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January 17, 2006

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Re-basing certainly played an important role. We had to get out of Saudi, and the convenience stop in Iraq just looked so darned ... convenient.

Another motivator was Saddam's mortality -- his predictable demise by natural causes is not by political causes, and the chaos that would follow. [By contrast, take a close look at the 50 or so other purported casus belli, and you'll find a hidden premise: "Saddam is immortal".]

No single faction and no single motivation got us into Iraq. It was a case of groupthink, of convergent thinking in which all the pieces suddenly seem to support the same conclusion -- especially if you ignore all the pieces that don't.

On the plus side, Plan Iraq put an end to the imperial vision (though there may still be some visionaries who don't know it yet).

Flashback: my September 2002 Field Guide to Bellicose Casuistry.

"what are the benefits of the end of the oil age?"

Being forced to grow and manufacture locally due to the high cost of transportation, we would no longer be able to consume in blissful (willful) ignorance of the environmental and economic costs of our consumption -- our waste would be in our own backyard, not a third world. That's one.

~pockets

Yup, precisely one of the things I was thinking about. But from the perspective of a good neocon, that has the disadvantage of spreading production out and therefore making it harder to accumulate power.

Interesting. A lot of these themes seem to play in multiple arenas. Artificially preserving our magical Way of Life is not an altruistic desire . . . rather, it keeps them on top of a comfortable food chain in a variety of ways, not the least of which being that it leaves the American people fat, ignorant, and docile enough to let them get away with their other shenanigans. The end of the oil age could be the tumultuous beginning of a truly great period for world history, but they would rather drag all of humanity back into the muck rather than give up an iota of their ill-gotten power. This attitude is a common one for the ruling class in any totalitarian state.

You make a very good point, 'wheel. how can we avoid the mistakes of the past if we don't even understand what they were? Opening the debate on why we really went to war, from the standpoint not of "assessing blame" but, as you say, debating whether there are other alternatives to the problem war was supposed to (and clearly did not) solve ought to precede any beating of the drums on Iran.

I think we should not underplay the fear that Iraq would denominate oil in Euros. Teheran is supposedly interested in setting up an alternative to the London oil exchange. That may also lie behind the current trotting out of the smoking mushroom cloud.

One of the goals albeit an unstated one was the dismemberment of Iraq.

Mimikatz

Which would mean Venezuela, which has the audacity to barter its petroleum and provide it at a discount to poor Americans, is next.

Only with Chavez, they're just recycle Reagan-era anti-communism and throw in some good old narco-terrorism as well.

Look:
Cheney's Energy Task Force met, decided they needed to control Iraqi oil so they could make more profit: Saddam had contracted French and other oil companies, not US, so only the destruction of Iraq would void those contracts. Blood for oil. Nothing to do with "our way of life", WMD, Middle East politics. Those were the policy disguises.
Iran: the poor neocons feel used at the Shiite hands: all they accomplished was hand Iraq over to Iran, something that 10 million deaths in the Iran-Iraq war had failed to accomplish. And create a Kurdish problem for Turkey and the rest of Europe. The neocons are pissed off and want their football back. So they want to attack Iran to "show them who is boss"....

William Arkin suggests that if we strike Iran, the point would not be to smash their nuclear capability (which we probably can't do in any event), but to cripple their delivery capacity. That suggests different targets. But why is that easier? I have no basis for judging the validity of what he says, just throwing it out for discussion.

Venezuela? Oh great. Another gas price escalation just before the 2006 elections, to go along with the drug price escalation.

William Arkin is much smarter than I am about these issues.

But I still don't get these scenarios. No matter whether it's a development site or a delivery site, I've heard no discussion of how Iran responds. The assumption, I guess, is that they just bow down and accept their discipline. But I just don't see that happening. Do we have the Saudi fields and southern Iraqi fields defended against major sabotage in the case of an Iranian hit? Is Israel really satisfied that it is safe from retaliation? Are we so sure that Iran hasn't negotiated some kind of retaliation with the non-Saudi oil producers?

We obviously didn't anticipate the very obvious post-invasion problems we nutcase peaceniks raised before the war, not least sectarian violence. Why should we believe these guys have prepared for Iran's response to a strike any better?

My two cents, because:

Saddam was some weird psychic threat to Bush.

