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Dave's Dozen Reasons for War with Iraq

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  • Dave's Dozen Reasons for War with Iraq

    This thread will be a work in progress as I'm going to start off with a dozen posts addressing each of the dozen reasons in a quick thumbnail presentation with later edits and posts that will elaborate and provide supporting links/URLs. Of course, members are encouraged to add their contributions.

    The "Dozen" don't always reflect Reasons given by the Bush Administration, some of them are a bit delicate in a diplomatic sense, but all are reasonable deductions to any who have studied history in general, the recent history of Iraq~USA 'relations', history on the causes of wars, and the history of the Middle East as well as the rise of Islamic Jihad in the 20th century. This list is not considered to be inclusive, not only might others think there are additional reasons, but I would include a 13th(baker's dozen) were it not a bit too exotic and esoteric for the mostly conventional minds on this forum (hint: it has to do with "Whom", or "What", is behind the founding of the three religions that originated in close proximity of each other in the Middle East region and provide the idealogical foundations of the Conflict.)

    While I'm providing these dozen reasons in an approximate sequence of priority, that is a somewhat subjective ranking that I realize others might reorder.

    History shows that wars usually start for a number of reasons and any list will include those of varied importance and value to each side. Most often wars get started through cataclysmic events that trigger the conflict, but these events are catalysts because of the building reasons each side has focused on in bringing them to a flashpoint. For example, the USA had a number of reasons why it looked inevitable that we would enter into the conflict eventually known as World War II, and Pearl Harbor attack woundup being the catalyst. However, the earlier attack of Japan on the USS Panay in China, or the German U-boat attack on the USS Reuben James in the Atlantic could have been such catalysts as well.

    In the current Global Conflict, "The Global War on Terror/Terrorism", the catalytic event for the USA was the Sept.11,2001 attack on the World Trade Center buildings and Washington DC. Earlier attacks during the preceeding decades by various Islamic Jihad organizations could have served 'caus beli' but for various reasons political and strategic, they didn't. While the "9-11" attack appears tracible to a specific group/agency, one must not lose sight that Al-Qaeda is part of a larger movement and group of organizations involved in Islamic Jihad;
    Islam Terrorist Groups

    A final Note~Comment, this is a thread focusing on the reasons why the USA went to war with Saddam Hussein's Regime in Iraq, the focus being more Saddam's Regime and not the nation and people of Iraq, and is not intended to address the issues of Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in how that war would be prosecuted. Those matters should be the topic/focus of another thread.
    Last edited by G David Bock; 12 Aug 07, 17:53.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

  • #2
    I. Repeated Non-compliance with Terms of the Armistice

    The First Gulf War never officially ended, no "Peace Treaty"(I, Saddam H., was bad and won't do it again) has ever been signed. A hasty "Cease-Fire" became a conditional armistice, those conditions never met, in fact Saddam tried his best to dodge and weasel on all of them.

    Generically speaking, Iraq had a few broad 'Cease Fire Terms'(CFT) to comply with ASAP to avoid renewed aggression in response to Iraq's Aggression via its 1990 invasion of Kuwait;

    A. Remove/Dispose of all Operational WMD(Weapons of Mass Destruction) Systems and stockpiles.

    B. Remove/Disapose of Certain Long-Range Delivery Systems (missiles(SCUDs) & bombers, etc.) that could be used with WMDs.

    C. Suspend and no Initiation of New Research and Development ("R&D") of WMDs or Proscribed Deleiver Systems("PDS"), or proliferation of such.

    D. Certain/Assorted 'Conventional Forces' Rebuilds Prohibitions.

    The following Congressional Report illustrates many examples of Iraq's non-compliance activities as of early 1998. This meant the Clinton Administration had ample reason and cause to invoke the terms and conditions of the Armistice with Iraq and engage in needed military action to compel Iraq's compliance, had that Admin. been willing to do so.

    Task Force on Terrorism & Unconventional Warfare
    (Asymetrical Warfare)
    U.S. House of Represpentatives
    The Iraq WMD Challenge
    Feb. 10, 1998

    In the post "9/11" world, USA patience with Saddam started to wear thin. The "Muslim World" held too many targets and potential threats, so it was time to start parsing down the list. Afgahnistan was the first 'bite', Iraq the second ...

    [referencing the adage/wag; "How do you eat an elephant?"
    "One bite at a time."]
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


    • #3
      II. 'Sooner or Later' Renewed War was Inevitable

      As the First Reason/post above shows, Saddam's Regime in Iraq was already violating the Terms of the Armistice taunting, daring the USA and West to enforce such. "Containment" of Iraq was not working and in the long run, the resolve and forces available for containment might decline, providing another opportunity for Saddam to renew aggression against neighboring states and the West~Israel. The threshold for renewed conflict was growing because;

      A) Saddam was re-arming and rebuilding his forces, both conventional and (covertly) 'WMD', in violation of terms and intent of the Armistice. As Saddam's military strenght and capability grew over time, the longer the West/USA waited to act, the bigger a challenge and battle it would be to bring Saddam/Iraq into compliance.

