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Open Discussion: One Year Later

I'm busy working on a few things that will take a lot of research and a few hours of writing. Blogging will be non-existent until then, perhaps later this afternoon. Meanwhile, I'd like to make the comments on this post and open discussion of this topic: It's been one year since the start of the Iraq war. What has Iraq gained since then? What has the world gained? Do you see the world differently now than you did one year ago? Do you believe that the war in Iraq and the war on terror are really just two parts of one big war? Part of what I'm working on involves positive developments in Iraq and the war on terror since March 19, 2003. Links, thoughts, statistics, and anything else relevant to that will be appreciated; ten paragraph discourses on the "Bush is a liar" theme will not, just because it's not part of what I'm looking for today. Please try to keep it civil. Trolls will be banished to Siberia.

Comments

Well, I'll open. You ask whether the war in Iraq and the war on terror are just two parts of the one big war. I guess that is what you define as "the one big war".

If you define "the one big war" as "a war against those who oppose US interests", then they can be seen as closely related, and part of a larger war.

On the other hand, if we talk about "the war on terror" as rooting out terrorists whereever they are, and the war in Iraq as removing a cold-blooded dictator who was oppressing the people of his country (the WMD argument has finally been put to bed, I hope), then they are quite distinct.

Saddam Hussein had only tenuous links to international terrorism. And Al-qaida and Osama Bin Laden regarded the secular Hussein as a heretic and an enemy of (his kind of) Islam.

Just because they have been concentrated in the same part of the world doesn't mean they are related.

I guess the biggest single thing that Iraqis have gained is a relative security that they won't be fed through an industrial plastic shredder. Yes there are still messy things there but a fundamental human right, the right to live, has been restored to them.

What have we gained? An Olympic team with a few athletes we know we can rout easily this year.

Exposing the massive UN/Saddam oil-for-food kickback scam is another positive element in removing Saddam.

Jim,

What shredder?

We've gained, for the entire world and not just the US, a small foothold of sanity in an insane part of the world. If the fire of freedom spreads in the region, the world will ultimately be a safer, saner place.

Perhaps some of you may want to speculate as to what the world would look like today or five years from today in the event that Saddam was not removed and sanctions were lifted.

The shredder was propaganda. There was no shredder, and no incubator atrocities.

The only good thing for Iraqi's is that Hussein is not in power. Mind you, Al Qaeda were hoping for this as well.

Vince,

the "shredder" business is meaningless. Let's just assume you are right.

What are your views on Saddams intentions after the sanction are lifted?

Vince,

I have seen with my own eyes a video of Saddam's henchmen taking people with hoods over their heads, hands tied behind their backs, and throwing them off of one-, two-, and three-story buildings. I have seen videos of hooded men having grenades taped to their chests, neck, and faces, and then having these grenades exploded. I have seen some other things I don't even want to describe. These are factual atrocities that took place under Saddam Hussein. I know there is disagreement about whether the shredder incidents took place, but surely you aren't making the argument that NO atrocities took place during Saddam's regime? You say the "only good thing for Iraqis is that Hussein is not in power." That is akin to saying the "only" good thing for Germany was that Hitler wasn't in power, or that the "only" good thing for East Berliners was that the wall came down. The existing good and the potential good for the Iraqi people(and others in the region)that has been engendered by the overthrow of Saddam can be summed up in one word--FREEDOM.

While Saddam plumbed staggering depths of evil and depravity during his multi-decade reign, we did at last remove him. As someone like Saddam doesn't wake up one day and say "What a nice day. I think I'll become a kindergarten teacher. And I'll adopt ponies," it is a certainty that his brand of evil would have metastasized and spread until it met a greater force.

We can't know what particular brand of depravity his continued rule would have brought, but we do know he had no valentine to the world in mind. If only Hitler had been stopped at a similar career-point.

Uday, Qusay, Abu Nidal, and Abu Abbas are all taking a dirtnap, and the families of suicide bombers no longer get an Iraqi bereavement bonus.

I suggest you speak to some Iraqi's. They echo my sentiments. Everyone is happy Saddam is gone, but they are also pissed that their country is in shambles. Iraq was quite a civilized place prior to this invasion and to the sanctions.

