Monday, May 08, 2006

Choosing War

We as humans believe that we are rational and logical. We believe that our rational choices can control the outcome of our lives. We believe in this control because, in this world that seems so anarchic and chaotic, we could not operate or continue to exist without it. Without this control, or the illusion of control, our world, our individual lives would spin out of control. We would be nothing but drifting leaves reacting to every change of the wind instead of the winged bird choosing what breeze we will soar upon.

To this end, we make decisions every day that we believe helps us maintain control of this life and even those lives we interact with. We choose to drive certain cars because they have higher safety ratings or because they are less likely to be stolen. We choose to live in certain areas because the crime rate is lower or because the school system is better. We choose the houses we buy because we believe we will get a higher resale value. We choose not to drive in certain areas because the traffic is higher and accidents more likely. We avoid certain parts of town because we know that crime is higher. We choose not to know or hang out with certain people because we believe they live risky lives, take drugs, hang out with known criminals or are just likely to make bad choices with their lives and we do not want to be part of that. We choose not to speed, to wear our seatbelts or not to drink and drive because we believe it can reduce or eliminate the possibility of a deadly accident.

All of these things we do because we believe that it helps protect us. This is how we can control our lives.

So, when bad things happen to people, we examine their lives. We examine their movements and their choices. We are looking at every aspect because we believe we can determine when or what choices they made that led to that moment. We don't want to make those same mistakes. We want to believe that they had complete control of their lives so that we can believe that we have complete control of our lives.

We see this after every terrible incident. Even the victims re-examine every minute detail so they can determine the exact moment they made a wrong decision, so they can pretend that they were in control every moment. If they had left home two minutes earlier; if they had decided to take a different road, turn left instead of right; had they just stopped at that yellow light two streets back instead of going on, they would not have been at the red light on 9th Street when the man with a gun decided to put a gun in their face, steal their car and shoot them. Better yet, had they only listened to their brother and chose not to buy the Escalade in the first place, this man with a gun would not have wanted their car, not shot them or stolen their car.

It's all about our choices. It's all about us. As long as it is, we are always in control.

We never spend much time examining the choices of the "other". In fact, we usually disregard the "other". If we had to factor in the "other's" choices, then we would have to start recognizing that we were not completely in control; that we may not have changed the outcome, but would still be a victim of "chance". If we had to accept that, then we may not be able to live. We may become the agoraphobic who never leaves the house or the claustrophobic who never enters a building or stands in a crowd.

These same ideas plague us when we talk about war. Most people want to pretend that they control the entire outcome of the war. They control whether there is war. They control whether people will want to go to war with us. They believe that if they had changed something here or did something there, the situation where one or many wanted to harm us would not exist. With that in mind, they re-examine every point in history; from yesterday to two hundred years ago, we search diligently for that moment that changed this moment and brought us to war. In some cases, people believe that, once at war, it only takes one side to choose not to be at war in order for war to be mitigated and the harm to others or themselves would not exist.

We saw this same behavior directly after the attacks on 9/11. Within hours, people were talking about "why". Experts were trying to tell us about OUR actions that led to this moment. It was a natural response. Victims often do it after a violent crime because they could not control the violence or the damage done to them or their loved ones. Instead, they look at every action to see if they could have changed the outcome. If they could find that moment, that choice that led to this, they could know they were in control of the situation the whole time, that in the end, it was they who chose to be robbed or shot, it was they who chose the planes to be hi-jacked, the buildings to be destroyed, the thousands of dead; not the choice of the "other". They need that sense of control in order to gain back the ability, the confidence, to continue with their life. Thus the "other" rarely factors into it accept where we try to determine how our choices made them "react".

We rarely see the "other" as a sentient being who makes their own choices and cares little for our own. We do not see them as capable of interfering with our own control. If we have to believe that others control some aspect of our lives, we may lose all ability to function.

Reading the gruesome death of Atwar Bahjat, there will be many who examine her every movement up to the last and try to determine what choices Atwar Bahjat made that led to her death. They will wonder why she chose to be a journalist in a war torn country. They will wonder why she chose to cover the Samarra Shrine bombing. They will wonder why, if she felt uncomfortable, that she didn't leave earlier. They will think that Atwar chose her path and that she controlled her life. They will thing that, in the end, Atwar chose to be in a position where she was kidnapped and murdered. In fact, her decisions on what she spoke about, where she went and the people she met controlled who killed her and how they killed her. In this way we project our own insecurity onto her situation. We pretend that she had control so that we can pretend we have control. We want to pretend that we could make decisions that could keep this happening from us so she had the same ability.

