Flutterby™! : War outcomes

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

War outcomes

2003-03-11 17:42:02.264344+00 by Dan Lyke 20 comments

It occurs to me that among those pro and con for the war on Iraq, many of us have specific fears. So here's your chance for an "I told you so" in a few years. Make some predictions about what you think a U.S. invasion and presumed military victory will result in for:

  • The Kurds.
  • The liberalization movement in Iran.
  • Jordan's position as sometime peacemaker in that region, especially with respect to attitudes of Jordan around the Iraq invasion of Kuwait..
  • The government of Saudi Arabia.
  • The new government of Iraq, possibly in several parts.
  • Evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and revelations about who really used gas in Halabja.
  • Israel's moral credibilility (and if I hear one more "the ragheads are your enemy too" ad from the American Jewish whatever I'm gonna scream).
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The price of oil, Halliburton stock, and whatever other economic cynicism you want to play with.

I'll try to participate later, and as always feel free to link to predictions on your own web sites in the comments.

[ related topics: Religion Politics Ethics History moron War ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-03-11 17:50:19.198782+00 by: Jeffery [edit history]

I will digress (only slightly) and predict that the intention of going to war with Iraq will expose the Neo-Conservative movement in much greater detail:

New American Century http://www.newamericancentury.org

New American Century (opinion) http://www.sierratimes.com/gaddy.htm

New American Century (opinion) http://truthout.org/docs_03/022803A.shtml

Neo-conservative Movement (ABC News) http://abcnews.go.com/sections...tline/DailyNews/pnac_030310.html

Others have mentioned rather abstractly to me that they think the war is being promulgated by European powers who wish to see the US decline (relative to Europe) as a result of negative outcomes from such a war. The European representation of the G8, IMF and World Bank come to mind as possible subtle purveyors of such a war, aiming to reduce the United States as a world economic power, while strengthening the European Union as a result. This seems somewhat paradoxical, since France could lose $40B in existing contracts with Iraq.

Other components which immediately come to mind:

  1. The Israeli lobby in Washington is larger than we think (look at Bush's appointees to cabinet and other posts).
  2. We live in an oil-dependent economy, and it's getting worse? (Porsche now makes a SUV, and expects to sell 50,000 units/year).
  3. Saddam tried to assasinate George W's dad in 1993. Is this a family affair?
  4. Iraq's biological weapons programs are an unknown and dangerous "wild card." (My own personal fear).
  5. Iraq's potential loose ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Show me the money, baby ...
  6. The Neo-Conservative movement, cited above. Just how powerful is THIS lobby in combination with the Israeli lobby?

Footnote: Another US Diplomat Resigns http://story.news.yahoo.com/ne.../pl_nm/iraq_usa_resignation_dc_1

-- Jeff

#Comment made: 2003-03-11 22:36:32.636026+00 by: Larry Burton

Okay you can find my predictions here. The thing I hate about making predictions is that you can look real stupid after all the smoke clears.

#Comment made: 2003-03-11 23:22:18.499217+00 by: Dan Lyke

Okay, in order:

I think we'll sell the Kurds out to Turkey. At some point Turkey will allow U.S. troops in, send its troops into Iraq as part of a multilateral force, and not withdraw. The alternative, having a country based on an ethnicity which has large numbers of "its people" in a NATO member, wouldn't be politic. The only way this won't happen is if U.S. forces are never allowed to come in from that direction.

On Iran's liberalization. If we change the whole culture of Iraq to an enlightened democracy, then Iran is toast. If we don't, and we leave it as something like what Afghanistan might be shaping up to be, then Iraq will be seen as a threat to Iran, the conservatives will be able to hide behind that, and we'll see repression in Iran.

Jordan will become a non-player diplomatically.

The threat to liberalization of Saudi Arabia will be the opposite factor of that of Iran. The Saudis feel like they'll always have the backup of the U.S. forces, so military action isn't a threat, but the liberalization of the culture would destroy the government in Saudi Arabia and might give its citizens some of the wealth they deserve. So I believe this will counter Iran.

The new government of Iraq will be set up from exiles who've been living in Europe. It will quickly come out that Iraq is too fractured a nation to see people who haven't been there as national leaders, local leaders will rise in prominence, and one of them will take power. In 15-20 years we'll be back to worrying about the dictator of Iraq.

