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A Blast from the Past.
September 12, 2002 9:43 PM   Subscribe

A Blast from the Past. In 1998, George Bush, Sr. explains why Saddam was not removed in the Gulf War: "Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."
posted by owillis (19 comments total)

 
Excellent find owillis.
posted by malphigian at 11:16 PM on September 12, 2002


Yeah, and? Conditions are not exactly the same now as then, so what does pointing to an analysis from the past do?

If anything, it may show that, hey, we tried one approach, it didn't work, so let's try another.
posted by Ayn Marx at 11:45 PM on September 12, 2002


Curse you owillis for preventing me en route to posting this article as well! Foiled again!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:55 PM on September 12, 2002


And Ayn- the point is that we're still doing- i.e. containing rather than invading- now what was being done then.. and guess what? Saddam hasn't attacked anyone. So are you saying "working" doesn't work, so we should try something else?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:57 PM on September 12, 2002


Saddam hasn't attacked anyone? He persecutes civilian groups within Iraq en masse. But the most important reason why he should be stopped is that he's developing weapons with which he will attack other countries.

"Well, gee, that guy might beat up his own children and be in the process of building a bomb to kill off the Olsens that he's been cursing for many years now, but let's not worry about it at all", that's the UN approach.

"Find out what he's up to, and if it's bad, stop him" is the US approach, as well as it should be.
posted by dagny at 3:55 AM on September 13, 2002


Saddam hasn't attacked anyone? He persecutes civilian groups within Iraq en masse.

If it's all about bad dictators who do bad things to their citizens/sujects, well, it's a long list.
wanna invade all their countries?
ps some of them are washington allies, I gather
posted by matteo at 4:48 AM on September 13, 2002


...he's developing weapons with which he will attack other countries.

He's told you this personally? Saddam has certainly shown himself to be evil, but I don't get the sense he's particularly crazy (a distinction I think our policy makers don't always recognize). I don't want to poo-poo his possession of WMDs, it's certainly an issue of great concern, but I don't see that Saddam would have anything to gain from using them, unless he wanted to turn Iraq into the world's largest glass sculpture in a matter of hours.

As noted above, if unsavory practice coupled with nukes is our new invasion criteria, we've got quite a few stops to make. If you missed it yesterday, check this out for a well-reasoned "no thanks" to our latest jaunt in the desert.
posted by jalexei at 5:17 AM on September 13, 2002


"Well, gee, that guy might beat up his own children and be in the process of building a bomb to kill off the Olsens that he's been cursing for many years now, but let's not worry about it at all", that's the UN approach.

The US approach could be summed up as:
Mr Olsen kills one of his five children, the police surrond his house in an attempt to starve him out. Two of the remaining children die of starvation, but Olsen is still there. In a fit of anger the police throw a grenade into the building and kill Olsen and the remaining children.
posted by dodgygeezer at 6:06 AM on September 13, 2002


Very well put, dodgygeezer.
posted by *burp* at 6:50 AM on September 13, 2002


dodgy: I agree that the drawn-out "occasional bombing" tactic that followed the Gulf War was terrible. Bush Sr. was a pantsy, and should have finished Saddam and his regime while he was at it.
posted by dagny at 7:02 AM on September 13, 2002


It's amazing all the MeFi'ers that have information from the United States Intelligence. It's amazing that you try to tell us what Saddam has and hasn't done. Seems like there's a lot of Scott Ritter syndrome here on MeFi. He talks out of both sides of his ass. He's a civilian, how the hell does he know what Saddam has and what he doesn't. In my eyes he's a traitor and should not be let back on American soil. But I digress...

Don't believe what the most powerful man in the world knows, believe what you want to believe, that the US is this big bad bully trying to take over Saddam's little country? What the hell for? Do you think we'd invade for no reason, that the intelligence is being made up? What for???

Why is it the democrats and particularly that whiny little thing Daschle were full on support of taking out Saddam in 1998 when Clinton was in and proposed to do it and now, that a Republican president is in, we need all this information to back it up? What did they know then that they don't know now?

