Iraq: Moving forward after the 'Three Week's War'.

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Red-Seven, Apr 24, 2003.

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  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
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    Ahmadinejad decides not to wait for the U.S. to invite Iran to the table.

    From AP:

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iran has invited the Iraqi and Syrian presidents to Tehran for a weekend summit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hash out ways to cooperate in curbing the runaway violence that has taken Iraq to the verge of civil war and threatens to spread through the region, four key lawmakers told The Associated Press on Monday.

    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has accepted the invitation and will fly to the Iranian capital Saturday, a close parliamentary associate said.

    The Iranian diplomatic gambit appeared designed to upstage expected moves from Washington to include Syria and Iran in a wider regional effort to clamp off violence in Iraq, where more civilians have been killed in the first 20 days of November than in any other month since the AP began tallying the figures in April 2005.


  2. G-FETT Chosen One

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    Aug 10, 2001
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    160 people murdered in Baghdad today in once single outrage!

    On and on and on and on goes the suffering and the violence and still Bush and Blair are not held to account for unleashing all this on the world. :rolleyes:
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I'm almost of the opinion we'd be much better off if Iraq had stayed under Mr Hussein. Yes, he was a despot and a tyrant, and a thoroughly despicable man; but he was a bulwark against Iran, and was contained.

    Not a position I thought I'd find myself in, but...

    E_S
  4. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Nov 6, 2001
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    orderly sadism being better than disorganized and deadly anarchy?
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Being pragmatic, the instability to the global economy, the billions wasted by the US on trying to build a country that wants to tear itself apart (oh, George HW Bush, how prescient ye were), the compound interest on anti-American sentiment, the deaths of Allied forces - all of these could have been avoided. Especially given that the casus belli was, for want of a better word, false?

    E_S
  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Nov 6, 2001
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    history will find it maddening that the one person that H.W. couldn't speak out against (his son) ended up doing the very thing he himself wisely chose not to do.
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
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    What about now? We pointed this out before the war, KW. ;)

    E_S
  8. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
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    Again though, you can't make such pronouncements and then not offer alternatives.

    For someone proclaiming to be so pragmatic, you certainly are glossing over some rather important details.

    First off, Iraq hasn't been a bulwark against Iran since Desert Storm. The Iraq you are describing hasn't existed for about 20 years. Secondly, I never thought you would be casually throwing around terms that don't represent the meanings they typically do.

    Iraq was only contained because of the constant application of external force, and such containment never represented a permament solution. I've covered this area ad nauseam with Jabba, dealing with both sides, but the bottom line is that the situation in Iraq was never as easy as what you are describing above.

    What's maddening is the sheer amount of historical retconning that is going on simply because the situation in Iraq isn't going well. Recognizing the situation that existed doesn't mean one has to support the current endeavor, but it certainly defines it.
  9. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    We are past the time for alternatives. There is no longer any real prospect of a good outcome.

    Perhaps Iraq had ceased to be a bulwark against Iran in any real sense but Iran certainly didn't have the influence in Iraq that it does today.

    The fact that the situation in Iraq was far from ideal does not make the current situation any less of a catastrophe or absolve the instigators of this war in any way.

    What is maddening is that many us warned of the possible consequences of this war beforehand and yet those planning it were apparantly blind to such dangers. While some are guilty of "historical retconning" I would suggest that the likes of ES, myself and others here are most certainly not.
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Nov 6, 2001
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    What is maddening is that many us warned of the possible consequences of this war beforehand and yet those planning it were apparantly blind to such dangers.

    and one step worse: some of them had once been very far-sighted, and then somehow succumbed to foolishness. Dick Cheney is exhibit A for that, of course.
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Iran in any real sense but Iran certainly didn't have the influence in Iraq that it does today.

    I would ceratinly take issue with that statement. The two most porous borders in the world were 1)the desert that spanned Syria/Iraq and the Iranian/Iraqi border. Certainly Iran wasn't officially involved in Iraq pre-2003, but Iran was most definately involved in a third party kind of way.

    Simply saying "the dangers were known before the invasion" doesn't offer an alternative, nor does it act as a substitute solution.

    and one step worse: some of them had once been very far-sighted, and then somehow succumbed to foolishness. Dick Cheney is exhibit A for that, of course.

