Malcom Lagauche: Iraq, THE MYTH
- A picture tells a thousand words
October 9, 2005
"The war was wrong, but the world is better off without Saddam
Hussein," heralded Democrat-after-Democrat in attempting to take the
wind out of George Bush's sails. After all, Bush was saying that there
still may be a stash of weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq.
Now, after conclusive evidence has been shown by Bush's own appointees
that there was not one gram of chemical or biological agents left in
Iraq, the Republicans are saying, "There were no weapons of mass
destruction, but the world is better off without Saddam Hussein." The
Republicans have stolen the Democrats' line of reasoning, almost down
to the last word.
Where do the Democrats go from here? They've already staked out their
war philosophy and it has been co-opted by the Republicans. In other
words, the Democrats shot themselves in their collective feet.
Let's look at the statement about the world being better off without
Saddam Hussein. It seems that few people have challenged that
statement and it has been taken for fact. However, the facts do not
justify the statement.
The world is definitely not better off with Saddam in jail for various
reasons. His incarceration was the result of an illegal pre-emptive
action that could set the pace for other countries that have gripes
with certain factions. Russia will have an open hand in Chechnya. The
Chinese may look at Tibet in another light after the U.S. invasion.
And other Asian countries may be licking their chops and looking to
settle long-running feuds. The entire concept of a United Nations that
is supposed to stop war has changed and the rule of the jungle is
coming to the forefront.
Now, let's look at numbers. Yesterday, six U.S. military people were
killed in roadside bombings. Dozens, if not hundreds of Iraqis were
killed during U.S. raids. Hundreds of Iraqis left their homes because
of imminent danger. And this is just one day's actions; actions that
continue day in and day out.
Since the March 2003 invasion, about 150,000 Iraqis have died. Almost
2,000 Americans are now in graves who would not be if there was no
invasion. Iraq has little electricity and an unemployment rate of
almost 70%. The U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this
fiasco and there is no end in sight.
Speaking of electricity in Iraq, I recently read an appropriate quote
from a former prisoner who was tortured at Abu Grhaib by U.S.
soldiers. He stated, "I always knew the Americans would bring
electricity back to Baghdad. I just never thought they'd be shooting
it up my ass."
Terrorist attacks are now the norm in the world. Every day we read of
someplace that is affected: India, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the list goes on. They don't even gain
headlines any more. These are attacks that would not have occurred had
the world scene not changed with the illegal invasion of Iraq.
Foreign Arab and Islamic fighters are coming to Iraq. This is their
World Cup. Again, with no invasion, Iraq would have been the last
place they would have visited.
It will take Iraq decades to recover from two U.S.-led wars and a
devastating embargo. Millions of Iraqi dead and tens of thousands of
deaths of other nationalities will be on the final scorecard. And, by
then, the cost will be in the trillions, not billions, of dollars.
With all this obvious information, the best the Democrats can come up
with is, "The world is better with Saddam Hussein behind bars." Those
are the words of an imbecile. That's why George Bush is now using them.
If one looks at this matter objectively and states the truth, the
whole future could take on a more sensible course. Americans hate
Saddam Hussein. Europeans are usually neutral and many in the Arab
world hold him in high esteem. A British biographer once stated, after
seeing an anti-Saddam Hussein piece on the A&E Network, "The Arab
world does not see him in the same light as what you have portrayed.
They look at him as the leader who brought literacy and women's rights
to the Arab world." There are varying opinions on Saddam Hussein and
his presidency of Iraq not just those of the brain-dead and lying U.S.
But, regardless of whether you hate him, admire him, or have no
opinion, the world is far worse off because of the activities that led
to his imprisonment. Even some former anti-Saddam Hussein people are
coming to that conclusion. They are looking at reality.
Scott Ritter, the former head U.N. inspector in Iraq is attacking the
U.S. policy toward Iraq. Last year, he wrote an article called "If You
Had Seen What I Have Seen," in which he maintains that the U.S. and
Britain never would have the embargo lifted despite Iraq's cooperation
and performing their duties that the U.N. asked of them. The U.S. and
British signatures meant nothing. They would have kept the embargo in
place until Saddam was gone, despite the murdering of two million
Iraqis. They did not care if the figure went to three or four million.
In his article, Ritter stated, "Saddam is gone, and the world is far
worse for it because the threat to international peace and security
resulting from the decisions made by Bush and Blair to invade Iraq in
violation of international law makes any threat emanating from an Iraq
ruled by Saddam pale in comparison."
I have maintained that if Iraq were to become a "democracy" along U.S.
lines, why not allow the Baath Party to participate? It is still the
largest party in the country. And, there is a good chance Saddam would
regain the presidency. Such a gamble on the part of the U.S. is
Scott Ritter and I are not the only people uttering the fallacy of the
"with Saddam in jail, the world is better off" line. A recent report
put together by more than 650 foreign policy experts from countries
all over the world (Security Scholars for a Sensible Foreign Policy),
condemned virtually every aspect of the Iraqi invasion, from
non-existent diplomacy, to lying, to military blunders. Members of the
group included even former Pentagon and U.S. Department of State Staff.
The group concluded, "Even on moral grounds, the case for war was
dubious. The war itself has killed over a thousand Americans and
unknown thousands of Iraqis. And if the threat of civil war becomes
reality, ordinary Iraqis could be even worse off then they were under
I know that Saddam Hussein will win no popularity contests in the U.S.
However, one must separate fact from fiction and realize the
inaccuracy of the "better off without Saddam" thought process. Those
who are anti-war will never see their aspirations come to fruition
with this thinking. Look at the situation carefully and see the myth.
Those who have, and possess integrity, have publicly stated that the
invasion was wrong and that the Iraqi pieces may never be put back
together again. Those who maintain the myth are only giving a green
light to the imperialistic aspirations of the current
neo-conservative-led Republican Party. The Democrats have fallen into
the Republican trap.
Today, despite all that has happened, many armchair leftists still use
the "we're better off without Saddam" philosophy. All I can say about
this is that those who write such words have absolutely no integrity
or ability to use logic. They are using George Bush's own words to
justify their own milquetoast writings, yet they are just as much to
blame for Iraq's current plight as the neocons in the Bush administration.
To me, there is nothing more disgusting than people who supposedly
opposed the invasion of Iraq allowing the myth to become a part of
their writing. At least the necons and warmongers were consistent in
Last night, I watched an interview with the author Kurt Vonnegut. The
interviewer was shocked when Vonnegut stated that, despite supposed
party differences of Democrats and Republicans, there is no loser
between them in elections. He said the losers are the people. And,
whoever wins an election (Democrat or Republican), is beholden to the
same interests that destroy the people of the country. He laughed when
he said, "Give me a break. There are no losers in elections; just the
The myth proves his point. Pro-war people have been emboldened by
those of the so-called "left" who praise the kidnapping of Saddam
Hussein while opposing the war and the neocons. They usually criticize
the lesser intellectually-minded for falling into a trap made by the
government, while they have fallen deeply into the same trap and will
never be able to loosen the grip.
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