John McCain thinks invading Iraq was a good idea. Even knowing what we know now, he says he would have voted to invade Iraq. When your hindsight is just as impaired as your foresight, you’ve got problems.
The best case scenario is that he’s full of crap when he says he’d do the same thing if he had it to do all over again; he’s just boxed into a political corner and can’t admit he was wrong. If not, there’s every reason to believe he’d fail to get us out of the Iraqi quagmire and get us into additional quagmires besides.
Then pick up a gun and _you_ fight the goddamn thing, John. When they put an electric drill to your head, will it bring back memories?
In the article, he’s repeating Bush’s revisionism exactly, admitting the WMD intelligence was “faulty,” but that everybody had the same faulty intelligence; and not admitting that Hans Blix had provided accurate intelligence which was dismissed. From the quotes in the report, McCain is not just full of crap, he’s a liar.
Whatever else attacking Iraq was, some should long thank the US for ridding the world of Uday and Qusay Hussein, the Charles Mansons of the Middle East.
Besides attacking Iraq wasn’t the problem, the problem was the total lack of planning what to do with Iraq once we took it. Top to bottom, their was a failure of leadership and foresight there.
That should be the focus of the discussion on the post mortem on Iraq. Focusing on President Bush alone is just a gross over-simplification, wallowing in almost rose-colored ignorance of the world outside of the continental U.S.
Still, Uday & Qusay and Saddam dead is a horrible value for $500 billion and 3,000 soldiers’ lives. And, even with good leadership, I don’t think the math ever worked in a way where we got more than we gave out of this endeavor.
It is a terrible cost. And, most of that cost is our own fault.
The lack of follow up will dog President Bush’s legacy and should haunt the legacy of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and General Franks as well.
I agree that the overall “economics” of this has moved into the failure category. Sometimes, politicians (including high ranking generals who are actually politicians themselves) shouldn’t be allowed to conduct an advance out of a wet paper bag.
Uday and Qusay??? Had anyone even heard of those assholes before the war? Besides, there are plenty more like them in Saudi Arabia. If we try to snuff out every asshole around the world, we’ll end up wishing we could buy gas for $4.50/gal.
Ignorance seems to suit you well.
I can’t even imagine a world where Sadaam and his demon spawn are still in power.
You know, it sucks that the occupation didn’t go as planned. It sucks that the Iraqis didn’t act like the Germans and Japanese and just accept the occupation. It sucks that it took the military so long to relearn counterinsurgency operations. It sucks that “shit happened” as it so often does in life.
And it sucks that Sadaam was bluffing, and really didn’t have a WMD program anymore (although one wonders what the hell happened to the poison gas operation).
But if you’re going to ask “would you do it again”, you have to first ask “what would the world be like if Sadaam were still around”.
That’s the more interesting question. Is THAT world better than this one? This world, where Iraq is slowly but surely being turned around?
I can’t say what it would mean to Iraqis; and, selfish, unfeeling bastard that I am, I don’t really care. As for Americans, I imagine the world would look much the same only we’d have more money and fewer dead soldiers.
Rev. AJB says
Amen, Doug! As soon as we leave some idiot that is as bad as, if not worse than Saddam, will take his place.
And we’re out billions of dollars and thousands of lost young lives.
And T-don’t even get me started on Saudi. We had a woman at my first congregation who served as the diabestes specialist for two of King Fahd’s great-grandchildren-mind you the boy was probably 4,062 in line for the throne. Each kid also had their own personal nurse and nanny. In the ten months she was there Lynda traveled with these inbred family to the Maldives, Switzerland, Greece, the US (where they rented out Knott’s Berry Farms for a day) and a few other places. I think about this often as I pay my $4.22 for gas.
Well, my opinions of Oday and Qusay aside, my take is that if the USA had not invaded Iraq,
a) the Middle East would have been much the same as it was before the invasion, and
b) the USA would have suffered another attempted terrorist attack on US soil, and
c) The Patriot Act would have either been seriously modified or not renewed.
What is debatable is whether the cost of (b) or the cost of the invasion/occupation was worse.
Think the terrorist attack would’ve been more like 9/11 or more like Oklahoma City?