    That's a nice dodge there, KW.
  12. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
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    And lets not forget we have unleashed Al Quieda on Iraq. Correct me if I'm wrong, but before the invasion there is no evidence that there was any Al Quieda presense in Iraq? Well, there certainly is a presense there now.

    I honestly can't see a good outcome here. Whatever we do, I think it makes no differance, so we might as well pull the toops out. Either way, I suspect a civil war and some kind of divide is likely, with Iran and Syria picking over the bones. More than likely another tyrant will emerge and in 10-20 years time, we'll be back here with another invasion taking place to remove the next tyrannical regime. I can see nothing but death, bloodshed and mayhem years into the future here. :(

    And of course, the effect its had on American standing in the world is nothing short of catastrophic. State's like Iran, Syria and N. Korea realise that the US is a busted flush and infact this invasion has inspired them to do whatever the hell the like safe in the knowlage that the US will not dare to strike back.

    As for coming up with an alternative to the invasion, heres one. Why couldn't they have waited for Hans Blix (remember him?) and the Weapons Inspectors (remember them?) to finish their reports into whether Iraq had Weapons Of Mass Destruction? WMD was the reason this war was sold to my country, yet we didn't even wait for the UN Inspectors to finish their investigations. Why? If WMD had been found, then we could have built up a consensus for an invasion and involved other countries, wouldn't that have been a better option? What was the rush? Isn't the truth that Bush decided months earlier to remove Saddam Hussain in March 2003 and nothing would take him away from that opinion? We'll never know, but I don't understand what the urgency was all about that meant we HAD to go to war in the spring of 2003, even if it meant splitting the international community and destroying the good-will that the US had recieved after 9/11.
  13. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I would ceratinly take issue with that statement. The two most porous borders in the world were 1)the desert that spanned Syria/Iraq and the Iranian/Iraqi border. Certainly Iran wasn't officially involved in Iraq pre-2003, but Iran was most definately involved in a third party kind of way.

    That is a quite simply absurd statement. Iran might have been involved in Iraq pre-2003 but it had nothing like the influence it does now. Unless of course you think that Saddam allowed Iranian trained and backed Shia militia to run most of the southern part of the country.

    Simply saying "the dangers were known before the invasion" doesn't offer an alternative, nor does it act as a substitute solution.

    Indeed but sometimes there isn't a solution at hand and the best thing you can do is to avoid making things worse.

    and one step worse: some of them had once been very far-sighted, and then somehow succumbed to foolishness. Dick Cheney is exhibit A for that, of course.

    Cheney is a political whore who saw which way the wind was blowing post 9/11 and allied himself with neo-cons.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Mr44, it's hard to maintain a cautious optimism after 3 years of worsening violence.

    And yes, I'm sorry, Iran was always cautious of Iraq being there, in any capacity.

    But even when I supported getting rid of Saddam entirely, I felt the operation was critically short-sighted and badly planned. I made reference to this several times before the Iraq war.

    And if George HW Bush, writing in 1998, explained that he didn't topple Saddam in 1991 because it would have fractured the country, how do you propose the dangers weren't known?

    E_S
  15. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Again though, you can't make such pronouncements and then not offer alternatives.

    For someone proclaiming to be so pragmatic, you certainly are glossing over some rather important details.

    First off, Iraq hasn't been a bulwark against Iran since Desert Storm. The Iraq you are describing hasn't existed for about 20 years.


    Sure it was. What, it wasn't like Iraq was all nicey-nicey with Iran as soon as the war was over in '88. They shared a border, there was tension. Iraq served a vital, vital role in preventing the spread of Iran's revolution throughout the Middle East, and continued to do so (to the point the revolution practically petered out). Saddam's regime and the mere fact it and its resources were not controlled via proxy by Iran (as Lebanon was controlled by Syria) despite the majority Shia population distracted Iran form other activites and prevented them from having as much latitude as a nation of that size, resources and population would usually have.

    Just because the two nations were at peace didn't mean Iraq didn't stop being a check against Iranian influence. Mind you, Saddam himself tended to be more savage than the Iranians were, but then Iran was the larger country and arguably had more potential.


