T Nation

Iraqi Casualties

[quote]Professor X wrote:
vroom wrote:
Saddam knocked off a few thousand a month before we knocked him off. Why no outcry from you and the Al-Appeasment cronies before that.

How many are dying in North Korea right now? How many are dying in Africa right now?

Somehow, the acts of dictators against their own people is only a reason for war when you actually desire a war, not because of the principle involved.

Using such issues as an argument against people who are against collatoral damage to suggest they support terrorists is asinine. I suppose if you aren’t for a war in Africa and also in North Korea you are a terrorist appeaser?

Somehow, I think terrorist appeasers are probably an unpatriotic anti-american bunch. Too bad nobody ever uses the tactic of branding people as such around here… since I was recently asked to show it happening.

Anyhow, please, get serious. Saddam was a bad man. Everyone knows that. Nobody, or at least I’m not aware of anyone, thought otherwise, but that is not why the nation went to war.

It went to war because the Bush administration wanted the war, for reasons which may or may not have been explained to us, and because the media was used to drive fear into hearts of Americans.

Oh, yes, in my opinion.

Why don’t we ever get a straight forward response by those who claim to be conservatives of why we aren’t equally supporting war in these other dictatorships? What made Iraq so special? Iraq trumps Africa and North Korea, why? Are we just waiting on more troop to be born and choose to go into the military?

[quote]

Thank you. North Korea has WMD’s.If you think Saddam was a loose cannon, look up the crazy bastard that rules N. Korea. Why aren’t we there?

Saudi Arabia?

Iran?

Syria?

Central America?

When we went into Serbia against Milosevic, didn’t you guys scream about “nation building”? Don’t conservatives hate nation building?

And don’t give me the classic horshit line of, “We’ll get to them”. Because you know damn well we never will.

[quote]harris447 wrote:
hedo wrote:
vroom wrote:
Saddam knocked off a few thousand a month before we knocked him off. Why no outcry from you and the Al-Appeasment cronies before that.

How many are dying in North Korea right now? How many are dying in Africa right now?

Somehow, the acts of dictators against their own people is only a reason for war when you actually desire a war, not because of the principle involved.

Using such issues as an argument against people who are against collatoral damage to suggest they support terrorists is asinine. I suppose if you aren’t for a war in Africa and also in North Korea you are a terrorist appeaser?

Somehow, I think terrorist appeasers are probably an unpatriotic anti-american bunch. Too bad nobody ever uses the tactic of branding people as such around here… since I was recently asked to show it happening.

Anyhow, please, get serious. Saddam was a bad man. Everyone knows that. Nobody, or at least I’m not aware of anyone, thought otherwise, but that is not why the nation went to war.

It went to war because the Bush administration wanted the war, for reasons which may or may not have been explained to us, and because the media was used to drive fear into hearts of Americans.

Oh, yes, in my opinion.

So do you support harris’s position or not?

It’s not asinine to draw the conclusion that someone who supports our enemy in wartime is probably not very supportive of the US. It’s actually just common sense, unfortunately easily missed by the liberal psuedo-intellectual crowd.

I couldn’t really give a flying fuck if he is anti-american or not but he shouldn’t try to hide behind something he isn’t. He doesn’t care about our troops, the mission or the direction of the war. He’s just anti-Bush, bordering on the silly at this point.

The reasons for the war have been posted many times over. Your opinion, as well as mine, is speculation. Reasons given in a speech are not. I won’t belabor the issue, yet again by posting them, since they are already on a current thread.

Please stop lying.

Please show me where I “supported the enemy during wartime”.

Please show me where I ever spoke against the troops. YOU wanted the troops in harm’s way. YOU think it’s a good idea to keep them there.

So, wouldn’t that make YOU against the troops?

[/quote]

Harris

I’ve lost interest in your empty arguments. You are as anti-american as any poster on this site. Stop claiming you are anything else.

Read what the troops you claim to support think about cowards like you.

http://madeucegunners.blogspot.com/2005/11/open-letter-to-anti-war-crowd.html

(fyi a MA-Duece is .50 cal. Machine gun. A Ma-Duece gunner is someone who shoots one)

If I actally gave shit about your opinions I’d point it out to you each time you make an anti-bush, anti-military, anti-administration,anti-US comment but I don’t. I usually lose interest when the lefties turn the argument around to being about themselves or those that call them to task.

