Tuesday, February 24, 2004

That black hole

My position on the Iraq whatever you call it caused a few waves within my circle of friends and family, many who still hold true to the standard Republican party line. Still, I won't be happy waving this article around, with these revealing paragraphs on why we are there now:
    One of those reasons is that sanctions and containment were working and everybody pretty much knew it. Many companies around the world were preparing to do business with Iraq in anticipation of a lifting of sanctions. But the U.S. and the U.K. had been bombing northern and southern Iraq since 1991. So it was very unlikely that we would be in any kind of position to gain significant contracts in any post-sanctions Iraq. And those sanctions were going to be lifted soon, Saddam would still be in place, and we would get no financial benefit.

    The second reason has to do with our military-basing posture in the region. We had been very dissatisfied with our relations with Saudi Arabia, particularly the restrictions on our basing. And also there was dissatisfaction from the people of Saudi Arabia. So we were looking for alternate strategic locations beyond Kuwait, beyond Qatar, to secure something we had been searching for since the days of Carter ? to secure the energy lines of communication in the region. Bases in Iraq, then, were very important ? that is, if you hold that is America?s role in the world. Saddam Hussein was not about to invite us in.

    The last reason is the conversion, the switch Saddam Hussein made in the Food for Oil program, from the dollar to the euro. He did this, by the way, long before 9/11, in November 2000 ? selling his oil for euros. The oil sales permitted in that program aren?t very much. But when the sanctions would be lifted, the sales from the country with the second largest oil reserves on the planet would have been moving to the euro.
A powerful commentary by my favorite cowboy at The American Street provides a great big picture view. At this point, I don't care about being right, that we really shouldn't be there, so on. I'm saddened by this huge loss of lives, of money, of effort.