Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Iraq Didn't Make The List

Chrenkoff seems to think that this interview with Alice Cooper (via Instapundit) shows that he has a "keener grasp of basic new millennium geopolitics" than most Democrats. He also seems to indicate that his wearing mascara would somehow make that more unlikely, but I digress. What Alice is saying here is certainly fair, and I even would go so far as to say I half way agree with him. Money quote:

INTERVIEWER: The one thing we do know about 9/11 is that nobody involved in it actually came from Iraq. That's probably the one thing we absolutely know.

ALICE COOPER: Well, it's probably true, but I can't see them going, "Oh, gosh." The guys in Iraq going, "Gee, how horrible for America." I think there's a general feeling in that world that if America falls they'll be in a much better state, so we have to view those people in the same boat. I don't see much difference between the al-Qaeda and Iraq - not the people, I'm talking about the governments. The people, the poor people, are the victims.

But whether a "cigar was going around" after 9/11, as Alice says moments later in the interview, whether the destruction of the World Trade Center and murder of nearly 3,000 people made Saddam crack a smile is irrelevant. In 2001, we already had Saddam in a vice grip. We simply didn't need to attack. There were about ten other things that we could have done that would have been a more effective strategy against terror than invading the neutered Iraq. I don't particularly care that certain organizations or countries might have been profiting off the status quo in that situation, the fact is that the US really does have limited (bigger than everyone else, but still limited) terror fighting resources. And I don't care if Saddam let out a little chuckle when he heard about the attacks. I can't see how this could be news, actually. I hardly could have disliked Saddam any more than I did, so the fact that he might have been just pleased as punch with al-Qaida on that day would just confirm my opinion of him, not change it.

But, as I've said before, unfortunately for everyone who would have had the US take actual steps towards fighting terror, there are far more profitable enterprises in this world.

If the bar is set so low as to include "pleased with 9/11" as an equivalent for "responsible for 9/11," then I think our list should be a lot longer than Iraq, Iran, Syria, et al. Hell, it probably is already. Even so, I expect our leadership to undertake action that has the most terror-fighting bang for our buck. They should have made a list of the most effective tactics and just started at the top. In 2002, that was a list that invading Iraq simply should not have been on. Bush and the gang should have carefully considered the situation and taken the most important steps first. Instead, our leaders chose not be effective terror fighters, but to take the unique opportunity for action that 9/11 sadly afforded us and make themselves and their friends a little bit of money.

Jonathan Kelley said...

While I disagree with your use of the word "taked" I have to agree with the rest of it, vociferously, particularly that last paragraph. I remember the entire run-up to the Iraq war in a kind of slow motion - a sort of "what the hell is going on here" sinking feeling, as if a really powerful opportunity to address and attack the fact of terrorism and the causes of terrorism, in a bizarre and completely irrational rush to war. It was accepted as a kind of fait accompli. And when I marched against the war, it was an expression of that bewilderment. I only wish the rest of the marchers had expressed those concerns. But apparently the 9/11 tragedy affected them, too, because they were so dazed that "no blood for oil" was the best they/we could come up with.

Clifford May at the Corner criticized Ted Kennedy for saying we should focus on al Qaeda instead of Iraq. May said -- DUH Kennedy, Iraq is the one place in the world where al Qaeda is killing people on a daily basis.

Cliff, have you noticed that the terrorists seem to be multiplying faster than we can kill them (or than they can kill themselves, as the case may be)? We've tried evacuating and ransacking villages, staging elections, torture, de facto martial law, and having meetings with the terrorists. And yet they still grow stronger by the week. At what point does "staying the course" become a strategy worthy of reconsideration?

Horatio said...

Oops. Good call on the typo. Thanks for the comment. The feeling I had the first time I heard Iraq mentioned as a possible target was almost the same as when Bud Selig said he was going to disband the Minnesota Twins. Originally I heard Bud talk about "contraction" and basically thought it was a good idea. I figured they'd get rid of the Expos and the Devil Rays, two awful franchises with terrible stadiums and no fan base to speak of. But then all of a sudden we're talking about the Twins and I'm like "what are you THINKING!?!?!" The twins are good, the Twins win, the Twins draw, the Twins have a long and proud tradition. And before you knew it, contraction was the worst idea anyone had ever heard of.

marrie said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog the past couple days. I have to say, though, I'm starting to feel a bit confused about my own politics, you make some good points. For some reason I believed the Bush administration up until the last 6 months or so. I think I have to blame it on pregnancy hormones or something, because I'm starting to get the feeling that I was just blindly HOPING it would all work out. Now I find myself listening to the talk radio that I used to love and thinking "what the heck am I listening to this for?" It seems so hateful and one sided. I can't just change sides though, can I?

Anonymous said...

I actually doubt Saddam let out a chuckle when 9/11
happened. He probably thought "oh ***, the Yanks,
who've bombed me every day since 1991 are coming
over here SOMEWHERE to kick someone's ass. I hope
to Allah it ain't me".

Did he think "hahaha, the Americans have been
crushed. Now they will leave Iraq and I can once
again consolidate my power in the No Fly Zones"?
No way.

Horatio said...

Fair enough, he might indeed have been quaking in his boots. But my point was that I didn't particularly care about Saddam's reaction, whatever it was.

Pope Snarky Goodfella of the undulating cable, JM, CK, POEE, KOTHASK, DSOCPL, EOTHP said...

Hail Eris!

I think the error you may be making (aside from dropping that pesky preposition, "to", in "not be";-{)}) is in assuming that, on some level, your leaders conceived of the War On Terror as anything but a con from the start, and are actually interested in fighting it. As Brzezinski said (OK, I may be paraphrasing. Shaddap.), a "war on terror" is an absurdity, like, as you say, a war on tomato soup, and while your Fearless Leader may think it's genuine, Rove, Cheney and the gang know damn well better than that -- and they're the ones in charge. Terrorists and cops are going to be battling it out until the end of humanity, or the end of the universe, if not the end of all universes (if such a thing is even possible -- the omniverse may well be truly eternal), and no imposition of order/negative entropy is ever going to fail to cause an equivalent escalation of disorder/entropy.


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