There will continue to be things discovered that could be interpreted as precursors to weapons of mass destruction. No actual such weapons will be found. Remember that these are the folks lobbing empty missiles at Israel just for the uncertainty factor.

More as I think of it.

#Comment made: 2003-03-12 02:31:54.959485+00 by: ziffle

Actually your list seems rather lame. What difference do all those things make?

The final result will be a Pax Americana and peace in the world. Domination will not be by guns but by Air Conditioning, makeup, wall to wall carpeting, and the like. We can only hope that after Iraq they continue and root out Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and only in my dreams, France (just kidding about the last one).

The world is a small place - WMD are available. If we need to take action to protect our citizens (and we do) then it should (and is thankfully) be done.

We are so lucky to have Rumsfeld and Cheney at a time like this. I have issues with Bushes domestic policies, but not his foreign policy.


#Comment made: 2003-03-12 10:00:07.414133+00 by: dexev

The Kurds have been effectively independent for a long while now and will be reluctant to give up that independence. Turkey already has trouble with it's existing Kurdish population -- trying to conquer northern Iraq will be difficult without outside assistance.

I don't know that Turkey has much choice but to try, though. At the very least, the US is likely to turn a blind eye to the north -- I don't think they'd mind if 'Kurdistan' became part of Turkey eventually. There's also the question of what the Shia majority will do. I've been looking toward Yugoslavia for a (disturbing) idea to what might happen internally in post-war Iraq.

The Israel-Palestine situation will continue to escalate. Even without Iraq, that area is a powder keg. An Iraqi war, and related ripple effect, can only make things worse. Our blind support of Israel isn't doing anyone any favors -- Israel has no moral credibility.

Having a genuinely US-friendly Iraq (look at the support we get from recently-liberated Eastern Europe) could drastically change the strategic situation. The US and Saudi gov'ts tolerate each other out of necessity -- the Saudi people are less fond of us. If we should stop needing the Saudis (for their oil or their military bases), the relationship could quickly cool off, especially if the Saudi princes see a "free" Iraq as a threat to their power.

So much depends on how badly we bungle the immediate post-war period. I don't think anyone seriously questions whether we'll win, only how quickly and at what cost. Given the diplomatic bungling this administration has been doing lately, though, I worry.

#Comment made: 2003-03-12 14:31:14.606277+00 by: Jeffery [edit history]

The biggest long-term fear that I have about Iraq is that it could become another North Korea in terms of exporting weapons of all kinds to third-world countries and, worse yet--exporting that military technology to Islamic terrorists hell-bent on destroying US interests all around the globe. The same could potentially be said for Pakistan, should the military dictatorship fail in that country and an anti-western Islamic government assume control. Iran is another question entirely.

When the Soviet Union split apart in the late 80's, dozens (and perhaps hundreds) of top weapons research scientists left for Iraq in order to feed themselves. The USSR had the largest and most sophisticated biological weapons program in the world at that time. Some of those top people have worked in secret for Saddam for more than a decade now. Biological weapons of mass destruction concern me more than anything else.

Sure, cities such as NYC, Boston, San Francisco, LA, New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle, etc. could all be largely destoyed by nuclear weapons detonated in the holds of moored cargo ships. But the epidemiology of certain biological weapons suggests that a large portion of the ENTIRE US could be infected in a matter of days, with potentially even GREATER economic impact than the detonation of discrete nuclear weapons in selected cities. That is what concerns me!

What if ... (5) terrorists at five of the largest US airports spread a newly developed biological weapon to crowded walkways and key dispersion points. Think of the epidemiology of this ... Pretty sobering indeed.

#Comment made: 2003-03-12 15:07:54.286492+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ziffle, the reason for that list is that when I break down the effects of an invasion to that level I think that an invasion of Iraq postpones that era rather than hastens it.

#Comment made: 2003-03-12 18:23:13.242354+00 by: ebradway

Republican foreign policy has always been aggressive. The USSR was preparing to dissolve in the late 70's. Their invasion of Afganistan was a last gasp of a dying nation. Carter attempted to maintain peaceful talks, signing the SALT II treaty even after the invasion, but Reagan's reaction, ending detente and increasing the military buildup only gave focus to the Communist Party through the 80's - causing the Soviet people to suffer for another decade. Breznev actually had farther reaching plans for restructuring the USSR than Gorbachev. It was the aggressive foreign policy of the Republicans that delayed Russia's entry into the world market. Bush is making the same mistake with Iraq by trying to force the issue. Now, not only is he delaying the inevitible fall of Saddam Hussein, but he is destroying our economic relationships with the rest of the world and likely setting back the openning of the EU market by a decade. At the same time, he's becoming more and more indebted to the likes of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Ten years from now we'll be fighting them as they the weapons we are giving them now against us - just as Iraq is using the weapons we gave them to fight Iran 20 years ago.

