Fine, Have it Your Way (In Iraq) October 27, 2006Posted by federalist in Diplomacy.
There is plenty of room for reasonable debate on strategy in Iraq: Whatever we do or could have done, destroying wealthy tyrranies and building stable democracies in cultures and countries that seem ill-disposed to them is costly, risky business. Given the resources at stake — both in terms of the cost of our military operations and in terms of the value of a democratic, oil-rich, Muslim country — it is worth constantly reevaluating our course of action.
But nothing excuses the left’s revisionist and hypocritical assault on the United States’ role in Iraq. On the war to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime, plenty of other pundits have contrasted Democratic politicians’ criticism now with their complicity then in the assessment that Saddam posed such a serious threat to American security that war was justified.
Less attention has been paid to the many liberals who believe things would be better now if we had left Saddam in power. James Taranto today, following Hans Blix’s latest emanations on the subject, notes:
Blix is not the first to say that things would be better if Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq. But if he and others really believe this, why don’t they advocate restoring Saddam to power, or at least employing Saddam-like methods to bring the situation closer to the supposedly preferable status quo ante?
Remember the furor over nude human pyramids at the Abu Ghraib prison? If our Western conscience can’t even bear that, how can we countenance pundits’ nostalgia for Hussein’s notoriously brutal torture and murder of millions of Iraqis? Just because he made the trains run on time?
Indeed, as Taranto suggests, if liberals are willing to tolerate human rights abuses I am certain our own military could impose order on Iraq with much less torture than Saddam ever used.