Many will imagine that, in this war, had the war simply not existed, Atwar Bahjat would never die. The "others" would never have chosen to kidnap her or anyone else. The "others" would not have drilled holes in her face and arms. The "others" would not have partially slit her throat and pushed the blood from her by jumping on her stomach. The "others" would not have chosen to cut her head off or anyone else's head for that matter. If only we had not chosen war. That is the control we believe we have over the "others".

Every action has a reaction.

We have lived a life of science for so long that we have drilled it down to a simple equation. Because we can explain how the sun rises in the east and sets in the west; because we can explain how water evaporates and then condenses to form clouds that travel on the air currents to a location and then the clouds become heavy only to let down the water as rain again; because of this ability to deduce and determine, we believe that we can use logic and rationality to explain the actions of others, thus we can control them.

For the most part, we choose to ignore the actions and words of the others or tend to try to explain them in some concept that relates to our own lives and our own ability to choose and control. We don't imagine that the "others" can choose war and act upon it without our direct participation. If we choose not to participate, then it is not war. If we choose not to participate, the others will not choose war either.

So, these others who chose to torture and behead Atwar Bahjat, they were driven to it by the actions of others. They did not have free will in our world of control, they could only re-act to circumstances. But, if we use that logic, then we must determine that we too could be driven to cut off the head of a bound and crying woman. Then we must believe that we do not have control. But, we don't. We push the uncontrollable away and pretend it has no bearing on our lives and our decisions. Again, without our actions, there would be no reaction.

In truth, this premise is false because it acts as if the action/reaction paradigm only goes one way; that is to say that it is only our actions that control and require a reaction. Thus, we also want to believe that we can choose not to participate and this thing, this war, these "others" will not exist. That is the premise that people who demand a withdrawal from the war work upon. It is the premise of total control. It is the victims reaction to an uncontrollable situation; the need to believe that we are in control every moment, even as we or the people around us are being killed.

If we chose not to go to war, these men would not exist. False premise. If we chose not to go to war, Atwar Bahjat would never die at their hands. False premise. If we chose not to prop up the Egyptian government, the Muslim Brotherhood would not exist. If we chose not to kick Saddam out of Kuwait; if we chose not station soldiers in Saudi Arabia; if we chose not support sanctions against Iraq; if we chose not to support Israel against the Palestinians and other Arabs; if, if, if...

If we had not done these things then we believe that such people as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri or Musab al Zarqawi or these two men or the entire Islamist movement would not have existed, would not have decided to attack us, would not have killed our people or be killing the Iraqis as we speak.

It is a false premise. It is based on the concept of control. It prepositions that, the United States as a super power, now the only super power, controls the actions and thoughts of all of those around us. It supposes that the history of Islam and the Middle East, alone and without the existence of the United States during much of its history, did not lead to or create this movement. It supposes that this is a new idea and concept in this region. It supposes that the terrible and torturous behavior of "others" there is solely a reaction brought on by this war and not a matter of historical record the behavior of peoples, cultures, states and religious followers in this region; nor is it the choice of the "others".

We want to believe that WE choose war, not the others. We control war, not the others. We control the "others".

It makes it easier to believe that we can choose to withdraw and not participate. The truth is that we do not control this war. We are not the only ones who choose. The "others" have chosen before we even realized that there was something to make a decision about. This decision was made long ago in the words of Qutb in 1955 when he wrote that the freedom of the West infiltrating the lands of Islam would bring about this crisis. This was long before we even considered the idea of Islamist terrorists or their dreams of war and domination. He wrote that, one day, the existence of Islam as they knew it would be demolished if Islam did not rise up and destroy the West or push every idea, product, book, or thought that was not from Islam out of Islam.

Yet, we still believe that it was only our choice, that WE choose war. To believe otherwise would mean we have to accept we have no control and that WE did not choose war but it was chosen for us. In other words, it is WE who react to an action, not the other way around.

