I'm simply flabbergasted at the arguments that otherwise sane people make when talking about the war in Iraq...
Here we go again.
Let's go over the facts.
We invaded a country because we thought they had WMDs... and that they could possibly give them to Islamic fundamentalists. The fact that Iraq was the most 'contained' and monitored nation in the world wasn't enough. The president perceived a threat and he acted. That's what presidents do.
Turns out there was no threat. So the mission morphed: we're not in the heart of the middle east "spreading democracy and freedom". Only problem, the state department had a plan for "post-Saddam Iraq" - they were never consulted about post-war planning. Oops.
Now we're years into a conflict that is costing 100's of billions and 1000's of service men's (and civilian) lives. Tens of thousands have been injured. These are the costs... We know them, they are concrete.
So what is the payoff for these costs?
Well, as I see it, there is a chance... just a change - maybe 50-50? That the middle east and Iraq in particular will be better off in 10-15 years. My point is there are no guarantees: things may get better, they may degenerate into a kind of Israeli-Lebanon situation where a relatively high level of violence persists for decades. It may just degrade into civil war.
It may also work... But does that mean regimes like the Saudi's will become more moderate? Again, I don't know - there's a chance there will be a positive influence on Iraq's neighbors, but that's only a chance. Tyrannical regimes tend to hold onto power at all costs - violently putting down dissent.
So here we are: we know the costs - 1000's of American lives (not to mention Iraqi lives) and 100's of billions of dollars... all on the CHANCE that our policy will improve the situation there.
Please tell me where my logic is errant...
I don't see it... I see an irrational policy implemented by a group of people who couldn't have really thought through their actions... or are incredibly naïve.