Irak, ti år etter

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Irak, ti år etter

Innlegg Vegard Martinsen 19 Mar 2013, 13:38

Iraq, Ten Years Later
March 19, 2013 By Alan W. Dowd

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/alan-w-dow ... ars-later/

As we arrive at the tenth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, several things are apparent today that were not so clear a decade ago—and a few things are actually less clear today than they were back then.

Among the things that have come into focus:

Iraq was broken long before March 19, 2003.

Those who say the U.S. “broke Iraq” and pushed it into failed-state status by intervening in 2003 fail to recognize that Iraq was a failed state long before Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the Hoover Institution’s Fouad Ajami has observed, when the coalition entered Iraq, they found “a country wrecked and poisoned.” Gen. Ray Odierno adds, “What I underestimated when I got there was the societal devastation that was occurring in Iraq—the fact that education really had stopped for about 20 years, the fact that investment had stopped, the fact that people were being brutalized.” In short, Iraq was not broken because outside powers intervened. Rather, outside powers intervened because Iraq was broken.

Iraq really was part of a wider war on terror.

With tentacles stretching out to the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, Abu Nidal and Palestinian suicide bombers, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was part of a constellation of nation-states, transnational groups and individuals that view terrorism as a normalized, legitimate tool for achieving political ends. Moreover, although Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was not connected to al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was connected to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the al Qaeda lieutenant who ignited Iraq’s postwar civil war. As Tony Blair revealed in his memoir, Zarqawi traveled to Iraq in May 2002, met “senior Iraqis” and established a presence in Iraq six months before the U.S.-led invasion.

What Saddam Hussein failed to grasp in such risky dealings was that 9/11 had changed the very DNA of U.S. national-security policy. “Any administration in such a crisis,” as historian John Lewis Gaddis concludes, “would have had to rethink what it thought it knew about security.” Was deterrence possible? Was containment viable? Was giving Baghdad the benefit of the doubt responsible? The Bush administration’s answer to each question was “no,” which led to war.

Finally, as historian Paul Johnson observed, by overthrowing the terror regime of Saddam Hussein, “America obliged the leaders of international terrorism to concentrate all their efforts on preventing democracy from emerging in Iraq.” Fighters from al Qaeda’s ranks were drawn to Iraq like moths to light. Indeed, Iraq would prove to be a key battlefield in the wider war. By all accounts—including al Qaeda’s—the U.S. surge dealt bin Laden’s terror enterprise a significant strategic defeat in Iraq.

Operation Iraqi Freedom lived up to its name.

The war liberated 24 million Iraqis. Iraq is anything but perfect today, but its people are free—free from tyranny, free from being required to pledge their “souls and blood…for Saddam,” free from the vast torture chamber Saddam turned Iraq into, free from his omnipresent terrors. As Odierno recently reflected, “It’s hard to describe to somebody what an awful dictator Saddam Hussein was unless you were there in Iraq.” Iraqis held their first post-Saddam election in 2005, when 75 percent of eligible voters walked, marched, limped and ran to the polls to prove they belong in the democratic family.

The world is better—and America more secure—without Saddam Hussein.

“If nothing else, Iraq is not a destabilizing factor,” Odierno observes. It pays to recall that during Saddam’s reign, which began in 1979, Iraq made war against virtually all of its neighbors: Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saddam used chemical weapons against his own people and against Iran. Long before Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he was racing to join the nuclear club. After Desert Storm, the U.S. tried to contain Saddam by enforcing no-fly zones—at an annual cost $13 billion—and by garrisoning troops in Saudi Arabia. The presence of foreign troops in the Muslim holy land incensed Osama bin Laden, who set about the task of expelling the Americans from the “land of the two holy places.” Thus was born a fringe terror group known as al Qaeda, which launched a global guerilla war against America, which triggered America’s global war on terror, which led, inevitably, back to Iraq.

It was inevitable because Saddam Hussein’s associations, behavior and record with weapons of mass destruction fueled a presumption of guilt that, when mixed with America’s profound sense of vulnerability after 9/11, created a deadly combination. This is perhaps the most fundamental way 9/11 is linked to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq: The latter did not perpetrate the former, but the former taught Washington a lesson about the danger of failing to confront threats before they are fully formed. In the same way, the appeasement of Hitler at once had nothing and yet everything to do with how America waged the Cold War against Moscow.

President Bush did make mistakes.

All wartime presidents make mistakes. The major mistake President Bush made was not in going to war, but in how he went to war. By not going heavy into Iraq and by disbanding the Iraqi military, a postwar insurgency became inevitable. The Bush administration’s rationale that a lighter footprint would be better suited to a limited war focused on regime change may have made sense on paper. But a force built to move fast across the desert proved insufficient for occupation and rehabilitation of Iraq’s poisoned politics. The result: a costly postwar war.

