17 April 2007

Mea culpa

European former Iraq hawk Bjørn Stærik asks What Went Wrong?

Bless him, he blames hawks—himself among them—for misjudging just about everything. If there were more like him, I'd be a lot less frightened now.

The stability of these authoritarian and extremist regimes was precisely the problem. A little chaos would only do the region good.

When I think of this chaos argument today I am struck with horror at the stupidity of it. There's no secret about what happens when a state collapses.

There are some now who say that even if the war supporters got a lot of things wrong, so did the opponents, so there you go, that's uncertainty for you. Everyone was wrong, but at least we were on the side of freedom, and they were on Saddam's. But that's just not true. The opponents were right. They said this was extremely risky, they said it might result in countless deaths and instability. They got a lot of details wrong, but that's just the point. For the Iraq invasion to go right, war supporters had to get many predictions right. Opponents knew that if any of those predictions were wrong, the whole thing could fail. So the smart choice was to be cautious.
That last is the thing I find most puzzling about our current mediasphere. Why aren't all of the people who advocated for the Iraq war discredited and off the stage?

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