Iraq was worth it

Yes, my friends, the Iraq War was well worth it. There is no more noble cause for war than to stop mass murder of a people. Any time there is a genocidal maniac loose, it is the world's responsibility to take him out. This is the premise to a doctrine drawn up by the UN in the early 1950's, mainly in response to the genocide by the Nazis in WWII. The world said, "Never again will we let this happen." That call to arms would eventually ring hollow and empty as time went on.

In the case of Iraq, President Bush had some different reasons, some personal, for going to war with Iraq; WMDs being one. In my opinion we took out one of the biggest WMDs in the world today: Saddam himself. Before you argue with me about WMDs, prepare to define what you mean by a weapon of mass destruction. Is it a gun, a bomb, a chemical, a beheading tool? How many people must it kill before it gets labeled as a WMD? 1000? 10,000? 100,000? 10? 1? What's the number? I'll throw down a gauntlet and say that there is no specific definition of WMD. That is precisely why this argument agonizingly prevails.

Back to my point. I will agree with those that say Bush should not have taken us into Iraq. That's right. It should have been Jimmy Carter. But when we elected him, we elected everything about him except his backbone. So after 4 spineless years we now have Reagan, but he's all caught up in basking in the "glory" over Carter's dead presidency. So now Saddam is carrying out his genocide with our aid. Afterall, he's our friend because he hates Iran. The slaughter would continue for the next 20+ years.

A little history about genocide. In the early 1900's the Turks were mass murdering the Armenians with the full knowledge of the world. U.S. Ambassador, Henry Morganthal denounced it calling it "race murder". Turkey's response? "What are you complaining about? You're a Jew and we're getting rid of Christians. Besides, we are leaving the Americans alone." Incredulous! About this time, an international lawyer from Poland named Raphael Lemkin began to take notice. We need no history primer when it comes to the atrocities committed by the Nazis in WWII. After the war, in which Raphael Lemkin lost his family, he relentlessly lobbied the UN and the U.S. to do something so that future mass murders would never happen again. The UN asked Raphael to invent a word and a definition for what he was lobbying about. He did. The word is GENOCIDE and it means mass murder or movement of a people from their culture, not because of what they did, but simply because of WHO THEY ARE. The UN passed the doctrine and 98 nations ratified it. That 98 did not include the U.S. Not until, the early 1990's did the U.S. finally ratify it and only after relentless, marathon lobbying by Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire every day for 12 years. Why? We were afraid that we would be accused of genocide ourselves over the importation of slaves and the movement of the native Indian population.

Since the passing of the doctrine on genocide, we've seen the Pol Pot regime exterminate millions; Saddam Hussien exterminate not only the Kurds, but his own people; In Rwanda Hutu militants exterminated the Tutsis and even some of their own; and the Serbs in Bosnia exterminated muslims. The gutless UN and the world idly watched as decades of genocide continued. People were being slaughtered, not because of anything they did, but simply because of who the are. An interesting point here is that while the Pol Pot was carrying out his brand of genocide, there was one American who pleaded with the Nixon administration to invade Cambodia and "take this guy out!". Ironically, today he is still labeled as one of the biggest Vietnam anti-war activists of the time. He was none other than George McGovern and he recognized the responsibility to do something. Also interesting is that these genocidal maniacs carry out their crimes under the guise of war. The Turks, allies of Germany, in WWI; the Nazis, of course; Bosnia; Rwanda; Iraq and Iran; Cambodia reaping the benefit of the U.S. just out of the Vietnam war and no stomach to go back to Asia.

So now we've finally invaded Iraq and done something to rid the world of a genocide criminal. I say, "HURRAY!! AND IT'S ABOUT TIME, BUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER."

Oh, and what ever became of Raphael Lemkin? He died penniless in a one room flat in NYC after an exhaustive, years long lobbying effort to get the U.S. Congress to pass the UN genocide doctrine.


