Friday, May 12, 2017

It's Okay to Admit It Now

In the age of Trump, there is no need for pretense of civility.
“We didn't go to Iraq to bring democracy to Iraq,” Condoleezza Rice told a meeting at the Brookings Institution on Thursday, stressing that the aim was simply to eliminate a security challenge.

“We went to Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, who we thought was reconstituting weapons of mass destruction, and who we knew had been a threat in the region. It was a security problem.”

Bringing democracy to Afghanistan by removing the radical Taliban wasn’t a US goal either.

“We overthrew them [Taliban] because they were harboring Al-Qaeda in a safe haven after 9/11,” Rice said.


In his recently-published book, ‘Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein’, former CIA officer John Nixon, who interrogated Hussein in 2003, argued that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) could not have arisen under his rule. “It is improbable that a group like ISIS would have been able to enjoy the kind of success under his [Hussein’s] repressive regime that they have had under the Shia-led Baghdad government,” Nixon said.

He noted that “Saddam felt that Islamist extremist groups in Iraq posed the biggest threat to his rule” and did his best to eradicate any such threats.

“In hindsight, the thought of having an ageing and disengaged Saddam in power seems almost comforting in comparison with the wasted effort of our brave men and women in uniform and the rise of Islamic State, not to mention the £2.5 trillion [US$3.2 trillion] spent to build a new Iraq,”Nixon wrote.

The recently-published Chilcot report, by eminent Britons on their country’s involvement in the 2003 Iraq War, supported Nixon’s assumption on IS.


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