Reports Of Iraqi Soldiers Bribing Officers To Release Them From Military Duty

Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

125px-Flag_of_Iraq.svgIn one example of the difficulties in rousing the Iraq military to fully commit to engaging the Islamic State within Iraq, a Kurdish news source reports that soldiers are taking to bribery to escape their military responsibilities and returning home to avoid combat.

In some cases the bribes are so prevalent that up to half of military detachment soldiers are reported to have been released, making the army’s war efforts difficult and especially magnified in confronting terrorists waging war against their nation. Fear of war and the atrocities of their enemy is the primary motivating factor.

In a confidential meeting held earlier in week, hosted by Iraq’s Parliamentary committee on security and defense, a confidential source revealed:

“Participants in the meeting discussed the number of different sieges of the Iraqi army in the Anbar area and how many soldiers were being killed by members of the terrorist organization, the Islamic State.”

“Also discussed was the fact that there had been an increase in the number of Iraqi soldiers who were leaving areas where they could expect to see action – such as the provinces Anbar, Salahaddin and Diyala. This means that there are fewer than expected soldiers on the battlefields.”

Locals refer the deserters as “Astronauts” as they are said to float around not participating, eventually returning to their home world. The phenomenon is not new to the Iraq Army and often takes the form of the soldier offering their superior officer large amounts of cash such as partial or full salaries to not be reported for desertion, according to one officer, Kadhim al-Shammari.

Abbas al-Saadi was a soldier of a unit fighting the Islamic State in Tikrit but now has returned home to his employ as a taxi driver.

“If I was killed, who would look after my wife and three children? I love the military but I am worried about the IS group. They not only kill soldiers in battle, they behead them and burn them. That’s why I decided to give all of my salary to the officer in charge of our unit so that he would register me absent with leave.

iraqi-tankAl Saadi’s salary is diverted to a superior officer while the unit is engaged in combat. He indicates he will return to his unit once it is transferred elsewhere in a “safer” location.

According to the parliamentary committee the numbers include Astronaut Soldiers who escaped upon the advance of the Islamic State and did not return. Iraqi units comprising five hundred soldiers now have to contend with three hundred.

Though the army imposes strict penalties against deserters, military law has proven to be ignored.

Member of Parliament Mathhar al-Janabi stated:

“Our security forces have a big problem when it comes to non-enforcement of military law. This makes members of the military unafraid of doing illegal things – such as being absent without leave, illegal killing and otherwise not carrying out their military duties.”

The remaining soldiers themselves experience difficulty in reporting desertions of the astronaut soldiers and the only available resource to receive their complaints is often the officers who took the bribes to begin with.

While the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the corruption endemic within the Iraq Army is a contributing factor to the advancement of the Islamic State and makes the international effort to eject IS more difficult. The result possibly could lead to more international commitment due to necessity of prosecuting the war with reliable resources, a bad precedent to set as the west continues to be drawn in.

By Darren Smith

Source:

Ekurd.net

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

84 thoughts on “Reports Of Iraqi Soldiers Bribing Officers To Release Them From Military Duty”

  1. maxcat06: “Iraq is in shambles now, and had we left a residual force in the Embassy in Baghdad, would that have changed?”

    At the point that Bush handed off the Presidency to Obama, we were back on course building a “strong strategic partnership” (State Dept) with Iraq that was “poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress” (Obama).

    By contrasting the progressing condition of Iraq with US peace operations, as marked by Obama’s assessment in May 2011, versus the reversal of Iraq’s progress since Obama removed US peace operations from Iraq – clearly and obviously yes, Obama staying on Bush’s progressive liberal course would have made a difference.

  2. Paul C. Schulte,

    I don’t know that we invaded Afghanistan because we thought we were going to do better at nation-building with Afghanistan than the Soviets did. We invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban was hosting al Qaeda, and lower counter-terror measures, such as Clinton’s missile strikes into Afghanistan, had proven ineffective.

    al Qaeda was using Afghanistan as a practical platform, and terrorists with nation-state level security, stability, and sundry resources – simple reliable organization ‘office’ and training ‘factory’ space is pivotal – are an order of magnitude more dangerous than terrorists compelled to operate underground on the run. The terrorists’ Caliphate vision isn’t just a Utopian ideal. It has practical implications, too.