Of Rummy's change the world/military ego-trip.

Cheney is insane and evil (the summary version)

Condi was ambitious and out of her league.

Tenet was available as a convenient scapegoat.

The NSA program scared Bush, too many suspects?

The Israelis pushed for it.

Iraqui's mislead us with false intelligence.

Saddam pretended to have WMDs.

or

Saddam's WMDs were trucked to Syria.

The Saudi's aren't trusted and are unstable.

Afghanistan went mostly well, socially too.

Iran was too difficult, but is the real target.

Arabs governments are supremely dysfunctional.

Blair was a wimp.

The press are stooges.

The Democrats in Congress are wimps.

The Republicans were on a v-large power trip.

Too many people didn't tell the truth.


Interesting to think about, thanks.

mark

Well, that's certainly a goal they're on their way to accomplishing.

liftoff

LOL, You've got the makings of a sitcom there. Which would be funny if only it weren't.


it seems to me that iraq and iran are different problems.


with iraq, i think there was a confluence of interests -

oil companies: the coalition provisional authority was set to divide up iraq oil fields among major oil companies with a form of commerical/government agreement that was unusually beneficial to the oil companies. this may well have been the doing of the chaney energy task force.

u.s. oil policy: the tremendous dependency of the us economy on oil, additional competition for oil from the new economies of china and india, and the possibilitry of controlling the world's second largest oil reserves (iraq) in order to control the market more effectively,

the foreign policy radicals, aka "neocons": at first i thought these guys were just academics to whom war and power was personally exciting but i have come to hold a more conspiratorial view now. i think these individuals have functioned as an israeli fifth colunmn in the u.s. "multiplying" their force thousands of times over by occupying high government positions in the u.s. defense and foreign policy fields. their goal has been to directly use u.s. military power to enhance the security of israel as a nation.

the bush administration: trying to get ahead of the curve for having failed to protect the u.s. from the al quaida bombers, the bush administartion went quickly from afghanistan to iraq. but irqaq wqas more than just revenge against terrorists and more than just oil to them. i think they saw war an opportunity to use patriotism and war fever to accomplish domestic policy goals: a popular president is a powerful president and slapping weak governments around is a favorite right-wing tactic for achieving presidential popularity.

iran is different.

for the bush admin i would guess they want to play the war card in this year's congressional elections. manipulating strong emotions amd using them to acquire and hold power seems to be their fundamental governing activity.

iran also presents the bush administration with an opportunity to counter criticism that they did not pay sufficient attention to north korea or to old soviet nuclear weapons.

the foreign policy radicals mentioned iran frequently in their public prayers in the early days of the iraq war. i'm not sure if this was just the joy of kickin' ass rhetoric or if they saw some benefit to israel, possibly democratic governments throughout the middle east. if so, they do not seem to have taken into account that democratic muslim nations can be as bellicose toward israel as authoritarian muslim governments.


switching to an entirely different view, a trusting view, of the concerns and motives of the right wing foreign policy radicals, i could see an arguent made that their actions were guided by a desire for peace in the middle east - peace that would benefit the region in general as well as israel.

what i don't see in these radicals is any public concern that the iraq war they helped generate and justify has been costly, unpredictable in consequence, and destructive to american constitutional government. nor is israel any safer at the moment.

orion

I'm not sure I understand the distinction you're making between Iran and Iraq. Is it that Iraq was more oil and less WMD? But isn't part of the importance of Iran that they'll sell preferntially to India, China? And of course, the IAEA says it's a matter of years before Iran has nukes. So we're preempting by years here...

" fails to acknowledge the dynamic of 4G warfare"

What is 4G warfare, please?

my fear is that we went to war with iraq because
"you're either with us or against us"
and since they wouldn't let us control their oil they were against us

same may go for Iran... if they sell oil to China they're definitely against us and our bully leaders will grab for that oil too

Bush and Cheney have clear notions as to who their friends are... others beware!

4G Warfare:
March 29, 2004 Washington Post pointed to the long-expected opening of Phase III of America's war with Iraq. Phase I was the jousting contest, the formal "war" between America's and Iraq's armies that ended with the fall of Baghdad. Phase II was the War of National Liberation waged by the Baath Party and fought guerilla-style. Phase III, which is likely to prove the decisive phase, is true Fourth Generation war, war waged by a wide variety of non-state Iraqi and other Islamic forces for objectives and motives that reach far beyond politics.

