We are the only site on the web devoted exclusively to intellectual conservatism. We find the most intriguing information and bring it together on one page for you.

Links we recommend
Link to us
Free email update
About us
What's New & Interesting
Mailing Lists
Intellectual Icons


Iraq: Lies and Predictions
by Alan Caruba
1 December 2003

As Donald Rumsfeld has said, the objective in Iraq is not to leave, but rather to succeed in our mission.

Predicting the future is the job of soothsayers. Still, something must be said about the future of Iraq if we are to remain confident and resolute enough to see our venture there through to the finish.

Let us begin with the Democrat’s claims that the President “lied” us into the invasion that has seen the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the end to what was arguably the most horrid regime since those of Nazi Germany and the gulags of the Soviet Union. Who said, “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program?” Answer: former President Clinton on Feb. 17, 1998.

Who said, “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face?” Answer: Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright on Feb. 18, 1998.

In November 2002, Senator Ted Kennedy said, “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” However, on September 18, 2003, he said, “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.”

If the intelligence that the Senate committee was receiving was wrong, then the intelligence upon which the President based his decision was wrong. We have learned, however, that there was a direct Saddam-Osama bin Laden connection. Indeed, the only other explanation was that Saddam engaged in an elaborate WMD bluff. Meanwhile, defectors from Saddam’s regime repeatedly said he was seeking to build a WMD program. Who do you believe? Democrats who are denying what they said or Iraqi defectors and other facts that include his use of poison gas against the Kurdish population in Iraq and during his war with Iran?

Even Arab pundits who initially opposed the invasion of Iraq have revised their views. Fawaz Turki, a columnist for the Jidda-based Arab News, recently wrote, “No, I don’t believe that by going to war America had dark designs on Iraq’s oil or pursued an equally dark conspiracy to ‘help Israel.’ I believe that the United States, perhaps willy-nilly, will end up helping Iraqis regain their human sanity, their social composure and the national will to rebuild their devastated nation.” The mass graves of Iraqis confirm the inhumanity of the Saddam regime.

In early November, a Gallup poll taken in Baghdad reported “virtually without exception (98% agree, 1% disagree), Baghdadis agree that the new constitution should guarantee all Iraqis the right ‘to express their opinion on the political, social, and economic issues of the day.’ No demographic group appears to view freedom of speech as anything other than the most basic of civil rights.” In this Muslim nation, “the vast majority of Baghdad’s residents agree that the country’s next constitution should include a provision ‘allowing all Iraqi citizens to observe any religion of their choice and to practice its teachings and beliefs.’” The notion that democracy cannot take root in Iraq or any other Middle Eastern nation is wrong.

In late October, the libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, issued a policy analysis by Charles V. Pena, its director of defense policy studies. He expressed the view that, “Much of the anti-American resentment around the world, particularly in the Islamic world, is the result of interventionalist US foreign policy.”  Such experts have been wrong in the past. It strikes me that the US has had a long history of trying to stay out of wars in other parts of the globe. We resisted going to war in both WWI and WWII. We responded to the North Korean attack on the South under the aegis of the United Nations. We did, however, blunder (and were lied into) the Vietnam War. Time and time again, the US has consistently tried its best to resist military action in favor of diplomacy.

I suspect the United States is more resented for previously championing democracy as the answer to conflicts because it was often seen as doing little to encourage it. That “status quo” policy is dead.

“It is too late to stop al Qaeda from targeting America and Americans,” wrote Pena. “The United States must do everything in its power to dismantle the al Qaeda terrorist network worldwide, but the United States must also avoid needlessly making new terrorist enemies or fueling the flames of virulent anti-American hated. In the 21st century, the less the United States meddles in the affairs of other countries, the less likely the prospect that American and Americans will be targets for terrorism.” Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

First of all, al Qaeda is not a national movement that has a geographic location. Destroying it will require a change of mind among those nations that have funded and supported it. Lacking that, the US will likely have to compel, i.e., invade those nations that permit it to function. When we finish our work in Afghanistan and Iraq, we will have to turn our attention to Iran where credible reports say al Qaeda is setting up its new headquarters with the blessing of the ayatollahs. Our policy toward Saudi Arabia is also changing.
As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently stated, “Our exit strategy in Iraq is success; it’s that simple." “The objective is not to leave,” but rather “to succeed in our mission.” As proof that others share that mission, thirty-two nations are now providing on-the-ground support for Iraqi reconstruction efforts.

Noticeably missing is the United Nations! The UN is a useless doppelganger of WWII; the failed dream of an institution to achieve world peace.

The Cato analysis, to its credit, calls for greater emphasis on preventing terrorists from entering the US, as well as weapons or the components of WMDs. It calls for greater protection of critical facilities. I will, however, disagree with the Cato Institute’s essentially isolationist analysis.

I will oppose the cowardly response of the Democrat Party. The Democrats offer no “exit” strategy other than to abandon Iraqis to chaos and surrender to al Qaeda.

Lastly, it is worth noting that, since 9-11, there has not been a single terrorist attack in America. This does not mean one is not being planned, but it does mean that projecting our power in Afghanistan and Iraq has protected American lives thus far. Most people would call that a success.

Alan Caruba is the author of Warning Signs, published by Merril Press. His weekly commentaries are posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.

Email Alan Caruba

Send this Article to a Friend