Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Inherent Problems With War Execution Due to Bush's Narrative

I was thinking last night and it occurred to me that a lot of the problems that we have in Iraq can tie back to a lie by the administration that forced them into poor decisions in Iraq. This isn't to let the government off the hook from their horrible misjudgements, but I think this highlights why preemptive (or unnecessary) war should be avoided.

Here are a few examples:

-WMDs: By claiming that the war was being waged to secure WMD's (it seemed obvious from the start that this was a pretext, I was undecided as to whether it was a valid pretext), the administration devoted its resources to finding those weapons upon invasion. This attention to non-existent weapons took away from the real needs of stabilizing the country. Additionally, protecting the nonexistent weapons from the (likely) nonexistent terrorists living in Iraq - meant that we left the museum and various institutions vulnerable to being ransacked.

-Democracy: Our claim that we were fighting to spread democracy meant that we could not replace Saddam with a strongman who could have kept the country in line. Since we pretended there were higher ideals at play in our conquest, we failed in what should have been our primary post war goal - stabilization.

-Saddam was evil: By defining Saddam as 'evil', rather than a term that is more flexible we were forced to deal with him and his supporters in absolute terms. A lot of experts feel that we really lost control because of all the unemployed Baathists and military veterans who had no disincentive against stirring up trouble because they were not invested in the society.

-Nothing Will Change: A variation of this argument was used to get agreement with (or at least tolerance for) our attack plans from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. We told the Saudis and the Turks that the essential makeup of Iraq would not change postwar. The Saudis feared the situation we find ourselves in (with a meddling Iran running a proxy war against the Saudis through Iraq) and the Turks feared an independent Kurdistan. The lies we told our allies, forced us to avoid the most logical outcome of war in Iraq without a strong ruler, partition. So now we are standing in the middle of a civil war.

-We can Fight on Multiple Fronts: This justified starting a war while we were still engaged in Afghanistan - sad.



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