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July 25, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Here’s hoping for progress in Iraq

Another view?

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With the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war this month, many unanswered questions still remain as to why we were lied to about the Iraqi invasion in 2003.

Now that U.S. troops are largely out of Iraq, we can only hope that Iraq becomes a stable democracy.

The U.S. sacrifice was costly in deaths and wounded warriors who gave so much — not to mention more than $1 trillion spent. With so much at stake in this war, we Americans want Iraq to succeed. The hardest part to accept is the false reasons that President George W. Bush’s administration gave to justify the invasion to begin with.

Hopefully, Iraq does become a stable democracy, otherwise, what other reason do we have to feel that some good came out of a not-so-good decision?

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  1. I find it difficult to understand the disconnect regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq and the very poor execution of the war's aftermath.

    With hindsight, it seems clear that Saddam did not have WMD's to give to terrorists but he wanted the world to believe he did, in order to protect himself from Iran and other nations, including America. As Re Freeman points out, there was a very long list of US and world officials around the world that thought Saddam had WMD's and would assist terrorist groups in using them.

    Again, with hindsight, did President Bush make a bad call in invading Iraq? Yes. Did many people in governments all around the world, many Americans, many people in the UN, and others agree with the decision at the time? Yes.

    Once the war started, the Iraq military was defeated quickly and at small costs by our fine military. Once the main fighting with the Iraq military was over and civilians from government got involved, the aftermath was an absolute disaster that lasted many years. What we see today is the legacy of that failure in the aftermath of the fight with the Iraq military.

    Iraq was and is a mess and we might very well have had a better outcome if we'd just let Saddam stay in power. We can't know because that's not the decision that was taken.

    If a man I respect very much, Colin Powell, ever comes out and says the Bush Administration knew Saddam had no WMD's and went to war on that basis anyway, I'll jump to the side that 'knows' that is the case. So far that hasn't happened and I suspect that Powell knows as much as anyone, including Bush, about the intelligence and the rationale for going to war. Maybe he was duped but he is a very smart man. Maybe he knows the 'truth' but is too loyal to say it, but he's been a pretty straight shooter in his life. I don't 'know' the truth, but Powell hasn't said it was all a 'lie', just that the intelligence was wrong.

    The conduct of the war deserves criticism and since the 'decider' made many of the bad decisions, he deserves criticism, but I think the 'truth' of why and how the decision to go to war was made is still unknown.

    I know this view is not shared by many of you and you are entitled to your opinion, but I think what you and I have is just that... an 'opinion' where we simply don't have all the 'facts'.

    Michael

  2. Letter writer buys right into the new mainstream media spin. The same media, with bi-partisan support, in favor of the Iraq war. Then turned sides after the body bags and coffins of Americans started coming home.

    The region and the world are a better place without Saddam Hussein. Yes, it was a huge cost of American time and treasure, but it is the price of having the status of a "super" power. Americans and this letter writer are fooling themselves if they think Iraq was the last such war. It's not. There will be another one in the future. Hopefully, when there is, the U.S. won't make the same mistake again. Cut and run!

    Carmine D

  3. Vidi,

    From most accounts, it appears that Ambassador Glaspie made standard routine comments any diplomat would have made to the leader of what was thought to be a 'friendly' country. What is your point?

    Michael

  4. Many of us knew that removing Sadam Hussein would destabalize the region and it looks like we were right. I also told co-workers that there was no possible way Hussein and Bin Laden were acting together. My point being a dictator/tyrant would never cede power to another.

    Hussein received his WMD's from Donald Rumsfeld during the Reagan administration. He used them in the war with Iran and on his own people, the Kurds. There were none to be found before we invaded Iraq and much of the intel was manufactured. Which is why Bush finally said we needed to invade to establish democracy. Iraq is now allies with Iran because of their connection through religion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_tFKa2_Y...

    Joking about WMD's while ignoring the thousands of dead Americans at the cost of $2 trillion and raising, is a slap in the face.

  5. Again Vernos, I don't dispute much of what you say. After no WMD's were found, Bush did try to justify the war by saying it was about liberation. But that does not prove that Bush or all the others that believed Saddam had WMD's knew he did not have them....before the war started... and that's my point. We simply don't know.

