About those real reasons for the invasion of Iraq …


I got five e-mails today asking me why I didn't talk about the real reason the United States invaded Iraq in my piece on the front page.

Everyone's got his or her favorite "real reason." They all have a bit of truth, but they're all wrong.

That's because there is almost never one "real" cause of any foreign policy action. Look seriously at foreign policy formation and you'll see that FoPo is an extension of domestic politics, with all its varied constituents and interest groups. That's why all of the reasons thrown about for this war are correct, except the ones that the administration that started it have peddled.

So, yes, the guys at Lockheed and Boeing and Northrop Grumman and Raytheon and General Dynamics wanted this war because all wars are good for business.

And, yes, Bush's oil buddies wanted access to a big chunk of the world's petroleum reserves.

(Because I like accuracy, I replaced my 'No Blood For Oil' bumper sticker with a bumper-length banner reading: 'No blood for assuring a stable energy supply-chain to a global economy in which we're heavily invested.')

Yes, there were various stripes of Neo-cons and democratic imperialists and other PNAC-type ideologues who wanted to enforce a global 'rule set' centered around American hegemony.

And, yes, there were the boys from Halliburton and Bechtel and Dyncorp and Caci and Titan who wanted fat contracts to rebuild Iraq (which they've totally fucked up).

No doubt that there were good ole' boys from the Chamber of Commerce and AEI who George saw on the links or in the clubhouse and who told him how marvelous it would be to see what a fully privatized neo-liberal laboratory would look like in action.

I'm sure, too, that there were various Fundie Christian extremists who thought a big conflagration in the Middle East would set off the rapture.

And, yes, Likudniks -- both American and Israeli -- were behind it as well, hoping to create a new regional order that would protect Israel.

I'm sure there were some who were dumb enough to believe that Iraq had some ties to the 9/11 attacks, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and wanted revenge.

And I imagine that somewhere in the never-therapized mind of George W, he had hankering to do his daddy one better and actually grease that Saddam fellow. Yes, he wanted revenge for Saddam supposedly trying to kill his daddy (there was never any evidence to support the claim).

The Bush administration and their right-wing constituents' twisted interests are the reasons we went to war. As for the (ex post facto) stated reasons we went, I'll even go so far as saying that somewhere in the bowels of the State Department there were folks who honestly believed in democratization and humanitarian intervention. Although they weren't allowed in the meetings. And they probably spent a lot of time hiding under their desks from John Bolton.

Of course, the one thing nobody in their right mind believed for a second was that Iraq was an actual threat to the national security of the United States.

Note: this post borrowed heavily from a previous post on the Gadflyer.

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