Share this

Nov 13, 2006

When the Iraq war started, I was not at all a fan. Not because I didn't think Saddam had weapons or a weapons program; in any event, most everyone thought he at least had a program and Saddam was spreading false information because he felt an image of a strong Iraq would actually prevent an American invasion. At the time, I didn't like the oil argument either, since it seemed that there was not a great deal of reason to undergo such a massive operation just to get our hands on oil they would already sell to us at about the same rate as they could produce it.

I didn't like the idea of going to war because it seemed like we were taking on an impossible task. It was a massive country, cobbled and held together with an iron fist. I didn't see us being able to transform it into a peaceful democratic regime, especially with what passed for our plan. I thought we'd get another Vietnam-- a constantly escalating war that did nothing but harm our national security.

After the war started, the press started talking about Shiites and Sunnis. Then it became clear that the public had on the whole missed a rather large chunk of this equation until it was too late. And it also became clear that every Middle East state had been quite clear on this divide and what it would mean not only for holding Iraq together, but how it could expand sectarian conflict in their own countries.

I remember thinking before the war that the Middle Eastern states who said we were doing it for oil maybe didn't understand Bush's personal convictions or were acting a bit paranoid when it came to the oil.

Now I think that to those government officials in Egypt, Turkey or Kuwait who know we weren't doing it to declare war on Islam, it was at the very least so obvious that this Iraq thing could only end badly for everyone, and they figured we must want something a lot to justify the invasion. Something valuable. Something that many foreign countries, including our own, have made every effort to control since it became useful-- often using military means, sometimes just propping up unpopular people would want to sell us as much as they could. And they came to the conclusion that oil was the only item which might logically explain the invasion.

It seems that they were right all the way around, at least on what would happen if we invaded Iraq. And we won't get either our stated or unstated goals: not a safer middle east, not a democratic beacon, not a more friendly government sitting on Iraq's oil reserves. . . probably we'll all just be in worse shape for it. And I dont' see much of a way to fix it.

No comments: