Challenging the neo-con justification for invading Iraq

December 27, 2006 | By | 3 Replies More

I was recently discussing the Iraq war with a political lobbyist friend of mine when he mentioned something I had not previously considered:  neocons and other law-and-order conservatives try to justify the Iraq invasion by saying that even though Saddam didn’t have WMDs, he was defying UN-mandated inspections of Iraqi facilities; therefore, Saddam was breaking the “law” and needed to be brought to account.  Then my friend challenged me:  “How would you answer that argument?” 

Here is my reply:

First, let’s remember that the UN-mandated inspections of Iraq’s facilities were based, as was Bush’s invasion, on lies and empty accusations that Saddam had WMDs.  The Bush Administration accused Saddam of having WMDs and then demanded that Saddam prove he didn’t have them.  Saddam didn’t have them, so what was he supposed to do?  He, in fact, allowed the inspections for a long time until, eventually, he became uncooperative.

Now, let’s think about his situation.  Imagine you are in your own home and the police come to your door one day insisting you have illegal weapons in your home and demanding to inspect your house.  The police were ordered there by the police chief, who happens to hate you because, ten years ago, you were in a fight with his father that contributed to his father losing his job, while you kept yours.  The police chief has held a grudge against you ever since.

You tell the police at your door that you have no illegal weapons in your house, but, of course, they have orders to inspect anyway.  So, you let the police do their inspection.  They find nothing and they leave.

A week later, the police show up again, with the exact same accusation and the exact same demand to inspect your house.  Again, you let them do their inspection, a bit annoyed this time because they were just there a week ago with the same phony accusation.  Again, they find nothing and, again, they leave.

A week later, they show up again.  This time, you are annoyed.  The police chief is obviously just harrassing you, and you don’t like it.  Nevertheless, you let the police do their inspection and, again, they find nothing and leave.

A week later, they show up again.  In fact, these pointless inspections go on for months until, finally, you get fed up with the police harrassment.  You refuse to allow the police to inspect your house anymore, because they are just wasting your time.  Immediately, the police chief declares, “Aha!  SEE!  He is refusing to allow inspections, because he must be hiding illegal weapons!”

When you continue to refuse the inspections, the police chief then screams, “SEE!  The inspections are NOT WORKING!  He MUST be hiding illegal weapons.  We must invade his house to disarm him!”

Sound familiar?  This is how George Bush (and Dick Cheney) sold Saddam up the river and sold America a costly, unnecessary war. 

Thus, to answer my friend’s question:  Saddam’s refusal to allow ongoing UN inspections did not justify America’s invasion, because the UN mandate was based on fraud and harrassment.  White House neo-cons wanted a fight, so they did what all smart bullies do:  when you want to start a fight and you want the other side to appear at fault, the best way to pick that fight is to annoy the other side until they get fed up and do something to provoke you, so you can then slug them and claim they started it.

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Category: Corruption, Iraq, Military, Politics, The Middle East

About the Author ()

Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

Comments (3)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Gee, Grumpy. You're not going to relent until you get every last one of the neocons to admit that they were idiots. You've got a lot more stamina than I do!

    So here's my question. Did your explanation convince your friend of anything at all?

    Then again, I'm doing the same thing with the Fundies, so who am I to raise this point?

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    My friend has always been convinced the neo-cons were wrong, but he regularly encounters their arguments in both his public and private life, so he gave me this issue to see what I could come up with as a rebuttal.

  3. Ben says:

    I am trying not to take for granted the intellectual, rationally-based conversation here. It looks like they have a different take on things over at Beliefnet "God's Politics"…

    "By our deepest convictions about Christian standards and teaching, the war in Iraq was not just a well-intended mistake or only mismanaged. THIS WAR, FROM A CHRISTIAN POINT OF VIEW, IS MORALLY WRONG – AND WAS FROM THE VERY START. It cannot be justified with either the teachings of Jesus Christ OR the criteria of St. Augustine’s just war. It simply doesn’t pass either test and did not from its beginning. This war is not just an offense against the young Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice or to the Iraqis who have paid such a horrible price. This war is not only an offense to the poor at home and around the world who have paid the price of misdirected resources and priorities. This war is also an offense against God."
    http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/godspolitics/

    To me thats like fingernails on a chalkboard. I would just dismiss this as another website, but the comments section is loaded…people are really buying it. I was thinking about quoting some evil bible verses for them, but I'm not sure if that is the right tactic. They actually seem to be pointing the right way about many things, it's their compass (religion) which seems to be in need of an OVERHAUL.

    I want to tell them that the Bible is not necessarily what makes the war wrong. How can I do that except by showing them flaws in the Bible, and Christianity? Is there a good way to inform them, or is it best to let them be, and let their own definitions of goodness/love and their learned interpretation of God guide them?

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