A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Wisdom of Iraq

I am sick and tired of hearing the enemies of George W. Bush misreiterate (a little W. lingo) their argument that Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terror; these clowns sound like a broken record, repeating the same line ad-infinitum, and for some inexplicable reason the Bush Administration has never logically, methodically laid out their case. Whether you agree with Bush`s decision to go into Iraq or not (and I know many of my Libertarian friends bitterly disagree) there was sound logic and an astute geopolitical strategy employed by the Administration, and it would have worked (and still could work) if the opposition were truly loyal instead of this power-hungry cabal of anti-American traitors and lying SOB`s in the so called ``free press``. It`s time for the President to hire someone who will make the case clearly to the American people.

Let us begin where every careful analysis of anything should start-at the beginning! In 1992 the father of our current President held the same position, and a murderous thug named Saddam Hussein was president-for-life of Iraq. Now, there`s something that you need to understand about this situation; Hussein was a dictator who had modeled himself on former Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin (Saddam admits Uncle Joe was his hero) and was the leader of the Iraqi wing of the Baath Party, which was a secular pan-Arabic organization and was, essentially, an Arabic version of the Fascists of 1930`s Italy. They promoted the same vision for the Middle-East that the Fascists had for Italy, or that the Nazis wanted for Europe, and this included an eventual Aunschlaus of Arabic countries into a new order. The Baathists also ruled in Syria, which, if you remember, had been a member of the United Arab Republic which was an attempt to create an Arab nation and included Syria and Egypt, Interestingly, Yemen would join for a short time as well, and this should give us pause as Osama Bin-Laden`s family came originally from Yemen, not Saudi Arabia, and a great many Jihadists migrated from OBL`s home town to other parts of the Arabic world.

At any rate, the guiding principles of the Baathists were Arab unification and socialism. The Baath party spread like wildfire after the 1948 war with Israel, when many Arabs believed their lack of unity was the cause of their defeat by the Jews. Thus, this ideology, while not in lockstep with the Holy Warriors of Bin-Laden, were still aiming in a similar direction as the Mujahadeen, and the old Arab proverb ``the enemy of my enemy is my friend`` should never have been dismissed so lightly by our intelligence people. This was the cornerstone of the intelligence failure leading up to 911-our people refused to believe that secular Moslems would deal with the Religious, or that Shia would work with Sunni. In fact, the Baathists were more like the Nazis who were quite happy to support their alliance with the ``slanty-eyed mudpeople`` of Imperial Japan against the semi-Aryan British and Americans. Politics makes strange bedfellows, and while the Baathists and Mujahadeen may have hated each-other, they both understood that ``the enemy of my enemy is my friend`` and both the Baathists in Syria and the Shiites of Iran funneled massive amounts of assistance to any Islamic group fighting against Israel and the ``Great Satan``. Even though the Iraqi Baathists fought a long destructive war with Iran, the Syrians and Iranians continued to support groups with similar goals.

(An interesting side note: Egypt had been on the vanguard of Islamic radicalism until the Virgin Mary began appearing above a Cathedral in Zeitun, Egypt. She appeared to over 2000 people, including Egyptian President Nasser who softened his stance after this encounter. His successor Anwar Sadat was the first leader of an Islamic nation to offer an olive branch to Israel, and he paid for this with his life. Today Egypt still produces many terrorists, but the Egyptian government`s policies are soundly against Baathism and Jihad.)

So the UAR dissolved, but the dream of Arab unification remained and Syria and Iraq found themselves under the heel of Baathist thugs with their fascist ambitions and their weapons supplied by the Cold War belligerents. The Soviet Union financed and equiped terror organizations and bellicose Arabic states for decades in an attempt to drain the United States of both treasure and will. The Soviet Union sought to start fires around the globe believing America would exhaust herself trying to put them out (it worked in the opposite fashion). Terrorism in the Middle East is directly attributable to the proxy warfare of the Cold War. This includes Afghanistan; we trained and armed the Mujahadeen to resist the Soviet invasion, and Bin-Laden, who would use our assistance against us.

Tyrants generally require an outside enemy to flourish. Saddam had the Medo-Persian menace of Iran for years, and he was assisted by the United States mainly because he was seen as preferable to the real terror master under the Ayatollahs. The Iraqi-Iranian war helped stability because neither side could afford to fund international terrorism while they were engaged in their struggle.

