Bloody Commies

Sarmad asked a series of questions on his blog in 2004, and there were fascinating answers. Here is one in particular I would like to highlight:

"Why did you ABANDON the Iraqi people in 1991, and will we do it again?"

I answered his question, and mentioned various things, mentioning the Soviets on the verge of changing, but Louise was able to take it to the next level. Here is what she had to say:

"If I can just add a bit that Paul came close to, but didn't quite nail down. At least this is my theory anyway, based on my observations of the geo-political reality at the time. I remember it very well.

The Soviet Union had only just recently collapsed and there were still old hardliners in Moscow that wanted to bring back the old system.

Remember it was Russia that negotiated with Saddam for a way out. They (the Russians) were staking a claim in Baghdad, in my view. Russians have always had strategic interest in that area of the globe: historically it was access to sea ports, and in more recent times, to oil as well.

If the allies had gone in and toppled Saddam, there was a fear that fledgling new freedoms the Russians had just won would be scuttled, had they been shut out. By that I mean there was a fear the old hardliners in Moscow could well have orchestrated a coup to get themselves back in the Kremlin. They had already tried it once, not long before the Gulf War.

Unfortunately, once again, Iraqis were pawns in the Cold War which was still "warm". It was by no means obvious that the USSR was totally and completely dead. The West did not want to do anything that would revive it. This also explains why there is so much support for this war from former Eastern bloc nations which were themselves pawns during the Cold War. Except for a handful of sorry holdouts, like my own country, most of the world now understands that we are indeed living in a new world order."

Totally brilliant stuff, although the specifics are a little bit out. Desert Storm happened before the coup and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But the principle is exactly correct. Eliminating the Soviet Union as an enemy would open up the gateway to world liberation, as there wasn't a damn thing left in the way. If we could get the Soviet Union to turn, the free world would win, forever. Nothing could, or should, have been done that would jeapordize that from happening. It was vital to not spook the Russians.

So yes, the Iraqis unfortunately paid the price for communism. Add it to communism's death toll, which stands at about 100 million. 100 million people died for nothing. Including 100,000 Iraqis in 1991 which we could have rescued if the Soviet Union had said "we care about human rights, go ahead and liberate Iraq - we'll even help you!". But I don't think Gorbachev could have said that even if he had wanted to. He was skating on thin ice himself. There was nothing to do but wait. It's unfortunate, but the lesson to be learned is to never be in this position ever again. Snuff out all our enemies while we have the chance. So that whenever a human rights abuser raises his ugly head, the rest of the world will unite to stomp on him.

So yes. The primary goal was to ensure that the Soviet Union had been completely eliminated as a threat, and that no such thing would ever arise again. The hard work has actually already been done. Our generation just needs to tie up loose ends. And we're still on tenterhooks to find out if we have the decency to do exactly that.

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