Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"March of Folly" in Iraq (continued)

My initial posting under this title (12/18/05) has produced 18 comments so far from readers. This response is unprecedented. Much of it was undoubtedly spurred by the recent citation of Octogenarian as "The Blog of the Week" by WXPNews, a popular on-line magazine. The intensity of the comments shows that the Iraq war is probably the most critical issue of the day for public discussion. I am pleased that my blog is being utilized as a forum for debate (see below).

About half the comments support my view that the Bush Administration's decision to invade Iraq was a dreadful mistake. The other writers vigorously defend it.

What disturbs me about the critics of my view is their illogical insistence that the war's opponents are in effect opposing the war against radical Islamic terrorism. In making this argument,President Bush and his supporters clearly imply that that it is virtually unpatriotic to oppose the war. At the same time,they continue to explain that Iraq was invaded in response to 9/11. And when this explanation is dismissed, they return to those other excuses for the war: that Saddam Hussein threatened the U.S. with WMDs or that we are embarked on an idealistic crusade to introduce democracy to the Muslim world.

Arguing that those of us who oppose the war are also against the war on terrorism, reader Rick, for example, has written: "There are those poor fools who believe that if we just talk to the terrorists and try to understand their view a little better, then everything will be alright. Those are the types of people who, if allowed to be in positions of power, scare the hell out of me."

In all candor, I am "scared out of hell" by the Iraq war's defenders who fail to recognize that the Iraq invasion is actually hampering the war on terrorism. The invasion has set us back in this critical endeavor by diverting manpower and other vital resources to an unnecessary war.

As has been pointed out by many military and intelligence experts--at least those who have no partisan need to support the Bush Administration (e.g., Gen. Brent Scowcroft)--we have turned Iraq into a breeding ground and training center for terrorists and have lured Al-Qaeda and other jihadis into the country. In short, we have alienated the Muslim world and created new enemies.

Moreover, the situation in Iraq has allowed Iran--a far more serious threat with WMDs than Saddam ever was--to become an influential player in the country. In the past, Saddam, admittedly a very dangerous dictator, had been a barrier against both Iran (with whom he had waged war) and Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists who regarded Saddam as a religous infidel.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, where we had successfully destroyed Al-Qaeda and its Taliban hosts, the Islamic terrorists appear to be making a comeback.

So where do we stand now? An American general has been quoted as admitting that one reason for the insurgency that continues to kill and maim our troops is our very presence in the country. And despite all the hoopla about the Iraq elections and the photos of happy voters with their purple fingers, the country is in chaos and is facing a civil war.If extremist Shiite factions gain control, which is very possible, Iraq--or at least the huge regions that they would rule--could wind up as a theocratic ally of Iran.

And for this, we invaded Iraq?


Blogger BZ said...

Thank you for sharing this. And to it, I add a link to a recent article about the nuclear energy that Iran admits it continues to create. How we invade one country that had no evidence to the fact over a country that openly admits it, I have no idea.

If we wish to counter terrorism, we should be more willing to evaluate our exploitative (sp) foreign policy (over, oh, the last century or so) and implement, more consistently, a fair and reasonable plan of action.

Friday, January 13, 2006 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason we say that “Iraq was invaded as a response to 9/11” is that, as the President clearly stated, the rules of the game have changed. We can no longer wait until there is an imminent threat, but instead must take the fight to those who are supporting terrorism, regardless of the motivation (religious or otherwise.) The President made it very clear that either you are with us in the battle against global terrorism or you are against us. Saddam made it incredibly obvious that he was against us, all while continuing to violate the conditions of his surrender in the first Gulf War.

As documents that were found in Iraq reveal, Iraq was already being used as a training ground for thousands of terrorists, many with direct connections to al Qaeda, long before we invaded. To say that it only became a magnet for these brutal thugs after we invaded is either an uninformed opinion or a complete misrepresentation of known facts. I would respectfully suggest that you read some of the writings of Stephen Hayes for more information about the reality of the situation in Iraq, both before and after our invasion. The evidence is there for those who are willing to open their minds.