    Since clearing al Qaeda and their like-minded Taliban hosts in 2001-2002, the challenge has been to hold the space from a Taliban re-conquest. Our nation-building way in Afghanistan has been different than the Soviet way. But no, there isn’t a guarantee our way will work better in the long run than theirs did. It’s an asymmetric contest and we have vulnerabilities and they have strengths – we can fail and they can succeed.

      1. Paul – I would say that about both countries.
        BTW, I never replied to your comment about the “nit-picking” and JT’s more than occasional grammar and spelling errors. I never taught English, yet I notice them, and just about every other one on the internet. Strangely, I never notice my own!!

  3. Oops. I left off attribution for “systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror”, which I also quoted upthread: Situation of human rights in Iraq – [United Nations] Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/15.

  4. maxcat06: “If Saddam had gained domination in the region, so what?”

    Then Saddam’s “systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror” would have dominated the region.

  5. maxcat06: “we should have invaded Iraq when we were already immersed in a war in Afghanistan?”

    You could have asked whether we should have invaded Afghanistan with our troops in Asia and Europe, including peace operations in Kosovo, the Iraq no-fly zones, etc.. By Fall 2002, we had toppled the Taliban and chased out al Qaeda. At that point, the NATO mission was in long-term ‘clear and hold’ mode and peace operations in Afghanistan.

    In other words, on a policy level, adding OIF did not tax the US military to the limit of the US military doctrinal capability to fight 2 major regional wars simultaneously, plus conduct X number of large and smaller scale ‘operations other than war’.

    The first question of ‘could we’ is answered by standing doctrine: Yes.

    The second question is ‘should we’. To answer that question, we have to imagine ourselves in Bush’s shoes after 9/11 and try to see what he saw with Iraq.

    Upon taking office, Bush had inherited the UN and US official assessment of Saddam as a “clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere” (Clinton, 1998). Since we had switched from the failed disarmament to ‘containment’ with Operation Desert Fox (1998), the only measure holding the “clear and present danger” of Saddam in check was the ‘containment’.

    So, what was the state of the post-ODF ‘containment’ in 2002? It was evidently failing.

    The Iraq Survey Group Duelfer Report provides some insight on the situation that compelled Bush to offer Saddam a strict “final opportunity” (UNSCR 1441) to comply:

    •According to ‘Abd Hamid Mahmud, on the second day of Desert Fox, Saddam said, “[T] he cease-fire principle is over; the US broke the international law and attacked a country, which is a member in the UN.” He drafted a resolution which called for the RCC “to cancel all the international obligations and resolutions, which Iraq has agreed upon.” ‘Abd said that Saddam blamed the United States for attacking “Iraq without the UN permission, and [pulling] the inspectors out of Iraq.” As a result, “Iraq [had] the right to cancel all these resolutions to get rid of the sanction which was imposed for more than seven years.”
    •The RCC resolution formally ended all Iraqi agreements to abide by UN resolutions. Ahmad Husayn Khudayr recalled that Saddam’s text ordered Iraq to reject every Security Council decision taken since the 1991 Gulf war, including UNSCR 687. Ahmad said the resolution was worded in careful legal terms and “denied all the previously accepted [resolutions] without any remaining trace of them [in the Iraqi Government].”
    … From Baghdad the long struggle to outlast the containment policy of the United States imposed through the UN sanctions seemed tantalizingly close. There was considerable commitment and involvement on the part of states like Russia and Syria, who had developed economic and political stakes in the success of the Regime. From Baghdad’s perspective, they had firm allies, and it appeared the United States was in retreat. The United Nations mechanism to implement the Oil For Food program was being corrupted and undermined. The collapse or removal of sanctions was foreseeable. This goal, always foremost in Saddam’s eyes, was within reach.
    … Prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem. The only notable items stopped in this flow were some aluminum tubes, which became the center of debate over the existence of a nuclear enrichment effort in Iraq. Major items had no trouble getting across the border, including 380 liquid-fuel rocket engines. Indeed, Iraq was designing missile systems with the assumption that sanctioned material would be readily available.
    … The successful implementation of the Protocols, continued oil smuggling efforts, and the manipulation of UN OFF contracts emboldened Saddam to pursue his military reconstitution efforts starting in 1997 and peaking in 2001. These efforts covered conventional arms, dual-use goods acquisition, and some WMD-related programs.
    … From 1999 until he was deposed in April 2003, Saddam’s conventional weapons and WMD-related procurement programs steadily grew in scale, variety, and efficiency.

