The legitimacy of the Iraq war

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In summary, the British involvement in the Iraq war has been blamed on Prime Minister Tony Blair's "sycophancy" towards the United States and the failure of the governing class to speak the truth. The decision to go to war was driven by the desire for more power and revenge for the 9/11 attacks, rather than legitimate concerns about weapons of mass destruction. The Groupthink phenomenon also played a role in the decision, with the group's cohesion and lack of devils' advocates leading to a false sense of certainty about the existence of WMDs. Despite the belief in the existence of WMDs, there was no evidence to support it and the war has ultimately set back the "war on terrorism". Additionally, the war
  • #1
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British involvement in Iraq war blamed on Blair’s ‘sycophancy’

British soldiers were sent to their deaths in Iraq because of Tony Blair’s “sycophancy” towards Washington and the failure of the governing class to speak the truth...

Anyway we also read:

... he couldn’t resist the stage or the glamour that it gave him...

... it is entirely the work of warriors cast carelessly into death’s way by a Prime Minister lost in self-aggrandisement and a governing class too closed to speak truth to power...

If you believed in the existence of WMD's, the war could seem legimate, but what if it was only for the PM wish (and that of others) to satisfy the quest of more power of those who were in power?

So how come that we were so absolutely sure of the WMD? And talking about being absolutely sure about something, how about present days absolute surety of another enemy?
 
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  • #2
There never were any "WMD". George Bush made up the whole thing just to prove he could outdo his father. (He probably believed his own lie- he was dumb enough to believe that whatever he wanted to be true was true.) What Blair's excuse was, I don't know. Certainly the war on Iraq seriously set back the "war on terrorism".
 
  • #3
Well it has been assumed that Bush knew that Iraq had no WMD's like here

I think it is more subtle than that. There is little doubt that Bush needed an legimate reason to go to war and revenge 9/11 somehow. The flirtation of Saddam Hussein with NBC weapons was no secret, remember the Halabja poison gas attack. Therefore the concern was definitely legimate also given the shown aggression against Kuwait in the first gulf war.

Hence there is little doubt that high political - military - intelligence consultations conveyed the wish of the government in the spirit of "We need to retaliate 911 - So give us an exact overview of the NBC destructive power of Saddam Husain". So intelligence studied all the ground and air recce data and satellite images and found that this could be a sign of WMD and that could be sign too, etc, etc.

Then the http://www.anthonyhempell.com/papers/groupthink/ [Broken] kicks in, induced by strong willed leadership:

lack of tradition of impartial leadership: the group's leader has a tendency to use power or prestige to unduly influence the group instead of encouraging debate;

So in a possible discussion if those signs could or could not be WMD's the following mechanisms may have played a part.

the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action (Janis, 1982, p.9).

instances of mindless conformity and collective misjudgement of serious risks, which are collectively laughed off in a "clubby atmosphere of relaxed conviviality" (Janis, 1982, p.3).

So like the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Challenger, sound judgement became second to the groups cohesiveness and consensus and the "could's" may have evolved via via might, and probably into "virtually certainty". And obviously nobody wanted to play devils advocate, risking the anger of the group. Maybe "the plan" most accurately describes how it may have happened:

The Plan


In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying,
"It is a crock of sh*t, and it stinks."
And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said,
"It is a pail of dung, and we can't live with the smell.
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying,
"It is the container of the excrements, and it is very strong,
such that none may abide by it."
And the Mangers went unto their Directors, saying,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
"It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."
And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying unto him,
"This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the company
with very powerful effects."
And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
And that is how sh*t happens.

Hence there are two notions here:
Firstly: The President and Prime Minister may have heard what they wanted to hear: Yes we are virtually certain that he has WMD

Secondly: they had no idea that their leadership induced groupthink, without devils advocates they were not going to hear anything else than what they wanted to hear.
 
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  • #4
Generally, any time I find the phrase "speak truth to power" embedded in an argument, as it is here by 'Sir Ken' in the Times article, I affix the self-important hyperbole bumper sticker and move on.
 
