolve similar issues? War with Iraq WAS the last resort, we came that far. Let us not jump to war without exhausting all diplomatic possibilities.[/quote]

I give you that. Yes, enough was enough years ago - but starting this war at that time has not helped with the main objective: the war on terror. Call me cynical - yes, ignoring the Iraq problem a bit more would have cost more lives there (more even than I guess with the war), but concentrating on coming up with a working international system, proper intelligence on Iraq (and the corruption there), demonstrating the islamic world that the war on terror is not a war on Islam and being a beacon of human rights would have helped improving the US’s strategic interests and the longterm international situation, and would have been worth it.

Makkun

Makkun

Well they are certainly alternatives you pointed out and I applaud you for offering them, in a logical argument, without attacking the questioner. Well done.

I would point out that many of those alternatives have been tried and failed. And in the opinion, of the curent administration, would not work in the future. Therefore war became an option. The war in Iraq happened as a direct result of the political mood after 9/11. I think the American people have become fed up with diplomacy that doesn’t work. Allies dragging their feet, and an anemic and corrupt UN.

The attacks of 9/11 were without a doubt a political statement that did nothing to harm the US militarily. In fact, it allowed the military to react with much greater force. A collosal failure on the part of OBL, to accomplish his political objectives.

The Iraq war, on the other hand, demonstrates the ability to effect regime change, anyplace and anytime. Right or wrong, it serves notice.

Happy Holidays to all!!! Watch out for those walls atheists!

Hedo,

[quote]hedo wrote:
Makkun

Well they are certainly alternatives you pointed out and I applaud you for offering them, in a logical argument, without attacking the questioner. Well done.

I would point out that many of those alternatives have been tried and failed. And in the opinion, of the curent administration, would not work in the future. Therefore war became an option. The war in Iraq happened as a direct result of the political mood after 9/11. I think the American people have become fed up with diplomacy that doesn’t work. Allies dragging their feet, and an anemic and corrupt UN.[/quote]

I agree that the war was a direct result of the mood after 9/11. That makes it even worse in my books - due to the lack of urgency and proof of a current threat, it shows that the motivation to go to war was indeed completely an US-internal affair. As much as I despised Saddam’s regime - a gouvernment should not be ousted because of a political mood in another country. Being tired with diplomacy is a very dangerous thing, as it narrows the range of non-violent solutions to problems. And as far the UN and the allies - they just started dragging their feet on the Iraq issue - in the Afghanistan war, the US had their full support. And still do.

You see, I am not so sure about that. The war has polarised Christians and Muslims worldwide, has put a wedge between the allies and has led to a number of human rights versus security issues. The terrorist Rote Armee Fraktion in 70ies Germany had the declared goal to provoke the state into rash and radical actions by putting fear (terror) into it. In my view OBL has very succesfully done exactly that with the US - and here I have to repeat my argument that running international policies driven by an internal political situation is a very dangerous thing.

Yes it does - but not a positive one. If more or less one state can decide the fates of numerous other states on the planet, reacting mostly to internal forces, that really defies any working international system. That is in my view the real damage done by this war - and if you check my posts, they mostly promote multilateral and international policies.

As for the walls - I have been lucky. :wink:

Makkun

makkun, just curious:

Are you hinting at the thought that “if the US just invades any country it wants for the wrong reasons, it’s only a matter of time before they invade MY country?”

I’d like to reaffirm the notion that we are not imperialists over here. We are giving the Iraqis their country back after we took it from Saddam. The whole point of this thread was that there weren’t any other alternatives. Saddam had ten fucking years to get his act together. The Gulf War I never really ended, remember? I like your whole let’s get more international support idea – but we tried that, and sorry, they’re a bunch of pussies. It’s like the keystone cops who don’t have guns telling the criminals:

“Stop! Or… I’ll say stop again!”

The UN is weak, plain and simple. Weakness obviously doesn’t stop international criminals like Saddam.

So, in summation, I’d just like to point out that there are so many folks out there who say “Well, of course the world is better off without that homocidal maniac in charge of Iraq, but…” But what? Did anybody expect Saddam to just leave of his own accord? Was he going to run off to join the circus or something? This – meaning military force – was the only way. The people weren’t going to overthrow him, the sanctions weren’t keeping him in check, nothing else was working. So, we stepped in.

Lothario,

Your last post was excellent. Many salient points.

Makkun wrote:

“You see, I am not so sure about that. The war has polarised Christians and Muslims worldwide”,

Do they teach history at your schools?

Any?

Please indicate a time in history when there wasn’t a polarization.

