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It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:41 pm UTC
by 0.0
This is something I still wonder about. Why did we really invade? What was the real reason? Here are some popular answers (some are very ignorant but ARE believed by american citizens):

They had weapons of mass destruction, we had bad intelligence.

George W wanted to finish what his father didn't (My dear dear Mother's opinion. She also thought that gravity was caused by the rotation of the Earth)

Saddam was committing genocide

We were after the "terrorists"

OIL* side note: I read that the original military name for the invasion was Operation Iraqi Liberation and was actually printed by the BBC before it was quickly changed. May not be true, but funny if that actually happened.

We wanted a foothold in the middle east

We wanted to spread democracy

It was a giant conspiracy to put money in Cheney's pocket.

So its July of 2008, things don't look as promising as any of us would have hoped. I'm not asking if the war was right, if we should pull out, if it was inevitable. I'm asking:

What do you think the reason we invaded Iraqi is? And is the reason, the same reason we are still there?

Also feel free to add more theories you may not believe, but that exist.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:49 pm UTC
by 3.14159265...
Give it 20 years, and we will have a better understanding of what happened.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:05 pm UTC
by 0.0
Give it 20 years, and we will have a better understanding of what happened.


I personally am scared this may be the answer, because it backs up my belief that 99.99% of us don't know the real reason and we as a powerful democracy sit here in a war and don't know why. That should be a problem, bigger than it seems to be in the media.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:12 pm UTC
by Ironmon1
In short:
1)Oil
2) "yes" men in the intelligence community who were pushed to fabricate a case for war
3) The collective need of all the Neo-conservatives to compensate *Spits on ground*
4) To show we were "Tough on Terror"
5) Nothing unites a nation around the current leaders like a righteous war (see approval rating for G.W. just after 9/11)
6) The "Bush Doctrine", which consists of spreading democracy in the face of "bad guys" like Saddam-note that this definition of "bad guys" excludes bad guys we need (like Saudi Arabia).
These aren't in any particular order...
Also, It's possible Saddam was "made an example of", to try to intimidate other nations opposing us (i.e Iran, North Korea)

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:15 pm UTC
by ndansmith
Corollary questions:

• Would be in Iraq if 9/11 never happened?
• Would be in Iraq if Al Gore was in office?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:16 pm UTC
by The Great Hippo
The same reason we went to Vietnam--a combination of the social climate of the White House, the personalities of certain men in power (some of whom have been chomping at the bit for some time to go to Iraq), misguided political opportunism, and the leftover sentiments of neo-conservatism. There's no single 'AH-HA!' here; just a combination of a lot of factors and a lot of people.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:27 pm UTC
by 0.0
by The Great Hippo on Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:16 pm UTC

The same reason we went to Vietnam--a combination of the social climate of the White House, the personalities of certain men in power (some of whom have been chomping at the bit for some time to go to Iraq), misguided political opportunism, and the leftover sentiments of neo-conservatism. There's no single 'AH-HA!' here; just a combination of a lot of factors and a lot of people.


I am also scared of this answer. But mostly I'm scared of the fact we still don't have a consensus and we don't seem to care.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:59 pm UTC
by The Great Hippo
0.0 wrote:I am also scared of this answer. But mostly I'm scared of the fact we still don't have a consensus and we don't seem to care.


Although I certainly consider the Iraq war to be both a gross misappropriation of resources and a spectacular failure of the government's new foreign policy (which seems to consist of riding into the UN on a flaming flag-wrapped Harley Davidson and calling the associated nations 'totally gay' because they voted against the bill to rename the 'Axis of Evil' into 'The Legion of Doom' and Kim Jong-Il into 'Bizarro-Bush'), I think it's important to keep in mind that, all things being considered, this is pretty much standard operating procedure for all the countries in power. Declaring war over stupid shit is par for the course throughout all of history. Fuck, I think World War I started over a ham sandwich. No, seriously! I'm pretty sure it did.

