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What if we never toppled Saddam?

Connecticutter

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What if we never went into Iraq.

Obviously, this is only an opinion, and no one can be proven or disproven. I think that the various answers will reflect different would-views.

I'm more curious to see what you guys have to say, so I'll chime in with an opinion after I hear some eager responses. Hopefully, we get some.

Some things to consider:
Would Saddam Hussein still be in power?
Would Bush have been reelected?
What would be our standing in negotiating with Libya, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or other problematic states?
Would Europe have a different opinion about us?
 

Kandahar

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Connecticutter said:
Would Saddam Hussein still be in power?
Yes.

Connecticutter said:
Would Bush have been reelected?
Most likely, as the war seemed to be a liability for him rather than an asset.

Connecticutter said:
What would be our standing in negotiating with Libya, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or other problematic states?
Libya - probably worse off. Iran - probably better off. North Korea - no change. Saudi Arabia - what are we even seriously negotiating about?

Connecticutter said:
Would Europe have a different opinion about us?
We'd probably be a little better off, but would have probably found some other way to anger the entire world for no reason whatsoever.
 

cnredd

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Connecticutter said:
What if we never went into Iraq.

Obviously, this is only an opinion, and no one can be proven or disproven. I think that the various answers will reflect different would-views.

I'm more curious to see what you guys have to say, so I'll chime in with an opinion after I hear some eager responses. Hopefully, we get some.

Some things to consider:
Would Saddam Hussein still be in power?
Would Bush have been reelected?
What would be our standing in negotiating with Libya, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or other problematic states?
Would Europe have a different opinion about us?
In order to answer any questions, a caveat must be thrown in....

Resolutions for the sanctioning of Iraq were being done at certain intervals(most every 180 days)...France(how 'bout that!) was threatening to veto future resolutions, therefore lifting the sanctions and allowing Iraq free trade(unfettered access to "certain" things currently restricted...chemical pre-cursors...some dual-use ingredients...nuclear technology)...

With the sanctions lifted, getting these things would be now legal...

Now back to the war....

With no war, those with the silly-star chromasome that left homes hundreds of miles away to be martyrs for Allah in Iraq would still be making bomb-vests and devising other ways to attack the West...That's where you get the "rather fight them on their land than ours" saying comes from...Without this war, terroristic attacks in the West would be increasing dramatically...

As far as the world's reaction, most of them consider us arrogant and useless anyway...they want a country to continually appease them and bow down...They got a President that won't do that, and they don't like it...

They wanted someone whose mouth moved when they pulled the strings...instead, they got GWB...:2wave:
 
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Kandahar

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cnredd said:
With the sanctions lifted, getting these things would be now legal...
The sanctions were killing millions of Iraqis.

cnredd said:
With no war, those with the silly-star chromasome that left homes hundreds of miles away to be martyrs for Allah in Iraq would still be making bomb-vests and devising other ways to attack the West...That's where you get the "rather fight them on their land than ours" saying comes from...Without this war, terroristic attacks in the West would be increasing dramatically...
Oh come now. Most of these people would not be fighting us in the United States if we weren't in Iraq...they wouldn't be fighting us at all! The biggest recruiter the jihadists have is George W. Bush, and the biggest recruiting goal they have is to get the infidels out of Iraq.

You honestly believe that the reason there haven't been more terrorist attacks on the United States is because every terrorist in the world is just too distracted by killing us in Iraq?

cnredd said:
As far as the world's reaction, most of them consider us arrogant and useless anyway...they want a country to continually appease them and bow down...They got a President that won't do that, and they don't like it... They wanted someone whose mouth moved when they pulled the strings...instead, they got GWB...:2wave:
That's not true. Bill Clinton often ignored the advice of our allies and undermined the United Nations a number of times. But other countries liked Bill Clinton for the simple reason that he respected them and didn't needlessly antagonize them.
 

cnredd

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cnredd said:
With the sanctions lifted, getting these things would be now legal...
Kandahar said:
The sanctions were killing millions of Iraqis.
This is why I don't debate certain members...

Could someone please explain how we arrive at point "B" from "A"?:roll:
 

Kandahar

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cnredd said:
This is why I don't debate certain members...

Could someone please explain how we arrive at point "B" from "A"?:roll:
I'm not sure what you mean.
 

