The Anti-War Crowd was Right
Posted by Peter W. Schramm
Asserts Christopher Hitchens in an ironic piece. They didnt want a war on Iraq, and they didnt get one. They didnt want to give blood for oil, and we didnt. They wanted the war to stop, and it is stopping. They got what they wanted. Short, good.
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As someone who feels that the war is misguided, illegal and unjust, Ill be the first to admit that the US has shown a remarkable degree of precision in targeting the regime while sparing the population at large (though its important to note that the war has not been without civilian casualties - Amnesty Internation puts the number of civilian deaths in the hundreds, and todays NY Times suggests that the number of civilians killed may be greater than 1,000).
That said, this war - or perhaps it would be better termed "this experience" - is far from over. Significant evidence of WMD (which, if youll recall, was our original claim for why this war was necessary) has yet to be discovered. Nobody really knows whether Hussein is dead or alive (and if hes alive, where he might be at the moment or what control he might still wield). The fighting is FAR from over in cities like Kirkuk. Baghdad and other major cities in Iraq have sustained extensive damage and must be rebuilt. Humanitarian aid must be delivered to Iraq quickly, or well see human suffering on a massive scale. Anti-American sentiment among the worlds Muslim population is at an all-time high. A new government must be installed in Iraq.
My own feeling is that the jubilation we saw in the streets of Baghdad yesterday will quickly die down. Whether that jubilation is replaced by hope and prosperity or remains or suffering and anger remains to be seen. Mr. Hitchens is certainly not in a position to qualify this endeavour as a success, not now anyway. To celebrate this war (or non-war, as hed suggest) at this point is like celebrating during a football game at the end of the first quarter.
I recommend reading the article "The Last Place We Liberated" on Salon.com as a companion piece to the Hitchens column.