  • #5
Andre said:
...
Firstly: The President and Prime Minister may have heard what they wanted to hear: Yes we are virtually certain that he has WMD.
Not just Bush and Blair, Congress and Parliament were also convinced.
 
  • #6
HallsofIvy said:
Certainly the war on Iraq seriously set back the "war on terrorism".

In what way? It has kept the terrorists busy fighting in Iraq as opposed to being able to rest and recuperate and plan their next attacks. In addition, if Iraq can be formed into a functioning democracy, having a democratic ally in that region will go a long way in fighting the GWOT.
 
  • #7
Nebula815 said:
In what way? It has kept the terrorists busy fighting in Iraq as opposed to being able to rest and recuperate and plan their next attacks. In addition, if Iraq can be formed into a functioning democracy, having a democratic ally in that region will go a long way in fighting the GWOT.

Actually, it kept them busy fighting in Iraq instead of fighting in Chechnya. Russia should thank us for creating a place more attractive to die in than Chechnya.

I think the little countries that have to be more progressive to compete, such as UAE and possibly even Kuwait, showed a lot more promise for developing democracies than Iraq. Out of over 120 civil wars since World War II, the only ones to be resolved by sharing power in a democratic government were Mozambique and South Africa. Sixty to one is kind of slim odds. (Too be fair, Iraq wasn't actively in a civil war prior to be being liberated, but surely our government had to see the risk of civil war was high - why else do you think Hussein used such extreme measures to keep the Kurds and Shiites in line?)

Sometimes, you look at how a President handles some Earth shattering crisis and realize by the President's response that the event wasn't so Earth shattering at all.

The country's economic crisis becomes an excuse for achieving goals that will have little immediate effect and that's a positive sign. It means the world isn't going to fall apart today (the day Republicans and Democrats agree on a solution to a crisis is the day you realize the world is on the brink of destruction).

9/11 becomes just an excuse to wipe the "Axis of Evil" off the map is just a positive sign that there was never a chance a terrorist organization such as Al-Qaeda could really threaten the security of the US. (Heck, the US suffered the equivalent of 3 WTC's worth of casualties every month during WWII).
 
  • #8
Andre, every single time you use the term groupthink against people I lose a lot of respect for you. You seem very closed minded by contiuously throwing that term around like it's 'dat new-new'

Anyways, I'm kind of iffy on if any government body actually believed that they had WMD. Maybe they thought it was a possibility but I highly doubt they actually thought that they seriously had WMD. Yes the war was purely political... then again, that's pretty much the entire purpose of war.
 
  • #9
mheslep said:
Not just Bush and Blair, Congress and Parliament were also convinced.

I'm not so sure about Congress. Unfortunately, you have to pay for it now if you want to read it, but Winslow Wheeler's long essay/mini-book about Congress's "Week of Shame" makes for some interesting reading. Or you could browse the Senate's transcripts on line for the week Congress approved the authorization for military force.

Plain and simple BS by Hillary Clinton (D), John Kerry (D), Chuck Hagel (R) ... just about any person that thought we were making a mistake but didn't dare to put a "No" vote on their record if they wanted to protect their chances of getting elected in the event that the US invaded Iraq and successfully sparked a democratic government. They played it both ways. They gave a "Yes" vote, but their comments make absolutely no sense except as a quote they could extract out of context in the event the US invaded and the invasion didn't turn out so well.

You could go through that week's transcript and cross off a pretty sizable portion of the Senate as being just too spineless to ever be entrusted with receiving a "phone call at 3AM".

There were very few Senators that took a very courageous stand on either side. McCain (R) would be one. Biden (D) would come darn close, but backed down at the very last - either because the votes just plain weren't there and it would be folly to keep up the fight, or because all the other Presidential hopefuls had caved and he had to match their move - depends how cynical you are which you believe.
 