On what hedo wrote:

Hey, guess what …who gives a fuck what you think? if you’re honestly stupid enough to not be able to tell the differenc ebetween being anti-administraion and anti-American…then what’s the point in talking to you anyway.

Everytime another pro-war, kill-em-all asshole calls someone who thinks that maybe invading a country, JUST BECAUSE SOME SPOILED LITTLE FUCKTARD WANTED TO BE A WAR PRESIDENT was a bad idea, a “coward”…well, it makes you look bad.

Am I anti-war? Fuck, yeah. You’re FOR war? War. That’s wat you’re in favor of, war? And you’re proud of that?

What a great American you are, sir.

[quote]harris447 wrote:
On what hedo wrote:

Hey, guess what …who gives a fuck what you think? if you’re honestly stupid enough to not be able to tell the differenc ebetween being anti-administraion and anti-American…then what’s the point in talking to you anyway.

Everytime another pro-war, kill-em-all asshole calls someone who thinks that maybe invading a country, JUST BECAUSE SOME SPOILED LITTLE FUCKTARD WANTED TO BE A WAR PRESIDENT was a bad idea, a “coward”…well, it makes you look bad.

Am I anti-war? Fuck, yeah. You’re FOR war? War. That’s wat you’re in favor of, war? And you’re proud of that?

What a great American you are, sir.[/quote]

Please keep posting Al-Harris. You prove my point every day.

Have a great night stewing about all the things your against.

Pro-War, hardly. Doing the right thing absoultely.

Did you read what the troops think of you?

Have a great night. Your tiresome arguments no doubt will make sense to someone, if not you can go fight with someone who gives a shit.

[quote]vroom wrote:

It went to war because the Bush administration wanted the war, for reasons which may or may not have been explained to us, and because the media was used to drive fear into hearts of Americans.[/quote]

I think there may be a better, more rational explanation:

"After 9/11, let’s be fair here, if you had been President, you’d think, Well, this fellow bin Laden just turned these three airplanes full of fuel into weapons of mass destruction, right? Arguably they were super-powerful chemical weapons. Think about it that way.

“So, you’re sitting there as President, you’re reeling in the aftermath of this, so, yeah, you want to go get bin Laden and do Afghanistan and all that. But you also have to say, ‘Well, my first responsibility now is to try everything possible to make sure that this terrorist network and other terrorist networks cannot reach chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material. I’ve got to do that.’”

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
vroom wrote:

It went to war because the Bush administration wanted the war, for reasons which may or may not have been explained to us, and because the media was used to drive fear into hearts of Americans.

I think there may be a better, more rational explanation:

"After 9/11, let’s be fair here, if you had been President, you’d think, Well, this fellow bin Laden just turned these three airplanes full of fuel into weapons of mass destruction, right? Arguably they were super-powerful chemical weapons. Think about it that way.

“So, you’re sitting there as President, you’re reeling in the aftermath of this, so, yeah, you want to go get bin Laden and do Afghanistan and all that. But you also have to say, ‘Well, my first responsibility now is to try everything possible to make sure that this terrorist network and other terrorist networks cannot reach chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material. I’ve got to do that.’”[/quote]

-Is that quote from you, or did you actually get it from somewhere?

-An airplane full of fuel is not a weapon of mass destruction, just like Ryder trucks aren’t weapons of mass destruction, even if they are used to cause such. We’re not attacking unfriendly nations because they have airplanes, right? Not yet anyway.

-An airplane full of fuell is not a super-powerful chemical weapon, or any kind of chemical weapon for that matter. If you want to argue this, fine, then let’s call every chemical- triggered explosive device a chemical weapon. That would put the U.S., at this juncture, at the front of the pack in chemical weapons use against both military and civilians.