    Michael

  6. I think what we can all agree that Saddam Hussein was not a friend of America or to the west for that matter.

    Most of our leaders thought Saddam had WMD,which was the selling point for the invasion. What we are forgetting is that the selling of the war was based on lies for justification for the 2003 invasion.

    August 22,2008 Former Pres.G.W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki both agreed to withdraw U.S.troops from Iraq by 2011.Pres. Obama followed threw with that agreement reached by both Bush and Al-Miliki at that time. We did not cut and run.

  7. For you ostriches who like to stick your heads in the sand to ignore reality, just remember the world is an evil place with evil dictators and reigns. And that's against their own peoples and countries. the U.S. is a "super" power and along with that status comes global leadership. When there is a lack of leadership, the vacuum is not filled with peace and prosperity. It's filled with evil and war. When things flair up, whether Iran, North Korea, Communist China and/or all of the above, President Obama will need the support of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. It's always been a foregone conclusion, that he'd get it. But if I were him, I'd take actions to make sure.

    Carmine D

  8. CarmineD - "For you ostriches who like to stick your heads in the sand to ignore reality, just remember the world is an evil place with evil dictators and reigns."

    Really? Did it ever occur to you some of those so-called evil tyrants are fantasized myths of American propaganda? Hugo Chavez is an example of a man who disliked the United States because of American imperialism in South America, but Fox News insisted he was a dictator, though he was duly elected and loved by his people. How about those evil dictators or tyrants we are allies with? They are scattered throughout our history, on every continent, and until they no longer did our bidding we tolerated their existence.

  9. Vernos:

    Really!! Middle east, South China, [what did it do this week in the east and south China seas encroaching on other countries' water zones] and the Korean peninsula. Are you listening to the news today? Or like your friends here whistling past the cemetery?

    Carmine D

  10. BTW, North Korea went nuclear without the U.S. detecting it.

    Syria would have nuclear weapons today if Israel didn't take out its reactor in 2007. What would Assad do today if he had nukes? What has he done with his chemical weapons?

    There are extensive cooperative efforts going on today between Iran and North Korea.

    Carmine D

  11. By RefNV (Re Freeman: Why would ANYONE use a video posted on YouTube to support ANYTHING! Other, of course, than the creativity and imagination of the poster

  12. Actually, Future, Sam is quite correct in saying that "... U.S. troops are largely out of Iraq..."

    When you claim we have NO troops in Iraq you are forgetting the USMC Embassy Guard contingent. Last I checked members of the USMC were still considered "U.S Troops"

  13. RefNV (Re Freeman), let's look a bit closer to the Iraq resolution results you posted at 5:29 a.m."

    Votes in the House were:
    ......................For....Against.....No Vote
    Republicans:....215........6...........2
    Democrats........82.....126...........1
    Independents......0........1...........0

    Votes in the Senate were:
    ......................For....Against.....No Vote
    Republicans:.....48.......1...........0
    Democrats........29.....21...........0
    Independents......0.......1...........0

    And we need to bear in mind that, all during the debate, our warmonger element was widely crying that a vote against war with Iraq was tantamount to treason.

    These results show, yet again, that Republicans tend to vote their party's line, while Democrats tend to vote their consciences and try to individually determine what is best for the whole country.

  14. CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): Your post of 9:37 a.m. is the justification that ALL "world conquerors" from Alexander to Hitler have used and that numerous war mongers in-between and since have advocated: Since ""they" (whoever "they" are) cannot control themselves "we" (whoever "we" are) have a legal/religious/moral duty to control them. In the Philippine insurrection it was summarized by the ballad and battle cry "Civilize 'em with a Krag!"

  15. The 'we' are the peacemakers: U.S. soldiers.

    Carmine D

  16. CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): in your 10:38 a.m. you state: "BTW, North Korea went nuclear without the U.S. detecting it."

    NOT TRUE! Kim Jung-il repeatedly stated that North Korea was actively working to develop nuclear weaponry to be used for defense against the U.S. and our "intelligence" network seemed to confirm his statements. All the while Bush was proclaiming that Iraq possessed WMDs and was poised to fire them at the U.S., while Iraq's leader denied the allegations and independent inspectors could find no signs of WMDs.