It’s so hard to nail down the reasons we invaded Iraq because the goal was not a particular aim, like stopping Saddam’s development of WMDs or bringing democracy to Iraq, but rather a state of being: Just Being There. Being there was intended to facilitate a multiplicity of aims, as illustrated by all the ideas advanced here, that came together into an irresistible casus belli for the nuts in charge. It was to be a foundational state that would synergistically boost the oil guys, the neocons, Israel, Republican chances in the midterms, and Chimpy’s id. But this casus belli couldn’t be presented raw to the American people because even the American polity, as slow and self-absorbed as it is, would have recognized the Iraq war as a war of conquest, pure and simple.

"Western pre-eminence is a shaky house of cards." Irrational flailing follows?

janinsanfran

Think I need to explain that point better?

Deborah

Sorry, by 4G warfare, I meant Fourth Generation Warfare, warfare using guerilla and other indirect tactics (and definitely including its information aspects). I would argue Iran has been waging a rather successful 4th generation war against us and Israel at least since 1979, and arguably since 1953. But when Ferguson says:

Prior to 2007, the Islamists had seen no alternative but to wage war against their enemies by means of terrorism. From the Gaza to Manhattan, the hero of 2001 was the suicide bomber. Yet Ahmadinejad, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War, craved a more serious weapon than strapped-on explosives.

He turns the use of 4G warfare into a question of technological inferiority. It may be, but it's arguably the only kind of war the US has ever lost. Terrorism (and winning of adherents through elections and social programs, as Hizbollah has been doing of late) is a very serious weapon. But Ferguson, for reasons that serve his desire to wage pre-emptive war, turns nukes into one giant boogeyman.

emptywheel -- no, I don't think you have to explicate more, at least not for me. I'm just expressing my impression that irrational and very destructive flailing is what declining empires seem to do. We are very dangerous to the world right now. There is a lot we could do that would make both this country and the rest of the world more secure and more prosperous, but apparently our rulers can only experience any of those posibilities as unacceptable fetters on their power.

I think this is an act iii: the neocons get their apotheosis when Bolton chairs the Security Council in February 2006. Is he a good speaker?
The Iraq-Iran conflict was a puzzler, to me, for US foreign policy, forcing the US to switch sides. Then there was the Afghanistan-Russia war which took ten years' toll on Slavic youths who learned only what US guys learned in Vietnam: no way, when the people really want US-out. The demographics are significantly different with Iran, whose population and expanse of territory are an order of magnitude larger than Iraq; which is what Iran likes to emphasize at bargaining tables, that they are a contender. And one very close to Europe.
As you say, there are a lot of smart people who have thought this thru, out there. I wonder if RonK in Seattle has a more recent website than the 2002-2003 cogenteur link he provides above.
There might be some interesting NPR audio archives from before the RNC takeover of their administration; check the interviews conducted by WHYY's Terry Gross in the two weeks prior to the 2003 invasion, and Sirius satellite's KQED Krasny's counterpoint; each of those interviewers was fairly liberal and open, covering Iran in the same conversations with Iraq, as the experts interviewed in those programs mostly opined there is a connection in some persons' reasoning.
Maybe all Iran wants is the kind of pride that Pakistan displayed at the time of Pakistan's joining the nuclear bombClub. Same history repeating; spearClub, swordClub, bombClubs.
Only thing I found fairly overlooked in the radio coverage preceding the ShockAndAwe, was US history deep in arms trade in the region, going back to who got AWACS, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, everyone safe and technologically capable of imaging each other's military capability.
As long as Iran lets its students live, I would expect that same large university which produced the 444 days hostages situation, also has the ability to produce some deep thinkers and creative Iranian young professionals who have human values that are not fundamentally militaristic.
One of the nicest and smartest people in my service trade at the present and for several years is a woman expert in neonate genetics, from, I believe Iran.
I hope they have internet in Iran, liberally.

if i actually knew what i meant by a difference, i might say something this:

it's with respect to the bush administration that iraq and iran are different.it's important that we consider (what we surmise to be) the bush admin's view of this pseudo-crisis. they are the guys who will call the plays (sorry, it's football playoff time, guys can't control their metaphors this time of year).