-If our hypothetical President’s first priority is to “try everything possible”, then why only attack Iraq? Russia has boatloads of all three, and a history of supplying nuclear material. Many other countries in less than stable financial condition have at least one of the three. Al-queda is quite active in Pakistan, a known nuclear country. Why aren’t we “trying everything” against ANY of these? Or, should the country brace itself for something bigger, in the name of liberty of course?

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Why don’t we ever get a straight forward response by those who claim to be conservatives of why we aren’t equally supporting war in these other dictatorships? What made Iraq so special? Iraq trumps Africa and North Korea, why? Are we just waiting on more troop to be born and choose to go into the military?

My gut tells me that if there were a homeless Iraqi family standing on the street right now, that very few of the same people jumping for “Iraq Liberation” would open their doors and alow them to sleep in their house. How far does this care for the people of Iraq go and how does it overcome the care of these other people in other territories?[/quote]

This gives a pretty good overview, including a “why Iraq” explanation:

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2005/11/strategic-overview-annotating-and.html

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Professor X wrote:

Why don’t we ever get a straight forward response by those who claim to be conservatives of why we aren’t equally supporting war in these other dictatorships? What made Iraq so special? Iraq trumps Africa and North Korea, why? Are we just waiting on more troop to be born and choose to go into the military?

My gut tells me that if there were a homeless Iraqi family standing on the street right now, that very few of the same people jumping for “Iraq Liberation” would open their doors and alow them to sleep in their house. How far does this care for the people of Iraq go and how does it overcome the care of these other people in other territories?

This gives a pretty good overview, including a “why Iraq” explanation:

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2005/11/strategic-overview-annotating-and.html
[/quote]

The basic premise seems to be:
“The war, therefore, is against the ideological insurgency within Islam that pursues these objectives, and anybody who gives it aid, shelter or comfort.”

If I am wrong, correct me, but how does this rate Iraq above every other part of the world with a dictatorship? I am glad to see that blog noticed this administration’s lack of diplomacy leading to a poor perception of us by the rest of the world. I was beginning to think that the majority couldn’t see this and/or didn’t care.

I am still not clear on why Iraq needed a war more than Africa or North Korea.

What, Bostonbarrister, is your specific view on this matter…outside the wonder of your ability to find nearly every blog ever written?

Hedo, I hate to bust your political innocence, but the president is a politician. Yes, I know is a hard fact to follow, but it is true.

He, like other politicians, doesn’t make speeches because they are true, but because they serve a purpose. Sometimes such a purpose may be, wait for it, political.

Of course he’s going to throw in the kitchen sink when he’s listing off the reasons for invading Iraq.

The stated reasons include a vast list as mentioned in various speeches. The real reason is completely unknown. Why the public went for it, and why approval was granted in advance, was because of fear – caused by repeated linkage between Saddam, Iraq, terrorism and WMD’s.

You and I can both be right on this point. Yes, sometimes there is more than one right answer… the world is funny that way.

[quote]AZMojo wrote:

-Is that quote from you, or did you actually get it from somewhere?[/quote]

It is from Bill Clinton.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007573

More later.

[quote]vroom wrote:
… Reasons given in a speech are not. I won’t belabor the issue, yet again by posting them, since they are already on a current thread.

Hedo, I hate to bust your political innocence, but the president is a politician. Yes, I know is a hard fact to follow, but it is true.

He, like other politicians, doesn’t make speeches because they are true, but because they serve a purpose. Sometimes such a purpose may be, wait for it, political.

Of course he’s going to throw in the kitchen sink when he’s listing off the reasons for invading Iraq.

The stated reasons include a vast list as mentioned in various speeches. The real reason is completely unknown. Why the public went for it, and why approval was granted in advance, was because of fear – caused by repeated linkage between Saddam, Iraq, terrorism and WMD’s.

You and I can both be right on this point. Yes, sometimes there is more than one right answer… the world is funny that way.

[/quote]

Vroom

I will agree with you on that. It provides a source of constant amusement.

[quote]AZMojo wrote:
-Is that quote from you, or did you actually get it from somewhere?

-An airplane full of fuel is not a weapon of mass destruction, just like Ryder trucks aren’t weapons of mass destruction, even if they are used to cause such. We’re not attacking unfriendly nations because they have airplanes, right? Not yet anyway.

