Democrats & Liberals Archives

What if...the US didn't invade Iraq?

After 5 years of a war without a plan, without support and without a purpose, i began to think: what if the US didn’t invade Iraq.

America's Safety:
Since the entire buildup of the war was based around the safety of the American people and their allies, would America be any less safe if the US didn’t invade Iraq?

I examined the main Iraqi threats as they were presented in 2002/2003. We had a tyrant who controlled a small country in an oil-rich land. Everyone knows Hussein was no fan of America and voiced his opposition against America’s President with every breath. But mere words aren’t considered a threat. If so, Hugo Chavez would be in America’s bull’s-eye today the very same way Saddam Hussein was in 2001/2002. The imminent threat presented was surrounding WMDs, both used by Iraq against the US and supplying WMDs to random terrorists to do harm against the US. No, the US would need more than just hollow rhetoric to make the case for its safety; America would need something actionable, something concrete.

The case for maintaining a safe America was based solely on taking WMDs out of the hands out of a madman. America couldn’t wait for the UN inspectors to complete their invited mission. America’s safety was in imminent danger and required swift and decisive action.

Now we’re five years older and Iraq didn’t have the WMDs.

Whether or not Saddam Hussein is still the leader of Iraq, opinions aside and based solely on measuring the safety of America on the threat posed by WMDs, America would be no safer. No WMDs = no safer.

Also during the buildup of the Iraq war, the administration alleged ties between Iraq with al Qaeda and asserted that Hussein could arm terrorist organizations that would do harm on American soil. Again, this fact proved to be, just another, false claim (link). Some have asserted that al Qaeda grew in ranks since 2001, partly on the propaganda machine in the radical Muslim community that used America’s occupation of a Muslim nation as an attack on all Muslim nations and used the atrocities like Abu Ghraib as recruiting tactics. Some say America may be more in danger because of the occupation.

If America didn’t invade Iraq, America would be just as safe.

The costs:
What about the monetary costs of the war? We spend approximately $720 million a day for the Iraq war. This money is not in the federal budget; instead the Iraq war is funded through appropriations. If America didn’t invade Iraq, what could America do with $720 million a day? (link)

- $720 million could build 84 new elementary schools
- $720 million could hire 12,478 elementary school teachers
- $720 million could fund 95,364 places for “Head Start” places for our nation’s children
- $720 million could fund 1.1 Million free lunches for school children
- $720 million could fund 34,904 students to attend a 4-year university
- $720 million could fund 163,525 people with healthcare
- $720 million could fund 423,529 CHILDREN with healthcare
- $720 million could supply 6,482 families with homes
- $720 million could fund 1.2 Million homes with renewable electricity

On this somber anniversary, where nearly four thousand brave soldiers gave their lives and countless other comrades were severely injured, we ask ourselves: is it all worth it? Are we safer than we were five years ago? Can we afford to keep paying for this war with the paychecks of our grandchildren?

What if…

Posted by john trevisani at March 19, 2008 10:45 PM
Comments
Comment #248530

Unfortunately, this is a little like a cancer patient wondering how much time, money, and pain he could avoided if he’d only refused to undergo treatment for his tumor. The choice isn’t always between diverting your time and resources to solving a difficult and expensive problem and enjoying a bag full of goodies.

Your analysis doesn’t take into account the costs and consequences we’d have incurred if that madman had enjoyed another five years in power. Saddam was a cancer on the world. We were already spending large amounts of money to keep a military presence in the area to contain him, and if he’d been allowed to follow the same patterns over the past five years that he’d followed previously, we could be a LOT worse off. Of course, now we’ll never know for sure and will always have the luxury of saying that doing nothing was an option.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 19, 2008 11:10 PM
Comment #248533

What if,

Well, the Bush I and Clinton policy was failing. Not that it was bad, it had simply run it’s course.

Remember oil for food? Our friends were buying oil and selling Sadaam what he needed while we were flying overhead?

If we had not invaded, the old policy would have failed by now.

So the question would be I suppose had we chosen a different course, what would that cost have been and would we be in a better position today?

It would be hard to accept that we would of accepted the status quo after 9/11 with a policy unraveling.

Please don’t lecture on no link between 9/11 and Sadaam. What happened with 9/11 was that we looked at all threats through a different lense. We had a much lower crap threshhold across the board.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 19, 2008 11:50 PM
Comment #248534
Also during the buildup of the Iraq war, the administration alleged ties between Iraq with al Qaeda and asserted that Hussein could arm terrorist organizations that would do harm on American soil. Again, this fact proved to be, just another, false claim

You mean like the link between Al Qaeda and Iraq that Richard Clarke used to convince Bill Clinton to bomb the Al Shifa Pharmacuticals plant?

Or do you mean the many links that Iraq had with other international terrorist groups, including their own internal ‘security’ forces?

