Then he has a problem because terrorism is not a “thing,” it is a tactic, used for many different reasons by many different groups. Do we support the Russians and the Sudanese, and almost every country in Africa that s fighting nationalistic terrorist groups? Fighting a war on terrorism literally is like fighting a war on frontal assaults. You are trying to defeat a tactic.
3) “GWB has forced the hand of the weak patriarchcal governments of the Middle East to stop mollifying terrorists. Iraq is only the start. We are beginning to see Saudi changed, others will follow.”
At the very most (and this is the MOST I will give) there seems to have been some contacted communication between the Iraqi government and Al-Qeada
I doubt this very much. The Saudi change, as well s the Pakistan change, was evidence after war with Afghanistan became a certainty and was exacerbated when they themselves were attacked and they realized that their kingdom was threatened. I see no evidence that the Iraq war produced such a change, other than making it more difficult to halt terrorist recruitment.
I agree, but only effective and planned pro-action. There seems to be an assumption that we fight terrorist the same way we fight states (i.e. by invading some state). By honest with yourself friend, did attacking Iraq do anything (and I mean anything) to stop or deter Al-Qeada? Do you really believe that the organization is significantly weakened now?
Certainly, many in the UN would have continued the status quo rather than take action but once action was initiated, I don’t recall any protest until invasion was on the table
5) “I disagree with you that no one advocated inaction. There is no indication that the U.N. would not have continued to write resolution after resolution as Saddam defied them.”
6) “Our congress and the coalition were justified to put an end to Saddam’s dishonesty and cruelty to his people.”
I don’t dispute this, but was it in our best interest to do so, that is the real issue I am trying to address. We have a right to do many things, but will they help to achieve our objectives or not?
As I have said before, I disagree. The example, if any, it seems to have set is that do whatever you can to get WMD and fast, since that is the only immunity from invasion. The only contrary example some bring up is Libya, but this is an illusion. Libya has been trying to make a deal with the US for years, and has been willing to dismantle his meager WMD program for a long time. However, for political reasons and the idea that we would not give in to blackmail prevented the US from accepting it until after the Iraq war, so that wasn’t some abrupt change in Libyan policy based on Iraq.
8) “Many people see the ousting of the Taliban commendable yet the ousting of the Baath Party unsupportable. Why? I don’t see the difference. Both were essentially the same oppressive, thieving, murderous governments. In fact, an argument can be made that Saddam was more dangerous to his own people and certainly to the region than the Taliban.”
Correct on all counts. However, there were important differences: we had the support of the entire world community, including many Arab governments, the invasion was thus seen as the world v. Afghanistan. Furthermore, we had every reason to go into Afghanistan: They harbored those who attacked us, making them just as culpable, we were able to eliminate a large base for Al-Qeada operatives, and we could turn Afghanistan into a model of peace and Democracy in the region. In Iraq, none of the above is the case. The connection ends there, and even if it does not, the international community rejects the argument that Iraq is connected in any way with the war on terror.