    Iraq was only contained because of the constant application of external force, and such containment never represented a permament solution. I've covered this area ad nauseam with Jabba, dealing with both sides, but the bottom line is that the situation in Iraq was never as easy as what you are describing above.

    What was never as easy? You constantly take the assumption that yes, the sanctons might not BE an "end to themselves" becuase a better end was unlikely. That America's interests were in fact best served, as far as they realistically could, by keeping Saddam in power. It was not a perfect solution, but it was the best that could be had. There was NEVER ANY chance of the neo-con goal of "democritizing" Iraq and the greater Middle East. That was just stupid and rediculous. The situation was never easy, but the choice was, which was to, as imperfect as it was, keep the peace. After all Iraq had harmed American interests as much as it was ever going to already.


    What's maddening is the sheer amount of historical retconning that is going on simply because the situation in Iraq isn't going well. Recognizing the situation that existed doesn't mean one has to support the current endeavor, but it certainly defines it.

    Is it "historical retconning" or are you taking "paper" events and perscribing greater political and popular will than actually existed? Condi Rice herself stated that America had no interest in going after Iraq prior to 9.11. There are reasons Saddam lasted for 12 years: it wasn't in anyone's interests to go and remove him. It wasn't even in the interests of the Iraqi people, who were dying at 40,000 per year under Saddam, but apparently would have been dying at 150,000 or so per year had he been removed. Saddam's presence benefitted everyone except Iran, and everyone knew it -- except the people that thought they could democrotize the Middle East, and the people who knew it, supported the war anyway, and now claim: "oh lord, who could have predicted such a random and tragic turn of events"?

    It was ENTIRELY predictable. It was one of, if not the most predictable foreign policy event of the last century. It was bloody well more predictable than WWII!

    The people that claim this was somehow America at the mercy of the random unpredictable winds of fate, and that America and its allies were somehow always cursing the heavens from 1991-2003 that Saddam Hussein remained a free man are the ones retooling recent history. America wanted Saddam to tow the line. It was NOT going to invade over it. It's the reason Bush I stopped the invasion, and the reason he didn't support the Shia insurgency to topple Saddam. It's the reason Clinton didn't go farther than he did -- and he had already given Iraq more importance than it should have had in the UN. Not that, y
  16. Blue_Jedi33 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2003
    star 5
    Now they are pouring kerosene over there enemies and burning them alive, drilling holes with electric drills into there bodies, then beheading them. At the rate they are going maybe having the Iraq that we had when Clinton was President wans't so bad.
    Since the WMD turned out to be "The Phantom Menace" At least no civil war.
    Civil wars are really ugly; trying to intervene in them gets you shot at by both sides.
    It would be like Germany trying to send troops to America during it's civil war, to enforce the peace.

    Really Iraq was the most contained country of all the so-called "rogue" states they could air strike any place they wanted, without backlash. Iraq has turned from the least of America's worries to an ugly bleeding national wound, and it never had to be that way.

    Or maybe it did because of the pure greed for power and wealth, for those who would always profit from this futile folly.:mad:

    Too bad rivers of blood of Iraqes and Americans has to flow to pay for their idiotic stupidity based on greed.[face_frustrated]



  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That is a quite simply absurd statement. Iran might have been involved in Iraq pre-2003 but it had nothing like the influence it does now. Unless of course you think that Saddam allowed Iranian trained and backed Shia militia to run most of the southern part of the country.

    It is most certainly not an absurd statement, and was precisely what was happening in the country from 1992 onwards. The Southern No Fly Zone was established precisely because Iranian backed Shiites were operating in large swaths of the country. Saddam certainly wasn't supporting them, it was exactly the opposite, but after Iran/Iraq War and Desert Storm, Iran was very much active in Iraq.

    I think the problem is that 14 years of Iraqi history is being overlooked. People describe how Iraq was in 1989, and then for some reason, they jump to Iraq in 2003. That explains the disconnect, but it doesn't describe the actual situation.

    Mr44, it's hard to maintain a cautious optimism after 3 years of worsening violence.

