Response to Eric Lanser

Wayland Radin

Eric Lanser’s recent opinion piece argues that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has lost its context. On this point I agree with him completely, but the way I reached this conclusion differs greatly from his reasoning. The war in Iraq was initiated under false pretenses and perhaps should be said to have never had a true context.

The two main reasons given by President Bush and his administration for action against Iraq were Iraq’s alleged harboring and continued support of terrorists, and creation of weapons of mass destruction.

So far, neither of these allegations has proved to be true; rather, they have actually caused the administration to lose credibility.

If one thinks a little longer and looks a little deeper, one may conclude that the reasons for action in Iraq were indeed two-fold, but quite different from what has been reported to date.

American history has proven many times that there is no better remedy for a floundering administration and economy than war. It is in this fact that one may find the real reasons for America’s action in Iraq.

The war in Iraq is a diversionary tactic serving to shift America’s focus from Afghanistan and the unsuccessful hunt for Osama bin Laden to a new foreign enemy posing a “security threat.”

The second and perhaps strongest reason is economic.

America’s debt is measured in the trillions of dollars. Oil had been traded in the dollar, which gave it international value and helped to keep our economy from imploding.

However, Iraq had begun to trade oil with France in euros. This precedent could have delivered that final blow to our then-weak and ever-indebted economy.

By invading Iraq and attempting to eliminate Saddam, Bush hoped to prevent that from happening.

It is for this very reason, oil, that we cannot sever diplomatic ties with Iran or Saudi Arabia. To do so would have the same effect as severing one’s aorta: severe hemorrhaging.

I would like to believe that the intentions of the of the United States for taking action in Iraq are as good as Lanser argues they are, but it is hard to believe.

Were security the real issue, we would be in North Korea instead of Iraq, as Lanser pointed out.