This war has brought into sharp focus many underlying truths.

In particular, we are now fully aware of the dangers posed to the world of the Extremist Movements.

“has put a wedge between the allies and has led to a number of human rights versus security issues.”

Again, it has high-lighted fissures that were already there. The Coalition of the Willing indicates quite clearly who are true allies.

Your Anti-American bias shows quite clearly when you refuse to condemn what appears to be Saddam’s massive bribery of France/Germany/Russia and the U.N. Where is your outrage?

You understand, of course, that the money from the Oil for Food program was going into the afore mentioned government coffers INSTEAD OF INTO STARVING IRAQI CHILDREN’S MOUTHS!!!

Where is your outrage?

By the way, your underlying message of “America the Imperialist” is laughable coming from an Englishman/woman.

YOU INVENTED THE WORD AND THE CONCEPT!!!

Read about 19th century Afghanistan/India etc… if you want to see how a true Imperialist power acts.

Get back to me when you’ve been schooled in your own history.

Thanks!!!

JeffR

Lothario,

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
makkun, just curious:

Are you hinting at the thought that “if the US just invades any country it wants for the wrong reasons, it’s only a matter of time before they invade MY country?”[/quote]

Nope.

[quote]I’d like to reaffirm the notion that we are not imperialists over here. We are giving the Iraqis their country back after we took it from Saddam. The whole point of this thread was that there weren’t any other alternatives. Saddam had ten fucking years to get his act together. The Gulf War I never really ended, remember? I like your whole let’s get more international support idea – but we tried that, and sorry, they’re a bunch of pussies. It’s like the keystone cops who don’t have guns telling the criminals:

“Stop! Or… I’ll say stop again!”[/quote]

Never said the US were imperialist. I even say that even the Bush gouvernment had honest and good intentions - but that its decisions are misguided. For the pussies part - I have stated more than once that countries opposed to this war are doing and have been doing their duty in other conflicts.

The UN is weak, because its main players have been using it for their convenience for a long time. That includes the US. Please find attached a link of UN resolutions vetoed by the US, many of them concerning Israel: http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/geoff/UNresolutions.htm
My point - if you want an international body that actually functions, let its decisions be implemented. Don’t block it and then moan that it does not work.

Disclaimer: There is a lot of blame to throw around, and the US is definitely not the only guilty party; but its policies are part of the problem.

If you read my earlier posts you will see that I did not say it was wrong to get rid of Saddam - it was just the wrong time and under the wrong circumstances. I stated that this has jeopardised the international systems even more and has cost strategically - especially in the war on terror.

Makkun

JeffR,

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Lothario,

Your last post was excellent. Many salient points.

Makkun wrote:

“You see, I am not so sure about that. The war has polarised Christians and Muslims worldwide”,

Do they teach history at your schools?

Any?

Please indicate a time in history when there wasn’t a polarization.

This war has brought into sharp focus many underlying truths.

In particular, we are now fully aware of the dangers posed to the world of the Extremist Movements.

“has put a wedge between the allies and has led to a number of human rights versus security issues.”

Again, it has high-lighted fissures that were already there. The Coalition of the Willing indicates quite clearly who are true allies.

Your Anti-American bias shows quite clearly when you refuse to condemn what appears to be Saddam’s massive bribery of France/Germany/Russia and the U.N. Where is your outrage?

You understand, of course, that the money from the Oil for Food program was going into the afore mentioned government coffers INSTEAD OF INTO STARVING IRAQI CHILDREN’S MOUTHS!!!

Where is your outrage?

By the way, your underlying message of “America the Imperialist” is laughable coming from an Englishman/woman.

YOU INVENTED THE WORD AND THE CONCEPT!!!

Read about 19th century Afghanistan/India etc… if you want to see how a true Imperialist power acts.

Get back to me when you’ve been schooled in your own history.

Thanks!!!

JeffR[/quote]

JeffR,

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Lothario,

Your last post was excellent. Many salient points.

Makkun wrote:

“You see, I am not so sure about that. The war has polarised Christians and Muslims worldwide”,

Do they teach history at your schools?

Any?[/quote]

Yes, they do. I even majored in it then.

Didn’t say that - I just pointed out that there is now an additional unnecessary amount of it out there due to the wrong decision for war.

[quote]This war has brought into sharp focus many underlying truths.

In particular, we are now fully aware of the dangers posed to the world of the Extremist Movements.[/quote]

That was known well before. If you studied your history books as often as you recommend it to others you should know that.

[quote]“has put a wedge between the allies and has led to a number of human rights versus security issues.”