-An airplane full of fuell is not a super-powerful chemical weapon, or any kind of chemical weapon for that matter. If you want to argue this, fine, then let’s call every chemical- triggered explosive device a chemical weapon. That would put the U.S., at this juncture, at the front of the pack in chemical weapons use against both military and civilians.

-If our hypothetical President’s first priority is to “try everything possible”, then why only attack Iraq? Russia has boatloads of all three, and a history of supplying nuclear material. Many other countries in less than stable financial condition have at least one of the three. Al-queda is quite active in Pakistan, a known nuclear country. Why aren’t we “trying everything” against ANY of these? Or, should the country brace itself for something bigger, in the name of liberty of course?

[/quote]

This was left out as the very first sentence of that speech:

You know, I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over

I agree with you. While it may be a defense of President Bush’s war tactics, it doesn’t seem like a very good one.

I am laughing at how Clinton is referenced one minute, yet ripped apart by every conceivable angle the rest of the time.

[quote]
Professor X wrote:

Why don’t we ever get a straight forward response by those who claim to be conservatives of why we aren’t equally supporting war in these other dictatorships? What made Iraq so special? Iraq trumps Africa and North Korea, why? Are we just waiting on more troop to be born and choose to go into the military?

My gut tells me that if there were a homeless Iraqi family standing on the street right now, that very few of the same people jumping for “Iraq Liberation” would open their doors and alow them to sleep in their house. How far does this care for the people of Iraq go and how does it overcome the care of these other people in other territories?

BostonBarrister wrote:

This gives a pretty good overview, including a “why Iraq” explanation:

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2005/11/strategic-overview-annotating-and.html

Professor X wrote:

The basic premise seems to be:
“The war, therefore, is against the ideological insurgency within Islam that pursues these objectives, and anybody who gives it aid, shelter or comfort.”

If I am wrong, correct me, but how does this rate Iraq above every other part of the world with a dictatorship? I am glad to see that blog noticed this administration’s lack of diplomacy leading to a poor perception of us by the rest of the world. I was beginning to think that the majority couldn’t see this and/or didn’t care.

I am still not clear on why Iraq needed a war more than Africa or North Korea.

What, Bostonbarrister, is your specific view on this matter…outside the wonder of your ability to find nearly every blog ever written?[/quote]

My view is that Iraq made the most sense overall, even if it didn’t make the most sense for any particular reason – kind of an “in the aggregate” test.

First, on a geopolitical level, the stage was already set, in that Iraq was under a sanctions regime, and was both violating the sanctions and engaging in bellicose activity. It was also the country most likely to cause region-wide instability in the Middle East, which was the worst-case scenario outside of a WMD attack on a major US city.

Assume for the sake of argument that all the countries that said they believed Iraq had WMD actually did believe Iraq had WMD, including us (BTW, we still don’t know what happened to the WMD everyone knew he had and that he was established as having, but that’s another topic). The administration’s view (and the view of the previous administration as well, because it is/was the view of the CIA) is that terrorist groups need nation-states as sponsors. Iraq was also known to have established relations with various terrorist groups, including al Queda [Note: This is different from saying it’s established that Iraq had any hand in the planning of 9/11].

So, start from the position that Iraq has WMD and terrorist ties, and that the administration’s worst fear was a “rogue nation” supplying WMDs to terrorists.

Then, think geopolitically. Saudi Arabia is a nominative ally in the region, but we don’t trust them as far as we can throw them regarding help against terrorists. Iran and Syria are problem nations. Israel is a good ally, but local politics and the size of Israel makes it difficult to use as a good base in the area. The thinking was – and likely still is – that establishing a friendly nation that will allow a strong US presence in the area gives a counter weight to the Saudis, and pincers both Syria (between Israel and Iraq) and Iran (between Afghanistan and Iraq). That placement makes it possible to have the biggest influence with the fewest troops, especially when you add the power of aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf.

The administration believes in the spread of democracy for multiple reasons. The thinking is that they are better trade partners, more likely to be allies with the US militarily, and will have better “behavior” in terms of respecting the rights of their citizenry. The fact that they thought it would be possible to establish a democratic government (not an exact replica of a US democracy, but at least as good as Turkey) was a key part of the strategy.

