Michael Barone has some interesting observations on the question of What if the Coalition had not removed Saddam Hussein from power. I realize that the real antiAmericans and partisans in this debate will never acknowledge that the effects of leaving Saddam in power could have been negative in any way that matters, at least to them. However, reality is not a vacuum. There is a reaction to every action, in fact there is a reaction to inaction.
First is a report by three scholars at the American Enterprise Institute of what likely would have happened had we not taken action.
• Continuation of the pre-March 2003 conditions would have cost, in dollar terms, between about half and about two thirds of the cost of military operations in Iraq.
• Iraqis would have been much worse off economically had the United States stayed out of Iraq.
• More Iraqis would have been killed under a continuation of the Saddam Hussein regime than have died since March 2003.
As the writers acknowledge, there's room for argument here: There always is in counterfactuals. But the point is that a continuation of the 1991–2003 "containment" policy had high costs both for Americans and for Iraqis. These should not be ignored when we consider the wisdom of going to war.
Imagine that..... a cost to leaving the Butcher of Baghdad in power.
read it all.
via Betsys Page .