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So what do we do?

Reader comment on item: In Iraq, Stay the Course - but Change It
in response to reader comment: Strange logic!

Submitted by Pat (United States), Oct 26, 2006 at 10:13

Where to begin?

If the Iraqi people care about their own future, then why are they wasting their wealth and human resources in battles between rival militias? Why aren't they building a new national army? They have an elected government. It's a young government, but why aren't they working together? Why are the Kurds the only group with peace on their minds? Do they want us out? Then please say so. The Iraqi government doesn't want us to leave and they won't let us take action against the militias. Iraqis have to choose what their future will look like. When will they?

WMD was never a pretext. It was a fact. WMD were used against the Kurds and against the Iranians. My argument for starting this war wouldn't have been that there were stockpiles of WMD, but that Saddam had the wherewithal to make them and the propensity to use them, as demonstrated by his past behavior and he had already demonstrated his contempt of the UN by being in violation of the Gulf War ceasefire agreement.

Before 9/11 the sanctions were on their way out. It's a cliche, but it's true. 9/11 changed everything. We could no longer expect oceans and distance to keep us safe from terrorists. It forced us to see what we had been avoiding for too long: Saddam was a menace and needed to be stopped. There would have been no need for an invasion had Saddam not played cat and mouse with inspectors ever since the Gulf War. His own behavior made people believe he was hiding something. The US wasn't the only government that believed he had WMD. After 9/11, no responsible president could gamble that Saddam was above board. Even so, there was still a chance for him to come clean and remain in power. He didn't. He thought Russia, China and France would protect him and he could go on like this forever. He was wrong.

Either we recognize foreign governments or we don't. (Some people are never satisfied.) If the US works with governments like Saddam's or that of Pervez Musharraf, we're accused of supporting dictatorships. You're complaining about my views of Iraq, but you're also charging that Iraq is preventing us from doing anything about North Korea and Iran. Iran has been working to develop nuclear weapons since after the Iran - Iraq war. North Korea made its intentions known over ten years ago, long before George W. Bush even announced his run for the presidency.

Both countries are getting aid in this area from Pakistan or from nations like China, that signed the NPT. North Korea is surrounded by friendly powers. The people in Iran have the capacity to free themselves. They did it before, they can do it again. The Iranian government is thumbing its nose at the Europeans who trade with it and you want the US to do something about Iran? What? Are you saying we should have moved our troops out of Saudi Arabia and into Iran?

We didn't destroy Iraq. Iraq is a rich country with a well-educated population and a scientific community that could do great things. What have they done with all that knowledge for the last three years? For that matter, what did they do with it for the last thirty-plus years of the Baathist regime? They waged wars against their neighbors and they supported Islamic terrorist operations all around the world.

What are Iraqis doing today? They're waging wars between tribes. The people who were victimized by Saddam have become the victimizers. They don't see a peaceful and prosperous Iraq as something to strive for, so why should I? They won't battle the killers in their midst, so why should another drop of American blood be spilt on their behalf?

Submitting....

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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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