We can choose to reject this, but it doesn't matter what we choose because the "others" still have a will of their own. They still have their own thoughts, desires and demands. In all of these things, we believe we can choose differently because we do not hold what we believe is the final prize, the "political objective" as Clausewitz once wrote, in the same high regard as the "others". We have deduced that this final objective is simply that we do not inflict our society on, set foot on, participate with governments, purchase products from or otherwise have any interaction with Arab, Persian or Islamic nations.

This deduction is based on the false ideas that 1) we control the "others"; 2) we control whether we are at war or not; 3) that what we hold has important are the same things that the "others" hold as important. Because we do not understand their aspirations or we choose to disregard them in an act of false control, we imagine that the war is over a specific piece of land within specific geographic boundaries. We choose, with all temerity, with total lack of rationality and logic, to disregard the words and actions of the "others". It is the same choice we have made so many times before. We have chosen to believe that an ideology and movement that espouses the idea of a global war against "infidels" and a desire to create a global Caliphate or Muslim world.

We laugh when we hear the "others" declare that the flag of Islam will fly above the White House or that France will be a Muslim state or that Spain will be taken back into this Empire. We imagine that these are simply bloviations from people who would be happy if we simply withdrew and allowed them to have the geographic area we believe is contested. We imagine that we can create some other energy source which will make it unnecessary to interact there so there will be no reason to have war. Others believe that we could abandon Israel and there would be no reason to have war.

We keep pretending we choose war alone and can choose not to have war alone. It simply rejects the "others" as anything but our own creation. It is this idea that believes that the arrest or death of Osama bin Laden or Zawahiri or Zarqawi will satisfy our need for justice so the war would be done. It ignores the ideology as an aberrant, subject solely to the existence of certain men or to our own actions. We choose not to believe that our existence depends on the destruction of an ideology. So, we have limited our "political objectives" to democracy for other nations or protection of national interests, like oil. Neither of these we find worthy of expending our blood and money. But, these limitations are solely of our own making because the "others" do not imagine that the objectives are so limited.

This is why they fight and continue to fight while we discuss withdrawing. It is not simply Iraq or Afghanistan. The "others" see these as simply campaigns in a greater war while we pretend these two are separate "wars" with nothing in common so we could and should abandon one or the other as we see fit because we alone choose to participate. Rejecting their idea of the war does not make it go away. It only means that we continue to be confused about the nature of the war and our responsibility. We will continue to reject this definition of war because we do not believe that it threatens our survival and it is only our survival that we believe is worth choosing war over.

The only question is, what act by the others, what thing that we cannot control will convince us that war has been chosen for us? Not by the Bush Administration or Wolfowitz, or some nefarious Jewish conspiracy or the military industrial complex or oil companies. None of these flew a plane into buildings or into a field in Pennsylvania. None of these tried to blow up the towers long ago nor blew up our embassies nor blew a hole in the USS Cole or flew planes into the towers. We must accept, as painful to the psyche as it is, that "others" have choices, too; that they choose war.

The murder of Atwar Bahjat is not a lone act that will never be repeated again if only we withdraw from Iraq. Men do not wake up one day, choose to cut off the head of a bound woman after torturing her unmercifully and then go home never to do it again. They made a choice and have committed to it. Something that we want to pretend cannot happen. We want to pretend that, if we were not there they would not have a reason to do it; that they would not choose to do it to another or to us. We need to pretend this or we must accept that we do not control our world. Our perception of invulnerability will be shaken, our world will be chaos and we will not know what to do next.

But, we do have a choice. Even if it is only a reaction to the choices of others, we can choose war. We can choose to fight and keep fighting until the “others” have chosen a different political objective that we can agree on short of world domination or until they have decided that Islamist ideology and the caliphate are dead. Or, we can choose to be Atwar Bahjat, bound, gagged and finally beheaded.

Choosing to do nothing means we surrender. It is not principle. It is not control. It is death, today or tomorrow when the killers of Atwar Bahjat finally choose us.

12 comments:

Dave Schuler said...

Thanks, Kat. Some good insights and images I'll keep with me for some time. And plagiarize ;-)

I was a bit distracted at the outset of your essay because I don't believe that human beings are the rational animal; I believe we are the rationalizing animal.

Tom said...

