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15 years ago today.

Why are we fighting? So this never happens again, to Iraqis, to Americans, to anyone.


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Something else that 17-18 March is an anniversary of. I don't think it's intentional that war is about to break... [Read More]


1988, lets see then that means the guy was doing all this stuff while being supported and supplied by the US. We didn't care all that much at the time.

Well, I guess better late then never.

eh heh...

That was with weapons we gave him.. and when it happened, nobody cared. We had bigger fish to frye, like Iran.

it kills me how none of the BlogHawks know what they're talking about. We aren't going to war for the Iraqis, I'll tell you that much (we haven't up 'till now, huh?).

I cared. So stuff it.

I love the way the peaceniks and guilt mongers use this arguement, then call everyone else ignorant.

In 88 Iran was a bigger threat. It was unstable and violent. That doesn't make our support of Hussein excusable or correct, it was merely the best we could do at the time.

Let's take a real look at what you just said though. Does this mean that because we did something bad before that we should do nothing now?

Keep in mind we DID try to do something about it, and in 1991 we were poised to remove Saddam Hussein from power. And we were stopped. Our coalition dissolved because the Arab nations did not want the US removing the madman from power.

Then we spent 8 years completely ignoring the situation, enraptured by a president who disrespected his vows both as the representative of this country and as a husband.

So what do we do now? Continue to let an insane dictator kill countless people because we supported what we hoped would be an ally in the region? Or remove the madman and give the Iraqi people the opportunity to speak freely for the first time in 30 years?

I was so furious when we didn't take Saddam out back in 1991. I know there were reasons not to - but once I learned about his treatment of the Kurds and so many others, it just didn't make sense to me. sigh

With Saddam under intense scrutiny, and any potential weapons labs on the run, it's highly unlikely that it will happen again - even without war. On the other hand, if we really wanted to expend resources to make a difference, one would think we could do something about the 24,000 people who starve to death everyday (I'm not talking about giving them food, but changing their political structures), or bringing influence and technology to those nations where the average life expetancy is 30. We're focused on Iraq, period, even when there are bigger fish to fry (in humanitarian terms).

I think, if we can draw one lesson from both Saddam and Osama, its that Murphy's Laws tend to be concrete, and putting a psychopathic murderer into a position of power, for any reason, will always come back to bite you in the ass.

Here's hoping that this and future administrations will keep this in mind when allying against Saddam for council votes or playing one Afghan Warlord against another.

Here's worried that they won't.

- Evilboy

Thought I'd point out that the Iraqi Kurds, while very keen to get rid of Saddam Hussein, have also said it's a bit precious of the US administration to use them as a call to war.

In 1988 the gassing of the Kurds was not exactly front page news, in fact it was hardly reported at all. It would have been very difficult to have feelings one way or another at Saddam's actions at the time because the story was never an issue on the nightly news. How could it be, we were supporting and arming the guy. Other then lefty human rights groups like Amnesty International there was no great outcry from the US over this incident, certainly not by anyone in the Bush 41 administration or on the right in general. Was Iran seen as a bigger threat? Sure, I guess, but that begs the question, why didn't our relationship with Saddam Hussein stop right then and there with a swift and very public denunciation of his actions in March of '88 by Bush 41?

The American right was not all that upset over the subsequent selling out of the curds after gulf war I when Bush 41 encouraged the Kurds to revolt and we sat on our hands while they were beaten back by what was left of Saddam's army; can anyone say Bay of Pigs II? (some were of course but it was never a big issue). It is also true that with the establishment of the no fly zones the Kurds have enjoyed a semi autonomy that may well come to an end under whatever form of government is put into place after Saddam's merry band of cutthroats are displaced.

I think that my objection to using the plight of the Kurds as a rhetorical justification for war is that for many of the policy makers in the Bush Cabinet this was never an issue and the whole thing is being contemptuously trotted out to prop up the rationalization for this war. Now as for people like our gracious host Michele and other who feel a genuine sense of outrage at these atrocities I can sympathize because they have none of the cynical taint of those in the administration who are making the argument.

I wonder though how many of the war bloggers out there who feel very strongly in about the plight of the Kurds and the Iraqi people in particular supported the action of Clinton in Kosovo? How many thought we should have intervened in Congo, Liberia or Ethiopia on humanitarian grounds? For what it's worth many on the right who are advancing the humanitarian argument in Iraq opposed the action in Kosovo using many of the exact arguments the anti war side is using now. But allow me to put a fine point on this comment, I do not doubt the sincerity of those who feel strongly regarding the plight of the Kurds. I believe they are sincere and speaking from a well developed sense of moral outrage. I am completely skeptical regarding those in the administration who knew of Saddam's actions in 88 and stood by and said nothing, and I also feel that the administration is cynically using the humanitarian argument in order to support the war effort knowing that it is an argument that will appeal on the basic decency of the American people.

For the record I didn't support action in Kosovo and I'm generally not in favor of military action on purely humanitarian grounds for a long list of reasons with a few important exceptions.