Sunday, January 30, 2005
As you all know, when you leave a comment, there is a character limit. Of course, it doesn't TELL you what or where the character limit is. So you don't at what point your comment will get cut off.
Carson left a wonderful response to my question in the comment thingy. And shockingly, most of it got cut off. He emailed me the entirety of it. I've decided it would be good to post it, as he sent the most comprehensive answer(s) to the question.
I'll be posting my response to his response soon hereafter. But first, a preemptive comment now. My question was "Why was it worth American lives to invade Iraq?". Most of Carson's answers seem more to answer the question of "Why did we go in?". I know the questions sound very similiar, especcially for those of you who graduated from anywhere in the Jones County School District. But they are very, very different.
Now, without further ado, the History Doctor speaks:
Here are some possible reasons why, whether they are correct or incorrect is nothing more than speculation.
1. The belief that Iraq possessed WMD. If Iraq possessed no WMD why did they so staunchly resist inspections?
2. A strategy put forth by some Neo-Cons to bring democracy or "friendlier nations" into power in the Middle East. First Afghanistan, then Iraq, later Iran, and finally Syria. By bringing a new non-theocratic democracy to the region they hoped to usher in a new "enlightenment" that the Muslim world has never experienced. In doing so they would weaken the appeal of theocracy and extremism. Of course, they neglected the idea of nationalism in their plans with Iraq. A large minority of Sunnis aren't quite ready to give up their special privilege that they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein. In addition the massive influx of foreign fighters into the country was something that they assumed wouldn't happen.
3. To prosecute the war against terror. It was a commonly held belief of many world governments that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. If in the future he allied with terrorist organizations he could possibly provide them with WMD or components to create WMD or funds to bankroll terrorist organizations.
4. To finish the job that wasn't completed after the first Gulf War.
5. The belief that the Iraqis no longer wanted to live under Saddam Hussein. Neo-Cons and many others believed that Iraqis would welcome coalition forces as liberators. They believed the Iraqis would be willing to fight for their own democracy and that they themselves would be willing to root out foreign and domestic insurgents.
6. Saddam Hussein refused to give up power. Most likely if he would have stepped aside and weapons inspections continued unopposed then there would have been no reason for the invasion.
7. Americans want cheaper gas.
8. People make decisions based on their own judgment regardless of the facts. For instance smoking. People choose to smoke even though they know that the cigarettes have addictive and harmful chemicals. They cost hundreds of thousands of dollars over ones lifetime and they have no useful benefit other than to stimulate and suppress. In the same period of the war in Iraq more Americans have died due to smoking than soldiers in Iraq. Why invade Iraq? Why Smoke? Because people make decisions that others don't understand regardless of the facts.
9. Virtually every day that a U.S. plane flew in the No-Fly zone over Iraq they were shot at. So it is difficult for us to say that Saddam was no threat to us, because every time a U.S. pilot was in the No-Fly zone, sanctioned by the U.N., his life was in danger. Being shot at is a threat. Is this a trivial reason, yes, but it is a reason.
10. To create a place in the Middle East for U.S. military bases outside of Saudi Arabia.
Are any of these reason true? I don't know. But it is a sad attempt to try to answer a question that can't be answered by someone who didn't make the decisions to go to war.
Good question though.