First Saddam Hussein, the CIA in 1963 helped put Saddam in power in IRAQ, just as we were supporting the shah of Iran. After the Iranian revolution the US under Reagan moved to re establish diplomatic ties with Iraq, they had broken off ties with the U.S. during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and in February 1982 the State Department removed Iraq from its list of states supporting international terrorism.
When Saddam invaded Kuwait leading to what we now call the First Gulf War the USA ended its policy of accommodating Saddam Hussein, which had existed since the Iran-Iraq war. General Schwarzkopf lead the coalition forces that swept accross Iraq, in a hundred hours it was all over except the mopping up. George Bush senior, most likely to avoid antagonizing the Arab contingent, ordered Schwarzkopf to stop chasing Saddam's forces. Some speculate that this was a major reason for his subsequent retirement. This decision by George senior, left Saddam in power with large amounts of military hardware to harrass the coalition and brutally suppress his own people. So in a way George junior may have felt the need to remove this black mark from his family's name. George senior was a one term wonder, he rode in on the coat tails of the wildly popular Reagan, and even his "success" in the Gulf couldn't keep him in office. He left Clinton to manage the mess that was Iraq, which he did for 8 years.
9/11, it was a terrible day for this country. Many good people lost their lives. Perhaps we were just too trusting, terrorists had tried to bomb the World Trade Center several years earlier, to no lasting effect. Perhaps though it was the fact that Bush junior had taken his eyes off the security of this country. Pre 9/11 anti terrorism under funded, war on drugs over funded, etc. Worse still, Bush junior turned 9/11 into the United States own Reichstag fire. You remember the Reichstag fire of 1933 don't you? A tragedy in Germany lead to Hitler's rise to power coupled with the suspension of many of their civil liberties.
Post 9/11 we have the Patriot act, a law enforcement wish list that someone just "happened" to have handy. We have the rhetoric from the administration that anyone who questions the President is unpatriotic, and is giving comfort to the enemy. Giving comfort to the enemy is supporting terrorism. Supporting terrorism is no different than being a terrorist yourself. Terrorists are a threat to our way of life and therefore deserve none of the protections of the rule of law. They aren't criminals, because then we would have to give them their day in court, they aren't POW's because then the would be protected by the Geneva convention, and the myriad of other treaty's we had signed, they are "enemy-combatants". "Enemy combatants" are incarcerated, questioned, tortured at the whim of the executive branch. They never need to be charged with anything, they don't have to actually be guilty of anything, and we can keep them, or have them killed on good ol'George Bush's say so. Yep, looks like he's doing a whole heck of a lot of good for the country.
We traced 9/11 to Osama Bin Ladin, crackpot/visionary? who knows, but definitely a terrorist. A Saudi Arabian terrorist, backed by the same Saudi royal family that is on such good terms with the Bushes. We mobilize, hundreds volunteer, and off we go to Afghanistan to hunt the "little bastard" down. Who knows, we might have actually succeeded, except that your man George started diverting people and equipment to prepare for his invasion of Iraq. Even the 9/11 commission found no evidence that Saddam was directly supportive of Osama. Sure he was probably routing for him, as was most of the Arab world, but he wasn't actively supporting him. With the millions of Saudi money behind him, and US supplied military training and hardware (we trained many of the people that would eventually become Al Qaeda for use against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan), he didn't need Saddam.
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) yep, a whole lot of nothing. For more than eight years Saddam supposedly had these WMD. He could have probably gone on for another eight without being a credible threat to the United States. He was a threat to Kuwait, to Saudi Arabia, to Israel, to his own people, but the United States? Bush's handling of Saddam reminds me of Waco. In both cases the authorities got tired of waiting, rushed in and caused the needless loss of life. In both cases neither was a serious threat to us. In both cases it came down to posturing, trying to show people that "we" shouldn't be messed with. After we have invaded Iraq, defeated Saddam, just where are these deadly WMD? Buried in the Gulf, secreted off to Syria? France and Germany were lining their pockets, flouting the UN resolutions, so? Countries, including the US have done so before, and will do so again. Where's the reason to send so many of our troops to Iraq?
Let's see, Al Qaeda and 9/11? Nope, no ties there. WMD, nope must have been mistaken. To force Saddam to comply with the UN and stop murdering his own people? Well if that was the case what are we still doing there? The US could have done a repeat of the the first Gulf War. shown up, kicked Saddam's backside from Baghdad to Geneva (and actually finish the job this time) and left with a stern warning that if anyone else in the region has any ideas about trying something similar, "We'd be back." Instead we are retaining troops beyond their enlistment, prohibiting people from retiring, and mobilizing the ready reserve. Why? Because Bush needs more troops to occupy Iraq. The US used to be the one country that would never start a fight, but would always be there to finish one. No matter how badly the rest of the world thought of us, there was always that. Now, Bush's policies make Stalin, Castro, and even Saddam look good by comparison. Secret detentions, torture, forced occupation, etc. etc. etc.
Seems rather telling that in the anarchy that was the fall of Iraq, the only ministry with US armed forces protection was the Oil Ministry. I'm not sure why George junior decided to invade Iraq, and occupy it. Perhaps it was to control its vast oil reserves, perhaps it was all the money that he could funnel to himself and his big business buddies, perhaps it was simply to "get back at Saddam" for the humiliation he placed upon the Bush family name in the first Gulf War. Whatever the reason it was wrong. It was wrong to go there, and it's even more wrong to stay there. Actually I was unsure when the war started, but with every day that passes I become more sure that the public was hood-winked.
George Bush junior is probably the worse thing that could have happened to the United States in 200 years. Destroyer of liberty, sower of fear uncertainty and doubt on a scale that should make Bill Gates envious. He's a greedy, power hungry megalomaniac with if not delusions of godhood, then a really over developed messianic complex.
Oh, I haven't watched Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Perhaps if it ever comes to a theater in my neck of the woods I might stop in just to see what all the hubbub is about. You think he's the best thing since sliced bread, I think he's closer to the botulism that you get from eating food from spoiled meat in dented cans. Luckily, in the United States we are still entitled to our respective opinions.
Just my $0.02 (Canadian, before taxes) someone247356 _at_ yahoo.com