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Poll. Why do you think we invaded Iraq?(42 posts)

Poll. Why do you think we invaded Iraq?Spoke Wrench
Jul 23, 2003 8:54 AM
1. Iraq's WMD were a perceived threat to the US.
2. Iraq was perceived to be connected to 9-11.
3. Iraq was on the verge of controlling all or much of mid-east oil.
4. Internal human rights violations in Iraq.
5. US companies were not profiting from Iraq oil.
6. Other.
re: Poll. Why do you think we invaded Iraq?Ridearound
Jul 23, 2003 8:57 AM
3 and 5 at the top, leading to widespread 1,2,3 after spinning.
How does this help the US oil industry?TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2003 9:01 AM
As somebody who used to analyze the oil industry professionally, I continue to be perplexed at the assertion that an open Iraq helps American oil companies. Can somebody explain to me how this will be profitable for US oil producers - because it really is not clear to me that this is good for the OIL companies.

It is good for the oilfield services companies, chiefly Halliburton and Schlumberger, but how is it good for the oil companies?
Would that be a vote for 5...Spoke Wrench
Jul 23, 2003 9:06 AM
if I had said oilfield services companies?
I don't think so,TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2003 9:25 AM
While it is good for the OFS companies, it was also good for defense contractors.

If #5 was "Improve the economy via expansion of the military/industrial complex", I might vote for it.
I don't think so,critmass
Jul 23, 2003 10:09 AM
Hasn't the U.S. taken control over managing the Iraq oil industry. Didn't Dubya install former Shell Oil CEO Philip Carroll to direct production and exploration of the Iraqi oil fields. Isn't the U.S. in control of all new contracts concerning the Iraqi oil fields. But then what the hell Carroll's and the boyz new adventure is called the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. The last part has that altruistic thing going for it. But then this kinda reminds one of Dubya's appointment of oilman Zalmay Khalilzad as the new Envoy to Afghanistan right after our little war there making the country safe for the new oil pipline.
Would it have been better,TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2003 10:25 AM
Would it have been a better idea to take somebody from outside the oil industry? I hardly believe that was a viable option.
Subtle differenceRidearound
Jul 23, 2003 9:11 AM
Doesn't necessarily have to be GOOD for oil - all that's needed - as the questions puts it - is for there to be a preception that Iraq was controlling or about to control oil in the area - which is perceived to be BAD - i.e. somthing ought to be done about it. Works in combination with other factors, i.e. political ones, personal ones (my dad's unfinished business, if you subscribe to that theory) and so forth.

I think you may be taking too sophisticated view of this - it's more just promoting US intersts in general will have positive spin-off, and that will include oil, as Iraq won't be in the box seat once the "war" is over.
Dubya is an altruist and loves the Iraqi peoplecritmass
Jul 23, 2003 9:22 AM
But then the boyz are oilmen and Rummy has been talkin' about invading Iran and some of those other god-less countries, nice to have an army there for that. Mailer summed it up well in yesterdays OldEdScott's thread "profit in union with patriotism"
1. Though the perception of threat was seriously clouded by...PdxMark
Jul 23, 2003 9:31 AM
a mixture of post-Afghanistan success, post-9/11 eagerness to see a threat under every rock, general frustration and irritation that Saddam did not fall ofter GW1, Wolfie's theory that taking out Saddam would help Israel and pacify the ME, and because we could.

Implied connections to 9-11 were massively exagerrated. Iraq was entiely contained, so no threat to other ME oil producers. GWB does not give a fleeting bit of care about human rights in Iraq, or anyplace else in the world, including the United States. US oil companies were doing fine without Iraq.
The answers are...Dwayne Barry
Jul 23, 2003 9:47 AM
1. No, this was a justification to sell the war to the public
2. See #1.
3. Paleeze, they weren't a threat to anyone other than the poor bastards living within Iraq.
4. PALEEZE! How can anyone seriously entertain this notion? This wasn't a nickel and dime humanitarian effort. This was a huge political/financial/economic/international relations risk, you don't undertake such things out of compassion. Also see #1.
5. I doubt it. The best way to have made money for US companies would have been to lift sanctions and trade with Iraq. As it stands this is costing us all a fortune (well maybe one or two companies will profit from it).

