posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 05:01 PM
The rationale for the iraq war was multifaceted.
One the one hand, Iraq had wmd previously, and had used them. There was never a demonstration that they had in fact destroyed their weapons,
the UN never stated that they did, and the various sets of inspectors never said that they had confirmed that Iraq had destroyed its
WMD. Furthermore, after the war, it was demonstrated that Iraq had WMD programmes, but that they were inactive, only because of the sanctions. Given
the money, they'd be re-arming. Prior to the lead up to the war, lots of countries were talking about lifting the sanctions, especially Russia,
which is essentially a corporation that sells WMD tech and knowledge to anyone (part of a bid to counter-balance US hegemony). Worse, the inspectors
were demonstrated to be utterly ineffectual, not only could they not verify that there were no weapons, but they weren't even able to detect the
secret infrastructure of the WMD programmes. In al-Najaf, the US troops found a camoflauged chemical plant. The Inspectors had been in that
very city and didn't even see it.
Iraq as a threat
Iraq had invaded Kuwait and threatened the rest of the arabian penninsula in a bid to steal their oil and affirm Hussein as a regional power.
Regardless of their ability to attack, they clearly were the enemy of the US and a destabilizing danger in the region.
The idea of the US acting as a militant supporter for radical democratic change in the middle east is the core of the greater War on Terror strategy.
Islamic terrorism has deep causal roots, it is those roots that need to be addressed. Muslim terrorists frequently site western interference,
politically and also, importantly, culturally, in the middle east as a greivance. Largely they hate that the west has supported parties that have
ruled over the muslims, rather than were lifted up to rule by the muslims, such as the House of S'aud, the Baathist Hussein regime, the Shah,
etc. These bad rulers, installed and supported by the west, have done nothing for their peoples, who continue to live in ignorance, poverty, and
oppression. The jihadis suggest that this can be cured by ignoring the physical world, diving into the spiritual one, and installing a global (or at
least regional for now) islamic caliphate, replacing secular-totalitarian law and rule with islamic law and rule.
The west now suggests that democratic governance and civil society is the answer.
So why iraq
Lots of places hate the US, are run by oppressive regimes, fund international terrorism, and potentially have WMD. Why Iraq?
Firstly, the rest of the world is irrelevant. This is all in response to terrorism. Not all terrorist organizations are muslim. Only the radical
islamic jihadis represent a serious threat to the US. Thus only the islamic territory is relevant. Given that, Iraq is a sensible choice. Its been
ground down by sanctions and was previously defeated. The baathist Hussein regime was extremely unpopular and genocidal. And Iraq under hussein simply
wasn't ever going to be open to diplomacy. No rational person disputes any of that. Saudi Arabia doesn't use genocidal tactics to control its
public. Its rulers are basically a bunch of rich a-holes. Rich a-holes don't care about power and rule, they care about money. That means
that they are allways open to manipulation and ammenable to diplomacy. Iraq wasn't.
The Iranian government is oppressive. But it isn't all that unpopular, and it didn't have a WMD programme. Most importantly, it isn't a
straight-up dictatorship and there is allways the possibility of using diplomacy to keep it in line, not to mention the possibility of an internal
revolution, entirely absent in iron-fistedly controlled iraq.
So, given all that, the rational for invasion of iraq, so long as its part of a policy of supporting militant democratic revolution in the middle
east, is a sensible start.
Whether or not anyone is actually interested in that anymore is another question entirely.