I read an article on Raw Story pointed out to those of us in the BBA by Shakespeare's Sister today. It's about how Clinton bombed Iraq more than Bush did in the days before the war.
At first glance, this would seem to be a story that tells people that those of us decrying Bush's foreign policies are just over reacting. If Clinton bombed Iraq even *more* than Bush, doesn't that indicate that it's just business as usual? Of course now that I've said that, you know my answer is "no".
Clinton's orders were to bomb Iraq in response to planes flying over the no-fly zone. There were rules established, and Hussein was violating them knowingly. Personally, I suspect him of purposefully antagonizing the US and Great Britain, though I have no actual proof of that. There *is* proof, though, of those planes flying in airspace that was expressly forbidden to them, with the knowledge that it would bring retaliation. Well, retaliate we did.
The Bush bombings? Were they reported to us as a response to a no-fly violation? Were the bombings being executed to retaliate against Iraqis committing acts that were specifically "flying in the face" of U.N. sanctions? No. These bombings were done to clear the way for a ground war - a war based on the concept that we were going in to get the WMD that Hussein was so obviously hiding. Except, of course, that he wasn't.
I remember hearing about the bombings in the news. I remember wondering why in the world the Iraqis continued to send planes into the no-fly zone, and why they were inviting people to attack them in response. Never did I get this same sinking feeling that I have now, the feeling that the military actions of the US are keeping the country torn apart and in a state of extensive chaos. To me, that's the big difference.