6. Correct. The ultimate reason for invading Iraq was to secure the US strategic interest in the economically vital area of the Middle East by establishing a regime "friendly" to the US. Saddam's obstinence just provided the perfect oppurtunity for us to bail-out of the oppressive (and ultimately doomed) Saudi Arabian monarchy before a Iran-like religious revolution sweeps the country. Imagine the public image nightmare that will be if US forces are forced into defending the Saudi crown and surpressing a revolt by the people. A decade from now we will have no bases in S.A. and a bunch in Iraq (the move has already started). Furthermore, Iraq allows us to "bring" democracy to muslims. Will it work? I'm doubtful. It could all end up blowing up in our face, not by the Baathist loyalists but by the radical muslims within southern Iraq and Sunnis afraid of retaliation for their years of oppression of the Kurds and Shiites. At least the Kurds are behaving for now.
I'll back up Dwayne Barrybboc
Jul 23, 2003 10:00 AM
Couldn't have said it better.
Ditto. (nm)Jon Billheimer
Jul 23, 2003 10:47 AM
right from the neo-cons playbook.rufus
Jul 23, 2003 5:01 PM
years before this war was even thought about, that's the plan that cheney, rummy, perle, wolfowitz, kristol, and all the rest of the neo-cons spelled out as their objective for the middle east.

plus, it doesn't hurt that iraq just may be sitting on the largest oil reserves in the region. let the saudis try to manipulate production now.
Definitely "Other".czardonic
Jul 23, 2003 10:27 AM
To paraphrase the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Leeden, Iraq was chosen as a country we could throw against a wall to teach the rest of the world that we mean business. The "threat" that Iraq allegedly posed to Iraq was always a matter of slippery foundations -- Nuclear Weapons, WMD, Terrorism -- none of which have been vindicated. But whatever hype the Bush Administration sold to justify the war, it was paralleled by the assumption that we could go in there and pound on Saddam's regime with impunity.

The rarely spoken truth of the matter is that for most Americans, Bush was preaching to the choir. They didn't require any justification or proof or an iminent threat to the United States. To them, Iraq was a disposable country full of disposable people. Thus, they didn't care about the Iraqi people 20 years ago when Saddam was killing them by the thousands. Thus, they didn't care 10 years ago when Saddam was slaughtering those who rebelled, at our encouragement. Thus, they don't care how many Iraqi's we have delivered to death, rather than liberty. Thus, they don't care that WMD have not been found. Thus, they don't care that Al-Queda ties have been discredited. Thus, they don't care that Iraq has been delivered to anarchy, not freedom.

We invaded Iraq so that we could be winners again. We found a convenient, prone (and ultimately deserving) despot and morphed him into an avatar for all the dangers in the world that we can not control.
Definitely "Other".Jon Billheimer
Jul 23, 2003 2:15 PM
In my opinion Czar, that is the most eloquent and succinct summing up of what I believe to be the truth of the entire Iraq debacle. At least there are a few Americans capable of penetrating the fog of propaganda, obfuscation, and outright lies which emanate from the highest reaches of the U.S. government.
Lots of good imaginations and good storytellers...No_sprint
Jul 23, 2003 11:27 AM
However, for those of us living in reality, the facts are plain and simple and right in front of all of us.

Iraq tried to take over another country, they failed. Had they kept to themselves, they wouldn't be on our radar. As punishment they made an agreement with the world, they didn't uphold their end of the bargain. After years of attempting diplomatic solutions, an ultimatum and a date was finally leveled. When they once again didn't uphold their end a coalition of over 50 supporting nations ended the regime of a true mass murderer and complete whacko.
You're right. That's a very simplistic summary. (nm)czardonic
Jul 23, 2003 11:49 AM
NS - This coalition you speak of....bboc
Jul 23, 2003 12:16 PM
I have never seen a list before. Who are the 50 supporting nations? What support have they given?

