More Justifications

Demosthenes responds to my earlier post on Iraq:

It depends on whether Saddam is better than the alternative. Before answering, think about what Afghanistan or Somalia are like. Failed states are *not* a pretty sight. If the United States manages to install a regime that can both retain power during and (most importantly) after U.S. soldiers leave, then that’s a different story. Judging by how badly Afghanistan seems to be going, however, I wouldn’t place money on it.

Well, as far as I’m concerned, anything would be better for the Iraqi people than a continuation of the Hussein regime. The current humanitarian situation in Iraq is horrendous, as Saddam has been funneling UN oil-for-food aid away from the civilian population and towards the military. While the Iraqi people starve, Hussein continues to build his miltary machine.

In many ways, Iraq would be better off than Afghanistan after a US-sponsored regime change. Iraq has a much better infrastructure, even after the war, than did Afghanistan. As recently as the late 70s, before Hussein seized power, Iraq’s future was looking up. With the phenomenal oil wealth under Iraqi soil, there’s no shortage of resources to rebuild the national infrastructure.

Somalia and Afghanistan aren’t like Iraq. Somalia is a truly failed state in which there is no central governmental authority to hold things together. Afghanistan is still a work in progress, and it’s far too soon to judge the sucess of that regime change. Yes, rebuilding Iraq will be problematic, but the costs of not doing so are far, far greater. The Iraqi people deserve better than to be under the heel of a tyrannical government who has starved and gassed them. The most humanitarian option is the removal of the Hussein regime.

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