I’m trying to figure out which links, exactly, have been proven false… Was Richard Clarke fixing the evidence around his desire to push Clinton to attack an innocent factory?

As for what would have happened, the inspectors would have never finished their inspections, because Saddam didn’t want us to know he didn’t have WMD for sure. He wanted everyone guessing so he could have power in the Middle East. That is why they couldn’t finish for 12 years and were violating 1441, just enough to violate it but not enough, he thought, to be removed from power. He was skating a line that even those against the war should agree he was skating…

So, there would have been pressure to remove the sanctions, which is what Saddam wanted, and had that happened it is clear that those programs would have been back in place within months.

Perhaps the attacks on the US and UK warplanes would have stopped. Though Saddam would have claimed ‘victory’ and used this as a means to force himself into the middle east power structure even further, trying to reach his goal of ruling all of the middle east, not just Iraq.

I guess it depends on if you are looking for our own local interests or international peace or just a way to try to make political points by attempting to paint a rosy picture of what you think the threat was, or wasn’t, for political gain…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2008 12:35 AM
Comment #248537

If America had not invaded, sanctions would have been lifted in 2003 (after all, no WMD - right) and Saddam would have been free to pursue whatever program he wanted. No fly zones would have been finished. The “Arab street” would have erupted with the defeat of America. Those are the easily predicted consequences.

Saddam would still be in power. No reason to think othewise. He would be working hard against U.S. interests. He would have more money from oil, which he could sell openly at a higher price (oil prices have been demand driven in the last few years. The world produces more oil than it did in 2003 but demand in much higher).

So it is difficult to answer what if. We know some of the costs of being in Iraq. We can only guess at the cost of not invading. We did not have any good options in 2003.

The more useful “what if” question to ask today is what happens if we leave right away? Does the situation get better or worse?

Posted by: Jack at March 20, 2008 12:57 AM
Comment #248542

The answer is a lot more dead Kurds, Shiites and political opponents, perhaps another major regional war with a neighbor (Saddam attacked three different nations while in power), continued sponsorhip of a smorgasborg of terrorists groups and renewed attempts to acquire nuclear, biological and chemical weapons once UN oversight and sanctions were lifted.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at March 20, 2008 3:12 AM
Comment #248548

If we hadn’t invaded Iraq, al-Queda would not be world widespread, and Afghanistan would have been sealed at the Pakistan border and our enemies who attacked us on 9/11 vanquished in all liklihood.

But, it is idle banter to speculate on such histories which were never were. The real history we write from this point forward is what our focus should be on.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 20, 2008 4:59 AM
Comment #248551

For those who missed it, the rising cost of fuel is yet another sign of a Bush Cheney Mission Accomplished. What mission was that you ask? Why the mission was to create record profits for Bush’s old oil buddies and Cheny’s old corporate buddies. Why do they think the Bush administration went all the way to the supreme court and invoked executive privilege to keep Cheney’s secret deals a secret? So when someone tells you Bush’s legacy is just torture and lying about it you tell them: hogwash. For the first time in history an American president has started a war for the sole purpose of raising corporate and oil profits and it worked! There’s your legacy! That a recession. In my humble opinion.

—-klqtzzz

Posted by: poetryman69 at March 20, 2008 6:31 AM
Comment #248553

5 years is long enough. The expenditure is completely ridiculous. The debt incurred to finance it is beyond ridiculous. The sacrifice by those maimed and the families of those killed is beyond anything. We could have gotten out after a year, after 2 years, or after 3 years at worse case. Saddam Hussein is still dead, right? What are we doing, nation building? Let’s build our own nation instead.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2008 7:23 AM
Comment #248555

rhinehold:

“I guess it depends on if you are looking for our own local interests or international peace or just a way to try to make political points by attempting to paint a rosy picture of what you think the threat was, or wasn’t, for political gain…”

Rosy picture I’m painting of what the threat was?

LOL. Thanks for the chuckle.

The manufactured threat rests solely on the shoulders of this Administration. From when Wolfowitz waxed poetic about what the American people would easily buy to the subtle non-denial-denials from Cheney and Bush about Yellowcake and the Saddam-Al-Qeada(911) link. They recreated the threat, not me. i’m sure if you do a google, it may jog your memory about where the rationale for the war originated.

Funny thing, i remember reading a CSMonitor article that cited a poll taken just after 911 asking the American public who was directly responsible for 911; 4% thought it was Saddam. A year later in 2002, during the build-up to the Iraq war, same question was posed; 44% named Saddam. Coincidence or just rosy?

Posted by: john trevisani at March 20, 2008 7:35 AM
Comment #248556

Jack:
Thanks.
i know that Saddam was actively pursuing releasing the sanctions. Which was probably the reason he allowed the inspectors back in. But do you think that it the sanctions would have been lifted during the past 5 years?

