View Full Version : Possible Iraq Involvement

09-21-2001, 09:57 AM
I have read a couple of articles talking about the possible involvement of Iraq in the attack. The link provided is to a Salon.com article that has some interesting stuff about differences within the Bush Administration between hawks and doves (well maybe cautious hawks.) Of course Colin Powell is one of the hands-off Iraq guys, as he was in the Gulf War. (relatively at least.) But it also has good stuff on the identity of Yousef as an Iraqi intelligence officer. Also, Bill Gertz has a good article. Here's the Gertz link- http://www.washtimes.com/national/20010921-94732490.htm. Or you can do what I do and link from Drudge.

Anyway, if Iraq is involved this war could get very interesting. We will have to attack Iraq given what we have promised, and will have to finish the job we did in the Gulf War. This time Saddam might very well use chemical and biological weapons. If he does, we might very well respond with nuclear weapons. Even if he doesn't, the use of battlefield nukes might happen, as was discussed some below. Because we will have to completely destroy the Iraqi Army and occupy its territory to actually defeat Saddam. That will take a lot, even as soundly as we defeated Iraq before. And it will be a big test of our yet-to-be-tested coalition.

Unfortunately, we are living in interesting times. Below is the Salon.com link.

09-21-2001, 06:46 PM
Makes one wonder if maybe we shouldn't have STAYED in Iraq rather than doing a halfway job. It would possibly have meant less springboards for terrorism, lower oil prices, a more secure Mid-east; and the Iraqi people (not just the Iraqi military) could have gotten plenty of food and medical care.

Once their standard of living increased under Western-style free enterprise, most of them probably wouldn't hate us so much either. Almost invariably throughout history, the popularity of the government in power is directly tied to the level of poverty or prosperity of the people.

Of course, in our enlightened wisdom, we wouldn't do this, but if we were a country which wasn't so morally enlightened, maybe everyone would have been better off.

I'm not suggesting that we SHOULD have done this, or that we should in the future; I'm just speculating on an alternate scenario. Of course it could have been worse too--who knows. I'm just not absolutely 100% convinced that we shouldn't have done it.

09-21-2001, 09:45 PM
Iraq may become a target. Other nations which support terrorists might become targets. The topic of nuclear warfare inevitably comes up. The possibility of this action escalating, beyond our control, to some nightmarish scenario should prompt extreme caution. I would think the administration would agree, but some of the rhetoric sounds otherwise. I hesitate to think we would seriously consider resorting to nuclear weapons, but between some possibility we might, and some chance another nation might, lies just one of the nearly unthinkable but possible roads down which we could be headed.

Though there appear to be very serious problems associated with going specifically after the terrorist organizations themselves, the consequences of broader war could be much more frightening.

I don't know the right thing to do. I'm disheartened that the administration appears to be giving minimal thought to non-military alternatives. I just hope Bush has some folks looking awfully closely at risk-reward ratios.

09-21-2001, 11:18 PM
I always wondered why we didn't get Saddam out of power. We could have destroyed his entire army pretty easily and set up some government. But I think the problem was the coalition. I think it was a very big step for Saudi Arabia to let us station our troops there - a step bigger than we might imagine. In fact, I saw a pretty good show the other night that was a joint effort between the BBC and the Discovery channel. Bin Laden absolutely went crazy when troops were allowed in the "Holy Land" of Saudi Arabia. I know many Saudis were uncomfortable with the women in our army and even the Jewish soldiers having services. Now, that does not mean we should adjust our foreign policy to appease the most radical elements in the Middle East, but I think our coalition may very well have turned on us if we did the job on Saddam that probably should have been done, at least in hindsight. Plus, Iraq is more secular than some other countries over there, so I think a lot of the citizens there would be thrilled to live in a more westernized society with no Saddam.

So I guess I don't know exactly what was possible, but it looks like our problems with Saddam have just started.

09-21-2001, 11:50 PM
I think the U.S. will need to use non-military means as well.

09-22-2001, 02:34 AM
It is always good to know how one's "opponent" thinks. Let's see.

Bin Laden stringly opposed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and was ready to fight against the Iraqis. He even submitted proposals about how to help the Kuwaitis to the Saudi leadership. But he was upset when American and other troops landed on Saudi Arabia to fight Iraq. Saudi Arabia is home to the two holiest places in the Muslim religion. To visit these places one needs to be a devout Muslim, and not just any other casual believer. To visit Saudi Arabia one needs to pass numerous screenings. Then he might get a visa, for a specific and short period of time. (You should see the offices of the Saudi Toursim Bureau. Tell me, if you do!) So, the presence of "infidel troops" on Saudi soil was a sacrilege for millions of Muslims, and anyone who protested against it a true faithful.

The seeds of bin Laden's terrorism were sown then & there, not because of some American show of support towards Israel.

So, before sending troops to land and occupy a place, it is wise to gauge plausible reactions & developments. Unless of course someone is being strictly a short-term player, relying on luck, intuition and "good intentions".

....The U.S. is after a band of terrorists, who can do disproportionate damage . These terrorists are not numerous, they move secretly, they have a network of safe but known havens, they obey no laws, and they will provenly fight to the death rather than surrender. It's a no-brainer how to handle that situation but the United States will never do it the right way. Not for moral reasons. But because they are trapped in their own grandiose size. Unlike Israel.

09-22-2001, 09:46 AM
"....The U.S. is after a band of terrorists, who can do disproportionate damage . These terrorists are not numerous, they move secretly, they have a network of safe but known havens, they obey no laws, and they will provenly fight to the death rather than surrender. It's a no-brainer how to handle that situation but the United States will never do it the right way. Not for moral reasons."

OK...how to handle that situation?

09-22-2001, 10:57 AM
I think he might be talking about our assassination policy and intelligence gathering, but I'm not sure. Israel has already told us to start doing assassinations. But you need people over there to find out EXACTLY where a target will be, then pull it off. We are going to change our assassination policy, then we'll see if it does much. Although one of the articles I read recently (I think it was on Jane's Security website) indicated the C.I.A. was involved in an attempt by car bomb on one of Bin Laden's close associates. It was unsuccessful.

09-25-2001, 09:53 AM
...that not modifying the UN resolution mandating the liberation of Kuwait to a mandate to capture Hussein and key lieutenants for the purpose of trial for crimes against international order and crimes against the environment was a mistake whose penalty would far exceed the lives of the UN troops lost in the siege of Baghdad and capture of the accused.

It was a moment lost.