THE SITUATION IN IRAQ: LIES & PREDICTIONS
By Alan Caruba
Predicting the future is the job of soothsayers. Still, something must be said about the future of Iraq, if we are to remain confident and resolute enough to see our venture there through to the finish.
Let us begin with the partisan Democrats' claims that the President “lied” us into the invasion which has seen the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the end to what was arguably the most horrid regime since those of Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union.
Who said, “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program”? Answer: former President Clinton on February 17, 1998.
Who said, “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face”? Answer: Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright on February 18, 1998.
In November, 2002, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy said, “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” However, on September 18, 2003, he said, “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.”
If the intelligence that the U.S. Senate committee was receiving was wrong, then the intelligence upon which the President based his decision was wrong. We have learned, however, that there was a direct Saddam-Osama bin Laden connection. Indeed, the only other explanation was that Saddam engaged in an elaborate WMD bluff. Meanwhile, defectors from Saddam’s regime repeatedly said he was seeking to build a WMD program. Who do you believe? The lies and distortions of politically ambitious and opportunistic Democrats, who are denying what they said previously, or the testimony of Iraqi defectors and information from other sources confirming Saddam's use of poison gas against the Kurdish population in Iraq and against Iranians during his war with Iran?
Even Arab pundits who initially opposed the invasion of Iraq have revised their views. Fawaz Turki, a columnist for the Jidda-based Arab News, recently wrote, “No, I don’t believe that, by going to war, America had dark designs on Iraq’s oil or pursued an equally dark conspiracy to ‘help Israel.’ I believe that the United States, perhaps willy-nilly, will end up helping Iraqis regain their human sanity, their social composure, and the national will to rebuild their devastated nation.” The mass graves of Iraqis confirm the inhumanity of the regime of Saddam Hussein.
In early November, a Gallup poll taken in Baghdad reported “virtually without exception (98% agree, 1% disagree), Baghdadis agree that the new constitution should guarantee all Iraqis the right ‘to express their opinion on the political, social, and economic issues of the day.’ No demographic group appears to view freedom of speech as anything other than the most basic of civil rights.” In this Muslim nation, “the vast majority of Baghdad’s residents agree that the country’s next constitution should include a provision ‘allowing all Iraqi citizens to observe any religion of their choice and to practice its teachings and beliefs.’” The notion that constitutional democracy cannot take root in Iraq or any other Middle Eastern nation is wrong.
In late October, the libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, issued a policy analysis by Charles V. Pena, its director of defense policy studies. He expressed the view that “Much of the anti-American resentment around the world, particularly in the Islamic world, is the result of interventionalist United States foreign policy.” Such experts have been wrong in the past. It strikes me that the U.S. has had a long history of trying to stay out of wars in other parts of the globe. We resisted going to war in both World War I and World War II. We responded, under the aegis of the United Nations, to the 1950 North Korean attack on South Korea and entered the Korean War. While we did blunder into (and were lied into) the Vietnam War, we were very hesitant and slow to become massively involved in that military conflict. Time and time again, the U.S.A. has leaned over backwards to stay out of foreign conflicts, consistently trying its best to resist military action in favor of diplomacy.
I suspect the United States is more resented for previously championing constitutional democracy as the answer to conflicts because U.S. action was often seen as having the effect of strengthening the political status quo and involing very liiile encouragement and promotion of constitutional democracy. That “status quo” policy is now dead.
“It is too late to stop al-Qa'ida from targeting America and Americans,” wrote Pena. “The United States must do everything in its power to dismantle the al-Qa'ida terrorist network worldwide, but the United States must also avoid needlessly making new terrorist enemies or fueling the flames of virulent anti-American hated. In the 21st. century, the less the United States meddles in the affairs of other countries, the less likely the prospect that America and Americans will be targets for terrorism.” Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
First of all, al-Qa'ida is not a national movement that has a geographic location. Destroying it will require a change of mind and policy on the part those nations that have funded, supported, and accomodated. Al-Qa'ida. Lacking that, the U.S.A. will likely have to resort to force and compulsion, i.e., invade and effect regime change in the rogue nation-states that aid and abet Al-Qa'ida and thereby enable it permit it to function. When we finish our work in Afghanistan and Iraq, we will have to turn our attention to Iran, where credible reports say al-Qa'ida is setting up its new headquarters with the blessing of the ayatollahs. Our policy toward Saudi Arabia is also changing.
As U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently stated, “Our exit strategy in Iraq is success; it’s that simple." Rumsfeld said: “The objective is not to leave”, but rather “to succeed in our mission.” As proof that others share that mission, thirty-two nations are now providing on-the-ground support for Iraqi reconstruction efforts.
Noticeably missing is the United Nations! The U.N. is a useless doppelganger of World War II. It is the failed dream of establishing an international institution to achieve and maintain world peace.
The Cato analysis, to its credit, calls for greater emphasis on preventing terrorists from entering the U.S.A., as well as preventing the widespread possession of weapons of mass destruction or the components of WMDs. It calls for greater protection of critical facilities. I will, however, disagree with the Cato Institute’s essentially isolationist analysis.
I will oppose the cowardly response of the leadership of the Democratic Party. The Democrats offer no “exit” strategy other than our abandonment of the Iraqis to chaos and our surrender to al-Qa'ida.
Lastly, it is worth noting that, since 9-11, there has not been a single terrorist attack in America. This does not mean one is not being planned, but it does mean that projecting our power in Afghanistan and Iraq has thus far protected the lives of Americans within the borders of the U.S.A. Most people would call that a success.
The Middle East & the Problem of Iraq
Page Two Page One
The Problem of Rogue States:
Iraq as a Case History
The Middle East & the Arabs
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three Page Two Page One
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, Communications Director of the American Policy Center, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center (www.anxietycenter.com). A compilation of his past col- umns, entitled Warning Signs, is published by Merril Press. In addition to Warning Signs, Caruba is the author of A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam and The United Na- tions vs. the United States, both of which are available from the National Anxiety Center, 9 Brookside Road, Maplewood, New Jersey, 07040.
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