Wait for France, U.N. or Sanctions
Some have said we should have waited for France or the U.N. to change their minds. Of course the more support we had the better. But we had more countries in this coalition than in the first gulf war (though most contributed less). But we need to keep some perspective.
Take Frances contributions; in the huge U.N. supported Korean War, there were 54,246 Americans than gave their lives for the cause. France, who widely supported that action had 281 brave French die in support of the cause of freedom. Less in Bosnia, Afghanistan, South Asia, or the middle east. If they really supported this action, we could have expected a token unit or two, and we would have spent more resources coordinating with them, and trying to assuage their delicate egos than they would have ever contributed. Historically, their perception of their own value has far exceeded their actual contributions. That’s the same with most of our U.N. allies.
Some of our supposed allies got mad at us, so what? That doesn’t make them right.
France is an ally, but an untrustworthy won. And they've generally been on the wrong side of most issues.
200 years of diplomatic alliances like France? Please go to the Library and study the backstabbing they’ve done over the years:
- In the Revolutionary war the French forbade us from negotiating with the British directly; something we ignored because they were working against our interest in Newfoundland and western territories.
- In 1797 we sent an envoy to deal with the French, and they demanded a bribe of John Adams, who exposed the scam, and it started the two year Quasi-War.
- The French under Napoleon had visions of taking over the Mississippi corridor, but thankfully his plans failed.
- During this early time of our nation, the French repeatedly violated our maritime rights.
- When the U.S. asked France for reparations for property damaged during the Napoleonic wars, they severed diplomatic relations.
- France favored the Confederacy in the Civil war.
- After helping France with WWI, we had clashes with them and they made pains of themselves.
- After freeing France in WWII, and rebuilding them with the Marshal Plan, they disregarded our requests, and reestablished their foreign colonies in Vietnam and North Africa; which led to later wars.
- The French were difficult during the entire cold war, nuclear proliferation, weapons sales, NATO and the U.N., the reunification of Germany and so on.
- The French were opposed to Reagan and our build-up that eventually contributed to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
- General Patton said he'd rather have the German army in front of him, then the French army behind him!
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
There were two views in the battle of Iraq in the U.N.; the U.S.’s view or Frances. Support our own interests (and the worlds), or support theirs supporting a terrorist state, against or own interests and freedom. Unfortunately many sided with France, ignoring what that meant or because of it.
Later, we found out the motivation for France's not wanting to go to war: they had lucrative and illegal Oil-for-Weapons contracts, and contracts with Saddam for future oil. They were perfectly willing to overlook a murderous tyrant as long as he bought/sold to them. There was no moral high ground choosing their side
Look at all the wars or “police actions” of the U.N., the U.S. does the heavy lifting for the rest of the world. Not because others couldn’t contribute more, but because the choose not to.
Even if they supported this action completely and whole heartedly, they might have contributed 10-20% more troops than we had. We already won this war quicker, and with fewer loss of lives than any war of this scale in history. Their egos are just bruised because we proved they need us a lot more than we need them. But we’d danced around their fragile egos in the middle east for 50 years, our people were dying and we looked out for our national interests, as any one of them would have done in the same situation.
The U.N. could have helped more with the peace afterwards, or not worked against us. But instead they were being petty and punishing the Iraqi people because they were mad at us and preferred Saddam’s graft (oil) to Iraqi freedom.
I’m not surprised that after a decade of jumping through hoops and waiting, that the U.S. got tired of watching millions of lives wasted while France, Germany and Russia got richer off the backs of the Iraqi’s. But I do get tired of the others blaming us for it.
Let’s remember the U.N. and what they’ve done:
- They put Khadaffi and Castro on the committee for human rights
- How many more Kosovars would be dead if we waited for the U.N. to do the right thing?
- How many Rwandans died waiting for the U.N. to come to their rescue?
- How many Cambodians died waiting for the U.N. to come to their rescue? Would WWII ever been "sanctioned" by the U.N. when one or more of the combatants had veto rights? How long should we have ignored the holocaust?
How far should we really trust them to step up to the plate with a history like they have? They are proving time and time again that they are a corrupt and ineffective agency.
The French were going to block us in the U.N. from ever doing anything, and they said as much. If we’d gone along with the U.N., Saddam would have continued his lifetime average of killing about 100K people per year. Far more people in Iraq would be dead by now. Sanctions would have been lifted, and Saddam would be closer to the bomb, and millions of people would still be oppressed. But the U.N. would be happy, and that’s what matters.
Sanctions were working
If you think sanctions were working, you have a different view of what success looks like than I do. Sanctions have never succeeded at doing anything but hurting the innocent civilians. They didn't work in Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, and they certainly weren't working against Iraq.
- Over 229 children were dieing every day in Iraq.
- In one month, 1,594 young children died of pneumonia, and 2,364 more died of malnutrition.
- In the five years prior to the U.S. going in, 400,000 children under the age of 5 had died of preventative malnutrition and preventative disease. Many more if you include older children or adults. This was for over a decade.
- The U.N. had been trying to change things in Iraq for 25 years. How much equivocating is enough?
- The oil-for-food program was not allowed to get food to the people, and its resources were being diverted to the military.
- Saddam was killing and starving the people because their deaths made an excuse to get more oil and money in exchange for more weapons and still not help the people much. Their suffering was a cash-cow for him in the U.N., so he wouldn’t let it stop; and while the world knew it, they stood by.
- The U.N., France, Germany, Russia were all stained with corruption and were working to remove all sanctions from Iraq, so they could make more money off the exploitation and suffering of the Iraqi people.
- The U.N. and the countries making money off this corruption and wanted it to continue indefinitely, but we wanted progress.
Sanctions were NOT working. So we had a choice; ending the Iraq regime when we did and costing like 12,000 lives (the highest estimate I’ve seen). Or letting an average of 100,000 lives a year be lost indefinitely, letting the French, Russians and Germans pull the remaining sanctions, and letting Saddam restart his WMD programs. Because“our allies” were going to remove all sanctions, and their promises to block any more progress, we had no other choice but to act, and act then. To make an informed decision you must look at both alternatives.