But that struggle ended, and in 1992 the Glorious Leader of Iraq was at loose ends and in need of a new cause. He decided to rebuild Babylon by invading the southernmost portion of Mesopotamia-Kuwait.

Kuwait was an oil-rich sheikdom in the Persian Gulf and was friendly to the West. Saddam didn`t believe that the West would fight over this small chunk of real-estate, so, much like a housepainter-turned-dictator during the 1930`s, simply marched his troops in and took it. As usual, there was a great outcry from the nations of the World, but it would require George Herbert Walker Bush to lead a United Nations coalition to force Iraq out of Kuwait. Mistakes were made-not the least of which was the failure to drive to Baghdad and remove Saddam from power. Fundamental military strategy requires that you destroy an enemy when he is in your grasp, but President Bush was persuaded by his strangely non-militaristic Head of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell to withdraw after seeing the ``highway of death``. (For a military man Gen. Powell is extraordinarily timid.) You NEVER leave an enemy intact; you`ll just have to fight him again.

So Saddam lit his oil wells on fire and went to murdering and pillaging. The Shiites of southern Iraq rose up against him, thinking America would support them but were crushed when no help arrived. Saddam likewise used poison gas on the Kurds in the north to subdue them, and America instituted the ``no-fly`` zone to protect them.

In short, Saddam accepted a cease-fire but never stuck to it, and the war had never ended. He fired missiles at our planes in the ``no-fly`` zone regularly, repeatedly violated military prohibitions, attempted to have George H.W. Bush assassinated, kicked the U.N. inspectors out of the country when they began prying into his weaponry with a little too much diligence, etc. The United Nations had maintained a boycott on financial dealings with Iraq not out of malice but because Saddam refused to live up to the agreements he made for a cease-fire, but many of the member states undercut the boycott via the corrupt ``oil for food`` provision (which was intended as a mercy to feed the starving Iraqi people) which enriched Saddam Hussein and the coalition of prostitute nations. As a result, Saddam was able to hang on.

And he supported terrorism; he paid $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers in Palestine, he gave sanctuary to Abu Nidal (although they booted his organization during the `80`s Iranian war, he was still allowed sanctuary in Iraq until Iraqi secret police murdered him-probably as a sop to America to avoid W.`s invasion), and Al-Zarqawi was in Baghdad prior to the 2002 invasion. The liberals make a big thing out of the idea that Saddam had no ties to Al-Quada, but his henchman clearly did. It doesn`t really matter anyway-Al-Quada is not the sole terrorist organization we are concerned with; these groups change names and faces at the drop of a hat, and a war defined as purely against Al-Quada would be like a war with Japan only after Pearl Harbor. It would have been stupidity on a monumental scale.

Also, the United Nations inspectors warned of dire consequences when Saddam kicked them out in 1998, and all of the world`s intelligence agencies warned he had serious stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. We KNOW he had poison gas, we know that he had an advanced nuclear program (Israel destroyed the Osirik nuclear reactor, where Iraq was enriching uranium). All of the intelligence estimates throughout the world were saying the same things, and the warnings were dire.

Let me ask this quick question; where are the facilities where these weapons were dismantled? Much is made about our not finding these stockpiles, but I would like to turn the question around and ask what happened to these stockpiles? We know he had them before 1998, yet they have conveniently disappeared. You don`t just throw these things away-they have to be carefully destroyed. Where were they destroyed?

We KNOW Iraq flew a squadron of planes into Iran (their bitter enemy) during the first Gulf War, in order to avoid losing them to the allies. We know Saddam ordered people to bury equipment used in his illicit programs. We know large convoys headed into Syria prior to the commencement of our invasion. We know Syria was supposed to withdraw all of their troops from Lebanon, but refused to pull out of certain parts of the country. Suggestive, no?

