When I was in Afghanistan with the US Army Special Forces in 2002 - 2003, we began to notice a significant reduction in our air assets towards the end of 2002 (EC-130 Talons, AC-130 Spectres, AH-64 Apaches, etc...). This told us that regardless of whatever message the White House was delivering over the airwaves, the decision had already been made to launch a full-scale attack on Iraq in short order, as essential assets are never removed from an active battlefield to be used simply as a show of force or even placed in a staging or holding pattern in a different AO unless that engagement was imminent.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Most all of us were thoroughly puzzled and began voicing great concern that our CInC (Commander-In-Chief) was making a very bad decision. We were where the bad guys were. We had UBL (Usama bin Laden) in our sights more than once - and were told to stand down. We found numerous caches of Chinese weapons that we destroyed in place with C4 and diesel fuel. Though we were deployed to "seek and destroy our enemy and to prevent freedom of movement and deny sanctuary to them", we saw our mission change over a short period of time into policing various regions and burning opium fields.
The reasons Americans were given for us going to war with the Iraqis were myriad - and they changed with each passing week. In fact, the reasons changed so rapidly that it was next to impossible to keep up with what the current rationale was.
First, was the excuse that the Iraqis were involved in terrorism and were providing sanctuary and training to Al Queda (we KNEW this was untrue). Then it was the "fact" that they had weapons of mass destruction. Though it had been true 10 years earlier, that was quickly discounted as well, as sanctions and UN oversight were in fact working, and Hussein was known to be bluffing in order to keep the Iranians at bay. Then it became an issue of human rights and the provision of freedom to the Iraqi populace. In fact, one of the primary messages used to garner support for this argument was the gassing of Iraqis by Saddam Hussein in 1988, though, as CIA and US Army reports acknowledge, we knew that he was not the one responsible for this, but the Iranians were (the Iraqis had no such nerve agent in their arsenal). That did not stop the WH from using this misinformation to sway the American public towards supporting this war.
Other reasons that were floated were oil and economic control of the Persian Gulf (though we had been in complete control of the Gulf since GHWB's term as we had wrested it away from the Russians in the first Gulf War using Kuwait as bait), GWB seeking vengeance for GWHB's being targeted for assassination, democracy, Iraqi Freedom, violations of a UN resolution (though the leading violator of UN resolutions was and continues to be Israel), and on and on and on.....
Most all of these reasons were hollow, had little merit, and were easily seen through by most "in the know". However, the sales job on the American populace was rather effective.
The REAL reason we went to war in Iraq was for the sake of Palestinian autonomy and Israeli security. Every US president since Woodrow Wilson has been trying to bring peace to the area after he agreed to partition Palestine in order to give European Jews a homeland. Every US president since Wilson has failed. President GW Bush thought he could make it work. Unfortunately, he was wrong.
His motives were admirable. His plan was naive.
In order to make this happen and in order to secure Israel's safety, we agreed to eliminate Israel's biggest threat - Saddam Hussein. In exchange, PM Ariel Sharon formed a third party and agreed to remove settlements from occupied Palestinian territories, grant Palestinians autonomy, and work towards a two state solution. This plan was masterminded and negotiated by Paul Wolfowitz, John Ashcroft, and Donald Rumsfeld.
This was told me by a friend who had very close ties to the GWB WH and was then corroborated by several other independent sources - including one who serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, and another who is on staff at The Fund for American Studies. This scenario does seem to make the most sense. In fact, SEC Powell's statement, "The decision to go to war was made well before evidence was gathered" which he made around noon on the day of his resignation as he and his wife stood on the steps of the US Capitol, seemed to support this argument by weakening the other reasons given for the war. Food for thought.......