And, just out of curiosity, why would Iraq have posed a terrorist threat when it hadn’t before; particularly if we had kept our focus on Afghanistan? (And, really, if the War on (Some) Terror(ism/ists) was to be expanded, I figure Saudi Arabia would have been a logical target).
I canâ€™t say what it would mean to Iraqis; and, selfish, unfeeling bastard that I am, I donâ€™t really care.
Hmm. How does that jibe with your all feeling liberalism?
They might kick me out of the club.
I didn’t mean that Iraq would commit terrorism in the US, but al-Qaeda or their kith and kin.
More like Oklahoma City, but on a bigger scale (as in multiple attempted targets).
Most Americans don’t care about anything beyond the continental borders. Call it egocentricity, snobbishness, foolishness, or ignorance, if you don’t know it, you don’t care much about it. It’s not just Americans that act that way, we just tend to be the most conspicuous.
Rev. AJB says
And the rest of the world would laugh that we wasted so much time and energy in Iraq, when Osama was the real terrorist.
If nothing else, Sadaam was punished for non-compliance with UN resolutions.
At some point, words lead to deeds. Sadaam wasn’t cooperating, and he was removed from power forcibly.
We were defending the UN’s good name, in essence.
If the UN’s words mean nothing, let’s stop wasting money on THAT institution. Stop the charade and kick all the double parking diplomats out of NYC.
They might kick me out of the club.
Ruht roh. “They” might not take kindly to your uncaringness, and withdraw certain essential services.
Ignorance suits ME well?
Look at how ignorant you end up looking having to backtrack and say, “Oh, I didn’t mean Iraq would have attacked us”, followed by conflating Iraq and Al Qaeda. Mercy. So why, again, were Saddam, Uday, and Qusay so important to our national security? If they weren’t going to attack us, then what? It’s all well and good for you to just call someone ignorant. But you’re the one who thinks Uday and Qusay being gone is some major accomplishment that has helped either us, or the average Iraqi, in some way. And that they were somehow *unique* in their thuggishness compared to other Middle East nutjubs (or African dictator nutjobs). Even if you are an average Iraqi, one of the millions with less access to electricity, clean water, medicine, and who probably has lost someone in the war or the subsequent violence, do you feel lucky that at least you’re not being victimized by Uday and Qusay?
Buzzcut “can’t imagine” a world with Saddam still in power. Is 2002 so distant that you can’t image a world like planet Earth in that year? That was a year in which we were pursuing Bin Laden in Afghanistan, ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban which had sponsored attacks against us in 2001 and before, and Iraq was just sitting there minding it’s own damn business. Yeah, I can’t imagine such a world either, with our current idiot at the controls. So much better that we decided to limit our role in Afghanistan to attack some other country, such that our casualties are again on the rise in Afghanistan, the Taliban is resurgent, and we’re still in Iraq. Bin Laden is at large, but at least we got Uday and Qusay. I mean, UDAY and QUSAY! If we can’t get the mean guy who hit us, any mean guy will do. Am I right? Maybe the reason I can’t make sense of this is that I just have a lot of trouble thinking out side our borders. I’m too foolish and snobbish to understand that when you’re hurt or pissed, any brown jerks will do.
I’m still not sure what attacking Iraq has to do with us not being attacked since 9/11. 9/11 was successful because we allowed terrorists to sit at the control of airliners. None of those terrorists were Iraqi. None of the boxcutters were Iraqi. The previous non-militia terrorist attack had been eight years before. Iraq had nothing to do with that one, either.
Somebody’s “comprehension” level isn’t very good either. Really, I would explain, but my charity card is all filled right now, elsewhere.
Ooh– the “I have a really cool rebuttal, but you’re not worth the effort” gambit.
You might want to tone that down – at first glance, I thought you were ending your post with an (ironic?) signature line…
No, you continue to lack an adequate level of reading comprehension. I said I could explain, not have a “I have a really cool rebuttal”.
If you could only comprehend what others were saying, instead of projecting your own inaccurate conclusions, it might be worth explaining to you. But, I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Parker, don’t worry about it. I’ve been called worse before, and likely will again. In this case, I simply consider the source.
More heat than light going here guys.
