I think the majority of the readers have spoken.
On the question of stability, any country including Iraq is usually stable with
a dictator. It's whether the US supports that dictator i suppose is the
question. Democracy is always unstable, see Founding Fathers quotes on
democracy.But with that said, not sure I care if Iraq is better. I
want to know whether this made the US stronger and safer. With tons of debt and
prestige lessened in the region, I would say NO!
"Is Iraq better off because of war?"No==========Agreed!
@Nate,"You make my original point. Iraq was the one country in
the world that al-Qaeda wanted badly enough to make an open play for it."Iraq itself wasn't a strategic location for any other reason than
it's where open season on the Americans was. The al-Qaeda narrative is that
Americans are modern crusaders who oppress and kill Muslims, and they must be
expelled and humiliated for the Islamic world to regain its geopolitical
strength. That narrative is satisfied wherever Americans are. Bin Laden's
declaration of war railed against American "occupiers" in Saudi Arabia
in the '90s. If we had invaded Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia instead,then
those would have been the countries where al-Qaeda committed itself."Al-Qaeda committed vast resources to Iraq, and lost them. Those resources
may otherwise have been directed at us here."Al-Qaeda could
deploy less-trained grunts with small arms, basic demolitions training, or
suicide bombs at low cost in Iraq while committing other resources to terror
attacks (London and Madrid come to mind, as do attempts in the US). The way to
counter that is intelligence and homeland security, not boots in Iraq.
It's exactly opinions like Bob's on why American citizens must be kept
informed and motivated to speak out. History has proved without a doubt the war
was a mistake. That's a fact. Conservatives and Hawks like Bob now try
to rewrite history with a narrow view on the events and timing. America was in
no immediate peril and war critcs and the majority of the worlds leaders were
pleading to slow down and not rush into war. The Bush administration alone has
to take responsibilty for creating an immediate nessecaity for war. We
controlled the air and the country was isolated, nothing dangerous was getting
in or out. Waiting until the inspectors got done with their work would have
saved thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Bush is either evil or
incompetent and to claim anything other than the two is denying the reality of
what happened and why.
There was certainly evidence to support the possibility that Iraq had WMD.And there was certainly evidence to the contrary.Then Dick
Cheney came on TV and said " there is NO DOUBT that Saddam has Weapons of
Mass Destruction"That was not true. There was plenty of
doubt.Whether or not Iraq is better off today is not the question.
A better question? "Was the cost in life and debt worth the outcome in
Iraq? Was it worth borrowing money from China to fight that war?"Only the far right believes it was worth it.And many will still
try to convince us that there were truly WMD's. How is that for amazing?
@Truthseeker "Status of Forces Agreement", etc.I'm not
saying we had to stay in Iraq forever. I'm saying, now that we've
thwarted al-Qaeda there, we should be pressing them elsewhere. Allowing them the
space to rebuild is a huge mistake.@Truthseeker "David
Frum"David Frum is one of those people who thought the war was
about Saddam.@Res Novae "There was absolutely zero chance of
al-Qaeda turning our country into an abattoir like Iraq."You
make my original point. Iraq was the one country in the world that al-Qaeda
wanted badly enough to make an open play for it.@Res Novae
"...in a war that has had nothing to do with preventing a recurrence of 9/11
here."I respectfully disagree. Al-Qaeda committed vast resources
to Iraq, and lost them. Those resources may otherwise have been directed at us
here. We'll let history speak for itself on the non-recurrence of 9/11.
A solid majority of Americans have said it was a mistake to go into Iraq. Why,
because it was based on faulty information, hurt our country's credibility,
was extremely costly to us, and opened the door for more terrorism and not less.
The one hope is the country will become more stable politically, not having a
dictator, but still fewer people are coming back to live compared to those who
are leaving. It is very premature for Mr. Bennett to put a positive spin on
I shutter the thought of 911, world trad center. I have my doubts. But hay
I'm a conspiracy theory kind of guy.
"You might imagine that an administration preparing for a war of choice
would be gripped by self-questioning and hot debate.....That
discussion never really happened.. For a time, Iraq was discussed inside the
Bush administration as something that would be decided at some point in the
future; then, somewhere along the way, war with Iraq was discussed as something
that had already been decided long ago.The war was planned as a
lightning thrust: overthrow Saddam, destroy weapons, get out fast, leaving
reconstruction to the Iraqis to run and the Europeans to pay for. All of us who advocated for the war have had to do some reckoning. If the war
achieved some positive gains, its unnecessary costs—in life, in money, to
the prestige and credibility of the U.S. government—are daunting and
dismaying. If we’d found WMD, kept better order after the overthrow of
Saddam, if more Iraqis had welcomed the invasion, it would've been
different. If the case for the war had been argued in a less contrived and
predetermined way, it would've been different.But it wasn’t
different. Those involved bear the responsibility."(David Frum, Bush
Like other Utah politicians, Bob Bennett was wrong to support the Iraq War in
2003, and 10 years later he can't admit how wrong he was. Of course, Utah
politicians have been down this path before. It was called Vietnam.By the way, our instigation of the Iraq and Vietnam wars was so contrary to
clear-cut principles taught in the Book of Mormon that I wonder how anyone who
professes to believe in the book could have supported either war.
