I was asked, recently, what my opinion was of Iraq. This seems to be a big question.
First, and in all fairness and disclosure, I should say that I 10x support the Armed Forces, and their families for the sacrifices that they have made and continue to make for this country. This country full of lazy ass bastards sitting around playing their X-Box 360’s on their big screen televisions, complaining about how their subsidized oil for their giant gas engorged SUV’s is going up again by 10 cents, on their way to Wal-Mart to buy more useless lead painted crap from China in order to prop up the entire global economy with credit they’ll never be able to pay off. Yes, I support the troops. My brother is one of them. He is a true Captain in the United States Army. He’s going back for his third tour in Iraq this weekend.
I also believe you can’t support the troops without supporting their mission. You also support the troops by hiring one of them once they return home once they’ve completed their mission. Especially if said troop has been disabled because of their service. That’s how you’re supposed to support the troops.
There it is. I support the war. Why? How?
I’ve got a couple good reasons that no one talks about…PART ONE – Saudi Arabia.
We (the United States) are no longer at the mercy of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom, AKA "The Land of The Two Holy Mosques" Mecca and Medina, is home to the two holiest places in Islam.
As WWII quickly became more about gasoline (see the Prize
) the US government realized the strategic importance of the Kingdom – even though, at the time the US herself was the Saudi Arabia of oil.
However, in an obvious push to protect American national security FDR pushed for a treaty with King Ibn Saud. On the USS Quincy the two signed a mutual agreement that – in a very simple nutshell – the US became the military of Saudi Arabia in exchange for guaranteed access to oil. Oh, and also they kind of created Israel.
Through this agreement, we bailed out Kuwait and ALSO Saudi Arabia when Iraq invaded Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1990. The Saudis bankrolled it. George Bush Sr. made the Saudis write a check for half of the Gulf War. The check? About 60 Billion and a tip for 5K in troops left behind on a ‘permanent’ basis. This pissed off Osama Bin Ladin and the faithful, who saw foreigners on the holiest of holy land as a great threat and insult. Perhaps they saw some of our wonderful television programs or sampled some of our boxed wine?
Then the attacks started in the Kingdom - Dharhran, Khobar Towers, and continued to Sept 11, 2001 in the US. The perpetrators of the death of 3000 civilians in New York, Pennsylvania and in the Pentagon were primarily Saudis. Although, the crack 9/11 commission found, ‘no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [Al Qaeda]'—while omitting the report's conclusion that 'Saudi Arabia has been a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism.’
Let’s jump ahead. With Americans in Iraq, not Saudi Arabia, the Saudis have less ability to control and demand which sorties and operations will be held or launched from their soil. This was a constant problem when the US was trying to enforce the ‘no-fly zone’ over Iraq, in the years following the first Gulf War.
Sec. Defense Donald Rumsfeld closed the bases in Saudi Arabia following the invasion of Iraq. The story from 2003.
This was a strategic shift of great political as well as military significance. Did Osama win this round? Did America? Perhaps both? Yes. Saudis would have less influence in American military operations - and would also get their best customer and worst house guest off their sand.PART TWO - Iran (in Progress)
If the 'War on Terror' was a play, Iran would be Act Two. As with any game of Risk - you want to surround your enemy and then envelop him. It would be much easier to sue for peace when- sorry, laughing too hard. Did I really type that?
With the departure of the 'Neo-Cons', specifically Paul Wolf-o-wits, from the War Room, I think that the original steamroller plan in the Gulf closed faster than High Fidelity
on Broadway. That doesn't mean we're not going to put on a show - because as they say on the 'Great White Way', "the show MUST go on."
