Sunday, December 31, 2006

Consequences Matter

Someone left the following comment in response to yesterday's post about Saddam:

Yes, he didn't have anything to do with 9/11. But he killed hundreds of political opponents as well as countless Kurds. He was a pimple on the ass of the world and deserved to die. Any thought that this madman deserved to live is incomprehensible. You know it and I know it.

First of all, I never said that Saddam didn't deserve to die. What I did say, however, is that it's not in our job description to go around invading countries simply because they have a brutal dictator who abuses his own citizens (I'm going to avoid the obvious Bush joke here).

If you're going to use the fact that Saddam Hussein was evil as justification for the Iraq War, then we also need to invade North Korea and kill Kim Il Jong with no thought to the consequences of our actions. After that we can do the same with Myanmar and Venezuela. Come to think of it, Putin is getting awfully big for his britches, too. So what the hell, let's go invade Russia with no thought to what comes next.

Secondly, saving the Iraqi people was never one of the original reasons for invading Iraq. It was because Saddam supposedly had all those weapons of mass destruction and had barred United Nations inspection teams. Eventually he readmitted the inspectors under intense pressure from us, and they had free reign to go wherever they wanted to. Then three days before the invasion began, Bush told the inspectors to get out even though they were doing their jobs.

As we later found out, the entire WMD thing was based on not on faulty intelligence, but SELECTIVE intelligence. Even though there was plenty of evidence saying that Saddam no longer had those kinds of arms, the Bush administration simply suppressed it.

Thirdly, there were voices--Colin Powell among them--that tried to warn Bush what he was about to get into, that we didn't have enough troops, and that there was no plan for the post-war occupation.

As a result of this gross incompetence, almost 3,000 American soldiers have died, and for what? The situation in Iraq continues to spin further and further out of our control. December has now become the deadliest month for our forces.

And that's not even counting the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis that have died because of our actions. Sure, it's the terrorists killing them, but there were no terrorists in Iraq till we removed Saddam. Iraq never had a suicide bombing prior to our invasion; now it's a daily occurrence.

By removing Saddam we have also left a power vacuum in the middle east. Iraq had at least been a check against Iran's ambitions. But with that no longer the case, the Sunni Arab nations are becoming increasingly worried about the Shiites in Iran.

If you think gasoline is expensive now, wait till a war erupts between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the price of crude oil hits $200 a barrel.

But does any of this matter? No, because at least Saddam is dead.

0 thoughtful ramblings: