This Modern Age

Iraq War – Remembering the Causes: Part I

with 4 comments

I know, I know… why am I rehashing this now?  But with reports of the successful surge and pending troop withdrawls, it is important to remember what got us there in the first place.  The Iraq War will define a portion of the history of the United States and nearly the entire history of George W. Bush’s two term presidency.  Enjoy…

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Here is what the free world knows about Iraq’s weapons.  In 1981, under the cover of night, Israeli forces destroyed a nuclear facility in Iraq.  At the time Israel was the scourge of the world.  In hindsight we know how valuable that attack was.  Ask this question, “Given that Saddam was trying to build nukes in 1981, do you think he simply gave up and never recommitted himself to that goal because a bunch of Jews interfered with his plans?”  Next, we discovered all kinds of WMDs in Iraq after Desert Storm.  Under the surrender treaty Saddam was to openly and completely dispose of all of his banned weapons.  There is no record to be found that he destroyed these weapons.  This is why we sent in the UNSCOM inspectors in the first place.  Where are all the weapons we knew he had few years prior?  Further, as recently as 1998 he launched biological and chemical weapons against Kurds in the North.  Saddam and his buddy Ali, fondly known as Chemical Ali, went so far as to video the effectiveness of their weapons after their attack on the Kurds.  Sometime in between then and now Saddam must have gotten rid of his weapons to avoid being in material breach of his surrender resolution and numerous following resolutions.  But he also had to get rid of the weapons openly.  Obviously that never happened.  David Kay offered the most likely solution to this problem to the London Daily Telegraph.  Kay believes that Iraq moved some weapons to Syria before the war began.  He sited interrogations of former Iraqi officials.  Kay’s story fits with reports during the war that convoys of trucks were moving along the highway connecting Baghdad to Baathist controlled Damascus, Syria.  Jed Babbin reports that some of our Special Forces heaviest fighting occurred on this highway around Al Qaim, on the border into Syria. 


In his speech to the nation on December 16, 1998 President Clinton made these points. 

  1. His mission was to destroy “Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs.”
  2. His decision to use force against Iraq due to their material breach was backed by the unanimous recommendation of his national security team.
  3. Saddam has used WMDs against Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the Kurds.
  4. “The international community has little doubt then that left unchecked Saddam Hussein will use these weapons again.”

On September 26, 2002 Wesley Clark testified before a House Committee.  “[Saddam Hussein] retains chemical and biological warfare capabilities and is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities…  Saddam has been actively pursuing nuclear weapons for over twenty years.”

Quoting President Clinton and General Clark is not point the finger and say, “Them too!”  But more, to show that it is not reasonable to believe that it was the Bush White House that sat around and cooked this all up from scratch. 

More later…

For Iraq War – Remembering the Causes: Part II click here.

4 Responses

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  1. History will look more favorably on President Bush once we can take an objective look at his accomplishments.

    David Witte

    July 9, 2008 at 2:15 am

  2. I think President Bush will have a unique place in history that will be more favorable than it is now.

    However, it is interesting… I don’t think history will judge him well as a Conservative.

    In particular, while many conservatives supported him on the Iraq War – while his primary drivers for going to war, at least the theory, was heavy Wilsonian. Which means one of the interesting questions for history will be why he was so despised by the Left. Just my two cents…


    July 9, 2008 at 2:32 am

  3. It’s amazing that this saga has been going on for over twenty years and that the media makes it sound like we haven’t cared about Iraq since 9/11. It’s unreal that all the history behind this war is being swept under the rug like it is.

    Libby Duke

    July 11, 2008 at 7:38 am

  4. Libby –

    I guess there are several motivations. Honestly, all of the information on the Iraq War is a little overwhelming. And we live in an age sound bites and 30-minute news programs.

    So part of the problem is on the supply of the news (CNN, CBS, NY Times, Fox News, etc..), but part of the problem is also on the demand side. I don’t know many people that personally want to dig into the issues – they are happy to have their 45-second opinion and just keep life moving; which is understandable, but still not entirely appropriate.

    But in our post-mod world that moves at a vicious pace with texting, IMing, social media and blogging and such, there is also an ability of information to get out in new and interesting ways, but the consumers cannot expect to have it spoon fed to them.

    Further, the media is liberal – it’s ridiculous to argue otherwise – and taking out President Bush (who is pretty liberal himself and started a war on Wilsonian principles) is more important to them than the actual details of the situation at hand.


    July 11, 2008 at 12:57 pm

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