  • #10
BobG said:
...
9/11 becomes just an excuse to wipe the "Axis of Evil" off the map is just a positive sign that there was never a chance a terrorist organization such as Al-Qaeda could really threaten the security of the US. (Heck, the US suffered the equivalent of 3 WTC's worth of casualties every month during WWII).
What is inference of this comment, that the US has no right to respond to WTC events because they don't measure up to WWII?
Nobody posited that Al-Qaeda could actually destroy the US, or any developed country for that matter, but visibly they sure can kill a great many civilians. If left to themselves, AQ would likely have destroyed a city or two given time. BTW, in WWII the US never suffered an attack of any significance on mainland civilians, a very different thing from soldiers killed on the battlefield.
 
  • #11
mheslep said:
What is inference of this comment, that the US has no right to respond to WTC events because they don't measure up to WWII?
Nobody posited that Al-Qaeda could actually destroy the US, or any developed country for that matter, but visibly they sure can kill a great many civilians. If left to themselves, AQ would likely have destroyed a city or two given time. BTW, in WWII the US never suffered an attack of any significance on mainland civilians, a very different thing from soldiers killed on the battlefield.

Which is why there were relatively few objections when we went after the real enemy in Afghanistan, right after the attack.
 
  • #12
Andre said:
So how come that we were so absolutely sure of the WMD? And talking about being absolutely sure about something, how about present days absolute surety of another enemy?

"We?" How wide was strong confidence in existence of WMDs in Iraq? People who were actually looking at the evidence without regard for politics tended not to be particularly confident, as I recall.

This can sometimes be a hard ideal: to put aside political or social concerns and just stick with evidence on its own real merits. The same thing applies for all kinds of other issues today that may have implications for politics. There are many such issues in all kinds of different fields today. Are you perhaps alluding to disputes over causes of the Aids crisis?

It doesn't matter what issue you might mean. In all cases we should aim to stick with the evidence, on its own merits, and not let concerns about policy or politics alter the evaluation of facts. This applies equally to overconfidence in weak inferences for some extraneous reason, or denial of strong inferences for some extraneous reason. That way you have a much better ground for rational politics or policy; certainly better that what followed in the wake of the WMD boondoggle.

Cheers -- sylas
 
  • #13
mheslep said:
What is inference of this comment, that the US has no right to respond to WTC events because they don't measure up to WWII?
No, he's saying that since the resources devoted to Afghanistan were far smaller than the resources devoted to Iraq, al Qaeda wasn't considered a serious threat (otherwise the larger resources would have been devoted to it).

I disagree with that, mainly because of Bush's lack of forward thinking: He devoted to each the resources necessary to win a conventional, self-contained war and by the initial goal he set out for each (topple the existing regime), both succeeded. What he didn't count on was how difficult it would be to keep the peace afterwards.
 
  • #14
Anyway, WMDs are not the only reason that the Iraq war could be legal/just. Hussein was an aggressive dictator who was a threat to both his own people and his neighbors. Removing him was a positive thing, with or without the WMDs.

Please understand that I'm not saying that it was a good idea to attck Iraq. It wasn't. There was no imminent threat to us and our resources would have been better spent in Afghanistan. But the war was just and the outcome was a better world.
 
  • #15
russ_watters said:
Anyway, WMDs are not the only reason that the Iraq war could be legal/just. Hussein was an aggressive dictator who was a threat to both his own people and his neighbors. Removing him was a positive thing, with or without the WMDs.

Be that true or not, it was not how the war was justified. So the bottom line is that we attacked a country for no reason. That is a war crime. The only reason Bush got his bogus war was the claim that Saddam was imminent threat, when in fact the former chief weapons inspector was going ballistic denying the claims from the Bush admin.

This business of retroactive justification is absurd and you know it. Bush never would have gotten his war based on the justifications used now. That is a simple fact.
 
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  • #16
sylas said:
"We?" How wide was strong confidence in existence of WMDs in Iraq? People who were actually looking at the evidence without regard for politics tended not to be particularly confident, as I recall.

Wide enough that "we" went to war.

It was amazing to live during that time...it didn't really matter how many people were true believers that there were WMDs, the fact is that most were marching lock-step without questioning what they were told. I felt like I wasn't in America any more, there were virtually no dissenting voices.

