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Rethinking Iraq
by Timothy Rollins, The American Partisan
2 September 2003

With the body count in postwar Iraq mounting and the possibility of Iraq turning into George W. Bush's Vietnam increasing, the Bush administration is now looking for a way out and still save face, and we as a nation now need to examine the process by and through which we got ourselves there in the first place. This analysis should include re-analyzing the arguments of those who opposed the Iraq war.

With the body count in postwar Iraq mounting and the possibility of Iraq turning into George W. Bush's Vietnam increasing, the Bush administration is now looking for a way out and still save face, and we as a nation now need to examine the process by and through which we got ourselves there in the first place.

Initially, the concerns of Saddam Hussein being an imminent threat to the United States and other nations in the West was seen as realistic - this, despite the fact Iraq's 2002 military was nowhere near as well developed as the army he had going up against the coalition of the willing in the first Gulf War of 1991.

Now it's easy to see that there was some legitimacy to the threat the American people were told. How much of it was fact and how much of it was wishful thinking on the part of the administration is pretty much anyone's guess at this point.

The key factor here is that those in the Bush administration seem to fall into two camps - the appeasers and the naïve. In the appeasers corner, we have most notably Secretary of State and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell who was a key player in both situations. This is particularly unfortunate in that Powell had been against the first Gulf War until the order was given to attack, at which time, like any good soldier, he followed orders and saw it through until the surrender.

Powell's key failing in Gulf War I was in persuading President Bush the elder to wrap it up as soon as he did and not topple Saddam Hussein when he had the chance, thus leaving it up to President Bush the younger to go in and clean up the mess. During the run up to Gulf War II, Powell, this time as Secretary of State, argued forcibly behind the scenes against re-invading Iraq leading some neoconservatives to brand him an appeaser along the lines of Neville Chamberlain. Thanks in part perhaps to his delaying tactics, Saddam Hussein is still alive rather than either in a coffin or forced into exile in Saudi Arabia or some other Arab country.

Not to be forgotten, in the other corner are the gullible and genuinely naïve - those who truly believe all that's told them by the White House press office. With the exception of legitimate covert operations which must be withheld from the American people to preserve the lives of living assets in place, the rest of the facts relating to the President's decision to put American soldiers into harm's way must be openly disclosed to Congress as required by the War Powers Resolution of 1973. In addition, the American people have a right to know the truth about why their sons (and daughters) are being sent to fight and die in Iraq, a war most Americans thought was won months ago when Saddam was forcibly deposed and Baghdad occupied by Coalition forces.

What makes it pivotal for America and her people to rethink our policy on Iraq without turning tail and running is what now poses an even bigger threat to our troops there: Al-Qaeda. With Al-Qaeda now in Iraq, our troops as well as all other non-Arab interests are at significantly higher risk of being targeted for attack. The fact that 15 of the 19 terrorists who made the 9-11 attacks two years ago were not only members of Al-Qaeda but also Saudi nationals, which combined with less than enthusiastic cooperation from the Saudi government has made more than a handful of Americans miffed at Washington for the 'kid glove' treatment given the Saudi royal family on this matter - all seemingly in the name of oil. Not to be forgotten in the mix is that while we were focusing our tunnel vision on Iraq, Iran was behind everyone's backs developing weapons grade plutonium and could well be the next nuclear power with strike capability of reaching the tiny state of Israel - one of their avowed enemies.

While young Middle Eastern men being bypassed for profiling at American airports for fear of offending them, law-abiding American citizens have been harassed by airport security personnel. Those harassed range from five-year-old kids with lollipops who are wanded and checked for explosive residue to nursing mothers being forced to drink bottled breast milk. Also targeted for special attention are 90-year-old great-grandmas in walkers and elected officials like 75-year-old Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) who was recently ordered to drop his pants (he has a metal hip replacement) by one security wannabe. These embarrassing incidents have made news around the country and overseas. As a result, America and its security has become a laughingstock of its once great self - again, all in the name of cheap oil even though we have seen gasoline prices increase, not decrease since these measures were implemented.

How do we help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and quit sucking up to our avowed enemies who seek our destruction with one hand while taking our money to finance it with the other? The answer is simple. We need to implement the longtime proposal by Republicans in Congress to expand the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, which I have long referred to as the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve to make this country self-sufficient with regards to energy resources once again.

The Islamic terrorist suicide jockeys were willing to fly a couple of wide body jets into the twin towers of New York City. The next terrorist attack may well prove even more catastrophic.

Timothy Rollins is Editor of the
American Partisan.

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