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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8175/blast-from-the-iraq-war-past/

Blast from the Iraq War Past

June 5, 2008 by

One of the things I just love about David Veksler’s great new tagging tricks is the way daily articles display old articles on the same topic, so it makes old pieces come to life, pieces I haven’t seen for years. So I was interested to run into this nice piece from 1998 by John Basil Utley. So it seems that some people did anticipate everything:

More starvation and disease or bombers and cruise missiles–these are the only actual choices Washington offers Iraq. No wonder Saddam will risk being bombed to end the economic blockade…. Also Washington demands “proving a negative,” that Iraq has nothing hidden and will not in the future rebuild its weapons of mass destruction. At other times it says the blockade must remain until the starvation ridden Iraqis succeed in overthrowing their dictator.

Yet Iraq has only refused the continuation of inspections until the lifting of the blockade, one of the most severe in modern history, according to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The blockade prohibits almost all imports except food and medicine and then leaves Iraq with barely half the proceeds of its limited oil export revenue, and the money is allocated by a United Nations’ bureaucracy (slowly while the people starve)….

Washington keeps moving the goal posts demanding an interminable blockade for the nation where already in the last 8 years 1,200,000 have died from starvation and disease. This after the American bombing of the sanitation, electric, and economic infrastructure of the nation in l990. Even now Washington prevents Iraq from obtaining repair parts for its oil production so it can sell some oil for food imports and to repair its irrigation and sanitation systems….

Bombing will generate more hatred for America in the Moslem world and badly weaken our moral authority in the world as we are seen mainly as hypocrites. Also it will cause other nations’ terrorists to claim justification for killing American civilians anywhere and cause them to try to develop biological and chemical weapons as the only way to be able to fight back against us, possibly by bringing the battle to the American homeland.

One of the first casualties will be our own freedoms, as the government chases threats of terrorism here. Already the FBI was just legislated “emergency” warrantless wiretap authority to cover whole regions. Two years ago the Clinton Crime Bill (supported by the Republican leadership) proposed gutting the 4th Amendment which prohibits warrantless searches of private homes.

Iraq never harmed America and is no threat to America. As far as the defense of Israel, that nation has atom bombs and the most modern weapons in the Middle East. It has often proven that it can well defend itself.

Yet it is above all a moral question for Americans. Never before have we put such a blockade to leave millions of innocent people in starvation and misery for years on end. Publicly Washington calls on the Iraqi people to overthrow their dictator, Saddam Hussein, as the price of relieving sanctions. But they obviously can’t.

Yet America’s Secretary of State explained that “yes, we think the price is worth it” when asked on CBS 60 Minutes program (5/11/96) if maintaining the blockade was worth the death of half a million children.

It is high time to question the cost of what we are doing to the Iraqi people….


Ron June 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Wow…interesting. As much as I love to blame King George for gutting the Constitution, it’s not surprising that we were headed that direction already. The WTC attacks were just the impetus needed for the gov’t to publicly follow through with what was obviously their plan all along.

Matt June 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Quite the sobering look at our Iraq policy from years past.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, if we substitute “Iran” and “Ahmadinejad” for “Iraq” and “Hussein” we have–almost verbatim–today’s (ridiculous) argument for preemptive strikes on Iran. Indeed, history repeats itself.

Kyle June 6, 2008 at 2:03 am


We moved to the United Arab Emirates last year and during the course of our tenure, we have been checking out local and regional blogs to see what people have to say about Americans in general and our presence in Iraq.

I’ll tell you, it’s not at all good. Even the UAE being pro-US on the surface, I still find their attitude pretty hokey – more so, a relationship of convenience, might I add! The image of America and Bush in general and the way it’s mocked is just incredible. It never occurred to me before moving that people had so much beef against Americans – how naïve of me! Add to that, the whole city of Dubai being shutdown when Bush visited the UAE last January, it opened floodgates of mockery, criticism and hatred against Bush and Americans in general.

All of this is just local.

The amount of hatred regional blogs are spewing against Americans and especially our involvement in Iraq and the impending Iranian gangbang has got me inclined that it’s only going to get worse.

This blog and its fallouts are just one example. I wish I had more time to scout for more examples.

In the words of RFK, ‘there has been so much hate’!

Will it go away? I hope it does for the sake of our future generation!

Ron June 6, 2008 at 9:13 am


They just hate our freedom, right? I mean, it’s not like we’ve done anything to them. They brought it on themselves, by trying to destroy our way of life…because they hate us because we’re free…and because we have stuff they don’t.

Kidding, of course, but you wouldn’t believe how often I hear that argument…or maybe you would.

Keith June 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm

1998? I thought it was all W’s fault.

Kyle June 6, 2008 at 11:53 pm


Most of the time, I hear they want to be better than us but how can they when they don’t have the basic commodity: freedom to do so! Here comes to mind the term Justice Felix Frankfurter coined; ‘the ability to speak one’s mind, criticize, and speak foolishly’.

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