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Old 2004-11-16, 01:18   Link #46
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by Kamui4356
Thinking back, I don't see why we didn't include Saddam stepping down and being tried for war crimes in the cease fire terms after the first gulf war. It would have made a lot more sense then leaving him in power, and saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I'm sure we could have found someone that we could have 'managed' in the Iraqi government at the time.
A few possibly relevant points on this. First, Saddam would never have agreed to the cease fire if it was contingent on his removal and possible trial for crimes against humanity. He would have continued to tell his people that they were winning and then sent them gladly into a coalition forces meat grinder to protect his own highly overvalued butt. Second, the coalition in the first gulf war was too large and with the forced removal of Saddam there would have been too many foreign cooks trying to season the Iraqi pot to their own specific tastes by picking Saddam's replacement. The Iraqi people, if the choice was left up to them, would have probably sunk to the level of civil warfare over the issue of which factions (sunni, shite, kurd, etc.) choice would be the one to replace Saddam. Third, Bush Sr. had more sense than his son in understanding what a costly pain-in-the-ass it would be for precious little tangible gain to go into Iraq and remove Saddam, and then need to assume the task of nation building to deal with the destabalizing political power vacuum which would follow Saddam's sudden removal by foreign forces from outside of Iraq.

Since the main objective of the coalition going in was to drive invading Iraqi forces out of Kuwait and put a stop to Saddam's aggression towards neighboring countries...that much could be accomplished through heavy reliance on aircraft/smartbombs and using the stockpile of tomahawk cruise missles Ronald Reagan built-up during his presidency. Leaving Saddam in power, but with his military forces so trashed that the primary danger they posed was to the Iraqi people who were stuck dealing with the nut. Removal of Saddam was then left as an internal political problem for the Iraqi people to deal with. Unfortunately, as we saw no matter how tight the sanction screw was tightened nor how bad things became for the Iraqi people as a result, no popular uprising ever materialized in Iraq to remove Saddam.
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