"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Well, it looks like our brethren to the south are gonna be playing Globe-o-Cop again...

Honestly, would the US 'national security' suffer THAT much if they simply brought all the troops home and let the Middle East (and surrounding hotspots) go to hell their own way? I think not. Right now, Uncle Sammy's sons and daughters are spread verrry thin throughout the globe, they do NOT need to be sent into another war zone...
...particularily when it isn't necessary.

Let's look back on some history, shall we?

Wayyyy back about 25 years ago, a country that used to be Persia was in trouble. The Shah of Iran (unpopular due to economic and social troubles) was deposed by an Islamic Fundamentalist regime (hey, any revolution will do...). There was some unpleasantness with some overzealous U of Tehran students and an American Embassy - a long, drawn out hostage drama. The hostages were eventually freed. Coincidentally, Iran started a pissing match with its neighbor, Iraq. Something along the line of: we're pure and holy Sons of Islam and you're just a bunch of Pro-Western suck-up pussies! To which Iraq replied, in effect: that may be, but we're still gonna kick your ass if you try anything!

War ensued (hey, with neighborly dialogue like that, it was inevitable -- Imagine! Going to war over who hates Israel more!)

Now, the US postition in all of this was...interesting.

On the one hand, the US has always understood the Muslim principle that "the enemy of mine enemy is my friend". So while Iraq was fighting with Iran, the US kinda sat in the background and softly cheered "yaaaaayy.......go get 'em". On the other hand, Iran had been holding US citizens hostage...so Pres. Reagan sent them a few "goodwill gifts" - arms shipments that were subsequently used in the war with Iraq.

Did the Iraqis get some mixed messages from the US? Start having some doubts maybe? (well, possibly...)

Iraq by that time had JUST started making some serious coin from its (finally!) home grown petrochemical industry. So after the war with their belligerent neighbor was over, the time looked right for a massive economic re-build. Then the newly trained geology grads from their newly built universities made a discovery...

The Emirate of Kuwait was slant drilling into the Iraqi oil fields...

I can imagine Mr. Saddam Hussein was a little miffed by this, after all, Iraq had just taken on their larger neighbor and fought to a draw. He wasn't about to let a pissant little pseudo-nation like Kuwait start stealing the resources his people needed for that aforementioned economic facelift.

I admit, I'm a little fuzzy on the details of what happened next. Did Mr. Hussein send a letter of protest to Kuwait? To the US? To the UN? With an uneasy truce in place with Iran and a sometime Superpower ally in the US he had to be careful. Whatever he tried initially apparently did not work, because the military option was brought to the table in pretty short order.

The US dropped the ball.

They sent a female non-entity to discuss the situation with Mr. Hussein. Whether this was planned or accidental is uncertain. What is certain is that this...woman and Mr. Hussein were having two very different discussions. I have no idea what she was instructed to say on behalf of the US, but what Mr. Hussein HEARD was that the US "would not wish to become involved in any kind of military action by Iraq against Kuwait". What she probably meant to say was the US would not CONDONE such, but what Mr. Hussein heard was that" 'Ol Uncle Sam is going to sit this one out, you are free to go ahead and take back your oil."

So he did.

There was IMMEDIATE agitation in the Western Press by the Kuwaiti Government-in-Exile. Stories of atrocities by Iraqi soldiers were printed - one story in particular got the hawks in George the First's cabinet rattling their sabres. This story was later shown to be false - or at least unproven and from VERY unreliable sources. The story that Iraqi soldiers had gone to the natal ward in a Kuwait City Hospital and dumped all the premature infants out of the incubators, then took the incubators away and shipped them back to Bhagdad. I'm not saying that atrocities weren't commited - this WAS a war, after all - but this one; the key to getting the US to kick off what became Desert Sheild; apparently didn't happen.

Which brings us up to the current decade: Iraq's army got it's butt kicked by a multinational coalition (the same army that held the line against their - single! - larger neighbor). Upon hearing unfounded rumors that Iraq had a chemical and biological weapons program in place, the UN sent in CIA shills to find these "weapons of Mass Destruction". They didn't find them. The US (and UN) slapped a trade embargo on Iraq for their lack of 'cooperation' with the UN snoops. And the Iraqi economic re-build plans got placed on permanent hold.

Now, the US is going to bomb 'em back to the Stone Age because...why? Oh yes! They support "TERRORISM". Terrorism is responsible for killing 3000plus US citizens at the WTC last year, you know. (Did you also know that number represents about 1 tenth of the people who were in the WTC at the time of the attack, and that number could have been further reduced if a special interest group with a gripe against the asbestos industry - and a class action lawsuit - had only laid off long enough for...ah, skip it!)

A couple of points:

One: no one REALLY knows who was ultimately responsible for the WTC attack. Mr. Osama Bin Laden and his Al Quaeda fighters claimed responsibility for it - thereby painting a huge bullseye on his head and bringing down punitive attacks on Afghanistan by the US military (They had to DO something, after all).

Two: the only thing Iraq has to do with this particular crisis is that it happened when George Bush was president. Dubya's daddy evidently didn't finish the job, so George II is gonna go and kick some raghead ass...

Personally, I don't LIKE Mr. Hussein, he's only in power because he's had everyone smarter than him (read: potential threat of overthrow) executed; this includes members of his own extended family. But I DO think the Iraqi people got a raw deal...

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