"We saw this same behavior directly after the attacks on 9/11. Within hours, people were talking about "why". Experts were trying to tell us about OUR actions that led to this moment."

That simply is not correct. What experts and when did you think this happened? I watched the media on 9/11 and after and I did not even hear the word "motive" uttered. Compare that to other crimes and with other crimes the word motive will OFTEN be mentioned, like "police still searching for a motive" If you compare it you will see that it is quite dramatic. With 9/11 the media simply did not do that. In fact, Bernard Goldberg, was very happy with how the media behaved on 9/11. He writes that they "got it right." (which means they played the game and avoided mentioning motive) It took a while for anyone to get to "why" and then it was framed as "why do they hate us" and then most of the answers were BS.

We were lied to about why we were attacked. Bush lied about 9/11 terrorists' motives no one in the mainstream media pointed out that Bush lied about why we were attacked

The American people have been decieved about the polices that motivate the terrorists. I am not so quick to lump those that make the policies with those that must live with the results.

Anonymous said...

What utter nonsense this is.

I could certainly go along with the notion that was was brought to us by al-Q on 9/11. A war against jihadis.

But invading Iraq was entirely optional. It was entirely our choice. It was not brought upon us in any way whatsoever. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. To this day the bulk of the fighting we do in Iraq amounts to dealing with Iraqis who are fighting eachother for power, or focused on getting the foreigners (us) out of their country.

This has been a monstrous distraction from the effort to eradicate the people who attacked us. All this pop-psychological drivel, no matter how elegantly phrased, means nothing if you are not prepared to confront that reality.

The killers of Atwar Bahjat are not going to turn up in Kansas tomorrow. More likely they will be part of the new Iraqi army, once the integration of the militias is complete.

Tom said...

"This has been a monstrous distraction from the effort to eradicate the people who attacked us. All this pop-psychological drivel, no matter how elegantly phrased, means nothing if you are not prepared to confront that reality."

I agree, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and it is outrageous that the illegal war against Iraq was launched.

Back to 9/11, the reality is that politicians have decided to feed us lies about what motivates the terrorists (Politicians do so to protect these policies from scrutiny) Our politicians serve special interests who are more concerned amount their policies than they are about our lives. Bin laden has pointed this out: "The Western regimes and the government of the US bear the blame for what might happen. If their people do not wish to be harmed inside their very own countries, they should seek to elect governments that are truly representative of them and that can protect their interests."-bin Laden, May 1998.

Could it have been more crystal clear? "The International Islamic Front for Jihad against the U.S. and Israel has issued a crystal-clear fatwa calling on the Islamic nation to carry on jihad aimed at liberating holy sites. The nation of Muhammad has responded to this appeal. If the instigation for jihad against the Jews and the Americans in order to liberate Al-Aksa Mosque and the Holy Ka'aba Islamic shrines in the Middle East is considered a crime, then let history be a witness that I am a criminal." - Osama bin Laden May 1999

"We swore that America wouldn't live in security until we live it truly in Palestine. This showed the reality of America, which puts Israel's interest above its own people's interest. America won't get out of this crisis until it gets out of the Arabian Peninsula, and until it stops its support of Israel." -bin Laden, Oct. 2001

Dishonesty about 9/11 motives robs Americans of the freedom to decide for ourselves if we want to put our lives at risk over specific foreign policies.

I can show you how this dishonest game is played by people like George Tenet. Many people, including Tenet, chop off half of the key sentence of the 1998 Fatwa in order to deceive the American people about the motives ( I put the part they omit in bold and italics): "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim." - Tenet quotes only part of it and omits the reason why bin Laden targets American civilians and military.

Kat said...

I'll answer both tom and anonymous.

First, I never said we didn't choose to go to war with Iraq. We do have choices, we don't simply react to everything. To believe that we did not choose it would be to negate 9 months of organizing materials and men or the six months (more?) that we went to the UN to try to get resolutions.

However, in war, you can choose the battlefield or you can let the opponent choose the battlefield. If you choose the battlefield, you prepare it to your liking. If the enemy chooses the battlefield, you are stuck reacting to his behavior not the other way around.

