The 27 Rationales for War and the Consequences of Iraq

Chris Bowers of MyDD has some excellent summaries of the situation in Iraq. First he notes:
More soldiers have already died in February of 2005 than in February of 2004.
More soldiers died in January of 2005 than January of 2004.
More soldiers died in December of 2004 than December 2003.
More soldiers died in November of 2004 than November of 2003.
More soldiers died in October of 2004 than October of 2003.
More soldiers died in September of 2004 than September of 2003.
More soldiers died in August of 2004 than August of 2003.
More soldiers died in July of 2004 than July of 2003.
More soldiers died in June of 2004 than June of 2003.
More soldiers died in May of 2004 than May of 2003.
More soldiers died in April of 2004 than April of 2003.
March looms.
Daily coalition fatality rate before Saddam Hussein's capture: 2.03
Daily coalition fatality rate after Saddam Hussein's capture: 2.55
Daily coalition fatality rate before the transfer of power away from the CPA: 2.09
Daily coalition fatality rate after the transfer of power away from the CPA: 2.86
And that's not all. With the human cost steadily mounting, even after milestones are passed that supposedly will make things better, the head of both intelligence agencies agree: the war in Iraq is fueling the growth of terrorism worldwide:
The Iraq insurgency continues to baffle the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the U.S. occupation has become a potent source of recruiting for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, top U.S. national security officials said before Congress on Wednesday. "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists," CIA Director Porter Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism," he said. "They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries."
"Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment," Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate panel. "Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world."
And the insurgency is growing in strength:
Jacoby said the Iraq insurgency has grown "in size and complexity over the past year" and is now mounting an average of 60 attacks per day, up from 25 last year. Attacks on Iraq's election day last month reached approximately 300, he said, double the previous one-day high of 150, even though transportation was virtually locked down.
And our military readiness has been significantly reduced:
Stretched thin in Iraq, the U.S. military would have trouble responding as quickly and effectively as commanders would like if it had to go to war in Iran or North Korea, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress Wednesday.
Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, said a sudden military crisis in one of those two nations -- both of which are resisting U.S. demands that they give up nuclear programs -- would likely force the Pentagon to remobilize reserve and Guard components that have rotated home from Iraq to rest.
In addition, because of the current strain on U.S. forces, it would take longer for U.S. troops to respond to a crisis in Iran, North Korea or some other major conflict than U.S. battle plans call for, Myers told the House Armed Services Committee.
But don't' forget, despite all of this, suggesting that our current policy in Iraq is more destructive than productive is borderline traitorous.

You probably didn't need another reason to not believe a single thing the Bush administration claims about WMD's, but Brad Blog provides you with one anyway:
After yesterday's BRAD BLOG exposé on the use of a satellite photo of a (presumably) Iranian nuclear facility which was misrepresented as a nuclear facility in North Korea by the U.S. Government funded "news" site Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in an April 2004 story, the site has now removed that photograph from the article without giving explanation on their webpage for the removal.
To make matters worse, we pointed out yesterday that the photo of the (follow closely now) supposed Iranian nuclear facility that was used with the article on North Korea was actually filenamed "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"!
It has now been discovered that the same photograph was indeed also used on RFE/RL stories about WMDs in Iraq.
A search of RFE/RL's website reveals that there were at least 9 different instances of that same "Iraq-nuclear.jpg" photo being used along with stories about nuclear or WMD programs in all three different countries. The first known instance of its use at RFE/RL was on February 5, 2004 in an article headlined -- ironically enough -- "CIA Head Defends WMD Intelligence on Iraq"!
In another instance (see screenshot at bottom of this story, captured prior to scrubbing of photo), a story from RFE/RL published on April 20, 2004 titled "Iraq/U.S.: New Book Contradicts CIA Director's Intelligence" the photo was -- again, ironically enough -- used above the caption: "Convincing enough?"
As of this afternoon it seems that all of the RFE/RL stories on either Iraq or North Korea, which had once used that same file photo to represent nukes or WMD in all three respective countries, have now had the photo either removed entirely or replaced by another. Only the stories on Iran continue to use the photo, and even one of those was changed to a photo of the International Atomic Energy Association's Muhammad el-Baradei (again, for reasons not explained on the site).
Good lord. The whole thing is like those colorforms I played with as a child--take the picture of WMD's and stick it on any claim about any country having any WMD's at any time. No wonder it's all "liberty" now, and the lies bout WMD's have fallen off the face of the Earth.

Devon Largio completed a research project entitled Uncovering the Rationales for the War in Iraq: The Words of the Bush Administration Congress and the Media from September 12, 2001 until October 11 2002. It is, as far as I can tell, the only research project of its kind. Largio sifted through thousands of statements, speeches and articles in an attempt to document all of the rationales that were used in order to justify invading Iraq between September 11th and the Senate vote to authorize the use of military force against Iraq on October 12th, 2002.
Largio separates her research into three distinct periods, each with different primary and secondary justifications taking prominence. In a summary near the end of the piece (starting on page 152), she breaks down the frequency that each of the twenty-seven rationales were used during the entire thirteen month period:
The five primary reasons
The war on terror
Prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
Lack of inspections
Removal of the Hussein regime
Saddam Hussein is evil

Three nearly primary reasons
Liberation of the Iraqi people
Broken promises by failing to comply with United Nations resolutions
Iraq poses and imminent threat to the safety of the United States

Secondary Reasons
Because we can
Unfinished business from the first Gulf War
Disarmament of all weapons inside Iraq is necessary
Connection to al-Qaeda
Safety of the World

Minor reasons rarely used
History is an ideal directive that commands us to invade Iraq
Revenge for attempting to kill the first President Bush
War will help oil continue to flow westward
Iraq is a threat to the region
Iraq is unique since it the most serious threat to the world
Preservation of peace by invading Iraq and thereby preventing Iraq from invading others
By oppressing its people and threatening others with terrorist acts, Saddam Hussein's regime is a threat to freedom
Stimulation of the economy ala WWII
Preserve the relevance of the UN by enforcing its resolutions
Commitment to the safety of our children
Gain favor in the Middle East by protecting other countries form Saddam Hussein
Send a message to other rogue states by making an example of Iraq
Saddam Hussein Hates the US
Iraq is in violation of International law

This is the breadth and the totality of the hawk argument before the war. As you can see, "liberation of the Iraqi people" was not even among the five most commonly used reasons, much less the top reason. That, however, is what the majority of hawks are now focusing upon.
Of course, for them liberation appears simply to mean voting for a council that will then elect the true governing body, since fear of death and violence has actually increased dramatically, and the role of women in Iraqi society has been significantly hamstrung. If this is what they want to hang their hat on now, just wait a few months. With twenty-seven rationales for war, you seem to be allowed to pick and choose at your want which one was the real reason.
Back in June I wrote a rebuttal to each of these twenty-seven reasons. Or, I could just ask my push poll question:
Do you support Senator ______'s policy that calls for an invasion of Saudi Arabia to overthrow the oppressive monarchy there so that in two years, after 1,500 American soldiers are dead, 11,000 American soldiers are wounded, tens of thousands of civilian deaths have been caused, $300 billion American dollars have been spent, Saudis are able to hold elections where a fundamentalist Islamic government allied with Iran is elected to power in a landslide?


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