There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so...
If it turns out that things do go well in the Middle East from this point forwards, does that mean that invading Iraq was the right thing to do?
If it turns out that things do go well in the Middle East from this point forwards, does that mean that attacking America on 9-11 was the right thing to do?
So, if you stick your hand in the cookie jar, but don't get caught, does that make it the right thing to do?
I don't have an answer to this question that I'm personally happy with, by the way.
But thanks for that first comment. Puts the issue in nice perspective.
Tayssir John Gabbour,
This assumes that 9-11 was the catalyst to go into Iraq.
From what I've read for the past 5 years, Bush talked about removing Saddam as early as 2000 during the debates. In fact, Gore agreed with him at that point.
It had already been long established that Saddam was funding Hezbollah, the PIJ, the Syrian Bathist Party, etc, so it make sense that once he's gone activites by these groups would diminish.
March 5th, 2005
OP: From whose point of view?
KC, even "Rightwingnews.com" refuses to claim that. After considering your precise claim, they say:
"But after 9/11, removing Saddam Hussein suddenly became an essential part of the global strategy in the war on terrorism. Why so?"
Every normal, red-blooded American would agree that 9-11 was a 'catalyst' for Iraq's invasion.
Before 9-11, George Bush II was concerned with the War on Fat, and held a record on taking vacation days. This wasn't a guy able to mobilize support for getting American soldiers maimed and killed, nor for spending billions on nation-building.
In fact, in that exact Bush-Gore debate you reference, Bush eloquently explained the dangers of nation-building:
Tangential point: 9-11 was at least one of the primary reasons used, rightly or wrongly.
Flasher T: Fair question. Let's say from the point of view of the world as a whole.
Oh yeah, here's the link to Rightwingnews.com's article:
Tayssir, you've got the logic wrong.
Those who attacked on 9/11 did not have "peace in the Mideast" as their goal. They most definitely did not have "democratically elected governments under the aegis of the US" as a goal. So if things go well in Iraq and the area stabilizes with increased human rights, democratically elected govenments, and reduced violence, that shouldn't be attributed to the 9/11 attackers.
However, part of the reason GWB invaded Afghanistan and Iraq was to remove the governments and encourage democratically formed republics in their place. So if the region stabilizes that could be attributed to GWB's actions and intent.
[Yes, I recognize GWB tripped over himself with the "WMD" frothing at the mouth. However, the above intent *was* in place during the lead up. It just didn't get as much lip service or press]
Just as Pearl Harbor was the catalyst for the defeat of Nazi Germany, but that was not the intent of the attackers.
> Those who attacked on 9/11 did not have "peace in the
> Mideast" as their goal.
Really? What was their goal then?
"Flasher T: Fair question. Let's say from the point of view of the world as a whole."
From the point of view of the world as a whole, American control of Iraq means cheap oil on the market which means a boost to the economy, and a couple thousand dead Americans (dead Iraqis being obviously irrelevant) do not make it much less of a Good Thing(TM). From the point of view of the Western civilization's perception of itself as the beacon of humanity, it'll still be a major bummer even if Iraq stabilizes - but at the end of the day, it was never a threat to any major nations so America's little fuck-up hasn't affected anything in any major way.
"Those who attacked on 9/11 did not have "peace in the Mideast" as their goal."
No more than those who invaded Iraq had "freedom in Iraq" as their goal. ;)
Both Bush and bin Laden position themselves as fighting for freedom, peace and warm fuzzies:
"We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation."
You can believe the Iraq invasion and the 9-11 terrorists were justified, though I happen not to. But hypocrisy is unfortunately a different issue. Which politicians stir heavily.
Philo, your comments are actually terribly interesting. A year before 9-11, the big neocon organization talked about how transforming the military "is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor." (p.51)
When you have a Pearl Harbor, you need to use it for all it's worth. Sci-fi author William Gibson's analysis (mentioned on MarkTAW's blog) debates the symbiosis between Bush and bin Laden a bit.