      B) Saddam was set-up to pass power to his sons, either of the two gave signs of being more repressive to the Iraqi population and more beligerant to the rest of the World. This means the USA/West could look forward to decades of "Containment" with it's growing costs in dollars and military forces commitments.

      C)Repeated attacks and attempted attacks on Coalition Aircraft enforceing the "No-Fly Zones".

      D) Repeated attacks and oppressions upon those elements of Iraqi society seeking a more representative government that would be less hostile to neighboring states and the rest of the world. As any familiar with "insurgencies" knows, most reqire a base of support outside the boundaries of the nation targeted for the insurgency as the 'secret police' forces of such tyrannical nations like Saddam's are usually effective at stiffling in the bud such movements. No nations bordering Iraq were willing to offer such outside base of support for an Iraqi insurgency against Saddam so this was a near impractible option for the West/USA.

      E) Saddam's linkage and involvement with Islamic Jihad/Terrorism via finacial assistance to such organizations, rewards to families of "suicide bobmers", hosting of training camps, and evidence of placement of Iraqi agents within some Islamic Jihad/Terrorist groups.

      Analysis of the situation from this perspective suggests that bring the issue to a head sooner was better than later since later offerred the probability that Saddam's Iraq would be more armed and dangerous while USA/West resources might be less in general and/or more engaged elsewhere when the situation might 'force' itself upon us. As following 'Reasons' will show, the "9-11" attack added further urgency in removing Iraq as a threat so that resources would be more free to be applied on other fronts in the GWOT. (Imagine trying to deal with a potential nuclear Iran if we were still involved in trying to contain and block an aggrssive and growingly armed Iraq)
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


      • #4
        III. Regime Change in Iraq was USA Policy

        In 1998 Congress and the Clinton Administration passed into Law that it was the foreign policy of the USA with regard to Iraq that we would pursue a change of Regime in that country, removing Saddam H. and his Ba'athist party from power, replacing same with a more representative form of government that would pursue a more peaceful foreign policy. The Clinton Admin declined to make this policy effective, the GWBush Admin chose to implement it.
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


        • #5
          IV. Iraqi Involvement in Terrorist Attacks Against the USA

          Following on from the "fish or cut bait" posts above where Saddam's Iraq non-compliance voided terms of the Cease Fire/Armistice, the renewal of the conflict begun and placed on hold back in early 1991 meant We'd (USA) finish the job everyone said we didn't back then ~ drive on to Baghdad and kick Saddam's ass out of power. (rook takes pawn, seizes center of board)

          In the wake of OIF, the Saudis did a better job of appearing to be on our side and Libya decided to distance itself from Sudan on the 'future targets' list, surrendering all the transferred WMD tech and gear Saddam shipped there as illustrated in that House WMD report of 1998 linked above.

          Another reason, linking somewhat to the ones just given, were the implications (wisps to outright smoke clouds hanging about Saddam/Iraq) of Iraqi involvement in some to most "terrorist" attacks on the US in the post Desert Storm Cease-Fire world. Saddam's Iraq involved in numerous attacks, direct to implied, against the USA;

          1. 1993 WTC 'fertilizer bomb in a rental truck (fbrt)' attack (direct)

          2. 1995 Oklahoma City (OC) bomb, fbrt attack (semi-direct)

          3. 1996 TWA-Flight-800 Shoot-Down (implied)

          4. 199? Kholrabi Towers (SA) bombing (Implied)

          5. 1998 Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania (implied)

          6. 1999 USA/USN U.S.S.Cole attack

          7. 2001 '9-11' attacks on WTC and WaDC(Pentagon) (Direct)

          8. 2001 'anthrax' attack on domestic USA (direct)

          Most significant here are the evidenced connections of both WTC attacks having tendriles leading back to Saddam and Iraq.

          Khalid Sheik Muhammad in the following link confessing to his role as mastermind of "9-11" along with a couple dozen plus other terrorist attacks over the past few years;

          Interesting linkage in all this is that he is the "uncle" of Ramzi Yousef who was the mastermind of the 1993 WTC 'fertilizer bomb in a rental truck' attack*. That relationship was established via passports held by both men issued from Kuwait which were alterred during the time Kuwait was occupied by Iraq 1990-91. Both men are Baluchistan and implication is they were agents of Iraq's Mukabbarat ('CIA' equivalent) placed in Al-Qaeda with some 'grease' via "Oil for Food" money$. [Iraq recruitted heavily amoung Sunni Baluchs during the Iran-Iraq war for dissidents to the Tehran regime.]