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the only way for America to save face now, is to reinstate Sadam.
Tell the world it was a terrible mistake.
rebuild Iraq and get the hell out of there ASAP.
 
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It's clear from this report that Saddam had every intention of reviving his WMD programs and waging war against Iran. Eventually things would have gotten way worse in that region than they are now, just no white people getting killed.

From the "Key Findings" Document found here

Saddam Husayn so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.

• Saddam totally dominated the Regime’s strategic decision making. He initiated most of the strategic thinking upon which decisions were made, whether in matters of war and peace (such as invading Kuwait), maintaining WMD as a national strategic goal, or on how Iraq was to position itself in the international community. Loyal dissent was discouraged and constructive variations to the implementation of his wishes on strategic issues were rare. Saddam was the Regime in a strategic sense and his intent became Iraq’s strategic policy.
• Saddam’s primary goal from 1991 to 2003 was to have UN sanctions lifted, while maintaining the security of the Regime. He sought to balance the need to cooperate with UN inspections—to gain support for lifting sanctions—with his intention to preserve Iraq’s intellectual capital for WMD with a minimum of foreign intrusiveness and loss of face. Indeed, this remained the goal to the end of the Regime, as the starting of any WMD program, conspicuous or otherwise, risked undoing the progress achieved in eroding sanctions and
jeopardizing a political end to the embargo and international monitoring.
• The introduction of the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the Regime. OFF rescued Baghdad’s economy from a terminal decline created by sanctions. The Regime quickly came
to see that OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development.
• By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime, both in terms of oil exports and the trade embargo, by the end of 1999. Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability—which was essentially destroyed in 1991—after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability—in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks—but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.
• Iran was the pre-eminent motivator of this policy. All senior level Iraqi officials considered Iran to be Iraq’s principal enemy in the region. The wish to balance Israel and acquire status and influence in the Arab world
were also considerations, but secondary.
• Iraq Survey Group (ISG) judges that events in the 1980s and early 1990s shaped Saddam’s belief in the value of WMD. In Saddam’s view, WMD helped to save the Regime multiple times. He believed that during the Iran-Iraq war chemical weapons had halted Iranian ground offensives and that ballistic missile attacks on Tehran had broken its political will. Similarly, during Desert Storm, Saddam believed WMD had deterred Coalition Forces from pressing their attack beyond the goal of freeing Kuwait. WMD had even played a role
in crushing the Shi’a revolt in the south following the 1991 cease-fire.
• The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam. Instead, his lieutenants understood WMD revival was his goal from their long association with Saddam and his infrequent, but firm, verbal comments and directions to them.
Also, you should have a look at the "Regime Strategy and WMD Timeline Events" link, which makes clear that Saddam was not cooperating and was trying to find any way around the resolutions imposed on Iraq.
 
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M14 Shooter

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Kandahar said:
The sanctions were killing millions of Iraqis.
The blame for which falls sqaurely on Saddam.

Oh come now. Most of these people would not be fighting us in the United States if we weren't in Iraq...they wouldn't be fighting us at all! The biggest recruiter the jihadists have is George W. Bush, and the biggest recruiting goal they have is to get the infidels out of Iraq.
Often said.
Proof?
Tell us why someone not already predisposed to hating us would suddenly decide that he does hate us enough to kill himself on us because we invaded a secular state?

You honestly believe that the reason there haven't been more terrorist attacks on the United States is because every terrorist in the world is just too distracted by killing us in Iraq?
That and the fact we are actively pursuing them elsewhere, with the mindset that we are at war.
For all of that, we can only thank GWB.

That's not true. Bill Clinton often ignored the advice of our allies and undermined the United Nations a number of times.
Yes - and I fail to recall him being crucified for it.
I wonder why?
Bill Clinton(D)

But other countries liked Bill Clinton for the simple reason that he respected them and didn't needlessly antagonize them
Because he sucked up to them.
 

M14 Shooter

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Would Saddam Hussein still be in power?
Yes.
And, had he managed to continue to fool the UN and get sanctions dropped, he;d be happily working on more WMDs. And supporting terrorism.

Would Bush have been reelected?
Yes. As we saw, the election was close only because of the war in Iraq

What would be our standing in negotiating with Libya, Iran, North Korea,
Lybia: Unlikely to have given up her WMD
Iran: Worse, as we would not be in Iraq with 130,000 men and associalted material, all staged to act against them if necessary.
N Korea: No different, as KIJ is clearly a lunatic.
Saudi Arabia: probably worse, as the troops we had there would still be there.