    And yes, I'm sorry, Iran was always cautious of Iraq being there, in any capacity.

    But even when I supported getting rid of Saddam entirely, I felt the operation was critically short-sighted and badly planned. I made reference to this several times before the Iraq war.

    And if George HW Bush, writing in 1998, explained that he didn't topple Saddam in 1991 because it would have fractured the country, how do you propose the dangers weren't known?


    But again, you're NOT describing the situation that existed in Iraq after the UN became involved. If we were discussing Iraq pre-1990, I would be agreeing with everything you're posting. That's not the case. The country was already fractured because of the UN administration. There certainly is a difference between active civil war and a administratively administered divsion, but that reality has to be taken into account. The coalition that existed, as well as the situation that existed, in 1991 Iraq were both vastly different than the situation that existed in 2003.

    Had the elder Bush been re-elected for a second term, I can conclusively say that his administration wouldn't have allowed Iraq to circumvent the resolutions for 13 years and Iraq would have been handled within a couple of years. I'm not suggesting that HW Bush would have automatically invaded, but the situation wouldn't been allowed to deteriorate so readily.



  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    44, simply put, you're doggedly looking at the trees, while many of the rest of us are looking at the (burning) forest.
  19. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
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    And I would submit that you're doing just the same. The trees(invasion) is being focused on instead of the larger forest (the overall situation that Iraq fit into)

    To me, you're simply claiming "inavsion bad," Bush bad," while completely overlooking the issues that surrounded Iraq at the time. It's an opposite perception, KW. If you're goinh to make that statement, do me a favor at least back it up with examples.

  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    but my point, 44, is that all those issues you speak of simply cannot overcome this hard reality: no matter what the issues, what the reasoning, and what the hopes were, it was fated to be a disaster (unless planned in such a way that is completely alien and beyond the current administration).

    no matter how you slice and dice it, that's what the end reality is. you can have the best of intentions and reasons to do a given thing, but that doesn't mean it's going to turn out well, or that it should be done.

    had there been a highly competent administration, which felt it needed to go into iraq (two elements that seem mutually exclusive in hindsight), it might have worked out better. when people in places like this can (and did) forsee many of the problems that eventually arose, while the people at the highest levels either failed to see them or chose to ignore them, that is a recipe for disaster, and a disaster is what we have. it's not like there was a natural disaster, or some other unavoidable mess that wrecked everything. the root cause for the current problem is incompetence and arrogance. that's the tragedy of it all.

    it's hard to fathom a more worst-case scenario than what we have now before us.
  21. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    No, I still disagree. Nothing in Iraq was a foregone conclusion, and again, the people in exact same administration that organized Desert Storm also organized the 2003 invasion (barring brain transplants and personality transfers, of course.) It was a risk to be sure, but a risk designed to change the course of the existing situation and bring it to a conclusion. The people you are holding up as skillful heroes in the elder Bush's administration based on one set of criteria are suddenly the same people you're labelling as unskilled amateurs.

    As the saying goes, the difference between a hero or a villian comes down to a field goal, but it is still the same kicker.

    There were those who were competent and well respected ("Stormin' Norman ring a bell) who would have gone on into Iraq back in 1991, even though a different course was chosen based on those circumstances back then. Even so, the reality that existed in Iraq in 1991 was not the reality that existed in 2003. It's a progression.

    There are plenty of worse case senarios that could have developed out of this by simply upholding the status quo, but nothing was pre-determined by fate.
  22. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    But again, you're NOT describing the situation that existed in Iraq after the UN became involved. If we were discussing Iraq pre-1990, I would be agreeing with everything you're posting. That's not the case. The country was already fractured because of the UN administration. There certainly is a difference between active civil war and a administratively administered divsion, but that reality has to be taken into account. The coalition that existed, as well as the situation that existed, in 1991 Iraq were both vastly different than the situation that existed in 2003.

    Well I wouldn't be so quick to "blame the UN". The UN is only as good as its constituent members.

    But still mr44, you have passed over a very important point: if Saddam was seen as so "bad" to American interests as much as Bush the elder and Bush the junior, why was it Bush the elder did NOT support the Shia revolt? And indeed, left them hanging? One would think if the US wanted to topple Saddam with a minimum of fuss, it would have provided an ample oppertunity.

