NST Letters – Iraq: US-led Invasion Has Saved Lives

I can predict a whole lotta hate mail coming my way soon via NST’s Letters pages, as happened the last time.


This is Abdul Razak Abu Samah’s letter that appeared in the NST, 24 Dec 2009:

There’s no moral justification for this oil venture

THE oil deal between Petronas and its partners and the Iraqi authorities (“Petronas in giant Iraq oil deals” — NST, Dec 12) has caused some to raise their eyebrows not only from the point of view of the legality of the Iraqi government under international law but the morality of the deals per se.
The Iraq war has always been a contentious issue ever since the country under Saddam Hussein was invaded and occupied by the United States and Britain.

They defended the invasion on the grounds that they needed to take a pre-emptive strike against Saddam to destroy his weapons of mass destruction.

But those weapons never existed. The Americans themselves have admitted as much and the United Nations has confirmed it. The war was unnecessary. It was a grand design to seize what the US and Britain needed most: oil.

And to give effect to their scheme, they had to get rid of Saddam. Or else, they considered him a threat to Israel and he had to be eliminated. This is the irrefutable conclusion.

They could hardly say otherwise once the reason for the invasion and occupation became indefensible.

The status quo that has been established in Iraq is, therefore, a government with an Iraqi face but with the heart and soul of the American and the British.

The latter, seeing the immorality of it all, are slowly walking out, leaving the Ame-ricans behind (and it looks as if we are walking in instead).

But the war goes on. Iraqis who are loyal to Saddam are waging an underground war against the occupying forces but thousands of Iraqis have been killed.

On what moral threshold, therefore, are we seen to be a party to enjoying the fruits of an illegal and unjust war?

If worldly gain and riches are the criteria in our endeavours, then would it not be correct and legitimate also to make Israel our trading partner?

What is the difference? Under such a cloud of clashing causes and moral values, who are we to blame then if the Malaysians working there become the target of suicide attacks?

The contractual terms in the oil bargain may stipulate the work to begin after the American troops have left Iraq, but there is no clear time frame when this will happen.



And this is my response which basically says, why punish Iraqis just ‘cos you hate Bush?

Some parts the NSt editors removed from my original added back in in Italics. Some helpful links I added into the text for reference. Minor changes to style left as NST version, but overall the vast majority of my original text was left as is.

(NST links become defunct after a period.)

IRAQ: US-led invasion has saved lives

I AM not in any way justifying the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain. However, I am of the opinion that Abdul Razak Abu Samah (“There’s no moral justification for this oil venture” — NST, Dec 24) is misinformed about what is going on in Iraq.

First, it is a misconception that weapons of mass destruction were the only reason given for former US president George W. Bush’s invasion. Among the many other factors cited by the US Congress were Saddam Hussein’s infamous atrocities carried out on Iraq’s civilian population, his non-compliance with countless United Nations resolutions (including firing on enforcement planes) and his now proven sponsorship of various terrorist organisations. Honestly, why didn’t the UN take “multilateral” action itself instead of allowing the US to start a “unilateral” invasion?

Second, it is a gross insult to insinuate that the Iraqis are little more than Anglo-controlled sheep. Iraq underwent nationwide democratic elections with 79.6 per cent turnout to choose their new government, and the UN rejected any allegations of fraud. By Abdul Razak’s same standard, is Malaysia’s government also illegitimate because as a former British colony that underwent British-approved elections and British-agreed independence in the 1950s, we have ‘a government with a Malaysian face but with the heart and soul of the British’?

Third, I find it hard to accept that “the war goes on” because “Iraqis who are loyal to Saddam are waging an underground war against the occupying forces”. Has Razak never heard of the Anbar Awakening, where the Iraqis themselves decided to end the reign of terrorism by rising up against al-Qaeda en masse? Imagine that: the Iraqis sided with the “occupying forces” over the “freedom fighters”. Madness, surely!

[Interlude: Michael J. Totten: Anbar Awakens Part I: The Battle of Ramadi – …the mosques in the city went crazy. The imams screamed jihad from the loudspeakers. We went to the roof of the outpost and braced for a major assault. Our interpreter joined us. Hold on, he said. They aren’t screaming jihad against us. They are screaming jihad against the insurgents.]

Also, if people would open their eyes, they would know that the situation in Iraq is actually more peaceful today than any time in the past 30 years. An official report by the defence, interior and health ministries estimates that from Nov 1 last year to Aug 31 this year, there were just 3,045 Iraqi casualties — a rate of just 304.5 deaths per month.

In comparison, the murder rate in peacetime South Africa is five times greater at 1,512.3 deaths per month.

Not only has violence in Iraq dropped to pre-invasion levels, the death rate is in fact far lower than during Saddam’s rule (3,035.1 deaths per month or 10 times greater) and when UN sanctions were in place (9,259.3 deaths per month). The UN sanctions were thus a far greater killer of Iraqis than Saddam, Bush and Blair put together. – why no condemnation from Abdul Razak?

A quick calculation will find that the invasion actually saved more Iraqi lives than it took. On Oct 14, the Associated Press reported the Human Rights Ministry’s findings where from the beginning of 2004 to Oct 31 last year, 85,694 Iraqis were killed (1,477.5 deaths per month).