I'm all for working to cut this shit out but it's not like it's very surprising or unusual.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:55 am UTC
by Gunfingers
Try to remember the political climate in the US following 9/11. Everyone was convinced that the terr'ists were going to get us. No one was concerned with liberties, just with thoughts of "How could this happen, and how can we keep it from happening again". Then intel shows up saying Saddam is making tools that will allow terr'ists to do massive damage. 9/11 * 1,000 or something. So most of the country gets together and says "Well fuck him then, we'll kick his ass!" No one was thinking about the difficulties of the invasion. People just assumed it'd be in and out. I remember considering enlistment but fearing that it'd be over before i got in (i was in high school at the time).

So basically, reason #1 plus "It was a different time!"

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:06 am UTC
by jayhsu
I think a good deal of people were definitely lulled into the "Not another Pearl Harbor" ideology - to be honest, this was how I felt at the time. It's no excuse to say that we were given false information by our government, but perhaps we can find some reprieve in that many of us were still scared a year and a half after 9/11 and willing to stop that from happening ever again. Again, this was how I felt, personally being very close to the WTC attacks when they happened (a few blocks away from my high school).

It's been a fiasco ever since, but maybe we can take what little comfort in the hope that we've made the lives of the Iraqi people marginally better. Bush's approval rating has been a steady decline since the war began.

Also, I think we don't care very much because it's a class war. Middle and upper class Americans are not directly involved in the fighting of the war, and with the media censoring itself, it's easy to forget that the war really affects us. All the while, National Guardsmen, who signed up for a week of training each month are being forced in the fight and getting screwed.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:22 am UTC
by frezik
ndansmith wrote:Would be in Iraq if 9/11 never happened?


It's possible that Bush would have pushed that agenda. However, it's unlikely he would have succeeded, either due to a greater willingness of everyone to criticize the evidence, or simply because some other outside event would have taken precedence.

Additionally, if you fit a line on the graph of Bush's approval rating, you'll see that he has been in a steady downward decline for his entire administration until it hit ~30%, except for immediately after 9/11. Even with that huge boost, he only narrowly won in 2004. Without 9/11, Bush would never had the approval to go to war, or even seen a second term.

Would be in Iraq if Al Gore was in office?


Almost certainly not. The cherry-picking of intelligence that supported a certain viewpoint, especially when the CIA marks it as uncredible, had to be quite deliberate, and is unlikely to be done by another administration.

(This is also the ultimate answer to people who think the two parties are the same.)

The Great Hippo wrote:The same reason we went to Vietnam--a combination of the social climate of the White House, the personalities of certain men in power (some of whom have been chomping at the bit for some time to go to Iraq) . . .


Here's the thing, though: The first Bush stated that to take out Saddam would involve occupying the nation for an indeterminate time while they try to set up a new government. Chaney and (I believe) Powell said essentially the same thing throughout the 90's, who were both in the first Bush administration. Obviously, recent events have proven that sentiment correct.

So why is it that they threw out that reasoning? Alternatively, if they genuinely considered Saddam to be such a threat that an ongoing occupation was considered a necessary price, then why did they seem so ill prepared for that to happen?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:46 am UTC
by Vaniver
I don't speculate on why we went to war. It's too hard to be proven wrong, and thus very hard to be proven right.

jayhsu wrote:Also, I think we don't care very much because it's a class war. Middle and upper class Americans are not directly involved in the fighting of the war
That's not true in the slightest. If you're willing to trust neighborhood level data, each (neighborhood) income quintile is roughly equally represented.

jayshu wrote:it's easy to forget that the war really affects us.
It's because, honestly, it doesn't. The fight's in the Middle East now, and arguably that's a success (albeit short-term, if one believes the Iraq Study Group report).

frezik wrote:Almost certainly not.
Would we be in Serbia if Clinton was in office?