Further, I think you chose to ignore my point that, regardless of whether you imagine that Iraq is separate from the war against Islamist terrorists is moot since the choice of definition no longer belongs to us alone. Whatever the cause for war or our choice to go to war in the first place, when the enemy has indicated that the battle for Iraq is central to their war against us and is simply another battlefield on which to defeat us, we no longer have a choice as to "participate" or "not participate". It now becomes a matter of "victory" or "defeat" on this particular battle field.

It's no longer your choice to define the terms of the fight there. You can pretend it is, by all means, since it still plays into the concept of "control". You want to believe you control all aspects of this war, but you don't and neither do I.

This is also where we must accept that you do not put as much importance on the idea of Iraq as a democratic state where they believe that Iraq is even more important than afghanistan because it is the heart of the old Caliphate, Baghdad being its one time capitol. So, it takes on an importance to them that we, in arguing whether we should be there or not, do not accept.

But, again, its not your sole decision anymore on how Iraq is defined in terms of the war against the enemy. They have made their decision. they made it long before we dropped the first bomb. Besides Zarqawi, many other jihadists were going to Iraq and setting up camps with or without the permission of Saddam's regime.

Why? Because they already knew our plans? Or, is it because they had already set much store by it, by the capture of the center?

We certainly chose to go to war for our own reasons, but to say it is a distraction or a lie when Zarqawi, Zawahiri and Bin Laden have all stated that winning Iraq is important is, as I noted, a denial of the facts. So, unless we are prepared to confront that reality, that Iraq IS another battlefield in the same war against Islamist terrorists when they have defined it as such, is a supreme act of denial.

But, I'm sure, as I already stated above, that it feels nice to say it and believe it since it gives the pretense of control over the situation. You are still working on the false premise that it is only your choices and your definitions of the war that matter.

It's very wrong. But, if it makes you feel better...


As for Atwar Bahjat, it's possible that she was killed by shia militia, or ba'athist rejectionists or Sunni Islamists/Al Qaeda. No one was wearing a badge when they did it.

But, I've been apprised that the video of the beheading is NOT atwar Bahjat, but a nepalese man and that this whole video being propagated as her death is a propaganda trick. Particularly the part where people are trying to blame the Badr brigade for her death and that this video is physical proof, when in fact, the video is that of a Napalese man who was kidnapped and murdered by Al Qaeda. Without a doubt, he was cruelly tortured and beheaded; all signs of Islamist Sunni activity which explains the dissonance of death by Shia but beheaded (not their trade mark).

It is possible that Atwar Bahjat, who was actually shot execution style in the head, was shot by Shia Militia. Particularly since no one at the scene tried to help her. They most likely knew who and what it was. But, lack of proof has left the speculations open.

Now the question is, whether it is Sunni or Shia Islamists, is it any different? Does it make Al Qaeda's definition of Iraq as central to their goals for developing an Islamist state or territory within the state from which to operate, any less important in the need to defeat them and insure that democracy prevails?

Neither, it simply means there is one more part we must contend with in the battle, like the addition of artillery or cavalry or reserves on the flank; it doesn't mean that battle should not be fought, but that our reactions must be different.

Judith said...

"What experts and when did you think this happened? I watched the media on 9/11 and after and I did not even hear the word "motive" uttered."

I don't know where you were, but I started hearing it less than 24 hours after the WTC attacks. NPR had an all-night call-in show, with a panel of the usual lefty media pundits such as Lewis Lapham, and all of them were saying "why did we deserve this?" which is another way of saying "what was their motive?"

Less than 24 hours later.

I think that was the last time I turned on anything on NPR on purpose.

Judith said...

Everyone knows bin Laden wants the West to throw Israel to the wolves, no one kept that secret. His tapes have been played all over the media.

So that's okay with you? Because once you satisfy a bully's demand, he just think that makes you even more amenable to bullying and he intensifies his demands. Do you think he would stop at Israel, given that he demanded all those other things as well and has said that Islam should rule the world?

so if you were living in a town, and some robber army came to the gates, and said, give us that citizen of yours, the one most of you don't like, and we'll leave you alone - would you do it?

Kat said...

I have to agree with Judith that you're version of 9/11 is sorely lacking because I remember by 6pm that night there were already "experts" trying to tell us about our foreign policy and the creation and motives of bin laden and his group. I am not confused because I was at home, all day and then the next. In between the images of destruction and the poor people walking around with signs asking if anyone knew or had seen their loved ones, there were the pundits and experts.