Would Europe have a different opinion about us?
Of course, seeing as the only reason they hate is is because that bastard GWB actually believed them when they told him that their intel said the same as ours: Iraq had WMDs.
 

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Canuck said:
the only way for America to save face now, is to reinstate Sadam.
Tell the world it was a terrible mistake.
rebuild Iraq and get the hell out of there ASAP.
Reinstate Saddam? Are you insane? Never mind, I already know the answer to that.
 

Kandahar

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M14 Shooter said:
The blame for which falls sqaurely on Saddam.
That's true, but it's not about "blame." The point is that the sanctions were only succeeding at killing Iraqis, not at changing the political situation in Iraq for the better.

M14 Shooter said:
Often said.
Proof?
Tell us why someone not already predisposed to hating us would suddenly decide that he does hate us enough to kill himself on us because we invaded a secular state?
Because it is considered humiliating for Muslims to have another state (especially a non-Muslim state) occupying them. Because education is low and unemployment is high, so there are a lot of easily-misled young men with a lot of time on their hands looking to channel their anger. The jihadists tell them that America is the source of their problems, so they fight America.

M14 Shooter said:
That and the fact we are actively pursuing them elsewhere, with the mindset that we are at war.
For all of that, we can only thank GWB.
There are plenty of countries that harbor terrorists that we haven't touched. Furthermore, we don't even have control over the ones that we HAVE invaded.

M14 Shooter said:
Yes - and I fail to recall him being crucified for it.
I wonder why?
Bill Clinton(D)
You think foreign leaders really care what political party the president is? Please. Bill Clinton was popular because he listened to our allies (even when he disagreed).

M14 Shooter said:
Because he sucked up to them.
But you just said it was because he's a Democrat. Which is it? Furthermore, "sucking up" to other countries is not the same as simply treating them with respect and dignity. Pass the freedom fries.
 

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Kandahar said:
That's true, but it's not about "blame." The point is that the sanctions were only succeeding at killing Iraqis, not at changing the political situation in Iraq for the better.
All the better reason to get rid of him.
Arguing that the sanctions, put in place because Saddam is a bad guy, should be lifted because Saddam is a bad guy is self-defeating.
Besides -- we're constantly told that scantions were working. If you lift them - then what?

Because it is considered humiliating for Muslims to have another state (especially a non-Muslim state) occupying them.
Iraq isnt a Muslim state. Its secular.
We're told that Islamofascists like ObL dont like Iraq because it is secular -- in fact, that is one of the arguments against any operational connection between the two.
Why would the the Islamofascists get mad at -us- for invading someone they already dont like?

Because education is low and unemployment is high, so there are a lot of easily-misled young men with a lot of time on their hands looking to channel their anger. The jihadists tell them that America is the source of their problems, so they fight America.
Sounds to me like the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.

There are plenty of countries that harbor terrorists that we haven't touched. Furthermore, we don't even have control over the ones that we HAVE invaded.
Read what I said:
That and the fact we are actively pursuing them elsewhere, with the mindset that we are at war.
Your response doesnt have anything to do with what I said.

You think foreign leaders really care what political party the president is? Please. Bill Clinton was popular because he listened to our allies (even when he disagreed).
Read what I said:
Yes - and I fail to recall him being crucified for it.
I wonder why?
Bill Clinton(D)

I dont mean cricifixion by people Europe, I mean crucifixion here, by the Left.
The fact that he was a Democrat is -very- germaine in that.

But you just said it was because he's a Democrat. Which is it?
No,
That was your misunderstanding.
 
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Harshaw

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Canuck said:
the only way for America to save face now, is to reinstate Sadam.
OK.

You have officially revealed yourself to be a lunatic.
 

Kandahar

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M14 Shooter said:
All the better reason to get rid of him.
Arguing that the sanctions, put in place because Saddam is a bad guy, should be lifted because Saddam is a bad guy is self-defeating. Besides -- we're constantly told that scantions were working. If you lift them - then what?
Very few impartial observers believed the sanctions in Iraq were working. And there are other forms of diplomatic pressure that don't involve starving millions of Iraqis without even accomplishing their goal.

