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Comments about ‘Letters: The process to go after Iraq was not hasty’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Boynton, when you can offer specific recommendations about what you think the U.S. _should_ be doing in Syria then maybe you'll have a basis for criticism.

Who are the "good guys" in Syria? Bashar al-Assad, or the Islamist rebels? Who are the good-guys here? Since when are we the world's policeman?

Assad is an evil man. That's not the issue before us. Who runs Syria if Assad is removed from power? What is Syria's importance to U.S. interests? Why are we the world's policeman?

What of Syria's allies in Russia and Iran?

What of Syria's remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons?

If the U.S. does take action, when can we stop? What constitutes "victory?" Think about what the U.S. has spent, in lives and money, on Iraq and Afghanistan, and then tell me why military action in Syria is even remotely a smart idea.

That's why a robust and open debate about Syria is needed in Congress.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The Iraq war was a mistake, lets avoid another.

Star Bright
Salt Lake City, Ut

Thanks Charles Boynton!
I cringed when I read his column, and wondered just what stories (?) he's teaching our youth at BYU.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

Except for one thing, Davis was right.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was not done in haste. It was the result of deliberate connivery by the Bush administration, starting even before it was inaugurated into office. George and Dick didn't want to hear about AlQaeda, and blew off briefings about it. George and Dick wanted to attack Iraq, and were looking for any excuse to do so. 9/11 gave them their excuse, even though Iraq had nothing to do with the attack. Iraq did not have WMDs in 2003, when the invasion/occupation occurred.

I've read the UN resolutions, They did NOT give approval for any type of attack. The Security Council "remained seized" (diplo-speak for retaining jurisdiction) of the issue in every one of the Resolutions they passed. The UNSC did not authorize the invasion; therefore US invasion of Iraq violated the UN Resolutions it had drafted.

The Congressional "approval" was granted to George only to give him a strong bargaining position and was based on his promise that invasion was to be a last-chance alternative, not the "first-chance-I-get-to-invade" use George and Dick made of it.

Davis was right.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Another delusional --

All things Bush = Good.
All things Obama = Bad.

comment/letter.

Face it - Bush messed up,
We all know it,
The whole world knows it,
we've had 12 years to assess it,
Hindsight is 20/20,
so please stop defending it.

BTW - I'm against this sabre rattling every bit as I was against the last one.
No matter WHO's in charge.

That's called - ITNTEGRITY.
Try showing some...

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Following the passage of Resolution 1441, on 18 November 2002, weapons inspectors of the U.N. returned to Iraq for the first time since being withdrawn by the United Nations. Whether Iraq actually had weapons of mass destruction or not was being investigated by Hans Blix, head of the Commission, and Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA. Inspectors remained in the country until they withdrew after being notified of the imminent invasion by the United States, Britain, and two other countries.

UN Chief Inspector Hans Blix, on 2/14/2003 presented a report to the Security Council. Blix gave an update of the situation in Iraq, and he stated that the Iraqis were now more proactive in their cooperation. He also rebutted some of the arguments proposed by Powell. Blix questioned the interpretations of the satellite images put forward by Powell, and stated that alternate interpretations of the satellite images were credible. He also stated that the Iraqis have in fact never received early warning of the inspectors visiting any sites (an allegation made by Powell during his presentation). ElBaradei also said that he did not believe the Iraqis have a nuclear weapons program, unlike what Powell had claimed.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ One vote. If its ok to strike Syria to "punish" a murdering dictator who apparently gassed his own people, why was doing the same thing (and succeeding) a mistake in Iraq? Why do you hold GWB to such high standards but will accept anything from Obama?

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@Mountainman. Bush was wrong to invade Iraq and Obama would be wrong to invade or attack Syria.

Also what is your definition of succeeding in Iraq? The last time I checked I still can't and would not want to book a vacation to Iraq.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I watched helplessly as the Bush administration led America into a strategic blunder of historic proportions. It became painfully obvious that the executive branch of our government did not trust its military. It relied instead on a neoconservative ideology developed by men and women with little, if any, military experience. Some senior military leaders did not challenge civilian decision makers at the appropriate times, and the courageous few who did take a stand were subsequently forced out of the service…I saw the cynical use of war for political gains by elected officials and acquiescent military leaders. I learned how the pressure of a round-­the-­clock news cycle could drive crucial decisions. I witnessed those resulting political decisions override military requirements and judgments and, in turn, create conditions that caused unnecessary harm to our soldiers on the ground…"

"Over the fourteen months of my command in Iraq, I witnessed a blatant disregard for the lives of our young soldiers in uniform. It is an issue that constantly eats away at me.
(LT Gen. Ricardo Sanchez 2008)

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Gen. Anthony Zinni:
"In the lead up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption."

"I think there was dereliction in insufficient forces being put on the ground and fully understanding the military dimensions of the plan. I think there was dereliction in lack of planning," says Zinni.

Zinni says Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time - with the wrong strategy. And he was saying it before the U.S. invasion. In the months leading up to the war, Zinni carried the message to Congress: "This is, in my view, the worst time to take this on. And I don't feel it needs to be done now."

