Capturing Saddam: So what?

posted by Jeff | Monday, December 15, 2003, 12:01 AM | comments: 8
I found out rather late today (purposefully staying away from the Internet and TV) that they captured Saddam in Iraq. You would think that it would be a big deal, but honestly, what does this really change?

The pundits are saying that it will reduce terrorism in Iraq, but that's nonsense. The people who are blowing shit up and shooting at our boys are opportunists who don't give two shits about whether or not Saddam even exists.

It also doesn't the change the fact that there were three major reasons to go to war, and none of them have panned out:

  • The infamous weapons of mass destruction that have yet to be found.
  • Ties to al Queda which the White House has since said was bad intelligence.
  • Use of chemical weapons against his own people. That happened before the first Gulf War, and we didn't finish the job then. Why now?

So hundreds of our people (not to mention thousands of Iraqi civilians) have been killed for what? In the midst of domestic problems and ridiculous debt right here at home, fucking up a country just because they don't meet our ideals is not a really good idea to me, and it's worse since the justification has, so far, been all lies.

I guess what really gets me is seeing all of these stories on TV about the lives of those who died over there. The family members and neighbors talk about how they died for their country, but is that what they died for?

Our role in international affairs is certainly not a cut and dry and easy to digest issue, and I understand that. However, there comes a point when we have to start looking at the return on investment. Spreading our ideals and values is not worth paying the high price of our sons and daughters.



December 15, 2003, 6:12 AM # The exact same thoughts came to mind when I read this on this morning. So we found an overweight powerless former leader, yippe. We have no weapons of mass destruction, no connections to Al-Qaeda, more casualties everyday in a country we shouldn't be inhabiting.


December 15, 2003, 8:01 AM # This is exactly what I've been trying to tell people all day.


December 15, 2003, 1:10 PM # I mentioned the same points Jeff made on another forum before we went to war and was lambasted. Even a good friend was "extremely disappointed" in my "attitude" and failure to see how important it was to bring this terrible man down.

Funny, now he's the one who is extremely disappointed, along with many others, who realize the reasons for going to war are, to this date, non-existent.

At this point, they can't even confirm that Saddam is orchestrating the attacks of the past 6-8 months. The people behind them are very likely extremists with their own agendas. And we all know how difficult it is to control them, even those in our own country.

Will his capture demoralize them and stop them? I doubt it. Will any good come from our being there? I have yet to see it.

I think as time goes on, the american people are going to see what a huge waste this war was.


December 15, 2003, 2:57 PM # In the end, he's just one person and there are probably many responsible. I don't think his leadership was remotely similar to Hitler's rule of his own people (brainwashing and whatnot). But, there's probably many more still in charge or responsible for the way things are over there. Are we still going after these people?

It's strange you ask what people really died for. I think many people had the same feelings about Vietnam and did we really accomplish anything back then? Sometimes, I feel as though we live in a country obsessed with war.

One more thought...I was talking about the issue of the US foreign affairs with a few students from Romania last week and their view was enlightening. They said that other countries view America like the pushy older brother who uses other countries as their playground. Overall, their impression was that the country acts before it thinks. These students also mentioned that some countries realize this is our government's decisions and not necessarily the views of American people. It saddens me to realize how the world views "us."


December 15, 2003, 3:49 PM # I have always thought that the world views us as the big brother. Pushy yes, but ready to beat up that bully that gave your a wedgie in the lunch line. I think many of the "siblings" would start whining as soon as the big brother moved away because so many countries rely on us... or so I think they do.


December 15, 2003, 4:35 PM # Much of the resistance the US has beenencountering in Iraq will not dissipate just because Saddam was captured -- it's not so much support of Saddam as resisting foreign occupation.

Now, I DO think SOMETHING had to be done about Saddam. The man was certainly a danger to his own people. Sanctions weren't working. But that does NOT mean that America should have gone stomping in without support of the world community. It may have taken time in the UN, but I think a resolution would have been reached (even with the French opposition. IMHO the main reason the French were opposed is because of how much money they had invested in Iraq. The biggest banks in the middle east are French, and they don't want to see that go away. It's not that the French are a peace-loving people, it's that they had their own best interests at heart).

But anyway, the US just marching in against the rest of the world's wishes was a mistake (easy to say in retrospect, sure, but c'mon, should we REALLY have expected any differently?). Yes, it would have taken time, but it's not like the US occupation has been an instant overnight turnaround.


December 15, 2003, 5:45 PM # No one can deny that his capture was good news, but the President made it clear that this was not the end of violence in Iraq. Frankly, a car bomb killed about a dozen people in Baghdad as he was giving his speech yesterday afternoon. This shows that the opposition attacks against coalition forces will not die down in the near future. In addition, I don't see how a weak, removed dictator could be coordinating these attacks from such a small hiding place. Capturing Saddam was important so that he can face the justice of the Iraqi people, but the capture was not as important as taking care of those responsible for coordinated attacks, or the capture of the real 9/11 conspirator, Usama bin Laden.

I went to see Retired General Wesley Clark give a campaign speech a few weeks ago. Even Clark, one of the few who actually has a chance to face Bush next year, said that he has no doubt Hussein had WMD's or would have tried to get them in the future. When Clark led the operation in Kosovo, however, he did so without a single casualty.

I also still believe that there are links between Iraq and 9/11, although I don't think Saddam had any direct connection to the main Al-Qaeda conspirators. This article details a meeting between Mohammad Atta (chief 9/11 terrorist) and an Iraqi intelligence agent as well as money transfers to him in the U.S. This article describes new evidence that Atta was trained in Baghdad, and Saddam knew about it. This really puzzles me as to why Bush put so much effort into connecting Saddam to 9/11 before the war, and then flatly denied the supposed connections afterward. It really makes you think if you really can believe what you think you believe.

Although I do have my concerns and I seem to be in the minority here, I've been pretty much in support of the war all along. We'll just have to see how Saturday's capture effects the speed at which we can secure the nation enough to hand over power to the Iraqis


December 16, 2003, 12:03 AM # I still don't support it at all. Too high of a price in terms of human life and money, and a time when we can't afford it.

North Korea is building nuclear weapons, so why aren't we pushing for "regime change" there? Saddam may or may not have tried to build or obtain weapons, but any one of us may or may not shoot up a grocery store at any time.

In a perfect world, I'd say bring our people home. Unfortunately, now we have a responsibility to make things stable there before we can do that, so we're trapped to continue paying that high cost.

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