    Here are excerpts from the timeline. Remember the headlines? I do. Where's the secrecy here??

    --DEC. 1993 The Central Intelligence Agency tells President Clinton that North Korea probably has developed one or two nuclear bombs.
    --JULY 2001 The State Department reports that North Korea is developing a long-range missile.
    --JAN. 2002 President Bush labels North Korea, Iran and Iraq an "axis of evil."
    --OCT. 2002 North Korea tells visiting American delegation that it has a second covert nuclear weapons program.
    --JAN. 2003 North Korea says again that it will withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
    --APRIL 2003 North Korea says it has nuclear weapons and may test, export or use them depending on the actions of the United States, American officials say.

    All from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/09/world/...

  17. Good points Robert. So...then tell us why President Obama in January 2009 scrubbed Bush's plans to expand the interceptors for the ICBM on the west coast and Alaska? Then 'promise' Russian PM Medvedev before the 2012 election that he would do the same in Europe? Didn't he believe all this intelligence he had on North Korea's nuclear capabilities? Or did he think, like he did in the case of Iraq, that it was all lies?

    Carmine D

  18. George Bush liked both Gates and the C.I.A, respected them tremendously, and/or both. Why? When it became crystal clear that both were wrong on the presence of WMD in Iraq by Saddam Hussein, [as I might add the British and Israeli intelligence both agreed with the C.I.A.] the basis in large part for the U.N. invasion and war, Bush NEVER that is NEVER blamed either for the bad and wrong intelligence. But, Bush took all the blame himself. Commander-in-Chief.

    Now, tell us, would the current President do the same given these facts and circumstances?

    Carmine D

  19. Jesus didn't come to judge the world, but to save it. If and when you get to Heaven you will have 3 surprises:

    1) You're there.
    2) Some you thought would be, are not.
    3) Others you thought would not, are.

    HAPPY EASTER

    Carmine D

  20. Your question of 12:38p.m. is quite valid, CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio); "...then tell us why President Obama in January 2009 scrubbed Bush's plans to expand the interceptors for the ICBM on the west coast and Alaska? Then 'promise' Russian PM Medvedev before the 2012 election that he would do the same in Europe?"

    Not being a mind-reader, I have no idea. I can only hypothesize that both were negotiating ploys that could be reversed if subsequent events showed they were not useful. However, I can also note that, before North Korea was actually in a position to make good on its threats, and had publicly demonstrated that they would continue to try, Obama DID reverse that decision. More at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/...

    I also note that the comment to Medvedev hasn't yet been followed up. Are you SURE he didn't know that mike was live?

  21. N. Korea has been accused of having nuclear weapons since as far back as 1993.Yet we did nothing.

    So why did we invade Iraq, with weapons inspectors on the ground (at one time) who found nothing? We also had the no fly zone with U.S.and British war planes patrolling the skies on a daily basis.Saddam made no threat of a nuclear attack on the U.S.,like N.Korea does on a daily basis.

    N.Korea has no oil.Iraq has plenty,could this be the reason for the invasion of Iraq?

  22. Robert:

    The correct answer is British and Israeli intelligence did not corroborate the U.S. intelligence findings for North Korea. The U.S. always seeks corroboration from these other intelligence agencies before assuming it is right, and then even in the case of agreement, can be wrong. As it did and was for Iraq. All 3 were still wrong for Iraq. Recall even Hussein's closest advisors and family believed he had WMD.

    I'm glad President Obama reversed his position on the ICBM. I wish he did not reversed the Reagan-Bush position in January 2009.

    On Russia, I opine President Obama wanted to use peaceful persuasion on the ICBM escalation in Europe. How's that working for the President? Especially with the U.S. allies, like Poland, who felt double crossed by President Obama, and rightly so.

    Sam:

    Lying is when you know what you're saying is not true but sincerely say it is. Wrong is when you don't know for sure. Iraq was the latter. Countries and governments do both. They have mistakes and failures. Even the U.S., as it did with its intelligence on Iraq. These don't make the U.S. and President Bush a liar. It makes us wrong. There's a huge difference.

