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Exactly the truth!

Reader comment on item: Saddam's Damn Dam [i.e., The Mosul Dam]

Submitted by GWK (United States), Nov 21, 2007 at 21:47

Dr. Pipes -- Can I echo what you said?

"Mosul's dam replicates a myriad of lesser problems in Iraqi life that have landed in the lap of Americans (and, to a much lesser extent, their coalition partners), such as provisioning fuel and electricity, working schools and hospitals, a fair political and legal system, and an environment secure from terrorism.

Since April 2003, I have argued that this shouldering of responsibility for Iraq's domestic life has harmed both Americans and Iraqis. It yokes Americans with unwanted and unnecessary loss of life, financial obligations, and political burdens. For Iraqis, as the dam example suggests, it encourages an irresponsibility with potentially ruinous consequences.

A change of course is needed, and quickly. The Bush administration needs to hand back responsibility for Iraq's ills, including and especially the Mosul Dam. More broadly, it should abandon the deeply flawed and upside-down approach of "war as social work," whereby U.S. military efforts are judged primarily by the benefits they bring to the defeated enemy, rather than to Americans."

In 2002, some understood that Iraq was a side issue in the war against Al Qaida and UBL. Within DOD there were staunch supporters of expanding the war who would not be assuaged by these arguments or the arguments that UBL and Saddam were opposite poles of world threats. Unfortunately, 5 years later we are trying to fix Iraq on our own, an effort everyone hopes succeeds, but which seems to make little rational sense. Godspeed to all who endeavor to make it so.
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