Tuesday, June 28, 2005


8. Other Theories

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

This series has been running long enough! In this post, I will list readers’ additions to undeclared motives very briefly to complete the main line of this series to give readers a chance to debate them. I hope that I have managed to retain the intended message but I also added a link to the original reader’s post. They are listed in no particular order. I leave it to readers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different theories.

1. Military-Industrial Complex / Personal Gains

The role of the so-called “Military Industrial Complex” in America
Basically, the US military expenditure is enormous. Yet, as we have also seen, the troops on the ground lack basic equipment like body armour and other items. WHERE does all the money GO? Let me put forward the theory that some very powerful movers and shakers in the US Defence industry see it as a positive development for their personal bank balances (and those of their shareholders) for the US to be in constant conflict with other nations.

The reality is that most of the expenses lie in (a) research (b) development (c) maintenance. The condition of perpetual war suits the manufacturers of these weapons very well, and they do not hesitate to prescribe technological weapons solutions for tactical / strategic deficiencies in the field. It is in the manufacturer’s interests to sell the most expensive equipment possible to the US military, and to have a reason (ie wars) for continual re-supply of such equipment. Bruno

2. Eliminate Iraq as a strategic threat to Israel

… by transforming Iraq into an Afghanistan-like American colony. And failing that… Destroy Iraq as a strategic threat to Israel by promoting a debilitating civil war.

It is really difficult outside of the United States to understand how intense the American identification with Israel is. For some Americans it is for racial reasons - helping European Jews such as Sharon exert their supremacy over dark Arab Palestinians such as Arafat. For other Americans it is for religious reasons - the belief that the bible demands that Christians help God bring his prophecy that Jews would control Israel. For most Americans it is a combination of the two - racism reinforcing religious bigotry while religious bigotry reinforces racism. Mr. Democracy

3. Domestic political goals

Re-electing Bush, re-taking control of the senate, expanding control of the house, and removing the fetters of public scrutiny from all federal government agencies.
I am not suggesting that this was THE reason, or even a sole and sufficient reason to invade Iraq. But, every other goal that was or could have been one or more of the motives for the invasion was subordinated to the domestic political agenda. From the timing and manner in which the invasion was ‘rolled out’ for the 2002 midterms, to the ‘Mission Accomplished’ Show, to the capture of Saddam, and on and on and on and on. To the extent that events could be controlled, they were coordinated with the election cycle. To the extent that events were random, they were exploited, by the government and its supporters in the corporate press/media, for purposes of the election. JamesEarl

4. PetroDollar economics

Preventing Saddam from selling substantial quantities of oil for euros instead of for dollars. Such a move by Saddam would have threatened U.S. dollar hegemony, which is currently allowing the U.S. to obtain goods from all around the world essentially for free. (The U.S. pays for everything in dollars, which are the only currency with which anyone can now buy large quantities of oil. To say that the loss of dollar hegemony in oil would be devastating to the U.S. is an understatement. There are other ways in which dollar hegemony could be attacked, but if a major oil-producing country switched to euros, it could be a significant foot in the door for breaking down the dollar system.) Ralph

Another factor that sometimes pops up is the fact that Saddam wanted to start trading oil in Euros and not dollars. Given that the US Dollar is essentially underwritten by oil, that decision by Iraq could have been the start of a domino effect affecting the value of the US currency. I'm not advancing this as a "main" reason, but certainly it could not have made the US very happy. Bruno

5. Establishing military bases in the heart of the Middle East

Establishing permanent bases in the heart of the Middle East, thus allowing the U.S. to threaten or attack any country in the area on very short notice. Since the neocons apparently believe they can maintain U.S. power by threatening devastating military action against non-cooperating nations, establishing such bases is a crucial achievement for them. Ralph

6. Lesson to puppets

Putting the U.S. “client states” (puppet regimes) on notice that they will be dealt with harshly in the event they do anything the U.S. doesn’t like. Ralph

7. Stengthening Najaf’s Clergy to Counter Iran’s Influence

The American mistake had led to a great human Islamic educational crisis: That is the shrinkage of the Islamic moderate thinking on both Islamic sects. On the Sunni’s side, the great Alzhar moderate thinkers lost their leadership to the Wahabees…

On the Shia’s side, The Najaf moderate School’s leadership had weakened. That is because of the blessing by the west to Saddam to crash Shia in Iraq, due to the concerns of expanding the new Iranian revolutionary teachings into Iraqi Shia majority. That gave the idealistic schools of Iran a better opportunity to contain those hurt by Saddam.

Part of what is happening today, might be to correct that big mistake. The democratic Iraq would re establish the identity of the moderate Shia majority of Iraq with all the scholar power of Najaf school . The best place, today, on the planet to fight back the Salafee’s ideology. By: Basim Almustaar - Posted by Anonymous

8. The forever war as a replacement of the Cold War

Much of the administration’s momentum and support is predicated on an indefinite war hysteria. Maintaining the hysteria requires maintaining the war, in terms of enhancing our profile as a target, keeping the disaffected and poor active as a threat to the population but not the state, and keeping the populace appropriately revved up on one hand and frightened on the other.
Part of the framing of the response to the 01 attacks as a “War on Terrorism” fed that end—a war on a military tactic is almost forever by definition—but Al Qaida was not, in my view, a sufficiently abiding threat to keep the pot boiling. Hence the pouring of Iraqi oil on the fire. heraclitus

9. Constant US foreign policy

Controlling the flow of oil was central to the motivation to invade Iraq, but to understand it completely we have to consider it in the context of US policy in that part of the world since the end of WWII and perhaps before.

