On the radio this mo…
On the radio this morning, the host was asking callers what grade they would give the war in Iraq. As I thought about it, I’d give it a B+. Here’s my reasoning:

  • On the downside, the whole WMD issue, while it was only one of a number of reasons we went in, was a real problem. On one hand, Iraq had literally years to cover things up, but shouldn’t we have found something by now? On the other hand, when we found upwards of 30 MiGs buried in the Iraqi desert as late as last August, this should have let folks realize that finding little vials of bioweapons would be a few orders of magnitude harder than that. Nonetheless, marks off for bad intelligence. Bush may have said the same things as many other had (many of whom were Democrats) about Iraqi WMDs, but since he was the one willing to put action to his words, he should have had better intelligence. The marks off are against the war in general, and the intelligence community in particular.
  • On the upside, the United States did what the United Nations would not; meant what it said and acted based on its words. John Kerry and his ilk from the Democrats, who voted to use force but didn’t really want to, can claim all they want that they were “misled” (which, as we’ve discovered, only means that they, too, didn’t think Bush would do what he said he would), but Saddam had been coddled for far too long, ignoring UN resolution after resolution, exposing that assembly for the paper tigers they are. High marks for a politician meaning what he said. Isn’t that what everyone says they want in a leader?
  • Upside: No more mass graves, gassing civilians, and palatial waste in the face of dire poverty. The people who complained the loudest over US and Iraqi casualties during the war were strangely silent about those atrocities before the war.
  • Upside: Downfall of an evil dictator. ‘Nuff said.
  • Upside: One of the most successful prosecutions of a war with the fewest number of casualties.
  • Upside: An Iraqi constitution featuring freedom of religion, equal rights for women, freedom of expression, and the forbidding of slavery, among other things. There are some things I’d pick nits over, but this is a huge step for the region; the one and only Arab country in the Middle East with a constitutional government, and the only other constitutional government in the region besides Israel.
  • The bombings still going on in Iraq are as much, if not more, targeted at this last point and the people responsible for its creation as it is US soldiers. The founding fathers in this country endured similar attacks in their time, but no one would say that the new United States of America was worse off than before the Revolutionary War. Iraq’s Revolutionary War is over, and the malcontents will have their day. However, those who say that things are worse now than they were before the war didn’t, I imagine, live in Iraq before the war. Those that did overwhelmingly say that things are better now, and they believe they’ll get even better by an even wider majority.

Given all of this, I give the war in Iraq a B+.

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