The US is in Afghanistan - the war that is so legit that NATO got involved - a month after 9/11. The CIA perfected the military advisor role in the Afghan theater. Success by David Tenant was achieved by finding the people who hated us just less than the ruling Taliban. Just how hated were they? The Taliban made everyone throw away their televisions. When the CIA rolled into the rebel bases and asked them where the bad guys were they pointed, the CIA dialed in the coordinates with their trusty mobile GPS laser sites and we blew up the bad guys. We're still in Afghanistan, for some reason
... (perhaps we'll address this one later?)
The US is in Afghanistan and also in Iraq. We have agreements with Pakistan, treaties with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey is a NATO member. Interesting geography, as our new base camp in Iraq puts a virtual pincher hold on Iran.
At the very least,
Americans in Iraq creates "free skies." What? Let's boil this down to a sauce. Free airspace over Iraq creates an Israeli flight path to wipe out the Iranian nuclear bomb factories. Granted, there is Syria in the way (details, details) but if you have to rearm or get gas in flight, I would hazard a guess that the US Air Force isn't going to take the opprotunity to take target practice over Iraqi airspace. Especially if they are using the Boeing KC-767 Global Tanker Transport Aircraft re-fueling aircraft with the Israel metallic sticker covering up Old Glory.
Why would the Israeli's want to bomb Iran? That's our job, right? Well, when it comes down to
nitty gritty, when the US would rather not get their hands dirty with that kind of a thing - the Israelis typically tend to take care of it. Mostly when they're backed up against the wall. For example, when Saddam built his first nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes, the Israelis didn't really care for that so much. Kind of like your neighbor building up a stockpile of... er... nuclear weapons. Yeah, there's really not much of an analogy there. Especially when he constantly goes out of his way to impress the rest of the neighborhood by boasting that he's going to get rid of that little Jewish problem... While pointing at you... With a rifle. So the Israelis developed a shoot first, f'em kind of foreign policy since that little 7 days war. The 7 Days war convinced Israel that even though everyone pretended to be good neighbors, they really wanted them all dead. It's a little bit like the kind of Bush foreign policy post 9/11.
So what does that have to do with Iraq, and my brother, and what not?
The Iranians are also building 'peaceful nuclear' power and also boasting about how great Hitler was and how they're going to 'wipe Israel off the map'
in a retro-look-how-well-that-worked before kind of way. My guess is that the Iranian government wants to rehab a few bridges and infrastructure, but wants the Israeli taxpayers to foot the bill.
But since the Iranians aren’t complete idiots, they spaced out the ‘million’ centrifuges to create the bombs for “peaceful purposes” so that it'd take a 'couple' flights to get them all. Guess they learned from Saddam?
Stay tuned to see how well that pans out.
But isn't it just a bunch of hot air coming out of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's mouth? I mean, the guy wears a 'Member's Only' jacket everywhere, right? He's not even the 'supreme leader' of Iran. So when he hosted the "World without Zionisim" and starts building nuclear weapons, we shouldn't really take this guy seriously, right? Hey, blustering to bolster their own position against the great Satan - (pr
obably called that since we're not their main customers - of oil. Iran is, in fact, a leading oil supplier for China, with daily volume of 335,000 barrels last year.) - the Iranians differ only slightly than the blustering from North Korea. North Korean blustering is interpreted as the rantings of a lone madman who thinks he’s a James Bond villain– whereas when the Iranians do this – it’s perceived as an actual threat. And since we have such a GREAT history with the Iranians, I can't say that I disagree with the Israeli shoot-first-worry about fallout later foreign policy. Are the Iranians against the wall, surrounded, and feeling a little vulnerable? Yes. Is this why they want the bomb? No - that was a goal way before 2001.
Is this the reason we're in Iraq? You can chalk it up to a pretty damn good reason.PART THREE - Location, Location, Location.
When you plan to fight a religious war, or at least, a war that has religious factors heavily involved, it's no longer a fight over reason. It's no longer something easy, like water rights. Or oil. Now it's about my God fighting your rusty old blasphemous idol. As long as I fight in this war, riches, ten thousand virgins, Pam Anderson, rivers of wine and pretty much any other goofball thing the leader can think of will be offered to you in the afterlife by your Just God, whom you're fighting this war for.
