Not Just About WMD's
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It’s Not Just About WMD’s    

In thinking about the reasons for the war on Iraq, we should not just focus on the presence or absence of WMD’s.  There were a number of other reasons given to justify that war and we should look at them as well.

Official Reasons

  1. Weapons of Mass Destruction – None have been found.  This confirms the effectiveness of the UN inspection process and Iraqi compliance with it.  Continuation of the inspection process would have further verified this – perhaps that is why the US terminated it.
  2. Military Threat – None of the neighboring countries considered Iraq to be any threat. Their military was severely weakened after the first Gulf War and 12 years of sanctions.  The invasion was over in a few weeks.  How then could Iraq have been any danger to the United States?
  3. Terrorism – There is no evidence that Iraq had any involvement whatsoever in the attacks of 9/11, or any cooperative relationship with al Qeada.   
  4. Liberation, aka Regime Change – The regime of Saddam Hussein, sponsored originally by the US, is now over.  The evidence to date however is that the US plans to keep firm control of the country and establish a new client regime to its liking.  To the people of Iraq this is looking much more like a foreign occupation than a liberation.

Unofficial Reasons 

  1. Oil – The huge Iraqi oil reserves are now under the control of the US.  Politically favored corporations have been given contracts to repair and manage them.
  2. Domestic Politics – The war diverted attention from economic and social problems at home.   The cry of patriotism served to silence many voices of opposition.  It enabled the Republicans to gain tighter control of Congress in the midterm elections..
  3. International Relations – The Bush administration has pursued unilateral policies ever since taking office.  The launching of this war after failure to get UN approval is just the latest and most extreme example.  This action may be intended to intimidate others, but will further isolate the US and induce other nations to unite in opposition. 
  4. Credibility – The Bush administration cried wolf so much about the threats from Iraq and the need to take decisive action, that they left themselves no graceful way out.

Governments, like individuals, usually have more than one reason for doing something.

Which ones do you think were the primary reasons for the Bush administration?

David White, 6/24/03


The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves. -- William Hazlitt
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( This page was last updated on:  07/01/2003 )