December 17, 2003

By Doug Newman

Posted at Liberty Post.

A war between the United States and Iraq ought to be the military equivalent of a college football game between Southern Cal and MIT. We spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 billion a year on our military while Iraq spends about $2 billion per year.

And yet we have been jerking around with Iraq since the summer of 1990 and there is no end in sight.

This is just the beginning of why I am not joining all the rejoicing over the capture of Saddam Hussein.

While we congratulate ourselves endlessly about his capture, it is no big achievement. I cannot help believing that our military knew of Saddam’s whereabouts throughout this year. Indeed, if Dan Rather could find him to interview him in February, our military could have gone and got him after the cameras were turned off. We knew exactly where Saddam was for years before that. If we were really Jonesing to apprehend him, we could have sent a Navy SEAL platoon to do the deed back on, say, Labor Day weekend in 1990.

We woke up one morning in late 1989 to the news that Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega had been apprehended. We the citizenry had no idea that our troops were out to get him. Why could we not apprehend Saddam in the same manner?

When I said this to a friend the other day, he replied, “That is the way they do it in Hollywood.” This is not Hollywood. This is the real world, where the United States government and its lapdog media must keep the bovine masses continually mind-numbed so they can cheerlead for whatever it is Uncle Sam does. What better way to do this than to have a 13-year (so far) war against a nation that has done nothing to harm us?

Pat Buchanan once described liberals as masters of the art of turning a small truth into a big lie. Well, the neocons in both Bush administrations have kept the American people in a constant frenzy over Iraq since it invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990. Yes, Saddam is a despicable human being and, yes, he invaded Kuwait. But that does not justify our pulverizing Iraq for 13 years.

Iraq invaded Kuwait. They did not invade us. I looked long and hard through my Rand-McNally road atlas this evening and could not find so much as the word Kuwait, let alone a state with that name.

When China invaded Tibet, did we bomb the crap out of them?

For years, we were told that we needed to bomb the crap out of Iraq because we needed its petroleum. That seems like an awfully cumbersome way to acquire oil. Why did we not just buy it? You know, like we do with Saudi oil. It is like torching your local supermarket rather than just walking in, paying your money and buying your groceries.

But then there was that pesky U.N. embargo that kept us from obtaining Iraqi oil. The U.N. is the biggest collection of thugs, tyrants and political pond scum ever to stink up the planet, not to mention Manhattan’s east side. Why do insist on kowtowing to them? Why do we not just get out of the U.N. and get the U.N. out of the U.S.? (A wit once remarked that if the U.N. were to sail off into the sunset it would run aground in Jersey City.) Not only did this embargo not topple Saddam, it wrought untold suffering and economic devastation on the people of Iraq.

Then they told us we needed to invade Iraq because was a party to the terrorist attacks of September 11. It is interesting: within 48 hours of the attacks, everybody knew that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were at fault. It took 18 months to build a connection to Iraq. It is also interesting that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis while none were Iraqis.

Then they told us we needed to invade Iraq because Saddam had amassed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that these weapons in the hands of a madman like Saddam posed an imminent threat to the stability of the Middle East. Well, if Saddam had such weapons, he would have used them on us when we invaded. Correct me if I am wrong, but that did not happen.

Then they told us we needed to invade Iraq because Saddam was a horrible dictator and Iraq needed freedom and democracy. There are lots of horrible dictatorships around the world. China, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe and North Korea come to mind. Many of our allies – not our friends, our allies – such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have positively deplorable human rights records. Let’s bomb the crap out of them. And while we are at it, let us take 13 years to apprehend their slave masters – a job that could be carried out in a matter of a few weeks. Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over the Gulag, is free as we speak to run all over the world. Let’s nab him! Now!

GWB may talk a good game about freedom, democracy and self-determination for Iraq, but he could not give a flying rip about it. Consider last week, when he told the French, the Germans and the Russians that they could not participate in rebuilding Iraq because they did not join the invasion coalition last spring.  Why not let the Iraqi people through the Iraq Governing Council or, better yet, through their democratically elected representatives decide who does business in Iraq? (You know, like we will let the people of Afghanistan make such decisions in the future.)

We are trying to impose our way of life on a nation and culture that have no history of a free, open and liberal (in the classical sense) society. How long do we plan to stay in Iraq to do the undoable? Just how much blood do we plan to spill? Iraq, like the former Yugoslavia, is a manufactured nation. It is made up of many cultures that, given the choice, would reject Western institutions in a heartbeat.

Is Western culture superior to other cultures? I believe so. However, you cannot force something upon people that they don’t want. Yes, many Iraqis are dancing in the streets now that Saddam’s jig is up. But after the celebrating dies down, what will transpire in Iraq? The ongoing resistance to America’s military is but one sign that we are not universally loved. We thought we were successfully westernizing Iran until the fall of the Shah in 1979. Is there an Ayatollah in Iraq’s future? And are you, Mr. Neocon war-of-the-month club member, willing to spill your -- or your son’s or daughter’s -- blood to offset such a possibility?

Karen DeCoster concludes her December 16 column on LewRockwell.com with the following statement: “Hold on to your hats; an additional four years of neoconservative world domination is coming to a theatre near you.” Children entering kindergarten in 1990 would be college freshmen now. They have grown up with America always going at it with Iraq. They never seriously question this situation. We are just there. We have always been there. It is our government’s policy. So why bother questioning it?

Most adults are the same way. Our government is pounding away at a country that has never done anything to us. There will be more Iraqs and Saddams in the future. To question why is to risk ostracism. Just go along with the crowd and consider events like the apprehension of Saddam good entertainment. Please, please, please don’t spoil the party by thinking seriously about the facts. Just sit down and shut up.

Afterthought: I have predicted in the past that we would never find Osama bin Laden. Perhaps I am wrong. Although it could not come from a less credible source, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright has stated that she suspects that GWB knows Osama’s whereabouts and is waiting for the most politically opportune time to announce his capture. It almost kills me to say this, but I cannot help thinking that she is right. If we knew where Saddam was all along -- which I believe we did -- why would it be out of the question that we have known of Osama’s whereabouts for a long time? Prediction: The announcement of Osama’s capture will be the October surprise that gets GWB another for years. Stay tuned.

If you would like to run this column on your page, please e-mail me first. Also, please include the following link: http://www.geocities.com/fountoftruth/wegot.html. Thanks! -- dfn

Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman


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