War With Iraq — Joe Biden said that success in Iraq may be one of the great achievements of the Obama administration. Most of our soldiers will be home by summer and the Iraq government is doing well. What would the situation be today if we had not invaded Iraq?
If the US had not invaded Iraq Saddam Hussein and his sons would still been in power. Throughout the 90’s Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. He targeted the Kurds in the north and the Shi’ite Muslims in the south. As his sons gained more power they became ruthless with their own personal terror machines.
The only debate would be concerning the number of victims. Would it have been thousands or hundreds of thousands during this past decade? It is terrible that over 4000 of our soldiers died in the war with Iraq. But every American death may have saved a thousand lives or more.
Saddam had a thing going on with the United Nations. On the one hand the UN had placed sanctions against Iraq, while on the other hand, Saddam made millions off the “Oil for Food” program. The scandal allegedly involved financing for Al Qaeda.
The program was suggested by the US in 1995 to allow Iraq to trade oil for food and other humanitarian supplies. These provisions were then supposed to go to the poor Iraqi citizens hurt by the sanctions. Very little happened to the culprits of this scandal. I’m sure Saddam would have generated many more sweet deals to fund his operations through the UN.
UN Resolution after resolution had been given against Saddam through the 90’s. Everyone believed he had weapons of mass destruction and was looking for ways to deliver them. Do you remember how he kept all the weapons inspectors confused? I’m sure there would have been more powerless resolutions and Saddam would have only grown more embolden to deceive the world. He attacked Iran in the 80’s and Kuwait in the 90’s. Would he have joined Al Qaeda in this decade?
The big question is what Saddam would have done after 9/11. I will never forget the image of Saddam celebrating after the attacks. I don’t think he was a participant in the 9/11 attacks, but he was thrilled and certainly would have supported an escalation to the war.
After the invasion of Afghanistan, many of the worst terrorists escaped to Iraq for safe haven. The most famous was al-Zawqawi, the guy who beheaded so many Americans on video. There is no doubt that Iraq would have been the primary training ground and maybe the launching point for Al Qaeda attacks against America.
I am grateful our military crushed Saddam, his sons, and the Ba’ath Party in Iraq. We should have taken them out after the first Iraq war. There are liberals in this country that want to send Bush and Cheney to jail because this was an illegal war in their minds. I wish they would turn their energies toward fighting dandelions or some other issue that will not drive me so crazy.
War With Iraq
Thank you military for what you accomplished in Iraq.
Most of us living in the United States don’t realize what a warlike country the United Sates has become. Since the end of World War II, our country has been in more wars than all the other countries of the world, combined. The USSR did have trouble in Hungry and Czechoslovakia.
These two countries were considered satellite countries of the USSR. The USSR also started a war in Afghanistan. The U.S. has had major wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Gulf War and Kosovo, in addition to minor conflicts in Panama, Guatemala, and Lebanon, just to mention but a few.
Now we are fighting in Iraq again. These wars cost large amounts of money and many lives.
After Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, the U.S., primarily as a result of Republican opposition became a pussycat in military affairs. When we entered World War I, we spent a great deal of time getting together a credible army to send over to Europe.
Our military was in worse condition before Pearl Harbor. Our army was training with fake guns. The first two years after the U.S. entered World War II, our navy was unable to defend our coasts. We were sending up airplanes over the Pacific Ocean with few bullets and we were unable to launch dive bombs upon the Japanese fleet.
Yes, it is wise and sensible to be prepared, but what about being too prepared. We currently have a continually growing military that knows no bounds. Dwight Eisenhower, our first five star general and the first Republican president after sixteen years of Democratic rule, warned the country against the “military industrial complex.”
Consciously or unconsciously, we are committed to use our military. Otherwise it rots, rusts or becomes ineffective. Whatever the excuses are for the many wars we have been involved in since the Second World War, before World War II our country would have left those battles to others.
Think about how many of our military have been killed in those many wars*. Remember how many people of the world have been killed. Think about the overall costs of those many conflicts, beyond the costs of weapons.
