Max over at Nowarblog.org recently posted an item called “The I Told You So Olympics”. In it he says:
It’s never too early for bitter recriminations. At this point we have a vantage point from which to reconsider some of the claims made prior to the invasion. Let’s start with the anti-war side.
He then highlights some of the key claims:
- Invasion will provoke Saddam to deploy his weapons of mass destruction, if he has any.
- Invasion will provoke wave of terrorism against Americans.
- Invasion will de-stabilize Arab governments and disrupt cooperation with the U.S. on terrorism.
- Invasion will not enhance the national security of the U.S.
- Invasion will cause the death of many innocents
- War will hurt the U.S. economy.
He agrees with 5, but takes issue with the others. I also agree on 5. Below is my reply to his discussion of the others.
First, and most importantly, much of the long-term effects related to these issues will have to do with how the US handles the aftermath of war than the war itself. It is easy to win the war and loose the peace. They are already doing a fine job of screwing things up when you look at who they want to be in charge of the interim govt. etc. (Pro-israeli arms dealers with close business and political ties to Bush don’t strike me as a move to win the hearts and minds of the Arab world.)
About national security. Although there have been no incidents of note regarding terrorists <a href="http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200302/08/eng20030208_111312.shtml" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200302/08/eng20030208_111312.shtml', 'targeting the US']);" >targeting the US</a>, it is important to remember that Hamas – which traditionally had never targeted the US – has now declared the US a valid target. Update: <a href="http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=65036720&p=65x374z6" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=65036720&p=65x374z6', 'Maybe not']);" >Maybe not</a>. On the economy – although I am not sure the war itself has had a direct impact, the huge increase in military spending combined with <a href="http://kerim.oxusnet.net/nucleus/index.php?itemid=1131" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://kerim.oxusnet.net/nucleus/index.php?itemid=1131', 'gigantic tax cuts']);" >gigantic tax cuts</a> (for the rich) during a ressession has been attacked as fiscally foolish by many leading economists. So, although the war by itself may not have had a negative impact so-far, the administration’s focus on the war (combined with other <a href="http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wareconomy.html" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wareconomy.html', 'fiscally stupid decisions']);" >fiscally stupid decisions</a>) seems to be hurting the chances for a lasting economic recovery. [Not to mention the cost of Bush’s <a href="http://kerim.oxusnet.net/nucleus/index.php?itemid=1164" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://kerim.oxusnet.net/nucleus/index.php?itemid=1164', 'hidden domestic agenda']);" >hidden domestic agenda</a>, which includes cutting benefits to veterans.] Finally, <a href="http://kerim.oxusnet.net/nucleus/index.php?itemid=1171" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://kerim.oxusnet.net/nucleus/index.php?itemid=1171', 'on WMDs']);" >on WMDs</a>, it is very clear that the way we answer this depends on whether or not they were there in the first place. If yes, then invading was foolish even if they are not used. If someone survives a round of Russian Roulette, it doesn’t make them any smarter in hindsight. On the other hand, if they are not there, then why are we invading? And let’s not forget the terrible cost to US <a href="http://www.aclu.org/safeandfree/" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://www.aclu.org/safeandfree/', 'civil liberties']);" >civil liberties</a> that this prolonged war-on-terror has already extracted, not to mention the possibility of this war being extended to Syria and Iran … </blockquote> <div id="themify_builder_content-1073" class="themify_builder_content themify_builder themify_builder_front">