Thursday, June 16, 2005

Why Did We Invade Iraq?

Barney Frank just made the point that it's pretty impossible to end something when you didn't have a good reason to start it in the first place. It's hard to have an exit strategy when you don't know why you're there and what you hope to accomplish.

Digby revisits it again today, and I think it's really important that our press, who also seem to have no idea, understand that they have no idea. We've had multiple and shifting justifications from the players, but justifcations were just excuses and marketing pitches, not reasons. Inevitably when I broach the subject I get several emails which consist of variations on the theme of "it's oil you fucking idiot." Obviously oil had something to do with it, or at the very least the presence of oil made the adventure a bit more interesting, but this is not anything approaching a complete answer.

The media are operating under the basic assumption that once we fix the broken pot, we'll go home. This is something which is most certainly false, but since no one is much concerned with answering the question of why we went to Iraq in the first place they're certainly not much interested in finding out what we intend to do now that we're there. The two are connected.

They didn't believe Iraq was a threat to us, and they didn't bring up the current reason, freeance and peeance, until the war had almost began. Who knows, maybe it is all about freeance and peeance for the Iraqi people. Maybe George "I'm against nation building" Bush had a secret plan to nation build the world. I doubt it.

Maybe it's oil. Maybe it's Israel. Maybe it's just the "Ledeen Doctrine." Maybe it was about being a war president. Maybe it's about a permanent strategic military presence. Maybe it's freeance and peeance. Maybe it's 'cause he tried to kill George's dad. Maybe (and quite likely) it was different combinations of these things to different people in the administration. This last one, which is probably correct, is the scariest. If everyone in the administration thinks their pet war happened for a different reason, then the people in charge truly have no idea what the fuck they're trying to accomplish.