That policy, or set of policies, was the foundation for a set of options. Invading Iraq was one of those options. Is the question why the US invaded Iraq in 2003? Or is it why the US has been using its military to attempt to control the region over the last fifty years or so? JamesEarl

10. Placing a military force in a Middle Eastern country to unite and draw out terrorist and "insurgent" forces.

Why choose Iraq? Saddam, and the dictator system of government. These are totems which America holds as "evil." If someone says the word "dictator" in reference to a country, the American people instantly believe they are warmongering, power hungry, depraved men who torture others for their own amusement. While they might not all be such men, those are the ones which stand out in the public eye. I'm sure there've been many dictators who lived nice, peaceful lives, and never started a single war. They just don't make headlines. An American Patriot

11. The Bush Family vendetta

George Bush Sr. was once director of the CIA. It is my belief that he had learned something about Saddam Hussein, or perhaps even had personal dealings with him, which created an enmity between them. Junior, following in daddy's footsteps, or perhaps even at his urging, becomes President. At the first possible opportunity, Junior goes after the man who once tried to kill his daddy.

The reason for America choosing Iraq could be no more than an old fashioned redneck family feud. An American Patriot

12. World domination

America became the world superpower with World War II. Staying out of the war that long had nothing to do with it being none of our business. We're American. Everything is our business.

Europe was stabilized, governmental institutions were installed which make it impossible for enough people to get together with the same idea to actually get anything as straightforward as say, trying to take over a neighboring country done in any sort of timely fashion.

Asia's been stabilized. The Japanese ceased trying to take over through force of arms and turned to electronics instead. Some of the smaller countries get antsy from time to time, but with the threat of China looming over them waiting to swallow them whole given the slightest opportunity they're unlikely to make much of a fuss as long as America is occupied in the Middle East and isn't there to bully China.

Africa obviously has nothing to offer any part of the world, or situations like Rwanda would have been seen to much sooner, and DARFUR would be more than just a funny sounding word to the vast majority of the world's populace.

The Middle East is the last bastion of chaos which somehow manages to have resources and industry in the world. It is one of the few places left where major conflicts between neighboring countries still occur that would have an impact on the world economy.

By "Americanizing" the Middle East, America is able to remain the great superpower in the world, because our politicians have the most experience in befuddling their constituents while slowly stealing our freedoms. An American Patriot

13. The “People” Theory

“The search for invasion rationales is very perplexing… I sense the will of Israel in the actions of Wolfowitz. Put him in a room with: Cheney who thinks oil and contracts, Rove who thinks upcoming elections, Rumsfeld who wants to try out his ideas about warfare and GW who thinks that he knows the will of God, and pretty soon it probably made perfect sense.
Groupthink got us here in my opinion, not any one idea. You know what they say about opinions!!”

[I have added this “personal” aspect as I received it through a private communication. It is amusing as it combines several facets based on the ‘character’ of key players! It is more like a personal approach to history which belongs to a well established school of philosophical thought and which of course has its merits!]


13. The "People" Theory
Yay! I wonder whether this one has gotten enough attention.
I vaguely remember alluding to this some months ago, referring to the British historians’ debate over whether history is about maps, or history is about chaps.
(I.e. whether it’s all just about economic forces and population pressures, or whether the personalities of individual (or group) leaders really make a difference to what happens.)
You roll out all the usual 20th century suspects, of course: Ataturk, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, De Gaulle, Hitler - after World War One, was Germany inexorably destined by economic and nationalistic factors to make a grab for domination in Europe, or did it take a Hitler to lead them into it? Would Britain really have caved in without Churchill? How many Iraqis wanted a border war with Iran?
(Sometimes it seems to be not an individual or a group but a caste or sub-culture - you can’t pin Japan’s attempt at Empire down to just Hirohito or Tojo, it was largely due to a militaristic class mind-set?)
So, given that the Iraq enterprise seems more and more likely to end up as an exercise in futility, who’s most to blame, and why?
I know what my answer would be.

You need to get your tinfoil hats out for this one.

I leave it to readers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different theories.

These theories are not exclusive and as far as I can see, it is a matter of personal preference what weight a person assigns one motivation as opposed to another.

I'm not sure there is much left to discuss on this subject and so I look forward to the next subject the larger series promised.

I got a better one. The Red states did it to you, to break oils back.

A couple that you didn't mention.

The media likes the ratings. The people were led, in large part, by the media, which presented an extremely one-sided version of the debate. The news media gains profits via wars, because of increased ratings.

Soldiers want ribbons, medals and promotions. Sometimes they feel useless without a war to fight.

Colin Powell felt (I heard before Bush took office) that Iraq and North Korea were "Cold War aggressors" who remained in power. Business, so to speak, needed to be finished that the Cold War had muffled.

Some of the lower levels of the Bush administration, knowing that Bush wanted "regime change," were working as hard as they could to make sure it happened. These pathetic people were simply trying to please their bosses.

Anyway, I liked your list. You can compare it to mine, if you care to.


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