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Old 07-19-2014, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,361 posts, read 6,783,711 times
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Around the time of the Second Gulf War. a book entitled The Pentagon's New Map, by Thomas Barnett, was being promoted. In it, it was argued that the spread of democratic institutions in such areas as Eastern Europe, parts of Latin America and South Africa, coupled with a slower, less-direct process in China, India and the former Soviet Union, called for an essentially non-partisan approach to foreign policy devolving around suppression of the remaining possible "trouble spots". Mr. Barnett personally described himself as "non-partisan", and a holdover from the State Department of a previous administration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pentagon's_New_Map

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_P.M._Barnett

To summarize, the United States' acceptance of the role of "global policeman" was somewhat more readily acknowledged (and by both parties) at a time when the cost of a war of attrition in occupied territory was understated, due to the "artificial" success in the First Gulf War.

That viewpoint hardly conforms to the present day "pop wisdom" of attributing the entire action to a personal grudge. Remember, the action was heavily debated and sanctioned by Congressional actions before actual military engagement began, and the report of U N advisor Hans Blix would not have been possible without the oversight of Western observers and troops.

And that point is seldom acknowledged by people who wish to dismiss the entire action as a personal vendetta, and whose message is largely directed at people who were under the age of ten, or younger, at the time of the conflict.

Last edited by Oldhag1; 07-20-2014 at 05:58 AM.. Reason: Move
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:04 AM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,704 posts, read 4,163,830 times
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Clearly not a just war. In order to meet the traditionally accepted international standard for a "just war", a war must meet the following criteria:

1. The war must be initiated for a just cause.
2. The war must be waged with right intention.
3. The war must be sanctioned by competent authority, and only as a measure of last resort.
4. The harm that can reasonably be expected to result from the war must not be greater than the good that can reasonably be expected to result.
5. The war must be fought on a proportionate level, and all possible precautions must be taken to protect civilians.
6. The war must end in a just peace.

In order to satisfy the standard of a just war, a war must meet all 6 of these criteria. The Iraq war clearly fails on at least 4 of these points, and arguably on at least 1 (and conceivably both) of the remaining 2.

Point 1, Just cause: Clear failure.

The United States never had just cause to invade Iraq. The Bush Administration floated a seemingly unending series of justifications before the American public, including violations of UN charters and cease fire agreements and prevention of terrorism, before finally settling upon the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, was allied with al Qeada, and was a direct and immediate threat to the United States and other countries throughout the world, and that the only way to end this threat was to invade immediately.

But the evidence they provided to support these claims was false, and even Colin Powell (who presented the case to the United Nations) admits that. He claims that at the time, he was misled and mistaken, but that's self-serving crap. The claims he made at the UN had absolutely no substantive evidence at that time, this was pointed out by numerous governments and private individuals at the time, and he even acknowledged the lack of hard evidence in his presentation. The reasons we gave for the invasion were false; there was no just cause.

Point 2, right intention: Clear failure.

The fact that we knowingly presented false evidence in support of our case for war clearly shows that we had no right intention. Failure to meet the standards of Point 1 is in this case an automatic failure to meet the standards of Point 2.

Point 3, competent authority and measure of last resort: Clear failure.

We can leave the competent authority for someone else to argue, because this criterion is a clear failure purely on the question of last resort. The Bush Administration did not even attempt to provide any evidence that Iraq posed an immediate threat, instead basing their claim on falsified "evidence" that if the world did not act immediately, Iraq would be able to use chemical or nuclear weapons against the United States and other countries within a year or two. Even if the evidence in support of that claim were true, it obviously does not meet the standard of "last resort.'

In addition, if the threat was truly immediate (which is what the term "last resort" depends upon), how to explain taking almost 2 years to build support for an invasion? it's either an immediate threat requiring immediate action, or... it's a longterm threat, allowing years to build a case. You can't have it both ways. Clear failure for the claim that it was measure of last resort.

Point 4, good must outweigh the harm: I could argue this, but I'll give it to the other side and leave it on the table. It's late and I want to get back to bed.

Point 5, proportionate execution and all possible precautions to protect civilians: Clear failure.

Number of Iraqi civilian casualties as a result of the war: anywhere from around 110,000 to over 600,000, depending on whose study and what defining criteria you accept.

Point 6, outcome is a just peace: ambiguous. Again, I could argue it, but again it's late and I want to get back to bed. 4 out of 6 clear failures is enough anyway.

So no, the Iraq war was not a just war, and never was.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,361 posts, read 6,783,711 times
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So how does the world's mot prominent super-power address the issue of a friendly nation, rapidly approaching the status of a fully-tested democracy, but sustained only by American support, surrounded by perhaps 200 million hostiles, none of whom live under conditions even remotely akin to a free society, and held in bondage and blindness by corrupt leaders who are perfectly content to rely upon religious dogma rooted in the Seventh Century to keep those masses in subjugation?

