by John Hawkins | May 30, 2003 7:33 pm
Europeans Shocked By The Obvious: Apparently the Euroweenies are shocked, shocked I tell you, at the mundane comments that Paul Wolfowitz recently made to Vanity Fair. Conservatives have been saying about the same things that Wolfowitz just did for months. Let me show you what I mean by posting Wolfowitz’s “controversial” statements said along with things I said wrote ago…
“The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.”
What Wolfowitz is pointing out here is the same thing I talked about in a post called, “Marketing The War” way back in October of 2002.
“To begin with, Bush doesn’t really care that Saddam is breaking UN resolutions (neither do I for that matter). But unfortunately, there are a lot of nations who do at least claim to care about what the UN thinks. So Bush is simply making the argument that is most likely to appeal to them. And that is the logical thing to do.
For example, let’s say Europe decided that they wouldn’t go along with invading Iraq unless they were convinced that, “Santa Claus approves of it.” Well, the proper response to that wouldn’t be, “You bunch of idiots, Santa Claus isn’t real. Why are you talking to us about a fictional character?” Instead, you’d say,
“Well Santa certainly wouldn’t approve of the children’s prison that Saddam built. Did you know that Saddam has actually tortured children in front of their parents? It’s so awful in Iraq — people are too poor to buy presents for each other and the children are starving. If we got rid of Saddam they could have a real Christmas in Iraq!”
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In short, what I said back then and what Wolfowitz is saying now is that, “you don’t catch flies with vinegar.” Putting it another way, Europeans couldn’t care less about our security so we emphasized that Saddam was making WMD and thereby breaking UN Resolutions.
The other thing that people seem to seizing on is Wolfowitz saying that we wanted to get out of Saudi Arabia…
In the interview, Wolfowitz cited one outcome of the war that was “almost unnoticed – but it’s huge”: it removed the need to maintain American forces in Saudi Arabia as long as Saddam was in power. Vanity Fair interpreted Wolfowitz to say that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia was a reason for the war.
“…Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government,” Wolfowitz said. “It’s been a huge recruiting device for al-Qaida. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things.”
Now here’s something I wrote in December of 2001.
“Saddam Hussein is deliberately starving hundreds of thousands of his citizens and blaming sanctions called for by the US for their deaths. Is that true? Not at all. No Iraqi has ever starved because of the sanctions in Iraq. However, it has been an effective propaganda tool for Hussein. Also, the United States keeps 5000 troops in Saudi Arabia in order to help stop a possible Iraqi attack. This issue has been Osama Bin Laden’s cause celebre and has aided him in recruiting Muslims who think that it’s not proper for the US to have troops in the “holy land” of Saudi Arabia. Simply getting rid of Saddam Hussein will allow us to remove both of these “irritants” that stir anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.”
So again, there’s what Wolfowitz said a year and a half ago and I can assure I haven’t been alone in pointing out this very obvious benefit of deposing Saddam. So what’s the controversy supposed to be here?
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