M14 Shooter said:
Iraq isnt a Muslim state. Its secular.
No, Iraq is a Muslim state that had a secular government under the Baathists. There is a difference. Last I checked, most Iraqis were Muslim, and Muslims consider it humiliating to be occupied by non-Muslims.

M14 Shooter said:
We're told that Islamofascists like ObL dont like Iraq because it is secular -- in fact, that is one of the arguments against any operational connection between the two.
Why would the the Islamofascists get mad at -us- for invading someone they already dont like?
I'm not talking about the "Islamofascists." I'm talking about your average, ignorant suicide bomber who has been told all his life that America is the source of his problems. While he may lack the will or the resources to travel across the sea to attack the United States, he'll certainly attack us in his backyard, especially when he has no job and little to lose by doing so.

M14 Shooter said:
Sounds to me like the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.
As you JUST ACKNOWLEDGED, Iraq had a secular government. In what way was Saddam Hussein a "zealot leader"? He was one of the most non-ideological leaders in the Middle East.

M14 Shooter said:
Read what I said:
That and the fact we are actively pursuing them elsewhere, with the mindset that we are at war.
Your response doesnt have anything to do with what I said.
See, the thing is, we AREN'T pursuing them elsewhere. We're only pursuing them in Iraq and Afghanistan...and badly at that. We're trying to get other governments like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to do our bidding, with few positive results. If you believe this kind of response is all that is needed to stop the war on terror, you grossly underestimate Islamic terrorism.

M14 Shooter said:
Read what I said:
Yes - and I fail to recall him being crucified for it.
I wonder why?
Bill Clinton(D)

I dont mean cricifixion by people Europe, I mean crucifixion here, by the Left.
The fact that he was a Democrat is -very- germaine in that.
Who cares what the Left thinks about Clinton here? We were talking about why foreign leaders liked Clinton but not Bush.
 

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Kandahar said:
Very few impartial observers believed the sanctions in Iraq were working. And there are other forms of diplomatic pressure that don't involve starving millions of Iraqis without even accomplishing their goal.
LOL
One of the primary arguments against the war, especially now that its been shown there were no WMDs, is 'the sanctions were working'. Canl;t have it both ways.
Diplomatic pressure? Like what?

No, Iraq is a Muslim state that had a secular government under the Baathists.
Like the US is a Christian state that has a secular government under the republicans?

There is a difference. Last I checked, most Iraqis were Muslim, and Muslims consider it humiliating to be occupied by non-Muslims.
There you go, thrying to have it both ways.
-Iraq is a secular state, so the Islamofascists would not ally with it
-Iraq is a Muslim state, so the Islamofascists will be mad if we invade.
Pick one. Stick with it.

I'm not talking about the "Islamofascists." I'm talking about your average, ignorant suicide bomber who has been told all his life that America is the source of his problems.
I believe I addressed this:
Sounds to me like the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.

As you JUST ACKNOWLEDGED, Iraq had a secular government. In what way was Saddam Hussein a "zealot leader"? He was one of the most non-ideological leaders in the Middle East.
There you go, misunderstanding again., Do you do this deliberately?
By 'zealot leaders' I refer to the Islamo- part of Islamofascist. Religions leader. Saddam wasnt a religious leader.
And so, the point still stands.

See, the thing is, we AREN'T pursuing them elsewhere. We're only pursuing them in Iraq and Afghanistan...and badly at that.
This is just willful ignorance.
There's a lot more to the war on terror than military ops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We're trying to get other governments like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to do our bidding, with few positive results. If you believe this kind of response is all that is needed to stop the war on terror, you grossly underestimate Islamic terrorism.
Tell us:
Aside ftom killint terrorists and geting rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, then introducing the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west - what more do you suggest?

Who cares what the Left thinks about Clinton here? We were talking about why foreign leaders liked Clinton but not Bush.
Good deflection.
 

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M14 Shooter said:
LOL
One of the primary arguments against the war, especially now that its been shown there were no WMDs, is 'the sanctions were working'. Canl;t have it both ways.
Diplomatic pressure? Like what?


Like the US is a Christian state that has a secular government under the republicans?


There you go, thrying to have it both ways.
-Iraq is a secular state, so the Islamofascists would not ally with it
-Iraq is a Muslim state, so the Islamofascists will be mad if we invade.
Pick one. Stick with it.