That brings us to the things that remain hazy, even a decade after the beginning of the Iraq War:

Was it worth it?

Like a Rorschach inkblot, to some Americans, the Iraq War looks like a necessary but costly effort to protect U.S. interests—and to others, like a fiasco. The war’s critics cannot overlook the costs: 4,500 Americans killed and $880 billion spent. The defenders of the war counter that the success or failure of America’s wars is not determined by casualty counts.

Interestingly, a decade after the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, America’s opinion of the controversial war is starting to coalesce around a surprising consensus: Today, 55 percent say the war was “very successful” or “somewhat successful,” up from 43 percent in 2008, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

What about those WMDs?

President Bush’s decision to launch a preventive war in Iraq was primarily based on worries that Baghdad would use or lose its WMDs. But the invasion revealed only the skeleton of a WMD program.

Some observers—including President Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper—contend that Saddam spirited his WMDs off to Syria for safe keeping. Clapper was head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency during the Iraq War and concluded that Saddam had “unquestionably” moved his WMDs into Syria, using converted civilian airliners and truck convoys to haul the contraband out of Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003. Those assessments are being revisited today in the mainstream press and in military circles, as Syria implodes and the world wonders if Bashar Assad will turn his WMD arsenal on his own people. If /when Assad falls or flees, lots of people will be scouring Syria’s WMD stocks for Iraqi markings.

The irony is that President Obama, intent on avoiding another Iraq, has stayed out of Syria, which has increased the likelihood that Damascus might use or lose its WMDs.

What lies ahead?

As Frederick Kagan, one of the architects of the surge, explained in late 2011, President Obama’s own military officials wanted to keep more than 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. But President Obama undercut the delicate negotiations with Baghdad and proposed a force so small that it would be unable even to protect itself. When Baghdad balked, as Kagan reported, the White House “decided instead to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq…despite the fact that no military commander supported the notion that such a course of action could secure U.S. interests.” The result: Washington has no leverage with Baghdad; Iraq is scarred by renewed sectarian war; Iran is moving arms and fighters into Syria via Iraq; and al Qaeda is making a comeback in Iraq.

Just as President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq opened the door to uncounted unknowns, so did President Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq.
Vegard Martinsen
 
Innlegg: 7867
Registrert: 07 Sep 2003, 12:07

Re: Irak, ti år etter

Innlegg BHS 16 Okt 2014, 12:40

Jeg trodde ikke at amerikanerne hadde funnet stridsgass i Irak etter intervensjonen i 2003, men det kan se ut som om de fant flere tusen gassgranater, men at dette ble dysset ned. Nå er det mistanke om at IS har fått tak i dette. I såfall merkelig at amerikanerne ikke ødela gassen! (men man får ta denne rapporten med en klype salt også).
'
http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/10/15/nyhe ... /35764516/

(Dagbladet): Den islamske stat (IS) har etter alt å dømme plyndret eksdiktator Saddam Husseins omfattende lagre av kjemiske våpen og brukt disse i kampen mot kurdiske styrker. Det kommer fram i en ny rapport publisert i tidsskriftet Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA).

- At IS trolig besitter kjemiske våpen, er av åpenbare grunner kilde til dyp bekymring, og bør snarest etterforskes ytterligere, slår rapporten fast.

Gruvekkende skader
For noen dager siden publiserte MERIA bilder som viser gruvekkende skader på døde kurdere - skader som er forenlige med kjemiske våpen som sennepsgass. Likene ble funnet ved den syriske grensebyen Kobani/Ayn al-Arab, etter IS' første forsøk på å ta byen i juli.

Øyenvitner har fortalt at de har sett transporter med kjemiske våpen på vei fra Muthanna, Saddam Husseins gamle anlegg for kjemiske våpen nordvest for Bagdad, til Raqqa-provinsen nord i Syria. Det kan bety at IS nå besitter et stort arsenal av fryktede våpen som nevnte sennepsgass og nervegassene sarin og VX.

I sommer bekreftet irakiske myndigheter at IS har erobret Muthanna. Amerikanske myndigheter tilla imidlertid ikke opplysningen stor vekt, siden de ikke trodde anlegget «inneholdt kjemiske våpen av militær verdi».

Men i går publiserte storavisa New York Times en rapport som viser at amerikanerne mellom 2004 og 2010 fant tusenvis av rustne kjemiske stridshoder på ulike baser i Irak, inkludert Muthanna. Opplysningene ble forsøkt holdt hemmelige, men er nå altså lekket ut gjennom intervjuer med militært personell.

Fra Vesten
Ifølge New York Times er de avdekkede kjemiske våpnene produsert før 1991, er designet i USA og satt sammen i Europa. Saddam Husseins regime brukte kjemiske våpen i krigen mot Iran (1980-88) og også mot irakiske kurdere, i Halabja-massakren, som tok livet av minst 3200 og skadet over 7000.