Again, it has high-lighted fissures that were already there. The Coalition of the Willing indicates quite clearly who are true allies.[/quote]

Too bad you don’t seem to understand my point: Your true friend is not always the one who says “yes” to everything you do, but rather the one who dissents when he deems necessary.

First - still not proven. Why don’t you let the investigators do their job, before you use it as an argument? Second - as pointed out before - name me one German gouvernment official who has allegedly profited from the OFF scandal. If proven, I will be outraged - before that, I’ll just wait for the facts.

[quote]You understand, of course, that the money from the Oil for Food program was going into the afore mentioned government coffers INSTEAD OF INTO STARVING IRAQI CHILDREN’S MOUTHS!!!

Where is your outrage?[/quote]

See above.

[quote]By the way, your underlying message of “America the Imperialist” is laughable coming from an Englishman/woman.

YOU INVENTED THE WORD AND THE CONCEPT!!!

Read about 19th century Afghanistan/India etc… if you want to see how a true Imperialist power acts.

Get back to me when you’ve been schooled in your own history.[/quote]

If you ever read my posts - you would know that I am not British; I am German. I was brought up learning about my grandparents’ generation’s guilt for the Nazi rule and the terror of extremism (see above) that they spread around the planet. They were rightfully defeated by the allies, and I was lucky to grow up in a country that was free and has - as a result of its past - a strong belief in international systems (and the US’s leadership in the West during the Cold War), but it is very critical when it comes to military “solutions”. And I am proud of that.

If you want proper discussion in a forum, you should read your discussion partners’ posts and for every time you want the others to be fair to the US - just check, before you lash out against their home countries (and get the right one). That’s called respect.

[quote]Thanks!!!

JeffR[/quote]

Anytime. BTW - you asked for alternatives when you started the thread. I gave some - any take on that?

Makkun

Makkun,

Great Post!!!

You wrote:

“name me one German gouvernment official who has allegedly profited from the OFF scandal. If proven, I will be outraged - before that, I’ll just wait for the facts.”

A quick search revealed this:

“In January 2003, two German businessmen were convicted of supplying weapons-making equipment to Saddam Hussein in violation of the U.N. embargo. Apparently, this was just the tip of the iceberg: according to an Iraqi weapons report to the U.N., over 80 German companies were involved in supplying Saddam’s military, some of which were still doing so just months before the war. “Of further embarrassment to Germany is that […] German companies make up more than half of the total number of institutions listed in the [Iraqi weapons] report,” the BBC noted.”

Care to contend that 80 German Companies didn’t have a “single German offical” contact?"

I apologize, hedo answered your list of alternatives to my satisfaction directly following your posting. I’ll comment upon your list as you requested.

You wrote:

“Alternative to attacking Iraq - almost too simple… :wink: How about not attacking Iraq? How about assessing the “threat” and concentrating on the real international issues - some of them even would have an effect on the war on terror (like supporting the middle-east peace process not pulling out of it for so long”

Hard to believe you are serious here. How many plans have we put forward in the last few years? Off the top of my head: The Mitchell plan, and the W. very detailed plan W. put forward in 2000.

Please refresh yourself on the reasons for these plans going awry. I’m not going to type them out for you here.

“bolstering and cleaning up the UN and making it a properly acting international body,”

Agreed. It is coming.

“joining the International Criminal Court”

Not a chance. Look it up. Plenty of EXTRA-vulnerabilities inherent in being an American Soldier in front of this court.

“putting pressure on Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and not to forget Russia and China towards embracing human rights,”

Please read the news. I suggest starting with google on each of these topics.

“trading less weapons, fighting hunger and poverty, giving the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay proper and fair trials”

All happening.

" and … hm, and even going after Saddam with all of your allies’ support in the end)."

Which allies would that be? Our allies are involved currently. Check Coalition.

If you are referring to the “International Community” aka… Germany/France/Russia… Please see developing Oil for Food Scandal and guess at our chances to intice the massively bribed.

Oh, it must be nice to say “I’ll wait for the full investigation to come out.” W. didn’t have that luxury. There are plenty of undeniable facts regarding this scandal that HE KNEW. I’m sure he could connect the dots.

It doesn’t take Winston Churchill to be able to understand your odds of encouraging an ally to fight with you when someone like Chirac states, “Under no circumstance will we put the French military into Iraq.”

In short, I didn’t find anything particularly realistic about your “alternatives.”

It just falls too far short of the realities of the situation circa Februrary 2003.

I appreciate the sincere attempt, however.

Thanks!!!

JeffR