    The answer is obvious. The check against Iran would have been removed. It was the same situation with the current invasion.

    So if the end result really WAS the removal of Saddam and everything that went along with it, why was it that the US demurred from this prime oppertunity that might have been accomplished with a minimum of effort?


    No, I still disagree. Nothing in Iraq was a foregone conclusion, and again, the people in exact same administration that organized Desert Storm also organized the 2003 invasion (barring brain transplants and personality transfers, of course.) It was a risk to be sure, but a risk designed to change the course of the existing situation and bring it to a conclusion. The people you are holding up as skillful heroes in the elder Bush's administration based on one set of criteria are suddenly the same people you're labelling as unskilled amateurs.

    They're not the same that I'm aware of at all. Only one, perhaps two figures are the same: Cheney and Rumsfeld. The main people in Bush the Elder's circle tended to be people such as James Baker, Eagleburger etc. They held no position in Bush the junior's administration. The people that were in the administration that WERE associsated with Bush I -- people like Colin Powell and Andrew Card -- were marginalized, at the very least when it came to Iraq.

    As for Cheney, it's been said widely from sources within the party that the man has become a mystery and most definately his words are precisely the opposite of what he warned in 1991, a warning that precisely came to pass.

    So basically this sort of reversal makes no sense. The UN resolutions and Iraq's flaunting of them did not change the lack of urgency over the issue, nor did it change the importance of going through the UN process. The UN resolutions are not there for the US to interpret for itself and then act without explicit authority on the UN's behalf, citing resolutions that were 12 years old and no doubt past the statue of limitation and made for the protection of Kuwait, it is for the UN itself to interpret those resolutions and say when force is warranted.


    There were those who were competent and well respected ("Stormin' Norman ring a bell) who would have gone on into Iraq back in 1991, even though a different course was chosen based on those circumstances back then. Even so, the reality that existed in Iraq in 1991 was not the reality that existed in 2003. It's a progression.

    I don't get what you're saying here. Norman would have gone on into Iraq because that's what would have been the next step in defeating the enemy. Norman's concerns at the time are not how the invasion affects Iran or Syria, simply on winning the war and smashing the IRaqi military.


    There are plenty of worse case senarios that could have developed out of this by simply upholding the status quo, but nothing was pre-determined by fate.

    Well when you throw a ball up into the air and it falls back down, is it "fate" that it fell to th
  23. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
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    They're not the same that I'm aware of at all. Only one, perhaps two figures are the same: Cheney and Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld wasn't involved, he was in private business at the time. (His prior SecDef position was under Ford)

    Cheney was SecDef
    Wolfowitz was underSecDef for policy (the number 2 in DOD)
    Scooter libby was deputy SecDef for strategy
    Powell was Chairman of JCS

    All the heavy hitters are there. It was Wolfowitz's office that undertook the feasibility studies for Desert Storm and would have reported to Cheney.

  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But still mr44, you have passed over a very important point: if Saddam was seen as so "bad" to American interests as much as Bush the elder and Bush the junior, why was it Bush the elder did NOT support the Shia revolt? And indeed, left them hanging? One would think if the US wanted to topple Saddam with a minimum of fuss, it would have provided an ample oppertunity.

    The answer is obvious. The check against Iran would have been removed. It was the same situation with the current invasion.


    No, that's not accurate. First of all, the mandate for Desert Storm didn't cover it. Secondly, in 1991, it would have been true, although to a lesser degree than 1980. This wasn't the case in at all in 2003.

    Iraq couldn't have existed both in a state of military containment, and at the same time, represented a hegemonic influence against Iran. The two concepts are mutually exclusive. From the time Iraq became subject to UN administration, it ceased to be any mitigating factor aganist Iran. Indeed, the fact that Iranian Shi'a groups were operating within Iraq's Southern borders after Desert Storm lead to the creation of the Southern Watch in the first place. (Kurdish rebel groups were already operating in the North)

    Simply put, It was the best thing in the world for Iran when Iraq invaded Kuwait. After 1991, the focus really shifted to Saudi Arabia (Arab) and Iran (Persian) struggling for regional dominance.

