Main Reasons for the 2003 Iraq War

There were 3 major reasons for the 2003 Iraq war, and it is important for debate which one you are criticizing. If you wish to win the intellectual debate against war, it is necessary to counter all 3 arguments.

1. Human Rights. The most beautiful (but not most important) reason was to just liberate oppressed people from state-slavery. This is an underlying theme - many people like liberating others. In places like Kosovo and Haiti, this is in fact the only reason the war was waged. But in most wars there will be additional security-related reasons.

2. Response to 9/11. Iraq was basically a huge social experiment. On 9/11 we were attacked by Arab Muslims, and the only thing we have ever seen Arab Muslims doing on TV is burning the American flag. Iraq was believed to be the least radical of all the Arab Muslims and we wanted to see if we could set up a democracy there and whether the Iraqis would vote for normal people and be no scarier than Switzerland, or whether they would vote for jihadis to kill all the infidels. The result of this social experiment would inform future action.

3. Geostrategy. There is an underlying theme that the world is more secure for the West if we take down enemy governments (even if those governments were democratically-elected). This was especially seen during the Cold War. The scariest thing is for enemies to have a powerful military as that means they can do harm to us or our friends/allies (including Israel). If an opportunity arises, we will weaken (such as Iraq in 1991) or eliminate (Iraq in 2003) the enemy's military capabilities.




Rogue Nation

In the past I have mused about being about to reconfigure NATO to oppose the US, in the hypothetical situation where the US had a military coup and became a rogue state. I never actually expected that to happen, it's just that freedom is so precious that we must consider every single possibility.

I never expected America to have a president who actually supports theft. Trump openly stated that "we" should have taken Iraq's oil back in 2003 and maybe "we" will get another chance.

This is not the America that I supported in 2003. The America I supported was one that gave the gift of freedom to Iraq at great personal cost and never asked for a damned thing in return. This America is the most beautiful force for good the world has ever seen. The most generous people on the face of the planet, even on a per-capita basis.

What we have in 2017 is not what we had in 2003. In actual fact, Trump is the first person in the world I have actually seen who supports the concept of stealing from others. Stealing from people poorer than America in fact. Perhaps because Trump is used to stealing from others by declaring bankruptcy he doesn't think that stealing is wrong, even though I would have hoped that children in America are raised to believe that stealing is wrong.

Regardless, it doesn't matter. For whatever reason the US has become a rogue state, now is the time to implement emergency measures. Until such time as Trump admits that he was a horrible and disgusting human being for suggesting stealing oil from the Iraqi democracy, and we are extremely confident that he's not just bluffing, we should treat the US as a rogue state. Australia should lead the way in creating a new military alliance, and Iraq should join that alliance in order to protect against America. American forces should be removed from Iraq and replaced by new alliance forces like Australia.





Wow. I've gone for more than a year without posting anything.

Anyway, there has been a significant new event recently - Gambia has been liberated, and as far as I can tell, purely due to the very real threat of force being used. Note that it would have been wonderful to be able to string up Jammeh, but the free world is not yet in a position where we can bring justice everywhere. If we have to bribe Jammeh to leave and promise not to prosecute him, so be it. We can reevaluate this policy after we have worldwide liberal democracy and a habit of quick external military actions whenever a country ceases to be a liberal democracy.

Here were my thoughts (as expressed to an anti-war Finn I had previously debated) prior to knowing the end result of Gambia ...

Senegal is preparing to liberate Gambia. Are you going to oppose freedom the same way that you opposed freedom in Iraq? Are you going to say "what about DR Congo - Senegal shouldn't liberate Gambia unless it first liberates DRC?". Or are you going to say "North Korea is much worse than Gambia" and you won't support a war in Gambia until North Korea is liberated?

Are you going to actively oppose Senegal like you actively opposed the US, or are you just going to keep quiet?

If your position on Senegal is different from the US, does that make you a hypocrite?

Are you going to say nasty things about Senegal, like, "they're only doing it because they want to control the beaches and coconuts"?

Or are Senegalese just VERY NICE PEOPLE?

Also, if Senegal tries to get a UN Security Council resolution allowing it to use force, and the Chinese dictatorship vetoes it for the obvious reason that it is a dictatorship itself, will you say that democratic Senegal is waging an illegal war? Or will you say that any system that allows a dictator (China) to support another dictator (Gambia) is unjust and should be replaced ASAP, and while we're waiting for a replacement we should simply ignore this stupid immoral body?

As you can probably tell, neocon hawks like me do not support wars just because we blindly follow the US. We support any war that extends the free world, within reason (e.g. triggering a nuclear war would not be "within reason"). People like me have been accused of supporting "American imperialism". Am I now supporting "Senegalan imperialism"?