Posted by: john trevisani at March 20, 2008 7:43 AM
Comment #248561

The reported figures are usually $72 million a day, not $720 million a day…still too high in economic and human costs.

Posted by: Rachel at March 20, 2008 8:34 AM
Comment #248564
The manufactured threat rests solely on the shoulders of this Administration.

Wrong. The administration attempted to take the easy road on the threat by just focusing on WMD, but that was clearly not the only threat they possessed. And the problem was because of TWELVE YEARS of interferrence and thumbing it’s nose at the UN, there was little hope for there to be a definate yes or know on the WMD thing as long as Saddam was in power. Even if the inspections had ‘completed’, many people would not have trusted that assessement. Saddam had proven himself not only untrustworthy but very obvious in his attempt to hide things from the inspection teams.

From when Wolfowitz waxed poetic about what the American people would easily buy to the subtle non-denial-denials from Cheney and Bush about Yellowcake and the Saddam-Al-Qeada(911) link. They recreated the threat, not me.

No, the threat was created by Saddam himself. That the administration (badly) stated the threat in a way that was too focused on one thing does not take those other dangers away.

i’m sure if you do a google, it may jog your memory about where the rationale for the war originated.

The ‘rationale’ originated in the 90s. Perhaps I’m not the one needing to do a goodle search?

From The Case for Invading Iraq where I looked at the three possible courses of action that we could have taken at the time in a similar “What If” post…

Human Rights Violations including:

(a) The systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror

(b) The suppression of freedom of thought, expression, information, association, assembly and movement through fear of arrest, imprisonment, execution, expulsion, house demolition and other sanctions

(c) The repression faced by any kind of opposition, in particular the harassment and intimidation of and threats against Iraqi opponents living abroad and members of their families

(d) The widespread use of the death penalty in disregard of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations safeguards

(e) Summary and arbitrary executions, including political killings and the continued so-called clean-out of prisons; the use of rape as a political tool, as well as enforced or involuntary disappearances, routinely practiced arbitrary arrests and detention, and consistent and routine failure to respect due process and the rule of law

(f) Widespread, systematic torture and the maintaining of decrees prescribing cruel and inhuman punishment as a penalty for offences

And more including:

(a) public beheadings of women who were accused of being prostitutes, which took place in front of family members, including children. The heads of the victims were publicly displayed near signs reading, “For the honor of Iraq.”. 130 documented and many more suspected cases.

(b) human rights violations directed against children. Children, as young as 5 years old, were recruited into the “Ashbal Saddam,” or “Saddam’s Cubs,” and indoctrinated to adulate Saddam Hussein and denounce their own family members. The children were also subjected to military training, which includes cruelty to animals. Parents of children were executed if they object to this treatment, and in some cases, the children themselves were imprisoned.

(c) Full political participation at the national level was restricted only to members of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party, which constituted only 8% of the population. Therefore, it was impossible for Iraqi citizens to change their government.

(d) Iraqi citizens were not allowed to assemble legally unless it is to express support for the government. The Iraqi government controlled the establishment of political parties, regulates their internal affairs and monitors their activities.

(e) Police checkpoints on Iraqi’s roads and highways prevented ordinary citizens from traveling abroad without government permission and expensive exit visas. Before traveling, an Iraqi citizen had to post collateral. Iraqi women could not travel outside of the Country without the escort of a male relative.

(f) The activities of citizens living inside Iraq who received money from relatives abroad were closely monitored.

(g) In 1988, the Hussein regime began a campaign of extermination against the Kurdish people living in Northern and Southern Iraq. The attacks resulted in the death of at least 50,000 (some reports estimate as many as 100,000 people), many of them women and children. A team of Human Rights Watch investigators determined, after analyzing eighteen tons of captured Iraqi documents, testing soil samples and carrying out interviews with more than 350 witnesses, that the attacks on the Kurdish people were characterized by gross violations of human rights, including mass executions and disappearances of many tens of thousands of noncombatants, widespread use of chemical weapons including Sarin, mustard gas and nerve agents that killed thousands, the arbitrary imprisoning of tens of thousands of women, children, and elderly people for months in conditions of extreme deprivation, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of villagers after the demolition of their homes, and the wholesale destruction of nearly two thousand villages along with their schools, mosques, farms, and power stations.

(h) In June of 1994, the Hussein regime in Iraq established severe penalties, including amputation, branding and the death penalty for criminal offenses such as theft, corruption, currency speculation and military desertion.

(i) In April of 2003, CNN admitted that it withheld information about Iraq torturing journalists and Iraqi citizens that were interviewed by CNN in the 1990s. According to CNN, the channel kept the information secret because they were afraid that their journalists would be killed if they reported it.

