A bridge in Brooklyn
One of the more interesting articles today is from Mark Steyn who reminds those who object to toppling Saddam Hussein just how much they hated containing him. Bottling up Saddam Hussein required parking most of the carrier fleet in the Persian Gulf and keeping large ground and air forces on his borders. Steyn writes:
"Your president has won," Jean Chretien told ABC News in early March 2003. So there was no need to have a big ol' war because, with 250,000 American and British troops on his borders, Saddam was "in a box." "He won," said Mr. Chretien of Bush. "He has created a situation where Saddam cannot do anything anymore. He has troops at the door and inspectors on the ground... You're winning it big." That's easy for him to say, and committing other countries' armies to "contain" Iraq is easy for him to do. A quarter million soldiers cannot sit in the sands of Araby twiddling their thumbs indefinitely. "Containment" is not a strategy but the absence of strategy ...
And containment, as Steyn noted, didn't mean you escaped blame. In fact the policy of containment was often equated with genocide. Yes, you read that right. Not invading Iraq was counted as genocide.
And, in place of congratulations for their brilliant "containment" of Saddam, Washington was blamed for UN sanctions and systematically starving to death a million Iraqi kids - or two million, according to which "humanitarian" agency you believe. The few Iraqi moppets who weren't deceased suffered, according to the Nobel-winning playwright and thinker Harold Pinter, from missing genitals and/or rectums that leaked blood contaminated by depleted uranium from Anglo-American ordnance.
If since Operation Iraqi Freedom the Press has been largely silent about the host of people with missing genitals leaking blood from their rectums the answer to the mystery is quite simple. Steyn says: "Touring Iraq a few weeks after the war, I made a point of stopping in every hospital and enquiring about this pandemic of genital-less Iraqis: not a single doctor or nurse had heard about it." The interesting thing about some of the death figures attributed by the antiwar crowd to America is that they are the sum of supposed deaths from invading Iraq and not invading it. Union is an operation in logic as well as a railroad station in Washington DC.
When America decided after September 11 that Saddam constituted an imminent danger it didn't act precipitously. It spent nearly six agonizing months trying to get the UN to act under Resolution 1441. That delay, far from being free, imposed enormous costs, the greatest of which was that it allowed Saddam to get ready for the most telegraphed invasion in recent history. Ace of Spades notes derisively that those who thought a little more diplomacy would have won France and Russia to the American side should think again. According to ABC News recently released documents suggest that the Russian ambassador -- representative of one America's partners for peace in the Security Council -- leaked the US war plans to Saddam Hussein.
Two Iraqi documents dated in March 2003 — on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion — and addressed to the secretary of Saddam Hussein, describe details of a U.S. plan for war. According to the documents, the plan was disclosed to the Iraqis by the Russian ambassador.
The first document (CMPC-2003-001950) is a handwritten account of a meeting with the Russian ambassador that details his description of the composition, size, location and type of U.S. military forces arrayed in the Gulf and Jordan. The document includes the exact numbers of tanks, armored vehicles, different types of aircraft, missiles, helicopters, aircraft carriers, and other forces, and also includes their exact locations. The ambassador also described the positions of two Special Forces units.
The second document (CMPC-2004-001117) is a typed account, signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Hammam Abdel Khaleq, that states that the Russian ambassador has told the Iraqis that the United States was planning to deploy its force into Iraq from Basra in the South and up the Euphrates, and would avoid entering major cities on the way to Baghdad, which is, in fact what happened. The documents also state "Americans are also planning on taking control of the oil fields in Kirkuk." The information was obtained by the Russians from "sources at U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar," according to the document.
Michael Oren in his account of the Six Day War of 1967 describes the agony of IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin as he watched Arab armies massing at Israel's borders without the power to strike because the Israeli cabinet was divided over whether to absorb the first blow to prove their innocence in the conflict or strike first to gain the military advantage. It's a stark illustration that inaction has a price; that when you "give Peace a chance" you give up other chances. The containment strategy followed against Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorism before September 11 wasn't cost-free: it gave Saddam and Islamic fundamentalism time to plot, spy and act. It ceded the initiative to them. Mark Steyn's retrospective and information now emerging from Saddam Hussein's archives demonstrate that there was never any such as thing as a free lunch. A bill was always in the mail.