    9/11 heightened the threat assessment for Saddam, given his terrorist ties, which was already at “clear and present danger” (Clinton) before 9/11. As Bush explained in the 2003 State of the Union,

    Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. … Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

    Based on Clinton’s still-fresh experience with Saddam, Clinton concurred with Bush:

    I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change … I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons … it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons. (CNN, July 3, 2003)

    and

    Noting that Bush had to be “reeling” in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush’s first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining “chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.”
    “That’s why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for,” Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.
    “So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, ‘Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.’ You couldn’t responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks,” Clinton said. (CNN, June 19, 2004)

    After years of defying the disarmament process, there was no benefit of the doubt. Passing the UNMOVIC compliance test was the only way Saddam was allowed to account for proscribed weapons.

    Clinton’s justification for Operation Desert Fox (triggered by the UNSCOM Butler Report) applied to Operation Iraqi Freedom (triggered by the UNMOVIC Cluster Document):

    The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance. And so we had to act, and act now. Let me explain why. First, without a strong inspections system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years. Second, if Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction. And some day, make no mistake, he will use it again, as he has in the past. Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspections system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

    1. Eric – Alexander the Great refused to fight in Afghanistan and the Russians made a mess of it. What made us think we were going to do better? Hubris?

  6. Add: maxcat06: “Iraq under Sadaam was brutal”

    FYI, along with UNSCR 687 (1991), the other cornerstone UNSC resolution of the Gulf War ceasefire was UNSCR 688 (1991).
    UNSCR 688:

    1. Condemns the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, the consequences of which threaten international peace and security in the region;

    2. Demands that Iraq, as a contribution to remove the threat to international peace and security in the region, immediately end this repression and express the hope in the same context that an open dialogue will take place to ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected;

    Saddam’s breach of UNSCR 687 was not the only trigger for OIF. Your view that “Iraq under Sadaam [sic] was brutal” admits Saddam’s breach of UNSCR 688, which was a trigger for OIF, too.

    Saddam’s compliance with all the ceasefire mandates was mandatory. The false narrative against OIF often ignores UNSCR 688, but UNSCR 688 was as important as UNSCR 687. In fact, the no-fly zones – the longest most visible and invasive element of the ceasefire enforcement – enforced UNSCR 688, not UNSCR 687.

    1. Eric –
      Yes, the UN said much, and did little. Iraq wasn’t an imperative at the moment, and we crippled ourselves by going in. The weapons inspections were a joke and a farce. Please, I’m sure you totally believe in what you’re saying, but the barrage of missives to prove your point will only suffice to make you feel better and aggravate the hell out of me.
      If Saddam had gained domination in the region, so what? Iran is now dominant. Fool’s choice.

  7. I just wrote a reply to maxcat06 that was kidnapped by the auto-mod. A rescue would be appreciated.

  8. maxcat06: “we should have invaded Iraq when we were already immersed in a war in Afghanistan?”

    You could have asked whether we should have invaded Afghanistan with our troops in Asia and Europe, including peace operations in Kosovo, the Iraq no-fly zones, etc.. By Fall 2002, we had toppled the Taliban and chased out al Qaeda. At that point, the NATO mission was in long-term ‘clear and hold’ mode and peace operations in Afghanistan.

    In other words, on a policy level, adding OIF did not tax the US military to the limit of the US military doctrinal capability to fight 2 major regional wars simultaneously, plus conduct X number of large and smaller scale ‘operations other than war’.

    The first question of ‘could we’ is answered by standing doctrine: Yes.

    The second question is ‘should we’. To answer that question, we have to imagine ourselves in Bush’s shoes after 9/11 and try to see what he saw with Iraq.

    Upon taking office, Bush had inherited the UN and US official assessment of Saddam as a “clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere” (Clinton, 1998). Since we had switched from the failed disarmament to ‘containment’ with Operation Desert Fox (1998), the only measure holding the “clear and present danger” of Saddam in check was the ‘containment’.

    So, what was the state of the post-ODF ‘containment’ in 2002? It was evidently failing.

