Saturday, December 30, 2006

saddam's gone, but we're still in iraq

So we -- I mean, the Iraqi judicial system -- hung Saddam Hussein early Saturday. I'll shed no tears for him; he was a tyrant who brutalized his own people directly (killings, torture, gas attacks) and indirectly (ill-conceived invasions of Iran and Kuwait). He richly deserved death.

But his richly-deserved death still doesn't mean that on balance, Mr. Bush's Excellent Adventure has been a net positive for the United States. It still was an invasion sold to the US and international publics on wrong or false grounds (wrong if you are generous about the Republicans' motives, otherwise false), that has destabilized the Middle East, allowed Iraq to become a haven for terrorist groups that before the war, weren't present there, and sullied the reputation of the United States (see Abu Ghraib). It has not made us safer (remember -- Iraq had no WMDs, and no connection with Al Qaeda or 9/11), and it's still questionable whether Iraq as a whole is actually better off or not.


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