What’s unfolding in Iraq, with ISIS, is no more than a progression along a predictable continuum, the starting point of which was an American invasion that unseated a very effective law-and-order leader: Saddam Hussein. The lawlessness we brought to Iraq with our messianic “faith-based initiative” has facilitated the manifestation of “divisions that have riven the region for four millennia.”
As much as I wanted to say something new about the predictable progression of Iraq, under American tutelage, from rogue state to Islamic state—I found most of what needed saying in a column dated December 2006, titled “At Least Saddam Kept Order”:
… If Iraqis appear ungrateful or disoriented, it is because they are busy … busy dying at rates many times higher than under Saddam. In the final days of Saddam’s reign of terror, i.e., in the 15 months preceding the invasion, the primary causes of death in Iraq were natural: “heart attack, stroke and chronic illness,” as the Lancet reported. Since Iraq became a Bush object lesson, the primary cause of death has been violence. …
… Hussein’s reign was one of the more peaceful periods in the history of this fractious people. What a shame it’s too late to dust Saddam off, give him a sponge bath, and beg him to restore law and order to Iraq.
Secretly, that’s what anyone with a head and a heart would want. We could promise solemnly never to mess with him again—just so long as he kept his mitts off nukes, continued to check Iran (which he did splendidly), and minimized massacres. To be fair, Saddam’s last major massacre was in 1991, during which only 3,000 Shiites were murdered. That’s less than Iraq’s monthly quota under “democracy.”
No one is praising Saddam, yada, yada, yada. But even the Saddam-equals-Hitler crowd cannot but agree that Iraq was not a lawless society prior to our faith-based intervention. Even the war’s enablers must finally admit that under our ministrations Iraq has gone from a secular to a religious country; from rogue to failed state.
Put yourself in the worn-out shoes of this sad, pathetic people. Would you rather live under Saddam—who was a brutal dictator, but did provide Iraq with one of the foundations of civilization: order—or under a force made up of ideological terrorists, feuding warlords, and an “Ali Baba” element, all running rampant because they can, and where not even mosques provide a safe haven from these brutes and their bombs?
Recommended: “INK STAINS AND BLOOD STAINS.”
UPDATE (6/13): There is one thing that is not allowed on the Facebook Timeline: adjudicating afresh the crimes against Iraq. I did serious time on this—years. And I feel very strongly about the distortion of this reality—still. The writings are archived, easily accessible for those who are still morally confused.
One of our Facebook Friends has used particularly bad language to describe the crimes against Iraqis. I don’t love Aditya’s language. I believe we do have younger, more impressionable Friends on the Timeline. But his passion is spot on. So his post stays, and he is asked to keep it cleaner next time. And frankly, what was done in Iraq by the US is immeasurably filthier than mere words.