Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My Review of the Iraq War (so far)

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Ok, so we went to war to disarm Saddam, because he had weapons of mass destruction which posed a direct threat to the United States. Well, we haven't found those weapons yet, and apparently we have now abandoned the search. So either we were wrong in the first place, or we were lied to (or both), or he did have weapons of mass destruction and we haven't found them, therefore we have completely failed to achieve what we set out to do. Well, at least we got rid of Saddam thereby eliminating the threat of him working with Al-Qaeda against the US.

Links to Al-Qaeda

Apparently, we also couldn't find any links to Al-Qaeda or to the September 11th attacks in Iraq. Oh well, at least we are freeing the Iraqi people from a terrible dictator.

Liberating the Iraqi People

So, despite our original reasons for going to war turning out to be completely bogus, we can at least comfort ourselves in the knowledge that no more people will be killed by Saddam. Which sounds great of course, except that plenty of innocent people are getting killed anyway. If you get killed, is it really all that much better to get killed by the liberating army instead of the evil dictator? Maybe it is, I'm just asking. Anyway, at least the people that are left will be free.

Hmmm, but free to do what? Sit around in their houses with no electricity, no water and afraid for their lives? Live in constant fear of a stray bomb falling on their house? I'm all for getting rid of Saddam, but not if the alternative doesn't actually make people's lives better. Ok, but now that they are having elections, things will be better for them in the future.

The Future of Iraq

Free elections are a great thing, however, what is the point if people are too afraid to actually go vote? Or if they don't know anything about who is running because it is not publicized for fear of getting candidates assassinated. Is there any real reason to believe that Iraq will be a better place once (if) we are done there? I'd say at best it is just uncertain. Even if the war could be completely justified and the Us was proven correct in all its reasons for going to war, that is still no excuse for the poor job that was done in planning and execution of this war. We have removed a terrible man from power, however, we have also left the country a complete mess, and with no reason to think that it will not be ruled by someone just as bad once we leave. But at least the American people are safer, now, right?

The Safety of America

Well, maybe if Saddam had had WMD and link to Al-Qaeda and we had found those weapons and disposed of them, then perhaps we'd be safer. But we didn't find them and have given up the search. So either he didn't have them, which means it wasn't a threat anyway, or they are still out there somewhere and we are not looking for them, and they could already be in the hands of terrorists. I don't think that's the case, but if you really believe Saddam had WMD, then you should be really concerned that we have given up the search.

Also, now that we have invaded one of the "Axis of Evil" countries, we have demonstrated to the others who were publicly put on that list that we are not above attacking preemptively, which seems to me like it would only encourage those countries to pursue their own weapons programs, as seen in North Korea and Iran. They now have good reason to be afraid of us, and reason to prepare for when it is their turn to be liberated.

Also, we diverted so many resources into Iraq that could have been better used actually trying to fight actual terrorists instead of countries with possible links to terrorism. This would have made America safer. Creating new enemies does not make America any safer. But at least we shown the rest of the world who we are.

The World

Regardless of how you feel about the war, you have to acknowledge that it has hurt our standing with the rest of the World. No one else agrees with us (yeah, yeah, I know, we have a coalition, right) and we've pretty much said fuck you to all of them. I know a lot of people in this country are arrogant and really don't give a fuck what any other country thinks about us, but in reality it is important if we are going to be a leader in the World.

Hindsight is 20/20

I've heard a lot of people lately responding of criticism of how the war is going by saying that it's easy to say that when things aren't going as well, and that it's easy to second guess these things. The problem with that argument is that what is now going on in Iraq was predicted beforehand by a lot of people. Of course they were dismissed as UnAmerican by the prowar crowd, so it's easy for them to forget that this was all pointed out ahead of time. It's important that those of us who aren't crazy remind everyone of why were told we were going to war, how it was predicted that it wouldn't be easy, how the reason has changed when politically expedient (flip-flopping) and that being American doesn't mean following blindly along with whatever the government tells you.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me and I don't expect the government to only implement policies that I agree with, but I do expect people to demand real explanations for why we do things, especially when people's lives are at stake. Simply saying something is the right thing to do because we are the ones doing it is scary.

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Fixer said...

I agree with ya, pal.

Shakespeare's Sister said...

Right on!

Shakespeare's Sister said...

I hope you noticed I excerpted you.


John Howard said...

Yeah, I saw that, thanks. I really need to start doing more of that myself, but I'm just so lazy.