Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Iraq War Fallacies

Iraq War Fallacies

It's not that often that I find myself quoting the John Birch Society... However, William Jasper's list of Iraq War Fallacies is right on the nose... Anyone who uses the gray matter between their ears should read the article. Here are a few excerpts:

FALLACY: If the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq now, the country will collapse into chaos, civil war, and dictatorship, and will almost certainly end up being ruled by a regime hostile to us.

REBUTTAL: That is certainly possible if we pull out now, but we have no guarantee against that same outcome if we remain in Iraq three more years, 10 more years, or 20 more years, after expending thousands more lives of American soldiers and hundreds of billions more taxpayer dollars. In fact, the current "friendly" regime we have installed is very friendly with Iran, and the growing Baghdad-Tehran axis should be a major concern to all Americans.

When Iran's foreign minister visited Iraq in May of 2005, he was warmly received by Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari. Mr. Jaafari is a radical Shi'ite Muslim and a disciple of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, who, it may be recalled, labeled the United States the "Great Satan," inspired the overthrow of the pro-American Shah of Iran, held our embassy and American citizens hostage, and launched a new age of terror. Prime Minister Jaafari, "our ally" in Iraq, made an historic pilgrimage to Tehran in July 2005, with eight of his cabinet ministers in tow, to lay a wreath on the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini. Jaafari spent nine years (1980-1989) in Iran, and at Ayatollah Khomeini's behest, became a founding member of the Ayatollah's Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

Salon also has some info on Jaafari's visit:

Jaafari's visit was a blow to the Bush administration's strategic vision, but a sweet triumph for political Shiism. In the dark days of 1982, Tehran was swarming with Iraqi Shiite expatriates who had been forced to flee Saddam Hussein's death decree against them. They had been forced abroad, to a country with which Iraq was then at war. Ayatollah Khomeini, the newly installed theocrat of Iran, pressured the expatriates to form an umbrella organization, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which he hoped would eventually take over Iraq. Among its members were Jaafari and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. On Jan. 30, 2005, Khomeini's dream finally came true, courtesy of the Bush administration, when the Supreme Council and the Dawa Party won the Iraqi elections.

Back to the JBS:

FALLACY: The huge turnout of Iraqi voters in the January and December 2005 election proves President Bush's hopeful vision that this "is the beginning of something new: constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East."

REBUTTAL: It "proves" nothing of the sort. Iraq has no history of "democracy," constitutional or otherwise, and it is the height of imperial conceit to expect a couple of elections under a military occupation to change thousands of years of cultural, religious, and political tradition.

Ancient Iraq (formerly known as Mesopotamia) is often referred to as the "cradle of civilization." Yet from the time of the Sumerian empire to the Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Mongol, and Turkish empires on up to modern times, Iraq has always been under autocratic, dictatorial, or tyrannical rule. For a relatively few brief periods, it has enjoyed relatively benign autocratic rule, but never genuine self-rule and limited, constitutional government.

FALLACY: George W. Bush did not lie us into war. He made the best decision he could based on the intelligence he had -- and the Democrats, using the same intelligence, came to the same conclusion.

REBUTTAL: That "consensus" only proves either bipartisan ignorance or bipartisan treachery. The evidence that was used as the strongest argument for invading and occupying Iraq has been shown to be false, and there is strong reason to believe that elected officials in both parties knew the evidence was false, or at least highly suspect. Those who challenged the phony "intelligence" have been vindicated.

FALLACY: But Iraqi forces are rapidly being trained and are nearly ready to take over. It is irresponsible and immoral to pull out before they are capable of surviving without us.

REBUTTAL: According to General Shahwani, head of Iraqi intelligence, the insurgents have around 40,000 "hard core fighters." The only estimates from U.S. intelligence officials are that the insurgent numbers are "somewhat smaller." According to the Pentagon, the U.S.-trained and -equipped Iraqi Security Forces now number 100,000. Must we stay another two or three years and train another 50,000 or 100,000? And, if so, will that be sufficient, or will the timelines and numbers be shifted again?

If 150,000 U.S. troops -- equipped with America's high-tech weapons and our overwhelming air and sea support -- have not brought the Iraqi "insurgents" under control in nearly three years, it is highly unlikely that the Iraqi military, police, and government, which are saturated with anti-U.S. elements -- Sunnis, pro-Iranian Shias, Communists, al-Qaeda jihadists -- will do so in short order. Like it or not, this is a complex and intractable conflict that the Iraqi people must work out for themselves. We cannot do it for them, nor should we try.

And so on...
Whatever your personal feeling are for this president, I believe you have to look at his conduct in the light of facts. It paints a picture of incompetence (at best) and deceit (at worse).

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