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So what was the point of the invasion, then?

Reader comment on item: Iraq's Cosmetic Election

Submitted by Matt (United States), Mar 9, 2010 at 14:20

If you understand that an American withdrawal means growing Iranian influence in Iraq, then why did you support America invading in 2003, while simultaneously claiming we should withdraw immediately instead of nation-building and fighting a COIN war? That has been your position for years now (unless you have since renounced it, and I cannot recall you ever doing so). I have been asking you this question for years, and while you have replied to a few of my comments, I remain unsatisfied with the answers you have given.

How can you recognize this:

"Tehran has aspired to seize effective control of Iraq since the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. With many levers at hand, from mosques to schools to militias to politicians, the Iranian despots are well placed to inherit the country."

And yet still argue that invading Iraq was a good idea? Everyone knows that Tehran has had substantial influence in Iraq since the IRI began; nobody knew this better than Saddam himself when he was alive and in power. Do you believe that a Shi'a-dominated Iraq with a Tehran-allied regime is somehow preferable to an anti-Iranian Baa'thist regime?

You can argue that the U.S. was right to invade Iraq (as you have been doing for years), OR you can argue that withdrawing from Iraq and allowing Iran to "inherit" the country is very bad (as you are doing in this blog entry). You cannot argue both at the same time. Perhaps you should clarify your position.

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I supported the invasion in 2003 because (1) Saddam Hussein was a dangerous monster and (2) if not for coalition bungling, matters will not have to end with Iranian domnation of Iraq.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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