USAs forhold til Irak og kjemiske våpen er mildt sagt komplisert. Saddams angivelige lagre av kjemiske våpen var et hovedargument for å invadere landet i 2003. Men da ingen slike lagre ble funnet av FNs inspektører, haglet kritikken mot amerikanske myndigheter. Da våpnene til slutt ble funnet, ble opplysningene dysset ned for å unngå ytterligere pinligheter.

Rapport fra New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014 ... .html?_r=1
BHS
 
Innlegg: 582
Registrert: 09 Mar 2004, 07:59

Re: Irak, ti år etter

Innlegg Vegard Martinsen 01 Des 2014, 13:34

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/carter ... d-in-iraq/

Why the World Did Not Know about WMD in Iraq

After U.S. Central Command called on us to help transport from Iraq enough yellowcake uranium to make several atomic bombs stored at Saddam’s nuclear weapons complex, I realized why neither the Pentagon nor the White House advertised the presence of this WMD precursor: safety and security.

Before the U.S. military moved in to secure the facility after the 2003 invasion, looters had been there first. Even though the universally recognized yellow-and-black radioactivity warnings were posted on the bunkers, locals had ripped open the storage areas and stolen casks of yellowcake with many sickened as a result. More importantly, we did not want the insurgents alerted to the exposed stockpile as they might attack the facility. This is also why the George W. Bush administration did not crow about the approximately 5,000 chemical munitions that U.S. forces uncovered throughout Iraq, as recently reported by the New York Times. That is a serious quantity of WMD, by any standard. Interestingly, the Bush team could have diluted near-uniform shock at the failure to find WMD by highlighting these discoveries instead of allowing the narrative we all know to solidify: “no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq found except a few dozen old, mustard-gas artillery shells left over from the 1980s Iran-Iraq War.” Yet President Bush and his advisors chose to protect the troops and the mission rather than score political points back on the war’s second front, the American body politic. (None of this, however, mitigates any unpreparedness by the Pentagon to treat service members exposed to chemical weapons.)




Before my company arrived to provide guards and to build and operate a base camp for U.S. Department of Energy scientists dissecting Saddam’s nuclear weapons facility, the American Army had occupied the site with almost a company of infantry. This was quite a bit of combat power tethered to a non-populated, static location when needed to actively defend the people against the elusive al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists and Iranian-allied militias rampant until early 2008 when the American Surge forces and the Sunni Arab “Awakening” had turned the tide delivering our victory in the Iraq War. The limited number of combat troops available did not permit fixing them at every site where WMD were found or might be found. Hence the requirement to not advertise that Saddam had left thousands of chemical weapons lying around, potentially under any mound in mostly flat Iraq. That would have set off a dangerous treasure hunt—and if found, a tremendous threat to American troops and everyone in Iraq especially if weaponized nerve gas had ended up with al-Qaeda.

We were able to move the yellowcake successfully because of our proven relationships with the tribes along our supply line to the nuclear weapons facility, located at the center of an area known as the “Triangle of Death,” due to extensive U.S. combat fatalities suffered there. Because of our and other U.S. government contractors’ employment of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, we helped drain the swamp (or “sea” in Maoist terms) whence the al-Qaeda insurgency sprung. The uranium operation caused us, as usual, to rent trucks from the surrounding tribes with comprehensive war-loss insurance (meaning if a truck got blown up then the owner took the loss). This in turn caused the tribes to look outwards on the convoy movements to protect their expensive tractor trailers instead of inwards—searching for a chance to attack. Doing business for the tribes with the American government, and then the Iraqi government, turned out to be safer than supporting the nihilistic, totalitarian jihadis and the traitorous Sadrists, minions of Iran.

Regardless of what position one takes on the U.S. invasion, the world could not abide by large quantities of nuclear weapons precursor in the hands of the genocidal tyrant in Baghdad. As we are seeing with the current, seemingly endless negotiations with Iran, the millionaire mullahs of Tehran are using the pretext of “peaceful” nuclear power generation in order to assert that the denial thereof is a direct assault on a nation’s sovereignty. Consequently, the concept that we could have gotten the yellowcake removed from Iraq as a part of lifting the rapidly degrading sanctions and truly certifying the country clean of all chemical weapons without the overthrow of Saddam defies logic and experience. The continued possession by Iraq of approximately 5,000 chemical warheads undiscovered after almost eight years of aggressive UN inspections along with the existence of enough yellowcake uranium to make 14 or so nuclear bombs with technology that the Iranians and Libyans already possessed calls for a new coda to replace “Bush lied, people died.” Certainly, we should look to the reinstatement of a principle justification for the American invasion of Iraq.