iraq followed on an american tragedy. the bush folks were reacting.

the iraq "venture" was, for the bush admin, an opportunity to use emotions we all experienced to further their political agenda. recall that bush used to love to say to republican audiences, per paul krugman, that 9/11 was like winning the trifecta. big opportunity for the bush team! (to manipulate emotions)

but iran is different for the bush admin. this time they are not reacting. they are in charge of what happens.

personally, i don't think that iran is a danger to the united states at present. we do not need to do to iran what israel did to iraq in 1989(?); we do not need to bomb their nuclear facilities.

but i am willing to bet, given this administration's record, that they do just that between now and november xx, 2006. if so, they are doing it to influence domestic politics.


for me, the bush administration is not about consistency.; it is about opportunism. there is not likely to be a logical link between iraq and iran "policy: unless that link is opportunism


i do think it is true that the human species, and lots of other species (except maybe cockroaches), is threatened by nuclear weapons proliferation (which is why the outing of brewster-jennings is a national security crime - and so revealing of the bush admin's win-at-any price credo).

but to my mind, that makes the iran problem categorically a multinational problem. the u.s. cannot solve this problem by unilateral action of any kind.

with respect to the right wing foreign policy radicals (man, does verbal precision have its downside), i have not heard or read much about their views on iran lately, i.e., in the ordinary channnels of info - political magazines, newspapers, web log world.

i wonder if they have lost their fascination with war as accountability looms before them, perhaps privately chastened by their arrogance at guessing where a war, any war, will lead, even when you think you hold all the cards of (fire)power.

Happy to be of service emptywheel.

I've realized I should have included "Because Powell was a good soldier." Fits the theme.

I'd probably add now: "Because, ultimately, leadership counts. The Bush administration worships power -- God is on our side!"

We won't be going to war with Iran precisely because we went to war with Iraq. Or stated a little more directly, Iran won their war with us (and got rid of Saddam, their archnemesis, in the bargain) without firing a shot. Maybe I'm giving the Iranians too much credit, but look at the outcome. The Iraq war has been a complete disaster for the U.S. and Iraq. It has destablised the entire region to everyone's detriment, except the Iranians. The Iranians, on the other hand, will soon dominate the Iraqi government and indirectly control the rather substantial Iraqi oil reserves. They played the game of "let's you and him fight" to perfection. Sun Tzu would be so proud.

I agree with Liftoff and OrionATL and mamayaya, but I wish the later two would limit themselves to three-letter monikers. :)

I am disquieted by the prose of David, who wrote "it leaves the American people fat, ignorant, and docile enough to let them get away with their other shenanigans." But not to pick on him in particular, I will throw Emptywheel under the same bus because both assume that "consumerism" is the American sin underlying all.

I first heard that in the 1960s. It rankled then as now for similar reasons. Worse, it exudes a contempt for ordinary folks. This was perceived in the sixties, and it is perceived now. It is why liberals/lefties/progressives have a reputation for arrogance and for being elitist. Those reputations are undeserved, but emotions are driving the debate. You call me names, then I'll call you names.

And this is dangerous. Our times are too dangerous to let common sense get side-tracked by such silly group identity squabbles.

We have the right arguments. But no one is going to listen if they think we are calling them names. And, frankly, we do call them names.

Now, to the merits, most Americans are not fat, docile consumers. (Well, maybe fat.) For most people, the household economics are SCARY. People do not see realistic alternatives to their car and their heating bill and the rest.

I actually agree with Emptywheel that it is terribly irresponsible not to be investing in wave power, wind power and the rest. I would support huge taxes on gasoline and funding for mass transit.

But there is no constituency for it at the moment because the issues are not clear to people. They do not understand their options clearly. In short, our institutions of public debate are totally inadequate to the current tasks (as I am always arguing/ranting).

What is to be done?

The first thing is to imagine a platform for the serious and thoughtful debate at this site tonight WHERE ORDINARY FOLKS COULD SEE IT and find it interesting.

This can be done. The problem has many angles, but it could be overcome to some degree and to an important degree, I think. But that gets us far off topic.

Best wishes to all, including David and Emptywheel. I find your comments stimulating and well-meaning. But I am crabby by nature.