On 3/19/2003, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzlLU9Uxvdc" (yes I know his background, but that speech took guts).
 
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  • #17
One thing to remember is Iraq was not invaded solely over WMDs. That was one of the reasons, albeit one of the big ones.
 
  • #18
BobG said:
Actually, it kept them busy fighting in Iraq instead of fighting in Chechnya. Russia should thank us for creating a place more attractive to die in than Chechnya.

I think the little countries that have to be more progressive to compete, such as UAE and possibly even Kuwait, showed a lot more promise for developing democracies than Iraq. Out of over 120 civil wars since World War II, the only ones to be resolved by sharing power in a democratic government were Mozambique and South Africa. Sixty to one is kind of slim odds. (Too be fair, Iraq wasn't actively in a civil war prior to be being liberated, but surely our government had to see the risk of civil war was high - why else do you think Hussein used such extreme measures to keep the Kurds and Shiites in line?)

I didn't mean Iraq was necessarilly a great nation from the standpoint of, "Let's invade a Middle Eastern nation and turn it into a democracy," I just meant that since we have invaded it now, it is, long-term, probably better to stay the course and turn it into a democracy if this can be done as that will go a long way as an ally in the long run in that region.

9/11 becomes just an excuse to wipe the "Axis of Evil" off the map is just a positive sign that there was never a chance a terrorist organization such as Al-Qaeda could really threaten the security of the US. (Heck, the US suffered the equivalent of 3 WTC's worth of casualties every month during WWII).

If the terrorists were ever able to detonate a nuclear weapon of some type within the nation. I'm not saying invading Iraq was the solution to this, but I think Al-Qaeda was most definitely a massive threat to U.S. security.
 
  • #19
W's daddy and Reagan loved Hussein until he invaded Kuwait. He was their "junk-yard dog" in the region. He was a cruel and ruthless man, BUT he refused to allow the religious fanatics to take over Iraq, which was good news for women, Christians, and other people who would have had a really hard time in the countries of some US "allies" in the region. In Iraq, women had civil rights, and could hold positions of power, unlike in Saudi Arabia, where they are forbidden to even drive cars or be in the company of a male without male relatives present, etc.

Given the make-up of the 9/11 hijacking crews, Bush could have attacked Saudi Arabia and perhaps Yemen, but Iraq? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, despite the years of hints and insinuations by W and his minions. Judging from the pro-Iraq war bumper-stickers around here saying that we had to "fight them over there so we won't have to fight them over here" there is a raft of gullible people who will rally when you wave a flag and cry for war, regardless of the lack of evidence.
 
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  • #20
Nebula815 said:
If the terrorists were ever able to detonate a nuclear weapon of some type within the nation. I'm not saying invading Iraq was the solution to this, but I think Al-Qaeda was most definitely a massive threat to U.S. security.
Invading Iraq had nothing to do with AQ. Hussein would never have tolerated the existence of a fundamentalist militant group in his country. W's advisors knew this, and probably tried to clue him in, to no avail.
 
  • #21
Nebula815 said:
One thing to remember is Iraq was not invaded solely over WMDs. That was one of the reasons, albeit one of the big ones.

That is effectively false. WMDs were the justification; in particular, it was the claim that Saddam was an imminent threat. He was not an imminent threat. Interestingly, Obama made that clear way back then; before we ever attacked.

From there, the public was lead to believe that Saddam had been involved in the 911 attack, which was also not true.

Imagine what political if not personal courage it took for a young, black, State Senator from Illinois, to stand in front of the charging bull.
 
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  • #22
I know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military is a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
- Barack Obama, October, 2002
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16903253/page/2/
 
  • #23
lisab said:
Wide enough that "we" went to war.

It was amazing to live during that time...it didn't really matter how many people were true believers that there were WMDs, the fact is that most were marching lock-step without questioning what they were told. I felt like I wasn't in America any more, there were virtually no dissenting voices.

On 3/19/2003, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzlLU9Uxvdc" (yes I know his background, but that speech took guts).