I believe I addressed this:
Sounds to me like the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.


There you go, misunderstanding again., Do you do this deliberately?
By 'zealot leaders' I refer to the Islamo- part of Islamofascist. Religions leader. Saddam wasnt a religious leader.
And so, the point still stands.


This is just willful ignorance.
There's a lot more to the war on terror than military ops in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Tell us:
Aside ftom killint terrorists and geting rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, then introducing the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west - what more do you suggest?


Good deflection.

so why aren't we so hardline against any other governments in the region. We just glance over the most potent extremist countries in the region, and then go for Iraq, which was hardly extremist muslim. Its because this war on terror is half hazard. majority of camps were in pakistan. majority of extremists from saudi arabia. Basically, the war on Iraq neutralized a completely different threat (a threat which is still debateable), while at the same time we remain friends with pakistan and saudi arabia.

Did the war in Iraq some good outcomes? sure, we got out sadaam.

Did the war in Iraq do anything in terms of war on terror? No not really. I would buy the whole "Iraq as a starting point" argument, but considering we
embrace the main extremist governments with open arms... I find that ideology bullshiit.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
so why aren't we so hardline against any other governments in the region.
Gotta start somewhere. That we havent been doesnt mean we canl;t be or won't be.

We just glance over the most potent extremist countries in the region, and then go for Iraq, which was hardly extremist muslim.
Odd. -Someone- here seems to think Iraq id full of extremist Muslims.
And, as I said: gotta start somewhere. That we havent been doesnt mean we canl;t be or won't be.

Its because this war on terror is half hazard. majority of camps were in pakistan. majority of extremists from saudi arabia. Basically, the war on Iraq neutralized a completely different threat (a threat which is still debateable),
Going into Iraq precludes going after the Saudis or Pakis at a later date because...?
 

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M14 Shooter said:
LOL
One of the primary arguments against the war, especially now that its been shown there were no WMDs, is 'the sanctions were working'. Canl;t have it both ways.
What you imagine my arguments against the war were, are of very little relevance to the actual geopolitical situation. Please find me the post where I said the sanctions were working, as I'm pretty sure you just pulled that out of your ass.

M14 Shooter said:
Diplomatic pressure? Like what?
We could have threatened to buy oil elsewhere. We could have supported pro-democracy groups within and outside of Iraq.

M14 Shooter said:
Like the US is a Christian state that has a secular government under the republicans?
The US is a melting pot, Iraq is not. Do you deny that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are Muslim? If not, why do you waste time arguing this point when I'm fully aware that Saddam had a secular government?

M14 Shooter said:
There you go, thrying to have it both ways.
-Iraq is a secular state, so the Islamofascists would not ally with it
-Iraq is a Muslim state, so the Islamofascists will be mad if we invade.
Pick one. Stick with it.
You're equivocating the meaning of the phrases "secular state" and "Muslim state." Iraq had a secular government and a Muslim population. What is so hard to understand about this?

M14 Shooter said:
I believe I addressed this:
Sounds to me like the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.
We've tried that. And *****ed it up pretty good, I must say.

M14 Shooter said:
There you go, misunderstanding again., Do you do this deliberately?
By 'zealot leaders' I refer to the Islamo- part of Islamofascist. Religions leader. Saddam wasnt a religious leader.
And so, the point still stands.
No, it really doesn't, since the topic of this thread is Saddam Hussein and you've never indicated that you were talking about anyone else.

You don't honestly believe that we can kill these "zealot leaders" faster than their deaths would inspire others to take their place?

M14 Shooter said:
This is just willful ignorance.
There's a lot more to the war on terror than military ops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Which mainly consist of us begging other countries to police themselves. In what way is that strategy working?

M14 Shooter said:
Tell us:
Aside ftom killint terrorists and geting rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, then introducing the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west - what more do you suggest?
Glad you asked. We can develop alternative forms of energy, stop using oil, and bankrupt the terrorists as quickly as possible. The American government would then not have to care about the Middle East (from a military perspective) and we could let them kill each other all they wanted.

M14 Shooter said:
Good deflection.
On YOUR part. I stated that Clinton was better-liked by foreign leaders than Bush because he respected other countries even while going against their wishes; you responded with an irrelevant diatribe about what "The Left" in America thinks about them.
 

