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what might have been

Reader comment on item: What If the United States Had Not Invaded Iraq

Submitted by john w. mcginley (United States), Sep 11, 2005 at 20:23

Professor Pipes: I agree with your analysis and in so doing I feel melancholic. From the very beginning -- and publically at the University of Scranton -- I supported the President's decision to invade Iraq. And certainly now there is no way we can exit and not make the overall situation worse except unless we bring self-Government to Iraq and leave it only with a fairly good chance of surviving as a relatively democratic society.

What nauseates me is the "cheap" way this Administration chose to pursue this goal. I blame Rumsfield for the strategy and the President for being cowed by Rumsfield. You might recall that George H. Bush amassed a force of over 250,000 troops simply to liberate Kuwait from Irqaqi occupation. Whether he should have taken advantage of the collapse of Hussein's army is a question for Monday morning quarterbacks. What cannot be challenged is the fact that his strategy did dislodge Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, with minimal casualties for our military forces. In Contrast George W. Bush tried to defeat the entire nation of Iraq, change the whole governmental system, and "occupy" a nation with massive urban centers and with huge borders with with Iran and Syria. Certainly a force of a half mission troops was called for. At the very least. But he cheaped out. I believe we never had more than 140,000 American troops in Iraq complemented by, I believe, no more than 65,000 British and other forces at any one time. A huge mistake for which we are still paying. I believe that if we had invaded with a force of a half-million troops the whole job would now be over and our position in world poitics would be immeasurably better. On the other hand we came darn close to having Gore.

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