:: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 ::
A good post over at JustOneMinute entitled Reality Comes To The Times with a great response in the comment section from Will Allen:
The sanctions regime was going to collapse, because too many actors, some on the U.N. Security Council, wanted the sanctions regime to collapse. Hussein was not going to be contained well into the future. It really came down to whether one wanted the Tikrit Mafia to run Iraq for the next several decades, with all that meant to the rest of the region, which means likely locking in place the system of despotism which has held sway for 70 years. It was that system of despotism which led to 9/11.
This was always a risky venture, in the superficial sense. In the deeper sense, given the rotten nature of the status quo, it wans't all that risky. I would most fault the Bush Administration for failing to explain this well in public, and I think this error stems from a fear of seeming to cold-blooded in explaining the strategic situation.
The most important mineral resource in the world is located in the Persian Gulf, vital to the well-being of nearly every human on earth. Thus, the U.S., as the world's most powerful nation, is inevitably forced to be involved with the extraction of that resource, and as much as other nations may decry U.S. power, they desperately want the U.S. to be involved in that extraction. If the U.S. Navy didn't exist, Japan, Europe, India, China, and other nations would have to invent it.
The model for extraction which has been employed for the past 70 years or so, slavery by proxy, in which we pay tribute to, and protect, despots in return for access to oil, while they tyrannnize the populations which sit atop of the oil, is what led to 9/11. The model, if left intact, will eventually lead to an older model of resource extraction, after the Jihadis become more tactically and technologically proficient, and are thus able to replicate 9/11 on a on a larger scale.
That older model, which goes back to pre-historic man, is simple mass annhilation of groups which impede extraction of the desired resource. The rest of the world desperately desires the oil in the Persian Gulf every bit as much as Americans do, and, when push comes to shove, they aren't going to be willing to let it stay in the ground, nor are they goung to be willing to have jihadis engage in mass attacks around the globe. The oil is coming out, and the only open question is how many people get slaughtered in the process. If the populations of the Persian Gulf do not achieve self-government, including governing their mineral wealth, and then trade peacably and profitably with the rest of the world, a conflict every bit as bloody, if not bloodier, than WWII looms, except this conflict will be decidedly one sided.
If we leave Iraq without it's population having achieved self-government (and it was always an iffy thing), we'll be back in the region in force within 20 years, perhaps on the sooner end of that scale. When that happens, however, nation-building is not even going to be on the to-do list, at least not until after the region has been turned into a gigantic abattior.
:: Mark 1:20 PM [+] ::