          Details of this came out in the evidence submitted in the trials in NYC of the lower level plotters, followers of the 'blind sheik', convicted on domestic criminal charges rather than international terrorism ones. This is all detailed by Laurie Mylroie in her book "Revenge";

          and her various articles;

          *similar MO in the Oklahoma City Federal Office bldg bombing, believe it was Nichols who happened to be in the same part of the Phillipines at the same time as Yousef and then returned to the USA knowing how to make the bomb used.
          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


          • #6
            V. Iraq(Saddam) was a Supporter of IslamicJihad/Terrorism

            In the years after Desert Strom, Saddam's Iraq gave clear indications is was a 'State Supporter of Terrorism' ~ Islamic Jihad.

            A) Saddam's Iraq provided cash 'reward' to the families of 'suicide bombers' who died attacking in Israel (and other locations).

            B) Saddam's Iraq provided funds, equipment, and training to Islamic Jihad Terrorist Organizations, such as through the training camp at Salman Pak located in Iraq.

            C) Saddam's Iraq appears to have infiltated it's own agents within various Islamic Jihad Terrorist Organizations, such as shown earlier with Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheik Muhammad into the Al-Qaeda organization.

            D) Examination of many of Saddam's speeches post Desert Storm show frequent invocations to Allah and Allah's Will as justification for Saddam's actions and plans. Not only was this clear pandering to the theology and idealogy of those whom he ruled over, but also indication of his idealogical association with the aims/goals of international Islamic Jihad/Terrorist organizations.

            For these examples and similar others on this theme, Saddam had to go.
            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


            • #7
              VI. Use of WMDs ~ Ecological/Environmental

              Saddam's employment of Ecological/Environmental WMDs (or "One WMD Found").

              The first time was when he torched the oilfields when running out of Kuwait. He got a 'carbon offset' of sorts via the Cease-Fire and follow-on Conditional Armistice, but barely was the ink dry on those docs when Saddam dammed the flow of water to Iraq's southern marshes/wetlands/estuaries.

              The southern marshes hosted an indiginous peoples with a lifestyle going back over 6,000 years of fishing and farming while living in the wetlands, near literal 'swamp-people'. It was part of a pogrom against those in the south who'd rebelled just after the end of Desert Storm, drying up their livelyhood. But it also resulted in environmental devestation, the marshes are about twice the size of the Florida everglades, threatened extinction of numerous aquatic and fowl species, decline of Persian Gulf fisheries, threatening migratory bird nesting areas, the usual litany of environmental destruction expected when a coastal wetland is destroyed. Note that this use of environmental WMD is an attack upon the species and ecosystems of other nations in the region which have ecological linkage to the Iraqi wetlands/southern marshes.

              Was trying to find some old links to reports with satellite images showing the decade long drying-up, but will have to try and find them later. This is/was an ecological disaster about a thousand times worse than the Exxon-Valdeze spill and didn't even get a mention from unconvenient truth enviro godfather Gore and Global Warming crowd(if not done by corporate Amerika, it ain't evil).

              Fortunately just after our troops rolled in and headed north, the locals broke the dams and water flow returned after nearly a dozen years of dry-out. Some damage may never be repaired and of course generations needed for local flora and fauna recovery of species.

              We are all downwind and downstream of each other on this 'blue marble'. This reason really chaffs my chaps as a blatant assault upon Gia and would have been reason enough to get the bastard out. ~IMO
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


              • #8
                Saddam was most certainly a problem, but he was not a threat to national security. The thing people seem to be forgetting is that Saddam, like every secular tyrannt is interested, first and formost, in self preservation. A very large rationale for the start of GWII was that he had WMD's and that he was going to pass them off to terrorists, which, on the surface sounds like a very reasonable reason to go take him out. But this logic seems to ignore my first point, namely, that Saddam was interested first and formost in self preservation. Being attached to a dirty bomb or the spread biological weapons would certainly be a nail in his coffin. Totalitarian states may have WMD's but the prospect of being caught using them or passing them off is all-together too terrible a prospect.

                Now some may say that religious fundementalist are not considering self preservation first and foremost, to which I would agree. Deterence takes a blow in these scenarios. But look at the world. N. Korea and Iran are the two nations with which we have saber rattled, but for real, these are pragmatic nations. The Iranians may talk a hard religious line, but looking at their policies they are far more realist than anything. The same goes for N. Korea. Neither of these countries are willing to use nukes or to be connected to terrorists who do.

                The world is a dangerous place, but lets not lose our heads.
                "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

                Frederic Bastiat


                • #9
                  hey Bock,

                  Nice series of pieces here. Quick question though: Can you give me a link to a sight that talks about in detail Saddam's connection to 9/11?

                  And then a question.