  • 75 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • beautifully (and FACTUALLY) written. You may feel like the lone voice in the wilderness,but you are NOT.
    I live less than one hour from NYC. Everyday I see people who lost loved ones when the WTC fell. My step daughter attends a school that lost several parents that sad day. When people dont understand the "war on terrorism" I simple dont understand THEM - that day is as clear to me as if it were yesterday... and our emotions about it should be as well.
    thank you for your lucid words.
  • Leslie, you revealed an underlying point here. You and others closest to the tragedy have a long memory and a steadfast resolve. Others distanced from it seem to have forgotten and are starting to quiver.
  • I live in NYC. I saw the Towers go down. I know people who died on that day. My parents live (and lived) in Battery Park City with a view of ground zero. Everyday on the way to work I use the mass transit system which is now protected by extra police and the militia. I go the library, my bags will be searched. I could go on and on. The point, those of us who live on a daily basis with the consequences of what is going on elsewhere are a diverse group with diverse views. I have no problem with going into Afghanistan. But I (and many, many other NYers) believe that Bush made a terrible mistake by going into Iraq. I don't believe I am any safer than I was before Iraq. Matter of fact, considering what has been happening lately in Iraq, I am probably more insecure. But we are a strong people who will never forget but will continue to work to keep NYC the best city in the world.
    I repeat, those of us closest to ground zero are a diverse lot with many points of view (one of which has been expressed by me, another by Leslie).

  • Hi Whatever!

    I am on the opposite of your views and I have a question. You say you don't believe you are any safer now that we've toppled Saddam's regime. Say Saddam is left in power & eventually gets a WMD that has the capability to reach the US. Do you believe that he would hesitate for even one second before punching the "launch" button?

  • The airplanes that went into the World Trade Center were not WMD. In those instances where chemical weapons were used (like Japan), Iraq was not involved. Terrorism is now world wide and our entry into Iraq seems to have increased the incidences world wide. It was terrorists that bombed the trains in Spain. It was terrorists who set off bombs in Turkey. Yesterdays multiple bombings in Iraq was done by terrorists. The beheadingsThe other day, the subway station my house (and blocks surrounding it) was closed because a suspicious package was found.
    Changing the subject slightly, I am concerned about the fact the Pakistan and India (who are our allies) could set off A-bombs because of the Kashmir. Finally, Saddam used WMD against the Kurds and the Iranis (who didn't have the capability of striking back). Like any bully, he doesn't have the guts to use them against a stronger state.

  • History will probably bear out that Bush's reasons were, indeed, inadequate; but the RESULT of the war, stopping genocide, will prevail.

    Whatever, you offer a meaningful point of view, as one who is close to the tragedy. I certainly respect your point and you, as well.
  • yes, they have forgotten and are starting to quiver Larry, and that is the saddest thing of all.
    next time it wont just be a "major" city. If we allow these people to continue their rein of terror, they will hit 'small town' USA, and everything in between.
    This week my daughter graduated 8th grade. Most of the student's speaches spoke to the impact 9/11 had on them. We need to show the children of our country (and others) that their's is the country that will stand up to Bullies.

  • Well! I have THIS to say about your post LarryC! Well done.

    With your permission I would like to send it to a few with whom I correspond. But, I won't do that until I have your permission.

    .....and in the distance I began to hear a faint rumble that got a bit louder as I continued to move through the village, and suddenly I came upon a gathering hall full of people and found the source of the rumbling thunder. A large crowd of malcontents, stapling signs on sticks, chanting, building into a fervor. The sounds became slogans, the slogans became mantras: "We damned tired. Ain't gone take it no mo!" "Down with Cheney and Halliburton!" "Oh yeah, what about Bush. Bush done lied to us!" "Bush stole the Presidency". I quietly walked to the double doors and pulled them shut. The rumbling thunder became muted mutterings. I decided against padlocking the door and opted instead to let them continue their madness, knowing that they are simply misguided. The decisions made by our President will provide safety for them as well. dd
  • You may certainly send it to whomever you wish. And you will be doing it with my blessing. Thank you!

