Iraq Conspiracy? No, Confluence (UPDATE 2)UPDATE 1: Added Palast link to list
UPDATE 2: Added Perle/Soviet to list In the last couple days I've seen a couple posts which attempt to answer the question "Why did we fight in Iraq?" and I realized that although I'd commented this material elsewhere, I'd never blogged it myself. There were a host of forces at play, all with the same aim, while the anti-war arguments were generally based on hypothesis or law. I'm not sure which order to describe the factors, so please don't read anything in there.
- PNAC and neo-conservatism always favored using US force to destroy particular enemies of the US establishment, not that Cheney didn't do business with official US enemies. Emerging out of 70s hawkish leftism (e.g. Scoop Jackson) and the classrooms of the disciples of Leo Strauss, these disturbing elements of the US power structure argue from the axiom that the US is the world Leviathan, a position which is false.
- War is good for the media's ratings.
- Colin Powell, even before Bush took office, was known to favor war against Iraq and North Korea, both of whom he considered Cold War aggressor nations which had not paid for their aggression. It's hard for me to see how Kim Jong Il can be blamed for the war of his father, Kim Il Song, but that didn't stop General Powell.
- Soldiers want action and medals.
- The foreign policies of certain US allies, namely, Israel. Israel wanted Saddam gone. No one can argue that the Saudis really loved Saddam, either.
- In 2000, Iraq became the first major oil producing country to replace the dollar with the Euro. Many trillions of Middle Eastern "Petrodollars" have long been converted into US dollars before being spent. This is a great deal for the United States, and changing it would weaken the US economy.
- Defense contractors want sales.
- Oil security. I think the major US focus on oil as a national security measure dates back to WWII. Tanks and planes don't run without oil. Battles in WWII were won and lost based on fuel supplies. Britian invaded Iraq during WWII because Iraq wanted to sell oil to Germany (a fact notably absent from this CIA timeline). Having Iraq's oil in friendlier hands would help this aging national security issue, and continue to bolster the US economy.
- Saddam had been, in fact, a murderous tyrant (although everyone glosses over the fact that his last few years had been his best, kills-per-year wise).
- Saddam allegedly tried to kill Bush's father. Taking the nation to war for personal reasons is treason.
- Because they could. Some people were tasked with things like "Find any dirt on Iraq that you can, and make a big stink about it." They were given a job by the President, and they did it well (enough). William Luti and Doug Feith figure prominently as neo-cons who can assert "I was just doing my job."
- The last reason I can think of is Bush's religion. He doesn't see things as events in the grand scheme of history, they are Signs From God, and God got him elected, and therefore, God's will must be done. Israel is not a country, but the Holy Land, and Saddam was certainly an enemy of Israel.
- If Greg Palast's report is correct, it had a lot more to do with greed than I have suggested. Pure, unadulterated profit motive.
- According to Richard Perle biographer Alan Weisman, Perle himself really wanted to live/relive the feeling people had when the Soviet Union toppled. Kinda confusing, though, since we didn't shoot at Gorbachev, or try a "decapitation" attack, to do it.
- It might be obvious to sane people, but no one could prove it would be a quagmire. No one knew, in advance, that Bu$hCo would choose oil-men and terrorists to run the new Iraq. As unlikely as it was, war planners made comparisons to post-WWII Japan or Germany.
- It's doubtful Bush considered Saddam's Iraq as worthy of the rights of a Sovereign, as he doesn't consider Arabs to be worthy of the rights in the Constitution.
- And international law? Why, I saw the Bush administration international law expert on C-SPAN. It was pathetic. He brought up the Caroline incident and the Cuba blockade/missile crisis as examples of US pre-emption. The Caroline incident was a British action, while the Cuba blockade was used as an example, five years later, by Egypt, in their blocking the straits of Tiran (an important part of the run-up to the 67 war).