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Was Sadaam necessary?

 
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This weekend I was talking with a friend who told me that in his opinion, Sadaam had been the necessary "Strong Man" to hold together the Shi'a, Sunni, Kurds and other peoples who were artificially (and misguidedly) put together in a single country.
It was also his opinion that Gulf War I had been stopped short of actually removing Sadaam because President Bush, Sr. knew that the power vacuum left by removing him would probably be worse than actually having him.
He also mentioned that Sadaam had met with April Glaspie, the Ambassador to Iraq, very shortly before the invasion, and that she had said that the USA would not get involved if Iraq attacked Kuwait. I didn't know that.
Opinions?
[ November 17, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Allen ]
 
Sheriff
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Originally posted by Tim Allen:
He also mentioned that Sadaam had met with April Glaspie, the Ambassador to Iraq, very shortly before the invasion, and that she had said that the USA would not get involved if Iraq attacked Kuwait. I didn't know that.


What I had heard about this is that the it wasn't that she said this to Hussein, rather that was the impression he was left with after the meeting. History would seem to indicate though that he is extremely poor at reading situations like this.
 
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Originally posted by Tim Allen:
This weekend I was talking with a friend who told me that in his opinion, Sadaam had been the necessary "Strong Man" to hold together the Shi'a, Sunni, Kurds and other peoples who were artificially (and misguidedly) put together in a single country.


Necessary to pull together the Kuwaitis and the Iranians who had mistakenly been left outside the Iraqi borders in the initial partition, also?
Perhaps Hitler was a Strong Man merely trying to unify Europe. Or the Kaiser was a Strong Man trying to unify Germany with Belgium and Northern France?
Who decides what is mistaken?
 
High Plains Drifter
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Originally posted by Tim Allen:
It was also his opinion that Gulf War I had been stopped short of actually removing Sadaam because President Bush, Sr. knew that the power vacuum left by removing him would probably be worse than actually having him.
He also mentioned that Sadaam had met with April Glaspie, the Ambassador to Iraq, very shortly before the invasion, and that she had said that the USA would not get involved if Iraq attacked Kuwait. I didn't know that.


It's not your friend's opinion so much as former President Bush's stated view on his mission. In a late-90's interview on Middle East foreign policy, Bush said they weighed the issues and determined that a sustained US presence in Iraq would probably destabilize the region. To protect its own assets during an occupation, US policy analysts foresaw a domino effect in which probably Syria and Lebanon would be next on the list of potential "scope creep" targets.
A more cynical view might be that the US went in with so much firepower that it raised an alarm throughout the Middle East that the Big One was coming, and Iraq's neighbors were preparing whatever they could to protect from encroachment. That seems pretty silly, too, but hey, nothing like Monday morning quarterbacking.
To hear others tell it, Hussein has been the Disinformation Bitch more than once. It's been reported that both France and Russian persuaded Hussein that the US would never dare invade over WMDs. Depending on who you talk to, this was a conscious design to save face and lure Hussein into false confidence (which actually makes the most sense), or some really glass-eyed analysis on the part of the French and Russian embassies -- cast your votes as ye may on that one.
[ November 17, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Tim Allen:
He also mentioned that Sadaam had met with April Glaspie, the Ambassador to Iraq, very shortly before the invasion, and that she had said that the USA would not get involved if Iraq attacked Kuwait.


This is not true. The general who was at that meeting said they left with the meeting with the understanding that the opposite was true but they didn't believe it. They thought the US might make noise but that was all. The story came from an Iraqi release of the meeting that was deliberately faked. Glaspis said that the US would not take an official position as to whether Kuwait was part of a "greater Iraq". This was brought up specifically about a dispute over ownership of an oil field in Kuwait. The US attempted to show that it would be neutral on the issue and support negotiations. That is a far cry from saying that Iraq had permission to unilaterally take over Kuwait.
 
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By the logic of Tim Allen's friend, maybe the reason Ariel Sharon hasn't succeded in uniting Israel and the Palestinians is that he hasn't been enough of a "strong man." His friend sounds like a European (and they wonder why we don't take their opinions seriously).
If Bush cannot find Saddam, maybe his fallback position should be to quickly organize the Kurdish and Shiite minorities into independent states and then get out, let _them_ deal with the "Sunni Triangle" as they see fit. (Ha ha ha!)
After all, Muslims don't mind massecres of Muslims at the hands of other Muslim -- at least not nearly as much as they get upset by an infidel who kills a Muslim in self-defense. (It's sort of like the way urban American blacks have a much higher tolerance for black-on-black murder than they do when a cop kills a violent but unarmed black criminal who refuses to show his hands.)
 
Leverager of our synergies
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Tim: It was also his opinion that Gulf War I had been stopped short of actually removing Sadaam because President Bush, Sr. knew that the power vacuum left by removing him would probably be worse than actually having him.
This was my main fear too. Unfortunately, we have an example of the former USSR trying to turn itself into a democracy, which ended in dissolution along national borders. What worse, the process wasn't always peaceful... This isn't, of course, the only possible outcome, and I wish Iraq found a way to continue its existence as a country and keep peaceful relationships among its people, but it seems to be slowly sweeping into a vortex of violence instead. I wish I were wrong...
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Tim Allen:
It was also his opinion that Gulf War I had been stopped short of actually removing Sadaam because President Bush, Sr. knew that the power vacuum left by removing him would probably be worse than actually having him.

I think there is a lot more to it than that. I think it was our allies especially our Saudi allies who feared what would happen with the US conquering Iraq. Notice that they didn't help us this go around.
 
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