Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Convicted, Bush Next?

A judge convicted ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and sentenced him to death by hanging for killing many innocent Iraqi people. The guilty party’s response included “Long live the people and death to their enemies. Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!"

All throughout the trial the strongman referred to the United States as illegal occupier and the enemy of Iraq. So why would I believe his government appointed lawyer’s statement that the embodiment of evil encouraged his supporters to “reject sectarian violence and refrain from revenge against U.S. forces”? That doesn’t sound at all like the belligerent, blustery Saddam.

As for convicting people responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Iraqis, one need not look far for the next suspect. 1999 “Desert Crossing” war games suggested a force of 400,000 soldiers would be necessary to take Iraq and even then it could devolve into sectarian violence. Some of their 7 year old prescient advice is below:

"A change in regimes does not guarantee stability. A number of factors including aggressive neighbors, fragmentation along religious and/or ethnic lines, and chaos created by rival forces bidding for power could adversely affect regional stability."

"Even when civil order is restored and borders are secured, the replacement regime could be problematic - especially if perceived as weak, a puppet, or out-of-step with prevailing regional governments."

"Iran's anti-Americanism could be enflamed by a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq," the briefings read. "The influx of U.S. and other western forces into Iraq would exacerbate worries in Tehran, as would the installation of a pro-western government in Baghdad."

"The debate on post-Saddam Iraq also reveals the paucity of information about the potential and capabilities of the external Iraqi opposition groups. The lack of intelligence concerning their roles hampers U.S. policy development."

"Also, some participants believe that no Arab government will welcome the kind of lengthy U.S. presence that would be required to install and sustain a democratic government."

"A long-term, large-scale military intervention may be at odds with many coalition partners."

If the U.S. didn’t have accurate intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, could it have even the most basic understanding of the country of Iraq?

Not only did President Bush ignore the advice of Saudi leaders, who predicted sectarian strife pre-invasion, it completely blew off the results of the “Desert Crossing” military game on Iraq. Thanks to the folks at George Washington University for sharing this information.

A study done just up the road at Johns Hopkins estimates some 650,000 Iraqis died as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and conditions on the ground for the last three years. Who should go to trial for that?

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