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Kandahar said:
What you imagine my arguments against the war were, are of very little relevance to the actual geopolitical situation. Please find me the post where I said the sanctions were working, as I'm pretty sure you just pulled that out of your ass.
I didnt say YOU argued that, I said "one of the agument"
Its been badnied about this board several times since I've been here -- almost a full week.

We could have threatened to buy oil elsewhere. We could have supported pro-democracy groups within and outside of Iraq.
Um... if Iraq can't sell its oil, what happens to the people? Starvation?
How does that differ from the sanctions?
Supporting pro-democracy groups in/out of Iraq isnt diplomatic pressure, and given Saddam's iron fist, it too only leads to more dead people.

The US is a melting pot, Iraq is not.
Irrelvant. If your statement is valid, so it mine.

Do you deny that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are Muslim?
Just as the overwhelming majority of Americans are Christian.

If not, why do you waste time arguing this point when I'm fully aware that Saddam had a secular government?
As I said:
You're trying to have it both ways.

You're equivocating the meaning of the phrases "secular state" and "Muslim state." Iraq had a secular government and a Muslim population. What is so hard to understand about this?
Nothing... except, again, you're trying to have it both ways.

We've tried that. And *****ed it up pretty good, I must say.
Based on...?
Are Iraq and Afghanistan NOT moving towards those western ideas?

No, it really doesn't, since the topic of this thread is Saddam Hussein and you've never indicated that you were talking about anyone else.
LOL
The topic of the thread is terrorism, terrorist states, and how to effectively,deal with them, specifically in how to keep people from becoming terrorists.

You don't honestly believe that we can kill these "zealot leaders" faster than their deaths would inspire others to take their place?
Wow. I see you missed something -- something critical:
...the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.
Those ideas I speak of? As people are introduced to them and accept them, the 'inspiration' to replace the zealots will lessen - as they will be seen as zealots, with all the associated stigmas.

Which mainly consist of us begging other countries to police themselves. In what way is that strategy working?
Yeah - the international law enforcement, intelligence and financial efforts we and most of the rest of the world hasnt accounted for much. Not.

Glad you asked. We can develop alternative forms of energy, stop using oil, and bankrupt the terrorists as quickly as possible.
We get about 1 barel out of every 4 that we use from the ME. Why do we need to stop using oil?
And., what about the terrorists that arent financed by oil money?

On YOUR part. I stated that Clinton was better-liked by foreign leaders than Bush because he respected other countries even while going against their wishes; you responded with an irrelevant diatribe about what "The Left" in America thinks about them.
Yes.... as I said - he kissed their asses.
Please note that Europe didnt have a problem with Bush until he expected them to put their money where their mouth was. If they dont like hiom for that, whats that say about THEM?
 

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I see some good answers here.

If we never went to war with Iraq, it could have gone 2 ways. Neither way seems acceptable, so we were really in a rough position when deciding on this war.

1. Continue with the sanctions and inspections. We'd also have to resort to airstrikes every once in a while. Not only wasn't this strategy working to contain the regime, it gave Saddam the possibility of a comeback, and it didn't help our standing with the arab world any more than the current occupation does. We would have watched the situation in Iraq get more and more desperate, and Saddam get more and more dangerous.

2. We could have ended the sanctions, giving Saddam his sovereignty back. Then, all of the atrocities Saddam commits would be on our hands. We aren't exactly favored for working with Saddam in the past. Who knows what he might do with another nuclear program or in another invasion of a neighbor.

On the question of the election of 2004 - consider that the democrats may not have nominated John Kerry if it weren't for the war in Iraq. Perhaps they would have nominated a candidate demanding more military action.
 

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Connecticutter said:
We aren't exactly favored for working with Saddam in the past. Who knows what he might do with another nuclear program or in another invasion of a neighbor.
Which has always been one of the most asinine "critiques" of the invasion:

We can't invade!! We armed him!! He was our boy! Our puppet!!



Which -- IF TRUE, MIND YOU -- would make it our responsibility to rectify, wouldn't it?
 

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Harshaw said:
Which has always been one of the most asinine "critiques" of the invasion:

We can't invade!! We armed him!! He was our boy! Our puppet!!

Which -- IF TRUE, MIND YOU -- would make it our responsibility to rectify, wouldn't it?
Yeah, if someone's argument against the invasion is that we "supported" Saddam Hussein in the past (even though that statement is iffy), then what are they suggesting? That we go back to those days?
 