By extrapolating the earlier mentioned death rates, we can estimate that if the American-led invasion had not ended both Saddam’s rule and the UN sanctions, a total of 836,019 (206,387 added to 629,632) Iraqis would have died from Jan 1, 2004 to Aug 31 this year.

Taken against the figure of just 88,739 deaths during that period, we can therefore determine that 747,280 fewer Iraqi lives have been lost due to “Bush and Blair’s war of aggression”. Three-quarters of a million lives saved — maybe that’s why a BBC poll in March found that 56 per cent of Iraqis think Bush’s invasion was wrong, but 42 per cent think it was right and 85 per cent describe the current situation as “very good or quite good”.

And finally, shouldn’t we let the past be the past? Why punish the Iraqi people just to spite Bush and Blair, who are both no longer in office? Is Razak suggesting that no one should do business with the Iraqi people until some unspecified time in the distant future? Wouldn’t that be just another round of senseless and ruthless sanctions?

After two decades of Saddam’s brutality, another decade of inhumane sanctions concurrent with his continued despotism, and then close to seven years of suffering under terrorist attacks, is further depriving the Iraqi people really the moral thing to do? Why not ask them what they want instead of imposing our own prejudices on them?

Yes indeed, Warmonger Bush saved 750,000 Iraqi lives – see it for details and calculations that were used. An attempted submission under that title had failed to be published earlier on.

This is even more than the previous rough estimate of 600,000 lives which also made it into the NST way back when.

I will close with some photos of Peace in Iraq:






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10 Responses to “NST Letters – Iraq: US-led Invasion Has Saved Lives”

  1. Birdzilla Says:


  2. Shin Bet Says:

    The son of one of the founders of Hamas reportedly spied on the movement for Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency for more than ten years.

    According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Mosab Hassan Yousef helped Israeli agents prevent dozens of attacks. His information also led to the arrests of a number of prominent Hamas leaders. But he also succeeded in persuading the intelligence agency not to assassinate his father.

    Mr Yousef, known to his Shin Bet handlers as “The Green Prince”, was recruited in 1996. The newspaper quotes passages from a book, Son of Hamas, co-written by Mr Yousef, who converted to Christianity ten years ago. He fled the West Bank in 2007 and now lives in California.

  3. Shin Bet Says:

    “Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis,” he said. “Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.”

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    Ah, that famous convert…


    I never knew he was so anti-terror though!

  5. hamid Says:

    Hamas has reacted to a report published in Haaretz on Wednesday, which claimed that Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son a senior Hamas official, was an Israeli informant for ten years.

    “We came to the conclusion that Israeli media have become yet another tool against our people; that is why we will not comment on reports. What has been published, does not deserve a reply,” Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas leader, said.

    “This is fabricated lies, which Israeli media deploy to shake Palestinians’ fortitude,” he said.

    What will they say when the book comes out?

  6. bingo Says:

    Ever Hear The One About How Many People It Takes To Kill A Terrorist?
    More than it takes to change a light bulb, but less than the total population of Dubai.

  7. Scott Thong Says:

    What will they say when the book comes out? – hamid

    Maybe they’ll think James Cameron faked that one too.

  8. banshee Says:

    Every single one of the [Gaza Freedom] march’s organizers, including its “official sponsor” Code Pink, wants to abolish the State of Israel and thereby subject its inhabitants to a regime which officially supports the genocide of the Jewish people. This aim is so horrible that it boggles the mind — it’s almost impossible to believe anyone would actually want this. But these groups do, although they disguise it in terms like “binational state” (where Jews would soon be a minority among peoples who voted into power the genocidal and totalitarian Hamas and the equally genocidal though slightly less totalitarian Palestinian Authority) and “right of return,” which would permit each and every one the 4 million descendants of almost any Arab who left Israel or the West Bank for any reason after 1948, most of whom have no connection to the area at all, to not only become citizens but to expropriate land, buildings and businesses from Jewish and Christian Israelis. (About 6 million Jews and 1.5 million Arabs currently live in Israel.)

    In addition to proposing the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East and a “peace plan” that could lead to a second Holocaust, Code Pink is unabashedly anti-Semitic. They organized last October’s anti-Israel demonstration in Brookline, when protestors deliberately routed their march past synagogues on a Shabbat and Jewish High Holy Day in an area they knew contained many elderly Holocaust survivors. Signs at recent Code Pink demonstrations urged “America Stop Fighting for the Jew” and “Victory to Hamas” and featured Hamas flags. And when asked whether they were concerned about Hamas’ sponsorship of the Gaza Freedom March, both a participant and a pastor who had raised money for the event replied “no” (this occurred in a church, no less, St. Peter’s Episcopal in Cambridge).

  9. banshee Says:

    But while he is prepared to get tough with Obama’s J Street spear-carriers, the redoubtable Professor Dershowitz is still unwilling to take on their inspirational leader in the White House. Slashing away at J Street’s stands is nice but if you’re going to keep giving Obama a pass for policies that put the left-wing lobby’s misguided principles into action, you’re wasting everybody’s time. The next time Dershowitz feels the urge to belabor Susskind and the rest of the J Street crowd, he should instead focus his anger on the real offender: Barack Obama.

  10. banshee Says:

    Who is blundering toward disaster?

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