I WEIGH IN ON IRAQ

While I’m not the smartest person in the world, I’m smart enough to keep my mouth shut on matters that I’m not an expert on. World politics falls into that category.

Given what has happened over the weekend, however, I feel the need to comment before thousands of US infantrymen start collecting souvenirs from downtown Baghdad this week.

As short as I can state it, this is my position on the whole Iraq situation. The Bush administration has a misguided and hypocritical foreign policy.

First of all, where the hell did the problem with Iraq come from? One minute the US is fighting in Afghanistan and the next Iraq starts popping up in every White House briefing. I can understand the US is now antsy about every nation/group/individual that has ever said anything bad about them, but why Iraq first?

It’s hard not to think that the Bush adminstration just wanted to pull a fast one on its coalition partners.

“Uh, hey, thanks for all your help with Afghanistan… say, you know since you’re out here anyways, it’s just a short ride to Iraq… let’s blow some shit up there too… come on, it’ll be fun…”

Why is Iraq such an important target now? What exactly is Iraq doing that is imminently threatening the US or its allies? The UN inspection teams have found little or nothing in terms of weapons of mass destruction. Sure it was a token act, but Iraq even destroyed a few of their missiles. You can’t tell me the US is worried about those ancient Scud missiles. On a good day, Iraq would need a decent tail wind and a lot of luck to even hope to land one of those things in an empty field outside of Jerusalem. Maybe I didn’t check my mail, but what hard proof does the US have that Iraq supported al-Qaeda? It’s the freaking Middle East, the one thing everyone has in common there is that they all hate the US. That’s support by default in my books. I’m not saying that Saddam Hussein is totally innocent, but in that region, you can take your pick of ruthless dictators.

Again, my question is, why Iraq first? Bush mentioned two other countries in his “axis of evil” speech: Iran and North Korea. As far as I’m concerned Iraq and Iran are about equal in their hatred for the US. I could be wrong, but isn’t it a known fact that Iran supports Hezbollah, a violent terrorist organization? This has been floating around for years. Yet, the US has decided to go after Iraq first. And recent reports have stated Iran is also developing a nuclear weapons program, yet hear almost nothing from Ari Fleisher about Iran.

Now let’s talk North Korea. It’s crazy when reporters ask the White House about why it’s about to invade Iraq and why it only uses “diplomatic” talks with North Korea. The official White House response is that President Bush believes that diplomacy is still a viable option with North Korea, while diplomacy has failed with Iraq. What a bunch of crap. So, the White House line is, we’ve given Iraq three diplomatic cards to play with and they’ve used them all, and North Korea still has some to give.

Am I the only one to think if the US wanted to get their hands dirty, it might start with North Korea? On Jan. 13th, a government run North Korean newspaper stated that North Korean would not hesitate to “turn the citadel of imperialists into a sea of fire” if the Americans invaded. That citadel they refer to is South Korea, where millions of people live and more importantly for the US, where thousands of US military personnel are stationed. So, why go after Iraq, when even the US thinks North Korea already has a few nuclear weapons?

Why is diplomacy still the preferred course for North Korea when they’ve demonstrated they can fly missiles over Japan? I’m not a rocket scientist, but if the US believes that North Korea already has a few nukes and it’s clear that they can launch missile as far as Japan, that’s not a good combination of facts. I understand for the US, Japan isn’t that important, but do they realize that Alaska is the next most important target after that?

Despite all the signs from North Korea, the Bush administraton has dismissed these threats. From what I’ve read, they’ve given no real reason. It seems like a faulty foreign policy to me. Kid gloves for those who have nukes and hardball for those who don’t have them.

Why has the Bush administration led us to where the world is now? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Before I end this, I would like to make a few more points. Do I think Saddam Hussein is a saint? No, of couse not. He is a dictator. He has killed his own people and made the Kurds to suffer. Would a regime change be good for the people of Iraq? Most likely yes. But how many countries could you say the same thing about? Too many. North Korea. Iran. China. Half a dozen African countries. Why are those countries not in the sights of US interests?

Another point is that, yes, any country deserves to defend itself, and I believe the war on terrorism should continue, but I can’t see the Iraq situation being about terrorism. If the US is hell-bent on destroying every single person and organization that has anti-US intentions, why don’t they start from within? Timothy McVeigh killed hundreds of people with his bomb, but he was doing it because he felt sympathy towards the milita groups that were anti-government. To this day, in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho dozens of militia groups exist. Their main intent is to overthrow the US government and are not afraid to use violence to attain their goal. Aren’t these people terrorists? Yet, I don’t see the Bush administration lining up the National Guard and going in and taking those people out.

Well, it’s getting late and I need to do some more work, but that’s my view on things in the Middle East. I just wanted to get that out before the bombs started dropping.

If you have any differing views or could answer some of the questions I’ve posed, feel free to leave a comment.

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