The Case Against Iraq

Or, Why Bush Is Still Wrong

You’ve heard the bleating from Bush and Cheney. “World safer without Saddam,” “Mushroom clouds if Kerry wins,” blah blah blah. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that Iraq was a horrible mistake and Bush is a freaking moron, they keep using the bloody place like a cudgel. We tough, them weak. We Texans, them French.

The sick, sad thing is, people are buying it. I actually got into an argument with a relative over whether or not hitting Iraq was a good thing because — I swear to God, this was his argument — we had to hit somebody, and it didn’t matter who.

Never mind we had already “hit” Afghanistan. Never mind that we can’t “hit” anyone else while we’re stuck in that damn quicksand pit. Never mind the blood and tears and death. We had to hit someone. I was flabbergasted into silence by the horror.

Well, here’s a handy guide in case you ever find yourself in such a situation. Plenty of reasons why going into Iraq was unutterably stupid.

1) More terrorists with more access to more Bad Stuff. Not less.

Remember when every Bush administration surrogate was feeding the country breathless warnings about Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction? Remember when they spoke of nukular ambitions, mushroom clouds, tons of biological and chemical weapons? They knew “exactly” where they were, too. Colin Powell had the color glossy photographs with circles and arrows to be used as evidence against him. The war was going to make America safer. Oh, yeah, and the world. And something about bombing his own people and atrocities, but those weren’t legitimate reasons for America to go to war, it was really about the weapons of mass destruction, and boy are you liberals going to be sorry when we find ’em.

Well, credit where credit is due, at least they didn’t plant WMDs.

While campaigning, Bush claims, “No matter how many times Senator Kerry flip-flops, we were right to make America safer by removing Saddam Hussein from power.” Yet nearly everyone in the administration has admitted at some point or another that the war is actually creating more terrorists. The “jihadi Woodstock” draws hate and death into a land that has seen far too much of it, while bin Laden — remember him? — becomes more popular and al-Qaida grows. It has long since recovered from our initial victories against it, by all reports. Oh, and large quantities of actual nuclear material in Iraq were dumped aside and the barrels carted off, from sites that had been sealed by the IAEA. Civilians did this because no one was guarding the site and they wanted the barrels. So instead of preventing terrorists from acquiring the material for a “dirty bomb,” the war has made it possible for them to acquire it and convinced more people that performing such an act would be a good thing.

Perhaps this is some definition of “safer” I was not previously familiar with.

2) Tens of thousands dead, including more than a thousand of our own troops and countless innocent civilians.

Morally, this belongs at the top of the list, but frankly, the sort of people we’re likely to argue with don’t care as much about this. Nevertheless, the American military has killed literally countless thousands of Iraqis. We will never know the number, since they didn’t “do casualty counts” until recently. There are groups that try to keep track of civilian deaths, but they only count those officially registered.

Iraqi military personnel don’t count, because they were the “bad guys.” Never mind most of them were scared kids conscripted by Saddam (a genuinely evil man). Never mind they had about as much of a chance against the American military machine as a tree does against a chain saw. We will never know how many of them were bombed into oblivion. Not many Americans, sadly, will care.

What they do care about are “our boys” who die in that bloody mess, which is something at least. More have died, both in total and proportionally, during 2004 than 2003. They still aren’t getting the support they need, their leaders have failed them utterly, and they can’t do any real good because the truly important part — “winning the peace” — was botched beyond all recognition by Dr. Strangefeld and his pack of neocon schemers. Proving their theories was more important than the War on Terra or doing right by Iraqis and our military alike, so much so that the real experts were ridiculed or (if government officials themselves) forced out of office when they pointed out that Rumsfeld was a screaming psychopath.

3) It weakened us against real threats by tying up our troops in Bush’s Mess’O’Potamia.

Good lord, where to begin…

Let’s start with Afghanistan, a nation whose history seems nothing more or less than a litany of betrayal and abandonment by those who have used it. This time, though, things would be different. This time, we would know better, because “everything changed after 9/11.” We had learned our lesson, and would make things right this time.