The unfortunate fact is that while democracy continues to emerge on much of the globe, radical Islam remains both the worst laggard and the greatest obstacle to global stability. Can we ever advance beyond regarding it as a threat, and a highly irrational threat at that?

And I would also remind everyone here that the occupants of the White House and Cabinet at the time of the two Gulf Wars probably had greater direct exposure to the Middle East (through experiences in the oil industry), than any other American Chief Executives.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,704 posts, read 4,163,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
So how does the world's mot prominent super-power address the issue of a friendly nation, rapidly approaching the status of a fully-tested democracy, but sustained only by American support, surrounded by perhaps 200 million hostiles, none of whom live under conditions even remotely akin to a free society, and held in bondage and blindness by corrupt leaders who are perfectly content to rely upon religious dogma rooted in the Seventh Century to keep those masses in subjugation?
It's difficult to answer the question, because I'm not sure what countries we're discussing. I assume the first country in your question is Israel, but a little unclear on who the other countries are that you have in mind. Especially considering the fact that Iraq was not a religious state, and thus would not seem to have anything to do with the countries you're referring to.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
The unfortunate fact is that while democracy continues to emerge on much of the globe, radical Islam remains both the worst laggard and the greatest obstacle to global stability. Can we ever advance beyond regarding it as a threat, and a highly irrational threat at that?
If you word the question that way, I don't think it's incumbent upon us to advance beyond regarding it as a threat - it's up to radical Islam to advance beyond being a threat. Which is not exactly something I'm holding my breath on.

But I'm unclear what this issue has to do with invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam. Iraq was not a state that supported radical Islam, and in fact Saddam probably regarded radical Islamists as an even greater threat than we do. What connection do you see between invading Iraq and suppressing radical Islam?



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
And I would also remind everyone here that the occupants of the White House and Cabinet at the time of the two Gulf Wars probably had greater direct exposure to the Middle East (through experiences in the oil industry), than any other American Chief Executives.
What difference does that make? It doesn't make the lies suddenly become true. It doesn't resurrect the dead civilians. It doesn't change the fact that the invasion of Iraq fails to meet at least 4 of the 6 commonly accepted criteria for a just war. Which is how I interpreted the question in the OP.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,538,721 times
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The Iraq war was completely justified if you were an oil company (particularly British Petroleum) investor. It was worth every dime you did not spend and every death you did not suffer.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Arizona High Desert
4,636 posts, read 4,945,754 times
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A TOTAL waste of human life. America should be ashamed of the liars who pushed this thing to begin with.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,291,089 times
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I agree that it was totally unnecessary. In fact, and IMO, the second Iraq war diverted our attention from, and drained critical resources away from, an armed incursion that made a good bit more sense -- the search for bin Ladin in Afghanistan. An operation that should have taken only a few months -- at most -- wound up taking years, and years, and years, and...

Even though it has little bearing on this thread, 2nd trick op's assertion is easily rebutted by a simple, quick look at a map.

Last edited by Oldhag1; 07-20-2014 at 02:27 PM.. Reason: removed color font
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Emmaus, PA
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NO - It was NOT necessary.
It was waged on wrong information - at best - or lies - at worst.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,361 posts, read 6,783,711 times
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We can't return to an isolationist stance; our prominence among the industrialized democracies, and the fact that there are some people who will condemn us no matter what we do (just as there are some people on either side of the nation's current polarization who will attack any Administration who can't meet their "litmus test") guarantees that unenviable position.

So exactly how do we determine which of the globe's malcontents are a threat, and which aren't? It's clear that we missed the mark with bin Laden (and that should not be a partisan issue), and the belief that we could not afford a "second guess" was far more prevalent in 2002-03 than it is at present, when hindsight is (as always) 20/20. But the is a large group of new participants at this site who were too young to form an opinion at that time, and it's clear that an oversimplified argument is being peddled to them.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Sango, TN
24,889 posts, read 20,304,497 times
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The United States being the sole world power was needed to correct the invasion of Kuwait. I understand our place, we had a vast coalition force of many Arab countries supporting us.

Where we get into trouble is nation building or trying to play police within the borders of a nation where they have leadership and a government in place already. The second Iraq war was not justified. Its only justification was faulty intelligence at the central intelligence agency, and a executive administration who felt it better to either missed the counter information, or simply ignored it for their own reasons.

We don't need to nation build. I understand keeping the borders on the map the way they are today, but not to nation build.
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