And, who was it that said "You cannot defy the will of the world ... You have used weapons of mass destruction before; we are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again"?

frezik wrote:Chaney and (I believe) Powell said essentially the same thing throughout the 90's, who were both in the first Bush administration.
I'm pretty sure, though I might be wrong, that Cheney always predicted "greeted as liberators."

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:00 am UTC
by frezik
Vaniver wrote:
frezik wrote:Almost certainly not.
Would we be in Serbia if Clinton was in office?


Not sure I understand the question. Clinton was in office for the Kosovo/Serbia conflict. Also, Serbia was a limited conflict where the people eventually overthrew the local leadership on their own. Totally different strategy and outcome compared to Iraq.

frezik wrote:Chaney and (I believe) Powell said essentially the same thing throughout the 90's, who were both in the first Bush administration.
I'm pretty sure, though I might be wrong, that Cheney always predicted "greeted as liberators."


Nope.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:25 am UTC
by shieldforyoureyes
a. Oil. (Many supposedly "other" reasons are also about oil. "Foothold in the region." yeah.... why? Oil.)
b. We got used by Iran, who fed us false WMD info.
c. Leftover Vietnam war era advisors wanting to prove that they could have won.

Mostly a.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:55 am UTC
by jayhsu
Vaniver wrote:I don't speculate on why we went to war. It's too hard to be proven wrong, and thus very hard to be proven right.

jayhsu wrote:Also, I think we don't care very much because it's a class war. Middle and upper class Americans are not directly involved in the fighting of the war
That's not true in the slightest. If you're willing to trust neighborhood level data, each (neighborhood) income quintile is roughly equally represented.



That was a pretty interesting article, Vaniver. I looked into it further and found another on the site that further supports your claim:
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Nation ... a06-09.cfm

So I don't contest that we're equally represented. However, I do wonder if the more middle- and upper-class recruits are not ROTC/National Guard/desk jockeys, than lower class. Also, I'm no military expert, but it seems that most casualties in the war are within the Army - how is the class-spread there?

Maybe a useful statistic would be: class-makeup of casualties in Iraq. That might be more difficult to procure, though.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:20 am UTC
by Vaniver
frezik wrote:Not sure I understand the question. Clinton was in office for the Kosovo/Serbia conflict. Also, Serbia was a limited conflict where the people eventually overthrew the local leadership on their own. Totally different strategy and outcome compared to Iraq.
We went into Serbia because of a genocide that the UN eventually decided wasn't a genocide. So, "Clinton lied people died" would have been as appropriate (if there had been any NATO casualties).

frezik wrote:Nope.
And I was wrong.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:54 am UTC
by dewittdale
The big picture reason why US went to war is because US is not civilized. War is not like tilling the soil so that a garden can be cultivated. War is, well look it up if you don't know. But compared to astrophysical 'violence' human killing is nothin. And the definition of civilization? Sky's the limit. Figuratively.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:48 pm UTC
by Indon
Vaniver wrote:That's not true in the slightest. If you're willing to trust neighborhood level data, each (neighborhood) income quintile is roughly equally represented.

I'm not so surprised. In a volunteer military in such a well-developed country as the US, we can afford to have quite high standards - indeed, I doubt many of the poorest individuals in our country can even get into the military anymore. (Even starting to drop those standards isn't going to have a significant impact on our military's demographics for some years)

If you throw in the proliferation of contractors in the military, I'd say you're probably looking at a war fought by more mid-wealthy (top 30%) and middle-class (next 30% or so) individuals than poor (the rest) individuals.

But the argument here is being mistermed - it's not the top 20% who pull the strings of power, by and large those are just doctors, lawyers, and other successful workers. We're looking at the top 1% having a hand in this, if anyone.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:50 pm UTC
by Gunfingers
Several people wrote:Oil

Image

Link in case the image doesn't display right. Also, read Wondermark. 'Tis funny.

Really i just love the idea of someone remarking "Shouldn't purloined Iraqi oil be flooding the US market?"

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:06 pm UTC
by jayhsu
Raises a good point though, where is all this oil we stole?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:16 pm UTC
by Indon
There really hasn't so much been money in the oil (not for the US anyway), so much as in the massive military contracts to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure, and its' infrastructure in general.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:35 pm UTC
by ndansmith
jayhsu wrote:Raises a good point though, where is all this oil we stole?

IIRC, the difference in the Iraqi oil industry post-invasion is that it is no longer nationalized. That is, foreign oil and investment firms can own and reap profits from the production of Iraqi oil, whereas before only interests internal to Iraq had access.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:39 pm UTC
by jayhsu
Shouldn't that mean more oil in the world, for, say, us?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:04 pm UTC
by segmentation fault
ndansmith wrote:• Would be in Iraq if 9/11 never happened?


maybe. support for the agenda would not have been as high, however im sure they would have come up with some excuse to increase support.

ndansmith wrote:• Would be in Iraq if Al Gore was in office?


al gore would purposely fail, getting voted out after 4 years, and the following republican would start a war with iraq. :)

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
by jayhsu
I'm not sure I agree. I don't really think we would have invaded Iraq if 9/11 hadn't happened and we hadn't went to Afghanistan shortly afterwards.

Again, it was still pretty close to 9/11 and anyone who questioned the administration (already few), was deemed 'unpatriotic', &c. If 9/11 had not occurred, and Bush's approval continued to decline, I think there would be a lot more scrutiny over the reasons for going to war, as well as far less support (without fear, people would tell Bush to f* off).

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:16 pm UTC
by ndansmith
jayhsu wrote:Shouldn't that mean more oil in the world, for, say, us?

No, because Iraq is having production problems right now. Once they are up and running, they will sell their oil to whomever, while foreign investors will be getting a slice of the pie. I do not think "the war is about oil" means that we invaded Iraq so we could get more oil to burn at home. It means we now have western influence in Iraq's oil production, and most importantly, money. The oil is only a means to an end, I suspect.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:43 pm UTC
by shieldforyoureyes
jayhsu wrote:Raises a good point though, where is all this oil we stole?


No one said it was a competent invasion for oil.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:39 pm UTC
by Yakk
Because the USA's military-industrial-congressional complex was due for another war.

Since WW2, what two-term US president hasn't been involved in a war?

Ok, let's make it easier. What US presidents since WWII, that has served an entire term in office, hasn't been involved in a war?

So long as the American people continue to consent to going to war, I expect the White House to continue to go to war in (nearly) every single presidential term. The fact that it was Afghanistan and Iraq this time around doesn't seem to be that important -- they where just the low hanging fruit that the American People chose to go to war with this time around.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:07 pm UTC
by protocoach
jayhsu wrote:Raises a good point though, where is all this oil we stole?

On the way.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:58 pm UTC
by frezik
Yakk wrote:Ok, let's make it easier. What US presidents since WWII, that has served an entire term in office, hasn't been involved in a war?


Depends on where you draw the line between "conflict" and "war". If you're talking about officially declared wars, no president has been at war since then. If you exclude relatively low-level conflicts, then the answer is Carter (Vietnam officially done by the time he took office) and Regan (nothing I can think of going on besides basic levels of cold war posturing). Eisenhower had Korea, Johnson through Ford had Vietnam, Bush I had Iraq, and Clinton had Kosovo. Kennedy also didn't really have any major conflicts under his watch (Vietnam hadn't really got going yet), but he didn't serve a full term, either.

Including lower-level conflicts, nobody.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:25 pm UTC
by Yakk
frezik wrote:
Yakk wrote:Ok, let's make it easier. What US presidents since WWII, that has served an entire term in office, hasn't been involved in a war?


Depends on where you draw the line between "conflict" and "war". If you're talking about officially declared wars, no president has been at war since then.
Laugh, that is a good joke. :-)

And I know -- the punch line is that it is serious.
If you exclude relatively low-level conflicts, then the answer is Carter (Vietnam officially done by the time he took office)

*nod* -- a single-term president. I think his most aggressive use of military force was an attempted rescue of hostages in Iran after the collapse of the US-backed shah to the Revolutionary forces in Iran?

and Regan (nothing I can think of going on besides basic levels of cold war posturing).