The two responses of victims: the dazed and unsure, the ones that try to "figure it out". Oh, and the third, which is a tendency for people to run away or try to get as far away from the scene of the incident that was the place where their lives went out of control.

As for Israel, they will not be thrown to the wolves. I think, if there ever came a time that governments chose to not defend Israel, it is likely that people will go there to defend them. Me included.

I know why Israel exists and it is the shame of the Europeans that they choose to forget the reason why they supported the Balfour Act in the first place which was hardly a "zionist" plot among all europeans to damage Arabs and Islam, but was in fact, anti-semitic, first blush attempt at the "jewish solution" so they could rid themselves of the Jews.

I am disgusted that now, after all this time, they want to disavow their creation. Shame on them and shame on you who think that they should simply not exist.

Tom said...

Judith, back in April of '02 you were claiming that it was a few days latter. "For me the turning point was a few days after 9-11, when they had marathon call-in shows and an interview with Lewis Lapham and Susan Sontag and a few others. I don't pay much attention to the fashionable left - I am a common sense pragmatic person - social liberal and fiscal conservative, like most of America. I was shocked at the blame-America attitude, so soon after the attack (I have wised up since)."

I listened to NPR archive of Talk of the Nation and it was what I expected. They talked about the "anti-American" attacks and mentioned the previous attack on the WTC but did not mention the motive and they played the game just as I said.

The point is you two have danced around the fact that people are intentionally deceiving the American people about why we were attacked. You skipped past this fact and right into justifying Israel.

Do you think it is OK to deceive the public about why we were attacked?

As far as what Israel actually is. When people talk about the destruction of Israel - if all the Jews and non-Jews in Israel lived totally equally, the way let's say hopefully like in America, that would be, by definition, the destruction of Israel.

There are a lot of facts that the media is simply not reporting.

It is pretty dramatic, if Americans only knew.

Tom said...

The Balfour Declaration did not establish or talk about a "Jewish State"

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine"

Zionists ignored this. In fact Herzl didn't even think Jews immigrating into Palestine would result in the desired outcome unless it was based on supremacy!
"Immigration is consequently futile unless based on an assured supremacy"
-Herzl, the Father of Zionism

Kat said...

Tom,

First, let me tell you that there is no deceiving the American Public. It is only you and your kind that think that the American Public is so stupid as it cannot reason out the purposes of war. Of course, you and yours have worked very hard to muddy the waters.

Second, do you really think I'm going to read some website that has been passed around as the "truth" for the 900th time?

What does it say? That it was a war to protect Israel? That is was for oil? That it was to bolster the military industrial complex by creating a war that allowed them to get paid for more weapons? That it was revenge for Saddam's attempt on George Bush's life? That it was a neo-imperialist endeavor to colonize the middle east? Maybe we did it because we were preparing for the next war with Iran?

What does it say? It's all a lie about WMD in order to promote one or all of those things I list above?

It's all a conspiracy?

First, I do believe that the demise of Saddam's regime did provide some immediate relief to the security of Israel. Not only from his threats of scuds and other attacks, but from his continuing to pay money to Palestinian homicide bombers.

So what? Do you really think that was the primary goal? Or, is it simply an added bonus? ON top of that, is the demise of the Iraq regime that still stood as opposition to Iran that now is moving to consolidate its own regional hegemony and is threatening the demise of Israel proof of this master conspiracy? That's why I disregard Chomsky because he sees everything in terms of a few hundred square miles on the mediteranean as opposed to the entire region.

Second, as a matter of fact, I do not agree with the idea that the war was for oil. Particularly since Iraq's oil, reserves and all, do not equal to that of Iran or Saudi Arabia. All of those nations and depedning on which "expert" of the moment you read, swear they have the world's largest untapped reserves. In fact, if the war was for oil, it is a miserable failure. Not only because the amount of oil from Iraq has decreased instead of increased, but also because the amount there does not offset the increase in consumption by such nations as China, Japan, India or the Eastern European nations, not to mention our own and the money earned from it does not match in any way, shape or form, the amount of money that we are spending to prosecute the war. After a rough review it would take over ten years for it to even begin to equal the value, much less show a profit. That's a theory for irrational political boneheads who have forsaken basic math and economy. The cost to benefit ratio is unsupportable.