The election of 2000 may well have destroyed this country; the left was absolutely determined to hang onto power, and they fought with all of their strength to win the election. Despite all of their efforts, George W. Bush was elected President in the Electoral College (while supposedly losing the popular vote-something I`m not at all sure of considering the massive vote fraud perpetrated by the Democrats) and won every recount and legal challenge. They were furious, and vowed that the Bush Presidency would be a vain, inconsequential one. Then America was attacked on 911, and the ``dufus frat-boy`` was suddenly a wartime leader (and Bill Clinton was looking like the dufus frat-boy without any real consequence)who looked to play an important role in history. This, along with their being completely shut out of power in Washington, was absolutely unacceptable, and they began launching political jihad on the President before the dust from the World Trade Center even cleared; remember the accusation of cowardice against the President for flying a circuituitous route, or that he didn`t run from the room full of children when he was told? Remember the anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill and Tom Daschle agreed to hold the Senate in recess along with the Republican-controlled House, then reneging at the last moment to make Democrats look brave and Republicans chicken? This lie about ``standing shoulder to shoulder`` is exactly that; Democrats and their enablers in the Media were immediately sewing their seeds of discontent.

Of course, they simply could not resist the President on going into Afghanistan. The American public demanded this, and, if you all remember, many people were getting upset with the slow pace of the Afghani invasion.

But Iraq changed all that-largely because it occurred a while after the 911 attacks, and because the Administration took too long and telegraphed their attack too much. Groups such as ``Not in our Names`` started protesting, and they were joined by Moveon.ogr and the rest of the lunatic fringe. The President, ever tone deaf to the moods of the public, allowed his enemies to define the war, and soured the mood of the public. Now, of course, we are treated to a panoply of second guessing and recriminations by the very people who authorized the invasion. It is truly disgusting.

Now, to get on with the purpose of this piece, namely, to defend this President`s decision to go to war. Al-Quada was a worldwide organization with tentacles everywhere, and they had numerous terrorist allies worldwide who were prepared to attack us. What could we do? Playing hide-and-seek with Bin-Laden is fine and dandy, but it doesn`t make us any safer. We had to act with a long-term strategy in mind. There simply had to be a political realignment in the Middle-East. You could not allow these despotic, terrorism-sponsoring hellholes to act as Jihad factories and to threaten American lives. It was clear America was going to be forced to exercise military options on a number of countries. Who to start with?

First off, Iraq is one of the most cosmopolitan and modern countries in the Middle-East, and building a western-style democratic system should have been easier here than anywhere else.

Secondly, the political alignment was there; Saddam was in violation of innumerable U.N. resolutions, the Congress had already authorized President Bill Clinton to use force against Saddam, the Iraqi people were likely to be grateful for their liberation-especially the Kurds, the argument could be made that Saddam`s WMD programs were making him too dangerous (an argument that Saddam himself encouraged). In short, Iraq was an international pariah, and would be the easiest target to justify. That Iraq continued to attack U.S. troops and attempted to kill a former U.S. President simply made it a slam dunk.

Geopolitically, it made perfect sense to reform Iraq; It splits the Iranians off from the trouble spot in the Middle East (Israel) physically, it divides the two great terror masters (Iran and Syria) and gives American forces a base of operations against BOTH of them, and Iraq was the best target physically, being a flat plain (ideal for tanks and jeeps) with sea access from our ally Kuwait. Dividing the enemy has always been a basic tenet of military strategy. Furthermore, physically invading mountainous Iran would have cost many more American lives, and Syria would have been militarily easy but would have had an even worse insurgency problem since it is home to virtually every major terrorist organization on Earth. Also, the Russians have been pretty chummy with Syria, and a direct invasion could have had unpleasant consequences. Better to go into Iraq first.

Of course, such an invasion cannot be an isolated incident, and the Bush Administration allowed themselves to be talked into the stupid idea that we must stabilize Iraq first and establish a working Democracy. This allowed foreign Jihadists supplied by Syria and Iran to filter into the country to destabilize the new regime. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration allowed this war to be defined by his enemies, and the emphasis on WMD`s (and Bush`s tendency to concede every argument for his ``new tone``) cost him the political capital he needed to go after the enemy in their sanctuaries. A war cannot be won if the fight isn`t taken to the enemy. We needed to go into Syria, at the very least, and we should have been building a revolution in Iran aka the Contras in Nicaragua back in the `80`s. Our failure to do this, along with the endless accusations against the President and the war, has emboldened our enemy and allowed him to recruit new fighters-they believe they can win because they hear a vocal part of America calling Bush Hitler and our soldiers baby-killers and Pol Pot wannabees. Our ``loyal opposition`` has backed us into a corner, and we have no other option but ``stay the course``, since this bunch of traitorous SOB`s won`t allow the President to make the necessary changes and win this war. ``Better to rule in Hell``, the opposition thinks, ``than to serve George Bush in the American Heaven``. Screw the Country, we want our power back!

