Given the stakes involved, it is remarkable how little serious debate there actually was about the decision to invade. This was a bipartisan failure, as both conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats all tended to jump onboard the bandwagon to war. And mainstream media organizations became cheerleaders rather than critics. Even within the halls of government, individuals who questioned the wisdom of the invasion or raised doubts about the specific plans were soon marginalized. As a result, not only did the United States make a bone-headed decision, but the Bush administration went into Iraq unprepared for the subsequent occupation.
While the US military has formally ended its occupation of Iraq, some of the largest western oil companies, ExxonMobil, BP and Shell, remain.
On November 27, 38 months after Royal Dutch Shell announced its pursuit of a massive gas deal in southern Iraq, the oil giant had its contract signed for a $17bn flared gas deal.
I'm curious as to why we so badly bungled nation building in Iraq but did such a decent job in Germany and Japan.
cstross: "One word: Russia.
Americans always tend to forget that the vast majority of the blood, sweat and tears shed during the war against Germany were extracted from Soviet bodies ..."
Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.
I'm sorry, talking about currently existing sanctions, the neocon rationale for the Iraq invasion, and about differences in foreign policy toward Libya, Syria and Iraq is actually talking about fact. Your allegation here is simply nonsense.
Prior to his election as Vice President, Dick Cheney, then-CEO of Halliburton, in a speech at the Institute of Petroleum in 1999 demonstrated a keen awareness of the sensitive economic and geopolitical role of Middle East oil resources saying: ‘‘By 2010, we will need on the order of an additional 50 million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and national oil companies are obviously controlling about 90 percent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil and lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies. Even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.’’
Speaking of "toward the idea of America that you'd like to be true," this is also nonsense. I know the point you'd like to make, but instead of making the limited true point about American interference in foreign domestic politics, you're overstating based on your own confirmation bias. There are literally thousands of examples of countries acting to the detriment of US interests (even nationalizing industries) that did not lead to overthrows. Be honest.
Sure, if you ignore the counter examples and the fact that the US has often (usually due to domestic priorities changing) repudiated or undercut or even sanctioned regimes for brutality even if that undercut US interests. As usual, the situation is complicated, and not helped by your confirmation bias.
Man, it's so rare that you actually see a question begged. Depends on your definition of imperialism (and about twenty different factors unspecified in your hypothetical, like the relationship of China to the US at that junction). I don't mean to sound condescending, but this is one of those times where if you'd approached this like a normal conversation or like constructing a serious argument, instead of a hectoring lecture, I might just say, "Sure, I'll concede that for the sake of argument," but now, well, might as well make you work for it.
Weren't you the one bitching earlier about straw men? I mean, I'm sure in your fevered brain, you've got me supporting the invasion of Iraq and Vietnam and probably blame me for the invasion of Mexico too, but it's got nothing to do with what I've written.
Here we have the fallacy that lies at the basis of all of your comments about the US: Something can be both the right thing to do and benefit us. Even further, something can be both the right thing to do for the people of a foreign country and benefit us. Positioning them as always opposed is absurd nonsense.
(And that's before we even get into how you're begging the question again on how every action has an ulterior motive rather than publicly stated ones.)
Do you ever start out with evidence and then use it to prove a conclusion, or do you always start out with a conclusion and search for evidence to confirm it, including habitually relying on the idea that everyone else is lying about their motivations?
Meh. Imperialism is complicated. Calling it wrong out of hand either requires you to start with a definition of imperialism that necessitates that conclusion, or to demonstrate that despite the advantages that empires bestow, the consequences always outweigh the benefits. I have no problem with arguments that start out by defining their terms in ways that I think are simplified but necessary for the argument, so long as the term isn't then generalized out of the specific argument, but you haven't done that. You also haven't demonstrated that the utility of imperialism is negative.
Many — even most — of those points are ones that I agree on. However, they're non sequitors for the statement that "Imperialism is wrong." (Also, just to be fair, you should also recognize that UNESCO is a tool of Western imperialism. Just like the Peace Corps.)
Once again, it's not that I can't understand your arguments, it's that I don't think they're very good ones and that I think your condescending tone is obnoxious and ill-supported by the substance of your comments. You make an incredible number of assumptions about me and my beliefs, lecture me based on those presumptions (with total disregard to what my beliefs actually are), and then huff yourself into a fit over your inability to convince me? Am I supposed to take that seriously?
Bush compares this waiting game [concerning Iraq] to "Chinese water torture," and that he will not wait past the middle of March.
Bush says he will put pressure on countries to get their support. He says he will cut off foreign aid to Angola and stop the ratification of a free trade agreement with Chile.
Aznar asks if there is a chance that Hussein will go into exile. Bush responds that it is a possibility, and that Hussein may even be assassinated. Bush says he expects to discover more of Hussein's hidden crimes, and will then take him to an international court in The Hague.
Aznar says that the best outcome would be a bloodless victory. Bush, acknowledging the death and destruction of war, agrees. "Moreover, it would save $50 billion."
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