By Thomas J. Ragazzi

Continuing to be insufficiently explained to the American public, even after over

two years have passed, is the rationale for the Iraq War. Some say it was about oil,

citing the deals and profits that Haliburton received in Iraq, others such as

President Bush and his administration say it was the threat that weapons of mass

destruction could be developed by Iraq and given to terrorist groups that would

attack America, and others such as Governor Howard Dean say it was a threat only to

the region.

But many questioning Americans are unsatisfied with these explanations and require a

more thorough logic in order to be convinced that the removal of Saddam Hussein?s

regime was worth the money and American lives lost. They see that large quantities

of weapons of mass destruction have yet to be discovered. They have yet to see

concrete evidence proving that Iraq had ties to Al Qaida. They have not seen

concrete evidence that proves that Bush changed the regime in order to appease his

friends in the oil industry, notwithstanding that profits were and are being made.

Thus, discerning Americans must come to the conclusion that there must have been a

concrete reason why the Bush Administration would sacrifice money and lives for the

sake of regime change and that they would not do what they did based on only

insubstantial possibilities of links between Hussein and Al Qaida, or that the

Administration is incompetent. But incompetency seems illogical as it does not befit

the select group of educated elites who are in-the-know, have access to enormous

amounts of information, and have expertise in their separate fields, who run our

government. "So where is the concrete link?" asks the discerning American. "Where

are the sound premises that lead to the sound conclusion that war was the best


The Bush argument is that Hussein had ties to terrorism, he had or would eventually

have weapons of mass destruction, and thus he would give the weapons to terrorists

who would use them against America; this is why we must pre-empt this from happening

and change the regime through military means to one that does not support terrorism.

Let us examine his premises more carefully that Saddam Hussein had ties to terrorism

and therefore would give the terrorists WMDs to use against America. What about the

substantiality of the regime?s ties with terrorism? How much evidence do we have to

support the claim that there were ties with Al Qaida? There is evidence that an

Iraqi delegate met with Al Qaida in Sudan, that Al Qaida members were in Iraq, and

that Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, who leads the Al-Tawhid Wa Al-Jihad terrorist

organization that has worked with Al Qaida, was in Baghdad for medical treatment,

but some of these contacts are shadowy (White House Office of Communications).

Evidence also suggests that Zarqawi was involved in the alleged poison facility in

northern Iraq (Woodward 300).

There is likewise evidence that the ties were not strong nor collaborative. A

September 18, 2001 memo from the office of Richard Clarke, the former National

Counterterrorism Coordinator, stated the links between Iraq and Al Qaida were weak

and that Bin Laden greatly disapproved of Hussein?s secular regime. The memo said

that there was no confirmation that Iraq and Al Qaida collaborated on unconventional

weapons (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States 334). And

Clarke, in a 60 Minutes interview, stated that he felt pressured by Bush to come up

with a link between the September 11th attacks and Iraq, even though there was never

any ( About a month after 911, the State Department mapped out where Al

Qaida was operating as of the fall of 2001. Nations in Europe, North Africa, and the

Middle East, and even the United States, were marked as those countries where Al

Qaida was operating in, but Iraq was not ( Also, a group of 25

ex-CIA analysts accused the Bush Administration of putting pressure on the CIA to

manipulate the evidence making it seem like there was more of a connection between

Iraq and Al Qaida than there actually was (Associated Press, Ex-CIA Accuse Bush of

Manipulating Iraq Evidence). The claim that Hussein sought Uranium from Niger, which

was made in Bush?s State of the Union Address and was subsequently retracted, was

found to have been based on forged documents (Ross), notwithstanding that the

British government continues to stand by the claim (Associated Press, Reports

Bolster Bush Iraq-Uranium Claim). Therefore, the assertion of Baathist ties to Al

Qaida leaves many questions and doubts as to its extensiveness and concerning the

possibility that evidence may have been manipulated in order to win the support of

the American people for the Iraq War.

Now supposing the assertions are true, how closely tied were those two organizations

when there were only allegations and evidence of some meetings, some of which were

questionable? Bin Laden has long been a critic of the secular Iraqi regime. But

would Bin Laden make temporary amends with the Hussein government in order to battle

what Al Qaida believes to be the greater enemy, the U.S.? Perhaps. It is possible

that the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" holds true here. The

question of Hussein?s willingness to risk an American attack is another issue. So

what about the likelihood that Hussein would give Al Qaida biological, chemical,

and/or nuclear weapons to use against America and risk being attacked by a vastly

superior American military? That is another possibility. He has historically proven

to be an aggressive risk-taker as in 1980 he invaded Iran and thereby initiated the

Iran-Iraq war, in 1990 he invaded and annexed Kuwait causing the first Gulf War, and

he shot missiles at Israel during that same Gulf War. These were dangerously bold

moves by Hussein, but these three nations did not have a military that could defeat

the Iraqi Army relatively quickly as the American military could; that is, the

militaries of Iran, Israel, and Kuwait were not comparable with that of the U.S.

Perhaps if Iraq had nuclear capabilities that would deter America from attacking,

but if America had WMDs causing unimaginable havoc in its most populated cities, it

would definitely stomach a nuclear war to eliminate the Iraqi regime before the

nation suffered any more, and the Baathist government would know this before

distributing their weapons to Al Qaida. Thus, there would be a deterrence factor

involved. There is also the possibility that Iraq could have given Al Qaida WMDs,

and America would not be able to tell where they came from. America would not know

which nation to attack. This could result if Iraq was willing to take this great

risk and count on not being caught.

But what about Baathist ties to terrorist groups other than Al Qaida? Were there any

other links to different terrorist groups, concrete or circumstantial? This question

can be answered in the affirmative. In fact, there were concrete and collaborative

ties between the Baathist regime and Palestinian terrorist groups that have as their

object the destruction of Israel and the forced removal of its Jewish people. The

Arab Liberation Front received $35 million of Baathist money that has been given to

relatives of Palestinians who were killed or injured fighting Israeli forces.

$25,000 went to each of the families of suicide bombers, relatives of Palestinians

killed in skirmishes with Israeli troops received $10,000, and the militants who had

homes that were destroyed by Israel received $5,000. Evidence considered even more

collaborative is the claim by Israel?s Shin Bet security service stating that Iraq

gave financial and military aid to Palestinian terrorist groups. Shin Bet also

claimed that Palestinians received weapons and explosives training in Iraq,

including in a camp near Baghdad (Associated Press, Israel: Iraq Aids Palestinian

Terror, But No Links to Al Qaeda). Iraq has harbored, trained, and given logistical

and financial support to the Abu Nidal terrorist organization that has as its goal

the elimination of Israel. Iraq helped to form the Abu Nidal Organization and has

used it as "guns for hire." The organization has been thought to have been based in

Iraq (Council on Foreign Relations, Abu Nidal Organization). Iraq has also given

financial aid to the Palestine Liberation Front, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, which are

Palestinian terrorist groups that seek to eliminate Israel. Hussein was reported to

have given shelter to Abu Abbas, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Front

(Council on Foreign Relations, Iraq: Iraqi Ties to Terrorism). Saddam has also

publically promised to defend the Palestinian cause and was considered by many

Palestinians as a sincere supporter. Iraqi school textbooks were filled with

anti-Israel propaganda. To give a historical anecdote in order to show the alliance

between the Baathist regime and the Palestinians, many Palestinian workers in Kuwait

took Iraq?s side and aided the Iraqi Army during the first Gulf War between Iraq and

Kuwait; the Palestinian workers were subsequently forced out of Kuwait for aiding

the nation?s attackers. In 1992, Israel was planning an assassination attempt

against Saddam, but it was called off. And note that in 1981 Israel took out a

nuclear facility in Iraq, claiming it was being used to develop nuclear weaponry to

use against the Jewish State.

