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Benefits vs. costs of Iraq war.

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

Submitted by Andrew Freedman (United States), Sep 12, 2005 at 12:08

In a simplistic way, the benefits are compared to the costs of the war. Most commentators tend to take this approach. No one seems to delve deeper. For those of us who are displeased with the present situation, but supported the war initially, the question should focus on how the war was conducted. The war was conducted badly. Intelligence gathering was poor to non-existent. Political decisions outweighed strategic considerations. But most of all, America demonstrated a total ignorance and disregard for Islamic or Middle Eastern societies. In an ethnic stereotype, all Arabs were viewed as one big homogeneous group, and America was going to impose democracy. As soon as regional ethnic and religious issues came to the forefront, America in typical ignorance sat everyone down at a table to "negotiate," having no insight into the inability of the diverse elements to work together. A commitment was made to maintain a united Iraq, when in truth the country never represented a unified ethnicity, but only an arbitrary political division by British colonialists. Whatever infrastructure had been in place by the Baath regime was torn down and dismantled by the original invasion. The power vacuum was rapidly filled by fundamentalist groups, and tribal and family clans. The army was allowed to be disbanded initially, and the soldiers found new homes among the militias.
I am saddened by the loss of life of so many honorable Americans who serve their country with bravery and devotion. They deserve better than to be sent to die on foreign soil, commanded by leaders who failed to anticipate the consequences.
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