                  Saddam may have had a long rap sheet, no one will doubt that, but do you think the current situation in Iraq was preferable to the continued policy of containment?
                  "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

                  Frederic Bastiat


                  • #10
                    VII. End the "Oil for Food" Scam

                    Saddam was diverting "Oil for Food" funds to a number of uses other than providing food and medicines to his people. There bribes and payoffs going to numerous UN and national governmental officials involved in the program. Funds not directly diverted at least freed-up other funds for Saddam to build dozens of more palaces and monuments to his glorification, allowed him to re-arm, and fund support of IslamicJihad Terrorist organizations and activities.

                    Admittedly, the USA could have sought to end the "Oil for Food" scam via diplomatic or other methods, but Saddam was also engaged in shifting the funding of this program from USA Dollars to Euros. Since the main 'backing' of the valuation of the USA Dollar is now it's use as a main medium of foreign exchange, especially the petroleum market, were Saddam to be successful in getting the full funding of O.F.F. to be done in Euros and other nations followed suit, the US dollar would experience significant devaluation and the US economy would take a dive. Implication here was that Saddam was attempting an economic attack on the US and the only way to thwart such appeared to be via removal of him and his Regime.

                    I'll agree that this would have been a short term expedient and unscores a serious need for revision of the foundation of the American economy and backing of the value of the US dollar. In the future it appears likely that other nations may also try this again and may do so with success and we can't always invade and install 'regime change' as a way to prop up the US dollar or forestall shifts in the international markets of other currencies as mediums of trade exchange.
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


                    • #11
                      Hey Steiner,

                      Review post #5 here, the Laurie Mylroie links, for a start. I'll provide more later, I know "The Doctor" has provided some in his earlier posts here as well. I'll get to your other question after I complete the list of dozen.
                      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


                      • #12
                        I would like to know about Iraq's ties to the Oklahoma City bombing.

                        I would also like to know more about Salman Pak. The CIA and DIA concluded that there was no evidence to support the claims that it was used as a terrorist training camp. I would be interested in an official contradiction to this after the report of the Select Committee on Intelligence of September 8, 2006.

                        I think rather than saying that the US went to war because of Iraq's involvement in 9-11 (and involvement that even President Bush denies), that it would be more accurate to say that the Sept 11 attack lowered the USA's threshold for action.
                        Last edited by Duncan; 12 Aug 07, 20:27.
                        AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
                        The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.


                        • #13
                          VIII. Secure Major Source of World's Petroleum Supplies

                          There is a global market of Supply versus Demand for petroleum, hence anything that would reduce the global Supply while global Demand continues to grow will have spill over results to all players. Reduced Supply results in increased prices, causing some users to seek Supply from other supplier nations than what they would normally, while causing other user nations to be priced out of some or all of the Supply market. Repercussations being economic decline and increased deaths amoung developing and poorer nations especially.

                          The world industries and economies are interlinked, so even though the USA may not buy very much petroleum from the Persian Gulf region, significant reductions/interruptions of the Supply from here would increase competition and prices from those sources/Suppliers we do use, as well as eventual global economic disruptions in production, transport, and currencies.

                          Saddam had a history of prior disrution to global petroleum Supplies and was in a position to threaten future disruption, especially if the USA~Coalition stength of Forces were to decline enough to give him the perception of an opportunity. This may not be a 'stand alone' reason to many, but it does bolster many other 'Reasons' given in this list.
                          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by G David Bock View Post

                            D) Examination of many of Saddam's speeches post Desert Storm show frequent invocations to Allah and Allah's Will as justification for Saddam's actions and plans. Not only was this clear pandering to the theology and idealogy of those whom he ruled over, but also indication of his idealogical association with the aims/goals of international Islamic Jihad/Terrorist organizations.

                            For these examples and similar others on this theme, Saddam had to go.
                            Saddam most certainly pandered to religion, but when it came down to it, religion was simply a means to and ends. He was a secularist first and foremost. Armed religious fanatics were just as dangerous to Saddam as they were to us.
                            "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

                            Frederic Bastiat


                            • #15
                              IX. Sieze the 'Center of the Board'

                              To use an analogy from the game of chess, Iraq is the geographic, geo-political, and strategic 'center of the board' in the Middle East and Dar-al-Islam. It's population mix of Sunni and Shiia also make it a population demographic 'center of the board' in the cneturies old conflict between these two major factions within Islam.

                              Removing Saddam's regime and replacing it with one more pro-west, less Islamic Jihad/Terrorist favoring would give the USA and Coalition more Grand Strategic options for basing resources and military power for dealing with other nations in the region. It would also give the USA/Coalition more diplomatic flexibility in dealing with those nations like Kuwait, U.A.E., Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc. currently providing basing and support.

                              Again, this is a Reason that may not stand solely on it's own merits alone, but does so in conjunction with many others on the List.
                              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


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