Thus, there were concrete as well as circumstantial collaborative links between

Hussein and Palestinian terrorism, and links between Hussein and the Palestinian

cause against Israel in general. Contrast these findings containing hard evidence

with the more questionable and less substantial evidence that Hussein had meetings

with Al Qaida, that Zarqawi received medical treatment in Iraq, and that Zarqawi was

involved in the alleged poison facility in northern Iraq, and one will find that the

claim containing the hard evidence holds a much greater weight.

But then why was the media not covering this issue and why was the American public

only hearing arguments from the Bush Administration and pundits from both the left

and the right emphasizing that Hussein was a threat to America due to a link or

potential link to Al Qaida? Well, actually, the media and pundits did cover this

issue. It just was not covered as much as the former argument, which was much more

sellable to the American people.

For example, during his address to AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying group, on June 20,

2001, Senator John McCain discussed the Iraq threat to Israel:

"We also need to better address the threat posed by Israel?s neighbors. I have

called for a policy of "rogue state rollback," a new Reagan Doctrine in which

American policy toward rogue regimes, including states implacably hostile to the

existence of Israel, is premised on supporting forces within and outside those

countries dedicated to the overthrow of ruling dictators and the liberation of their


We must re-energize sanctions against Iraq, but sanctions alone are not a solution.

This Administration must make Saddam Hussein?s overthrow a priority of American

foreign policy. The menace posed by Saddam?s weapons of mass destruction requires

nothing less than our most ambitious efforts to liberate Iraq from his tyranny...

Israel and the United States have worked together to successfully develop the Arrow

missile defense system, which offers protection against Iraqi Scuds. We are now

jointly developing an improved version of Arrow to protect Israel against the

missile threat from Iran. We should continue and expand this collaboration to defend

Israel against missiles fired by hostile neighbors" (McCain, Talking Points of

Senator John McCain-AIPAC Summer Seminar Series).

Notice that McCain?s speech was in June of 2001, a few months prior to 911. This

indicates that elements in government had a policy of regime change in Iraq before

Al-Qaida hit the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

On the MSNBC news program, Hardball with Chris Matthews, the host conducted an

interview with Senator McCain on December 2001, which again revealed the seriousness

of the stability of the region argument, i.e. the threat to Israel. The following is

an excerpt from the interview:

"?MCCAIN: My nightmare - I have several nightmares about Saddam Hussein, but one of

them is the that SCUD missile which he has...that?s in the view of most, aimed at

Israel. Aimed at Israel.

MATTHEWS: Why doesn?t Israel take them out? I?m using the popular parlance. Why

doesn?t Israel do the work that they have to do? Isn?t that their job if it?s a

strategic threat to them? They?re the most powerful nation in the Mideast.

MCCAIN: I don?t think that Israel fee-one [the transcript reads]. They?ve got their

hands full just as you said right now. But second, I don?t this we would ever

countenance. We criticized them when they took out his nuclear facility

back-back-many years ago.

MATTHEWS: Well, why don?t we give them the go-ahead. Get rid of Saddam. You know, if

you hate him, do it.

MCCAIN: Because I?m not sure we should ask the Israelis to do - to take care of a

threat to the United States of America.

MATTHEWS: But you just said it was a threat to Israel.

MCCAIN: Well to world peace, I think.

MATTHEWS: No you said it was a threat to Israel. Why should the United States deal

with a threat to Israel? Why don?t we let Israel - we?ve been giving them $3 billion

a year to defend themselves. Why don?t we say, ?Defend yourselves. You?ve got a

clear fight. Go take Saddam out??

MCCAIN: Because I think it?s our job. I think we?re the world?s leader and I...

MATTHEWS: Our job is to defend Israel?

MCCAIN: No, its our job to remove threats to the security of the United States.?"