The fact that it is so rare for a country like Senegal to do something great, and it is so common for the US to do something great, is in no way my fault. I would love it if Japan led the way to world freedom. But they're not. It's not my fault, or America's fault, that the burden almost always falls on their shoulders.

Also, if, after liberation, Jammeh-supporting Gambians start committing terrorism against Jammeh-opposing Gambians, that is NOT the fault of Senegal, and even if we know it in advance (which we don't), we should NOT be giving in to the pro-Jammeh terrorists by refusing to liberate.

We also have no way of measuring exactly what percentage of Gambians support the use of external force in order to liberate their country. Whatever that percentage - x%, I support that x% - people who are willing to have a war of liberation instead of living in state slavery for eternity. Even if "x" is less than 50, it doesn't matter. Those x are my ideological allies and if the (100-x) try to stand in the way, I am happy for them to be killed without hesitation. In addition, I consider any deaths on either side to be the fault of Jammeh, not Senegal, and this is basically going to be Jammeh's last crime. If you have any problem with the liberation death toll, take it up with Jammeh, NOT Senegal.




Act of War

ISIS is not just a terrorist organization. It is defacto an actual state. It has territory where it sets the laws, and is the government. As such, the attack on France which it claimed credit for, is a genuine Act of War for which France should be responding to. Not just France either. France should be invoking Article 5 of NATO, getting other nations to assist.

NATO is now so widespread that French troops can actually travel via land through all-NATO countries to reach Syria. France should then extinguish the defacto country/nation-state of ISIS. After doing so, it should remain there ostensibly to prevent ISIS regaining territory, but actually it should be creating an environment preventing Assad from entering "Free Syria", and assisting the Syrian Democratic Forces to build up a military that can take on Assad.

Although what would be even better is for France to just hold all of Syria responsible for the attacks on Paris, and defeat not just ISIS but also Assad.

BTW, I rarely blog these days, but I frequently tweet here.




Hyperbolic Thinking

The last of the posts on Road of a Nation which I wish to share at the moment is another one from "thinker". She did very well reaching beyond my wall of (as someone else called it) dry sarcastic wit. Anyway here are two of her posts.

Maha...When I first started to post on this board I called Paul a racist warmonger.  I know him very well after many months and here is what I think about Paul(with apologies to Paul):

Paul is verbally brutal but his facts are almost always right.  He is so intellectual that he is often obnoxious.  He used sarcasm and hyperbole(exaggeration) sometimes in a very sophisticated way that is very difficult to understand if English is not your first language.  He is not a racist.  He IS what we in the west term a 'hawk'...someone who believes in the use of force and is not hesitant to use it.

He is logical, probably compulsive.  My best guess is that he has a heart of gold and is completely faithful to his family who know how brutally honest he is. He has a soft heart that cares deeply about all people.

At times he says things for the 'shock' to get your attention.  He is extremely competitive intellectually which makes him fierce in his views.  He would have made a great lawyer or judge because his opinions are grounded in fact.


You are obviously not as good at it as I am. Hehe.

Acually, I think you would have made a good judge or research lawyer but probably not so great a trial lawyer where there was a jury.  You would do well arguing a case in front of judges though.




Thinker thinks

Another person of note from the Iraqi blogs is someone who went by the name "thinker". I think the below is what she would consider to be her greatest post. She called it her "epiphany". I'm not sure how useful it is, but I do like her pointing out that there's no one person "in charge" in a modern democracy. And I like the way she said that this was impossible according to communist doctrine. Regardless, without further ado, here is what she wrote back in 2004 ...

Hello Iraqi friends! OK, I'll start...

We use he word 'plan' differently.

In the 1950s and 60s, Soviet leaders were seeking intelligence on the American system.  The US was an engine of economic and industrial growth, and productivity. The government was popular. Everything worked.  Even the phone system. There were no periodic collapses.

But, according to Marxist economic theory, this was impossible. So the Soviet leadership was convinced that there had to be some secret organization planning and controlling the economy, businesses , etc. They devoted their resources to finding this organization that was doing the planning and controlling everything. Nothing can work without planning and intent.

Ahhh.  But they didn't understand our system of planning.

In a dictatorship, the Leaders have much more power than in a democracy.  After all, a king can say, "do it" and it is done.  Central planning is easy because the king can 'force' everyone to consensus.  Tribal systems work on consensus too.

In a democratic government, there are millions of plans for the government, contradictory plans, plans, upon plans...all different and some the opposite of one another. Different committees of congress have opposite plans and the president might have a different plan.