I've never heard of him, frankly; but then I'm not American. Nice speech, though!

In Australia at the time, our prime minister was a strong supporter of the invasion, but this was not actually a very popular position. The chief UN arms inspector from 1997 to 1999 was Richard Butler, an Australian, who had a rather ambiguous role in the whole debate. He argued that Saddam was hiding WMDs at that time; but he also argues against using an invasion to get rid of them. He was very much against the proliferation of WMD elsewhere in the world as well, and in particular, he argues that WMD belonging to the USA are also an matter of concern.

It's worth recalling that Iraq did indeed have weapons of mass destruction a decade prior, which were located and destroyed. The question is whether he was still hiding them in the twenty first century. Butler certainly thought so, and most others considered it plausible; but it was not exactly a matter for great confidence, as I recall. Plenty of people felt that our then prime minster was exaggerating the scale and likelihood of the alleged WMD program, but most people I think considered it plausible Saddam had some kind of hidden WMD program.

FWIW: Butler was vocal in opposition to the invasion in 2003, and very critical of the prime minister; calling for his resignation over misleading the public about reasons for the invasion.

Cheers -- sylas
 
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  • #24
Don't you guys remember Wilson saying he would keep us out of WWI, but then he claimed we had to preserve democracy and freedom, which are some of the same things Bush talked about after the Iraq invasion. Honestly, I don't remember Wilson but I doubt he or Bush were the first leaders to declare some kind of noble idea or truth to justify a war.

Anybody who bought into the WMD argument was probably either a child or a nitwit, but there are those of us who just flat out like war and you can't argue with that. We're good at it.
 
  • #25
Ivan Seeking said:
Be that true or not, it was not how the war was justified. So the bottom line is that we attacked a country for no reason. That is a war crime.
You are arguing that whether something is right/wrong crime/not a crime depends strictly on the motivation of the person doing the act. That just plain isn't how crime works. An action is/isn't a crime based on whether the action itself is just*.

For example, if you take out a gun and randomly shoot someone...who turns out to have been holding someone hostage...that's not a crime, even if you intended to commit murder.
The only reason Bush got his bogus war was the claim that Saddam was imminent threat, when in fact the former chief weapons inspector was going ballistic denying the claims from the Bush admin.
I understand that - I wasn't saying something different.
This business of retroactive justification is absurd and you know it. Bush never would have gotten his war based on the justifications used now. That is a simple fact.
Yes, that's a simple fact and I know it. But it doesn't have any direct bearing on your point above: whether the war was a crime or not. And I figure you probably know it. :wink:

*Moreover, the opposite is also often true: if a person has no criminal intent, even if the action causes harm, it isn't necessarily a crime.

[edit] And, of course, since the President is commander and chief the armed forces, the prior justification question is completely irrelevant: he need not assert any justification at all prior to engaging the military. So any way you want to slice it, in hindsight, when trying to determine if there was a crime, what matters is if the actions can be justified.
 
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  • #26
turbo-1 said:
Judging from the pro-Iraq war bumper-stickers around here saying that we had to "fight them over there so we won't have to fight them over here" there is a raft of gullible people who will rally when you wave a flag and cry for war, regardless of the lack of evidence.
I'm not sure what those bumper stickers may have said, but the fact of the matter is that we did fight al Qaeda in Iraq.
 
  • #27
russ_watters said:
I'm not sure what those bumper stickers may have said, but the fact of the matter is that we did fight al Qaeda in Iraq.
After our invasion allowed them to establish themselves there. Saddam would not have tolerated their presence in Iraq. It is our "allies" in the ME that support and fund them. That's pretty well documented. CIA and Air Force interrogators have told our government that the invasion of Iraq was the biggest recruiting boost that al Qaeda could have hoped for. I don't think that the Air Force or the CIA would have a good reason to lie about that. Now we have radical terrorists in a country where they did not exist before. Is that a plus?
 
  • #28
turbo-1 said:
After our invasion allowed them to establish themselves there.
Or caused them to see an easy way to get to us to fight us, yes.
 