    Don, I was trying to recollect a story about people who sit idly by while slaughter of innocents takes place, but are afraid to do anything about it. The story ends with people themselves being slaughtered because there was nobody left to help them. Do you remember that?
  • Larry, your post was excellent. I think people don't realize the enemy we face today doesn't play by the same rules that we are used to.

    I think the story you are thinking of was written by a German Lutheran minister from WWII era. He wrote how that when the Nazis came for different groups of people he and the church sat idly by until they came for him. Then he realized too late that he should have done something much sooner.
  • that wasnt Dietrich Bonhoeffer was it?
  • Yes, that's the guy I was thinking of. Here is a good website to learn more about him and his thoughts on the Nazi governments treatment of the Jews. [url][/url]
  • LarryC -

    Bravo!!! xclap

    If only ALL people could see beyond there front door and take a stand to STOP Genocide from happening. Just because it is not happening here doesn't mean we stand by and watch and wait until no one cares anymore. That is almost were we are with the Iraqi people... if not for America, England, Spain... It should be EVERYONE caring about this when will genocide stop or when will the others care...when it affects their lives and homes.
    That unfortunately is SAD for all the people of the world.

    We ALL live on the same planet breath the same air we may pray to different gods but does that make us less shouldn't.


  • LarryC, that was a beautifully written piece and you are right on. My only regret is that the world never has and, in my opinion, never will, have the stomach for dealing with problems as they occur (kind of like supervisors - you can never get them to deal with employee problems on a current basis, they always want to pretend everything's hunky dory and lump them all together at review time).

    However, let's not pat ourselves on the back too soon. We are still in a quagmire as long as we stay there. As long as we are there, the Iraqis are not self-determinant, they are subject to the type of government we permit them to have. Sure, they can tell us to go pound sand (pun intended) and boot us out, provided they don't mind losing the infrastructure rebuild, foreign aid, internal security, etc.

    And while we're at it, just where WAS our righteous indignation and intervention in Rwanda? Oops. Sorry. Nothing we need there. But if you've got oil, you have our undivided attention. x;-)

    I hope more people read your piece, LarryC. I hope people think about it - hard! I just think that the American people are too bloody complacent to think beyond the next rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, or the upcoming Survivor XIXIIIV Part 2. If it doesn't affect us, we shouldn't be worrying about it. Are those ribs done, yet?

    Final thought: I'm really tired of every OTHER country in the world "morally" supporting us and then standing on the taxiway and waving "bye bye" while our troops go to take care of some dirty little business somewhere in the world.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-27-04 AT 03:20PM (CST)[/font][br][br]What mass genocide in Iraq are we talking about?

    Does anyone know when Saddam committed his last mass genocide before our attack, invasion and subjugation of Iraq in 2003?

    The fact is that the genocide Bush was pointing to as his third rationale for sending 100,000 plus troops to Iraq and spending a couple hundred billion dollars and losing international support, occurred in the early 1990's(as best as I can determine) -- when George H.W. Bush was President. Remember, President George H. W. Bush urged the Kurds and others to revolt against Saddam and told them that the US would send help. He left them high and dry.

    I'm not saying that Saddam was a nice guy and deserved to rule Iraq. But had Bush told the American people that he wanted to send 100,000 American troops and spend billions of American taxpayer dollars because Saddam committed genocide 12 years previously, do you think America would have supported him? Remmeber, regime change was the last of the proferred rationales for going to war against Iraq.

    An even if it was supported by the American public, Bush as been incompetent is dealing with the aftermath. There was not any question that the US would take out Iraq's army. But Bush lack of planning for after the war tells all.

    Coupled with his irresponsible statement -- Bring it on" taunting the terrorists to attack US soldiers in Iraq, and their success in doing that and in their continuing militaristic and terrorist activities, demonstrate to me that we are not safer than we were bfore the war in Iraq -- and in fact may be less safe.

