Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Why did we go into Iraq, again?




So, conditions at a detention facility run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry were so bad that the people found there by US forces during Sunday's raid looked like Holocaust survivors.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Conditions — including the use of torture — at a secret Baghdad detention facility run by the Iraqi Interior ministry were so “horrific” that some of the scores of men held there looked “like Holocaust survivors” when they were found, sources in the Iraqi government told NBC News on Wednesday.

Reporting from Baghdad, NBC News correspondent Mike Boettcher on Wednesday said sources close to the investigation of the facility told him that photos of the detainees show “people covered in welts from torture. They show torture devices. They show men so emaciated they look like Holocaust survivors.”

Iraq’s deputy minister of the interior, in whose headquarters building the secret prison was found by U.S. forces Sunday, told Boettcher that “he had never seen anything like this in his life.”


I guess we now know who is the successor to the Saddam Hussein official who denied that US tanks were in Baghdad when they were driving down the street behind him. It is the current deputy interior minister who claims that he has never seen anything in his life like what was going on inside his own headquarters.

And these are supposed to be the 'good guys,' the democratically elected Iraqi government we installed.

I will commend the American forces for conducting this raid, although it was certainly no secret in Iraq what was happening, and charges that this was happening have been around the internet for months.

True, the people doing the torturing include some who were tortured under Saddam, and some of the victims were those who were torturers then. What this points out though, is something my father (who lived for several years in Syria and Lebanon as a child) could have told them anyway (if he was still around to say it): The middle east is an incredibly complex place that is full of intense personal, family, religious, tribal and ethnic vendettas that in some cases date back literally to the beginning of civilization. The idea that we are somehow going to just make them all get along with each other and live in a peaceful democracy is a pipe dream.

What we do see though is this: 1) there is torture being conducted by the government in Iraq now, just as there was three years ago. 2) there are no WMD's now, just as there were none three years ago. 3) there are terrorists in Iraq now, far more than there were three years ago.

So, remind me again... why are we there?

15 comments:

dorsano said...

We're here because a small group of men believed they were morally superior to rest of the world and had the right to use war to change the political landscape of the planet to their liking against the weight of world opinion,

and they were too blinded by arrogance to get it right.

Barbi said...

We're there because of that small group of PNAC traitors to America.

Great article, Eli.

NYC said...

Good afternoon to all,

Maybe we're there because of the longstanding rivalry between a son and a father?

Consider these qualifiers:

Father: Pilot
(WWII)
Son: Pilot
(Protected Texas from N.Vietnamese)

Father: Played football
(did well at the sport)
Son: Played football
(decided to become head cheerleader)

Father: Yale
(made decent grades)
Son: Yale
(was a "C" Student)

Father: Skull&Bones Society
(no info known)
Son: Skull&Bones Society
(no info known)

Father: President
(1 term, low approval)
Son: President
(2 terms, lower approval)

Father: War in Iraq
(got out quick)
Son: War in Iraq
(didn't get out quick)

Father: U.N. Mandate
(used to justify quickly leaving)
Son: Questioned need of U.N. support
(asked for their support later)

Father: Foreign relations
(yacked on Japanese P.M.)
Son: Foreign relations
(pissed off whole world)

Of course I'm just being sarcastic, however it is interesting to consider the similarities between both their lives, and how "Dubya" always seemed to come up a little short. Mediocrity personified.

Eli Blake said...

gc:

and how "Dubya" always seemed to come up a little short.

Father: 6' 1"

Son: 5'10"

I'm sorry, but your post and then your last sentence made this impossible to resist adding.

mark said...

Good points about the realities of the Arab world. We are in Iraq, because Saddam couldn't be trusted.

Bombing by President Clinton didn't solve the Saddam problem. Threats didn't solve it. Sanctions and "oil for Food" were manipulated to make Saddam richer. UN inspectors were obviously not taken seriously.

Our leaders, President Clinton included, decided a long time before the invasion that regime change was necessary. And, after 9/11 any president would have had to take steps to make sure the Saddam question was answered.

The next two paragraphs are from the CNN article explaining Pres. Clintons reasons for Bombing Iraq.

"Clinton also called Hussein a threat to his people and to the security of the world.

"The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government"

Obviously, Pres. Clinton didn't invade. But after 9/11 it was the only option left, we had tried everything else.

Barbi said...

Wrong again, Mark. We are in Iraq because the project for a new american century planned for it before bUSH was selected for president. 9/11 has NOTHING to do with IRAQ. Like I said, get a clue.

Barbi said...

In his memoirs, A World Transformed, George Bush, Sr. wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War:

"Trying to eliminate Saddam .. would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible ... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq ...there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

If only his son could read.

Girl on the Blog said...

I have been asking myself this question over and over again... i have a friend who is military that insist we are doing the right thing by being there... and also suggests that if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops... I adore this man but I think this comment is rediculous...

How are we suppose to help a country that doesn't want to help themselves?

Barbi said...

Sweet Girl on the Blog,

Perhaps checking out these--

Veterans For Peace: http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

Iraq Vets Against the War:
http://www.ivaw.net/

or

Veterans for Common Sense:
http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/

may help show that you can support our troops and still be against this wrong war.

I have the highest regard and appreciation for our military people. I thank your friend for his service.

And I think that if a country does not want our help, the best idea would be to leave and let them run their own country by themselves.

Anonymous said...

oop...that's:

www.veteransforcommonsense.org/

Barbi said...

I was the nonny mouse, again. Button jumped, I think. Heh! Sorrrrry.

dorsano said...

Our leaders, President Clinton included, decided a long time before the invasion that regime change was necessary.

I never heard Clinton advocate for war against the weight of world opinion to depose Saddam - if he had, I would have marched against him also - just like I did against LBJ - and just like I didn't against this president's father.

Bush, et. al was so ashamed of his foreign policy, they lied to hide it - that pretty much speaks for itself it seems to me.

What's worse, is that these people are intent on regime change in the DPRK

I can hear them now should things escalate and the DPRK be pushed too hard - "See, he lit one up, we told you needed to be taken out."

Eli Blake said...

Mark,

The problem there is that we did have another option. And Bush actually had it working. That was to continue to contain Saddam Hussein in a 'box' as we had for the previous eleven years. And by getting the authorization to use force if Saddam didn't allow the inspectors back in, Bush got them back in. And Blix was doing his job-- recall that he found and had the Iraqis destroying some illegal missiles before the war started, which is frankly more in the way of weapons violations than we have ever found since then.

I guess I still don't see how 9/11 caused us to invade Iraq, a nation that even President Bush acknowledged had no tie to 9/11. It would be like if after Pearl Harbor, we had responded by invading Mexico.

Eli Blake said...

Dorsano:

I opposed his war in Kosovo. I still don't know what the heck we had to go there for (although I am grateful that President Clinton and General Clark at least managed to carry it out with zero American casualties, and without giving our military a mission that kept changing.)

Girl on the Blog said...

Thanks Barbi... I have used these links at my blog... :)