Friday, June 13, 2003
It's been a good two months since the end of hostilities in Iraq. Saddam has disappeared, Chemical Ali has been declared dead and resurrected recently, the looting is complete. American soldiers patrol (police(sic!)) the roads of Iraq and General Jay Garner is in control.
Flashback to four months ago: Bush in his address to the nation claimed the urgency of the war was due the knowledge/intelligence provided by the CIA, that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. This includes stockpiles of VX, Mustard and other nerve gases.
What was the real reason behind the war?
Everyone knows the "Operation Iraq Liberation" joke. On one hand, there is the fact that the US's agreement with Saudi Arabia for supplying oil was running out in 2005. Also was the fact that there was the Venezuelan government crisis which was leading to a break in the US oil supply. Also, the US being one of the largest consumers of oil in the world today, the threat of running low, loomed large over any adminstration. But could the US go to war, with such clear sub-plots for the "regime change"?
There was also the 9/11 attacks. Never had such a large scale terrorist attack been committed on US soil. Sentiments were at a high, resentment to the Islamic world was peaking and world opinion was with the Americans for their grief. Slowly, as the backlash emerged Afghanistan was reduced to rubble and Iraq followed soon.
The regime changes were required - let me be the first to acknowledge that. Perhaps the impotency of the UN and the European nations also acted as a catalyst for the US to act fast. If prolonged, the diplomacy of the entire effort would've undermined world power giving Saddam enough power to save his own skin.
But, underneath all the logical reasons lies that sense of power the US holds. The knowing that any backlash will not harm their lives, brings about a large sense of power. What could the UN do, other than voice their meek voices with attempts of negation? What could the rest of the world do, but stand aside and watch the country of Iraq being ripped to shreds? The claim is that the US has too much power and shouldn't exercise it at will. The hidden claim is that the rest of the world wants a piece of the pie too when it's cut. The power comes from the knowledge that they are a more enterprising culture, a more patriotic culture (Remember, they stood by Bush even through the Dixie Chicks affair, even though some people thought otherwise) - a crowd that stands by their politicians and their people in the direst of times, a proud culture.
(A digression : Here's where countries like India have a weakened stand. If you thought your administration was doing something wrong, an Indian would be the first to stand up and say "I told you so!" to the world media. Support them in whatever they do, they're your voice. The day we do that, we will be the long-coming "super-power" in the world. I truly believe it.)
But the question remains, were the WMDs just an excuse for going to war? Did the real reason remain the oil, the power and the justness of the action against a tyrannical leader?
Until the US finds the WMDs the nagging thought shall remain at the back of the world's mind - "Did they do right by going to war for a cause which didn't exist in the first place?".
Author's note: I know this was supposed to be a write-up on the deception by the US, but do you seriously believe that the regime didn't deserve to be changed, that if the WMDs were not there the US should've left the Iraqis alone, suffering, that Uday (Saddam's son) wouldn't be a more tyrannical leader than Saddam? Do you really need a reason like the WMDs to put your mind at peace? Perhaps it wasn't all in black and white, there are grey areas on which we all differ. This is one of those, they had their "ulterior" motives, but they also had the justification and the good intentions.
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