This interview was very revealing in that it not only showed a senator espouse a

very unpopular rationale for changing the regime in Iraq, but that it also showed

McCain getting caught up in his own semantics and rhetoric.

Philip Zelikow, who was the executive director of the 911 Commission and between

2001 and 2003 was on the President?s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB)

that reports directly to the President, argued that the proposed Iraq War had as its

purpose the elimination of the threat to Israel. Zelikow?s statements were made in a

speech at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002:

"?Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I?ll tell you

what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 - it?s the threat

against Israel...And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the

Europeans don?t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the

American government doesn?t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is

not a popular sell...?"(Mekay).

Zelikow also stated that Iraq was trying to harness "?communications against

electromagnetic pulse...a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to ride

out a nuclear exchange - they (Iraqi officials) were not preparing to ride out a

nuclear exchange with us.?" Zelikow continued:

"?Those were preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis...Play

out those scenarios and I will tell you, people have thought about that, but they

are just not talking very much about it...Don?t look at the links between Iraq and

al Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, "gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the

Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in

Israel"? Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant.?" (Mekay).

Zelikow also stated the danger of Baathist weaponry being proliferated to Hamas,

that this was a great threat to Israel, and that this event would deter the U.S.

from retaliating against Hamas (Mekay).

In Bob Woodward?s book, Plan of Attack, on the workings of the Bush Administration

on the preparations for the Iraq War, the author gives much insight through the

interviews he had with top administration officials. Bush is quoted from a September

19, 2002 meeting with 11 House members: "?The war on terrorism is going okay; we are

hunting down al Qaeda one-by-one. The biggest threat, however, is Saddam Hussein and

his weapons of mass destruction. He can blow up Israel and that would trigger an

international conflict?" (186). At a September 26 meeting with House members, Bush

is quoted: "?Saddam Hussein is a terrible guy who is teaming up with al Qaeda. He

tortures his own people and hates Israel?" (188). In a November 15 meeting with

Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Bush tells the ambassador: "?The main

goal is not really the return of inspectors to Iraq, but to make sure that Iraq has

no weapons of mass destruction that could pose a threat to the kingdom and/or to

Israel?" (230). On February 27, 2003, Elie Wiesel, a writer and Holocaust survivor

who favored intervention in Iraq, met with the President. Bush told Wiesel: "?If we

don?t disarm Saddam Hussein, he will put a weapon of mass destruction on Israel and

they will do what they think they have to do, and we have to avoid that?" (320).

Thus, even President Bush himself has emphasized that Saddam was a threat to

America?s allies, specifically to Israel and thereby a dangerous factor in the

Arab-Israeli conflict in general. But this was such a small part of his overall

argument that many Americans never

thought too much about it.

Two Distinct Threats

Saddam Hussein posed two distinct threats to Israel: 1) A missile strike from Iraqi

Scuds, and 2) Hussein proliferating WMDs to the Palestinian terrorists that he had

collaborative concrete and circumstantial links to.

The Iraqi Scud threat was not that serious in 2003 prior to the invasion, and Iraq?s

military overall was not a substantial threat in regards to a direct attack. It was

the indirect consequence of a missile strike, i.e. the effect that it could

potentially have to draw the people from the Muslim world against Israel, that is,

the effect of polarizing the region even more than it is, especially if Israel were

to strike back at Iraq, that was a serious threat.

Iraqi Scuds and the overall military could pose a greater threat if Saddam?s regime

had time to rebuild its forces that were destroyed during the First Gulf War. Iraq

would be able to reconstitute its military more quickly if the sanctions were

lifted, and there was international pressure for them to be lifted prior to the war.

America observed that the odds were starting to favor Hussein and responded by

issuing a preemptive strike in order to change the regime.