    At any rate, hardly anyone in the elder Bush's administration expected the sanctions/resolutions to last the length that they did. Wolfowitz specifically indicated that in hindsight, they lost the opportunity to overthrow Saddam a couple of months after Desert Storm ended. Again, Wolfowitz was in charge of policy for the DOD, and I think the understanding was that the resolutions would have been used to create a different coalition for action in Iraq, no more than a couple of months at the latest.

    However, HW Bush lost his re-election bid, and the sanctions were allowed to take on a life of their own and as a result, they lumbered along for 12 years. Had HW Bush been re-elected, US troops would have been acting in Iraq in one form or the other before his second term was up.

    HERE



  25. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Rumsfeld wasn't involved, he was in private business at the time. (His prior SecDef position was under Ford)

    Yeah, that's why I said "perhaps". I wasn't sure how Rumsfeld worked under the Reagan and Bush administrations, if he ever became anything more than a "special ambassador" to Iraq.

    Cheney was SecDef
    Wolfowitz was underSecDef for policy (the number 2 in DOD)
    Scooter libby was deputy SecDef for strategy
    Powell was Chairman of JCS


    Hmmm... I'm seeing a common theme here (except for Powell)... all these people are under Cheney at the time of the Gulf War. You're only giving us the people in the Bush administration that worked in the Pentagon, just the people that MANAGED Desert Storm, not the people that decided when to begin the war, and when to stop it. The very things people are crediting the Bush I administration for in dealing with Iraq was out of the scope of powers of the people you are referencing. Again, people like James Baker, Eagleburger, Scowcroft... they're all missing.

    Just because the people in the Pentgaon under Bush I doesn't mean the Bush I administration == Bush II administration. Not by a long shot, in fact. I mean, we haven't even gotten to the impact of Dan Quayle!

    All the heavy hitters are there. It was Wolfowitz's office that undertook the feasibility studies for Desert Storm and would have reported to Cheney.

    Yeah, but again, none of that's what people are talking about when they credit the Bush administration. They're not crediting the Pentagon... in effect they're not even crediting Colin Powell, although he agreed with the policy. They're agreeing with the people who made the decisions happen. You seem to say that Cheney should be credited for such a thing, but it is not ultimately Cheney's decision whether the war started or ended in 1991 just as it was not Rumsfeld's decision whether the war started or ended in 2003. Decisions like that are commonly made in the actual White House, in tight working with the State Department. Cheney was publically, at least, in favor of stopping the war at the time, but it seems doubtful it was his idea and it's very reasonable that he had little to do with the decision at all.




    No, that's not accurate. First of all, the mandate for Desert Storm didn't cover it. Secondly, in 1991, it would have been true, although to a lesser degree than 1980. This wasn't the case in at all in 2003.

    Iraq couldn't have existed both in a state of military containment, and at the same time, represented a hegemonic influence against Iran. The two concepts are mutually exclusive.


    First of all, your first paragraph makes little sense. There's no real difference in the threat level posed by Iraq in 1991 and 2003. any evidence that it had grown in any way, shape, or form has become notoriously sketchy, based on hedged bets that it was possible they still had SOMETHING, something small left over. These things were based more on circumstantial issues of Saddam's personality and his lack of paperwork than any real hard evidence that anything was there. You say that Bush the elder would not have allowed Iraq to continue on as it was, but you say nothing that could have been done to the contrary. And you don't state WHY Bush left the Shia hanging other than to say that "it wasn't in the mandate". What, the UN mandate? That doesn't explain anything -- Reagan selling arms to Iran "wasn't in the mandate" of his administration, yet somehow it still managed to happen. It also makes no sense for you to say that Bush the elder was not content with allowing Saddam to remain where he was for 12 years when he in fact created conditions for Saddam to continue on in his capacty. I mean HE, or his administration, stopped the war at a time when the other Arab parties were just BEGINNING to feel uncomfortable. They hadn't begun protesting yet, and it would have been incredibly easy to push further given the momentum at the time. Compare the political will he had a the time to how long this war has drug on.... he could have wrung several y
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