Monday, October 25, 2004

flashback: accurate outcomes over iraq

"Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" --George Bush [Sr.] and Brent Scowcroft (1998)

"Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."

"Top 10 Reasons Not to 'Do' Iraq" --from the cato institute (2002)

"Invading and occupying Iraq would distract the U.S. government from the vital task of destroying an enemy that has actually attacked the U.S. homeland--al Qaeda."

"Because the United States would probably be faced with a long occupation of Iraq to stabilize the country after the invasion, the cost is likely to be higher this time around. And unlike the Gulf War, no financial support from other nations can be expected to defray the costs."

1 comment:

Jeffrey Hill said...

Bush Sr.'s caution is admirable, but was ultimately wrong-headed. The problem of Saddam never went away & subsequently we spent a lot of money to maintain the post war status quo with no fly zones and sanctions. After 9/11, the Hussein situation needed a resolution. Bush Jr. brought that to pass.

As for the 10 reasons not to invade: 1) high casualties had to be redefined; 2) there seemed to be no shortage of recruitment of terrorists prior to the invasion of Iraq; 3) the invasion was not a diversion, but a vital part of a multi-pronged strategy (to think we should only do one thing at a time is a sure way to lose the war); 4) the Hussein threat may have been exaggerated, but it was still serious and now it is gone; 5) that Hussein's support of terrorism only threatens regional neighbors is wrongheaded, but even if true, is all the more reason to take him out; 6) containment wasn't working & apparently only Bush and Hussein knew that; 7) the Islame "street" has failed to rise, and many arab governments have been forced to make some reforms (perhaps not fast enough for our taste, but much faster than if we did not invade Iraq); 8) The 30 nation coalition provided about as much support as a 33 nation coalition would have (plus, our real Euro allies are already involved, also, we now have a forward base in the region that is ideal for pressuring Iran and Syria; 9) we will ride out the economic cost of the war, the alternative would have been costlier; and 10) despite short term spikes in oil (more a result of Chinese consumption that reduced production) the liberation of Iraq will be good for securing the oil supply. Hussein was always a thorn to the west and was a negative influence on OPEC.