Third, As an outside effect, in terms of securing the rest of the region, the advent of a hegemonic Iran could hardly be defined as securing these resources. Further, China continues to make inroads with exclusive agreements for increase of supply by many nations in the region; some of which we call our "allies".

Based on the current situation, one could easily claim that the war was a conspiracy to supply China with oil for its growing economy in order to stave off future war for resources.

It's bogus beyond belief.

As far as WMD, whether he had them or not at the time of invasion, I care not. The only issue with this is that it was chosen as prima fascia for war by any number of people. What they wanted was that this would be like a criminal case where there would be proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Wars are not about proving you are right, but insuring that your political objectives are met.

The primary political objective ahd been set many years ago and the reasons were very plain. I'm not some collegiate that can't remember Kuwait or the Massacre of the Shia. Now, we can argue that the war in '91 was about oil. In fact, I would even support it since the truth is, if Saddam had been able to annex Kuwait, he would have controlled a large reserve of oil and possibly been emboldened to attack other nations like the UAE or Saudi Arabia in order to consolidate his own hegemony over the region. Which would have precipitated a crisis in oil reserves and possibly led to war with and between other nations beyond the region who would not be so sanguine about securing their future.

Or, worse, would have led to his ability to increase cash flow and begin his nuclear project all over again by purchasing materials, equipment and expertise from Russia or even France or even China who, with his control of oil and cash, would have been happy to have him as a client state or "ally" in the region. While you all are busy lambasting the US, you seem to like to pretend that other nations somehow will be moralistic and less pragmatic about these efforts than we are.

Bogus. False premise.

Then there is the fact that I did read the UN documents, before and after. I saw the coverage for 11 years of the little dance we did with the UN, sanctions and other nations that were willing to bust it for their own gain and that prolonged the sanctions.

Right up until they were on deaths door step in 2002. You read the UN documents? Is the UN a puppet of the US? If it is, why the hell don't we have sanctions in place against Iran already?

in 1995, four years after sanctions, several years into inspection, Saddam had purchased dual use equipment for a "vetinarian medicine" plant. Upon delivery, they were shipped to al-Hakim where biologicals of weapons grade were being manufactured. The only way we found out about it is because a defector told us. Caught red handed, Saddam said "mea culpa" and had to dismantle it.

That one incident right there tells me that he was as trustworthy as a cobra in a sack and people like you and the Euros kept insisting we should keep putting our hands in it.

I'm aware of the hundreds of targetings and actual firings upon our air craft enforcing the no fly zone in order to keep saddam from using air ships from massacring his people. Not that it stopped him from doing it from the ground, but it was a nice thought. [that's sarcasm if you don't recognize it]

You may have me confused with someone else, but in 1991 I believed we should have went to Baghdad then. We bargained stability for 300k dead in Iraq. That is what you and NOam advocate. A continuation of that bargain.

For whatever reasons and whatever worth, I disagree with that bargain.

So, say what you will. Demand the "truth according to Chomsky" or whoever your current idol is. It doesn't change the fact that we are there; that the islamists are there and even in the middle of a "civil war", the islamist are still there and leaving there gives them an ideological, symbolic and territorial victory.

Not happening. So, you can piss and moan about the beginning of the war, the reasons for the war and whatever, but when Zawahiri, bin Laden and Zarqawi (among a dozen or more Islamists) say that they must win Baghdad or have their organization suffer such a loss as to undermine their ability to recruit and receive funding for years to come, I will continue to support it.

Whether they came before or after the war began.

And, frankly, I think people that believe that the Islamists were not there, with or without the complicity of Saddam, well before we even began talking about war with Iraq, are dupes hiding their heads in the sand.

Ansar al Sunnah was sending recruits to Afghanistan and had contact with Al qaeda even before 9/11. Zarqawi went there in the winter of 2002 in order to set up contacts and begin recruiting. I just watched a film where several other unaffiliated jihadists made their base camp in Rawa, Iraq in April 2002. They had four camps already in place before we even referred the issue to the UN.

What does that say? That says that, regardless of what you want to believe about Iraq, they had already decided it would be the next front in the war. Not a separate war, but part of THEIR war.