And as to the original post, totally different situation. No other comments needed...
posted by the_0ne at 7:59 AM on September 13, 2002


Not so fast, the_One. (I'll never understand posters on Metafilter who feel their comments are somehow the last word, and that no further discussion is necessary.)

The big question in this debate is if there is so much evidence to go after Iraq, why can't we know enough about it to make a decision? How does anyone know what Saddam has and what he doesn't, when we're not allowed to know what the most powerful man knows in the first place? A healthy democracy requires that we have as much information as possible, but we have an administration that is focused on restricting access to information not even remotely related to national security, but using it as a convenient excuse. If there is credible information so urgent that we must act on it immediately, it would seem that in the interest of national security that information should be put in full view of the country going to war, not kept secret with this tease of "if you knew what I knew, you'd want to go to war."

Your question What for??? betrays a lack of historical memory. Can you really look at Bush, considering the financial interests that put him in office, and not imagine what other reasons he might have to go after Iraq?

And if the original post reflects a totally different situation, with what justification do you offer a stance that Daschle took four years ago on an action that never took place (or even got to this point of debate)?
posted by troybob at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2002


The_One: Make that "full on" for military action in Iraq to force compliance with UN sanctions, not a unilateral, all-out war that would end in an overthrow of the regime.
posted by raysmj at 9:00 AM on September 13, 2002


bush has a good argument. But you dont leave your enemy on the battlefeild and now where going back because of one man. I'm sorry but Bush was wrong and he should be chided. He cant hide behind his mandate crap. what about the mandate to conduct war to its logical conclusion (er, yeah) like capturing saddamm in the 90's.
posted by clavdivs at 9:01 AM on September 13, 2002


It's utterly hypocritical of me and goes against all I believe in, but I'm starting to think that what we need here are some good old-fashioned political assassinations. These war things aren't working. Embattled terrorists and dictators seem to be too good at avoiding our smart bombs and such, while we roll around the world pissing off the relatives of the innocent civilians we kill. Who's up for a little sneaking and infiltrating and poisoning or whatever?

But, ontopic, yeah, if there is evidence that Iraq presents an immediate danger, why can't they tell us what it is exactly, and where is a good plan for how we actually deal with that danger for good and all, instead of just getting involved in another bloody unending "military operation?"
posted by hilatron at 9:54 AM on September 13, 2002


Troybob,

I'm guessing you missed President Bush's speech to the UN, which can be seen here.

Also be sure to check out A Decade of Deception and Defiance.
posted by Trampas at 9:56 AM on September 13, 2002


And if the original post reflects a totally different situation, with what justification do you offer a stance that Daschle took four years ago on an action that never took place (or even got to this point of debate)?

Because the situation 4 years ago is a lot more similar than the situation 12 years ago. And I won't go into why the action never took place.
posted by the_0ne at 11:03 AM on September 13, 2002


Thanks Trampas, I was looking for that information when I noticed you posted it already.

The_One: Make that "full on" for military action in Iraq to force compliance with UN sanctions, not a unilateral, all-out war that would end in an overthrow of the regime.

Sorry raysmj, we already went down that route, didn't work. Why do you think we're even having this debate. This should have been dealth with the minute, second, that he stopped allow our weapons inspectors in.
posted by the_0ne at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2002


It's utterly hypocritical of me and goes against all I believe in, but I'm starting to think that what we need here are some good old-fashioned political assassinations. These war things aren't working. Embattled terrorists and dictators seem to be too good at avoiding our smart bombs and such, while we roll around the world pissing off the relatives of the innocent civilians we kill. Who's up for a little sneaking and infiltrating and poisoning or whatever?

Funny you mention this because I remember seeing one of the head honchos in the government, can't think of who it was, but he said that that "assasination" rule does not really stand here. Whoever this was, said that if the US's national security may be somehow compromised or in jeopardy by what this ruler in the other country is doing, then it is defense of our nation and has nothing to do with assasination. Think about it, even liberals would have to agree, it'd be a lot easier to take this P.O.S. out with no fighting, than a long military operation to oust his government, well regime.
posted by the_0ne at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2002


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