So I'm reading alot about people who have a strong amount of mistrust against the current administration on issues of foreign policy - especially the war in Iraq.
This is just my 2 cents worth - again, opinions are like assholes: everyone has one, and they all stink. There - I said it before you can. Ha!
I'm not trying to convince anyone to change their mind - I'm just trying to offer an alternate viewpoint.
Why I think we're in Iraq instead of Saudi Arabia
This is one of the most common complaints I hear about concerning the war in Iraq. Why aren't we in Saudi Arabia? 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, so why not go after them? What did Iraq have to do with anything?
We can't go after Saudi Arabia. They have the 2 holy cities of Mecca and Medina. If we set foot on Saudi soil in an aggressive posture, I'm sure something would happen to America that would make 9-11 look like a boy scout excursion. These two cities are where the Prophet Mohammed received his revelations that he wrote down - which became the Muslim Holy Book. Mohammed traveled between these two cities for 40 days and nights while receiving his revelation, which is where we get the holiday, Rammadan - and that's why this holiday is 40 days.
So, if we can't hit Saudi Arabia, what can we do? I mean, if we don't do something about it, we'll look like a prison-yard bitch in the eyes of the international community. In my opinion, that would just invite more terrorism, because the Islamic culture is a male-dominated culture, and males tend to pay attention to things like strength and force - and tend to laugh at things that appear to be wishy-washy and indecisive.
So what do we do? How about if we take a country in the Arab world that is really a secular dictatorship, and supplant that dictatorship with a Muslim democracy? Saddam was hated by all of his neighbors (except Syria) and was generally hated in the Middle East as a whole. Sure, the Arab Street would put up token resistance to an American invasion of a "Muslim" country, but everyone in the Middle East knew that under Saddam, Iraq really wasn't a Muslim country, it was a secular dictatorship; therefore, they just didn't feel as sorry for him as they would've, if it was a true Muslim country like Egypt or Yemen.
Now, let's draw the Marshall Plan/Japanese Occupation parallel. How often have we had to fight Germany or Japan since WWII? In my opinion, that's because we marginalized their royal families to create some stability, then we turned those countries into democracies, while rebuilding them into an image similar to America's, while at the same time allowing for cultural differences to shape the final outcome of their countries. Bada-boom, bada-bing! 60 years of peace, and nary a shot fired.
Oh sure, there were insurgencies that challenged America's reconstruction plans - in both Europe and Japan. But the press was different then. They were a little more sympathetic to the current administration of their day, and gave presidents much more leeway back then; but that still doesn't mean everything was "peachy-keen" as far as a transition from monarchies, to democracies. In the end, we still got 'ir done - and 60 years of peace with nary a shot fired is the proof.
If it works (and I realize that "if" is a big word for only being 2 letters) but if it works - what if democracy spreads? What if democracy spreads all the way to Saudi Arabia? Then, you've got a situation where Muslims are affecting change in an Islamic society - not Americans.
Maybe it won't work, but I hope it does - something has to.