9-11 was the Reichstag fire for the Bushists. Iraq is the Sudetenland. Abu Gonzalez is Goebbels.

jwp-> From a global perspective, I would take issue with your statement that emptywheel's comments about "consumerism," imply some kind of comtempt for "ordinary folk." Former U.N. Secretary General, Boutros Boutros Ghali said words to the effect that the Northern Hemisphere is affluence marked with pockets of poverty. The Southern Hemisphere is poverty marked with pockets of affluence. A starving, malnourished, "third and fourth world" without adequate health care or sanitation, feel no sympathy for our "ordinary folk."

jwp/John:

My critique of 'consumerism' is that it has tended to supplant citizenship (or 'citizenism'), not that it's wrong to buy things (eg the strange idea of 'voting with your pocketbook'). This is the Reagan ethos. George W. made it about as overt as can be when he suggested, after 9/11, that Americans' subsequent duty was to 'go to the mall, take a trip, etc.' Of course all presidents want people to spend money, but most would've seized a moment like 9/11 to draw people together in a substantive way. Consumerism, on the other hand, is the most atomized of attitudes.

jwp

You definitely misunderstood my reference to consumerism. ALthough I agree with what johnnybutter has to say, my reference was meant more technically.

For the past 20-30 years, the US has increasingly played the role of economic engine for global growth. The US as a whole consumes what the rest of the world produces. During that period, the proportion of what the US produces to sell has gone down dramatically such that we're now in the position where our two best-selling products internationally are Hollywood movies and arms. Given how few people are employed in the manufacture of arms and the increasing off-shoring of Hollywood productions, that means the people in the US are acting as the primary engine of growth without actually producing anything the rest of the world wants in exchange. How is it possible that I or anyone else can continue to buy goods from other countries without selling goods to other countries?

At this point, it's almost all debt or reserve currency. My own credit card debt, the debt Bush is adopting for me, and the willingness of China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia to hold large amounts of dollars as their reserve currency.

Well, we're seeing record foreclosures and long term bonds have lower interest rates than short term ones, so the debt thing isn't working out so well. And both China and South Korea have intimated they're moving away from the dollar as their reserve currency.

I'm not saying Americans have to consume less (although, if you compare our ecological footprint with that of other nations, it's clear that it would be impossible for the whole world--or even just China--to live the same lifestyles we live). I'm saying that if Americans don't start producing something, then the global economy is either going to have to find a different primary consumer or it's going to collapse. That's the house of cards I'm talking about.

I also agree with you that we need to talk to people about this in language that is respectful. We'd do much better talking about a desire to return to American self-reliance than simply continuing this consumerist system.

One more thing, because I exagerrated above (obviously, we do export something). Much of what we produce depends on Intellectual Property laws to ensure its value. Drugs, biotech, software (and movies, of course)--they all bring in a lot of money to the US. But they're all incredibly easy to reproduce, particularly in a country like China or India or even Brazil (that does some great reverse engineering) that has millions of great scientists. Which means our imbalanced trade is much more imbalanced than it appears, because only the WTO and threats of sanctions prevent other countries from just replicating the expensive things we export.

Still wish we'd leap forward on developing anti-pollution/pollution clean-up technologies, as well as clean energy. Of course, some of that might end up being of the Intellectual Property persuasion anyway. I know! We could export democracy! Think that would work?

Sorry to, earlier, sort of 'hectorize' the specific point you were trying to make, EW. But I can't resist rubbing it in a little more via an editorial by Mark Lloyd about DTV (hat tip Matt Y):

In a characteristic bit of old-fashioned revisionism, Will argues against the [DTV] set-top box subsidy by arguing that the Founding Fathers “formulated America's philosophy of individualism and self-reliance and … embodied that philosophy – or thought they did – in a constitutional architecture of limited government.” It might surprise Will to know that James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, among others, actually formulated a philosophy of government subsidies to encourage communications. While the Founding Fathers were generally united against a standing army or entanglement in foreign disputes, they built a vast and robust communications system, the Post, under the control of government. And they subsidized the carriage of newspapers even to the territories. But then the Founding Fathers were subsidizing a republic of engaged, communicating citizens, not a society of individual consumers.

