That Old Iraq War Thing

We are on the 20th Anniversary of the Iraq war. Not the one we are in now, but the one commonly referred to as Desert Storm. The one George H.W. Bush had the good sense to walk away from so we didn’t have to get stuck over there 10 years earlier than we did.

The news boys tell us Busch Senior and his minions had a celebration of the glorious moment when the mightiest military in history squashed a pathetic under-trained and poorly led Iraqi Army in record time. Here are some true things about the Iraq War.

Saddam Hussein, who later became one of the worst dictators in memory, was a run-of-the mill tin-horn nationalist in 1991. He terrorized his people no more or less than any other tin-horn dictator we had tolerated, and was as useful to us as any similar thug. We were too stupid to realize then, and certainly did not learn in time, that his primary function was keeping in check the Shiite plutocracy that runs Iran. (We have yet to think through the many problems The Moron George Busch created in the Middle East when he turned Iraq into a Shiite state.)

Saddam had reason to be pissed at Kuwait, which was stealing his oil by parallel drilling under the border into Iraqi fields. Because of an error, or because of some sinister motives still not uncovered, Saddam was suckered into invading Kuwait by the U.S. ambassador who told him that the U.S. had no interest in protecting Kuwait.

Whether the Kuwaitis or Iraqis controlled the oil there is of no moment to us. At the time, we were the world’s largest oil market, and the price of oil was determined by the market. The Saudis had attempted to control the market a few years earlier (remember the oil embargo?). The U.S.responded by making itself more efficient and finding alternative sources. The Saudis backed down. Saddam could not have done us any damage by controlling the oil, most of which was his to start with.

In short, we had no good reason to launch Desert Storm except to make George H.W. Busch look good. He performed one of the most amazing feats in political history when he went from a 90 percent approval rating for his war record to losing the election in less than a year. The other consequence was, of course, that Iraq was on the target list of Dick Chaney, who regretted missing his opportunity at nation building the first time around (Chainy was Busch Sr.’s SecDef), and The Moron Busch Jr., who always wanted to best daddy.

This is a 20th anniversary we don’t really want to celebrate.

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