War on Iraq: is there any justification?
By: Taylor C. Noakes
Perhaps it’s the basic stupidity of the average teenager living in North America, but the war on Iraq doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense. Let’s look at this from a somewhat and surprisingly logical viewpoint. Iraq is poor; technologically obsolete in every sense of the word, archaic in political ideology and backwards in just about any other way I can figure it. It (unlike every other country on the face of the planet) has a 100% voter turnout, despite the fact it only has 58% literacy rates (its kind of hard to read the ballot when you can’t read huh? Don’t worry; there is only one choice.) That said, it’s kind of obvious what kind of a state we’re dealing with. Given the fact that diplomatic means are not the best way of dealing with this backwards nation, force is, justifiably, being considered. But hold the phone America! You aren’t part of the equation. Unlike most military dictatorships, Iraq no longer possesses the necessary means to be dealt with in force. Let us review. One, the Iraqi armed forces (offensive/deployable) are but a quarter of their one time high during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) furthermore, the damage sustained from two wars between 1980 and 1991 has left Iraqi infrastructure a gigantic pothole. Don’t believe me; go straight to the horses mouth. The CIA world fact book, one of the best sources for complete and accurate (and it’s American too, neat!) information describes Iraqi infrastructure as almost equal to the California high way system after the Compton Riots and the 1989 earthquake combined. That said how in god’s name would gigantic missiles be brought into position at the Jordanian border in order to be launched at Israel, or any other one of its neighbors for that matter. In addition to this, Iraq’s missile capabilities are primarily defensive not offensive. If you have a keen eye for all things military (such as I have been gifted) you will immediately recognize that the hollow shells scattered around rusting launchers in the middle of the desert are the remnants of Iraq’s once fearsome SCUD and FROG -7 artillery rockets. The missiles on launchers you see being paraded around Baghdad are either SA-6 Gainful, SA-4 Ganef or (the most ferocious looking, the obsolete) SA-2 Guideline surface to air missile. As to defensive purposes Iraq can protect it’s capital relatively well, the Gainful missiles being relatively new, though their radar systems probably in short supply, if any exist at all. I would personally relax about chemical or biological attack. True, Saddam did gas about 5000 Kurds in 1988, but this was using bombs delivered by fighter jets. The difference now is that the Iraqi air force mutinied (more than once) during the Gulf War and sent most of Iraq’s combat capable and transport aircraft to Iran. Whatever fighters leftover are probably interceptors or have been converted into that role to act as defensive fighters, not low altitude fighter-bombers. Think about logically, Iraq barely has a pot to piss in, don’t you think Saddam will use his remaining fighters to protect his billion dollar palaces, rather than risk losing them in an incredibly hazardous and relatively small scale attack operations. Besides, whom will they attack? Israel? They’d have to be crazier then we think, flying into Israeli airspace is tantamount to suicide. Attacking any of their Arab neighbors, while slightly more reasonable is a political shot in the foot and any attempt at an attack against US military targets in the Gulf would sufficiently more stupid than attacking Israel. Keep in mind any attack made by the Iraqi’s would be small scale and utterly worthless. Unless you can inflict mass casualties and sustain those mass casualties, then there simply is no point. There isn’t one suicide bomber in all of Palestine; there are hundreds, why, because the attacks are slowly getting results. Land based movements are out of the question, since it would require traversing Jordan in order to attack Israel, and, again, that is if they can get enough trucks and flatbeds together to move all the hardware. Otherwise this leaves Kuwait or Saudi-Arabia as potential land based targets but beside the infrastructure problem, this is doomed to failure, too many yanks in the neighborhood, ready to deploy. A naval attack is out of the question as well, simply, Iraq has no navy; it was sold to Venezuela, Ecuador, Malaysia and Italy in 1991, too bad.
That is the basic analysis of Iraq’s military capability, a pseudo paramilitary force made up of half-wit goons flying a limited number of poorly maintained jets, manning old decrepit tanks, shooting old poorly made soviet era machine guns, hopeless huh? They can barely hold their own (the North is rules by the Kurds) let alone shoot down any British or American jets with their optically guided anti-aircraft guns. They could probably put up a good fight around the Capital that would probably resemble Saigon’s final days (and be just as confusing.) But other than that they could be wiped out by such minor players as the Canadian Armed Forces; hell our experience in Bosnia and Somalia has more than prepped us for interior city fighting. Iraq poses no more threat to anyone else than it does to itself. But before we starve and kill another 500,000 Iraqi children, who most certainly do not deserve it, why don’t we consider non-military intervention, or at least semi-military intervention. My good friends the CIA could handle a coup in Iraq better than any of the other Coup’s it has completed in the last 60 years. Think about it Nicaragua, Honduras, Grenada, Panama, Viet-Nam (3 times) Chile, Lebanon, Afghanistan (twice) and Zaire, just to name a few. Hell the CIA sponsored coup in Chile which put Augusto Pinochet in power in 1973 took two days and 50 operatives, amazing huh, better yet, the coup in Honduras in 1958 was done with 100 men, and better yet, no actual fighting occurred, the sounds of bombs falling were played over loudspeakers while crop dusters performed aerial acrobatics over Tegucigalpa. And the whole thing was done without firing one shot, truly awe-inspiring. So given the CIA’s long and decorated past in fucking up the world through puppet-master-esque tactics, we wonder why it is that they cannot re-do these types of operations in Iraq right now. My answer is the American Military Complex needs something to throw money at before the entire economy self-implodes, the Cold war has been over for 11 years and without the ruskies to fight, we haven’t much a need to fight anyone anymore. And what with the loss of military spending the companies that make the American economy go round and round lose sufficient (if not all) their contracts. Westinghouse, GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Colt Firearms, General Motors Diesel Division, Cadillac Gage, etc. The list goes on and on.
It seems once again that we could end this madness, end the war, end the fear, end the dictatorship and establish peace in the middle east, but for some reason, we are too deaf, dumb, blind whatever to comprehend the situation. In essence, Lester B. Pearson, the hallmark of Canadian Logic and common sense, was correct in saying in 1956, “We prepare for war like precocious giants and for peace like retarded pygmies.” It’s terrifying how history always repeats itself.