stockingfull wrote:Mike, Mike, how can you be so naive? We had Saddam pinned down with the no-fly zone. He couldn't do a thing.
But maybe that wasn't enough... http://hnn.us/article/1000
Pinned down wasn't good enough. We wanted his butt, his palaces, his booty, and to leave an indelible impression on the region. We wanted to be certain he didn't have the WMD, which all NIE pegged him with under two administrations. Only simple schoolboys think that it was retaliation for an assassination attempt on GHWB.
We needed most of all a forward operating base from which to secure the region. Iraq was conveniently located in the center of it all and with Saudi, Kuwait and the UAE not wanting to to appear sympathetic to the West the second time around (to appease the wahabists who were very popular in Saudi and elsewhere after 9-11), they couldn't count on Rihyad. They were lucky to get the help of Qatar and Bahrain. For awhile they were considering using Djibouti as a base.
The US administration had a anti-terrorist mindset that was genuinely concerned about Western interests. Madmen like AQ, Saddam or <insert wacko name here> couldn't be allowed to disrupt oil supplies to the world. Period. As you saw two years ago, minor disruptions in the oil supply cause major problems. Two years ago the terrorists were Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.
Golly, you and Erik must have just fallen off the turnip truck.