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Ron: No, things ARE better than under Saddam

Reader comment on item: Wasted U.S. Spending in Iraq (and Afghanistan): $53 billion and Counting
in response to reader comment: What's Wrong?

Submitted by John in Michigan, USA (United States), Dec 18, 2009 at 14:55


Dr. Pipes' core point, that initial Bush administration expectations for a dramatic, democratic success in Iraq were unrealistic, and possibly misguided, is correct.

However: "Iraq was a functioning country" How many functioning countries have the need to gas their own citizens to preserve public order??? How many functioning countries are so afraid of their neighbors and their own citizens, that they prefer invasion rather than admit that they no longer have these weapons? Saddam's bad judgement was pathological, and there is ample evidence to suggest that it effected Iraqi society from top to bottom.

Iraq under Saddam was a BARELY functioning country crippled by self-inflicted sanctions, corruption, incompetence, AND, if that is not enough, drenched in blood. State-sponsored torture, execution without trial, etc. were common. And that bloodbath is what Saddam called peace -- his wars were bloodier still!

The rest of your statement "The United States smashed it with a Blitzkreig. Now it doesn't work to[o] well." is equally unrealistic.

Now I'll grant you, during the peak of the post-liberation "civil war", things briefly were as bad as what passed for peace under Saddam...or possibly a little worse...but even then, no Iraqis attacked their countrymen with poison gas...

What's more, that civil war is past, and today Iraqi life, in virtually all important respects, is equal to, or better than, life under Saddam. The exceptions are people like the Baathists and other Saddam-sponsored elites, whose current privations and discomfort are a thoroughly deserved comeuppance.

What more, the Kurdish north, while suffering from its own problems such as official corruption, was (mostly) unscathed during the civil war and continues to enjoying a level of peace and prosperity such as it has not seen in at least a generation. The rest of Iraq could enjoy this same standard, if they could only work through their remaining difficulties, which are formidable.


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