Support for state sponsored terrorism:

First, this is the list of wounded and killed by groups supported by Iraq:

� Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) � Killed 407 (10 Americans) and Wounded 788 (58 Americans)
� Ansar Al-Islam � Killed 114 (1 American) and Wounded 16
� Arab Liberation Front � Killed 4 and Wounded 6
� Hamas � Killed 224 (17 Americans) and Wounded 1,445 (30 Americans)
� Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) � Killed 44 and Wounded 327 (2 Americans)
� Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) � Killed 17 (7 Americans) and Wounded 43 (1 American)
� Palestine Liberation Front � Killed 1 (1 American) and Wounded 42

For a total of 811 people killed (36 American) and 2,667 people wounded (91 American). The source was the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, �1968 - 2003: Total Persons Killed/Wounded�International and Accepted Incidents.� Figures. It was prepared for National Review author Deroy Murdock.

Terrorists that Saddam has given safe haven:

� Abu Abbas. Abbas masterminded the October 7�9, 1985, Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking in which Abbas�s men shot passenger Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year old Manhattan retiree, then rolled him, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean. Abbas briefly was in Italian custody at the time, but was released that October 12 because he possessed an Iraqi diplomatic passport. After 2000, Abbas resided in Baghdad, still under Saddam Hussein�s protection.

� Khala Khadr al Salahat, a member of the ANO. Al Salahat and Nidal furnished Libyan agents the Semtex bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, killing 259 on board and 11 on the ground.

� Abu Nidal. As the Associated Press�s Sameer N. Yacoub reported on August 21, 2002, the Beirut office of the ANO said that he entered Iraq �with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities.� Nidal�s attacks in 20 countries killed 407 people and wounded 788 more, the U.S. State Department calculates. Among other atrocities, an ANO-planted bomb exploded on a TWA airliner as it flew from Israel to Greece on September 8, 1974. The jet was destroyed over the Ionian Sea, killing all 88 people on board.

� Abdul Yasin. �U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam�s hometown, which shows Iraq gave Mr. [Abdul Rahman] Yasin both a house and a monthly salary.� The Indiana-born, Iraqi-reared Yasin had been charged in August 1993 for mixing the chemicals in the bomb that exploded beneath One World Trade Center, killing six and injuring 1,042 individuals. Indicted by federal prosecutors as a conspirator in the WTC bomb plot, Yasin was on the FBI�s Most-Wanted Terrorists list. ABC News confirmed, on July 27, 1994, that Yasin had returned to Baghdad, where he traveled freely and visited his father�s home almost daily.

Funny thing, i remember reading a CSMonitor article that cited a poll taken just after 911 asking the American public who was directly responsible for 911; 4% thought it was Saddam. A year later in 2002, during the build-up to the Iraq war, same question was posed; 44% named Saddam. Coincidence or just rosy?

You might want to rethink that, because the day of 9/11, many people looked to Iraq as the culprit. The administration quickly came out and said it was al Qaeda, or that number would have been higher.

But let’s look at polls further, shall we?

In polls done by Gallup over the decades, similar questions have been asked and have been collated at http://www.gallup.com/poll/1633/Iraq.aspx

One of them is very telling and goes against your inane contention that the US had to be ‘sold’ on going to war:

Would you favor or oppose invading Iraq with U.S. ground troops in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power?

February 2001, before the 9/11 attacks and when Iraq had stepped up their attacks on US and UK planes, it was 52% for, 42% against, and 6% unsure.

In November 2001, before any ‘selling of a war with Iraq’, it was 74% for, 24% against and 6% unsure.

In fact, it has not been under 50% since the Gulf War ended.

The administration did not NEED to ‘sell’ the war. They tried to sell it to other countries, perhaps, to get their support, but there was no need to sell it at home, the American public was behind it from the beginning.

The reason people believe that Saddam was involved with 9/11, btw, is because they know that Saddam was still at war with us and it makes sense that if he knew about a plot to attack us that he would not hesitate in the least.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2008 9:13 AM
Comment #248566
i know that Saddam was actively pursuing releasing the sanctions. Which was probably the reason he allowed the inspectors back in.

No, the reason he let the inspectors back in was because the US and UK threatened to invade if he didn’t. That is the only reason and even those that didn’t support the war at the time admitted that.

Their sole reason for being in place was because Iraq was not complying with the WMD inspections. Had we ‘concluded’ that he didn’t have any, to leave them in place, killing millions of people because of their harshness and Saddam’s lack of care of his own people, would have been patently evil, IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2008 9:16 AM
Comment #248569

rhinehold:
Thanks for the chuckle. That’s two in one day! And i thought i was smiling because it was the first day of spring! Citing yourself is a great way of making the case for yourself. Thanks.

Rachel: i believe the link include says $720.http://www.afsc.org/cost/facts-and-figures.htm

Posted by: john trevisani at March 20, 2008 9:43 AM
Comment #248573

The first thing we should have done after 9-11 is gone in to Saudi Arabia and taken them out!!!!! That is where the terrorists and the funding for the terrorist came from not Iraq!!!!!! We should have gone after Osama bin Laden!!!!!! But the chimp needed him alive so he could keep the fear game going!!!!!!!! Look at the money chimp and company have made from no bid contracts!!!!!!!!!!

If we needed to go into Iraq we should have waited until the smirking chimp had left his throne!!!!! Look at the mess this little incompetent chimp and friends have made of every thing they have touched!!!!! We all know that the chimp and the Saudi’s are good friends!!!! It is Halliburton’s new home!!!!!! So he had to lie and point the finger at Iraq!!!!!!

This whole Iraq invasion is like having unnecessary cancer treatment from a chimp with a hammer and a screwdriver!!!!! What if we never had the unnecessary treatment!!!!!!! We could still be alive!!!!!!

If anything important to the people of this country and the world needs to be done it should be done after chimp and company are out of the picture!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Outraged at March 20, 2008 10:09 AM
Comment #248593

If Lincoln hadn’t been assassignated Barrack’s greatgrandpappy would have been elected president.


If I won the lottery, I’d buy an island.

If Bush was a poor man, he’d still be a drunk.

Posted by: googlumpugus at March 20, 2008 12:28 PM
Comment #248595

I’ve come to the conclusion that WW3 will be about all the other nations on earth getting together against us. If you think democrats here dislike our government, you should read the comments in the foreign press. They think that our whole country are nothing but idiots for allowing the Bush nonsense to continue.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2008 12:31 PM
Comment #248610

John…my point was that if it’s $72 million or $720 million a day, that’s a humongous sum of money that could’ve been doing good here in the US for our own people…we DO have the money to take care of medical care, education, infrastructure…but it’s going to corporations that deal in military/so-called defense and oil companies…I would have to think the American people are more deserving of that money, and a whole lot more than the $300-$600 dollars that is our “rebate” against future taxes, that we’ll still pay anyway.

Get the war over with…pay down the debt…our people deserve a much better country.

Posted by: Rachel at March 20, 2008 1:32 PM
Comment #248648
The administration did not NEED to ‘sell’ the war. They tried to sell it to other countries, perhaps, to get their support, but there was no need to sell it at home, the American public was behind it from the beginning.
Americans were misled (whether due to lies or incompetence, or some of both).

After it became clear that the stated facts about WMD were false, many were upset about it. Especially since WMD was the major reason for the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 20, 2008 6:31 PM
Comment #248653
John Trevisani wrote: If America didn’t invade Iraq, America would be just as safe.
That’s right.

Maybe safer.

I’m not denigrating anyone that was felt the invasion of Iraq was justified, but for many Americans, a major factor was WMD (which turned out to be false; there was no significant amount of WMD to be worried about).

But this continued notion that Iraq is now making us safer is extremely weak.

And, aside from the tremendous loss of money, there was (and continues) the tremendous loss of life.

And for those that want to make a case that Iraq is making the U.S. safer, they should perhaps consider the Americans being killed here in the U.S. every day by illegal aliens. More Americans have been killed in the U.S. by illegal aliens in 3 years than all U.S. Troops killed in Iraq in 5 years (Mar-2003 to Mar-2008).

Therefore, it’s unlikely the fear mongering about Iraq is going to work in the next election.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 20, 2008 6:47 PM
Comment #248654
Rachel wrote: Get the war over with…pay down the debt…our people deserve a much better country.
Agreed. Let’s start with these 10 abuses.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 20, 2008 6:50 PM
    Comment #248666
    Thanks for the chuckle.

    You’re welcome, but apparently you think that the things I mentioned, Human Rights abuses, Terrorist support, etc, are funny… That does not make me laugh actually…

    Citing yourself is a great way of making the case for yourself.

    The cite of ‘myself’ has all of the supporting citations in the referring document, I was attempting not to clutter up the comments section of your … article with just a reprint of all of the underlying data.

    That you didn’t read it or even attempt to refute it is obviously an acceptance to it being accurate and you not having any way to do so. Laughing that off is probably your best bet then.

    BTW, in case you missed since you obviously didn’t read it, there was a section that was quoted that shouldn’t have been. That section stated:

    Funny thing, i remember reading a CSMonitor article that cited a poll taken just after 911 asking the American public who was directly responsible for 911; 4% thought it was Saddam. A year later in 2002, during the build-up to the Iraq war, same question was posed; 44% named Saddam. Coincidence or just rosy?

    You might want to rethink that, because the day of 9/11, many people looked to Iraq as the culprit. The administration quickly came out and said it was al Qaeda, or that number would have been higher.

    But let’s look at polls further, shall we?

    In polls done by Gallup over the decades, similar questions have been asked and have been collated at http://www.gallup.com/poll/1633/Iraq.aspx

    One of them is very telling and goes against your inane contention that the US had to be ‘sold’ on going to war:

    Would you favor or oppose invading Iraq with U.S. ground troops in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power?