Perhaps my reading comprehension is also flawed, but I don’t get the connection between Iraq/Uday/Qusay on one hand and al Qaeda on the other. I know that a butterfly flapping its wings causes a hurricane across the world and all that, so we’re all interconnected, but presumably a more direct connection was intended?
For my part, I see secular, provincial, power hungry control freaks in Sadaam and the boys on one side; and religious zealots with a world-wide focus on the other. The two groups seem to be working at cross-purposes inasmuch as al Qaeda wasn’t solely interested in the greater glory of the Husseins.
When I say that I can’t imagine a 2008 with Sadaam still in it, I think back to the “dramedy” that was Iraq pre-March ’03. UN resolutions that don’t mean anything. An unending search for WMDs by ineffective UN personel. Lobbing surface to air missles at our planes in the no-fly-zone. Etc. Etc.
What’s the connection between Iraq and AQ? Well, they’re in Iraq now. They go there to be killed by Marines. Seems like a good system to me. Lord knows that the Marines are a LITTLE more competant at that sort of thing than, say, TSA.
The issue with Sadaam is that we couldn’t know that he didn’t help AQ until we depossed him. Not unlike WMDs. Kind of a catch-22 situation.
I read what you wrote, quoted it back to you, and presumed you could defend what you wrote.
Your responses so far are to call me ignorant and say I lack comprehension. This from someone who said not going to war in Iraq would have lead to more attacks in the U.S. I’ve been saying, how? Why? Since there wasn’t any connection between Saddam and 9/11, it would seem that the burden is on you to explain yourself. Yet when asked to, you decide to be insulting. So right back at you. Your supposition that the Iraq War has prevented attacks in the U.S. is pure speculation. Given a chance to support or even explain that opinion, you instead just call me ignorant.
Buzzcut at least throws out the terrorist flypaper explanation. I don’t agree with it, but at least it’s a reason. “You’re ignorant” is pretty compelling, but still falls a bit short.
Ah, T obviously took his meds today.
Do not taunt happy fun doctor. Do not look happy fun doctor in the eye.
The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure.
The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.
Post 3: I made three (3) independent statements that have no connection with any of the others. Note: NO CONNECTION.
1) I thank the Lord that we killed Oday and Qusay Hussein. I cherish the opportunity for the United States to rid the world of psychotic killers who will someday rule their country, especially in a place where the US does have an interest. I think that “T” would have been a Gerald P. Nye and poked his head in the sand until some Nazis or Soviets came to shoot him in his own backyard in the late 1940s.
2)The problem with invading Iraq was a lack of comprehensive thinking (and planning) for the pre and post invsion operations. That starts with being taken in by the “WMD” ploy (which I’ll admit that I bought into as well), to the almost complete lack of thought into what we would “do” with Iraq once we took it.
3) Don’t place all the blame on President Bush, as doing so is ignorant (and stupid, which I forgot to mention).
Post 5: The killing Oday and Qusay Hussein did not, in and of itself, cost the numbers in money and lives that Doug had just mentioned in Post 4. THAT cost is for the entire post-invasion debacle. In effect, Oday and Qusay were a bonus, of sorts.
Post 7: I commented exclusively on “T’s” seeming lack of knowledge of events beyond the end of his nose.
Post 11: Perhaps the key post. I start by separating my opinion of Oday and Qusay from the statements immediately following. Perhaps it was confusing to say, “my opinions of Oday and Qusay aside”. Aside, as in separate.
Then, I make three suppositional statements regarding my opinions of the question, “what if the US hadn’t invaded Iraq?”
1) Overall, the Mideast would be the same as it ever was.
2) The US would have suffered another round of domestic terrorist acts.
3) The Patriot Act would have been a different animal.
The preceding statements were simply based upon the knowledge available to me. I might have enough knowledge to be correct, or I might have incomplete knowledge leading my conclusion(s) to be false, or I might have incorrect knowledge which would almost guarantee my predictions to be wrong. Only Doug even questioned any of those statements, nobody questioned what I based my premises upon. Thanks. That was easy.
Post 15: I made a minor clarification to a question by Doug in post 12 where he thought I meant Iraqi terrorists, instead of al-Qaeda terrorists.
