Orin Kerr presents three questions to the pro-war part of the blogosphere. Since I qualify, I figure I might as well answer. Here are his questions:
First, assuming that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion, do you believe today that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea? Why/why not?
Second, what reaction do you have to the not-very-upbeat news coming of Iraq these days, such as the stories I link to above?
Third, what specific criteria do you recommend that we should use over the coming months and years to measure whether the Iraq invasion has been a success?
1. The invasion of Iraq was a very good idea for multiple reasons and remains so today. Iraq presents the same sort of geographic opportunity that the french colonies of Morocco and Algeria presented in WW II and justified the launching of Operation Torch. Vichy France was in no way the real threat in WW II yet it was our first strike in the European theater. The territory itself was valuable as is Iraq. Syria is threatened by a peaceful, free Iraq, as is Iran and Saudi Arabia. There is no territory in similar legal circumstances that would have provided as much "bang for the buck" as Iraq.
The War on Terror (WOT) must delegitimize certain tactics, the foremost of which is the suicide bomber. Saddam Hussein was the foremost open state sponsor of suicide bombing with his $25K checks to each family of a palestinian suicide bomber. To permit open funding of terrorism to continue against any country would make victory impossible. I don't care who the victims of these bombers were, the open state support of terrorism had to be stopped and getting rid of Saddam seems to have done the trick. I don't think the Saudis et al are continuing those sorts of open payments anymore.
All this geopolitical reasoning glosses over the human benefits to the people of Iraq and those unfortunates abroad who drew the angry attention of Saddam. States should not be led by psychopaths and that's a real increase in security for everyone.
2. My personal prediction for combat casualties (not including the occupation) was around 1000 dead so reaching 1000 dead after the conventional war and a year of resistance operations by foreign and domestic enemies of Iraqi freedom is actually good news as far as I'm concerned. We've gotten off incredibly lightly and hopefully we will continue to do so.
The increasing use of suicide bombers and the targeting of Iraqi children show that our enemies are burning their bridges with the people of Iraq. Suicide bombing was a sign of weakness in Japan in WW II and it is a sign of weakness today. When elections are held in January, I would expect that support for the insurgency will die down as the expensive gambit our enemies are running right now in Iraq will show itself to be a failure.
3. Elections in Saudi Arabia are a sign of Iraqi success, as are preparations of transition to constitutional monarchies and real democratic republics elsewhere in the Middle East. Libya's ending its participation in an underground nuclear weapons development cabal is another good sign. The measure of success is that the impossible will continue to happen in little announcements that preserve plausible deniability and save face for the local despot but, step by step, show that freedom really is on the march in the Middle East.Posted by TMLutas at September 30, 2004 05:25 PM