"FREEDOM."

Someones been watching too much Braveheart. It's fantastic that Iraqi wil be able to have free elections soon. I cringe when I think Iraqi's may vote in a fundamentalist Muslim regime. Saddam ruled over the fundamentalists with an iron fist; this is his only redeeming quality. Most likely, some of these guys tossed from windows and grenades strapped to their chests were terrorists. I thought the righties would eat that shit up! I remember many Americans would pay to watch Osama die. Some food for thought.

Michele asked for the good things out of Iraq, and I listed one. Too many have their panties in a bunch.

Vince,

Again I ask you, what do you think were Saddams intentions after sanctions were lifted??

I see the world differently. I realize that no matter how much good is done, some people will constantly raise the bar and call your achievements a failure. I realize there are many who would rather live in a fantasy world than engage in the real world. I learned that difficulties do bring out the best in some people. And I realized (over and over) just how amazing the people in our armed services truly are.

"I suggest you speak to some Iraqi's." And you have Vince? I read blogs from Iraq and most do not paint that bleak of a picture... BTW don't bother showing me links to blogs like "Baghdad Burning" I read her also, but she appears to be in the minority

Saddam paid cash to the families of Palestinian bombers, which seems to me like a concrete link to international terrorism.

One of the things that I think we've all learned is that so many people in this country seemed to have become such foreign relations experts since all of this started. I don't pretend to know all of the ins and outs that our president and government are made aware of.

I feel confident in knowing that we have a president who is willing to do what he thinks needs to be done in the face of becoming unpopular, and jeopardizing a reelection. I was always told by my elders that doing such things shows character.

I see a country that is in the midst of discovering what democracy is. I also see a country that is being attacked by extremists who are only turning the Iraqis against their cause. I see a people who have more hope and a future to look forward to - two things they didn't have under Saddam. I see a people who are learning about themselves, though it takes a little dependency on us to realize that Saddam did enough damage to make them forget.

First, Vince, the shredder story is most likely true. See here and especially here, and follow the link to here.

More on the Iraqi shredder, from a British Labor PM:

href="http://usembassy.state.gov/tokyo/wwwh20030326b4.html

Second, Vince: "Most likely, some of these guys tossed from windows and grenades strapped to their chests were terrorists." Are you serious? What about the Iraqi doctor who was brutally tortured because of what he said about the invasion of Kuwait: "For this, our people should die?" Was that terrorism? Or how about the Iraqi lawyer who dared to commit the terrorist act of defending a doorman who got on Uday's bad side? Hey, if you want to keep the peace, you gotta shove a few hot candles up a few rectums, right? I mean his iron fist was "his only redeeming quality", right? Then again, Iraq was a civilized place before the invasion, only occassional public beheadings. But they never killed children: "We never killed them. If the child was 5 or 6, we would beat them with a steel cable, and that would get the mothers talking." Very civilized.

How many of these dots do you think were terrorists?

Ted
Saddam intended to groom his sons to carry out his life's purpose. Knowing Saddam's life purpose is one reason why getting rid of Saddam was a postivie step in the right direction.

OK Syn, I am with you so far.

Do you think maybe he would reconstitute his Bad Boy weapons programs too?

I have no doubt he was planning to reconstitute his Bad Boy weapons programs, he was impotent without them. After spending almost thirty years building them, why would he all of the sudden abandon them? For what, to build more palaces? Spend more time slaughtering 2000 Iraqis a day intead of 1000 a day?

Saddam always had big plans for his world vision as master of his universe and grooming his off spring to follow in his footsteps was part of that plan.

Syn, you are still on target.

Iran and Kuwait were invaded by him for a reason.

He aimed to be Caliph. And you can see by all the recent polling of Arabs, that whoever could be that man would have the following across the "arab nation". Nasser and Ghaddaffi tried. Assad had pretentions, but Saddam had the wealth from oil, the large army and more important the will. And that is what we saved ourselves from

I did a big bookmark dump and I only got about halfway through my collection. Most of this is positive.