Iraq also is lousy with oil, and, quite frankly, this is not an inconsequential consideration. Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization, and the ability to withhold it is the ability to disrupt markets and to hinder our military capabilities. Lack of oil greatly hurt Japan during the Second World War. Remember the Battle of the Bulge? The Germans ran out of gas. Without oil a nation cannot function, and a friendly Iraq would help assure that the other Arabic nations can`t squeeze us.

Another point is that we were expending military effort and treasure keeping Saddam in his box. One of the arguments made by opponents of the war was that Saddam was encapsuled. Maybe he was, and maybe he wasn`t, but if he was it was because of OUR efforts, and we could not continue this little dance forever.

Saddam`s WMD`s were just one argument in the case I`ve made here, but the President made that his main defense leading up to the war. Bush is the great miscommunicator, and he seems baffled that his enemies can define his views so easily. Clinton would never have had this problem; he would have Carville and Begala et. al. out there 24/7 explaining the Administration`s positions (of course, the media was much more friendly to Clinton than to Bush). Bush sent out Colin Powell-who is as exciting as plain yogurt and who disagreed with the Administration to boot (and who allowed his department to leak damaging information to the press repeatedly).

The disgusting thing is that the Democrats and opponents of the war (with the exception of some Libertarians and the like) understand full well the wisdom of what Bush did; they would have opposed ANY effort made by this President. Had Al Gore won the election of 2000, and had Gore`s response been similar (instead of his launching Jihad on Global Warming) they would have all been behind Iraq-as would the Republicans. Most of these clowns know we couldn`t continue with the failed policies which lead to 911, but they hate Bush more than they love America. I fear the entire Democratic Party is headed for Antenorra, to lie forever frozen in Dante`s Circle of Hell for Traitors. You really cannot say that they don`t belong there...

At any rate, opponents of the war are trying their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and they may succeed; certainly the insurrection continues because they enemy knows they have good allies in America, and they think they can win politically what they cannot win militarily. Vietnam taught all of our enemies that lesson, and many of the opponents of this war (Cindy Sheehan, for example) are having a grand old time reliving the glory days of their youth. (That Cindy spits on her own son`s grave never occurs to the histrionic narcissist.) Isn`t it time for them to grow up?

Failure in Iraq could spell the end of the United States. I keep waiting for everyone to figure that out.



Blogger Always On Watch said...

Failure in Iraq could spell the end of the United States. I keep waiting for everyone to figure that out.

I'm not sure that we can "succeed" in Iraq. Muslims are particularly averse to accepting Western ideas because those ideas are often interpreted as apostasy.

This is not to say that we shouldn't have invaded Iraq. Removing Saddam from power was long overdue. And despite those who say that Saddam was no danger, he was! He supported terrorist movements and bragged about his stockpile of WMD's, which may well be elsewhere now. The UN certainly gave him time to move what he needed to move.

You make an excellent point in this essay, Timothy: GWB's administration is very poor at communicating. Why is that? Arrogance? Lack of understanding that a Presidential administration needs to answer to the people? Lack of understanding that warfare today also involves propaganda war?

11:10 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

I agree, AOW; success does not mean building a miniature version of American Democracy. I`m not sure that can be done, but what CAN be done is that we can destroy the Jihadists there, and can use Iraq as a base for operations against Iran and Syria.

In fact, Al-Quada recently admitted losing 4000 fighters (and this is probably a seriously low figure) which means 4000 fewer terrorists are trying to kill us. I don`t buy this argument that we are creating terrorists by being there; did the British have this problem? We have it because Iraq is stuffed full of expatriated Shiites and foreign Mujahadeen. We need to kill them there, or we`ll be fighting them here.

Thanks for stopping by, AOW; it`s always a pleasure to hear from you!

5:34 AM  

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