The established human rights violations in Iraq also added to the picture. In the first instance, all things being equal and costs equalling zero, we would try to stop human rights violations like those wherever they occur. Of course though, all things are not equal, and costs are not zero, so, especially when you’re talking about militarily enforcing human rights policies, there had better be some strong US interests that are being furthered at the same time. In the case of Iraq, you had these considerations: strategic importance in war on terror; strategic importance in the Persian Gulf, which is a key area for the world economy because of its energy production; and, unlike the cases in both Iran (with Russia) and North Korea (with China), you didn’t have a big geopolitical player that considered that country “their turf,” which would add a whole nother set of costs and complications to the mix.

Those are my thoughts on “why Iraq.”

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
a few decent points of his opinion of the war[/quote]

Well, In my opinion, your first point doesn’t hold much water for me. Strategic importance in war on terror, seems to go up in flames when we create even more terrorists. Terrorism isn’t a country. It is more an ideal, and as such, it isn’t like Iraq was such a major player in its existence that taking out Iraq is going to destroy it. I understand the point you are making, but terrorism isn’t grounded to one specific area of the world. If anything, I feel that we gave many of our own enemies a new resolve as far as their utter hatred of our way of life. Do you disagree with this?

Your second point, “strategic importance in the Persian Gulf, which is a key area for the world economy because of its energy production” does lead me to ask, didn’t the administration claim that this was not a goal? I agree, it would make sense for this to be the strategy, but who has claimed this was the intention? I am truly asking for my own information because I was under the impression that this tactic was definitely not a reason for why we went into Iraq.

Your third point, “and, unlike the cases in both Iran (with Russia) and North Korea (with China), you didn’t have a big geopolitical player that considered that country “their turf,” which would add a whole nother set of costs and complications to the mix.” just leads me to ask if this means our actions are based on who we thought would give up easier? So democracy of Iraq was not the major reason we went to war, ease of war was?

By the way, BB, that was a good job as far as putting your thoughts down. I was beginning to think you had none of your own.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

Professor X wrote:

Why don’t we ever get a straight forward response by those who claim to be conservatives of why we aren’t equally supporting war in these other dictatorships? What made Iraq so special? Iraq trumps Africa and North Korea, why? Are we just waiting on more troop to be born and choose to go into the military?

My gut tells me that if there were a homeless Iraqi family standing on the street right now, that very few of the same people jumping for “Iraq Liberation” would open their doors and alow them to sleep in their house. How far does this care for the people of Iraq go and how does it overcome the care of these other people in other territories?

BostonBarrister wrote:

This gives a pretty good overview, including a “why Iraq” explanation:

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2005/11/strategic-overview-annotating-and.html

Professor X wrote:

The basic premise seems to be:
“The war, therefore, is against the ideological insurgency within Islam that pursues these objectives, and anybody who gives it aid, shelter or comfort.”

If I am wrong, correct me, but how does this rate Iraq above every other part of the world with a dictatorship? I am glad to see that blog noticed this administration’s lack of diplomacy leading to a poor perception of us by the rest of the world. I was beginning to think that the majority couldn’t see this and/or didn’t care.

I am still not clear on why Iraq needed a war more than Africa or North Korea.

What, Bostonbarrister, is your specific view on this matter…outside the wonder of your ability to find nearly every blog ever written?

My view is that Iraq made the most sense overall, even if it didn’t make the most sense for any particular reason – kind of an “in the aggregate” test.

First, on a geopolitical level, the stage was already set, in that Iraq was under a sanctions regime, and was both violating the sanctions and engaging in bellicose activity. It was also the country most likely to cause region-wide instability in the Middle East, which was the worst-case scenario outside of a WMD attack on a major US city.

Assume for the sake of argument that all the countries that said they believed Iraq had WMD actually did believe Iraq had WMD, including us (BTW, we still don’t know what happened to the WMD everyone knew he had and that he was established as having, but that’s another topic). The administration’s view (and the view of the previous administration as well, because it is/was the view of the CIA) is that terrorist groups need nation-states as sponsors. Iraq was also known to have established relations with various terrorist groups, including al Queda [Note: This is different from saying it’s established that Iraq had any hand in the planning of 9/11].

