Friday, November 25, 2005

Pro or Con on American Attack against Iraq before the War

The Iraq War has been dividing America. However, American opinion leaders regarded Iraq as a serious threat. This was unanimous, and beyond party politics and ideological backgrounds. Therefore, it is unfair to accuse the Bush administration of everything bad happens in Iraq. Those who argue against this war supported when it broke out.

I would like to refer to one blog and one article. First, I quote brief story of policy making before the war from “Did Bush Lie?” on Political Yen/Yang. I often visit this blog. Furthermore, I would like to introduce you a very insightful article In Washington Post by Robert Kagan, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. If you read this blog and article, you will think that the United States would have fought against Iraq even if Albert Gore had been elected the president.

Let me review the blog post on Political Yen/Yang. As mentioned in this post, it was the Clinton administration that began to make a plan to attack Iraq. In 1998, the House of Representative approved the Iraq Liberation Act. According to this blog, President Bill Clinton prepared for striking Iraq soon after he signed the bill. Actually, the regime change in Iraq was discussed in the Clinton administration. The Iraqi National Congress lead by Ahmad Chalabi, was sponsored by the Clinton regime.

Reviewing what happened before the war, we understand that the Bush administration’s Iraq policy is just continuation of that of the Clinton administration. Then, why is the United States so divided on the Iraq War? An article by Robert Kagan would show some key to this question. He is very well known for his book, “Of Paradise and Power”, and founded the Project for the New American Century with William Kristol.

This article tells us inside stories on the Iraq problem since the Clinton era. Actually the crisis began when Saddam Hussein blocked UN inspection on suspected sites in 1997, and the war was about to break out. Though Clinton bombed dangerous facilities in Iraq, Saddam Hussein maintained ambition to rule the Gulf area, and make weapons of mass destruction. In the face of such a great danger, the Clinton team decided to oust Saddam and install democracy in Iraq. Policymakers in Washington agreed unanimously that Iraqi threat was serious. Support for removing Saddam Hussein was widespread from liberals, conservatives, to neo-conservatives.

Some defense experts were cautious of attacking Iraq. Joseph Cirincione, who is also a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, insisted that the United States review the final UN report carefully before making a decision to fight against Iraq. So did Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. However, it is very important to keep it in mind that even they regarded Iraq a serious threat to global security, and this threat must be removed soon. Joseph Cirincione’s group suggested a less risky method, called a “coercive” inspection, which authorizes armed inspectors to verify every doubtful site in Iraq. As you see, regardless of ideological stance, regardless of pro or con to the war, Saddam Hussein’s attitude was a grave concern to any foreign policy experts.

Those who changed the nature of the Iraq debate were professional left-wing activists. They blamed the United States belligerent, and driven by oil interests. Also, these demagogues agitated that the United States was a ruthless killer and Saddam’s Iraq was just a victim. Their agendas were off the point. However, strangely enough, their stupid opinions inflicted a great influence on the media. As a result, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said very furiously, “They talk as if Saddam were right and Bush were wrong.” He is right. These leftists shifted the focus away from security in the Middle East.

Left-wingers distorted the real issue of Iraq debate. They changed everything from rational talk to emotional scream. Their anti-American slogan has been undermining the US led coalition, and benefiting terrorists. Someday, I would like to talk about how these leftists agitate their agenda.