But the more dire threat to Israel was Hussein?s WMDs that he either had or was

planning to develop. Biological, chemical, and/or nuclear weapons could have been

developed by the Baathists and then given to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad,

Hezbollah, or other anti-Israel Palestinian or Arab terrorist groups. Given the

existing evidence, Hussein was much more likely to give WMDs to these terrorist

groups than to Al Qaida. And Hussein did not need to have a thoroughly accomplished

army or extremely advanced military weapons technology to be a threat in this way;

that is, it would probably take less time to build a few WMDs than to build a

superior military. This was the truly great threat that Israel faced, and still

faces from Iran, Syria, and other hostile nations. Palestinians are bordering Israel

and have easier access to the land than did the Iraqi army. America determined that

it had to eliminate this great threat to its ally for fear that Palestinian

terrorists would destroy or severely paralyze Israel with Baathist-made weapons of

mass destruction.

Pro-Israel Influence in America and the American-Israeli Alliance

The next questions the reader may ask are: If we got into the Iraq War for the

protection of Israel, then is this all about pro-Israel interests? Is this evidence

of the pro-Israel lobby?s influence? And why do we have to protect Israel in the

first place?

The Jewish Virtual Library, a very comprehensive website containing a panoply of

relevant issues concerning the Jewish community, accounts for America?s general

support for Israel. It states that pro-Israel lobbyists rank 39th out of 80

organizations in soft money donations to candidates on the national level and to

national party committees. The amount of pro-Israel contributions total $41.3

million compared to $297 thousand from Arab and Muslim communities. The Jewish

Virtual Library gives the most credit to AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of

Major American Jewish Organizations on their skill in convincing the legislative and

executive branches respectively to support Israel?s cause, as the former is

considered to be one of the strongest lobbies concerning foreign affairs. The

pro-Israel lobby has also built alliances with other prominent lobbying groups


America?s posture to a certain extent is attributed to the stance of the Christian

Right. It is due to the belief in a literal interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

that they have come to

support the existence of and aid to Israel.

Historically, Israel has been America?s staunch ally in the Cold War against Soviet

aggression and has aided in destroying Marxist influence. It continues to be the

bastion of free-enterprise in the Middle East. Israel has helped to prevent the rise

of radical Arab states in areas where America gets its oil (Middle East Quarterly).

It has funneled some of its American aid to anti-Communist groups (Jewish Virtual

Library, Summary of 1967 Aid Package For Israel) and has even participated in

America?s Iran-Contra Affair (Jewish Virtual Library, The Iran-Contra Affair).

Israel has suffered for its Cold War alliance with America, as Egypt and Syria were

armed with Soviet weaponry during the Yom Kippur War. Israel could have remained

neutral in the war against Communism as India did, but it chose to side with

America. America has likewise suffered for its alliance with Israel, as this

alliance instills hatred and incites terrorism against America from the Muslim

world. But according to both nations, the benefits of the relationship exceed the

costs. If America abandoned Israel or did not aggressively protect it, America would

be breaking an agreement with a nation that sacrificed for American interests. And

notwithstanding the end of the Cold War, radical leftist movements still have

fertile ground in some parts of the world, therefore Israel has the opportunity to

continue to play its traditional role.

America?s pro-Israel partiality is readily apparent when one scans a list of U.S.

vetoes of U.N. resolutions that were critical of Israel. So why does America support

Israel? It is a combination of pro-Israel influence, benefits America receives from

a pro-American Israel, and perhaps most importantly, the dire position that Israel

is in in this age of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. This is America?s

strategic alliance.

Balancing Israeli Support with Muslim Oil

The maintenance of a pro-American Israel is not the only interest that America has

in the Middle East. The other interest is oil.

It is a given that America?s pro-Israel leaning has put strains on its relationships

with Arab and Muslim nations. This strain can be described as the Muslim people

criticizing and putting pressure on their respective governments to either distance

themselves from, sever ties with, and/or boycott America and refuse to sell it oil.

America has strong ties to the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan,

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and now Iraq. U.S. support for Israel undoubtedly

creates tension, but its pro-Israel support as it is now is not enough to cause a

severing of the ties to the aforesaid Arab and Muslim nations. This is America?s

strategic balance.

