On December 2nd, the United States military officially handed over administration of Camp Victory to the Iraqi government. The sprawling palace complex of former dictator Saddam Hussein long served as the American military headquarters in Iraq. By the end of the calendar year, all U.S. forces will be out of Iraq (save for a small training force remaining behind to instruct the Iraqis). As we prepare to officially close the books on U.S. military operations in Iraq, perhaps we can finally also put to bed the many myths propagated by the Left as to the reasons for our intervention and its results.
Bush lied, people died. There were no WMDs in Iraq. We went in for the oil. We had no grounds for going into Iraq. Saddam Hussein and Iraq had no connection to 9/11 or Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. We said we were freeing the Iraqi people, but we were just oppressing them.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the quick and easy guide to refuting all of the above absurdities (click on the hyperlinks—you’ll need them).
First, an incredibly inconvenient historical video clip: does any of this sound familiar?
Bush lied (people died)—there were no WMDs in Iraq.
While US forces never recovered nuclear weapons from the country and its nuclear program was defunct, that doesn’t mean there were no WMDs there. It was a well-established fact that Saddam Hussein’s regime had used chemical weapons in the past, massacring thousands of Kurds in 1988.
Saddam maintained stockpiles of those weapons. Unsurprisingly, hundreds of WMDs were found in Iraq. Coalition forces continued to find them years after the invasion. Next time someone tells you there were no WMDs in Iraq, point them to these articles. Also ask them what they think was on the secret 56 flights from Baghdad to Damascus right before the invasion. Georges Sada, the former head of the Iraqi Air Force, says it was WMDs. I believe him.
I’m very happy to say, in this case, the Democrats were absolutely right.
We went in for the oil.
That’s great. Where is it? If that’s the case, why did we let them award the overwhelming majority of oil development contracts to foreign firms? Why didn’t we just take it? Surely we could have… Where is/was the “Great U.S. Oil Bonanza” in Iraq?
We had no grounds for going into Iraq.
On the contrary, we had plenty of grounds for going into Iraq. Shortly after the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein remained in defiance of countless UN Security Council Resolutions including non-compliance and subversion of the IAEA. The Security Council is in charge of enforcing its own resolutions. Since the other countries on the council refused to do so (France had a history of helping Iraq with nuclear technology and close ties to the country), the US and UK went in to enforce the resolutions.
Saddam Hussein and Iraq had no connection to 9/11 or Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.
In fact, Iraq and Bin Laden had a running relationship that included many correspondences and meetings between the 1990’s and the start of the Iraq War. These included meetings with high-ranking Iraqi officials in Afghanistan and/or Sudan.
We weren’t freeing the Iraqi people; we were oppressing them.
In 2005, for the first time, the Iraqi people voted in free, democratic elections and adopted a state constitution. The country is now governed by a coalition of Iraqi political parties, not a dictator. As a result of the relative stability and establishment of the new government, the long-decried UN sanctions against the country have been lifted. For the moment, Iraq stands with Israel as one of the only two democracies in the Middle East.
I humbly ask: how is deposing a brutal dictator and installing democratic government oppressive? There is no way to intelligently argue that the Iraqi people would have been better off under the former regime. Ever meet Saddam Hussein or his sons Uday and Qusay? No? Then you never had a chance to experience their reign of terror up close.
Don’t these just look like images of oppression?
Kevin Reagan // George Washington University // @O_JoseCanYouSee