Monday, March 20, 2006

Alternative Reality, or What if?

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 .


MeaninglessHotAir said...

Well, this is a point you have been arguing quite cogently for quite some time, Terrye. You convinced me long ago; you'll never convince the increasingly numerous anti-Americans we see everywhere.

Had Saddam been left in power we would certainly have seen a continuing hatred of the United States and Bush on the basis that we were just supporting dictators like Saddam Hussein and that would have been further proof in their minds that we are a fascist entity that needs to be destroyed.

The truth is that people often don't care about facts--they always believe what they want to believe anyway--and lots and lots of them want to believe that destroying the United States will be a Great Thing for humanity. These people can't be reasoned with; the question is whether there is anything at all that we can say or do that can have a positive impact. My belief is that if we can continue to bombard people with facts which contradict the established memes then this will at least prepare the ground in a few minds for what amounts to a religious conversion. It's all we can hope for.

terrye said...


I have had a lot of family members in the military and as a result my family has come into contact with lots of different kind of people, and even married a few of them.

I think that a lot of people in the world still admire America and the people who hate and despise it will not be detered by a different administration.

Let's face it, there is no way the kind of person Cindy Sheehan or George Galloway would like and support is actually going to win an election in this country. Thank God. So those people will go right on hating America, but they will never get it together to destroy it.

The mullahs [on the other hand] are like the barbarians who sacked Rome, if we get lazy they just might pull it off.