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Much Too Early

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

Submitted by Anatoly Ostrovsky (Latvia), Sep 12, 2005 at 03:38

It's too early to tally up the benefits and only when American troops withdraw can we count our chickens. But as far as Mr. Pipes' position is concerned:
Could have/would have invaded argument? A non-case; Saddam was successfully contained since 1991. Yes, he would have continued to sponsor terrorism against Israel, but which regime neighboring Israel does not more or less sponsor terrorism against Israel? Saddam was the only one to blatantly advertise it in order to maintain/raise his domestic prestige. Besides, terrorism against Israel is Israel's concern and it will exist so long as Jews remain Jews and Muslims remain Muslims regardless of which odious types offer their sponsorship to the conflict. And whether we would like to admit this or not, Saddam did prevent the spread of terrorism to Iraq and it is under US occupation and Iraqi Interim Government that the so-called insurgency prospered. Which in the end only points to the naïve policy of ‘de-Baathification' and exporting of democracy via E-1 Joe to Muslim clientele.

It is in this regard that the 'Bush administration succeeded militarily but failed politically,' because it was unwilling to make the same ‘unholy alliance' as bin Ladenites did with Baathism. Saddam was surrounded by weak henchmen whose pliable loyalties could have been used at least to maintain law and order. Why was the army and police disbanded? Why was the entire government infrastructure razed only to be built up from scratch? The TV antics of Iraqi Minister of Information alone would have been enough to prevent much of the looting as most of the country took its bearings from official government communiqués.

As far as Iraqis' chickens are concerned, 'injustice, brutality and barbarism' are unquantifiable abstracts, therefore, cannot and should not be factored into an argument. Poverty, however, is – and at current levels there is in Iraq a 30+% unemployment rate and a 25+% inflation rate, which does even begin to add up all the other war-related economic factors. Iraqis are NOT better off now than they were before and the common Iraqi wage earner still remains the primary victim of this war.
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