The US needs to focus more on domestic policy. Our economy is in ruins. Our educational system is failing. We are losing civil freedoms left and right to the 'Department of Homeland Security'. Our real enemy over the next 20 years will be China - and it won't be a military battle - it will be entirely economic. We need to be prepared to take on China's economy or just get used to the idea that the US will loose it's hegemony. Attacking Iraq is only going to cost us in the long run - as we foresake the education of the next generation of Americans for some stupid vendetta in the Middle East.

As far as the terrorist with bio weapns go - that can happen anytime and doesn't really require a rogue nation to do it. The irony of this war on terrorism is that there is no way to fight an enemy that can't be identified. Your paranoia rapidly makes EVERYONE seem like an enemy!

#Comment made: 2003-03-12 21:07:16.195929+00 by: Jeffery

We definitely need to spend more time on domestic policy. While I wouldn't say that our economy is in ruins, it is teetering. Primary and secondary school public education sucks, and the general population is constantly "dumbed-down" by network programming. 87% of people aged 18-24 couldn't even find Iraq on the map, according to a sample study released yesterday. (I wonder how the sampling was done).

As far as world-class biological weapons go, one usually needs lots of money and lots of talent to create and weaponize really potent ones. And that most likely requires state sponsorship, or someone with deep pockets like Bin Laden to create a sustainable program of creation and delivery.

#Comment made: 2003-03-12 21:43:55.551118+00 by: TC

The Kurds: They will become one three (the Sunni Kurds in the north, the Sunni Iraqis in the center, and the Shiite Iraqis in the south) factions that will fight much like democrats and republicans(but with guns and shorter tempers).This is the reason the United states must stay occupy the region and not leave a power vacuum. It will be ugly because they all probabably will want their own states but that can happen(so many reasons it's an essay)

The liberalization movement in Iran: I think the greatest fear of the Arab neighbors is the westernization of Iraq. It's already a secular nation that has a fairly high education level for the region. Take a look at the current state of Kuwait and Qatar. With Afghanistan to the east and Iraq to west of them Iran might go through some changes.

Jordan's position as sometime peacemaker in that region, especially with respect to attitudes of Jordan around the Iraq invasion of Kuwait: I think these guys have the best chance to become the switzerland of the middle east.I'm saying I'm going to buy a condo there but these guys are pretty adaptive.. Ah yes... my infidel friend

The government of Saudi Arabia: I think they are going to flip on us. They see the writting on the wall and it's in english. They have been our "friends" as long as it's been in their interest but there has been decreasing need for each other and the dogma just don't mix.

gotta go. Need to slay a dragon errr pinhead manager but will post more later

#Comment made: 2003-03-15 04:40:24.262025+00 by: ebradway

The Kurds? So what would happen if we just left them completely alone? Maybe some atrocities. Maybe some slow flow of oil. But as long as we don't send anymore weapons over there, they aren't going to be much of a threat. Not nearly as much of a threat to us as Ashcroft is already.

And yes, Saudi is going to flip and we're going to be fighting OUR f-15s that we sold them. Do you know why Bush is so concerned about alleged chemical and bio weapons in Iraq? Because he KNOWS Iraq has them. How does he KNOW? Because his father GAVE THEM TO IRAQ in the 80s. The US really, really needs to stop following the rule that my enemy's enemies are my friends and only back governments that are ideologically compatible with democracy - and just stay out of the rest. Let the rest of the world sort it out for a while.

#Comment made: 2003-03-15 16:05:48.411269+00 by: Larry Burton

Eric, if we stop giving weapons to people that isn't going to stop the French, the Russians, the Chinese and the N.Koreans from giving them weapons.

Also, point me someplace where I can read about the weapons that we gave Iraq back in the 80s included chemical and bio weapons.