America?s policy is to continue its alliance with both Israel and with Arab and

Muslim governments, especially of oil producing nations. This entails supporting

existing Arab and Muslim regimes, something that has been criticized by many Muslims

in the region including the Al Qaida network. Aligning ourselves with Arab elites

and not necessarily with the Arab people is the minimum requirement that allows for

the fulfillment of American oil demands, while the quality of fulfilling only the

minimum necessary allows America to continue its strategic relationship with Israel.

If America decided to try to visibly align itself more with the Muslim people, that

would entail changing its policy concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,

putting more pressure on the Israelis to compromise, which would result in an

erosion of the current measure of Israeli support the U.S. receives and also may

endanger the Jewish state. On the other hand, if America decided to be an even

stronger advocate of Israeli interests, such as supporting a vision of a Greater

Israel that includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories, as was once American

policy, and directly attacking Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, this

would provoke more hatred among many Muslims in the region, which would not only be

a source of more terrorism but perhaps would also, depending on the degree to which

American policy was changed, have the potential to create such a hostile environment

of anti-Americanism that Muslim people under moderate regimes would change or

overthrow their existing governments. This course of events may lead to popular

pressure on existing governments to enact policies against American interests, or

worse, may lead to popular revolutions that put anti-American secularists or Islamic

extremists into power, all of which may lead to oil boycotts and/or terrorism

against America and Israel. In this way, America, through the proper balance, reaps

the benefits of Israeli support and Muslim oil.

Anticipating the Results of American Policy

Wise policy makers will anticipate the effects of the actions that they direct the

nation to take. They must simulate all reasonable courses of action, find the

results of each course, and judge which is best for the national interest; i.e. they

must war-game them.

Let us do a very brief sketch of what the war-game results may be of possible

actions that the U.S. may take or choose not to take in the Middle East.

Scenario 1: 2010. About seven years has passed since America decided not to invade

Iraq. Four years ago in 2006 the international community put so much pressure on

America to agree to end sanctions on Iraq, which were hurting the Iraqi people, that

America yields. Weapons inspectors have been periodically in Iraq since 2002 but are

yet to be allowed to see key sites. America knows that the region is unstable, but

does not intervene to overthrow the Baathist regime. Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria, and

even Pakistan continue programs developing WMDs. Israel, fearing that many Arab

states are developing these weapons with the intent of giving them to Palestinian

terrorist organizations, has been focusing more on their military, specifically on

technology for strategic air strikes, its Arrow systems that intercept incoming

missiles, and technology that would be used during a nuclear war. The Mossad, the

Israeli intelligence agency, finds evidence that Hussein is close to a nuclear bomb.

For two years America has been putting pressure on Israel not to preemptively strike

to take out a nuclear reactor like Israel did in 1981. U.N. weapons inspectors still

cannot find any concrete evidence of WMDs. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

each receive 5 WWII grade nuclear weapons from Iraq and other Arab or Muslim states

that can be hidden and activated in large trucks. Israel is frustrated at U.S.

policy, but still considers the U.S. Israel?s strongest ally because Europe wants no

part of aggressive actions for Israel?s safety. The Mossad gathers evidence that an

extreme event will take place in Israel. The "event" occurs. Hamas and PIJ

collaborate: 3 go off in Haifa, 3 in Tel Aviv, and 2 in Western Jerusalem. Israel

prevents 2, but to no avail. 1 million Israelis die as a result of these attacks on

heavily populated cities. Many flee. America, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and

less populated towns and cities in Israel accept the bulk of them. A small portion

of the most religious Jews stay in the bombed cities and suffer from radiation.