Carter Andress is president of AISG, Inc. (American-Iraqi Solutions Group) and the author, with Malcolm McConnell, of Victory Undone: The Defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Its Resurrection as ISIS (Regnery, October 2014).
Vegard Martinsen
 
Innlegg: 7867
Registrert: 07 Sep 2003, 12:07

Re: Irak, ti år etter

Innlegg Vegard Martinsen 01 Des 2014, 13:34

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/carter ... d-in-iraq/

Why the World Did Not Know about WMD in Iraq

After U.S. Central Command called on us to help transport from Iraq enough yellowcake uranium to make several atomic bombs stored at Saddam’s nuclear weapons complex, I realized why neither the Pentagon nor the White House advertised the presence of this WMD precursor: safety and security.

Before the U.S. military moved in to secure the facility after the 2003 invasion, looters had been there first. Even though the universally recognized yellow-and-black radioactivity warnings were posted on the bunkers, locals had ripped open the storage areas and stolen casks of yellowcake with many sickened as a result. More importantly, we did not want the insurgents alerted to the exposed stockpile as they might attack the facility. This is also why the George W. Bush administration did not crow about the approximately 5,000 chemical munitions that U.S. forces uncovered throughout Iraq, as recently reported by the New York Times. That is a serious quantity of WMD, by any standard. Interestingly, the Bush team could have diluted near-uniform shock at the failure to find WMD by highlighting these discoveries instead of allowing the narrative we all know to solidify: “no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq found except a few dozen old, mustard-gas artillery shells left over from the 1980s Iran-Iraq War.” Yet President Bush and his advisors chose to protect the troops and the mission rather than score political points back on the war’s second front, the American body politic. (None of this, however, mitigates any unpreparedness by the Pentagon to treat service members exposed to chemical weapons.)




Before my company arrived to provide guards and to build and operate a base camp for U.S. Department of Energy scientists dissecting Saddam’s nuclear weapons facility, the American Army had occupied the site with almost a company of infantry. This was quite a bit of combat power tethered to a non-populated, static location when needed to actively defend the people against the elusive al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists and Iranian-allied militias rampant until early 2008 when the American Surge forces and the Sunni Arab “Awakening” had turned the tide delivering our victory in the Iraq War. The limited number of combat troops available did not permit fixing them at every site where WMD were found or might be found. Hence the requirement to not advertise that Saddam had left thousands of chemical weapons lying around, potentially under any mound in mostly flat Iraq. That would have set off a dangerous treasure hunt—and if found, a tremendous threat to American troops and everyone in Iraq especially if weaponized nerve gas had ended up with al-Qaeda.

We were able to move the yellowcake successfully because of our proven relationships with the tribes along our supply line to the nuclear weapons facility, located at the center of an area known as the “Triangle of Death,” due to extensive U.S. combat fatalities suffered there. Because of our and other U.S. government contractors’ employment of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, we helped drain the swamp (or “sea” in Maoist terms) whence the al-Qaeda insurgency sprung. The uranium operation caused us, as usual, to rent trucks from the surrounding tribes with comprehensive war-loss insurance (meaning if a truck got blown up then the owner took the loss). This in turn caused the tribes to look outwards on the convoy movements to protect their expensive tractor trailers instead of inwards—searching for a chance to attack. Doing business for the tribes with the American government, and then the Iraqi government, turned out to be safer than supporting the nihilistic, totalitarian jihadis and the traitorous Sadrists, minions of Iran.

Regardless of what position one takes on the U.S. invasion, the world could not abide by large quantities of nuclear weapons precursor in the hands of the genocidal tyrant in Baghdad. As we are seeing with the current, seemingly endless negotiations with Iran, the millionaire mullahs of Tehran are using the pretext of “peaceful” nuclear power generation in order to assert that the denial thereof is a direct assault on a nation’s sovereignty. Consequently, the concept that we could have gotten the yellowcake removed from Iraq as a part of lifting the rapidly degrading sanctions and truly certifying the country clean of all chemical weapons without the overthrow of Saddam defies logic and experience. The continued possession by Iraq of approximately 5,000 chemical warheads undiscovered after almost eight years of aggressive UN inspections along with the existence of enough yellowcake uranium to make 14 or so nuclear bombs with technology that the Iranians and Libyans already possessed calls for a new coda to replace “Bush lied, people died.” Certainly, we should look to the reinstatement of a principle justification for the American invasion of Iraq.

Carter Andress is president of AISG, Inc. (American-Iraqi Solutions Group) and the author, with Malcolm McConnell, of Victory Undone: The Defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Its Resurrection as ISIS (Regnery, October 2014).
Vegard Martinsen
 
Innlegg: 7867
Registrert: 07 Sep 2003, 12:07


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