    February 2001, before the 9/11 attacks and when Iraq had stepped up their attacks on US and UK planes, it was 52% for, 42% against, and 6% unsure.

    In November 2001, before any ‘selling of a war with Iraq’, it was 74% for, 24% against and 6% unsure.

    In fact, it has not been under 50% since the Gulf War ended.

    The administration did not NEED to ‘sell’ the war. They tried to sell it to other countries, perhaps, to get their support, but there was no need to sell it at home, the American public was behind it from the beginning.

    The reason people believe that Saddam was involved with 9/11, btw, is because they know that Saddam was still at war with us and it makes sense that if he knew about a plot to attack us that he would not hesitate in the least.

    BTW, in that article some four years old now, I laid out the three possible options in dealing with the situation. Either

    1) Keep the sanctions after inspections said that they couldn’t find any weapons with the thought that just because we couldn’t find them didn’t mean they were there causing millions of Iraqis to die

    2) Remove the sanctions when we couldn’t find any weapons, allowing Saddam to rebuild his arsenal which we know was is intention

    3) Remove Saddam from power.

    Which one did you want to do? Or is there another alternative that you had up your rosy sleeve?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2008 8:58 PM
    Comment #248671

    The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes three-strike laws and wants them to sing God Bless America. No! No No! God damn America … for killing innocent people. God damn America for threatening citizens as less than humans. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and supreme. – Pastor Jeremiah Wright (April 2003)

    I can no more disown [Rev. Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. – Senator Obama (March 2008)

    My question is…why did it take Senator Obama 5 years to address this issue? Why now? Why, as he running for President, is he still affiliated with this type of extremism? The same extremism that is the foundation for the terrorism we are fighting today. If he can’t disown this extremism, why are Americans still supporting him? The next quote is from a radio broadcast 19 Mar 2008…

    The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know (pause) there’s a reaction in her that doesn’t go away and it comes out in the wrong way – Senator Obama

    A supposed Presidential hopeful slamming whites and his own grandmother to the nation he wants to run. Please, somebody explain this to me…

    Here are some more quotes…

    …I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites… - Senator Obama’s Book “Dreams From My Father” page xv

    Trinity [Church] embodies the black community in its entirety – Senator Obama

    My Rant…The Democrats will put our country in a downward spiral, just as Bill Clinton did during his term. More importantly they will open our country to terrorism, they will send the wrong message to the whole world and more importantly to them…they plan to slap the almost 4000 men and women that have died in Iraq by pulling out of Iraq and letting that country go to Iran, Al Qaeda and Muslim extremists. Bill Clinton and the democrats are to blame for the down sizing of our military and our intelligence community that led to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. President Bush didn’t have time to fix these issues…he only had time to react. President Bush also asked for the parties to unite…take a look today…there isn’t any unity on the hill. The democrats DO NOT GET IT and THEY NEVER WILL. The democrats were the first to jump on the issue of troops not having the proper equipment to fight a war, our troops were lacking proper armament and personal protection…who did they point the finger at…President Bush. President Bush had nothing to do with it. Bill Clinton is to blame…and Americans support another Clinton!! Amazing! On the flip side of the coin, we have never fought a war like we are fighting today and just as we did during all previous wars…we adapted. Unfortunately, lives are lost before weaknesses are realized. This is the nature of war…been there, done that. Still, the democrats point at the Republicans.

    What is that saying, “That birds of a feather will flock together”. The Clintons are married and are still married. Bill Clinton lied to our faces when he stated he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I remember that broadcast, while he pointed his finger, pounded on the podium all while squinting his eyes at the camera. He was scalding the American people for questioning his behavior (behavior unbecoming an American President). By the way, questioning our elected leaders is not only a duty and but a responsibility of an American citizen. HE WAS LYING RIGHT TO OUR FACES!! So what makes people who support the Clintons think that Hillary will not lie to our faces also? “Birds of a feather will flock together”. Another quote…

    Our view is that if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House – Mrs. Obama

    My vote is for Mrs. Obama!! LOL, just kidding…see below.

    If anyone has had their patriotism tested, it has been Senator John McCain. During his 23rd bombing mission on October 26, 1967, a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg. He was then taken as a prisoner of war into the now infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese. He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs. When he was released in accordance with the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, Senator McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status. He was a POW for 5 ½ years! His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    Senator McCain is a loyal and faithful patriot of our country. He came home to us honorably in 1973 and for that and for the love of his country, he has earned my vote as the next President of the United States. No other candidate compares.

    Posted by: Chris at March 20, 2008 9:44 PM
    Comment #248674

    If you’re fighting religious fanatics, the fist thing you want to do is to occupy their holy land. Then you want to catch Muslim men and women and strip them down naked, and take pictures of them. (Very taboo in Islam.) You want to torture any Muslim men you can. Then claim you never tortured anyone. This plan is ingenious. It makes Ben Laden and his oil-rich buddies so mad they can’t see strait. That way they’ll have trouble planning another attack. ———

    No, I think we’d be much safer if we hadn’t invaded Iraq!