    Yes, the Bush "apologists" maintain that we haven't had any terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11 -- but then I remind you that even Bush i and Cheney and others are saying that we should expect them in the near future -- it's just a matter of time.
  • Larry Thanks for providing factual support for my personal beliefs - well done. I trust that with the permission you granted to Don, you will not mind my sending your post to my daughter, a Bush bashing med student thinking of converting to Judaism. I am sure it will not change her mind about anything, at least not for now. One day, and one hopes it is not too late (as in 'they have come for you...') she will realize, as i did in my laate 20s, we cannot be safe in our own hemisphere while serial genocidists lurk beyond our borders. And while I cannot say there is a direct connection, I believe in my soul, that were it not for taking on Saddam when we did and the way we did, we would have certainly seen significantly more acts of mass terror on our own soil. I canot believe 9/11 was a one time act, but was, rather, a prelude to be followed quickly and repeatedly by other, probably more heinous acts. I'm not sure why our military actions in the middle east has delayed (and I mean delayed) the further acts of terror, but I am sure it has. Even so, we are not done with the bloodshed on our side of the pond. And every day we take out some American hating neo muslim on their territory, is another day for us to continue to breathe free. I acept the fact we can never change their view of us, nor can we ever divert them from trying to anniliate us. The best we can do is to keep hitting them where they live and breed. Keep them so busy defending themselves, they have less time to directly attack us. Not a pretty view of the future, is it? Unfortunately, I think it is too real. Thanks again Larry, and to all who support the war on terror.
  • The penultimate poster, in his typical Kerry-esque fashion, so quick to bash the incumbent, somehow forgot to list any of the things he might have wanted done. We never did and never will see any list of things that should have been done or that could have been done. Only slashing and lashing at what WAS done.

    Perhaps we should take away all of our private, personal guns and discontinue our oil burning automobiles and have 9 o'clock curfews and further trim the military's budget. That should fit well with those who want to conquer us from within.
  • I don't disagree that Saddam was not a nice his own people or otherwise...BUT using the rationale that genocide is a good reason to send our troops into war...where does it stop? What about Africa? What about East Asia?

    How can we alone continue to be responsible for the world both in military strength and financially? Our tax dollars can go only so far.

    This is the reason that we have international forces to help decide, as a world, which nations pose the largest threat and which can be effectively ended and which will end in a worse condition that it began.

    The other matter that is hard to factor is that we seem to think we're the only ones that can be trusted with can other nations, not resent that position?? Our way of government is great and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else...but I don't believe that I can make that decision for everyone.

    Iraq has been an unfortunate mess. Many of the "informants" the US seemed to rely upon were acting on their own agendas rather than for the betterment of the nation. I hope that we can get the Iraqis a safe stable government and get our troops home!!

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-28-04 AT 10:08AM (CST)[/font][br][br]Don, I assume you're talking about me when you say "penultimate poster" since I was the poster before Shadowfax.

    YOu say I didn't likst what I think should have been done.

    We should have continued our search in Affghanistan and sourrounds for bin Lden and knoick down the Taliban and ensure the security oand stability of that country.

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

    Regarding the WMD's, the UN was on the ground investigating again. Hans Blix was reporting what he was and wasn't finding. We should have waited for him to complete his report. Iraq obviously was no imminent threat to the US at that point to warrant an attack. The US had overfly zones in both northern and southern Iraq.

    If the issue was only that Saddam was evil, then Bush should be attacking North Korea and China and Iran and many other countries that violate human rights. I say again, if Bush has proferred as the only justificqaiton to attacking, invading and subjugating Iraq that Saddam had committed genocide 12 years earlier, do you thnk that the Am,erican public would have supprted a war in Iraq? I don't think it would have.