If you were a Palestinian suicide bomber in Israel, Saddam would write your family a check. As a Palestinian with a family and zero prospects of ever earning a living - getting 10 G's from Saddam and praise from your neighbors, blowing yourself up on a bus full of civilians almost seems like a viable career choice.
You're fighting a battle where human hand grenades and Fiat Cruise Missiles (AKA Car Bombs) are the 'smart weapons'. The fight is so desperate against their foe that suicide is the best offense! How do you fight that? I don't know - as long as it's -
Not in my backyard!
Taking the fight to those who want to fight it sure makes a lot of sense to me. Once tallied, the damage to the US economy after 9/11 - not counting our reputation, the casualties, et all.
The price tag since 9/11 is $843 billion, according to Kosiak
. That's bigger than the combined gross domestic products of most of the world's Arab nations last year. Mildly ironic. (cough) Since 9/11 cost a Trillion dollars - then fighting in someone else's sandbox sure makes a lot of sense to me.
So you want to blow yourself up? Then step right up, we've got two convenient locations for you! Afghanistan and Iraq. Hell, you can DRIVE there. I know, you'd rather get into the States to blow yourself up? Yeah, I know, killing infidel civilians will get you on the news. But hold on, you have to cross one of two oceans - and have you been to an airport lately? Delays, long lines, lost luggage, angry ticket clerks - customer service is just gone, man. What a pain in the ass! Remember when flying was fun? Sigh. Why not just slip over the boarder to Iraq and get killed by the US military? Yeah, or, or - you could go through Pakistan and fight the jihad in Afghanistan? Real old school style. Which can I sign you up for? Great.
PART FOUR - The Sacrifice of War
The largest problem I have with the War on Terror and the campaign in Iraq is that most Americans have not felt one iota of pain and/or suffering due to the ongoing battle. Someone visiting America in the last 6 years wouldn't even know that America was fighting a war. Unless a person actually knows someone fighting the fight, no one (typically) even discusses the war.
The only people who seem to even pretend
to care are the Democrats - and that's a whole other discussion.
How about real, actual suffering for the cause? Let's bring back old-fashioned gas rationing and food coupons. I want Victory gardens. Meat, sugar, butter, coffee, gasoline, tires, shoes and clothing were rationed in WWII - why not in WWIV? (Come on, everyone knows WWIII was the cold war!) Blackout the coasts! Bring back the draft - er, lets call it, I know! - Enforced Service Commitment
If people had a stake in the war, or even forced to think for a second that our treasury is being spent to keep their cars running for those little trips to the mall and the grocery stores to buy petroleum based products - perhaps, perhaps, maybe just a few of them would think a little harder and actually stop the absurd practice of useless mass consumption. Could you imagine a US that the new iPod announcements don't make headlines - Perhaps living a sustainable lifestyle within their means? Yeah, which would, in turn, collapse the entire world economy. Hence the war.
The leader of the US is an oil man. The second in command is an oil man. They are a direct reflection of their people. Oil people. The war is about oil - and extremist religion - and nuclear bombs - and oil. And I might add that I'm not the only one who sees it this way - Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, writing for Time Magazine
just listed the Ford Model T as the source of the war in Iraq and Global Warming. Wow.
But what is it that Americans afraid more of, Iraq or Global Warming? Yes, global warming strikes more fear than Islamic extremism or wars for cheep sweet crude. Without cheep oil, there is no more worries about China, or the WTO or pretty much the global marketplace we've grown accustomed to. The discussions end very quickly. And we're not ready for those discussions. So we've disguised them as Global Warming issues. Really? Maybe
not - but it might be the best swindle or double switch since JFK retired to Cuba.BOTTOM LINE: If you drive a car, you support the war too.
You just aren't aware of it.
Labels: Iraq war