    Posted by: Mike the Cynic at March 20, 2008 9:46 PM
    Comment #248735

    Ummmm, how to say this so you understand it.


    They are spending money we don’t have…..right? Borrowing for the war?

    So that money would not be there to go somewhere else…get it? If we had not gone in, we also would not have borrowed that money. So this isn’t an either or situation. Of course, we have to pay that off some time, so it’s going to cost us in the end.


    I think a better route for you to take would have been, where might we have used those troops if they had not been tied down in Iraq. In what ways have US security interests and it’s war againt terrorism suffered because of this?

    We could have used the troops to destroy terror training camps all over the world….something we don’t have the guts to do because it might offend the European progressive liberals who don’t give a crap about US security.

    We might have used some of those troops to chase down Bin Laden in Pakistan…if we had the guts to offend the Europeans and the Pakistani nation which now harbors Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    We might have used those troops any many other ways but we don’t because we invaded Iraq to eradicate it of WMD it does not have. We went to war on the basis of a two week WMD analysis that was deeply flawed and created by a security agency that was broken and unprepared for fighting anything but the soviet Union cold war.

    Posted by: Stephen at March 21, 2008 2:42 AM
    Comment #248741

    rhinehold:
    What is it when you include a link (to yourself) AND the quoted text (of yourself, without links)? That’s what was/is funny. That other stuff is ‘are you still beating your wife’ blather.

    So i get it: the reason that the US invaded Iraq was for all of the reasons that YOU pointed out, not what was presented to the American public or the UN (unless Colin Powell was showing a vial of blood taken from all of the human right atrocity victims). It wasn’t the fear-mongering; it was because Saddam was a bad man and it was time for the US to spread democracy by bombing…. right.

    Can i assume that you think that the US is safer today because the US invaded Iraq?

    Posted by: john trevisani at March 21, 2008 6:44 AM
    Comment #248858

    John

    I think Rhinhold has anwswered, but yes. Absent the invasion - based on what we know now - Saddam would have been off sanctions and free to act as he pleased to the extent we did not stop him. There is an excellent chance we would be fighting in Iraq today anyway. The man promised to hurt us and delared that we were his mortal enemy. With the oil wealth (again DEMAND, not supply driven, so it would have been high no matter), who knows.

    Googlump

    Obama grandfathers and great granfathers were either white or residents of British East Africa (i.e. not Americans). His white ancestors presumably had whatever chance they could have had of being preident. His Keyan ancestors could not compete, since they were not Americans.

    The lottery counterfactual might work; the Obama one not.