  • #29
Be that true or not, it was not how the war was justified. So the bottom line is that we attacked a country for no reason. That is a war crime.

No it isn't. Hussein violated the cease-fire, that alone gives the U.S. the right to continue the war (however, invading a whole country over a cease-fire violation wouldn't necessarily be a wise decision IMO).

Ivan Seeking said:
That is effectively false. WMDs were the justification; in particular, it was the claim that Saddam was an imminent threat. He was not an imminent threat. Interestingly, Obama made that clear way back then; before we ever attacked.

From there, the public was lead to believe that Saddam had been involved in the 911 attack, which was also not true.

This is incorrect. WMDs were not the sole justification for invasion. Some of the reasons for example were that Saddam Hussein had never abided by the Gulf War cease-fire and had violated 17 UN resolutions, along with having ties to terrorists (including Al-Qaeda), that his removal would help in the GWOT by initiating democratization of the Middle East, and that Hussein was a ruthless dictator and war criminal.

I am not saying those are all legitimate reasons to have invaded Iraq, I am simply saying that they were the reasons listed in addition to Saddam having WMDs and being an imminent threat (BTW, how do you know he was not an imminent threat?).

Imagine what political if not personal courage it took for a young, black, State Senator from Illinois, to stand in front of the charging bull.

Not really sure why something like that would take courage, political or personal. Barack Obama was not known to the general public yet, and was only accountable to his direct constituents, who were of the extreme Leftist variety. He might as well have been Maxine Waters at the time.

Also I think you are being overly critical of America to some degree if you are insinuating that because he was black and critical of the drive to go to war in Iraq, that this would have resulted in people harming the man (you said "personal" courage). This isn't the old South.

I know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military is a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

Considering that much of the international community was un-sure of this, I do not think Barack Obama at the time could "know" whether Iraq was a threat or not. This was his opinion at the time.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

This I give him credit for, as that was wise.

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

The terrorists already had been attacking the United States for decades. Their recruitment was already strong. There was no way to counter the terrorists in a way that would result in their recruitment efforts lessening.

Anybody who bought into the WMD argument was probably either a child or a nitwit, but there are those of us who just flat out like war and you can't argue with that. We're good at it.

Hindsight is always 20/20. If massive stockpiles of WMD had been found, then there would be people saying the opposite.
 
  • #30
Nebula815 said:
Hindsight is always 20/20. If massive stockpiles of WMD had been found, then there would be people saying the opposite.

Good point. Once we found out North Korea had WMD's we did next to nothing. I remember most people talking about the idea of oil in Iraq having something to do with the war but I am not sure.
 
  • #31
The conquest of Iraq was the resolution of a family feud, begun as Desert Storm between the Bushes and Sadam Hussein. Bush Jr. sold it, leveraged it with 911. Madam Hilary, Congress and the populous bought it in the post 911 turmoil. This is the core story on the US side of things.

(What ever happened to the lovely mosaic tile floor at Baghdad International featuring the likeness of Bush Sr?)

Anyone see the video clip "We are liberators, not conquerors", and did you buy the Psy Ops? Be honest. For several months I thought it was genuous, if not deluded. Call me slow; I didn't recognise it as craft.
 
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  • #32
Nebula815 said:
...This is incorrect. WMDs were not the sole justification for invasion.

This is not a good rendition of history. There was given a raft of reasons in Bush Jr's address. I think you could find the address with an internet search. WMD's were the cinch pin in the pitch. WMDs were one among a dozen or more given, that hit home. I think it was well planned and expected to make the difference if you recall the change in facial demenor of George Bush upon delivering it.
 
