Thursday, March 16, 2006

Was it worth it?

Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.); former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell:

No. I'm principally a strategist and from that perspective the war has been a disaster. First, the foremost winner has been Iran: it rid itself of its greatest threat, Saddam Hussein and his military, without firing a shot; won the December 15 Iraq elections; owns the south, particularly Basra; and has felt the freedom to elect Mahmoud Amadin-Nejad who, in turn, has felt the freedom to reclaim leadership of radical Islam, leadership Osama bin Laden claimed on 9/11. Second, the foremost loser--after Iraq itself--has been Israel, whose leaders must now fear more than ever before the new strategic maneuver room afforded Iran by America's ineptitude. Third, the general war against global terrorists has been affected greatly by the failure in Iraq. Recruiting among Muslim ranks has been aided significantly, while America has squandered the upper hand in the world of ideas--which is the real battlefield of this conflict. Lastly, if our failure in Iraq produces regional conflict, we will find ourselves expending far greater blood and treasure to stabilize the situation once it gets completely out of hand. And the odds that it will get completely out of hand if we continue on the present course are quite high.

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