Friday, September 27, 2002

Between Iraq and a Hard Place (12 years later)
Saddam Hussein. Madman. Dictator. Gassed his own people. Invaded Kuwait without cause. Seeking weapons of mass destruction to destroy the U.S. Training Al Qaeda terrorists. Imminently dangerous.

On the surface, it seems like we have the perfect case for war. Right?

These are all excuses. All are debatable points. And none will be the real reason we invade Iraq.


  • Madman, dictatorial: well, this is mostly subjective opinion. But, if you have to use it, then let's invade Zimbabwe (Mugabe certainly fits my definition of mad and dictatorial). China's quite dictatorial, and they force women with children to have an abortion on their second child. The Shah of Iran was pretty oppressive, but, oh wait, we supported him!

  • Gassed his own people: two words: Waco, Texas.

  • Invaded Kuwait without cause: hmm ... Viet Nam, Somalia, various replacements of oppressive governments with U.S.-friendly oppressive governments. Not to mention the fact that Kuwait was slant-drilling their wells to tap into Iraq's natural resources.

  • Training Al Quaeda: we trained Saddam Hussein. And Fidel Castro. And thousands of others we regretted training later.



The fact is, this Iraq issue is a government program. It accomplishes several things, including the distraction of the American people from the important issues. In the end, Bush's goals boil down to one thing and one thing only: re-election. Rest assured he will stop at nothing to get it. On the way, his main objectives are as follows:

  • Enact and enforce policies that will benefit his largest contributers.

  • Push the agenda of the Republican Party, which overlaps the agenda of the Democratic Party to a great extent (with different flavors).

  • Protect the interests of politicians, especially those friendly to him.

  • Protect and grow the federal government.



The Iraq problem is no different. Though I have no love for Saddam Hussein (I, too, have imagined him in various positions of imminent death), I think he poses no significant threat to us if we reorganize our military and intelligence to be tools of honest national security (rather than what Bush defines as national security, which was outlined above).

Oh, and what about the Kurds? Well, the Turks, Russians, Iranians, Pakistanis, and so forth all pretty much do the same thing that Saddam Hussein has done.