Monday, April 11, 2005

3 easy pieces

In the ensuing discussion thread of John Quiggin's post
at Crooked Timber, one Richard Cownie leaves this succinct comment;

It seems you can evaluate the Iraq war in at least
three different ways, and whichever way you prefer,
it’s a disaster:

1) Realpolitik. We’ve crippled the volunteer army,
spent a fortune, alienated many allies, and
created a situation which is likely to lead to
blowback – at worst a failed state, at best a
regime dominated by Shiite Islamists and friendly
to Iran.

2) Just War. Disproportionate harm, clearly not
a last resort – arms inspectors were at work,
weapons were being destroyed, negotiations were
very possible. Probable outcome worse than
what we started with (at least for Sunnis and
all women).

3) Humanitarian. Massively expensive, has killed
a lot of people. Infrastructure in terrible
condition – less electricity than pre-war,
higher infant malnutrition, massive crime.

Pro-war people like to play three-card monte with
these justifications, but it’s a failure on all

Posted by Richard Cownie · April 6th, 2005 at 12:38 pm

Simple enough for my limited intellectual resource to follow.