#Comment made: 2003-03-15 17:35:37.967883+00 by: Dan Lyke

From a Jeff Jacoby column originally for the Boston Globe:

All of this has long been a matter of public record. U.S. shipments of deadly biological agents to Iraq, for example, were detailed in a 1994 Senate Banking Committee report and a follow-up letter from the Centers for Disease Control in 1995. They showed that Iraq was allowed to purchase batch after batch of lethal pathogens -- anthrax, botulism, E. coli, West Nile fever, gas gangrene, dengue fever. At a time when Washington knew that Iraq was using chemical weapons to kill thousands of Iranian troops, the CDC was shipping germ cultures directly to the Iraqi unconventional weapons facility in al- Muthanna.

He doesn't, however, cite earlier verifiable sources.

I don't see anything that says that the U.S. actively sold mustard gas or tabun, or the precursors, to Iraq in that period. The U.S. did condone the use of those weapons, the U.S. State Department one-sheeter on Iraq's chemical attacks shows a couple before the well publicized December 19th and 20th 1983 and March 24th 1984 meetings between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein when the Reagan administration was battling Congress to sell helicopters to Iraq.

The web is a lousy place to do this research. Most of the stuff I find on the 'net is rehashed from rehashed editorials based on reports that... well... it's hard to tell who's telling the truth.

#Comment made: 2003-03-18 12:30:14.117612+00 by: Jeffery [edit history]

I heard on network TV this morning that the new ruling party which the United States will install post-Saddam will NOT honor French and Russian oil contracts. Any surprise why these two countries acted the way they did at the United Nations? Of course, I can't vouch for the validity of this report. What CAN we believe these days?

I also heard during the same news segment that United States Marine Corps awarded a French company an 8-year, $800M food contract to feed our marines. Go figure.

#Comment made: 2003-03-18 13:42:59.301091+00 by: Jeffery

Hmm ... if it hasn't been done previously, maybe it's time to start a separate thread discussing the efficacy and accuracy of data/information retrieved via the web versus traditional data sources (network TV, newspaper, library, etc.).

#Comment made: 2003-03-18 20:27:04.913294+00 by: Shawn

Wired has a piece on that topic.

#Comment made: 2003-03-26 17:12:43.078677+00 by: The Baronet

The end of crime is nigh the end of social degradation has past. The end of 'what can I get.'

Her voice sings deep within my soul, though troubled men get in the way.

A war that I did not want, is now on telly 24 hours a day. Stories of story makers incidentally caught in the savagery.

The will to survive.

And retreat to caves With minds painted upon the walls Neon lights, instead of fire An orgy of rhythm and drum beat. Flashes Lightening like thoughts The cavernous high.

The Party MUST go on. The Bush is now burning!

And we must rise as one, to force our ferocity upon our choices, our freedoms.

This does not include violence.

The power of our individualism is our weapon. Our actions are money. Our money fights wars.

Days have darkened I feel life and death.

The Bush is psychotic. The highest rate in any State, To pass judgement At such a spate, 'What life? I'm sorry folks.' Spouting such bible redemption, That crosses are burnt

And any who bare one.

I am sickened at the state of democracy. Whose seen two millions marchers for War? Whose heard of the vote that gets the least, wins ? Can anybody shoot?

So you see money wages war. Money. I say fuck the demand, The million or so barrels a day. Change the demand!

Ah, sweet music powered by sunlight, Oxygen supplied by trees, A horse to speed you to work. Whose manure is scavenged upon By clever machines, whisking it off to feed to the trees.

The Bush is burning.

Tuck yourself close, For I've just lit a fire. Come and listen to some tunes And regale tails.

We are a conscious species, So lets use our conscience . Our Armies have always been procured Let us use our contract of hire,


When you write something, it tends to become so...

23 March 2003. LS

#Comment made: 2003-03-26 17:43:54.481269+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ummm... Baronet. That hardly qualifies as a prediction. I think. I'm having trouble parsing it.

#Comment made: 2003-03-28 18:18:54.381088+00 by: TC

We could start a bad poetry thread. Perhaps enforce trochaic or iambic pentameter just to filter drivel worthy of a Vogon. Yes I am cranky this morning but somebody went out of their way to be anoying and stupid.... well actually I am sure they are naturally stupid but did apply effort to be annoying.

#Comment made: 2003-03-31 21:42:45.223774+00 by: Jeffery

More war data: