Some Opinions on the War in Iraq (and Afghanistan)
Nothing is ever simple. There is no black and white and there is no good and bad when it comes to evaluating complex human behaviour such as the motivation to engage in war. However I believe the war in Iraq is basically a bad thing, brought about primarily for the self serving purposes of a corrupt American administration: to disguise the poor economic performance of the administration, to disguise the poor result of the war in Afghanistan, and to protect American corporate interests - especially oil.
Most Americans seem to be the victim of a huge propaganda campaign which has made them supportive of the Iraq war (I refuse to call it a war against terrorism, because it simply isn't). That support is rapidly slipping as the true disaster this was has become is gradually revealed. To show how confused the American public are you just have to look at the survey results that show a large proportion who believe the war in Iraq is in retaliation for the September 11 attacks. Huh? Wasn't that Afghanistan? That war was also unjustified, in my opinion. There is no evidence Iraq participated in the September 11 attacks. There is no real reason to categorise Iraq as being a major center for terrorist activities either - other countries have far worse records in this area. I don't think Americans are any more stupid than other nationalities, they are just the victim of the most pervasive propaganda system in the world.
Considering its the most powerful military in the world by a huge margin, the Americans have been incredibly unsuccessful in their recent efforts. Did they find Osama bin Laden? No. Did they find weapons of mass destruction? No, because that was just an excuse - I don't think they ever though there were really any there! Did they win the war in Iraq? Maybe, but no one seems to have told the Iraqis the war is over, judging by the mounting casualties after the so-called end of the war. Is the world a safer place? No, it doesn't seem that way to me. In fact it seems to have stimulated terrorist activity in areas previously relatively peaceful. How many of their own troops were eliminated by friendly-fire? Quite a lot! OK, so they finally captured Saddam Hussein, but it took six months and a betrayal by one of his previous friends or family before it finally happened. I say the US hierarchy are a bunch of dishonest, bungling incompetents - they should have learned from Vietnam and stayed at home!
Now both the American and British governments are backing off claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I think it is clear that they never did, and there was never any real reason to believe they might have. The American government either knew they didn't exist and chose to ignore the fact, or selectively used intelligence which suited what they wanted to believe and ended up deceiving themselves. So are they incompetent, or corrupt, or (most likely) both? Its hard to decide. Either way, at the very least George Bush should resign. In reality he should be in prison for causing so many deaths as a result of his administration's dishonesty.
I do accept that Saddam Hussein's previous rule of Iraq was not a good one and that there was some justification in trying to improve it, but there was no justification in going against world opinion, and the U.N., and killing thousands of innocents, destroying the countries infrastructure, and pushing the country into chaos. First America disregards the established procedure of acting through the United Nations, saying the UN is irrelevant. Now that the whole thing has become such a mess they want to get out and leave the UN to tidy up! Does that mean they are suddenly relevant again? I just can't believe the Americans are getting away with this. Do they think its OK to take over any country, with almost no justification, and when it becomes obvious they are losing control to leave the rest of the world to tidy up the mess?
The graph shows the number of American casualties per day since the war ended. The red line is the actual data and the blue line shows the trend. As you can see, things are getting worse. This really is becoming another disaster like Vietnam. And how many Americans know there have been 112 US casualties in Afghanistan in the last 2 years as well? I know Americans have a reputation for not caring about the rest of the world (apart from exploiting it) but these are US citizens we're talking about. Its OK for George Bush to say "we will not be intimidated", etc - he's safe at home in the US!
Its just not right that one country (or one country and a few of its close friends) should have the right to behave this way. Imagine what would happen if Germany (for example) decided to take over another country just because they didn't agree with their politics! This is simple bullying and that sort of behaviour isn't tolerated for long. I say George Bush, and the people behind the scenes of American politics, are the most dangerous terrorists we have seen for a long time - they should get things sorted out in their own corrupt country before they go messing with the rest of the world!
Update: March 2007
My prediction that American voters would gradually catch on has been shown to be true because George Bush has become more isolated and his policies have come under increasing criticism. But why does it always take so long for people to figure these things out. By the time a dangerous politician is ejected from power the damage is usually already done!