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I disagree strongly.

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

Submitted by Sanchez (United States), Dec 22, 2006 at 17:21

Daniel Pipes says:

"The Iraqi population would still suffer under the totalitarian rule of Saddam Hussein. The shaky economy, car bombs and ethnic unrest that Iraqis face today are far lesser evils compared with the poverty, injustice, brutality and barbarism that was their fate between 1979 and 2003."

I found the above statement to be grossly misleading especially coming from a person of repute like Pipes. Talk is cheap but the cost of a cab ride from Baghdad's airport to the downtown areas - currently running at about $35000 USD - conveys a lot more information than all this spin about how Iraq is much better today than under Saddam. Is this what you only call a "shaky economy"?

Sure, living under Saddam especially after the 1st gulf war would be a bad deal but its not so obvious to me that it would be worse than living under the current horrific conditions where tens of thousands have died in suicide attacks alone. Under Saddam, it was probably possible for the average person to come up with a strategy to stay alive indefinitely. No such strategy is possible in the current chaos today. It is intellectual dishonesty to claim that all Iraqis suffered between 1979 and 2003, its just not true.

Iraq was a modern secular state (and an ally of the US) where women took part in fashion shows and there was a reasonable freedom of economic activity, a far far cry from today. Not sure this can be said of some of the other allies of the US like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. Saddam is a terrible person and deserves to go but there is no need to pretend that he is the only problem.

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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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