Saturday 26 April 2003

A Stupid War

President Bush and his allies claimed emphatically during the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein was an evil madman in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), requiring an immediate preemptive invasion to topple his dictatorial regime and avert a nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) attack on the American people. An invasion of Iraq, we were told, would make us safer.

Far from providing meaningful conclusions on Iraq’s actual intentions towards the United States, however, this war’s swift conclusion simply raises more questions.

For instance, if Iraq did in fact have WMDs, why were they never used on the battlefield? Certainly, if we’re to believe that Saddam Hussein was so unstable that given half a chance he would fire a chemical warhead at the United States — knowing he would be devastated by the inevitable counterstrike — then surely we could at least have expected a comparable attack on U.S. and allied forces who were trying to destroy him. This point by itself raises serious doubts about U.S. claims of the Iraqi “threat.”

Now, a student of Soviet battle doctrine may counter that if Hussein was killed, seriously injured, or otherwise held indisposed in the first few days of fighting, his army would have been like a headless body awaiting orders.

Aside from being pure conjecture, this rebuttal doesn’t address the likelihood that such orders would have been given in advance. Allegedly, Hussein had been preparing to carry out just such a cataclysmic attack for months or years anyway, long before U.S. soldiers started heading towards the Persian Gulf.

And on that note, why didn’t he just order a preemptive NBC-type strike against the hundreds of thousands of troops massing in the Kuwaiti desert, before they had a chance to press forward across his border? It’s not as if the names and locations of U.S. and allied camps were kept secret — they would have been sitting ducks in the sights of this unstable dictator supposedly with his finger on “the button.”

Logically considered, the failure of Saddam Hussein to deploy WMDs of any type against invading American, British, and Australian forces makes the Bush administration look like Chicken Little with a cruise missile.

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