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> Debate now, vs debate then, GW vs GH on Iraq, 2 year later perspective?
CruisingRam
post May 8 2006, 12:44 PM
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Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War? Why or why not?

Quote by GH Bush that turned out to be prophetic:

While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.


So, now, almost exactly two years later since the last post on this thread:

http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/index...wtopic=6372&hl=

Can we begin the debate again? thumbsup.gif mrsparkle.gif
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Ted
post May 8 2006, 08:00 PM
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Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War? Why or why not?

He had no choice. Certainly it would have been better to take him out but as you might recall the UN mandate did NOT allow for it or the taking of Baghdad which it would have required.
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TruthMarch
post May 8 2006, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE
He had no choice. Certainly it would have been better to take him out but as you might recall the UN mandate did NOT allow for it or the taking of Baghdad which it would have required.

w00t.gif Holy Palmino shiver me timber and blow me down. That is a loaded loaded response. He had no choice. That's to say Bush and the US was taking orders from some other group or country and wasn't acting out of a best-interest at heart. That's EDITED TO REMOVE ATTEMPT AT BYPASSING PROFANITY FILTER and we all know it. No serious person would ever think that Bush didn't act for the interest of America because he never had any choices or options.
The second anomaly here is the idea that Bush or anyone had too much respect for the UN to not take matters into their own hands and act unilaterally minus the legal umbrella the UN provides.
Not that it would matter to the author of that comment, but the US' bombing in the 'no-fly' zone was not sanctioned by the UN, and indeed, any time the US or Britain bombed sites in Iraq during that decade of sanctions, it was done without the umbrella of the UN a.k.a. not sanctioned by the UN a.k.a. an international war crime. flowers.gif Since we all are grown ups, and we all have seen how the US position on Iraq was and is based on lies and untruths, let's not play around like kids and speculate over Iran and the lies and hype the administration is spreading again.

This post has been edited by Jaime: May 9 2006, 09:47 PM
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Ted
post May 9 2006, 12:23 PM
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QUOTE
TM
The second anomaly here is the idea that Bush or anyone had too much respect for the UN to not take matters into their own hands and act unilaterally minus the legal umbrella the UN provides.
Not that it would matter to the author of that comment, but the US' bombing in the 'no-fly' zone was not sanctioned by the UN, and indeed, any time the US or Britain bombed sites in Iraq during that decade of sanctions, it was done without the umbrella of the UN a.k.a. not sanctioned by the UN a.k.a. an international war crime


Well what you forget in your usual anti US polemic here is that this was a UN operation, organized by Mr. Bush of course. We would never expect the UN Security council to DO anything without lots of US pressure.

And as far as “bombing” in the “no-fly zones” being a “war crime” I have no clue which part of left field you are coming from. If you remember we were “bombing” SAM sites that were shooting at us. When self defense becomes a “war crime” let me know.
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Amlord
post May 9 2006, 02:46 PM
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Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War? Why or why not?

I think if you look at what was going on in 1991 things were much different than they were in 2003.

Recall that George H. W. Bush was the US ambassador to the United Nations from 1971 to 1972. I think he had a certain respect for the institution.

Also, Bush 41 was fairly non-confrontational. Remember that during Watergate, Bush was the Chairman of the RNC. It was up to him to ask Nixon to resign. Instead of going face-to-face, Bush wrote Nixon a memo.

The entire episode of how Saddam was "handled" was bungled from the get-go. Yes, we did a nice job pushing him out of Kuwait. Yes we destroyed his Russian armor. Yes we devastated his military. That part was flawless. But the follow up was terrible.

Things would be 180 degrees different if Saddam had been toppled in 1991 and it is impossible to go back and second guess what was done. We can criticize, yes (we are all good at that), but to predict the outcome is just not feasible.
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TruthMarch
post May 9 2006, 04:27 PM
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Well what you forget in your usual anti US...

I think it's really sad that people, in a lost argument, have the need to use a red-herring in order to defuse their situation. It's a natural human response though I suppose. It's sad in a way. The US bombs and kills babies, and to say so is equal to anti-Americanism. Hardly. Far from it. I often wonder what God or Jesus would say to people who try deflect reality while using patriotism as their last refuge. And all the Bush war supporters do it. "What? He opposes US actions which murder civilians? That anti-American scum!". mrsparkle.gif Now, as for the thread...
The UN did not have any provision for the US to bomb Iraq while enforcing the no-fly zone. Say what you want about it, just know that what you're saying is wrong. The SAM sites you refer to. How laughable. By your argument one would expect to read and hear about all the scary Iraqi SAM sites and the death and destruction they reap upon the Americans. laugh.gif When will Americans, the common Americans like the author I am debating with, finally stop acting like scared little girls when it comes to the big bad scary Iraqi death machine weapons? tongue.gif Scared of Iraq's fabled WMD. Scared of Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons program, scared of their own shadows. And that from the world's most powerful country. The country may be strong militarily, but beside that, they seem to be quite frail and foldable. Message to the US: Don't bother being scared of more third world nations. It makes the US look wimpy and frightened.

This post has been edited by TruthMarch: May 9 2006, 04:28 PM
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Jaime
post May 9 2006, 04:30 PM
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QUOTE(TruthMarch @ May 9 2006, 12:27 PM)
When will Americans, the common Americans like the author I am debating with, finally stop acting like scared little girls when it comes to the big bad scary Iraqi death machine weapons?
*


Stop with the belittling, sexist commentary and debate this in a civil and constructive fashion.

TOPICS:
Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War?
Why or why not?

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TruthMarch
post May 9 2006, 05:03 PM
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grrr. It gets difficult because in the debate, someone will say something which naturally deserves a response. Just to get one last chime in, and I accept another warning for it, let me post this link which responds to a previous comment.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1175950.stm
QUOTE
the no-fly zones were not authorised by the UN and they are not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.