Israel?s economy is greatly affected, and its military attacks Iraq. Syria, Iran,

Libya, and other Muslim states aid Iraq with weapons and missile strikes, while

Syria and Iran send troops. The American government and especially the American

people do not want to get involved. Many European officials state that they regret

the tragedy but also imply that Israel brought this on itself. They also imply that

America shares some blame for allowing Israel to continue its policy concerning

Palestinian issues, i.e. settlements and the right of return for Palestinian

refugees. In these new Arab-Israeli wars, Israel loses about 500,000 soldiers and

civilians, while about 2 - 2.5 million Muslims from the Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, and

Libyan militaries die. The war ends, but Israel is forced into submission and ceases

to exist. The benefits America received from supporting Israel are gone, but America

remains a superpower.

Scenario 2: 2008. The events in scenario 1 are occurring, but in this scenario

Israel decides to preemptively strike before Palestinian terrorists acquire nuclear

weapons. A war between Iraq and Israel erupts. America aids Israel with weaponry,

more grants and loans, and Arab states in turn boycott America, refusing to sell it

oil. America is then forced militarily to take over Saudi oil fields. Saudi royals

are against this, but do not resist. The royals are overthrown for their complacency

and a fundamentalist regime rallies the Saudis to fight the American aggressor.

Thousands of Americans die. Heightened anti-Americanism contributes to the overthrow

of the regimes in Afghanistan, the Taliban comes back into power, Jordanian royals

are not overthrown, but their power is greatly limited and they become more like

figureheads while the real rulers are anti-American. Eventually, due to the quagmire

in Saudi Arabia, the American military pulls out. America has to resolve to get oil

from Europe, Russia, and Alaska. Less oil is produced, and oil prices skyrocket,

putting a damper on the American economy. As a result of America?s Saudi War,

anti-Americanism spreads and is often linked to Socialist movements. America, due to

popular pressure against interventionism spawned from the Saudi War, retreats into

an isolationist state. China temporarily supplants America as the world?s only

superpower. Marxism spreads due to America?s isolationist posture.

Scenario 3: In 2003, America decides to invade Iraq to prevent the destruction of

Israel and to stabilize the region for the sake of preventing a resurgence of the

Arab-Israeli Wars. American elites use 911 as a means to convince their constituents

that Saddam is a threat to America when he is mostly a threat to Israel and the

stability of the region. They use half-truths and rhetorical strategies of emphasis

in order to mislead the public for what they believe to be the necessary means to

achieve the greater good; i.e. the maintenance of the status quo in the region at

least and the achievement of political peace in the region at best. Iraq is taken

over relatively quickly, but an insurgency adds more to the number of American

casualties. About 2000 American lives are lost in a total of 5 years of American

presence in Iraq. America puts pressure on Iran, Syria, and Libya not to pursue

WMDs. America continues to be the bastion of free-enterprise, continues its

interventionist policy as it prevents radical movements in other nations, and

continues to remain a superpower.

Scenario 4: All of scenario 3 occurs except that Iran is more resilient. America

wages war with Iran, other Muslim nations aid Iran militarily, and America loses

4,500 more soldiers. But the war with another Muslim country contributes to the

radicalization of Jordan, Egypt, and Pakistan. Saudi royals lose some influence due

to anti-American pressures from the Saudi people. Radicalization in the region

speeds up the process by which Palestinian terrorists acquire WMDs. The newly

radicalized regimes of Egypt and Jordan allow Al Qaida to operate on their soil in

order to stage attacks against Israel, something which Al Qaida has been trying to

do. The American people force their government out of the regional war as more

Muslim nations get involved. The tragic results in scenario 1 eventually occur.

America continues to be a superpower.