Off the top of my head I can come up with:
England (30,000 troops)
Australia (?)
Poland (?)
Spain (?)
State Department list of coalition forces.No_sprint
Jul 23, 2003 12:36 PM
I don't have a copy of the list, however, the State Department List of Coalition Forces is surely not that hard to find. Germany sent chemical specialists, Kuwait and Qatar allowed us to stage, others offered their airspace for us to fly through. The Czech Republic and Slovakia sent troops. Albania and Latvia. The list kept growing to over 50 *supporting* nations. I don't know the extent of all the support.
Here's the full list, as of March 20.czardonic
Jul 23, 2003 12:50 PM
A real who's who of top-tier military and economic powers.

Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Marshall Islands
Solomon Islands
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States
(Straight from the horses. . .er. . . mouth:

Pretty awesome. Uzbekistan, Uganda and the Solomon Islands fighting on the same team!
You beat me to it Czar....bboc
Jul 23, 2003 1:08 PM
From the State Department:
Words of support from the coalition.....

State Dept. Coalition announcement (make sure you read the whole exchange between Mr. Boucher and "Question", I can't beleive the State Dept. put it up) Our coalition seems to be a combination any country that says "list me as supporting the cause", those who are too embarassed to be publicly listed, and a few strong supporters like the UK.....

You asked...No_sprint
Jul 23, 2003 1:21 PM
Furthermore, allowing us to stage, base and flyover for our own troops is better than any other troop on the planet, therefore, more valuable than sending their own.
Jul 23, 2003 1:27 PM
I'm sure there was some kind of typo. Will you clarify?
You asked for the facts, I gave them to you.No_sprint
Jul 23, 2003 1:35 PM
You may go ahead and "grade" or value them however you want if you like. I'll stick with the facts, no spin.
You asked for the facts, I gave them to you.bboc
Jul 23, 2003 1:42 PM
I never disputed that you pointed me in the direction of the info I was looking for. I was just wondering what "allowing us to stage, base and flyover for our own troops is better than any other troop on the planet" meant (hence the typo/clarification statement).
No need to jump down my throat
No worries.No_sprint
Jul 23, 2003 1:52 PM
To clarify. Whether or not a supporter is an international powerhouse matters not to me for I feel our troops are the best in the land. Therefore, regardless of a country's military prowess, their support in ways other than sending their own troops is probably more valuable than actually sending their own troops. In my opinion. That's all.
I'll agree that the US troops are the best in the land....bboc
Jul 23, 2003 2:22 PM
but our military is being increasingly stretched out to places like Iraq, Afganistan, Bosnia, S. Korea and others. The troops are repeatedly having their tours extended even after Bush declared the end of the Iraq War. Maybe more military and personell contributions from a quality coalition would lessen the burden on the American youth who are risking their lives over there.

The Administration keeps asking for this support from the "Coalition", and is getting very little. Would you like to see our troops and come home after being replaced by international forces?
Then why not say so instead of evading the issue?czardonic
Jul 23, 2003 1:32 PM
Why not say: "The coalition of the willing is comprised of over 50 nations. Now, most of them don't have a pot to piss in, and several do not even have militaries of their own, but what we really need anyway is access to their territory."

Why would the Adminstration circle its wagons around lame and specious assertions, and basically allow its "Coalition of the Willing" to become a laughing stock?

Are they just that stupid?
You asked...critmass
Jul 23, 2003 1:52 PM
Actually we had to buy most of those rights. $4 billion to Turkey, $7.5 billion worth of weaponry to Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. An additional $1billion for overflight rights over Jordan. Then there were the millions in aid for all those other members of the coalition of the willing, or is that coalition of the bought, like $1.2 billion in arms to Pakistan, $26 million in aid to Bulgaria, $130 million in aid to Australia and on and on and on. As you say just the facts. No spin.
Thanks. I was aware of that.No_sprint
Jul 23, 2003 1:56 PM
Don't think this is the first time we've given any of those countries money either. They all would have got it in some form or another whether or not they were part of the coalition. Our country's giving is ongoing, nearly to every other country on Earth.
I spent some more time...bboc
Jul 23, 2003 1:23 PM
reading the words of support link from my last post. Most (not all) of the support statements are purely based upon disarmament, and the threat of WMD. As it becomes increasingly clear that the WMD threat was exagurated by the US and the UK, is the coalition as relevent?
Don't piss-off the Marshall Islanders, Czar.sn69
Jul 23, 2003 1:09 PM
I hear they've got a crack covert breadfruit eating squad.

...Oops...was that unintentionally ethnocentric of me?!
Their entire military is highly covert.czardonic
Jul 23, 2003 1:49 PM
So much so that the CIA doesn't know about it.
Gosh, there's a stretch....sn69
Jul 23, 2003 4:09 PM
I cannot recall the exact island at the moment, but there's a humorous WWII story from one of the Marshalls. A Marine landing force was going in via submarine insertion to take one of the smaller atolls with a small, company-sized Japanese garrison there as a function of the island hopping campaign. After a brief skirmish, the Marines withdrew to their beachhead to wait out the expected Jap counter-attack, but it never came. The next morning, the Islanders approached the Marines and told them all the Jap soldiers were dead. Apparently, the Japanese officer, attempting to rally his troops whilst waving his gun over his noodle accidentally blew the top of this noggin' off. The remaining troops were so disheartened that they all ate sandwhich bullets for dinner. Fanatacism is always such a hoot in retrospect.

Ironically, we've got a jet leaving for Kwajalen later this week. Fortunately, we're not armed.
Jul 23, 2003 9:06 PM
Also, facing defeat in WWII on one of the islands in the northern Pacific,we (Americans) bedded down one night to prepare for the final battle on the Japanese forces, but when dawn broke, all the Japanese were dead. Suicide rather than defeat. Then there are the cases of Japanese civilians jumping off of cliffs at Iwo or Okinawa, forgot which. had/has a huge civilian population. nmsn69
Jul 24, 2003 6:39 AM
sumthin to doDougSloan
Jul 23, 2003 7:49 PM
1. Distract the people from economy
2. That Saddam guy was getting too big for his britches
3. Target practice (and expiration dates on missles approaching)
4. Desire to wrap up with fighter jet flight and carrier landing
5. Bored with ordinary terrorism investigations

Seriously, though, combination of your 1, 2 nad 4. Oil was irrelevant. I would not frame the issue as "human rights violations," as that sort of implies a "sit in the back of the bus" situation, but rather "rid the planet of a genocidal maniacal dictator."

so why didn't ronnie raygun or george I rid the planet of him?rufus
Jul 24, 2003 4:58 AM
oh, that's right, up until kuwait, when our ambassador to iraq basically told saddam that the U.S. didn't care about his border dispute with kuwait, the genocidal maniacal dictator was our friend. saddam didn't change any, so what happened? how many other genocidal maniacal dictators do we still hold as friends? and why?

if, back before gulf warI, our ambassador had made it strongly clear that any move toward kuwait would be met with vigorous retaliation from the U.S., then we never would have had to go over there in the first place 12 years ago. but we basically gave him a green light to do what he wanted with kuwait.
Iran nmDougSloan
Jul 24, 2003 6:43 AM
so, genocidal maniacal dictators are okrufus
Jul 24, 2003 6:51 AM
as long as they're our genocidal maniacal dictators? i suppose saddam was the enemy when the shah was still in power in iran, but immediately became our bestest buddy once the islamic fundamentalists threw out our last U.S. supported puppet government in the region? oh, hey, and didn't we also teach osama everything he knew about resistance movements?

perhaps some consistency in our foreign policy might go a long way in curbing all the middle eastern hatred of our government, and the rise to power of genocidal maniacal dictators.
politics ain't pretty nmDougSloan
Jul 24, 2003 7:03 AM