Should We Have Encouraged Saddam Hussein To Invade Saudi Arabia?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. History has many inflection points. Seldom are they as clearcut as the Desert Storm campaign against Saddam Hussein after his forces overran Kuwait.

    George H. W. Bush and Stormin' Norman Swarzkopf were heralded as national heroes after routing the Iraqi forces. But later events would tarnish the triumph. Osama bin Ladin was infuriated by the presence of US troops in his homeland and instigated the 9/11 attacks as his payback. Al qaeda established itself as the brand name of terrorism. We are still battling them, and it is not clear we are winning. Iraq itself became a festering sore that later would lead to Bush Jr's disastrous invasion.

    What if we had handled matters differently? What if Bush Sr. had recognized that the real danger was not Saddam but islamist extremism and that the source of it was Saudi Arabia? Most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis and the vast bulk of the money that flows to al qaeda and the taliban originates in Saudi Arabia. Our friends the Saudis have been robbing us for decades through the OPEC cartel. What if Bush had seen saddam's audacious invasion as the opportunity to remake the region?

    Instead of attacking saddam's forces, he could have secretly plotted with them to divvy up Saudi Arabia. Saddam would have made quick work of the wahhabi extremists who control islam in SA, just as he kept islamist radicals under his thumb in Iraq. A vastly strengthened Saddam would have intimidated Iran and perhaaps convinced them to restrain their own terrorism or face the consequences.

    Can we really say we made the best choice?
  2. pspr


    That's a tough question. Unknown unintendended consequences probably make such conjecture a futile exercise. But, it is obvious that much of the problem coming out of the middle east originate with the Saudi's.
  3. jem


    except for on thing the bush family and the saudis seem very very close.

    and then you have this... from wikipedia.

    Carlyle has been profiled in two notable documentaries, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 and William Karel's The World According to Bush.
    In Fahrenheit 911, Moore makes nine allegations concerning the Carlyle Group, including: That the Bin Laden and Bush families were both connected to the Group; that following the attacks on September 11, the bin Laden family’s investments in the Carlyle Group became an embarrassment to the Carlyle Group and the family was forced to liquidate their assets with the firm; that the Carlyle group was, in essence, the 11th largest defense contractor in the United States.[36] Moore focused on Carlyle's connections with George H. W. Bush and his Secretary of State James A. Baker III, both of whom had at times served as advisers to the firm.
    A Carlyle spokesman noted in 2003 that its 7% interest in defense industries was far less than several other Private equity firms.[37] Carlyle also has provided detail on its links with the Bin Laden family, specifically the relatively minor investments by an estranged half brother.[38]
    In his documentary The World According to Bush (May 2004), William Karel interviewed Frank Carlucci to discuss the presence of Shafiq bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's estranged brother, at Carlyle's annual investor conference while the September 11 attacks were occurring.[38][39]
    Zeitgeist The Movie makes similar claims that The Carlyle Group may have played a part in 9/11.[citation needed]
    The Iron Triangle also talks about links with the Bin Laden family; the documentary makes claims that Carlyle bought political favor to get investment dollars and arms sales to the middle east.[40]
  4. There is clearly a military/industrial/Israeli/Saudi bloc in DC that has a disproportionate influence on defense policy. Some of it is beneficial, some not.

    Why do you think there is such frenzied opposition to Chuck Hagel?
  5. I agree that it would have been in our interest to let Iraq invade Saudi Arabia which has always been a theocracy supporting radical Islam.

    However, if Saudi Arabia had been annexed by Iraq, that would have created a significant threat for our ally Israel. Iraq would have become the most powerful state in the Middle-East. With all the wealth acquired through that invasion, Saddam would have then attacked Iran and conquer it using his powerful chemical weapons capability. Then he could have eventually created an empire larger than China and full of natural resources. This obviously would not have been in our interests.
  6. You can either swim with the current, the way guys like Colin Powell, Patreus and Carlyl do, or swim upstream, like Hagel and Pat Buchanan. Wonder which way is more lucrative?
  7. Yes, well put, except I don't know if he would have attacked Iran. Certainly these events would have forced iran to fasttrack its nuke program.

    My thesis is that by partnering with Saddam, we could have restrained his impulses to do something like attack Israel. At some point he could have proven difficult to restrain, but I think the combination of being the unrivaled alpha male of the middle east and the ally of the remaining superpower would have been intoxicating for him.
  8. I think in 1990 the threat of global terrorism was grossly underestimated. At the time the decision was probably which one of these crazy bastards is easier, and more profitable to deal with?