Scenario 5: America does not invade Iraq, but continues to aid Israel economically

and militarily. Sanctions on "rogue regimes" prevent Libya, Iran, and Iraq from

becoming powers that can compete with Israel militarily. Israel initiates a few

preemptive strikes on Lybia, Iran, and Iraq, which do not result in outright war

because of the comparative weakness of their militaries due to the sanctions. The

Arab-Israeli conflict remains a cold war, but Al Qaida has been receiving nuclear

technology from Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq (Hussein?s possible "meetings" have

eventually become "collaborations" due to America?s continuing support of Israel and

hostility toward Iraq). Al Qaida, knowing the difficulty of using a nuclear weapon

on Israel, decides to attempt to use it on Israel?s strongest ally, America. 3 go

off in America?s most populated cities and 4 are prevented. 1.5 - 2 million American

people die. America and Israel launch joint invasions of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria,

and other Arab nations that joined the cause. This results in a terrible World War

that lasts for years, leads to many deaths, most of which are Muslim.

Scenario 6: America decides to make a 180 degree turnaround in its Middle East

policy. It cuts off all aid to Israel and removes all of its troops from the region.

The Muslim people are joyed. Terrorist groups such as Al Qaida, Hamas, PIJ, and

Hezbollah are pleased. The tragedy in scenario 1 occurs due to the actions of the

aforementioned terrorist groups. America loses the benefits it received from

supporting Israel, but continues to have access to Muslim oil. America remains a


Scenario 7: America decides to get tough on Israel. America gives Israel an

ultimatum: Israel is told to go back to pre-1967 borders, guarantee the right of

return to many Palestinian refugees, and give money reparations in exchange for the

right of return to other refugees. America will only aid Israel if these demands are

met. This makes America seem less partial in the Arab world and terrorism against

America significantly decreases. But Palestinian terrorists see this to their

advantage as they have more land to stage their attacks against Israel, which has a

more difficult time defending itself. Due to the right of return act, more

Palestinian terrorists infiltrate Israel, causing more damage and killing more

Israelis. After about 15 - 20 years, Israel loses its Jewish character. Israel is

renamed Palestine. The Palestinian majority still harbors much resentment and

oppresses the Jewish minority. "Palestine" becomes the site of local religious wars

between Muslims and Jews, and violence fills the land. America continues to have

access to Muslim oil but loses the benefits of supporting Israel. America continues

to be a superpower.

The American government has most likely war-gamed Middle Eastern policy - if it has

not then it is pure idiocy, and the American government is not full of idiots. The

results of certain, perhaps many, war-gamed actions would turn out tragic. America

is in a precarious situation with its policies in the Middle East and must carefully

analyze the potential effects of each policy to be implemented.

Concluding Remarks

The notion that America would wage a war to protect its allies is not at all absurd,

but is in fact common in American history. America was involved in WWI and in the

European front of WWII in order to protect its British and French allies. Likewise,

America was involved in the Korean and Vietnam wars in order to protect its allies

that were fighting the Communists. And the American government has been known for

aiding its anti-Communist allies in order to help bring about Capitalist regimes in

many other nations throughout the world.

Also, the American government may have had good reason not to emphasize the

protection of Israel argument. Many Americans may not have supported regime change

in Iraq for the sake of stability of the region alone. Other potential consequences

of stating this particular rationale are an increase in anti-Semitism in America,

Europe, and throughout the Muslim world, and the spreading of the bogus conspiracy

theory that Jews have superior influence in America. A fourth potential consequence

is an increase in public pressure on the American government to demand more from

Israel or to end all relations with Israel that would lead to the demise of the

Jewish State. A fifth potential consequence, particularly after the war, is the

disruption of America?s present occupation of, political influence in, and policies

concerning Iraq.

America?s Middle East policy is a complex and entangling situation. If one were to

ask our nation?s elites why we went to war with Iraq, one should also ask other

relevant questions that get to the crux of the matter, such as: Can you honestly

explain the American-Israeli strategic alliance; that is, why does America support

Israel to the great extent that it does, and how does America truly benefit from the

alliance? AND: Did the American government ever war-game its Middle East policy, and

if so, what were the results?

And while it is a truth that a function of our government is to do what is right for

America even if it requires a very unpopular action, it is also an obligation of

government, accurately and without rhetoric or half-truths, to tell the American

people and the soldiers going off to war exactly what they are fighting and dying


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