Monday, March 13, 2006

The Real cause for war in Iraq

The reasons for our going to war in Iraq are being rehashed in a number of blogs and forums- most notably ChaliceBlog and CFUU forums. It seems to me that all the arguments can be boiled down to three camps:

The reasons publicly given were in fact the real reasons. Maybe you didn’t think they were good enough reasons, and one or two of the list have been proven wrong since the invasion, but what he said was what he meant.


Oil. Funny, but the adherents to this theory have never actually made their case; they believe that merely uttering the syllable both makes and proves the case for them- so I’ll have to refute unspoken words. Presumably, they believe that going to war would somehow lower oil prices- which is nonsense. In the short term, war always increases prices. Long term? At the time the decision for war was being made, gasoline prices- corrected for inflation- were already the lowest since we started keeping records in 1917. Merely increasing the supply would not lower it further; all refineries were already running at capacity and the strategic reserve was full- the only way we could have used more was to pour crude oil over our cornflakes in the morning. This means that to lower pricing, we’d have to lower the price for what we were already buying, which could only have been done by becoming closer friends to the Arabs (which another war would not- did not- do) or by actually taking physical possession of the Iraqi oil fields and pumping at our own prices. The world would not have permitted that to happen- which leaves no way in which the war could have been for oil.

Conspiracy theories. Bush wanted revenge for the assassination attempt on his father. Bush owed a favor to the Saudis. Yadda yadda- I’ll lump them all as one because they all must prove the same point: as Bush is President, not King, he had to convince all the insiders to go along with him, including a lot of Democrats at least as intelligent as he. How did he manage to do that? How did he manage to fake evidence so well the CIA and Military Intelligence were fooled? How did he drag all those other countries- some of whom have very good intelligence bureaus- with him? How did he convince Tony Blair to stake his legacy- as one of the greats before the war- on this adventure? Is Bush so beloved worldwide that no one anywhere would blow the whistle on him? After you’ve proven all that, you could also prove the Moon landing was faked in the parking lot behind the grassy knoll.

The only explanation that covers all the facts is #1- that Bush and Blair meant exactly what they said, and were simply wrong about the WMDs. The sooner people accept that, the sooner we can start correcting the problems that led us there, like the poor intelligence. It’s an old military maxim that the most expensive weapons system of all is the one that’s not good enough; obviously, this applies triple to intelligence. If we made Middle East intelligence a priority in the 80’s and 90’s, this war would not have happened… so what are we missing today, and how will it affect tomorrow? I hope it doesn’t take another war to find out.

4 comments:

fmodo said...

You have forgotten the ideological argument: that neoconservatives have argued since the first Gulf war that toppling Saddam was essential to spread democracy and thereby stabilize the mideast.

I think it's likely that neoconservatives' faith in this cause allowed decisionmakers to believe what they wanted to believe about WMDs, making the error and the whole war possible.

I've written more about the neoconservative ideology and the rift it causes in the GOP here.

And here I discuss my observation that calls for an exit strategy often are really proxy expressions of frustration over differing values in international relations, and that we might get further if we address people's differing cost-benefit estimations more directly.

Joel Monka said...

I hadn't forgotten the neocon argument; I had merely considered it another one of the conspiracy class of argument. Maybe Bush himself was blinded by his beliefs, but he couldn't have faked the evidence- whatever the beliefs, either there was enough evidence (albeit wrong) to convince Blair, Rice, Powell, The Joint Chiefs, a majority of Congress, etc., or there wasn't. Not even the Rusians or the French said the evidence was wrong, only that war wasn't the right answer. Which returns us to the same conclussion; explanation 1 is the right answer.

Your second point, about exit strategies, is excellent, and deserves a wider audience than it's getting.

Anonymous said...

I still think it's for oil. Bush's father used to sell arms to the irak or iran. We all can see it was true since there is some in Irak and Iran and all and we can see also they were made in U.S.A. the thing is he Bush would sell those and get oil from it and so that is the lower price that they mean. Yes I agree a war with the country as being ur enemy would put the cost lower or not helping them with arms would have prolly left the cost of oil higher. but the fact is he sold arms to the to help in ht ewar. And what really then made all of those country return after the U.S.A is the fact that Bush also sold arms the the oposite camp. They found out that the cause of the war was them in a way(not saying it was all them theres some religion things too in it) but they saw they were selling arms in both camp to keep it up and that is why they wanted revendge. maybe their religion thingy said they would defeat a big eagle or something else and bla bla bla the thing is they looked up for that war and they got it. They played with fire until it burned them... and the attack was the fire burning them. Also they say it's them that attacked. That I know it wasn't only Iran or Irak or afganistan like they say. It was actually a couple of PpL of diffrent plces that regrouped themselves to attack. if it had been all of them and if it was organised well hey on which beach did their both land. Or why didn't they use some of their own plains to come laugh a nuclear weapon over us? 1 if the whole contry was with the war well why not send nuclear weapon if they have some like the U.S.A try to make us believe so much? or they don't have it or like I said it was just a bunch of extremist that attacked not the whole country. And honestly why would they attack the U.S.A if they wanted they could ruin the USA in no time by not selling oil. they are fucking rich over their in no time they could prolly build up a huge army and well attack. Why they don't do it well cuse they can do moonies with the U.S.A. and by destroying it well they would get in war with the rest of the world... so in the end they didn,t wanna go in war. the PpL that were tired of the US and their domination and their tactics to rule over others well by that attack they wanted to let them know it.
Also as you know Hussein and ausama. they used to be great buddies with Bush. They exchanged oil together. and BOOm all of a sudent they would just wanna put the person who made them rich in war with them? that's kinda stupid don't you think? So in the end honestly try seeing over what the politician tell you. the ausama benladen familly used to live in the U.S.A they got them out when the whole thing happend. The U.S.A instead of thinking like We are the best fuck the rest well they should first think of getting the Ppl hostilities down. The PpL are not all jealous like they think, well they are cuse they think they would prolly do a petter job than them as being first power. and I think that's a good reason to be jealous of...

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