So, start from the position that Iraq has WMD and terrorist ties, and that the administration’s worst fear was a “rogue nation” supplying WMDs to terrorists.

Then, think geopolitically. Saudi Arabia is a nominative ally in the region, but we don’t trust them as far as we can throw them regarding help against terrorists. Iran and Syria are problem nations. Israel is a good ally, but local politics and the size of Israel makes it difficult to use as a good base in the area. The thinking was – and likely still is – that establishing a friendly nation that will allow a strong US presence in the area gives a counter weight to the Saudis, and pincers both Syria (between Israel and Iraq) and Iran (between Afghanistan and Iraq). That placement makes it possible to have the biggest influence with the fewest troops, especially when you add the power of aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf.

The administration believes in the spread of democracy for multiple reasons. The thinking is that they are better trade partners, more likely to be allies with the US militarily, and will have better “behavior” in terms of respecting the rights of their citizenry. The fact that they thought it would be possible to establish a democratic government (not an exact replica of a US democracy, but at least as good as Turkey) was a key part of the strategy.

The established human rights violations in Iraq also added to the picture. In the first instance, all things being equal and costs equalling zero, we would try to stop human rights violations like those wherever they occur. Of course though, all things are not equal, and costs are not zero, so, especially when you’re talking about militarily enforcing human rights policies, there had better be some strong US interests that are being furthered at the same time. In the case of Iraq, you had these considerations: strategic importance in war on terror; strategic importance in the Persian Gulf, which is a key area for the world economy because of its energy production; and, unlike the cases in both Iran (with Russia) and North Korea (with China), you didn’t have a big geopolitical player that considered that country “their turf,” which would add a whole nother set of costs and complications to the mix.

Those are my thoughts on “why Iraq.”[/quote]

C’mon, BB. The human rights violations argument is deliberately obtuse and you know it.

Ask the people in Rwanda. Or, there are a couple nuns in El Salvador you could ask how much the US cares about human rights violations.

Or…you could ask the cats and kittens in Abu Gharib or Gitmo.

We have never, ever gone to war to protect a third party’s human rights.

[quote]hedo wrote:
harris447 wrote:
On what hedo wrote:

Hey, guess what …who gives a fuck what you think? if you’re honestly stupid enough to not be able to tell the differenc ebetween being anti-administraion and anti-American…then what’s the point in talking to you anyway.

Everytime another pro-war, kill-em-all asshole calls someone who thinks that maybe invading a country, JUST BECAUSE SOME SPOILED LITTLE FUCKTARD WANTED TO BE A WAR PRESIDENT was a bad idea, a “coward”…well, it makes you look bad.

Am I anti-war? Fuck, yeah. You’re FOR war? War. That’s wat you’re in favor of, war? And you’re proud of that?

What a great American you are, sir.

Please keep posting Al-Harris. You prove my point every day.

Have a great night stewing about all the things your against.

Pro-War, hardly. Doing the right thing absoultely.

Did you read what the troops think of you?

Have a great night. Your tiresome arguments no doubt will make sense to someone, if not you can go fight with someone who gives a shit.[/quote]

If you honestly think this war is “doing the right thing” then you’re a pathetic representative for our Armed Forces.

Read a book.

[quote]harris447 wrote:
hedo wrote:
harris447 wrote:
On what hedo wrote:

Hey, guess what …who gives a fuck what you think? if you’re honestly stupid enough to not be able to tell the differenc ebetween being anti-administraion and anti-American…then what’s the point in talking to you anyway.

Everytime another pro-war, kill-em-all asshole calls someone who thinks that maybe invading a country, JUST BECAUSE SOME SPOILED LITTLE FUCKTARD WANTED TO BE A WAR PRESIDENT was a bad idea, a “coward”…well, it makes you look bad.

Am I anti-war? Fuck, yeah. You’re FOR war? War. That’s wat you’re in favor of, war? And you’re proud of that?