    Regime change wasn't necessary, as I said, since the genocide that Bush used to justify attacking, invading and subjugating Iraq appears to occurred over 12 years prior. Bush never claimed that it was occurring in the early 2000's and that the war was needed then and there to STOP any genocide that was then occuring.

    The war in Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism.

    However, since Bush created the situaiton, there are now clearly terrorists in Iraq.

    Unfortunatley, I think we will be there for many years, unless we get thrown out by the Iraqi government or people sooner, with a continual bleeding of American lives. I don't think we will be able to bring American-style democracy to Iraq.

    The best we can hope for is that the Iraq whoever runs it, respect human rights as stated in international law, agree to peace treaties, allow minorities to participate in the government and be at least beneficial to Iraqis. It would be nice if it had popular representation in the government. It would be nice if it doesn't turn out in the end to be a theocracy. But I supsect the first will be weakly present, if at all, and the second most likely will happen in the end.

  • "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11"
    Iraq harbors and assists terrorists. The corrupt Iraqi government fosters and encourages a culture of hatred of America and Americans and our way of life, while oppressing its own people and twisting its religion to fit its agenda.

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-28-04 AT 02:27PM (CST)[/font][br][br]Even Bush acknowledges that Iraq was not involved with 9/11.

    And many countries are said to harbor and assist terrorists and lots of people hate America. But Bush didn't attack those countries: some of them are Iran, Libya, China, Saudia Arabia, North Korea, Algeria, Pakistan, and if you listen to the neocons, France.
  • Absolutely correct Hatchetman, Bush never said that Iraq was involved in 9/11. What Bush did say is that Iraq harbored terrorist training camps and terrorist themselves.

    Bush also said that WMD's could be in different stages, i.e. yellow cake in one factory. missiles in another, etc. Which is exactly what has been found. Maybe there were no "completed" WMD's, but the parts are there and that is was the duplicitous liberal media is refusing to print.

    As for the other nations, give us time! Even Quadafi has "seen the light"!

    And to clarify, the word neocon is really laughable. I had to go onto the Democratic Socialist of America's web site to get the definition. They describe a neoncon as "a new breed of emerging conservatives, read right wing conspirators". Just because a few socialist think we are just emerging is laughable. We've been around for a long time and were tired of seeing our contry being destroyed and taken further away from our Constituional roots.

    The oil exploitation excuse is also laughable. So far the US hasn't received a dime from Iraqi oil. All the money has gone back to Iraq to pay for the reconstruction. And if you want to find someone to beat up about oil, look no furhter than Anan, Chirac, and Putin. The Oil for Food program has been exposed for what is was, a financial boon for the three on the take. Saddam used the money to build palaces while paying the three to look the other way. With friends like that, who needs enemies! Now we know why Frenchie was against us going inyo Iraq, he was losing out on money. And Bush was accused of going in gor the oil...give me a break!

    By the way, I will be a delegate to the RNC convention for the State of New Mexico in NYC and plan on going to visit ground zero. And no I haven't forgotten.
  • Shadowfax, you may send it to whomever you wish. Thank you.
  • Transfer of power was done today. I just can't see how the new government can stay off terrorism if we couldn't or didn't. How can this government work. Seems it will all have been for nought. Guess we will soon see.
  • I remember staying at home specifically to watch Colin Powell address the UN with our gathered intelligence in support of action against Iraq. I was disappointed that there wasn’t an abundance of satellite photos in the presentation and instead, to my surprise, the greater use of animated pictures, silly things really of cartoon tanks and trucks, but still I said, “the government must know more than they are sharing, so if they say go, and to support the troops stationed there, then let’s go.” I didn’t believe in Bush, but I did believe in Colin Powell and the reports about WMD’s and it didn’t seem too farfetched to me that an evil man like Sadaam could have been involved with supporting others that helped his cause.

