Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Re: The Real Reason We Invaded Iraq

June 20, 2006

Re: The Real Reason We Invaded Iraq.

From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel

Dear Colleagues:

Three points that have become widely accepted lead ineluctably to, and suggest the only possible answer or answers to, a fourth one. The fourth one is why, really, did we invade Iraq? What are the real reason or reasons for the invasion?

It has now become widely accepted that, as terrible as 9/11 was, and as big a threat as the then Afghanistan-based Al Qaeda may at that time have presented, George W. Bush did not fully commit American forces to Afghanistan, did not go all out there. Rather, he mainly, not exclusively but mainly, fought that war by use of warlord proxies whom we could in one way or another persuade to do our fighting for us. This is thought by highly knowledgeable persons to have resulted in momentous missed opportunities, like our failure to catch bin Laden when we otherwise could have done so. What is more, Bush did not go all out in Afghanistan in order to write finis to terrorists even though he kept saying that his mission in history was to protect America from terrorists.

The first now-widely-accepted point, then, is that Bush did not fully commit in Afghanistan. And, it should be said, there are those who think the reason for this, or at least a major reason, was that Bush wanted to save the availability of the vast bulk of American forces for a forthcoming war he hoped to fight in Iraq.

The second now-widely-accepted idea is that the reasons given by this administration for a war in Iraq were baloney -- there were no WMDs, Iraqis did not welcome us with rose petals so that the war would be merely a quick walkover, the rest of the Middle East did not fall down on its knees and embrace democracy where there was tyranny, Saddam Hussein was not connected to the terrorists of 9/11.

The third now-widely-accepted idea is that, although there were people warning Bush and company that their announced reasons for going to war in Iraq were hogwash, the administration didn’t want to hear it. It ignored and twisted the intelligence, created and adopted new, phony intelligence that suited its own purposes, and punished those like Shinseki and Lindsay who told disagreeable truths.

Now, one asks oneself: Why would Bush, who announced himself God’s appointed savior of America through destruction of terrorism, nonetheless fail to do anything like the maximum in Afghanistan to catch and destroy terrorists, and then make up stuff, and ignore extensive contrary evidence and intelligence, in order to send about 150,000 men and women to Iraq, which was not connected with terrorism. Why would he and his administration act in this way?

Well, in view of what is now widely accepted, the answer to this question seems pretty simple. It is an answer that has been mentioned in earlier years (as in connection with Paul O’Neill’s book), but that, after some mention, tends to be forgotten. It is that Bush hated and wanted to get rid of Saddam. Saddam, after all, had escaped the clutches of Bush’s father -- whose decision to stop on the road to Baghdad may not look so hot, historically. Then Saddam had tried to kill his father. By taking over Iraq and throwing out and bringing to trial Saddam, Bush would overcome his father’s failure (and surpass his father) and would avenge the attempts on his father’s life. That seems to me the obvious basic reason why Bush did not commit full bore to Afghanistan despite his supposed mission of doing away with terrorists, and instead left the army free to fight in Iraq, made up phony reasons for fighting in Iraq, ignored contrary evidence and, via his henchmen, made up his own phony pseudo-intelligence. Why else but from a deep seated psychological need for revenge against Saddam would even the unintelligent Bush act as stupidly as he did?

Naturally, of course, Bush’s real reason, his underlying reason, could not be put forward to the American people as the reason for going to war (although Bush did slip once and say with regard to Saddam that you have to remember that this is the guy who tried to kill his father).

There very well may be a second underlying reason why Bush got us into the disaster in Iraq. He is an oil man after all, and Iraq sits on top of a mountain of oil that the U.S. could use very well, thank you. This reason is another one that has been mentioned previously but then tends to be passed over in the media, yet it meshes simply and beautifully with the fundamental psychological reason discussed above. For it means that Bush could surpass and avenge his father and better our own oil position. One can see, incidentally, that this combination would make Bush a hero, and plainly anyone who does and says the thing he has done and said (e.g., “Bring it on,” that he answers to a higher father, that God is directing him to do it, etc.) does have a hero complex or messianic complex of some sort. (In truth, unless he has some sort of hero complex or its equivalent, where does a former drunk and serial failure in business come off thinking he should be President?)

These matters are relevant, of course, to the question of what is to be done now, to the question of should we withdraw from Iraq. This question has been addressed here many times before, so one shall not reiterate what has been said previously. Suffice it to add now that the almost ineluctable conclusion that we (wholly unjustifiably) got into the disastrous Iraq war - - in which many tens of thousands have been killed - - in order to salve George Bush’s personal psychological needs makes it all the more right to get out of that war as fast as we can, as fast as blazes. Otherwise we shall continue killing people to soothe George Bush’s psyche.*


* If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.