    Carmine D

  23. Jeff:

    You've read one book on the matter, jointly written by two similar minded authors, and all of a sudden you are an authority and so are they.

    I've told you this before: Read "Obama's Wars" by Bob Woodward. It's only $30. Recall President Obama selected Bob Gates, a GOP stalwart and career C.I.A. man, to stay on as Secretary of Defense. Probably the best decision President Obama made with regard to cabinet appointments in both his terms.

    Carmine D

  24. Carmine,

    You have stated many times that you were against the Iraq invasion by the U.S.On your March 30,2013 5:13 A.M. post,you stated.

    "There will be another one (war) in the future hopefully when there is,the U.S. won't make the same mistake again.Cut and run!"

    This is not the first time you have stated you were against the Iraq war.How can you be against the war in one post,then support it in another post (cut and run)? You either support the war or you don't,which is it?

  25. Sam:

    I am against sending U.S. troops to fight in foreign countries. Period. End of story. But, I don't get to make that decision, nor do you.

    The U.S. should have stayed in Iraq and rebuilt the country and certainly ensure the success of self-government. The U.S. didn't. Think Marshall Plan in Europe after WW11. There is not one street, one park, one building, one tree, or bush that America built in Iraq. That's a tragedy. That's the mistake the United States made by it's "cut and run" policy with the SOFA agreement that was struck in November 2008, after candidate elect Obama won the presidential election.

    Bush won the war in Iraq. Obama lost the peace.

    Carmine D

  26. Carmine,

    "Bush won the Iraq war.Obama lost the peace."

    Bush and Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki both agreed to withdrawl troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

    So if you want to blame anyone for your comment that we have "cut and run in Iraq" blame Pres.G.W.Bush it was his plan.

    You are either for the war or against the war ,which is it.Can you answer that.

  27. Sam:

    Wrong Sam. The SOFA framework was agreed to. Not the details. Those came after Obama was inaugurated as the POTUS. An incoming President is not bound by law to anything agreed to by the predecessor president. It's always been that way and didn't change with President Obama.

    Same answer as always Sam. I was and am against sending U.S. soldiers to fight on foreign soil. Period. End of story.

    Carmine D

  28. Jeff:

    Secretary of Defense Bill Gates said in Sept 2010 that regardless of whatever good ever came and/or comes out of the Iraqi war, it will be overshadowed by the bad intelligence that was used to justify the invasion. Bill Gates, hand picked to stay on as Secretary of Defense by President Obama.

    Carmine D

  29. Sorry, S.B. Bob Gates.

    CDF

  30. "As the United States prepared for a presidential transition, the Bush administration put the final touches on long-term agreements with Iraq's government intended to shape legal, economic, cultural, and security relations between the two countries well into President-elect Barack Obama's first term. U.S. and coalition forces have been in Iraq since 2003. And while the UN Security Council did not explicitly authorize the invasion, the council did approve the presence of foreign forces in an annually renewed resolution first adopted in October 2003. Because Iraq's government has requested that the Security Council not renew the mandate upon its expiration at the end of 2008, U.S. officials have had to accelerate negotiations on a detailed legal framework for the U.S. presence in Iraq. Two major agreements-a Status of Forces Agreement stalled on the issue of legal immunity for U.S. troops and dates for a full withdrawal, and a broader strategic framework agreement-were approved by Iraq's parliament in late November 2008."

    Carmine D

  31. Carmine,

    "Same answer as always I was against sending soldiers to fight on foreign soil.Period.End of story."

    Actually it's the same double talk you keep saying.You were against sending troops into Iraq,and you were not happy with Bush's and Al-Miliki's agreement to pull troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011."Cut and run" as you called it.

    You can't have it both ways.Period.End of story.

  32. Sam:

    There is a huge difference between rebuilding a country after a war and fighting one on its soil. American soldiers are and should always be peacekeepers not country builders.

    Iraq is so bogged down in violence, turmoil and disarray that volunteers like the Peace Corps and missionaries can go there to assist with rebuilding and teaching the citizens. Sad but true.

    Carmine D

  33. Carmine,

    I was addressing your position on not being for the war at it's start of it in 2003.And now being for the war once we left after the Bush and Al-Miliki agreement to pull all troops out at the end of in 2011 which was completed.