That is the point of my entire post. You want to keep refusing to recognize that, in this war, the "other" (Islamists, enemy, whatever) has a choice and can set the conditions of the battle; will you or nil you.

So, keep on keeping on about your conspiracies. However, I would suggest that you go down to the local university and try them on the little collegiettes. They might be more willing to gaze at you with awe for your brilliance and lack of fear in "speaking truth to power".

You're nothing. You have nothing to fear. The men and women who must fear do not live within these borders. They are those who want a free, secure and prosperous Iraq. They are being killed everyday for saying so and trying to practice that.

You and your conspiracies are just about worthless in the face of their struggle.

****************

On Israel, I'm quite aware of what "his majesty" had to say on the matter. I think for a guy that believes in conspiracies, to accept at face value that the government of a nation could support the development of the Jewish Diaspora in a "homeland" and imagine that it was not going to be a point of contention or that it would not seek some independence was either naive on their part or wishful thinking on your part.

Whether they stated the purpose as a "state" or not, the support for immigration was in fact to send Jews someplace other than Europe. Others did support it because they believed that Jews in Judaea was supported by their Christian ideologies at the time, but I submit that practical and pragmatic foreign policy did not relate one wit to that ideology.

Nice cover though.

I didn't hear the french or germans complaining at the time. I'm also aware that it was Britain and France that screwed the pooch by not upholding the agreement with Hussein the Hashemite. He ended up with a consolation prize of Transjordan.

I'm also aware that the British, realizing the monster they had created tried to slow or stop immigration of Jews there. By then, anti-semitism was growing in Europe and the need to go to safety was already a necessity. All truth be told, I don't blame the Jews who, in the beginning did not buy the whole "homeland" bit, but eventually were pressed to it by circumstances.

Post holocaust, I think I would have raised my flag too and said "thanks for the offer of protection, but it's worthless; we'll protect our own from now on".

Sorry, my sympathies are completely with the Jews of Israel. I'd feel for the Palestinians, but they have made bad choices starting all the way back in 1923 when they had a chance to have Palestine the state with Jews being 11% of the population and they would have run the government. Same mistake in 1928 and then they hitched on to the Nazi supported Mufti in 36.

One mistake after another. Why? because they didn't want to live with Jews anymore than the Europeans did. Forgive me if I find your "safe and equal living of Jews like in America" or Europe for that matter, crap.

Whenever the world shakes and people are stupid: it's the Jews.

for the record, if Israel was thratened with extinction or about to be over run, I'd take every Jew in Israel before I'd take any other person. I openly support the immigration of European Jews to the United States and would like them to receive preferential treatment, above any Arab Muslim, Catholic or protestant European. At least I'd know that I would get someone that understood democracy, loyalty to country and allies. you I would be happy to send to live with the Palestinians so you could enjoy their way of life.

However, i don't believe that negates in anyway my belief that 7 million jews in Israel have the right to defend themselves in this 60 year old proxy war started by and funded by Arab states in the region because they couldn't accept that they lost to a bunch of "pigs".

You all want are the boneheads with your heads in the sand. You want to treat this as the Israel/Palestine Issue so you can pretend that it is the Palestinians who are the under dogs when a whole region is advocating for their destruction, when hundreds of millions of Muslims advocate for, fund and provide material support for their demise, for bombs to kill women and children. That way you can pretend that Israel is not the underdog in this fight.

Talk about being blind and lied to.

Any other questions?

Go regurgitate your chomsky crap someplace else.

Tom said...

"First, let me tell you that there is no deceiving the American Public. It is only you and your kind that think that the American Public is so stupid as it cannot reason out the purposes of war."

Bush lied about why we were attacked on 9/11, you want to play it off by dumping on those in the public who were tricked by him. Shame on you.

As far as the war on Iraq is concerned, Bush doesn't even know the basics about why he attacked Iraq!!
Bush thinks Saddam didn't let the inspectors in and that is why we attacked him! Either he is a liar or is so ignorant and incompetent that it isn't funny at all. Instead of attacking those that point out the truth, why don't you deal facts? Stop making excuses for politicians that are so disgraceful. It is unacceptable that this man doesn't have these basic facts straight. He sent thousands of Americans to their deaths and the fool doesn't even know why!