4 Libyan Jets, ~1000 troops sent to Lebanon, Honduran military aid against Nicaragua (including using US military transports to help the Hondurans), various planes to aid Egypt, Chad and Sudan (including fighter jets) against Libya, the invasion of Grenada, aided (refueling and targeting) Saudi Jets who shot down Iranian planes, more fights with Libya (being attacked with missiles, bombing military installations and terrorist installations).

Including lower-level conflicts, nobody.


*nod*

So the default is war and conflict for the US government. The Iraq war is a larger war than usual, perhaps. (that would be an interesting number -- the average number of "boots on the ground" outside of the USA, and the average number of "boots on the ground" in a nation facing a significant active hostile force, since WWII, for US forces).

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:09 pm UTC
by Iconoclast
We've been attacking Iraq consistently since the first Bush. What Bush did was just carrying out the foreign policy we've had since Wilson, only very clumsily. UNICEF says that 500,000 children died as a result of the sanctions we placed on Iran starting with Bush, and going through Clinton's years in office. Now, we're starting to do the same thing to Iran.

Why are we nation building in Afghanistan?
Why are we in Korea?
Why are we in Japan?
Why are we in Germany?
Why are we in the Philippines?
Why are we in Saudi Arabia?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:30 am UTC
by jayhsu
Iconoclast wrote:Why are we nation building in Afghanistan?
Why are we in Korea?
Why are we in Japan?
Why are we in Germany?
Why are we in the Philippines?
Why are we in Saudi Arabia?


To protect our interests, duh. :D

Honestly, though, in at least Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps we have a responsibility to help the people there. We might not be doing a great job of it, but... it's the thought that counts...?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:05 am UTC
by Iconoclast
jayhsu wrote:
Iconoclast wrote:Why are we nation building in Afghanistan?
Why are we in Korea?
Why are we in Japan?
Why are we in Germany?
Why are we in the Philippines?
Why are we in Saudi Arabia?

To protect our interests, duh. :D

Honestly, though, in at least Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps we have a responsibility to help the people there. We might not be doing a great job of it, but... it's the thought that counts...?

What responsibility? The whitehouse, the Pentagon, and the congress have been irresponsibly, illegally, and covertly using the military for decades in places where the people of the country don't want us there. We (the American people) have no more responsibility in Iraq and Afghanistan than we do in Protecting/containing Japan(FYI, I figured I'd post the first article that comes up in "Okinawa base" search in google news. Not surprisingly, it wasn't flattering.)

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:11 am UTC
by jayhsu
I'd like to think that there are times when we our leaders do try to be selfless. I haven't heard of any conspiracy theories surrounding Somalia, for example.

Are there no true examples of American military altruism?

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:06 am UTC
by Iconoclast
jayhsu wrote:I'd like to think that there are times when we our leaders do try to be selfless. I haven't heard of any conspiracy theories surrounding Somalia, for example.

Are there no true examples of American military altruism?

It's not so much that leaders are evil as it is that the system (in this case the military industrial complex) will do anything to expand itself, and any standing military is an affront to freedom, because it will inevitably be used to exert dominance over other states While a military can possibly be used for good, this is extremely rare. Somalia plays into the "conspiracy theory" when you look at the larger picture of who made the equipment used, and the role America was playing of world police. The intentions in Somalia were just as good as the intentions in Iraq: kill bad guys, spread democracy, and enforce international law (both involved UN resolutions). Both were enabled by the institutions meant to: kill guys, and help the US economy.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:15 am UTC
by frezik
Iconoclast wrote:What responsibility? The whitehouse, the Pentagon, and the congress have been irresponsibly, illegally, and covertly using the military for decades in places where the people of the country don't want us there. We (the American people) have no more responsibility in Iraq and Afghanistan than we do in Protecting/containing Japan(FYI, I figured I'd post the first article that comes up in "Okinawa base" search in google news. Not surprisingly, it wasn't flattering.)