Anyway, that's a bit offtopic, but so is this forum...
Tayssir John Gabbour
March 6th, 2005
Hey look, I'm proof. There are also his interviews throughout the 90's that have been pretty much repeating the same message: http://www.marktaw.com/blog/TheOsamabinLadeninterview.html
March 6th, 2005
Actually, William Gibson recanted his statement the very next day, stating that he changed his mind, and I tend to agree with his revised statement. I think his original position was the mind of a writer analyzing the facts at hand in terms of plot and motive.
As I just said, bin Ladin has been consistent in his message. In 1997 he said:
"We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation of the Prophet's Night Travel Land (Palestine). And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. The mention of the US reminds us before everything else of those innocent children who were dismembered, their heads and arms cut off in the recent explosion that took place in Qana (in Lebanon). This US government abandoned even humanitarian feelings by these hideous crimes. It transgressed all bounds and behaved in a way not witnessed before by any power or any imperialist power in the world."
That doesn't sound like the extremist religious zealot that hates freedom that we make him out to be. I guess no more than our extremist religious zealot that hates freedom. His motives for 9/11 seem to me to be about as valid as Bush's for invading Iraq, and probably moreso because we never claimed Sadaam was doing anything in North America.
So I can ask Philo again if he believes 9/11 had nothing to do with peace in the Middle East.
As for Pearl Harbor, it's interesting how invoking one memory (Pearl Harbor) can cause a chain reaction of memories (attack on "American soil" by nation Y leads to war with nation X, hey let's call them an "Axis," etc.). It seems all too easy to set up Sadaam or bin Ladin as another Hitler with just two words - Pearl Harbor and Axis.
March 6th, 2005
>Just as Pearl Harbor was the catalyst for the defeat of Nazi Germany, but that was not the intent of the attackers.<
Philo: Nazi Germany's attacking Soviet Russia in June 1941 was the catalyst for the defeat of Nazi Germany, but that was not the intent of the attackers. Sorry. Pearl Harbor happened six months later when the Japs decided to roll.
(but Pearl harbor did seal the Jap's fate in the Pacific.)
Had the Molotov/Von Ribbentrop Non-aggression Pact held, the USSR may have remained neutral and a source of war materiel for the Nazi war effort - as were Sweden and Switzerland. But no, for some reason, That Man had to go hit on the Commies, along with the perceived untermenschen and the Jews. A nutter, an absolute loser.
A more sensible businessman would have tempered aggression with negotiation, invaded obstinate opponents only after protracted and quite reasonable demands had not been satisfied even when presented by the best diplomatic emissaries available to a world power, coordinated willing allies to his proposal and then grabbed the oil.
At the time the pact was made I think that was Hitler's intent,that he would deal with the Western Front and then afterwards turn to the East and settle what he thought was his true enemy.
But the success that Germany had in the West, complete control over Western Europe, the reducing of the UK to being ineffectual (el Alamein wasn't until after this) and the non-appearance of the US convinced him that he was invincible and that he didn't need a formal truce or acceptance of Greater Germany in its new borders.
I'm not sure how much knowledge Germany had of Japan's intentions and timing (probably nothing detailed as we already had broken all of the cryptography in use), but they may have had a tacit agreement that Japan would distract the US in the Pacific with the promise that Germany would help once the Communist enemy was despatched.
Hitler's conduct of the war relied upon him throwing double sixes continuously, if he was defeated by anyone it was the natural order of things, which ironically should have pleased him.
March 6th, 2005
As the first thing any democratic government anywhere in the Middle East would do is throw the Americans out, and as getting the Americans out was one of the prime aims of Bin Laden, then you will find it diffiult to argue that democracy in the Middle East wasn't one of the purposes behind 9/11 :)
Luckily there does appear little chance of their being democracy everywhere in the region, so we can rejoice that Al-Qaeeda has been thwarted again :)