What a great American you are, sir.

Please keep posting Al-Harris. You prove my point every day.

Have a great night stewing about all the things your against.

Pro-War, hardly. Doing the right thing absoultely.

Did you read what the troops think of you?

Have a great night. Your tiresome arguments no doubt will make sense to someone, if not you can go fight with someone who gives a shit.

If you honestly think this war is “doing the right thing” then you’re a pathetic representative for our Armed Forces.

Read a book. [/quote]

Keep up the good work!!! The troops value your support.

Prof [Note: Harris, this is for you too],

Firstly, remember, that it’s important to look at the reasons in an aggregate fashion. That will play directly to one of your questions below.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Well, In my opinion, your first point doesn’t hold much water for me. Strategic importance in war on terror, seems to go up in flames when we create even more terrorists. Terrorism isn’t a country. It is more an ideal, and as such, it isn’t like Iraq was such a major player in its existence that taking out Iraq is going to destroy it. I understand the point you are making, but terrorism isn’t grounded to one specific area of the world. If anything, I feel that we gave many of our own enemies a new resolve as far as their utter hatred of our way of life. Do you disagree with this?[/quote]

I agree that it’s a bad idea to make more terrorists. I disagree that it’s anything more than a loosely based claim that we in fact are creating more terrorists. But that actually doesn’t impact the main point.

The main point was that the administration and the CIA view is and has been that terrorists aren’t nearly as big of a threat to US interests in the absence of sponsorship by nation states. So if taking away a nation-state sponsor meant that terrorists were less likely to get their hands on advanced weapons or to have a shelter and training ground, then, in fact, even if there were more terrorists created, they would still be less dangerous to US interests than fewer terrorists who had those things.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Your second point, “strategic importance in the Persian Gulf, which is a key area for the world economy because of its energy production” does lead me to ask, didn’t the administration claim that this was not a goal? I agree, it would make sense for this to be the strategy, but who has claimed this was the intention? I am truly asking for my own information because I was under the impression that this tactic was definitely not a reason for why we went into Iraq.[/quote]

No, they didn’t say that we didn’t take energy supply into account. They said we weren’t going to war “for oil,” meaning solely for oil, which was the claim they were arguing against. As I said, Iraq has to be viewed in total – I think making certain that the middle east didn’t descend into a chaotic mess that would trigger a global economic depression was probably a consideration, though not the only, or even necessarily the most important, consideration.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Your third point, “and, unlike the cases in both Iran (with Russia) and North Korea (with China), you didn’t have a big geopolitical player that considered that country “their turf,” which would add a whole nother set of costs and complications to the mix.” just leads me to ask if this means our actions are based on who we thought would give up easier? So democracy of Iraq was not the major reason we went to war, ease of war was?
[/quote]

Once again, let me say that it has to be considered in the aggregate. If one does a cost/benefit analysis of a situation, which is key to any “realism” view of foreign policy, then, to use your terminology, “ease of war” would be a factor on the cost side of the equations, and “democracy for Iraq” would be a factor on the benefit side of the equation.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
The main point was that the administration and the CIA view is and has been that terrorists aren’t nearly as big of a threat to US interests in the absence of sponsorship by nation states. So if taking away a nation-state sponsor meant that terrorists were less likely to get their hands on advanced weapons or to have a shelter and training ground, then, in fact, even if there were more terrorists created, they would still be less dangerous to US interests than fewer terrorists who had those things.[/quote]

But what about the future? I mean, honestly, how stupid do you think these people are when the main man with a billion dollar price tag on his head can’t even be found? Iraq was the sole source of blackmarket weaponry? Please tell me no one actually believes this.

So all of the other countries mentioned are no threat to our interests? Since when has terrorism (as it relates to Islam) alone become the only thing we are worried about? It still doesn’t explain why every otehr country out there with a powerful dictatorship rated as last on the list of things we need to attack right this moment…especially now that we know what they were really capable of. Again, why didn’t we wait on our own weapons inspectors instead of waging war for WMD’s when there are other risks to our way of life sitting out there watching our every strategic move and planning counter-strategies should the need arise?