extract (spoiler safe): So, back to Iraq and the United States invasion. What could Iraq possibly have done from the other side of the planet that warranted a global campaign of lies to build political support for a military invasion that still kills people, one decade later? Why was it rational for the US Administration to spend one trillion or so dollars – more accurately described as “a shitload of money” – on going to war with a small country on the other side of the planet, one that had nothing at all to do with the September 11 attacks? On observing the facts on the table, it was perfectly rational to do so, all the deaths and suffering notwithstanding. It was likely a matter of life and death for the US as a nation.
article: The US invaded Iraq because it wouldn't have survived otherwise [falkvinge.net].
note: I am a bit late on my Falkvinge's reading, letting articles accumulate in my RSS feed without having got time to read them (I should probably write a script to send them one by one to activity-stream or something), but this title caught my eye. What he explains in the article, was not knew to me, in fact few people pointed this out in the past. What surprises me is that many people still didn't know that. Anyway, I have another interest in advertising his post: I am a bit tired of some folks trying to explain that all Iraq mess on religious ground, that the US presence in the middle east is religiously motivated. Like the crusades are still going on. I would not worry about religious folks, anywhere, they have already lost the battle against rationality and it is just a matter of time for them to disappear, or at least become negligeable, so no amount of money is worth being spent going after them. Instead, and take it from somebody who spent a significant time on trading floors, the simplest explanations are often the the right ones, and if money is involved you have a winner.
The interesting thing, you see, is that had I been the US at that time, I might probably have done the very same thing. Sorry to my Iraqi friends who might have had a hard time during the war (at least those who are still alive to remember having had a hard time), but there is that thing called "survival instinct", which is a very powerful force (often a decisive factor) in the behaviour of living entities and countries alike.