Pax Americana, as with Pax Romania, will always be a bittersweet proposition. On the one hand, the nation on top will always be involved in numerous low-level conflicts and looked at with suspicion by other nations. On the other, it ensures that those low-level conflicts don't escalate into much larger ones. America may not be perfect for this position, but you could do a lot worse.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:20 am UTC
by jayhsu
Questions of what morality is aside, is America to do nothing? Even if it means expanding the military-industrial complex, I would argue that America, and perhaps all world powers, possess a degree of responsibility when atrocities occur and are being committed. Perhaps we can achieve this through peaceful means, but sometimes it doesn't seem to be so.

It seems like a no-win situation for America. When we don't enter a conflict (Darfur) there is international outcry; when we do, we are either lose big (Somalia, Iraq) or are labeled conquerors and tyrants (Iraq).

There is some good, isn't there? Do the ends ever justify the means? (Perhaps a different thread...)

Again, questions about what is 'good' notwithstanding.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:19 am UTC
by Iconoclast
jayhsu wrote:Questions of what morality is aside, is America to do nothing? Even if it means expanding the military-industrial complex, I would argue that America, and perhaps all world powers, possess a degree of responsibility when atrocities occur and are being committed. Perhaps we can achieve this through peaceful means, but sometimes it doesn't seem to be so.

It seems like a no-win situation for America. When we don't enter a conflict (Darfur) there is international outcry; when we do, we are either lose big (Somalia, Iraq) or are labeled conquerors and tyrants (Iraq).

There is some good, isn't there? Do the ends ever justify the means? (Perhaps a different thread...)

Again, questions about what is 'good' notwithstanding.

It is best to lead by example, and to always promote peace without the use of war, since it does not benefit the aggressor or the victim. War will also create enemies for us who see what you say is our responsibility as arrogance (responsibility? or white man's burden?).

And how would you suggest we determine when is a good time to risk attacks on American soldiers and civilians to intervene in an affair that would not otherwise kill American? Don't give me that democracy crap, what are the guidelines that anyone should follow when making that decision? And why is it America must be the one to do so? And how are we to evaluate the number of civilian deaths that is acceptable for various operations? As I pointed out before, the Iraq sanctions killed 500,000 children, and this was done because it was morally wrong to trade with people in an evil country. Was this worth it to weaken Iraq's army somewhat?

frezik wrote:Pax Americana, as with Pax Romania, will always be a bittersweet proposition. On the one hand, the nation on top will always be involved in numerous low-level conflicts and looked at with suspicion by other nations. On the other, it ensures that those low-level conflicts don't escalate into much larger ones. America may not be perfect for this position, but you could do a lot worse.
How was Pax Romania, Britannica, and Americana implemented? By suppressing various rebellions to extend the hegemony. What happened to the first two? They had turmoil in the homeland, and the various foreign groups that eyed them suspiciously rebelled, forcing the liquidation of the respective empires.

Re: It's July 14th, 2008. Why did we invade Iraq?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:39 am UTC
by jayhsu
If we knew a country was systematically and efficiently mowing down specific members of it's population (i.e. Holocaust), would we, as humans, not have an obligation to try to stop them? America is arguably the strongest nation on Earth, why should it not be at the forefront to stem the tide?

Though I suppose most situations are not nearly as black-and-white as that. Peace is a great way to lead and show by example, but as you also stated, the Iraqi sanctions resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands as well. Is there no middle road?

I don't accept that there were absolutely zero good intentions of this war. Even if any amount of evil will always taint good, even if there is only a sliver of good in the entire mess that is the Iraqi war, have we not made some people's lives better? The whole thing's a crapshoot - there's no argument there. But when one infringes upon the basic human rights of another, I would say that any third party has an obligation to intervene (turning into the morality thread).

Preferably peaceably, of course.