When I read John Tabin’s article on 10 years of a Saddam free Iraq, I could not help but think of the piece I wrote back in October 2011 after the Obama Administration failed to extend the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki titled “Should Saddam Have Stayed in Power?”
It pained me to ask the question then and it still pains me now. Like John, I have no nostalgia for Saddam nor do I think most Iraqis do either. I’m sure if Saddam were still in power there would have been another decade of threats, sanctions, rape rooms and mass graves. But even though the United States rid Iraq of Saddam many Iraqis have never been appreciative of the efforts of our military. As long as the post-Saddam Iraq is beholden to Iran it is no friend to the United States. This country lost 4,500 troops in Iraq. Those numbers are small compared to the losses incurred in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Yet should Iran manufacture a nuclear weapon and use it against us or our allies then it must be asked if disposing Saddam aided Iran (albeit unintentionally) in going nuclear. In which case, one could legitimately ask if those 4,500 troops died in vain.
Now there is no doubt that life in Iraq is better for the Shiite majority but the same cannot be said for Iraq’s Christians. They once numbered 1.5 million. It is estimated that in the past decade two thirds of Iraq’s Christians have left Iraq while those who remain have been displaced, have had their churches destroyed or shuttered with some worshippers having been murdered for practicing their religion.
The silver lining in all of this is in the decades to come Iraq could develop a political leadership which is prepared to tell Iran to stuff it and is more tolerant of religious minorities. But that very much remains to be seen.
As heinous as Saddam was, I am sad to say that one can legitimately debate as to whether the United States (and indeed the Middle East) would have been better off if Saddam had remained in power.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?