    The Iraq Survey Group Duelfer Report provides some insight on the situation that compelled Bush to offer Saddam a strict “final opportunity” (UNSCR 1441) to comply:

    •According to ‘Abd Hamid Mahmud, on the second day of Desert Fox, Saddam said, “[T] he cease-fire principle is over; the US broke the international law and attacked a country, which is a member in the UN.” He drafted a resolution which called for the RCC “to cancel all the international obligations and resolutions, which Iraq has agreed upon.” ‘Abd said that Saddam blamed the United States for attacking “Iraq without the UN permission, and [pulling] the inspectors out of Iraq.” As a result, “Iraq [had] the right to cancel all these resolutions to get rid of the sanction which was imposed for more than seven years.”
    •The RCC resolution formally ended all Iraqi agreements to abide by UN resolutions. Ahmad Husayn Khudayr recalled that Saddam’s text ordered Iraq to reject every Security Council decision taken since the 1991 Gulf war, including UNSCR 687. Ahmad said the resolution was worded in careful legal terms and “denied all the previously accepted [resolutions] without any remaining trace of them [in the Iraqi Government].”
    … From Baghdad the long struggle to outlast the containment policy of the United States imposed through the UN sanctions seemed tantalizingly close. There was considerable commitment and involvement on the part of states like Russia and Syria, who had developed economic and political stakes in the success of the Regime. From Baghdad’s perspective, they had firm allies, and it appeared the United States was in retreat. The United Nations mechanism to implement the Oil For Food program was being corrupted and undermined. The collapse or removal of sanctions was foreseeable. This goal, always foremost in Saddam’s eyes, was within reach.
    … Prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem. The only notable items stopped in this flow were some aluminum tubes, which became the center of debate over the existence of a nuclear enrichment effort in Iraq. Major items had no trouble getting across the border, including 380 liquid-fuel rocket engines. Indeed, Iraq was designing missile systems with the assumption that sanctioned material would be readily available.
    … The successful implementation of the Protocols, continued oil smuggling efforts, and the manipulation of UN OFF contracts emboldened Saddam to pursue his military reconstitution efforts starting in 1997 and peaking in 2001. These efforts covered conventional arms, dual-use goods acquisition, and some WMD-related programs.
    … From 1999 until he was deposed in April 2003, Saddam’s conventional weapons and WMD-related procurement programs steadily grew in scale, variety, and efficiency.

    9/11 heightened the threat assessment for Saddam, given his terrorist ties, which was already at “clear and present danger” (Clinton) before 9/11. As Bush explained in the 2003 State of the Union,

    Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. … Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

    Based on Clinton’s still-fresh experience with Saddam, Clinton concurred with Bush:

    I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change … I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons … it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons. (CNN, July 3, 2003)

    and

    Noting that Bush had to be “reeling” in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush’s first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining “chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.”
    “That’s why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for,” Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.
    “So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, ‘Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.’ You couldn’t responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks,” Clinton said. (CNN, June 19, 2004)

    After years of defying the disarmament process, there was no benefit of the doubt. Passing the UNMOVIC compliance test was the only way Saddam was allowed to account for proscribed weapons.

    Clinton’s justification for Operation Desert Fox (triggered by the UNSCOM Butler Report) applied to Operation Iraqi Freedom (triggered by the UNMOVIC Cluster Document):

    The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance. And so we had to act, and act now. Let me explain why. First, without a strong inspections system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years. Second, if Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction. And some day, make no mistake, he will use it again, as he has in the past. Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspections system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

    maxcat06: “Iraq is in shambles now, and had we left a residual force in the Embassy in Baghdad, would that have changed?”

    By contrasting the progressing state of Iraq with US peace operations, as marked by Obama’s assessment in May 2011, and the reversal of Iraq into a regressing state since Obama rendered Iraq vulnerable by removing the vital organic factor of US peace operations – clearly and obviously yes, Obama staying on Bush’s progressive liberal course of US peace operations with Iraq would have made a profound difference.

    When Bush handed off the Presidency to Obama in Jan 2009, we were back on course building a “strong strategic partnership” (State Dept) with Iraq that was “poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress” (Obama).

    Even before the danger to Iraq escalated in next-door Syria, Obama was warned that Iraq’s continued progress needed the US. It’s not like we’re new at this – there’s a reason that US forces have kept on in Europe and Asia in evolving peace-operation role since WW2. America’s modern experience with peace operations makes Obama’s elementary, fundamental error of prematurely leaving Iraq at a critical turning point all the more incredible and the consequential harms all the more damning.