Here, perhaps I still wasn’t clear enough. Invading Iraq has captured the attention of large numbers of potential al-Qaeda recruits. Currently, they either operate in Iraq or Afghanistan or have been neutralized in either of those countries. In any event, they haven’t (yet) been beating down the doors to get into the US. It’s easier to operate in areas that they are familiar with and have supporters in. People often take the path of least resistance. I’d rather kill al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than in New York or Washington, D.C. It’s a personal prefernce. Perhaps you don’t agree?
In the end, I never connected the Hussein sons with al-Qaeda or potential terrorism in the US. I also never stated that the Hussein sons were a direct threat to the US national interest, at least when they died. They might have become threats, but the better part was to save Iraqi lives (Shiites and Kurds), even though they don’t much seem to appreciate it now.
Any other meaning was simply projected onto my words by someone else via their own perceptions.
Replies to your points above:
1) Who’s projecting now? I would have been Nye? Whatever.
2) On that we can all agree.
3) Apparently we need a new position. We could call it “Commander In Chief”. That person would be responsible for not firing people who recommend a larger invading force, post-invasion planning, etc. His or her job would also be to not listen to, or dismiss, people who think such planning isn’t needed. Maybe the President could assume this role. We could invent a saying like “The Buck Stops Here” to note this person’s importance. Not to be flippant, but the job has considerable responsibilities, and the decisions he makes have consequences. I don’t give “all” the blame to President Bush. But it was his agenda, he made numerous bad decisions and gave approval to the bad decisions of those in his administration, and was slow to react when it became apparent that bad decisions were being made. Therefore he deserves a considerable amount of the blame. Some may think it’s ignorant and stupid to suggest such things. Whatever (delivered with a dismissive wave).
Post 5: Agreed.
Post 7: We have a difference of opinion. Having believed inspectors on the ground and thought that withdrawing them prior to invasion was stupid, I believed at the time that no major WMD manufacturing would be found. There were news reports at the time of the inspectors saying they had been to hundreds of the CIA’s best guesses and the intel was all wrong, was worthless, was in error. Actually, one inspector on the ground called our intelligence “shit”. To me, that seemed like a compelling reason to keep inspecting. It seemed to me that we were invading before the WMD rationale could completely fall apart.
I also was alarmed when initial troop strength recommendations were ignored, although I thought the problems would show up on the battlefield. I was too naive to think we would only make token attempts at securing infrastructure, maintaining order, securing conventional weapon stockpiles, etc. So I wasn’t entirely Johnny on the Spot. But generally my judgment has been far superior to the administration’s troops-home-by-Christmas, $1-billion-reconstruction, greeted-as-liberators pipe dream.
So I’m pretty comfortable dismissing your assessment about my “seeming lack of knowledge”. Or my ignorance.
Post 11: I dismissed the importance of Uday and Qusay’s capture from a national security standpoint, and also from the standpoint of relative importance to the Iraqi populace. I also addressed Iraq (noting your aside, I addressed the country without regard to Uday and Qusay in the final paragraph) and its (non)role in saving us from further attacks within the U.S. There was no reading comprehension defect on my part, and no ignorance.
Post 15: Same response as to post 11. I noted your aside, so I addressed Iraq in its own paragraph. But now you’re allowing that Uday and Qusay *might have* become a threat. I can’t see the future any better than you can. But weren’t they a couple of drug-addicted, whoremongering, fast car-driving sadists pretty much living for their own sick pursuit of pleasure? I seem to recall that they were too much of a incompetent disappointment even for Saddam, such that he had demoted at least one of them from any areas of importance. They deserved to die due to their acts against the Iraqi people, and yeah they were a nice bonus since we were there already. But they wouldn’t have been worth the trip had we not already been there. They’re a pretty insufficient silver lining to the whole mess. It sucks that the Iraqis are less appreciative. But their ability to convey gratitute is probably adversely affected by the fact that their country got blown to bits, more or less.
In parting, I just have to say as above that I wasn’t projecting anything on you. I regret that I reacted to being called ignorant and lacking comprehension skills. I make a considerable effort trying to know more about places that my taxes help mess up (or improve, for that matter), whether through errors of policy and tactics, or (as you’ve argued) through merely tactical errors.
Good day, and may this poor thread die.