Whether democracy will work or not in Iraq has yet to be determined, but to constantly beat the drums of defeat when, in my opinion, the situation has actually improved dramatically over the tyranny that reigned under Saddam, does not do anything to help the situation. Am I saying that we should all be blindly optimistic about the chances for success? No. However, the incessant pessimism certainly does nothing towards that end and, in fact, may actually make the job more difficult.

If you wish to infer that your patriotism is being questioned, so be it. The constant negativity and cynicism shown by those who oppose this war may have some basis in true and patriotic support for our country, but once the argument strays into “we can’t win, we shouldn’t win”, it begins to sound as though many who make these kinds of statements WANT us to lose. This may at least partially account for the sense of Anti-Americanism of which you feel you are being accused.

Friday, January 13, 2006 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. Please, Bush supporters, you have been brainwashed since your youth to follow authority unquestioningly, to see authority as the answer. It is not! You are thinking, feeling beings. Break free and see these people for what they are: greedy opportunists. It really is about domination of the world and, in this particular case, energy resources. It really is as simple as that. Please, pick up a copy of George Orwell's 1984 and read it!

Love your blog!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Observer said...

Contradictory as it may sound, while I support the war in Iraq I also understand and like your well-reasoned arguments against it

Friday, January 13, 2006 4:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

steve n, don't you think about the implications of what you are saying in your 1st paragraph? You grant permission to invade any country any time anywhere, solely because it has weapons. The president says??? Huh? How old are you? Do you do things 'cause mommy said? Daddy said? Grow up!

The inspectors were not allowed to finish their work in Iraq, were they? They were finding NOTHING!!!!! Why didn't Bu$hco let them finish? We had that country CONTAINED!!! Do you deny this? Why do you think terrorism has to be fought with a war that devestates a country and throws it into chaos and kills thousands? If there a robbers amongst us, do you round us all up and put us in jail? The links between Saddam and Al-Queda are ridiculous. They hated each other. Grow up already, will you! Take real responsibility for what you support. You are responsible for the death of thousands of innocents!

Saturday, January 14, 2006 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddam was no threat to us. If this country cared about defending people from being killed, raped and maimed, they would have gone into Darfur.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 8:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's my own fault, really. I really shouldn't have expected to be able to hold my own in a debate against such well-reasoned and intellectual posters as "anonymous."

So far , I am childish (if not an actual child), brain-washed, need to get out more, a rabid neo-con, and , amazingly enough, actually responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people. My GOD, it's like you actually KNOW me.

In fact, the fine, fair, well-thought-out and polite responses to my comments have encouraged me to do more research on the subject and, I must admit, I do feel my views changing. I can't believe how wrong I have been. And beyond the persuasive comments posted here, I have also found an article that truly brings the positions of those whom I have opposed into shocking clarity.

In closing, I must thank the many brave and intelligent pro-peace warriors, like anonymous, who have taken the time to educate me. I truly feel as though I have learned more about the wisdom and maturity of those who oppose this war than I'm sure they had even hoped.

Monday, January 16, 2006 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why do you care about the folks in Darfur if you don't/didn't care about the folks in Iraq (who were also being killed, raped, and maimed)?

Monday, January 16, 2006 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

steve n, war is hell.

Monday, January 16, 2006 9:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[i]"As has been pointed out by many military and intelligence experts--at least those who have no partisan need to support the Bush Administration..."[/i]

Does this mean that military and intelligence experts who don't support your opinion are automatically judged by you as doing so only because they have a "partisan need to support the Bush Administration"?

[i]" reason for the insurgency that continues to kill and maim our troops is our very presence in the country."[/i]

Do you honesty, in your heart of hearts, believe that the killing would stop if we immediately pulled out? I've looked at the numbers; the Arab suicide bombers are killing WAY more other Arabs than American soldiers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Mortart said...

To: John....
I believe that, e.g., Colin Powell, who has not publically opposed the war, is keeping his mouth shut for partisan Republican reasons, and is using his former longtime aide, the very vocal Col. Wilkinson (sp?), to demolish the Bush Administration's Iraq policy for him.
What the other general who is quoted meant is that the killing of American soldiers would stop if the U.S. occupation ended. As for the killing of Arabs by Arabs, that of course will continue, whether the U.S. is still there or not. That seems to be an Iraqi tradition--with Saddam in power or not.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:02:00 PM  

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