Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Was the "War" in Iraq Worth It? 2

As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted — more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.
There's been a lot of talk since President Obama's Oval Office speech August 31st, and before, about was the "war" in Iraq worth it? By that I assume those asking that question mean was it worth the lives lost and the expenditures in national treasure.
Consider this, we were already in one military engagement in Afghanistan which was costing us billions, plus the lives of our soldiers, and which was being paid for under the table through "emergency supplemental appropriations," not part of the regular military budget, a little accounting legerdemain on the part of the Bush administration. An attempt to temporarily hide the extent of the conflict's real impact on the national deficit, and keep it from public view, which was more politically expedient for Bush (actually, Bush attempted to keep both Iraq and Afghanistan out of the public's mind set entirely; no draft (hence not enough troops in both countries) lower taxes (especially for the wealthy, the first time in our nation's history taxes had been lowered during a time of "war"), no photos of our dead soldiers arriving back home for burial, attempts to keep these wars out of the news cycle, etc.). With the addition of our invasion of Iraq in 2003, similarly funded, our national debt increased further, which later contributed to the nation's poor economic position in 2007 when faced with bank failures due to the bust of the housing market. Would we have been in a better position to deal with the economic crisis if we had not invaded Iraq?
Possibly. The Bush administration would undoubtedly find a way to squander that money in some other failed endeavor. At least 4,420 lives might have been saved.
Was the war in Iraq worth the costs partially outlined in the first part of this post? Simply put, no, it was not.
As there never was any good reason to invade Iraq to begin with. Of course it was not worth it. And in saying that I greatly sympathize with the families who have lost loved ones, those who sent their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, into the military thinking they were doing their patriotic duty in defense of the nation, to fight "terrorism," and ensure we were not attacked again. I am so sorry, but you, and the country were duped by a few sociopathic politicians that shouldn't have been in office in the first place.
We shouldn't even have invaded Afghanistan as the ruling Taliban may have tried Osama Bin Laden on their own, or turned him over to the U.S. if Bush had decided to go that route. But how can you be a "War President," without going to war? And George Bush wanted to be a war president.
And if you're already in one "war," might as well get another one going. It's good for business (CACI and Titan, Bechtel, Aegis Defense Services, Custer Battles, General Dynamics, Nour, Chevron, and ExxonMobil being the most brazen war profiteers according to Charlie Cray, director of the Center for Corporate Policy in Washington, DC, but lets not forget KBR and Halliburton, in which Dick Cheney kept stock in throughout his two terms as Vice President), so it was decided to invade Iraq. Why? Well Donald Rumsfeld had better targets there than Afghanistan, that seems to be the best reason that makes any kind of sense.
For there were no "Weapons of Mass Destruction," chemical, biological, nuclear, or otherwise, despite Condoleezza Rice's assurances that mushroom clouds would be popping up all over the place if we didn't invade. The Bush administration never had any real evidence for WMDs, so they made up what evidence they could, told anybody who disagreed with them that they were unpatriotic and inviting another 9/11, and got what they wanted, an Iraqi invasion.
Even if Iraq had chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons... so what? They possessed no delivery system that would allow those weapons to be used against the United States, even if they wanted to, which considering what would happen to them if they did, was unlikely.
Another lie that was perpetrated by the Bush administration was Iraq with WMDs would threaten our allies in that region. Again, so what? Iran and Iraq had been at war previously for years, hell, we were on Iraq's side and sold Saddam weapons! We didn't seem to care then what he did. And Israel is a nuclear power who can more than take care of it's self (a good reason why our concerns about Iran gaining nuclear technology now are baseless. Israel will never let them gain nuclear weapons, so all of this fear mongering by American neocons about preemptively attacking Iran is just that, fear mongering)
And the North Korea problem. That country did have nuclear weapons that did threaten it's neighbors who were our allies (South Korea being one) and we didn't demonstrate a need to invade them. By Bush's rational we should have taken North Korea on before any other "rouge," nation.
But we didn't.
Bush and his pals also tried to connect Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda. Cheney tried soooo hard to connect him to no avail, again, no real concrete evidence was put forth linking Hussein with Al Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization. There was no reason for Saddam to be involved with terrorists for he was not an ideologue, and had it good in his own little country, and knew it. Aligning himself with terrorists would only make him a target. Indeed, I doubt very much that he would have invaded Kuwait in 1991 if he thought the United States would turn against him and intervene. But we double crossed him and did intervene. Why? Oil and politics.
Despite the lack of evidence of WMDs we went to "war," if you can call it that. I can't (inspectors in fact provided testimony that Saddam had in fact discontinued his weapons building programs), the idea that Iraq was more of a threat than any other nation, an imminent threat that had to be dealt with immediately, bulldozing and lying to the public, the UN, and Congress ("A study coauthored by the Center for Public Integrity found that in the two years after September 11, 2001 the president and top administration officials had made 935 false statements, in an orchestrated public relations campaign to galvanize public opinion [and support] for the war, and that the press was largely complicit in its uncritical coverage of the reasons adduced for going to war."-Wikipedia).
Why? If Bush knew there were no weapons of mass destruction (I believe he hoped there were so he could justify his actions), or at least knew there were no weapons available to Saddam Hussein that could be used against the United States, and he knew there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, and he didn't give a rat's butt if Saddam was a "bad man," who oppressed his own people (most of the governments on this planet do), then why did Bush go to "war," with Iraq, a nation that for all intents and purposes could not defend itself.

To be continued:

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