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M14 Shooter said:
Um... if Iraq can't sell its oil, what happens to the people? Starvation?
How does that differ from the sanctions?
In Iraq, the government owns all the oil fields. Threatening (we probably wouldn't even need to actually implement it) to get our oil elsewhere would hurt Saddam's largest source of income. The sanctions, as they were implemented, made no distinction between public and private sector. Granted, it's a fine line since Iraq has always been a very socialist society with a limited private sector. This threat would be similar to the economic threat of the sanctions without (hopefully) causing too much damage to the average Iraqi, who saw almost no oil revenue.

M14 Shooter said:
Supporting pro-democracy groups in/out of Iraq isnt diplomatic pressure,
How so? "Stop doing this or we'll try to undermine your rule" sounds like diplomatic pressure to me.

M14 Shooter said:
and given Saddam's iron fist, it too only leads to more dead people.
Probably. But the alternative idea was war, which has a nasty habit of leading to more dead people as well.

M14 Shooter said:
Irrelvant. If your statement is valid, so it mine.


Just as the overwhelming majority of Americans are Christian.


As I said:
You're trying to have it both ways.
I'm still at a total loss as to what you're trying to prove here. Most Iraqis are Muslim. Baathist Iraq was a secular state. Where is the conflict with these concepts?

M14 Shooter said:
Based on...?
Are Iraq and Afghanistan NOT moving towards those western ideas?
No.

In Afghanistan, there is some rudimentary democratic reform taking place and women have more rights (although it's hard to see how they could have less rights than they did under the Taliban); these are good, and for every step toward "Western ideas" there's another step backwards. The Taliban were troglodytes even by Muslim standards; Afghanistan is no more "Western" under American occupation than it was prior to the Taliban coming to power.

In Iraq, the American presence is more resented than ever before. Democracy has NOT taken hold, and the only interest in human rights seems to be limited to one's own family or, at best, one's own ethnicity. Furthermore, Iraq has actually REGRESSED as far as "Western ideas" toward secularism and women's rights.

M14 Shooter said:
Wow. I see you missed something -- something critical:
...the best way to deal with this is to get rid of their oppressive governments and their zealot leaders, and introduce the social, political, economic and educational ideas of the west.
Those ideas I speak of? As people are introduced to them and accept them, the 'inspiration' to replace the zealots will lessen - as they will be seen as zealots, with all the associated stigmas.
It seems to me that the more they're "introduced" to these ideas, the more they wish we'd leave them alone and let them figure out government for themselves. That's not to say that they want to go back to Saddam's rule, but to claim any kind of success in winning their hearts and minds is ridiculous.

The only countries where we HAVE had some success with that are Lebanon (hardly large enough to spark region-wide reform) and Iran (where the government has cemented its rule despite having a liberal population).

M14 Shooter said:
Yeah - the international law enforcement, intelligence and financial efforts we and most of the rest of the world hasnt accounted for much. Not.
In terms of actually stopping terrorism, as opposed to stopping specific terrorist attacks? Nope, it hasn't.

M14 Shooter said:
We get about 1 barel out of every 4 that we use from the ME. Why do we need to stop using oil?
Because...we get about 1 barrel out of every 4 that we use from the ME. As long as we're using oil, America will have a vested interest in the protection of some Middle Eastern regimes, the overthrow of others, and will continue to keep money flowing to Islamic terrorists. If we didn't use oil, we wouldn't have to care about the Middle East (from a national security perspective) any more than we do about Africa.

M14 Shooter said:
And., what about the terrorists that arent financed by oil money?
Nearly all Islamist terrorist groups are financed by oil money in one way or another. As for the other non-Islamist terrorist groups, well, the United States has never been that concerned about stopping them anyway.

M14 Shooter said:
Yes.... as I said - he kissed their asses.
How exactly did Clinton "kiss their asses?" Some examples, please. Again, not needlessly angering them isn't the same as kissing their asses.

M14 Shooter said:
Please note that Europe didnt have a problem with Bush until he expected them to put their money where their mouth was. If they dont like hiom for that, whats that say about THEM?
That most of Europe no longer has an interest in fighting wars based on dubious intelligence, especially in alliance with an American president who won't show them the least bit of respect?
 
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