Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Carnac the Magnificent?

I find the question to Jeb Bush about whether he would have supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 "if we knew then we we know now" pretty moronic.

Bush correctly answered the question as if the more reasonable question of whether he would have supported the war knowing what we did back then had been asked. To his credit--and I'm not a particular Jeb Bush fan--he said he would have supported the war knowing what we knew then. So good for his backbone.

But let's consider the original question as asked.

It assumes the ability to know that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 would lead to the current situation and then assumes the current situation is so bad that the obvious answer is "Aw Hell no, I wouldn't have done that."

How is that question scenario possible? How do we have the ability to see that particular timeline but nothing else?

Why wouldn't the proper answer to that stupid question be "I'd use the technology that allowed me to project ahead to 2015 for analysis of that choice to instead choose the option that led to the optimum result today. Duh."

But given we can't predict with certainty the future result of choices made and a whole series of choices made after that, why is there an assumption that leaving Saddam in place as the brutal dictator of Iraq was the better choice in 2003?

Given all the reasons we had in 2003 to destroy the Saddam regime, you think all of those worries that persuaded us at the time were wrong and that all would have been kite-flying goodness and positive stability if we'd left Saddam in power?

Really? That's Hillary Clinton cattle futures-levels of predictive ability.

Remember, too, that we can judge alternatives to the regime change action of Iraq. For example, in Libya we bombed the dictator until he was killed, but did not go in on the ground to replace the dictator; while in Syria we basically did not try to intervene at all against the dictator who faced rebellious people to let them sort it out; and in Egypt we were passive yet scolding. How are those working out as alternatives?

Mind you, Egypt started as an ally that reverted back to autocracy that worried about our level of support, so that wasn't an entirely awful result despite the failure of the Arab Spring there. But would a Saddam brutal dictatorship that endured unrest as we looked on to emerge as still a brutal dictatorship have been okay?

Kudos to this author for saying that you're darned right he'd have done the same thing as Bush 43.

As for conservatives who have rushed to embrace the Left's view of the war? Nice backbone you got there. I see less analysis and more political posturing than I'm happy with viewing from people who once backed the Iraq War.

I stand firmly in the "we did the right thing" camp. Leaving Saddam in power should not have been an option (Tip to Eric at Learning Curve).

Finally, if our choice to liberate Iraq from Saddam and his Baathist butchers was so bad, why has President Obama intervened again in Iraq to defend even the damaged Iraq we built by 2011 that ISIL and Iran have grievously wounded while we were absent?

We're at war in Iraq again, and our Left still wants to re-litigate the 2003 invasion. Move the F on, eh?

Let's win this war we are fighting right now.

UPDATE: Related thoughts. Tip to Instapundit.