Friday, 23 January 2009

What if there had not been a war in Iraq?

Many foreign policy analysts, mostly on the left but also a few on the right, see the Iraq war as the worst US foreign policy mistake since at least World War Two.

History will be quite unkind to not only these analysts but also George W Bush's opponents on the Hill who initially supported the war and then backpeddled when things when sour, claiming that they'd somehow been misled by the same intelligence reports that led to Bush's decision in the first place.

To the left the enemy was Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, as they'd carried out the attack and therefore Afghanistan is a 'just' war while Iraq is unjust and simply a cover for US imperialism/war for oil et blah.

Bush understood better than any of his critics that 9/11 was the harbinger of great danger to United States' and the free world's interests not only from Al Qaeda but also from a bevy of like minded Islamist terrorist groups.

Therefore, the answer was to take on them and their state sponsors.

But what if Bush had never taken out Saddam Hussein?

Don Surber provides a
nice analysis.
Now that the war in Iraq is won - it was in pretty good shape when President Bush left office - and a new era dawns over Baghdad, it is worth reviewing the claims by liberals that this was an unnecessary war.

Suppose there had been no war in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein would still be in charge. Abu Ghraib would still exist. Instead of placing hoods on inmates and making them stand on chairs and otherwise humiliating them, as a few disgraced troops did, inmates would be tortured, bodies mutilated and people executed by Hussein's henchmen.

Headless torsos would still be thrown on lawns in the dead of night, the Hussein equivalent of burning a cross.

And families would still be billed for the bullets that killed their loved ones

Hussein's insane sons, Oday and Qusay, would still be alive. Women would still be raped on their wedding days. Olympic teams would still be physically punished for losing a game.

Maybe Hussein would have invaded another country or two. He tried Iran and then Kuwait. Would Saudi Arabia have been next on his list?

Crooks would still be trading oil for bribes under the Oil for Food program operated by the United Nations. Billions would still be going into the wrong hands. And those German contractors would still be building bunkers for Hussein.

When it comes to bunkers, no one builds them better than the Germans.

And of course, Israel would continue to be terrorized by suicide-bombers financed by Saddam Hussein.

CNN's bureau in Baghdad would still be ignoring all this for fear of losing its bragging rights to having the only bureau in Baghdad. It was only after America liberated Iraq that Eason Jordan, then president of CNN, admitted to CNN's complicity.

The average Iraqi would still be living in fear and poverty.

But liberals would call this peace. They would still be standing up for Hussein because, after all, he is an enemy of George W. Bush, and liberals figure the enemy of mine enemy is my friend.

Look at the support Joe Stalin got from the left

I doubted all along (and my columns in 2002 reflect this) the existence of weapons of mass destruction. I had two reasons.

The first was when Sen. Robert C. Byrd said Hussein had WMD and they were supplied by American companies.

The second reason is that if Hussein had them, he would have used them.

I sided with the invasion simply because Iraqis deserved better than Saddam Hussein, a known sponsor of terrorism.

I believe in a free people.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal, he did not limit his definition to all the white male property owners in a skinny sliver of land along the Atlantic.

He meant all men. Everywhere.

The hanging of Saddam Hussein ended a reign of terror in one small nation, because his sons Oday and Qusay were sent packing long before that. Unlike Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, he had no heir.

To insist today that we should never have gone to Iraq is to say that Iraq should be like North Korea. That is stubborn, that is ignorant, and that is not liberal.

I leave readers with this thought from the Dalai Lama, as reported by the Times of India on Sunday: "I love George W. Bush."

So do I.

So should all freedom-loving people.
Amen to that.

The other point that is missed by the critics of the Iraq war is that it opened up a second front against Al Qaeda that split their resources and led to their near destruction. An action only in Afghanistan could not ever achieve this result.

For that reason I am quite bearish about the US escalating activities in Afghanistan. Large troop numbers risk being seen as an occupying force that will turn the locals against them.

(Nothing Follows)


Anonymous said...

An amazingly narrow and self-serving post. 500,000 to 1,000,000Iraqis killed, millions dislocated, US in financial difficulties and trillions of dollars spent and to be spent. Torture, "rendition" internal spying on journalists. Someone's living in a dream world of denial.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you exist in a surreal alternate universe created and supported by your like minded "liberal" friends. I am sorry for you. To help you, may I suggest you read books and journals on topics ranging from international relations to the philosophical analysis of liberty. If you are young, and have recently graduated from university, these are the types of materials they should have had you reading instead of Chomsky and Zinn. If you are older but obtain your understanding of the world from network news and an advertising pamphlet know as the New York Times, you should try to broaden your understanding of events. You see, the editors of such pulp material want to keep you buying their product. They cannot raise your intellectual awareness, for if they did, you wouldn't buy their product. Please try to keep an open mind. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Probably the most enduring contribution to peace in the ME is that our soldiers have killed off an entire generation of young, angry, unemployed, useless males. In another 10 years it will have to be done again. Polygamy means extra men must be culled from society, by violence or foreign conquest. That is why they stay so busy killing each other.

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