Let's use Defense planning as an example. I'll bet there are detailed plans in the US Defense Department for invading every country in the world. There are probably even different types of these plans.  But, these are not 'plans' in the Soviet style because obviously we have no plan for such a thing. Like the US architects style, these are just concepts and 'thinking excercises' done to be prepared in the event of a disaster. They are not plans.

These types of studies are done in the Transportation, Education and other Departments. In any direction that an elected official decides to go, he has many, many plans to choose from depending on the circumstances, the problem that has to be solved, his budget.

But, Congress might control the budget, teachers unions at the local level might control part of the policy, local politicians might have a different plan preference, etc.
To the Soviets, this looked like chaos. How could you possibly have a 5 Year Plan in such a system?

The way planning is done in a democracy is decentalized but provides for maximum flexibility to change plans, alter plans at any given time to allow for changed circumstances, new ideas, new understandings, etc. Planning is SEPARATE from decision making.

I want to explain this to you so that you know that there was a plan to 'invade' Iraq many years before we went in...but I would not be surprised to learn that there was also a 'plan' SOMEWHERE to invade England! And, of course you know how ridiculous that is! When we say the word 'plan'...please remember this difference!

Planning in the US is a process of fact-finding, having a million possibilities, and being prepared so that under any circumstance or crisis, we can go in any direction at any given time.  FLEXIBLE! If there is a crisis, someone has thought about the different possibilities for years and can present mulitiple plans, their consequences, etc. to decision makers.  Then, the decision makers might all have different ideas. And the people in a democracy in different roles change often.

When combined with 'free speech' and transparency, there is almost no way to implement a conspiracy, sinister design, or force everyone to agree.
We compromise, work out win/win agreements, all based on the moral and rational arguments of large numbers of people.

It is a system that may have to be lived to be understood.

No one has the power that you Iraqis think they have. It is all decentralized power sharing.  And all of our people understand it.  We don't relate to one another as puppets, bosses, dictators, or as superiors.  Even the President of the United States.

Until you understand realationships in the US, nothing will make sense.

We even relate in families this way more than other cultures.  When the passengers in the last plane on Sept. 11th realized what the hijackers true intent was...the passengers on the plane...VOTED on a plan!




Charles Again

As I mentioned previously, a blog commentator, Charles, had some brilliant insights. Here is his most brilliant one, which I have already put into my "enlightenment" document:

OK, let me finally say how I imagine the old world view they have lived in might be influencing Maha and Rana,

Baathist totalitarianism, like all totalitarianisms, did not just say, “nyah, nyah, we leaders will grind you people under our heels forever and you can’t do anything about it!” They said, things are hard now because we are in a struggle, but all your collective sacrifice will someday lead to a wonderful utopia (vague and untested) where Arabs are powerful, respected, and free (i.e., unconstrained as a ‘people,’ dignity uncompromised); while those leering, almost supernaturally evil, zionist and colonialist forces now opposing us will have vanished from the earth. This is the background promise always being pushed off into the future (communism’s ever receding future lead eventually to disillusionment).

Well Saddam claimed that his wars were the first phases in a push to achieve the dream. Rana and Maha saw that death and destruction came from this. They knew that Saddam was excessive in sacrificing lives and people and was cruel. They saw that other nations (the UN) said one could not justify war of aggression. They conceded this simple point, as the Europeans have, “thou shall not kill to rearrange the world.” But that doesn’t mean the supposed dream goal looked bad to them. Or that they had adopted a western world view.

Then we come riding in, seemingly led by Paul to rearrange the world by force, but for our own dream goals. They say, hey, if you’re going to allow this sort of thing, then why shouldn’t our vision of an ideal future have been allowed to be reached this way. We are not saying that we should be allowed to do that, but better us than you! Saddam is out of their lives, and they aren’t unhappy about that, but their “background mental universe” is not out of their lives.

When we argue back about “why its OK for us” we argue the content of our vision. Good if we can convince them, but a world view shift is a messy and slow thing, our ideas are too linked together, and it seems as if everything might crumble before we build up a new set of links. People don’t want to assume that “everything” they know is false, and it isn’t, but only those who embrace such a feeling can make the jump quickly. Anyway, they don’t necessarily dislike the content of the vague dream which was promised by Baathists, even though they may have disliked the reality of daily life under Baathists.

So, before getting into arguing about the worth of our (less vague and more tested) dream, I’d reply to them in these terms: It is not all about our goals being “better” so therefore we are allowed to use force: we were forced into having to use force. I think Ken said it very well when he said at root this was a continuation of the 1991 war at the end of which the rest of the UN left us “holding the bag.” Think of it this way. When Saddam unleashed his push to achieve dominance, he chose his terms of engagement with the world.

I wish I had grabbed Charles's contact details while he was around. It was news to me that Saddam wasn't just going "nyah nyah".


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