    You have seemed to have wandered off on the subject matter.

  34. The news is reporting more often, that Iran's influence continues to grow in Iraq. The reason is that both countries have Shi'ite majorities.

    Iraq for the longest time under S. Hussein was ruled by the Sunni minorities who took the money, jobs and good times for themselves. Now it is time for the Shias to experience the same glory, reward and satisfaction.

    Religions, faiths and beliefs are the equivalent of Nations Without Borders. Religious sects, schisms, faiths, groups, etc. consider themselves family regardless of geographical boundaries. Shias in Iraq and Iran view themselves as Shias first. Sunnis in Iraq and Iran view themselves as Sunnis first.

    Note that Saudi Arabia fears Iran's growing influence in the middle east. The Saudi's schism in Islam is Wahabism which is neither Shia or Sunni. Saudi's version of Islam does not mingle with the Shia population inside Saudi Arabia of which they are also concerned.

    Sam, you have written very fair letters and comments but verify in history that religion comes before democracy, because democracies decide their fate through rational discussion, hence democracies are Godless, even in America.

    Religious governing comes from what is called "GOD", which in the middle east appears to be derived from testosterone laced blood mixed with Hashish, opium or marijuana and the availability of young brides not quite women, giving it the strength to conquer rationality every time.

    The rulers of Iraq and Iran do not want their lives guided by the votes of faceless peasants living in the alleys. They insist on having a Republic where only qualified people may vote and choose the destiny of the Country. They want a Republic of God, not a Democracy, where only the qualified who know God can decide the fate of the country. There are also millions of people in this country who want the same Republic, albeit with a God from another Heaven, but it cannot happen here, so long as a Democracy persists.

  35. Sam:

    I was addressing the difference between war and peacekeeping. Two different subjects and missions. I am against American soldiers doing the former and in favor of them doing the latter. Like I said Sam, you and I don't get to make those decisions. It's above our pay grade.
    Carmine D

  36. Sun Jon:

    Well said and written. Thank you.

    Carmine D

  37. Carmine,

    You never answered my question.You went on to a different subject,just like you seem to do when you don't have answer.

  38. Sam:

    I answered ALL your questions here and I always do AT LEAST once and more often than not, several times. Do you think asking me the same question here over and over again will elicit a different answer from me? The answer is "no."

    Carmine D

  39. Carmine,

    What I do think is that you avoid giving a straight answer to anything you do not want to answer.Double talk is your remedy for most of what you say.If you think I believe that you answered my question,the answer is "no."

  40. Sam:

    I answer ALL your questions ALWAYS. If I can't, I'll say so. But, that's not the case at least for me. You may not like the answers, but that's on you, not me. Or you may disagree. That's your prerogative.

    If you believe I don't answer your questions then stop asking me.

    Carmine D

  41. Jeff:

    I disagree with both you and Sam. I have always answered any and all questions here gladly and willingly. And, I will continue to do so.

    Carmine D

  42. Jeff,

    Thank you!

  43. BTW, I don't talk down to anyone here. Odd you should accuse me when your posts here are deleted more than others for being so.

    Carmine D

  44. Your facts are fiction. My facts [like your high number of deleted posts here] are honest and accurate conclusions.

    Carmine D

  45. Your opinion and you're entitled to it even if it's wrong. I stated a fact: Your posts are deleted here more than any other poster. That's not a "gray" area. That's not an opinion. That's an honest and correct conclusion.

    Carmine D

  46. The subject as I recall was an accusation you made against me that I talk down to Sam. Wrong. I don't talk down to anyone here let alone my friend Sam. You win the prize hands down for doing it. You have the most posts deleted here by the Moderator than any other poster. The second place poster is so far behind you that he'll never catch up. That's a fact.

    Carmine D

  47. Of note: None of these posts were deleted. Why? Sam and I are friends who often thrust and parry here with humor and facts alike mixed together. Just as you and I do.

    That's not talking down. It's talking up!

    Carmine D

  48. Tarantella.

    Better luck next time.

    Carmine D

  49. Wishful thinking [again].

    Carmine D