Perhaps Congress might reconsider a set of policies that does not respond only to the influential and wealthy voices of the various segments of the communications industry, but actually considers what would best develop a republic of engaged citizens.

(sorry..hit send too fast)

That would be George Will, of course.

I only rub it in because a simple but profound change in attitude - away from the Reagan ethos we are so used to that we don't even see it as for the recent innovation it is - that kind of change is at once more massive, and yet easier to achieve than some goals other we might have. A political sea-change like that doesn't cost any money in and of itself, and so much would flow from it. I know I might be sounding 'utopian', but I don't think it's utopian at all: we're due for a large '79-80 political change. I can't get really excited about any would-be national leader who doesn't have at least a sense of the consumer/citizen dichotomy, who isn't capable of at least considering being that rhetorically ambitious. We have to understand the centrality of that dichotomy or the country really is in trouble in the long run, whatever our economic fortunes. And 'netizens' alone aren't enough, at this point.

The consumerism as atomizing philosophy comment interests me, but I think it is backward.

People feel somewhat lost, and seek refuge in buying things and the social links of buying things. Going to the mall is a social activity.

Anyway, that leads me to a second point, often overlooked, I think. Our biggest economic problem is not lack of money. It is fear, humiliation, lack of connection.

For example, I remember the late 70s, stagflation, and great unemployment in parts of the rust belt. I remember thinking that some people who lost jobs, lost their homes. But most didn't. And even people who had to move to apartments had food, heat, medicine and clothes available to them that gave them a standard of living that far dwarfed the most luxorious living of royalty in Europe in the 1600s. The poor in America in the 70s were more wealthy than the wealthiest of four centuries ago. So what is progress, and what is economic enough?

There was genuine social pain in the 1970s, and it gave us the New Right, and Reagan, and a generation educated to false myths. But it wasn't about too little money.

It was about people losing their place in the world.

One last point about the goal of promoting citizenship instead of consumerism. Well, maybe that is a good thing. But I cannot really tell.

Civic attitudes are not really a goal. It is, at best, a description of some reflection of an unidentified set of daily routines.

Values follow routines. To promote a better world, I believe, is a matter of inventing new daily routines.

This is where too little energy is directed, in my view. Analysis is good and entertaining. But in the end, it is imagination and energetic organization that is needed.

Unfortunately, at the momnet, that doesn't seem to be anyone's job.

i think tony blare licks groge bushes arss tony blare dont have any freinds so we should seend them to fight in iraq insted of our army tony blare you suck

i believe and think that the longer that we stay in iraq the more iraq will retaliate. i think that we should just leave and let them go about it themselves. bush may believe that he is helping but in truth he is getting to cocky and more and more countries are getting upset. which is why we are getting more and more bomb threats.

This is why we resumed hostilities with Iraq. We were already at war.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION OF PACIFISTS (1942)

Islam's jihad is a struggle against idolatry, sexual deviation, plunder, repression and cruelty. The war waged by [non-Islamic] conquerors, however, aims at promoting lust and animal pleasures. They care not if whole countries are wiped out and many families left homeless. But those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [God's Law] . . . .

Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back untill they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to [the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists that to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!

There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.

Quoted in Bostom, Legacy of Jihad, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY 2005

Note: This statement was made before the US invaded Iraq for the second time, or the first time. It was made before the US, at the request of the government of Saudi Arabia stationed US troops in Saudi Arabia to defend it against Saddam Hussein. It was made before the ouster of Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister of Iran in 1953. It was made before the Declaration of the State of Israel of its independence in 1948. Therefore, one must ask, what is it that the US did, which was responsible for Khomeini's statement? Fight against the Barbary Pirates?

What about now? As Gary Sick has said: "Ahamdinejad sees himself as emulating his great mentor Khomeini."

Three democracies in the Middle East gives us a good foothold there, I refer to Israel, Lebanon, and hopefully Iraq. When the people turn against the despots currently ruling other Arab states, it gives them something other than islamism to turn to.

I'm tired of hearing how we were mislead, how our congress was fooled. This talk is all political, and helps no one. The simple truth is that Sadam could have stopped the invasion, by simply allowing the inspectors in, he chose not to. all the other information would have ment nothing if he let the inspectors in. Lets stop playing politics & start speaking the truth about why we are there.

i think we went to war with iraq because we knew they had oil over there.

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