    Posted by: Jack at March 22, 2008 6:27 AM
    Comment #248875

    TO START WITH , YOUR PREMISE THAT THE ATTACK ON IRAQ WAS FOR THE SAKE OF THE SECURITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IS BULLSHIT.
    THE U.S.ADMINISTRATION AGENDA WAS 2-FOLD, FIRSTLY TO STEAL IRAQ’S OIL, AND SECONDLY TO ESTABLISH A LARGE MILITARY BASE IN IRAQ, IN ORDER TO BETTER CONTROL THE WHOLE OIL-RICH REGION OF THE NEAR EAST.
    THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS STILL HELL-BENT ON THIS AGENDA, WHATEVER THE COST IN THE LIVES AND WELL-BEING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE, INCLUDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN, AND INCLUDING U.S. TROOPS.
    THE ONLY REASON AT ALL IT IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SCALE OF U.S. CASUALTIES IS THAT IT MIGHT LOSE VOTES FOR THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE.
    MOVING ON TO WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THE U.S. HAD NOT NOT INVADED, I CAN TELL YOU FOR STARTERS THAT THE 1.5 MILLION IRAQIS WHO HAVE EITHER LOST THEIR HOMES OR HAVE FLED THEIR HOMES,AND FOR A LARGE PART HAVE EVEN FLED THEIR COUNTRY, WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THEIR LIVES WRECKED.
    BUT THEY ARE ONLY JOHNNY FOREIGNERS, NOT AMERICANS, SO I SUPPOSE IT DOESN’T MATTER.
    THEN THERE ARE THE INNOCENT IRAQIS WHO HAVE BEEN KILLED OR INJURED:-WELL IN EXCESS OF A MILLION,BY ALL ACCOUNTS.
    ALMOST ALL OF THEM WOULD BE ALIVE AND WELL TODAY IF UNCLE SAM HAD NOT GONE THERE TO ‘MAKE AMERICA SAFER’.BUT THEY ARE ONLY JOHNNY FOREIGNERS, SO WHO CARES.
    THEN THERE ARE ALL THOSE IRAQIS WHO ARE LEFT TRYING TO LIVE IN THEIR COUNTRY,OFTEN WITHOUT ELECTRICITY, WITHOUT DOCTORS AND MEDICAL TREATMENT, WITHOUT EDUCATION,AND HAVING LOST FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES, INCLUDING THEIR PARENTS SOMETIMES, AND THEIR CHILDREN SOMETIMES.
    BUT THEY ARE ONLY JOHNNY FOREIGNERS, NOT FINE UPSTANDING AMERICANS.
    WHAT AMERICA HAS GIVEN TO IRAQ IS DEATH, DESTRUCTION,DISPLACEMENT, AND MISERY, ON A COLOSSAL SCALE, AND AMERICA AND ALL ITS POODLES, ESPECIALLY BRITAIN, SHOULD HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME.
    STAYING ON THE SUBJECT OF WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF AMERICA HAD NOT INVADED, THEN I CAN SAY THAT AMERICA WOULD STILL COMMAND SOME RESPECT AND AFFECTION IN THE WORLD(EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN BEHAVING BADLY FOR THE PAST 60 YEARS.)
    NONE OF THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY AMERICA OVER THE LAST 60 YEARS CAN COMPARE WITH THE ATROCITY COMMITTED BY BUSH AND HIS MOB WHEN THEY SENT THE TROOPS TO IRAQ.
    NONE OF THE PREVIOUS CRIMINALS WHO OCCUPIED THE WHITE HOUSE WAS AS DUMB AS BUSH,EITHER.
    THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ HAS TURNED IT INTO BOTH A RECRUITING GROUND AND A TRAINING GROUND FOR ANTI-U.S. TERRORISTS.
    QUITE APART FROM THE LEGITIMATE HATRED AND RESENTMENT AMONG THE LESS EXTREME MEMBERS OF THE POPULATION AND THEIR OFFSPRING,A THOUSAND WOULD-BE BIN LADENS HAVE BEEN CREATED BY AMERICAN ACTIONS IN IRAQ, AND ALL THIS IS STORING UP HUGE PROBLEMS FOR THE FUTURE.
    SADAM HUSSEIN,ALTHOUGH DESPICABLE,AND ALTHOUGH WE HAD SUPPLIED HIM WITH ARMAMENTS IN THE 1970’S,NEVER HAD THE MEANS TO POSE A THREAT TO AMERICA, EXCEPT IN SO FAR AS HE WOULD NEVER HAVE GIVEN AWAY IRAQ’S OIL TO AMERICA.
    HE WAS BAD FOR IRAQ,BUT NOTHING LIKE AS BAD AS WHAT HAS FOLLOWED SINCE.
    HE DID NOT TOLERATE ISLAMIC EXTREMISM,AND WAS AN ENEMY OF BIN LADEN AND AL-QUAIDA,AND OF THE IRANIAN REGIME.
    HE KEPT THE LID ON THE DIVISIONS WITHIN IRAQI SOCIETY,ALBEIT BY REPRESSION AND BRUTALITY,THEREBY MAINTAINING STABILITY.

    Posted by: COLIN at March 22, 2008 12:10 PM
    Comment #248948

    Well said Colin.
    The only ones who benefited from the Iraq war and the resulting occupation were the administration’s favorite corporations. We’re still trying to get the Iraqi legislation to pass a law saying our oil companies own the rites to their oil. (I guess they’re not really our oil companies anymore.) And corporations like Halliburton and Blackwater are ripping off America to the tune of billions of dollars. Henry Waxman is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and he was on PBS’s “Bill Moyers Journal” the other night. You can see this for yourself at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/03142008/watch.html Some contractors are using slave labor and billing us $12 to $20 an hour. Others are just billing us for things that never happened. The person in the State Department that was in charge of watching Blackwater didn’t know his brother was offered a seat on the board of Blackwater. Corporations used to want the government to deregulate them so they can make more money. Now they just get the government to give them money. Of course the no bid selection wouldn’t have anything to do with campaign contributions. That’s just all a big coincidence. This has to end or it will bankrupt our government.

    Posted by: Mike the Cynic at March 23, 2008 1:31 PM
    Comment #250360

    They need to let our troops go in and do what they are capable of doing instead of slapping hands. You can’t win a war with politics. The only way you can win a war is by killing the enemy. Has anyone ever noticed that after world war 2 we haven’t won a war as country yet? You can thank the ridiculous u.n. and the so called liberals and human rights activist. We need to stand up to these muslims and illegal aliens take back America instead of letting them invade our nation which they have no right to be in in the first place.

    Posted by: micheal at April 11, 2008 9:53 PM
    Comment #250361

    we need to form militias for the upcoming future of the United Stated. The Republicans don’t know what they’re doing and the democrats are to busy crying and trying to loose a war to care. American will never be America again until we take it back by force.

    Posted by: micheal at April 11, 2008 9:57 PM
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