BigBallinStalin wrote:Although profits to particular businesses is involved, it's also about geopolitics. If you can flip an anti-USA government into a pro-US government (similar to Saudi Arabia's loyalty), then this also factors into their 'calculus'.
I don't believe any strategic/geopolitical benefits were gained by the U.S. Sure, Saddam was pretty anti-U.S. in his rhetoric, but actually he was relatively harmless to American interests. Iraq was a useful counter-weight to Iran, which was often more dangerous to American interests. Saddam was also a secular counter-weight to religious and Jihadist forces. Even his anti-Americanism was mostly leftover Cold War mash. He hadn't realized yet that post-Afganistan and post-perestroika Russia was more interested in courting Iran than Iraq. I think quite likely with some good will and a few bribes the Americans could have "flipped" Saddam without blowing up his country.
All the negatives of the Iraq war beg for some massive positive to balance the books, but where is it?
We come full circle to my original point: I don't think the Bushes seriously care about the geopolitical consequences. I think it was all about serving their dynastic fortune. One could be a lot less contemptuous of them if they feathered their bed while
doing their job and strengthening the national defense. They went one step further and feathered their bed without any benefit to American security.
Perhaps you're right, but the guys who make these decisions hardly tell us the truth. So, it's difficult to say.
(1) Oil was a main concern. Switching out the government removes the sanctions, thus expanding supply to generally favored markets. Economic interests are tied with US national security interests often enough.
(2) Terrorism was another concern. They had some "Al-Qaeda" group popping up in Iraq ("therefore, INVADE!" which was insane).
(3) I'm not sure Saddam could have been bought--especially given our history of bombing his country and ruining it.
(4) re: the stability factor, yeah, Saddam helped keep the 'peace', but when you mention this things, they simply heavily discount them. They say, "yeah, but that service wasn't that valuable," or "benefits #1 and #2 + others are worth more." (of course, they have no prices to compare these decisions, so there's that knowledge problem for ya).
(5) How exactly was the "Bush dynasty" profiting from that war? And what were their profits compared to others?