Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | August 09, 2002

Not your father's Gulf War, Part II

Eric M, in the comments section, responds to my last post:

[Y]ou are on to something again if your objection to Gulf War 2 is mainly military. In the invasion of Kuwait, the population such as it was, did not support the Iraqi army. In the invasion of Iraq, there is more reason to believe that A. the Iraqi Army might actually fight for their own country, not just for the occupation of Kuwait, B. the Iraqi people might support their sons in the Iraqi Army and conduct a Vietnam-style insurgency. Add to this the strategic interest Iran will have in fomenting just such an insurgency in Southern Iraq and the occupation is looking more West Bank-like all the time. Except it would be a West Bank the size of California.
Well said, but let me elaborate.

My objections to Gulf War II are more than military. I simply fail to see any rational to take a (militarily) offensive approach to dealing with our enemies without reasonable justification. That Iraq "might" have WMD is weak. The argument can be made that nations like Iraq NEED such weapons to defend themselves against an aggressive US that scoffs at international norms of common sense and decency (such as respect for self-determination or international borders).

According to the US, it is Iraq that ignores UN resolutions and threatens its neighbors (etc., etc.). Yet Iraq hasn't threatened anyone in a decade. The US, in the past year alone, has threatened Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Libya, and any nation that might be harboring terrorists. Afghanistan was justified, the others are not. And let's not get started about US contempt for international treaties...

That being said, I think Eric is right about Iraqi morale. Not only would they be defending their own country against a foreign invader, but their tactics would allow for greater successes. I don't think the US would lose, but it would have to pay a high and continuing price for its occupation. Another distinction: during Gulf War I, the world community was clearly and openly against Saddam. It must've been devastating for Iraqi troops to face incoming Syrian armor. Today, the world community is clearly siding with Saddam, giving the Iraqi leader a veneer of legitimacy, in the eyes of his people, that he lacked in 1990.

Posted August 09, 2002 10:48 AM | Comments (3)


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