Militarists, who believe that more arms are necessary, need to remember that history has shown that seldom was the country with the strong military which prevailed. It was the country with the most gold or money. The United States, with its growing debt, is the poorest country of the world.
If China becomes upset with the U.S., that country only has to start selling dollars to immobilize our Seventh Fleet and our entire military. Starting a run on the dollar will cause oil producing countries to stop selling us the oil which runs our tanks, ships and planes.
China is so wealthy today that any run on the dollar they start will totally destroy our economy. Today Russia is also gathering dollars from oil sales. Russia many be financially unsound but it could also cause a run on the dollar. What irony! How does the U.S. justify being a strong country with a strong military at the costs of becoming so weak dollar wise?
Lost in all the uproar about the proliferation of nuclear technology, and the inevitable consequent weaponry in North Korea and Iran, is the murky argument against their possession of such know-how. Why is the nuclear club restricting its monopoly membership?
The club’s original five members, US, Russia, China, Great Britain, and France, has grown to nine or ten members, depending on who’s counting. Non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), who now have such weapons, include Pakistan, India, and Israel. North Korea withdrew its membership in 2002.
A little talked about, yet very important issue is the existing worldwide total number of warheads–estimated to be in excess of 20,000–that are aimed at various military targets and population centers around the globe. Why so many–given that number could destroy our planet several times over?
One can only guess at the brilliance behind such planning, and it conjures up images of the preparation that went into such masterful strokes such as Vietnam and Agent Orange, and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, given that these weapons have a limited shelf (or silo) life, and disregarding the huge cost of building them in the first place, what of the price of maintenance, and now of replacement?
Congress mandated the never discussed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program in 2004 “to improve the reliability, longevity, and certifiability of existing [nuclear] weapons and their components.” Lots of money for defense contractors involved here.
Whenever this subject comes up, the US’s arsenal is benignly described as a “deterrent force,” meaning that no one would dare attack us for fear of retaliation-read annihilation (or “obliteration” as Hillary Clinton once warned Iran it faced).
The deterrent argument’s thrust is that by owning nuclear weapons others are deterred from attacking you. This rationale obviously does not apply to nuclear wannabes Iran and North Korea. After all, if ever we wanted to mount an attack on either of these nations, it wouldn’t do for them to have big bombs riding atop missiles that might be launched in retaliation.
Another argument for restriction is that these governments are unstable “rogue” states and their weaponry could easily fall into terrorist hands. This argument has been effective with the American public because it plays the fear card.
The “wolf is at the door” claim is not new to us. A frightened populace has been proven time and again to be a controllable populace–one that is quite willing to give up basic freedoms while entrusting their safety to a few “brilliant” bureaucrats.
These are the “smartest people in the room” who plot the fate of the world–in fortified, undisclosed locations that will ensure their survival in case of nuclear war. Never mind that they are of the same ilk as those who decided that we should fill our arsenals with more than enough nuclear warheads to end civilization as we know it, and other previously mentioned colossal blunders.
Also disregarded is the notion that if nukes are a defensive weapon for us (even though the previous administration threatened to violate that premise) why wouldn’t they be the same for every nation? Why would North Korea, or Iran, want to launch what would amount to a Kamikaze attack on anyone? Surely they know that their country would be in ashes shortly after such a blunder. This result is spelled out in the Mutually Assured Destruction corollary to the deterrence strategy. (It has a wonderfully descriptive acronym–MAD!)
By the way, what standing do the nuclear-tipped nations have to deny other nations the same capability? Is it like an exclusive country club that has racial or social barriers to entry? Would the presence of such weapons deter the current nuclear powers ability to blackmail others into doing their bidding?
Let’s face it, the US has become a militaristic enterprise that feeds on controlling the activities of other nations. We now have a military presence in 135 countries around the globe. For what purpose? Take a wild guess.
Finally, if our deterrence strategy is indeed sound, then we have nothing to worry about. In fact it’s so good it should be expanded to include everyone. Just think, if every country had nuclear weapons then no one would be attacking anyone else for fear of retaliation, and there would be no wars–because everyone would be…deterred!
Sounds good to me.