But he wasn't the only former military leader with doubts about the invasion of Iraq. General/ NSA Advisor Brent Scowcroft, Gen. Schwarzkopf, NATO Commander Wesley Clark, and Army Chief Eric Shinseki all voiced their reservations.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

To Boynton, there is ample evidence that not only did we invade Iraq for the benefit of private organizations, the groundwork was laid for an invasion of Syria, Iran, and others at the same time. Our military is a tool for Exxon, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell. You have to look at the big picture if you want to understand US strategy in the Middle East. The objective is to extract the natural resources than it is to save any common souls. Why have we seen so much media Islamopobia? Do you really think the puppeteers care about your safety? Your vitriol is a welcome distraction from reality for these people. I say it's time you start blaming the source rather than the messengers, especially when all the messengers bring the same message.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

I would add to Truthseeker's comment that a UN inspection team is also currently on the ground in Syria. Let's wait for their report before acting.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ One vote. If its ok to strike Syria to "punish" a murdering dictator who apparently gassed his own people, why was doing the same thing (and succeeding) a mistake in Iraq? Why do you hold GWB to such high standards but will accept anything from Obama?
9:56 a.m. Sept. 1, 2013

===========

If it's human rights you are so up in arms about supporting GWBush's invasions Mountanman,
Where were you during the genocide happening oil-less Rwanda?

The Hammer
lehi, utah

How did Syria get Chemical weapons?

Wouldn't it be sad if the WMDs Assad used were the ones the Russians helped Saddam move into Syria before we invaded. Its cover up time for the Russians, the Syrians and the Democrats.

Of course there were no WMDs left after the Russians made sure there was no trace left in Iraq. So why are the Russians helping the Syrians out now. So that the weapons don't end up coming at them from Al Qaida getting there hands on them and sending them north.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ One vote; To actually stop a murdering dictator from gassing his own people (with mysterious, disappearing WMDs) for moral, humanitarian reasons is one thing but shooting off some Tomahawk missiles and doing nothing that will actually STOP the murdering dictator is quite another. Bill Clinton fired some missiles into some empty tents in Afghanistan and thought, "that will teach em." Which is exactly what will happen if Obama gets his way!

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:TheHammer
Syria opposed Iraq in Operation Desert Storm. How likely would Saddam trust them?

"The roots of Syria's chemical weapons program lie decades in the past. Over the years, US intelligence experts have gone back and forth as to exactly when the effort began, but it is likely Syria began the effort decades ago, and possibly as early as the 1970s.

Damascus probably developed its chemical weapons program in response to a perceived threat from Israel concludes a 2012 Congressional Research Service (CRS) analysis of the subject, citing US intelligence reports.

Some analysts believe that Egypt provided Syria with chemical weapons on the eve of the October 1973 Yom Kippur war. There are reports that Israeli troops captured stockpiles of gas munitions during the conflict but Syria apparently decided not to use them in spite of its eventual defeat.

Declassified US documents hold that the USSR provided Damascus with training, delivery systems, and chemical agents themselves, according to CRS nonproliferation experts."
(CSMonitor)

"Intelligence and congressional officials say they have not seen any information never a piece, said one indicating that WMD or significant amounts of components and equipment were transferred from Iraq to neighboring Syria, Jordan or elsewhere."
(NBC)

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@mountainman. Why did you say the following in another story about Syria? "Obama wants to help Al Qaeda linked groups? The same jihadist that we have been fighting in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan? I say no more American blood and treasure wasted on trying to keep Muslims from killing other Muslims."

But in the above post you blame Obama for using tomahawk missiles which would limit American casualties and basically say the only way to help the people of syria is to get more involved by capturing their dictator. Which would mean troops on the ground.

So basically Obama is wrong no matter what?

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Shaun. With all due respect, lobbing a few missiles into Syria won't do any good, none, zip, nada. It won't stop Al Qaeda and it won't stop Syria's murdering dictator from murdering his own people. Its all symbolic with no substance (I'll teach 'em). All it will do is probably kill lots of innocent people, that's why Obama is wrong about this. Troops on the ground is not an option either. When do we stop trying to keep Muslims from killing other Muslims? And what do we get in thanks?

The Hammer
lehi, utah

Thanks for the history lesson but Chemical weapons degrade after a certain time. The weapons he used were newer and Lets not forget that the Intel analysts saw military equipment moving supplies and other items out of Iraq and into Syria aided by Russians right before the invasion.

It would be a nightmare for all of the journo's and Liberals and democrats who jumped for joy when we were unable to find the stockpiles to suddenly find the stockpiles show up in Syria based on James Clappers theory. We looked in all the areas we knew were of recent movement and we were unable to find it but Clappers theory does have merit. Saddam had motivation to use whatever means necessary to defend himself especially as he was loosing power from without and from within. Saddam's situation bore the three key factors for having illicit weapons and that is opportunity (he had the chemists necessary to do it), Motivation (losing power), and rational (its for defense). What was surprising to many people is that we never found them. To this day many Intel analysts were as surprised as Bush that we never found them.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"This administration has no policy, has no idea of what to do and how to positively effect the Syrian situation (100,000 dead 1.5 million refugees) and has stood by as a cowardly influence to the tragedy in Syria. "

OK.... just how many young americans should die to solve the Syrian problem? Evidently to some, the answer is easy, enter a protracted civil war with no exit plan in site. Do we set up the new government? How long are we willing to commit to providing security to Syria... because that is what we will have to do. And the Russian bases.... what would we do about them? Are we sure we can contain the conflict from having US and Russian forces coming against each other... which would explode the scope of this conflict.

It is so easy to be a critic when you don't have the responsibility for sending American lives to war and to die on foreign lands. And if this is truly a quest to protect human rights.... where next? It Iraq was a just war, if going to war in Syria is just, where next? North Korea, Cuba? Saudi Arabia Where next?

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