Yeah. Sure. Right.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, meanwhile, are our buddies. The Saudi royals, after all, are great personal friends of the president himself, so we have nothing to fear from Saudi extremism, right? They’ll take care of everything. (Except that over three quarters of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and radical Wahhabism continues to be the country’s second largest export.) As for the Pakistanis, they are helping us fight Al-Qaida, such powerful allies are they. (Well, aside from the export of nuclear secrets by their “father of the nuclear bomb” to terrorist groups, and the deep level of radicalism within the country, including al Qaida itself, which the government desperately panders to.)

Oh, yeah, and North Korea has real nukes. They rattle their missile silos at us, out of a combination of aggression and fear. Their Dear Leader (not to be confused with ours) insists that after Iraq, his country needs such weapons as a deterrent against invasion. Way to go, Dubya.

Iran is anyone’s guess at this point.

Whatever the situations in any or all of those countries, however, with so much of our power and treasure caught in the sand pit, the military option is off the table, and they know it. So much for the legend of American invincibility.

4) Abu Ghraib.

I remember one of the shifting reasons for our invasion of Iraq being the torture and rape going on in Saddam’s prisons. Abu Ghraib was one of his most notorious.

Hm. Electrical shocks, dogs, beating prisoners to death, stripping men and forcing them into sexual positions with each other, raping female prisoners, sodomizing boys with light sticks…yep, pretty horrific stuff.

Oh. Wait. That was our side.

When an American Congressman rails about “do-gooders” complaining about the vile, inexcusable acts, you really have to wonder about those family values they talk about. I thought the whole point was America being the good guys.

5) That ‘loss of allies’ thing.

So let’s see. We have Britain helping us out with significant troop support. There’s Italy and Poland, with Silvio “Mussolini apologist” Berlusconi strongly supporting the war against the wishes of his own people. Australia talks a good game, but doesn’t have many boots on the ground. That leaves a swath of minor countries trying to look good to the last superpower by contributing a few hundred here and a few hundred there. Perhaps a few others hope to moderate American policy by staying involved (the Netherlands comes to mind). Even in countries where the government supports the war, most have majorities that oppose it. For the most part we have the major powers of the world, and a significant number of minor powers, looking at America with suspicion and disgust. This after most of the world offered us unprecedented depths of sympathy and support in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

6) That ‘loss of respect’ thing.

I know I covered this briefly above, but it bears repeating: they said they knew where the weapons were. The joke about the devolution of the argument was, IMO, put best by Calpundit back before Washington Monthly hired him:

March 2003: Weapons of mass destruction.
June 2003: Weapons of mass destruction programs.
October 2003: Weapons of mass destruction-related programs.
January 2004: Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.

I know these people hate government, but one would think they at least cared about their own credibility. In a sane country, they would be laughed out of office for this alone. Alas, our country only has the barest passing familiarity with sanity, a relationship that weakens with each passing day.

7) 200 billion dollars and nothing to show for it.

I consider the money to be the least of the scandals in this tragedy. All the same, there was a time in America that naked war profiteering would have been condemned immediately, furiously and with all the force the Justice Department could throw at it. With the former CEO of the biggest and baddest profiteer serving as Vice President, however, that just isn’t a priority. (Besides, the Attorney General is too busy fighting his own holy war against environmentalists, those exercising their Constitutional rights, and calico cats.)

You would think that with so much money pouring from America into Iraq, our soldiers and vehicles would have enough armor, weaponry and ammunition. I guess 200 billion dollars doesn’t buy as much as it used to.

Anyway, that should get you started. I’m sure you can think of some more reasons Bush’s War is a fraudulent, asinine display of epic idiocy. Just remember, every time Bush whines about Kerry’s “flip-flops” on Iraq, he’s trying to distract us from the real issues. Who got us into this mess, who keeps lying about whether it has done our country the slightest bit of good or not, and who doesn’t have the slightest clue how to get us out, are all the same foul, corrupt bunch.

Let’s show them the door in November. Maybe they can find work in Iraq come January.

(/) Roland X
Do Something.

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