So...................
Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War?
If you believe the US is the guardian of freedom and democracy, then yes it was wrong to leave him unmolested since, as we've heard the past 4 years, about how evil and mean and scary the guy was.
If you believe and understand the US acts out of self-interest, then no he was not wrong. It's funny how people will make things up and lie about how the US had no opprtunity to oust Hussein. The US could have swept him and his whole regime into a public restroom facility if they wanted to. But they didn't want to, so they didn't.
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moif
post May 9 2006, 05:30 PM
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Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War? Why or why not?

In my opinion both then and to some degree now, GHW Bush was wrong to leave Saddam Hussein in power.

I understood why he did so because I can see he was constrained, both by his mission, which was the liberation of Kuwait, and by the very coalition he had created to carry out that mission.

The First Gulf War as it has become known, was a stunning success in that it fulfilled the mission, and with limited coalition casualties. That didn't save GHW Bush though. His brilliant military and diplomatic acheivement went unrewarded (for what ever reason) and he was voted out of office. The same cannot be said for his son, who was rewarded despite the wide spread opposition to the Second Gulf War, as no doubt it will be known in the history books.

I think the biggest problem with the comparison of the two wars is that they are different in various important ways. They both take place in the same region, featuring the same Iraqi dictator, and there is a US president called Bush in office in both cases, but there the similarities end. Each war had a very different mission and what was true for the first is not necessarily true for the second.
It could be argued that if Bush snr had gotten rid of Saddam Hussein when he had the chance then we would not be in the mess (with al qaeda and Iran) that we are today. That GW Bush is only doing the unpleasant thing that needed to be done.

...that is of course if you agree that Saddam Hussein needed to be removed from power, which I happen to believe. In my opinion we suffer tyranny at our own expense and the non confrontational stance that so many people have adopted in latter decades is a clear danger to the democratic principle of freedom for all people.

GHW Bush is often praised for his constraint and foresight by those who oppose the current war in Iraq, but the truth, as I see it, is we wouldn't be having the current war in Iraq if GHW Bush had removed the government of Saddam Hussein at the time and that GHW Bush brought about his fantastic victory only by ending the fight half fought.

I know that many people see the war as being about oil and not freedom, but I've come to realise that without that oil, we won't have any freedom.

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Ted
post May 15 2006, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE
TM
However, unlike the military campaign to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the no-fly zones were not authorised by the UN and they are not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.

Right and because of that Saddam murdered thousands of Shiite. Was that something you thought we should have let continue? What, pray tell did the UN do? Squat just like in other places (Rwanda, Bosnia etc). We acted to stop Saddam from murdering his people at will and we had a right to defend our planes and people.


QUOTE
TM
So...................
Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War?
If you believe the US is the guardian of freedom and democracy, then yes it was wrong to leave him unmolested since, as we've heard the past 4 years, about how evil and mean and scary the guy was.


AGAIN sir the UN mandate did NOT allow us to go forward with an attack on Baghdad and the toppling of the regime. Bush decided (right or wrong in hindsight) to accept the Iraqi surrender. You do remember that Saddam agreed to accept the conditions of the UN Resolution. That is what ended the conflict.

And we should note that Saddam never, ever lived up to or complied with the UN resolutions after this date. You would think the UN SC would have had more problems with that but as we know they did nothing to “force” Iraq to comply.

This post has been edited by Ted: May 15 2006, 10:09 PM
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Eeyore
post May 16 2006, 03:06 PM
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Was George Herbert Walker Bush wrong for leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the end of the Gulf War? Why or why not?

I think that George H.W. Bush conducted an extremely effective war that declawed dictator who wished to impose himself on the arab world and left himself braying and bluffing in an attempt to remain in power in Iraq.

There were several reasons that the united States did not attempt to knock Saddam hussein out of power in 1991 and most of them were valid.

We engaged in the Persian Gulf War with a broad coalition of supporters including most of the arab world. In fact so much so, that Yasir Arafat found himself and the PLO isolated as a result of supporting Saddam Hussein.

We did not have the political will to support a Shiite uprising in the South or a Kurd independence movement, rebellion in the North. We wanted a Sunni overthrow of Hussein and could not encourage it. Leaving the Shia uprising on its own to get largely decimated by the Iraqi army could not have endeared us to the southern Iraqis, those same people whose voices will largely determine the composition of the new government.

We were concerned about tipping the balance of power in favor of Iran, a clearly Islamic regime with a documented history of sponsoring terror attacks against the United States. This movement could threaten to topple the Saudi monarchy and implement a Wahabist Islamic fundamentalist government in place of the authoritarian monarchy.

We were concerned that the costs of holding Iraq together with foreign occupation would be great and that we might not have the ability to create a stable Iraq that we could depart from. Hussein was a bad guy and the world is better off without him as a leader of Iraq, but if Iraq devolves into another Somalia in the center of the petroshpere then we have a major problem. The costs ar mounting and US credibility is on the line. And we have not only promised a stable Iraq but we have asserted that we will bring in western democracy into the region. We furthermore have done this without the support of the western or islamic world and without help from NATO or the UN. This is our baby and we are the only country (with the UK) that has a vested interested in getting our policies to work. And this time we don;t have Japan paying most of the costs.

Additionally we tried to make Iraq an opportunity for American business interests instead of a place where rising Iraqi business interests could realize tremendous profits if they got on board. There is no glue here. Bush the Elder was worried about this. The 2003 Iraq War was a statement that his decision was wrong.


It seems that he was right IMHO. I would feel just as safe as an American citizen if Hussein was in power today. His continued crimes would be a shame, but he would be contained and he would be helping contain Iran at the same time.

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