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View Diary: McCain Makes the Case: Iraq is first, last, and always Bush's Tragic Legacy (162 comments)

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  •  The usual accolade attach to the Gulf War are.... (7+ / 0-)

    1) Limited strategic and tactical goals
    2) Slow buildup as diplomacy continued
    3) Staging in an Islamic country
    4) A diverse alliance of states
    5) UN involvement and direction from beginning to end
    6) Disengagement at the first possible juncture
    7) No mission creep
    8) No fundamental destabilization of the Hussein regime

    Given this, I think your points are well taken esp. in regard to the Shia uprising and the ongoing presence of "infidel troops on sacred lands."

    Let me add some thoughts.

    I have read the transcripts (several versions of them) of the Glaspie conversations and regard her statements as generally vague but one that could have been read to indicate that the U.S. would have no interest in the moves that Hussein was contemplating. However, any examination of U.S. relations with Kuwait and with Saudi Arabia would sure have given any Iraqi diplomat pause in accepting such a point of view. A confirmation of her supposed position would have been the logical next step IF they were interested in having something more than an excuse for action.

    The case for Kuwaiti horizontal drilling is stronger.

    Additionally, the war loans owed to Kuwait were regarded as usurious in their terms.

    Hussein and his Baath Party held to the principle that all vestiges of European colonialism had to be driven from the Middle East. They claimed that Kuwait was historically a part of Iraq as pieces of Mesopotamia that the British had separated after WWI. In addition to the extensive oil fields in Kuwait, there were the deep water shipping ports on the Bubiyan and Warbah islands

    Personally, Saddam Hussein had reasons to want to go to war against the Western nations. He grew up as young boy hating the British for imprisoning the uncle that had cared for him. Later, in the Baath Party which was based on a platform of Arab unity he was part of a plot to assassinate General Abdul Karim Qasim who they believed was an agent of Western nations.

    Further, by going to war, he hoped to foster Arab unity against the Western nations, mounting an Islamic holy war against the "infidels" (despite the fact that Hussein was a secularist). He believed that it was his destiny to rule an Arab nation stretching from Euphrates to the Suez and thus serve as a counterweight to Persian Iran.

    "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

    by murphthesurf3 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:00:45 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  From a domestic perspective... (4+ / 0-)

      ...the first Gulf War accomplished something else. It washed the taste of Vietnam from the nations mouth. The clear victory, and the ease with which it was attained helped foster the mindset that the US could march into any situation and quickly get shit straightened out, with little loss of American lives. It made possible the mindless patriotism and idiotic flag waving that was crucial to selling the Iraq war. "We kicked Saddam's ass before, we can do it again and be back in time for dinner."

      So endith the trick.

      by itsjim on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:51:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  US invasion of Panama in 1989 also a precedent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsjim, murphthesurf3

        According to Bob Woodward,  the surprise attack on Panama was significant in convincing Bush 41 and his defense secretary Cheney that a new kind of brief war could be easily fought and won. This military action established a precedent for the generation of interventions that followed. The end result of this confidence in the use of military force to effect political reform is visible in the chaos engulfing so much of the Islamic world today.

        Seizing the dictator Noriega met overwhelming approval from politicians and media and the US and local casualties did not attract much notice at the time. He was a very unappealing and brutal thug, a onetime CIA asset, and active in the narco trade. But he was not handed over to an international nor a Panamanian tribunal but instead was sent to a US prison, extradited to France in 2010 and finally sent to a Panamanian prison a couple years ago.

        There were a large  number of Panamanian civilian casualties  due to the assault taking place in an urban area and these numbers were probably  minimized by US authorities who claimed about 300 dead vs. 3000 to 8000 by other estimates. (see New York Times reporta few months later)

        Twenty-three US servicemen were killed and over 300 wounded, and should not be forgotten, (Their names)

        If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

        by Valatius on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:49:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another excellent addition to the discussion (0+ / 0-)

          I will be adding this to my archive. I am  thinking that there is a diary in this. I will give you credit. Rec'd.

          "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

          by murphthesurf3 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 06:09:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I will be adding your fine post to my archive (0+ / 0-)

        You advance my argument rec'd.

        I suggest the first 18 months of the Afghanistan war did the same thing.

        Now, of course, that is all gone.

        "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

        by murphthesurf3 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 06:06:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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