  • #33
For those claiming that Hussein was supporting al-Qaeda:

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/05/AR2007040502263.html

I'm just going to post here that I believe that the topple of the Hussein regime was in America's plan book for a pretty long time. They were mostly done through funding of opposition forces against Iraq government however and no American military options were really though of seriously.
However Bush did seem quite intent on the issue... I'm pretty sure if I remember correctly he was talking about toppling Saddams regime since he was first inaugurated which was nearly a year prior to 9/11. They were intentionally flying planes over Iraq to see if they would get shot down so they could invade the country harshly and quickly. (they had forces waiting for this to occur... it never did, however Iraq had sensed that an Invasion was imminent and was uping it's defensive AA weapon count. Not that it really helped them at all)

9/11 was just an excuse for Bush to follow through with the long-held American 'dream' of 'liberatin' Iraq. What I fail to understand is if they honestly felt that they were doing the best for Iraq and the world then why did they make so much up or base so much on 'circumstantial evidence'... Nothing was solid, no WMDs were found that the Americans had claimed the had... I think that Iraq is now worse off than it originally was, things have certainly improved since the initial invasion but the country is by no means better than when Hussein was in command...
 
  • #34
I think you may still underestimate the power of the mechanism you destest so much, especially when hearing it from me.

Try this:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2002/iraqdossier.pdf

Any doubt that Tony Blair was convinced? Having read that, how can you not consider at least that something very serious was going on?

But remember "the plan".

The Plan

In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying,
"It is a crock of sh*t, and it stinks."
...
And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
And that is how sh*t happens.
 
  • #35
Nebula815 said:
No it isn't. Hussein violated the cease-fire, that alone gives the U.S. the right to continue the war (however, invading a whole country over a cease-fire violation wouldn't necessarily be a wise decision IMO).

How, exactly, does that give the US the right to continue the war?

UN Resolution 660 (8/6/1990) condemned Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and demanded that Iraq withdraw its troops.

UN Resolution 678 (11/29/1990) set a withdrawal deadline of Jan 15, 1991 and authorized “all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution 660".

On 1/15/1991, a coalition of 34 member nations of the UN (with the US being the major contributor) invaded Iraq/Kuwait to enforce UN Resolution 678.

After Iraq's troops were forced out of Kuwait, the troops left, although the sanctions imposed by UN Resolution 661 remained in place until the fall of Hussein's government in 2003.

UN Resolution 1441 (11/8/2002) offered Hussein a final chance to comply with several other resolutions dealing with disarming and verifying disarmament, laid out what would constitute meeting weapons inspection obligations and what would constitute violations of inspection obligations. The resolution specified no actions, as it was generally understood by UN Security Council members that violation of Resolution 1441 would result in the UN meeting to decide what the repercussions would be.

US Ambassador said:
[T]his resolution contains no "hidden triggers" and no "automaticity" with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12. . .If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of a further Iraqi violation, this resolution does not constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq, or to enforce relevant UN resolutions and protect world peace and security.

UK Ambassador said:
We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about "automaticity" and "hidden triggers" -- the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response... There is no "automaticity" in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12. We would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities.

Syrian Ambassador to the UN said:
Syria voted in favour of the resolution, having received reassurances from its sponsors, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and from France and Russia through high-level contacts, that it would not be used as a pretext for striking against Iraq and does not constitute a basis for any automatic strikes against Iraq. The resolution should not be interpreted, through certain paragraphs, as authorizing any State to use force. It reaffirms the central role of the Security Council in addressing all phases of the Iraqi issue.

Every member of the UN Security Council understood that it would take another resolution to authorize a military invasion of Iraq.

In February 2003, Colin Powell presented the US case to the UN in an attempt to get a UN resolution authorizing an invasion as punishment for violating UN Resolution 1441. Once it became obvious that the resolution would fail, the US withdrew the resolution (having the resolution actually voted on and defeated would have been very bad).

In March, the US invaded Iraq to "disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people." The first two reasons didn't exist by 2003. The third reason did exist.

The last sentence of Negroponte's statement was the only indication that the US might decide to enforce a UN resolution on its own regardless of how the UN felt about it. Any nation clearly has the right to defend itself, but the right of any single nation deciding how a UN Resolution should be enforced is as fictitious as the right of a lynch mob to execute a suspected murderer in the town square.
 

Suggested for: The legitimacy of the Iraq war

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