  9. maxcat, Nats play tomorrow!! Just scratch out another win and get game 5 back home. Gio needs to be focused! Always be positive.

    1. Nick –
      Sorry to have not answered you earlier. My email was down and I didn’t realize it. Yes, we do live to fight again…it was a great game, and far more representative of the Nats. Gio can be hot or cold, but it will be interesting. I hope that’s Tony Bennett’s last appearance. That was really an embarrassment.

  10. maxcat, Paul does have a lot of nit picky in him. It’s that Irish/German genes. He was “schooling” me earlier today. I know you’re watching the game as we comment. Another pitcher’s duel! I’m one of the few people who love pitcher’s duels. Not all the time, but once in awhile.

    1. Nick – I just get tired of writing 2 or 3 paragraphs to get “slammed” by a short-cut. I’m not going anywhere, Paul. It would give too many too much joy!!
      Back to Nick. It’s not a pitching duel any longer, and to tell you the truth, after an 18 inning heartbreaker on Saturday, I’d be just as happy to see a blowout. I was thrilled to see that Fister was going to pitch today, and I did expect a pitching duel with Bumgarner, but one team had to finally break it up, and I’m glad it was us!!!

  11. neighbordave: “Raflaw, I did not see an answer to your original pose”

    See my comment at October 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm.

  12. Add: Speaking of the Carter Doctrine (and the Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine) …

    UNSCR 1441:

    Recognizing the threat Iraq’s non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,

    Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area,

    Further recalling that its resolution 687 (1991) imposed obligations on Iraq as a necessary step for achievement of its stated objective of restoring international peace and security in the area,

    Pursuant UNSCR 687, the UNMOVIC Cluster Document (UNRESOLVED DISARMAMENT ISSUES IRAQ’S PROSCRIBED WEAPONS PROGRAMMES 6 March 2003) that was the main trigger for OIF:

    UNMOVIC evaluated and assessed this material as it has became available and … produced an internal working document covering about 100 unresolved disarmament issues … UNMOVIC must verify the absence of any new activities or proscribed items, new or retained. The onus is clearly on Iraq to provide the requisite information or devise other ways in which UNMOVIC can gain confidence that Iraq’s declarations are correct and comprehensive.

  13. Paul C. Schulte: “Mike A – since it is recognized as such [a bona fide nation] by a number of nations, yes Iraq is a nation.”

    Correct. In fact, it’s a point of emphasis of the UNSC resolutions we enforced with Iraq; eg, the main UNSCRs that bracketed the 2003 regime change:

    UNSCR 1441 (2002): “Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq”

    UNSCR 1511 (2003): “Reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq”

  14. maxcat06: “We never should have been in there in the first place.”

    That decision was made in 1990-1991 by HW Bush and the ball moved forward by Clinton’s Iraq enforcement throughout the 1990s that cleared the penultimate enforcement step with Operation Desert Fox, not in the coda of the Gulf War ceasefire in 2002-2003. In fact, the policy basis of HW Bush’s decision for intervention in Iraq was set by the (President Jimmy) Carter Doctrine that established the regional security and stability of the Middle East as a primary US national security interest.

    Operation Iraqi Freedom was right on the law and justified on the policy.

    maxcat06: “perhaps not invade a country that never attacked us.”

    That ship sailed in WW2. Leadership of the free world is what it is. Thank FDR and Truman for that. Lately, we caused regime changes in Yugoslavia (Clinton) and Libya (Obama) and they didn’t attack us either.

    1. Eric –

      So, in logical progression, we should have invaded Iraq when we were already immersed in a war in Afghanistan? I know the history of our policy on Iraq, but your statement, “Operation Iraqi Freedom was right on the law and justified on the policy.”? For whom? When? Iraq is in shambles now, and had we left a residual force in the Embassy in Baghdad, would that have changed? Iraq under Sadaam was brutal, but do you know that Christians and Jews were safe there? They’re gone now. Tribal warfare is now the norm, and millions of Iraqis have fled to refugee camps in other nations.

      Sorry to now dump this all on your post, but you have jumped into a conversation I was having with another. To say it was “right on the law and justified on the policy” is so much American foreign policy clap-trap. It’s the same rhetoric we used to prop up United Sugar in Central America, or what Reagan used to sell arms to aid the Contras. Right and justified kills a lot of civilians who might have sided with us. Now, they don’t.

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