"But we all know what your reaction would have been if the battle had been
fought here."Yup, I'd have fought 'em here like I
fought 'em there. But it was never an issue of fighting them
over there so we didn't fight them here. There was absolutely zero chance
of al-Qaeda turning our country into an abattoir like Iraq. We invaded a
country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and made its people victims in a war
that has had nothing to do with preventing a recurrence of 9/11 here. Al-Qaeda
in Iraq was eviscerated, but primarily because it never gained traction among
Iraqis who saw them as foreign fanatics there to stir up trouble with the
occupation forces while killing Iraqis left and right. The war did nothing to
stop al-Qaeda "franchises" elsewhere.A majority of Iraqis
wish they were still under the rule of a psychotic thug. THAT says more to me
about the morality of the Iraq war than anything Senator Bennett can say to
justify the benefits of the war. Perhaps their attitudes will change with time,
but there's little reason for optimism.
There appears to be no "gut-check" or "reality check" from
Republicans on this issue. Lessons learned anybody? Nope. Mr.
Bennett. Like most Republicans, you conveniently overlook 2002-2003 pre-invasion
UN Weapons Inspectors work/statements and more recent statements by Mr. Kay:
"candor is one of the values not valued in Washington....I'm profoundly
sad about what has happened to their (Iraq) society...we didn't do a good
job" re:Nate"In one of his final acts, Bush in 2008
signed a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government. The SOFA provided
a legal basis for the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq after the United Nations
Security Council mandate for the occupation mission expired at the end of 2008.
But it required that all U.S. forces be gone from Iraq by 1/1/2012...Even the Obama Administration’s plan to keep some 3,000 trainers behind
failed because the Iraqis were unwilling to grant them the legal immunity from
local prosecution that is common to SOF agreements in most countries where U.S.
forces are based."(Time Oct 2011 "Iraq's Govt., Not Obama,
Called Time on the U.S. Troop Presence")
@TruthseekerSplit hairs all you want. Play whatever semantic games
you want. The fact remains that al-Zarqawi was in Iraq building his terror
network before the invasion.It's laughable when the left claims
that AQI (Al-Qaeda in Iraq) wasn't Al-Qaeda, and they weren't in
Iraq.@Res Novae "We had no right to turn the streets and fields
of Iraq into a battlefield full of Iraqi victims."But we all
know what your reaction would have been if the battle had been fought here.
"Is Iraq better off?" Maybe, but the MEANS to the end were atrocious. We
attacked a small country that didn't attack us, took control of their
economy to our benefit, killed hundreds of thousands of people, and spent $3
trillion we don't have! The Iraq War was simply not justified except by
lies, and should go down in history as the atrocity that demonstrated America
has abandoned its own vaunted ideals. Sen. Bennett, "by any means
necessary" is the motto of people with a deformed conscience.
Yes, Overthrowing Saddam Hussein and installing a weak central government really
helped with Iran......Or it removed the biggest counterbalance to their power in
the Middle East, while Saddam was a bad guy he was no friend of Iran, unlike the
current Iraqi regime. Another US blunder in the Middle east, we "remove"
one problem but cause another one further down the road. Just like the CIA
funding Osama Bin Laudin in the 80's to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
This situation is going to turn out similar. A decision made with no though to
the consequences down the road.....
@Happy Valley Heretic "al-Qaeda was not in Iraq...."They
certainly were. They went there to fight the U.S., and suffered defeat -- not
annihilation, but defeat. Iraq was a huge strategic setback for al-Qaeda.@Truthseeker "Al-Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq...."This is a shame that falls upon the current administration, not the former.
Mountanman said: @ Happy Valley. How short your memory is! How tainted your view
of recent history is! President Bush said all along that we were fighting an
ideology in many countries not a single country. That is your
opinion, and it is not correct. My memory is very much intact."we were
fighting an ideology" Were?With en edict like that America is free to
start a campaign/war on any country or group without any real evidence, right?
re:Nate(previous discussion)You took issue with Hans Blix's
statement: "…..but the terrorist group (Al Qaeda) didn't exist in
the country until after the invasion."I never stated Zarqawi was
not in Iraq prior to the invasion. I did say that Zarqawi was mostly a
independent terrorist and only declared his alliance with al Qaeda in 2004. A
main target prior to the U.S. invading Iraq was toppling Jordanian leadership.
"Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Zarqawi
returned to Iran, where he met with bin Laden's military chief, Saif
al-Adel (Muhammad Ibrahim Makawi), who asked him to coordinate the entry of
al-Qaeda operatives into Iraq through Syria." (NewWorldEncyclopedia:
"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi") “But just last week, in
little-noticed remarks, Rumsfeld conceded that Zarqawi's ties to Al Qaeda
may have been much more ambiguous--and that he may have been more a rival than a
lieutenant to bin Laden, "may very well not have sworn allegiance to [bin
Laden]," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing.... Rumsfeld added that,
"someone could legitimately say he's not Al Qaeda."(Michael
Isikoff “Terror Watch: the Worlds Most Dangerous” 2004)
The only ones who can truly opine whether the war was worthwhile are the Iraqi
people. How credible is the opinion of one who hasn't endured a decade of
bombings, hostages pulled randomly off the streets and executed, collapse of
infrastructure, and being caught in the middle of battles between insurgents the
US military? As Truthseeker points out, a majority of Iraqis disagree with
Senator Bennett a decade later.The overwhelming majority of
insurgents fighting us in Iraq were Iraqis, along with bands of Jihadis from
neighboring countries who were radicalized by the invasion. They would not have
been there trying to kill Americans but for the fact that we invaded first.
Even al-Qaeda in Iraq only began organizing its presence there on the eve of the
clearly inevitable invasion. The argument that we invaded Iraq with an eye
towards pulling al-Qaeda out of its caves in Afghanistan so we could destroy it
is as morally defensible as the US invading Brazil to draw Nazis in so we could
fight them there 70 years ago. We had no right to turn the streets and fields
of Iraq into a battlefield full of Iraqi victims.
Bob, you voted to give the Bush administration, an administration full of
chicken hawks and draft dodgers, the right to start a war that they didn't
have the brains to finish. No amount of Faux News Hannity/Beck (and all who
mindlessly parrot them on this board) attempts to rewrite history will ever be
looked upon as anything but a complete lie and a fantasy in order to pander to
the tea party lemmings who voted you out of office... 5000 soldiers
dead, countless wounded, many more families destroyed, and over 3 trillion spent
(so far) for nothing because you and people like you lacked the courage to stand
up to the Bush administrations political fear mongering and relentless pursuit
of a needless and useless war.
@ Happy Valley. How short your memory is! How tainted your view of recent
history is! President Bush said all along that we were fighting an ideology in
many countries not a single country. Have you forgotten 9-11? That's why
bin Laden was in Pakistan. That's why we are still at war with the ideology
and Benghazi is a recent example, even though Obama won't admit it and
covers up details of the attack. Halliburton was hired to put out the oil well
fires in Kuwait that Saddam Hussein set as we stopped his invasion of that
country and Halliburton did it in record time and saved more oil and pollution
than any environment advocacy group that ever existed! Where do you think Al
Qaida will attack us next? Where did Syria get WMDs? Are you still doubting,
still denying, still allowing your partisan politics define your views of
From USA TODAY, Oct, 2012"BAGHDAD (AP) — Al-Qaeda is rebuilding
in Iraq and has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation's
western deserts as the extremist group seizes on regional instability and
government security failures to regain strength, officials say.The
two senior Iraqi security officials said al-Qaeda fighters have been easily
moving between Iraq and Syria in recent months to help Sunni rebels overthrow
Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose Alawite religious sect is an offshoot of
Shiite Islam."A poll conducted by Zogby found:"Majorities of Iraqi respondents say that the impact of the war has been
negative with respect to their personal safety and security (72%), economic
development and employment (66%), administration of government services (59%),
and relations with neighboring countries (54%). One-half feel there has been a
negative impact on political freedom (as opposed to one-third who say that
political freedom has advanced). Similarly almost one-half of Iraqis feel the
impact on education has been negative. The results are more mixed in terms of
women’s rights (26% positive, 37% negative, 26% no impact)."(Daniel Larison 1/2/2012, "How Do Iraqis Feel...")
al-Qaeda was not in Iraq neither were WMD, neither was Osama.What
was there...a neutered regime because of the first Gulf war.Bush was
playing with his chain saw in Texas why Haliburton (President Cheney) and others
profited from our children and Iraq children's deaths.The
only chess game being played was on the American People by the Military
Industrial Complex.Nate said: The Real Enemy was precisely the one
who met defeat in Iraq?Who was defeated in Iraq since the bombing may have
stopped on our end but seems to me the war isn't over because were leaving,
or is that a New definition of victory?
And just who are you sir, sitting in your office to decide that the carnage and
death, plus the continued violence and instability was "worth" the
revitilization of their economy. Talk about hubris. Plus the details of your
justification are simiply the rationalizations of an old man who was complicit
in one of the worst chapters in American history.
Deposing Saddam came as a bonus, but the real enemy was always al-Qaeda. Observe
how al-Qaeda viewed Iraq."On al-Qaida: Osama bin Laden called
the war in Iraq 'the most important and serious issue today for the whole
world,' and his successor, Ayman al Zawahiri, said that victory there was
essential if al-Qaida's dream of a caliphate was to be realized."Now look at the result."...al-Qaida has been discredited
throughout the world by virtue of its military defeat there."By
taking out Saddam, America created a power vacuum in Iraq, which was too big a
prize for al-Qaeda to resist. Al-Qaeda was drawn out of its cave onto the
battlefield, where we broke its back. Or was it only a coincidence that The Real
Enemy was precisely the one who met defeat in Iraq?George W. Bush
was playing chess, while everyone else was playing checkers.