    Now even though the war is over, people are getting beheaded, civilians and military personnel are getting/have been killed in Iraq, highly politicized and real tensions between the US and former allies in the international community have escalated and we have the continued paralysis of relations between Israel and Palestine. No WMD’s have been found, no link between Sadaam and Al Qaeda has been established and Iraq is no closer to peace then they were when we stepped in – it’s probably worse – instead of one genocidal tyrant, we get many and these folks are wrapped up in the cloaks of their particular religious sect railing against America. Most of the world made fun of Sadaam or at the very least marginalized him, how do you do that now with religious clerics without being smeared (?) as discriminatory and thereby playing into the feelings of a religious war? I guess the way it works out for some is to now say, or maybe better yet, to now bring to the forefront the reason we did what we did is to eliminate a mass murderer and free a nation. This notion has a lot of appeal to me. Who wouldn’t want to fight to rid the world of tyrannical leaders who use their military/militia to commit acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group through killing, causing the other group serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting on a group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group or forcibly transferring children of the group to another? So, let’s go, let’s do it. Let’s end genocide in the world. Here’s a list:

    Burundi – 5,000 killed in 2001 (355,000 since 1959)
    Sudan – 10,000 killed in 2001 (2 million since 1956)
    Democratic Republic of the Congo – 80,000 killed in 2001 (1,000’s since 1945, but 2 million since 1994)
    Algeria – 5,000 killed in 2001 (over 200,000 since 1954)
    Liberia – 1,000’s killed in 2001 (over 100,000 since 1990)
    Uganda – 100’s killed in 2001 (over 500,000 since 1972)
    Angola – 5,000 killed in 2001 (over 500,000 since 1961)
    Morocco/Western Sahara – 1000’s killed since 1976
    Colombia – 1,000’s killed in 2001 (over 150,000 since 1948)
    North Korea – 10,000 killed in 2001 (over 2 million since 1949)
    People’s Republic of China – 1,000’s killed in 2001 (35 million since 1949)
    India/Kashmir – 100’s/1000’s killed in 2001 (100,000 since 1947)
    Burma (Myanmar) – 100’s killed in 2001 (over 100,000 since 1945)
    Indonesia – 1,000’s killed in 2001 (over 500,000 since 1945)
    Turkey – 100’s killed in 2001 (10,000’s since 1984)
    Russia/Chechnya – 1,000’s killed in 2001(over 50,000 since 1943)

    These are just some of the current, as in genocide is happening right now, hotspots according to the Genocide Watch Organization. There’s a whole list of countries that have killed in the past, but not within the last couple of years, that are according to this organization, in “various stages of dormancy but could erupt again.” Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Guatemala, Pakistan, Cambodia, North Vietnam, Laos, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Iran, Lebanon and more - combined all of these countries have killed millions. What do you say, to organize the list, should we set the bar at Iraq’s number of 190,000 killed since 1961 and only free the people of countries where the ruler/military/militia killed more? Or, should we just focus our energies on the current hotspots – save folks that are dying right now? If Bush and others in the government now, as their means of justifying what they did in Iraq, want to rid the world of genocide, then let’s go, let’s mean it and let’s do it. If Bush said that today, then I would vote for him. Otherwise, I doubt our reasons for being there and why we did what we did.

  • Mwild, you missed the primary qualifier for US intervention: Which of the countries involved have rich natural resources we can exploit?
  • I vote for Colombia - Starbucks just raised their rates x:-)
  • Good idea. We could confiscate their drug money while we're at it and STILL have good coffee! x;-)
  • Hey Beags, I keep seeing these references to exploiting Iraq's oil. I guess I'm just dense, but I don't see any evidence of the fact of it. Can you educate me please?
  • I didn't really mean to imply that we're exploiting Iraq's oil. I was using the oil issue as an illustration that the US always acts in its own self-interest. For example, if Iraq didn't have the resources it has, we might have been less inclined to get involved there. When the genocide in Rwanda was occurring, we ignored it. Could it be because there was nothing in it for us?
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