07-12-07 - 2

In the disaster that is the current Iraq War we can see the wisdom of the restraint of GHW Bush in the first Gulf War. First of all we see that intervening in Kuwait probably was a good move. It sent a clear message that agression wouldn't be tolerated, and also provided an excuse to bomb the hell out of Iraq's military faccilities, install the no-fly zone and the dismantle the weapons programs, all of which was a huge success. I wasn't so sure about the righteousness of even the first Gulf war; in a theoretical moral sense I'm not sure if it's anyone's business getting involved in the wars of other nations, but in hindsight it was sort of like stopping Hitler right away when he annexed the Sudetenland, it stopped a larger potential problem from forming.

At the time, the hawks and jingoists and war-mongers wanted the military to move on to Bagdhad and kill Saddam. GHWB told them not to, the reason being that while we could easily run tanks to Baghdad and topple the government, we could never control the country afterward, and we were already worried about the Shi'ite insurrection in the south having strong ties to Iran (which is why we let them get massacred soon after). Unfortunately, that wisdom and restraint proved fruitless since we made the exact mistake that we avoided then only a few years later.

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old rants